ESPN Announces College Football Week 14 Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The ESPN networks’ coverage of college football’s regular season wraps up this weekend with a group of championship matchups on its schedule.

The weekend’s coverage begins live from Detroit Friday when No. 21 Western Michigan takes on Ohio for the MAC Championship.  Broadcast begins at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN2.  Adam Amin will have the call for the game.  He will be joined by analyst Mack Brown for additional commentary.  Reporter Molly McGrath will be on the sidelines for all of the latest in-game news and interviews.

The action continues at 9 p.m. EST live from Santa Clara, CA where No. 9 Colorado will take on No. 5 Washington for the 2016 Pac-12 Conference Championship.  The game will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio.  Bill Rosinski will have the call for the game.  He will be joined by David Norrie for additional commentary.  Ian Fitzsimmons will have all of the latest in-game news and interviews.

No. 4 Clemson rounds out the weekend’s coverage as it takes on Virginia Tech for the ACC Championship Saturday night at 8 p.m. EST on ABC and ESPN Radio.  Clemson is in the College Football Playoff Top 4 right now.  Chris Fowler will have the call for the game on ABC.  He will be joined by Kirk Herbstreit for additional commentary.  Reporter Samantha Ponder will have all of the latest in-game news and interviews.  Bill Rosinski, David Norrie and Ian Fitzsimmons will have the call on ESPN Radio live.

In all, seven championships will be decided this weekend on the ESPN networks.  The season’s final rankings will be revealed Friday at noon.  One more ranking will be announced tonight at 7 p.m. EST on ESPN.  The full schedule for the ESPN networks’ weekend conference championship matchup coverage is noted below.

 

ESPN Network’s Week 14 Slate of Games

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Fri, Dec. 2 7 p.m. 2016 Marathon MAC Football Championship from Detroit: No. 21 Western Michigan vs. Ohio
Adam Amin, Mack Brown, Molly McGrath
ESPN2
9 p.m. 2016 Pac-12 Championship from Santa Clara: No. 9 Colorado vs. No. 5 Washington
Bill Rosinski, David Norrie, Ian Fitzsimmons
ESPN Radio
Sat, Dec. 3 Noon 2016 American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game: Temple vs. No. 25 Navy
Joe Tessitore, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe
ABC
2016 Dynacraft Conference USA Championship Game: Louisiana Tech at Western Kentucky
Dave Pasch, Tom Luginbill, Quint Kessenich
ESPN
Troy at Georgia Southern
Jason Benetti, Kelly Stouffer, Paul Carcaterra
ESPN2
1 p.m. New Mexico State at South Alabama ESPN3
3 p.m. Louisiana-Lafayette at Louisiana-Monroe ESPN3
4 p.m. 2016 SWAC Football Championship Presented by McDonald’s from Houston, Tex.:Grambling vs. Alcorn State
Eric Clemons, Jay Walker, Sherree Burruss
ESPNU
5 p.m. Georgia State at Idaho ESPN3
7:30 p.m. Arkansas State at Texas State
Allen Bestwick, Ahmad Brooks, Kris Budden
ESPN2
7:45 p.m. 2016 Mountain West Football Championship Game
San Diego State at Wyoming
Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay
ESPN
8 p.m. 2016 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game from Orlando, Fla.
No. 4 Clemson vs. Virginia Tech
TV: Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Samantha PonderRadio: Bill Rosinski, David Norrie, Ian Fitzsimmons
ABC and ESPN Radio

Please note: Schedule does not include the second round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship which is carried exclusively by ESPN

 

More information on this weekend’s college football coverage on the ESPN networks is available online now along with all of the latest college football headlines at:

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/college-football

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espncfb

 

 

 

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.

Cavs, Clippers Lead Off This Week’s NBA Coverage On TNT

Courtesy: TNT/Turner Sports/NBA

Courtesy: TNT/Turner Sports/NBA

TNT continues its NBA coverage with another double header schedule Thursday, with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Clippers leading off the night.

The Cavs plays host to the Clippers live at 8 p.m. EST Marv Albert, Chris Webber and David Aldridge will have the call for the game.  Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal will carry pre-game, half-time and post-game Inside The NBA studio coverage. Kevin Garnett and special guest Rashed Wallace will have additional commentary throughout the night’s games live from Area 21.

The second game on the night will see the Golden State Warriors hosting the Houston Rockets at 10:30 p.m. EST.  Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller and Lewis Johnson will have the call for the game.

TNT’s NBA coverage continues Dec. 8 with another double header scheduled led off by Minnesota and Toronto at 7 p.m. EST.  Kevin Harlan will have the call for the game.  He will be joined by analysts Reggie Miller and Grant Hill for additional commentary.  Reporter Kristen Ludlow will be on hand for all of the latest in-game news and interviews.

The Bulls will host the Spurs in the second game of the night.  Tip-off is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. EST.  Marv Albert and Chris Webber will have the call for the game.  Reporter Allie LaForce will be on hand for all of the latest in-game news and interviews.  Kevin Garnett will be joined live in Area 21 by WNBA Champion and two-time league MVP Candace Parker for additional commentary.

More information on TNT’s NBA coverage is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.nba.com/tntovertime

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NBAONTNT

 

 

 

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.

Goth, Industrial Fans Will “Celebrate” ‘The Ghost Parade’

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

This past October, underground industrial/goth metal outfit Gabriel and the Apocalypse released its latest full-length studio recording The Ghost Parade.  The Minneapolis, MN-based quintet’s new record is a good fit for anyone that is a fan of Otep and to a lesser extent Prong, Nine Inch Nails and other acts of that ilk.  That is due both to the album’s musical arrangements and its lyrical content.  The songs mix together Nine Inch Nails’ industrial elements with the hard-edged sound of Prong and Otep (even front woman Lindy Gabriel sounds eerily like Otep front woman Otep Shamaya at points) for a record that musically speaking, will easily entertain its key audiences.  Lyrically speaking, the record covers a number of topics, too including politics, world issues and more.  All things considered The Ghost Parade is a record that Gabriel and the Apocalypse’s fans will soundly celebrate.

Gabriel and the Apocalypse’s latest full-length studio recording (and its Pavement Entertainment debut) Ghost Parade is a record that the underground goth/industrial act’s fans are sure to celebrate.  Between its musical arrangements and its lyrical content, it presents plenty for fans to appreciate.  The album’s opener ‘March Of The Dolls’ is a prime example of how the album’s musical arrangements and lyrical content come together to make the album stand out.  In regards to its musical arrangement, the song is a powerhouse composition with a sound that takes the best elements of Otep, Fear Factory and (believe it or not) Type O Negative and binds them together into one work.  The end result is a work that will surprise audiences in the best way possible.  That is because of the manner in which the arrangement balances those elements.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.

The musical arrangement presented in ‘March of The Dolls’ is important in its own right to the song’s overall presentation.  It balances a number of different influences throughout the course of its nearly three-and-a-half-minute run time, and does so expertly, too.  That in itself is certain to keep audiences entertained.  While the song’s musical arrangement plays its own important role in its presentation, it is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.  Gabriel sings in the song’s lead verse, “You want/You need/To beg and to please/Get on/Your knees/I’ll make you believe/I want/I need/I love/The taste/My sweat/Is smeared across your face/My god/My god/It’s all/The same/Another sinful/Another save/But I can’t/Resist/Cuts down my wrist/I put it back together/What matters is the ending.”  It’s a rather dark statement to say the very least.  What is interesting here, though is that considering such a statement, it would have been easy for the band to go more in the standard, brooding goth direction with the song’s arrangement.  But instead it went the aggressive route.  In hindsight it seems to serve the defiance seemingly exhibited in that lead verse.  The song’s second verse is very similar to its first with only one real minor change, which comes in the end of the verse.  The real power that matches the song’s musical arrangement comes in the song’s final moments as Gabriel sings, “I’ve found myself…in the Ghost Parade…What do you think of me now?”  That last group of lines is especially interesting because it has been noted that The Ghost Parade is a personal record for the band’s front woman.  That final statement perhaps illustrates how personal it is for her.  It is almost as if she is saying through this song, she has grown and become someone new through all of the negativity that she has experienced in life, so “how do you like her now?”  It is a bold, powerful statement that when coupled with the song’s musical arrangement becomes even harder hitting.  Considering this the song in whole proves to be just one example of what makes The Ghost Parade a record that the band’s fans will celebrate.

‘March of the Dolls,’ with its powerhouse musical arrangement and equally interesting lyrical content is solid proof of why Gabriel and the Apocalypse’s fans will celebrate the band’s new album The Ghost Parade.  It is just one of the songs that serves to show what makes the album stand out. ‘Colour of Winter’ is another of the album’s songs that serves to make it stand out.  This song is the polar opposite of ‘March of the Dolls’ both in terms of its musical arrangement and its lyrical content.  Speaking first about its musical arrangement, this piece is that dark, brooding composition that goth fans will appreciate.  It is driven largely by the work of drummer Zach Williams and guitarists Jake LaCore and Joey Connelly.  Keyboardist Figgles McGee (no, that’s not a joke) adds an extra touch to the song, too.  The end result is a work that instantly conjures thoughts of works composed by Marilyn Manson and his band mates.  That is especially the case when Gabriel’s vocal delivery is joined with the work of her band mates.  It is only one part of the song that should be discussed.  The song’s lyrical content adds even more depth to its presentation.

The brooding musical arrangement at the heart of ‘Colour of Winter’ is its own key element to the song’s presentation.  As noted already, the combination of Gabriel’s vocal delivery and the work of her band mates gives the song a feel that instantly conjures thoughts of Marilyn Manson.  The brooding doesn’t end with the song’s musical arrangement, though.  There is just as much of that in the song’s lyrical content, too.  Gabriel sings right off the bat in such morose fashion, “I’m alone in the world today/I can’t take it/But I feel it anyway/It’s not enough that it was/It’s not enough cause it’s gone/I can’t breathe/I can’t stay here/I’ll numb myself all the way.  She goes on to sing about “burning yesterday,” “sinking into the void” and other brooding matters.  Simply put, there’s a lot of deep emotion expressed in this song’s lyrical content; emotion that, again, goth fans will appreciate.  When that deep emotion is set against the song’s equally brooding musical arrangement, the end result is one more of the album’s most standout compositions.  It is one more song that shows why fans of Gabriel and the Apocalypse will celebrate this record just as much as goth and industrial fans.  There are still other songs that serve to support that statement, too, including ‘Mazarine.’

‘March of the Dolls’ and ‘Colour of Winter’ are both key examples of what makes the Ghost Parade a record that Gabriel and the Apocalypse’s fans will celebrate.  That is due to the songs’ musical arrangements and their lyrical content.  Each song presents its own identity through its arrangement.  One arrangement is an aggressive, full-force composition that greatly enhances the defiant statement presented in the song’s lyrical content.  ‘Colour of Winter’ is the polar opposite (no pun intended) of ‘March of the Dolls.’  Both musically and lyrically, this song is the kind of work that any goth fan will appreciate just as much as the band’s more seasoned fans.  While both songs show clearly through their musical and lyrical content what makes The Ghost Parade a piece that audiences will celebrate, they are not the only songs that will do so.  ‘Mazarine’ shows in its own unique way what makes The Ghost Parade stand out, too, beginning with its musical arrangement.  This song’s arrangement is a mid-level hard rock piece that boasts a hard rock/industrial hybrid sound.  It isn’t the full-throttle piece that is presented in ‘March of the Dolls’ or even the more brooding ‘Colour of Winter.’  Rather it could be argued to be the closest to mainstream accessibility that the band reaches in this album.  Keeping that in mind, this arrangement could be the best chance that the band has at mainstream success in this album.  Of course the song’s arrangement is just one half of what makes the song stand out, just as with the other discussed songs.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.

The musical arrangement presented in ‘Mazarine’ is a key part of what makes this song stand out.  It is perhaps the closest that the band comes to mainstream accessibility with its new album.  As important as the song’s arrangement is to its presentation, its lyrical content proves to be important in its own right.  Lyrically speaking, it will likely have audiences thinking and talking more than any other of the album’s songs.  At one point she sings what seems like an ode to someone else, but at other times the song seems to touch on a wholly different matter.  When that metaphorical language is coupled with the song’s semi-mainstream musical arrangement, the whole of the song becomes a work that would fit easily alongside the likes of Lacuna Coil, Evanesence and so many other more mainstream goth/industrial acts.  It is just one more example of what makes The Ghost Parade stand out.  When it is joined with ‘March of the Dolls,’ ‘Colour of Winter’ and the rest of the album’s offerings, the album in who proves without a doubt to be, again, a work that goth and industrial fans in general will appreciate just as much as the band’s more seasoned fans.

The Ghost Parade is a work that regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Gabriel and the Apocalypse, will appeal to goth and industrial fans in general just as much as it will the band’s more seasoned fans.  That is evident through all three of the songs discussed here.  It is also evident in the album’s other offering.  All things considered, The Ghost Parade is a work that goth and industrial fans will celebrate” right alongside the band’s fans.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on The Ghost Parade is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.gabrielandtheapocalypse.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GabrielandtheApocalypse

Twitter: http://twitter.com/GATA_band

 

 

 

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The 2016 World Series Official Film Is A Big Win

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/MLB Productions

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/MLB Productions

History was made this year in Major League Baseball.  That is because next year finally became this year for the Chicago Cubs.  After 108 years, America’s favorite lovable losers finally ended the curse of the billy goat and won baseball’s most coveted prize.  Baseball fans can relive that history making moment for themselves and more thanks to MLB Productions and Shout! Factory beginning December 6th with The 2016 World Series.  This double-disc set looks back on the 2016 World Series between the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs.  The program’s central story is its key element.  It will be discussed shortly.  The program’s bonus material is just as important to its presentation as its central story.  It will be discussed later.  The platforms on which the film will be made available round out is most important elements.  One could also note the program’s editing is worth noting in examining its presentation, too.  All things considered, Shout! Factory and MLB Productions’ presentation of The 2016 World Series is another home run for any baseball fan regardless of team loyalty courtesy of MLB Productions and Shout! Factory.

The 2016 World Series official film from MLB Productions and Shout! Factory is a home run for any baseball fan regardless of fans’ team allegiance.  That is due in part to the program’s central story.  The story, narrated by actor Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers, The Break-Up, Fred Claus), follows the Cubs’ road to the Major League Baseball Championship.  It includes interviews with members of both teams’ lineups.  They add even more emotion to the store and in turn make the story even more gripping.  From the high of winning the second game to the come from behind climb that the Cubs had to make to eventually win Game 7, baseball fans will be left on the edge of their collective seats even if they got to see each game live on TV or in person.  The teams’ interviews, Vaughn’s narration, and the use of the game footage join together to keep viewers completely enthralled throughout the course of the story’s 90-minute run time.  The editing used in the footage makes the story even more powerful.  It will be discussed later.  Getting back on topic, the story, with all of its combined elements, proves to be one of the most important of this program’s elements if not its most important element.  It’s just one of the program’s important elements, too.  The program’s bonus material is just as important to note in examining its overall presentation as its central story.

The story at the center of The 2016 World Series official film is an important part of the program’s presentation.  It could be argued, in fact, to be the program’s most important element.  It is just one of the program’s key elements, too.  The program’s bonus material is just as important to its presentation as its story.  It is important first and foremost because it covers not just highlights from all seven games of the 2016 World Series, but also from the Cubs’ historic season and even the parade in which the team was welcomed home as heroes. Audiences get to see in the regular season highlights, key moments from the Cubs’ games against the Phillies, Reds, and others as they made their way to the top of the league.  The clinching moments include highlights from even more games.  Much like the regular season highlights, they show the team’s power and what made the Cubs this year’s team of destiny.  The World Series highlights put the finishing touch on the central story, reminding audiences once more what made this year’s World Series one of the game’s best in ages.  The parade highlights put the finishing touch on the bonus material, rounding out their mini-story and is just as certain to leave baseball fans (and especially Cubs fans) shedding tears of joy without the slightest regret.  Of course the story that is told through the bonus material is itself just one reason that the bonus material stands out.  Audiences will note in watching the bonus material that it is presented chronologically.  It takes viewers through the regular season, into the post season and to the end of the road this year.  This is hardly the first time that MLB Productions has done this, and MLB Productions is to be applauded for once again taking such an approach.  When all of this is set alongside the program’s central story, the two elements make even clearer why The 2016 World Series official World Series film is so enjoyable presentation.  They are not its only important elements, either.  The program’s triple-platform presentation rounds out its most important elements.

The story at the center of The 2016 World Series official film and its companion bonus material are both key to the program’s overall presentation.  Both by themselves and together, they tell a story that will keep baseball fans across the broad completely enthralled.  This applies even for fans who watched every game live on TV or in person.  They are not its only key elements, though.  The platforms on which the film will be made available round out its most important elements.  Audiences will be happy to know The 2016 World Series  will be offered on a single disc DVD/Digital package and deluxe DVD/BD/Digital combo pack.  The DVD/digital combo pack features the film, obviously, on DVD and includes a digital download code while the deluxe edition features the film on a double-disc presentation that also includes a digital download code.  One of the discs is a DVD presentation of the film and the other a Blu-ray presentation.  The DVD/digital combo pack’s average price is $20.22.  That is important to note because that average price is right along the lines of Shout! Factory’s own price point of $20.99.  So while Shout! Factory’s price for the DVD/digital combo pack might not be the cheapest price on the surface, it is actually very affordable considering the combo pack’s average price.  The average price for the DVD/BD/Digital combo pack is $27.61.  Its list price is $34.99.  Considering this and Shout! Factory’s price of $27.99, audiences will pay about the same regardless of which outlet they choose.  That makes Shout! Factory’s store a great place from which to order both the BD/DVD/digital combo set just as much as the DVD/digital combo pack. When this is set alongside the film’s central story and its bonus material, all three elements show clearly why The 2016 World Series official film is a home run for any baseball fan.  It boasts a gripping story, enjoyable bonus material and a relatively affordable price point across the board.  That’s not even touching on the program’s editing, which adds even more depth and enjoyment to the program.  All things considered The 2016 World Series proves to be one of 2016’s top new sports documentaries and a piece that every baseball fan should have in his or her own home DVD/BD library.

The 2016 World Series official film is one of this year’s top new sports documentaries, and a piece that every baseball fan should own regardless of team allegiance.  That is due to a number of reasons beginning with its story.  It presents a story that will keep baseball fans across the board completely engaged.  The bonus material included in the program’s presentation adds even more depth and enjoyment to the program with its chronological presentation of the Cubs’ 2016 season.  The program’s price point both on DVD/digital combo pack and BD/DVD/digital combo pack is relatively affordable, too.  Considering the general price of similar combo packs, those price points are especially important to note.  Each element is important in its own right, including even the program’s editing.  All things considered, The 2016 World Series official film is, again, one of this year’s top new sports documentaries and a doc that every baseball fan should own regardless of team allegiance.  It will be available Tuesday, December 6th online and in stores.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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.

Metallica’s New Album Is Well Worth The Wait

Courtesy: Blackened Records

Courtesy: Blackened Records

Eight years have passed since Metallica released its most recent album Death Magnetic.  That is a long time for any act to spend between albums.  It’s also a huge risk because the longer an act waits, the greater the odds it might not be relevant anymore.  What’s more, it also raises expectations greatly for said act’s new release.  In many cases, said albums don’t live up to expectations.  Guns ‘N Roses’ 2010 album Chinese Democracy is a prime example of that letdown.  So waiting for such a long time between albums is a gamble to say the very least.  For veteran hard rock outfit Metallica, the gamble to wait so long between albums paid off when it released its new album HardwiredTo Self-Destruct on Friday, November 18.  This record is the band’s best work to date.  It is a culmination of everything that the band has done over the course of its more than thirty year life.  That is evident first and foremost through it musical arrangements.  That will be discussed shortly.  The record’s lyrical content is just as important to note in examining what makes this record stand out.  It will be discussed later.  The bonus live disc that was included in the record’s extended edition is just as important to note in the album’s presentation.  Each element serves the record in its own positive way.  All things considered, they make this record, again, Metallica’s best album to date and one of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Metallica’s new full-length album HardwiredTo Self-Destruct is the best work that this veteran hard rock outfit has released to date.  It is also one of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums without question.  That is saying a lot considering how many albums the band has released over its life (10 counting this record) and the number of outstanding hard rock and metal albums that have been released so far this year.  One of the elements that makes the album stand so proud is its collective musical arrangements.  From one song to the next, the arrangements present elements of the band’s past, present and even its future.  One of the songs that best exemplifies the arrangements’ reach is ‘Now That We’re Dead.’  Right from the song’s outset, its driving guitar line and drumming harkens back to ‘Enter Sandman’ from the band’s groundbreaking 1991 self-titled album (or more affectionately known by fans as The Black Album.  That similarity stands throughout the remainder of its nearly 7-minute run time.  Front man James Hetfield’s vocal delivery is just as powerful throughout the song as it was way back in 1991, too.  When his vocal delivery is coupled with that solid musical arrangement, it makes the connection to The Black Album even stronger.  It’s just one of the songs that serves to exemplify the reach of the album’s musical arrangements.  ‘Spit Out The Bone,’ the record’s closer exhibits the arrangements’ reach just as much as ‘Now That We’re Dead.’

‘Now That We’re Dead’ exhibits a clear connection to material featured in Metallica’s 1991 self-titled record.  It is just one of the songs included in this record that exhibits the reach of the album’s arrangements.  ‘Spit Out The Bone’ exhibits that reach just as much as ‘Now That We’re Dead.’  It is a direct throwback to the band’s very first album Kill ‘Em All (1983) with its speed/thrash metal riffs and drumming.  One could even argue to a point that there are hints of the band’s 1986 album Master of Puppets considering this arrangement and Robert Trujillo’s bass line.  His bass line instantly conjures thoughts of Cliff Burton’s work with its style and sound.  Obviously Burton died during the tour for that album, but would likely be as proud as the band’s fans to hear that similarity.  Even Hetfield’s own vocal delivery throws so far back, too. Sure he’s much older now.  But when he hits certain notes, audiences will instantly hear those hints of his days gone by.  That is a big compliment to him.  When each of the arrangements are brought together, they make this arrangement yet another standout composition.  Even more important to note is that just as with ‘Now That We’re Dead,’ the song’s arrangements harkens back to the noted albums but does so with a certain sense of evolution, too.  In other words, it doesn’t just repeat any of the songs from said albums.  Rather, it merely exhibits the stylistic approach used in the noted albums.  The same applies in the case of ‘Dream No More.’

‘Now That We’re Dead’ and ‘Spit Out The Bone’ are both clear examples of the reach of this record’s arrangements.  One throws back to the band’s Black Album while the other throws back even farther.  Both songs exhibit the influence of those albums through their arrangements, and do so without just repeating any of the songs included in those records.  That is extremely impressive.  They are just a couple of the songs that serve to exhibit the reach of this album’s arrangements.  ‘Dream No More’ is another example of the arrangements’ reach.  This song exhibits hints of the band’s much maligned albums Load and Re-Load.  More precisely, with its combination of guitar and drum lines, it conjures thoughts of ‘King Nothing,’ which was one of the few truly good songs included in Load.  But again, it doesn’t try to just rehash that song through its arrangement.  Love the album or hate it (and Re-Load) the fact of the matter is that through this song, Metallica has taken the best of the album and evolved it into this song.  It again shows the reach of the album’s arrangements.  As if that isn’t enough, there are a couple of songs included in this record that even hint at what is probably the band’s worst albums (if not its worst), St. Anger.  Even in those cases, the band somehow managed to take the best of the worst and make it something enjoyable here.  There are also hints of each of the band’s other albums in the likes of ‘Hardwired,’ ‘Atlas, Rise’ and ‘Confusion’ just to name a few other standout arrangements.  All things considered here, it is clear in listening to the album from start to finish that this albums’ arrangement present quite a reach.  They present the band’s past, present and possibly even future.  That reach will impress any long time fan just as much as any new fan.  The reach presented in this record’s arrangements is clearly an important part of the record’s presentation.  It is just one of the record’s key elements, too.  The album’s lyrical content is just as important to note in examining the record’s presentation as its musical reach.

The musical reach that is exhibited throughout Metallica’s latest full-length LP is a hugely important part of the record’s presentation.  That is because the record’s arrangements present influences from each of its previous albums and even hint at the band’s future.  To an extent, one could say that makes this record career-spanning.  While the record’s musical arrangements are so clearly important to its overall presentation, they are not its only important element.  The album’s lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangements.  ‘Atlas, Rise’ is just one example of the importance of the record’s lyrical content.  Hetfield sings in this song, “Bitterness and burden/Curses rest on thee/Solitaire and sorrow/All eternity/Save the earth and claim perfection/Deem the mass and blame rejection/Hold the pose, feign perception/Grudges break your back/All you bear/All you carry/All you bear/Place it right on, Right on me.”  He’s not signing about the literary Atlas.  This comes across as using Atlas as a metaphor for someone who loves to put the problems of the world on himself or herself, but not for noble reasons.  That is evident as he sings, “Grudges break your back/All you bear/All you carry/All you bear/Place it right on, right on me.”  This becomes even clearer as Hetfield sings, “How does it feel on your own/Bound by the world all alone/Crushed under heavy skies/Atlas, rise!”  The song goes on very much in similar fashion in terms of its lyrical content.  It leaves just as little doubt as the song’s early lines.  It definitely is a powerful song considering all of that.  When the song’s equally powerful musical arrangement is set against those lines, the song becomes even harder hitting.  It is just one of the songs that exemplifies the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  ‘Moth Into Flame’ is another of the album’s songs that exhibits the importance of the album’s lyrical content.

‘Atlas, Rise’ is a prime example of the importance of the lyrical content presented in HardwiredTo Self-Destruct.  It comes across as a damning indictment of those people who prefer (for whatever reason) to put the world’s problems on themselves and make themselves virtual martyrs, all the while holding grudges against the world.  Everyone knows or has known someone just like that.  It is just one of the examples of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  ‘Moth Into Flame’ is another example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  Hetfield sings in this song, “Blacked out/Pop queen, amphetamine/The screams crashed into silence/Tapped out/Doused in the gasoline/The high times going timeless/Infamy all for publicity/Destruction going viral/Light it up/Ah, light it up/Another hit erases all the pain.”  He goes on to sing, “Bulletproof/Ah, kill the truth/You’re falling, but you think you’re flying high/High again/Sold your soul/Built a higher wall/Yesterday/Now you’re thrown away/Same rise and fall/Who cares at all/Seduced by fame/A moth into flame.”  As with ‘Atlas, Rise,’ the lines presented here are their own damning indictment.  This time, it comes across as an indictment of celebrities and their lifestyles.  The lines presented here are just a portion of the support for that argument.  The song continues in similar fashion lyrically speaking, which strengthens this critic’s argument even more.  Keeping that in mind, this song’s lyrical content becomes yet another important example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  It’s hardly the first time that anyone has ever crafted a song that goes after celebrities and their lifestyles (if that is in fact the focus on the song’s lyrics).  But it is still a biting approach that audiences will appreciate greatly.  It isn’t the last song that exhibits the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  ‘Spit Out The Bone’ is one more example of the importance of this record’s lyrical content.

‘Atlas, Rise’ and ‘Moth Into Flame’ are both key examples of the importance of this record’s lyrical content.  Both songs come across as very biting commentary about their given topics.  While both pieces are key in exhibiting the importance of the lyrical content in Metallica’s new album, they are not the only songs that show that importance.  ‘Spit Out The Bone’ also serves to show the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  This song presents some very heavy content.  Hetfield sings in the song’s lead verse, “Come unto me and you will feel perfection/Come unto me and dedicate/Come unto me and you’ll never feel rejection/Come unto me and terminate/Remove your heart, it’s only good for bleeding/Bleeding through your fragile skin/Remove your thought cause it’s only for deceiving/Deceiving thoughts destroy within/Disappear like man was never here/Long live machine/The future supreme/Man overthrown/Spit out the bone.”  The technology theme continues throughout the song, but shouldn’t be misinterpreted.  This isn’t one of those songs that audiences have come to expect from Fear Factory or other similar acts.  It comes across more as a piece about people’s reliance on technology, not about robots overthrowing mankind.  That’s even despite the fact that Hetfield sings “Long live machine/the future supreme.”  It comes across more as a commentary about how mankind has allowed technology to become its new God.  That is evidenced in the song’s second verse in which he sings, “Plug into me, I guarantee devotion/Plug into me and dedicate/Plug into me and I’ll save you from emotion/Plug into me and terminate/Accelerate, utopian solution/Finally cure the Earth of man/Exterminate, speeding up the evolution/Set on a course, a master plan/Reinvent the earth inhabitant/Long live machine/the future supreme/Man overthrown/Spit out the bone.”  It comes across as saying man’s reliance on technology and devotion to technology will eventually turn man into machine.  It comes across as a sarcastic, yet still very biting commentary in its own right.  Again, when this content is coupled with the song’s musical content, the whole of the song stands out even more.  It is hardly the last song that could be cited in exhibiting the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  ‘Dream No More,’ ‘Confusion’ and ‘Am I Savage?’ could each be cited in exhibiting the importance of the album’s lyrical content along with the rest of the album’s songs.  All things considered, the album’s lyrical content proves in whole to be just as important to its presentation as its musical arrangements.  Even as important as its musical and lyrical content proves to be, these two elements are not the album’s only important elements.  The bonus third disc included in the album’s extended edition is just as important to note as its musical arrangements and lyrical content.

Both the musical arrangements and lyrical content presented throughout HardwiredTo Self-Destruct are key to its overall presentation.  The musical arrangements take listeners to the band’s earliest days as well as its present and even future.  The album’s lyrical content addresses a variety of topics including celebrity, people who make themselves martyrs, and much more.  While both elements are clearly important to the album’s overall presentation, they are not its only important elements.  The bonus third disc included in the album’s extended edition is just as important to note in examining its presentation as the previously noted elements.  The disc features four more songs including a medley of Ronnie James Dio covers in the form of ‘Ronnie Rising Medley’ and ten live songs.  The studio songs bring the album’s total song count to 16.  That is counting the medley as one big song.  The live songs, recorded during the band’s 2016 – ’16 tour are important in their own right both because of the songs that are featured and the band’s performance thereof. The live songs featured in the record’s bonus disc are some of the band’s most beloved classics.  They include’ ‘Hit The Lights,’ ‘Ride The Lightning,’ ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ and plenty of others.  They are so important to note because they are a perfect fit with the album’s new studio tracks, which themselves lift from every era of the band’s life.  The band’s performance of the songs is just as impressive because of its energy throughout each song.  The band hasn’t lost even all these years later.  It is still just as enjoyable to experience here as it was when the featured songs were still new.  If that isn’t enough for audiences, the fact that the performances sound so good adds even more enjoyment to their overall presentation.  The proverbial cherry on top for the live recordings is that save for just one performance—‘Hardwired’ recorded live at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN—each of the songs featured here were all recorded at the same place, Rasputin Music in Berkeley, CA on April 16, 2016.  So rather than just having a group of random recordings, audiences get nearly a full live recording on this disc along with four bonus studio recordings.  It is a great finishing touch to an album that already stood out on its own musical and lyrical laurels.  When it is set against those elements, the whole of the elements leaves no question that HardwiredTo Self-Destruct is Metallica’s best effort to date and that it is one of 2016’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

HardwiredTo Self-Destruct is Metallica’s best new album to date.  It is also one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  That is evidenced through musical arrangements that will take listeners throughout the band’s body of work.  Its lyrical content is just as certain to leave listeners thinking and talking.  The bonus disc included in the album’s extended edition adds even more enjoyment to the record’s overall presentation with its four extra studio recordings and ten expertly produced and engineered live recordings.  The live recordings will entertain audiences not just because of how well they were handled but also because they run the gamut just as much as the songs presented in the album’s main body.  The band’s performance of the songs is just as important to note in their enjoyment, too.  Each element noted in this review is important in its own right to HardwiredTo Self-Destruct.  All things considered, they make this record the band’s best work to date and one of the year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.metallica.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Metallica

Twitter: http://twitter.com/metallica

 

 

 

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‘The Great Gilly Hopkins’ Is A “Great” Family Flick

Courtesy: Lionsgate Premium

Courtesy: Lionsgate Premium

Every year during the holiday season it seems that audiences are stuck watching the same fare both on television and in theaters.  Sure, tradition’s a good thing.  But how much tradition can people handle before it just becomes trite?  Thankfully, next month Lionsgate Premium will release a new offering to break that monotony.  It is the studio’s small screen adaptation of author Katherine Paterson’s children’s book The Great Gilly Hopkins.  The movie, which runs 99 minutes, is an interesting new holiday offering and an equally entertaining first-time adaptation of the book.  That is due in no small part to the story at the movie’s center.  That will be discussed shortly.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note in its presentation as its central story.  It will be discussed later.  The movie’s bonus “making of” featurette rounds out its most important elements.  Each element plays its own important part in the movie’s overall presentation.  All things considered, The Great Gilly Hopkins proves to be one of the biggest surprises of the 2016 holiday movie season.

Lionsgate Premium’s small screen adaptation of The Great Gilly Hopkins is one of the biggest surprises of the 2016 holiday movie season.  That is due in no small part to the movie’s story.  For the most part, this adaptation strives to stay loyal to its source material.  That’s a rarity both for big screen and small screen literary adaptations.  The fact that Paterson’s son David directly handled the adaptation of his mother’s book is likely why it stayed true to its source material.  Kudos are definitely in order considering this.  The story follows its pre-teen protagonist as she comes of age and learns to let love in again after being hurt so many times by being tossed around in the foster system.  She learns to let love in as she learns that a family doesn’t have to be a biological family.  What makes the story work is its ability to make audiences suspend their disbelief. It is so believable because it was presented in a realistic fashion instead of just being another run-of-the-mill saccharine sweet drama about family.  Considering that the movie centers on family and is so faithfully adapted, it is interesting that the story was adapted by a mother and son team.  It’s a parallel of sorts, and an interesting one that will generate its own share of discussion.  This is just one way in which the story stands out in this year’s field of holiday fare.  The fact that it only uses the holidays as a backdrop makes it stand out even more.

The story at the center of The Great Gilly Hopkins stands out in the movie’s presentation because of its faithful adaptation from its source material.  That is just one way in which it stands out.  It also stands out in the fact that its holiday material remains in the story’s  background rather than being at the story’s center.  There are scenes that take place on Thanksgiving and Christmas.  But for the most part, the story’s holiday material is little more than background.  Considering that, the movie could be considered a holiday movie and a general family drama that just uses the holidays as a backdrop.  It is a respectable balance, and when set alongside the story’s central story, adds even more depth and enjoyment to the movie’s overall presentation.  Keeping all of this in mind, this movie’s story proves an integral part of its presentation.  It isn’t the movie’s only important element, either.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to its presentation as its story.

The story at the center of The Great Gilly Hopkins is a key piece of the movie’s presentation.  It stays as true as possible to its source material.  That is rare for any literary work adapted to the big screen and small.  The fact that it keeps its holiday elements more in a supporting role than primary makes it even more enjoyable.  Considering all of this, the movie’s story proves to be a key piece of the movie’s presentation.  It is not the movie’s only key element.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note as its story.  The work of the movie’s cast is so important to note because it is just as believable as the story.  Kathy Bates (The Blindside, Misery, Titanic) leads the cast in her role as Maime Trotter. She absolutely nails down Maime right down to the southern accent.  There are so many actors and actresses who try to get that accent but fail miserably because they try too hard.  In Bates’ case, she gets it just right.  Maime’s determination to make a difference in Gilly’s life despite Gilly’s behavior is just as powerful.  She had plenty of chances throughout the movie to really ham it up, but never took that opportunity.  Instead, she showed her years of experience.  In turn, she makes audiences absolutely love her as that surrogate mother figure.  Hers is just one of the performances that stands out here.  Fellow lead star Sophie Nelisse (The Book Thief, Endorphine, Pawn Sacrifice) is just as impressive as Bates.

Kathy Bates’ performance as Maime Trotter is one of the most enjoyable performances by this movie’s cast.  That is because she exhibits her years of experience here just as much as she has in her more well-known performances.  She makes Maime such a loveable and believable character.  Hers is just one of the performances that stands out in this movie.  Fellow cast mate Sophie Nelisse is just as enjoyable to watch as the movie’s title character.  Nelisse is just as believable as Bates as she portrays Hopkins’ naivety and emotional turmoil in her youth.  Just as in the case of Bates, it would have been so easy for Nelisse to overact as she brought Gilly to life.  But even at the tender age of 16, Nelisse handles her role with the expertise of a seasoned veteran.  Considering that, she again proves just as enjoyable to watch as Bates and the rest of the movie’s star-studded cast.  That cast includes the likes of Glenn Close (Damages, 101 Dalmations, The Shield), Octavia Spencer (The Help, Zootopia, Being John Malkovich), Bill Cobbs (Night at the Museum, The Bodyguard, The Color of Money) and Julia Stiles (10 Things I Hate About You, Silver Linings Playbook, Dexter).  The work of the movie’s cast works in partner with its story directly to make the movie even more enjoyable than considering the elements alone.  They are not its only key elements.  The movie’s bonus “making of” featurette is just as important to note in examining the movie’s overall presentation as its story and the cast’s ability to carry the story.

The story at the center of The Great Gilly Hopkins and the cast’s ability to carry the movie are both key to the movie’s overall presentation.  The story is key to the movie’s presentation because it stays true to its source material and expertly balances its story with its holiday elements.  The cast’s work as it carried the story is just as important to note in examining the movie’s presentation as its story.  That is because the cast’s work is so believable all the way around.  While both elements are key to the movie’s presentation, they are not its only key elements.  The movie’s bonus “making of” featurette is just as important to the movie’s presentation as its story and the work of its cast in interpreting the story.

The story at the center of The Great Gilly Hopkins and the cast’s work throughout that story are both critical to the movie’s overall presentation.  The story is critical to the movie’s presentation because of how closely it follows its source material.  The cast’s work is just as important to note due to the ease with which they make viewers suspend their disbelief.  While both elements are clearly pivotal to the movie’s presentation, they are not its only important elements.  The movie’s bonus making of featurette is just as important to note in examining the movie’s presentation as its story and the work of its cast.  The movie’s bonus “making of’ featurette isn’t necessarily long.  It averages about 15 minutes, if that.  But in that short time, audiences get to hear from the movie’s cast as well as its writer and director.  The discussions are on the characters themselves as well as the importance of the story.  Julia Stiles only appears for a couple of minutes near the movie’s end—not to give away too much—but she makes an important statement in her bonus interview.  She points out that she was drawn to the movie because it wasn’t too saccharine or too dark and moody.  That is something that this critic already pointed out, too.  Kathy Bates discusses her role as Maime and the role that she plays in the movie’s grand scheme.  Audiences even get to hear from Katherine Paterson and her son in this extra material.  The elder Paterson discusses the real life influence on the book that would become The Great Gilly Hopkins while son David discusses the story’s adaptation from printed page to small screen.  These discussions and so much more add yet another layer of depth to the movie’s presentation.  When the whole of the movie’s bonus “making of” featurette is set alongside the movie’s story and the work of the movie’s cast, all three elements join together to make The Great Gilly Hopkins a “great” family flick.

The Great Gilly Hopkins is a great family flick and one of the biggest surprises of the genre so far this year.  That is due in no small part to the movie’s story and the work of its superstar cast.  The movie’s bonus material adds just as much depth and enjoyment to the movie as those previously noted elements.  All things considered, this movie proves to be one of the most surprising of this year’s family offerings and one of the genre’s best offerings, too.  It will be available in stores and online Tuesday, December 6.  It can be pre-ordered online now via Lionsgate’s online store at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/product.asp?Id=34393&TitleParentId=10502.  More information on this and other titles from Lionsgate is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.lionsgate.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lionsgate

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lionsgate

 

 

 

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‘Building Star Trek’ Is An Enjoyable Celebration Of Series’ 50th Anniversary

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/Smithsonian Channel

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/Smithsonian Channel

Star Trek celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, and in celebration of the occasion, The Smithsonian Channel (which is part of the Discovery Communications networks), aired a special centered on the series and its impact on the world with its scientific revolutions called Building Star Trek.  Now thanks to a partnership between The Smithsonian Channel and PBS Distribution, audiences can own it for themselves on DVD.  There is plenty for audiences to appreciate about this special beginning with its central topic.  That will be discussed shortly.  The information that is shared throughout the 92-minute program is just as important to note as its central topic.  That will be discussed later.  The program’s transitions round out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own way to the program’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Building Star Trek a special that the series’ fans will appreciate just as much as scientists and students.

Smithsonian Channel’s new Star Trek special Building Star Trek is a program that the series’ fans will appreciate just as much as scientists and students.  That is due in part to the program’s central topic.  For all intents and purposes, the program’s central topic focuses on the series’ cultural and scientific impacts.  It does this as it follows the efforts to both restore the original U.S.S. Enterprise model for the Smithsonian Museum (go figure) and the effort to bring to life a full Star Trek exhibit for the EMP Museum in Seattle, WA.  The exhibit in question chronicles Star Trek in each of its incarnations.  Though for the sake of this special the focus is on the location and restoration of pieces from the original series for the exhibit.  The items featured in that hunt and work include Captain Kirk’s chair from the bridge of the show’s set, an original phaser and tricorder from the original series, and even Checkov’s control panel from the bridge set.  So while the program really just focuses on Star Trek: TOS at its center, audiences will still enjoy watching the efforts of all involved to locate and restore what are such important artifacts from one of television’s most landmark series.  To that end, the program’s central story plays its own important part in this special’s overall presentation, though it is not the only key element to note.  The information that is shared throughout the course of the program is just as important to note in examining this program as its central topic.

The topic at Building Star Trek’s center is key in its own right to the program’s presentation.  It focuses mainly on the efforts by two groups to locate and restore items from the series’ original set as part of a national celebration of the series’ 50th anniversary.  It’s little different, to that end, from the likes of OUTATIME: Saving The DeLorean Time Machine.  Regardless, it is interesting in its own right.  However, the information that is shared about that hunt and about the series adds even more interest to the program.  One of the most interesting pieces of information that is shared throughout the program is the relatively unceremonious way in which the show’s main set was disposed of.  Audiences learn that the set was basically dumped on a backlot and then cannibalized by students at a university (that is the actual wording used by one interviewee) for their own projects.  One can’t help but wonder if those who made the decision to do away with the set in such fashion have any regret for what they did, now fifty years later.  Just as interesting to learn in watching the program is that not only are scientists working to duplicate tractor beams, cloaking devices and even warp drive, but they are also working to create efficient medical devices to mimic the tricorder.  If such a device could be created and patented, it would potentially revolutionize the medical community as we know it.  There is also a discussion on the importance of recently discovered gravity waves and their importance in the efforts to make warp travel possible.  These are just some of the intriguing discussions that are raised over the course of the program’s 92-minute run time.  There is much more that audiences will find interesting.  Some of the material is old hat, obviously (communicators being the influence for today’s smart phones, automatic doors influencing today’s motion activated doors everywhere, etc.)  but there is still other material—such as that about tricorder tech development—that audiences will find just as interesting if not more so.  Keeping that in mind, the information that fills out the program’s body proves to be just as important to the program’s presentation as its central topic, if not more so.  It still isn’t the last element to note.  The program’s transitions are just as important as its central topic and information to its presentation.

Building Star Trek’s central topic and key information are both pivotal to the program’s presentation.  Its central story celebrates the series’ 50th anniversary while also setting the stage for the information that is used to illustrate the series’ ongoing importance.  While both elements are important to the program in their own right, they are not its only important elements.  The program’s transitions are just as important to note as its previously discussed elements.  The transitions are important to note because they are what keep the program moving, and doing so smoothly for that matter.  The program focuses on the restoration efforts both on the East Coast and West Coast.  So obviously it goes back and forth as it follows the efforts of all involved.  As much as it has to go back and forth, the program keeps its transitions wholly smooth each time. It doesn’t just jump from one point to another.  That is thanks in part to the program’s writing and also to its editing.  Thanks to the work of the program’s editors and writers, the program makes its transitions at all of the right moments.  This in turn serves to maintain audience engagement and entertainment.  As audiences remain engaged and entertained, they will then catch all of the information noted here and more, and will gain their own appreciation for the program’s central topic.  All things considered, it should be clear why Building Star Trek is a program that scientists will enjoy just as much as the series’ fans.

Smithsonian Channel’s new documentary Building Star Trek is a program that Star Trek fans will appreciate just as much as scientists and students.  Its central topic will reach all three audiences (and possibly others) as it makes clear its attempt to be far-reaching.  The information that is shared over the course of the program’s 92-minute run time works in partner with the central topic to add even more interest to the program.  The transitions are wholly smooth from one to the next.  That is thanks to the work of the program’s writers and editors.  It is thanks to their work that audiences will remain engaged and entertained throughout the program, enjoying its depth of information and its central topic along the way.  All things considered, Building Star Trek proves in the end to be, again, a program that Star Trek fans will appreciate just as much as scientists and students.  It is available now and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other programs from Smithsonian Channel is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.smithsonianchannel.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SmithsonianChannel

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SmithsonianChan

 

 

 

More information on this and other titles from PBS Distribution is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pbs

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pbs

 

 

 

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