Disney’s Latest ‘Aladdin’ Re-Issue Offers More Magical Fun For The Whole Family

Walt Disney Studios’ modern classic movie Aladdin is coming back to Blu-ray and DVD again.  The animated feature, originally released in 1992, is set to be re-issued Sept. 10 alongside the home release of Disney’s live action/CG reboot of that movie.  The upcoming Signature Collection re0issue of Aladdin is an interesting new presentation of the movie in large part because of its bonus content, which will be addressed shortly.  The story at the center of the movie strengthens the re-issue’s presentation even more.  The movie’s average price point rounds out the most notable of the movie’s elements and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Aladdin.  All things considered, they make this latest re-issue of Aladdin a piece that is while not perfect, still a positive new re-issue of what is one of Disney’s most timeless movies.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s upcoming Blu-ray/DVD re-issue of Aladdin (1992) is a mostly positive new presentation of the movie.  That is due in part to the bonus content featured with the movie.  The bonus content is being addressed first in that the movie’s story itself is obviously not changed from its original 1992 presentation.  The bonus content featured in this latest re-issue (which comes approximately three years after the release of the movie’s Diamond Edition re-issue) give viewers a little something old and something new.  The old content carried over to this re-issue are the features about Aladdin’s life on stage, the brief segment featuring Robin Williams’ genie outtakes and the Disney Channel special “Unboxing Aladdin.”  The new extras introduced in this re-issue, the singalong version of the movie, star Scott weinger’s retrospective on the movie and the introduction of two alternate endings that never made the final cut.  For those who have never seen the bonus features from the previous Diamond Edition re-issue of Aladdin, the focus on Aladdin’s stage life is interesting considering its worldwide success.  As is revealed in this feature, the musical almost didn’t happen because of the growing pains that it (and its cast) endured.  Viewers learn that that play didn’t start on Broadway, but went from Seattle and on to Toronto before finally making its way to Broadway.  Seattle and Toronto were used as test markets for all intents and purposes for the play.  The extensive discussions with the lead cast and the musical’s creative heads give a lot of insight into the growing pains that were endured on stage and behind the curtains, such as the evolution of the flying carpet aspect and how to address the comparison between James Iglehart’s Genie and that of Robin Williams.  Viewers will be interested to learn that Alan Menken and his creative partner Howard Ashman originally had plans to make a character for Genie more in the vein of a Cab Calloway/Fats Waller hybrid for him instead of the portrayal that Williams brought to the character.  That approach is what was used for the stage Genie, and ended up proving successful.

The Genie Outtakes segment is brief, but still entertaining, especially for older viewers who will get the references.  Viewers see firsthand here, the many impersonations that Williams did during the movie, but ended up on the cutting room floor.  There are impersonations of Richard Nixon, John Wayne, Elmer Fudd, Wolfman Jack and Michael Jackson just to name a handful of famous figures spoofed throughout the movie, which ended up being removed or replaced.  It serves to show even more, Williams wide range of talent in terms of comedic impersonation.

In terms of the movie’s new bonus content, one of the most notable new features is Scott Weinger’s retrospective “Aladdin on Aladdin.”  Weinger, who was the speaking voice of the movie’s titular character, talks with his fellow cast mates from the movie, as well as his mom and the movie’s creative heads (including Alan Menkin) about the movie’s creation, everyone’s roles and their favorite memories of making the movie.  Viewers will be interested to learn through this bonus that Weinger audition for Aladdin’s speaking voice and his singing voice, but failed the singing audition.  Jonathan Freeman, the voice of Jafar jokes about having wanted to voice a villain for many years before taking on the role of Jafar while Gilbert Gottfriend talks with Weinger via phone and jokes about taking on the role of Iago.  By connection, Ron Clements, one of the movie’s co-writers reveals that Gottfriend was not the first choice for the role.  He reveals Iago was originally going to be British, but after Gottfried auditioned, that all changed.  As if all of that is not enough, Weinger’s discussion with Menken reveals the song which Weinger auditioned and failed.  That song was Howard Ashman’s “Proud of Your Boy,” Which was cut from the final movie, but is featured to this day in Aladdin’s stage presentation.  This is where the bonus content turns somewhat downward.

There is so much discussion in the bonus features about the song in question – “Proud of Your Boy – but the song itself is not featured in whole as a bonus this time.  It is presented however, in the movie’s 2015 Diamond Edition re-issue along with a group of other songs cut from the final presentation.  With all the talk of that song and its impact on the movie’s cast and crew, it would have made so much sense to have included that as one of the carry-overs from the 2015 re-issue.  To that end, it makes no sense why it and the other deleted songs were not included in this re-issues bonuses list.  Hopefully they will be brought over with the next re-issue whenever it is released.

As much as Weinger’s retrospective does to make this latest re-issue interesting for viewers, it is just one of the re-issue’s most notable extras.  The two brief alternate endings included as extras are important in their own right.  That is because they actually serve to make the initial opening for Disney’s 2019 Aladdin reboot make sense.  What’s more, they are certain to lead viewers to discuss whether they would have added anything to the 1992 movie had one or the other been included.  On the one hand, they might not have, but on the other hand, either one could have put even more of a period to the story.  To that end, it is nice to have those alternate endings.  Between this brief extra and the more in-depth retrospective from Weinger and company, these two new bonuses and the inclusion of the previous bonuses collectively make a strong foundation for this latest re-issue of Aladdin.  Sure, they leave viewers thinking they will probably have to keep the Diamond Edition (if they already own it) if only for the deleted songs feature, but that aside, they still make this a positive new collection of bonuses that audiences will enjoy.

The engagement and entertainment offered through the bonus content featured in Aladdin’s latest re-issue is just one part of what makes this presentation so appealing to the movie’s key viewers.  Its story adds to that engagement and enjoyment.  The story, presents plenty of comedy, action and romance for viewers of all ages.  It’s a buddy comedy thanks to Aladdin’s friendship with Genie.  It is also a coming of age story for Aladdin, and also a story about letting go of tradition that even promotes female independence and self-confidence.  This aspect of Aladdin is a big part of the story’s success in its own right.  That is because while it was presented in subtle fashion, that subtle approach of giving Princess jasmine such confidence and inner strength makes it that much more powerful.  It is what Guy Ritchie’s re-write got wrong.  Where Jasmine in the ’92 version was already a great role model for women (especially young women) everywhere, the Jasmine presented in the 2019 version was a way over-the-top, hear me roar, preachy Jasmine who was clearly a response to the MeToo movement.  There is nothing wrong with female empowerment.  Female empowerment is wonderful.  However, the extent to which that empowerment went in Guy Ritchie’s version was far too extreme.  It made her seem more like an uber feminist than just a straight out, strong, confident woman that viewers saw in the 1992 version of Jasmine.  It makes this aspect of the ’92 version’s story that much more integral to its success.  Even as Jafar reveals the true identity of Prince Ali and casts him to the ends of the earth, that is a big moment, but it is not so dark that it might be unsettling, so it is nice to keep that in mind, too.  Simply put, every element of this movie’s story and how each plot element interweaves with one another makes this story unforgettable and honestly timeless.  When this is considered with the importance of the re-issue’s bonus content, that primary and secondary content collectively makes for plenty for the movie’s target audience to appreciate.  It also makes the movie’s average price point such that the noted viewers will find no problem paying that price.

The average price point of Aladdin is $27.99.  That price was obtained by averaging prices at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Amazon and Books-A-Million.  A the time of this review’s posting, the movie was not listed at Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ online store.  The price listed at Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Amazon is $24.99 while Books-A-Million’s price is  the most expensive at $39.99.  In other words, save for that one listing, viewers will find the re-issue’s price the same at each of the other noted outlets.  Those prices are all below the movie’s average price and on par with so many of Disney’s other home releases in recent years.  To that end, the movie’s price is money well spent by its most devoted audiences, considering that price comparison and the collective primary and secondary content featured in the movie’s new re-issue.  When this is all considered together, the whole of Aladdin in its new Signature Edition re-issue proves to offer its own enjoyable magical spell for the whole family even despite the lack of one key bonus feature.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s upcoming re-issue of Aladdin (1992) is a positive new presentation of the modern classic musical movie.  That is due in part to the collection of new and old bonus content featured in the movie’s new re-issue.  There is one bonus not carried over that really should have been carried over from the movie’s 2015 Diamond Edition re-issue, but it does not kill the presentation.  It cannot however, be ignored in its absence.  The movie’s story is far more enjoyable than that of the movie’s new 2019 live action/CG reboot, and simply cannot be improved upon (or duplicated.  Yes, that Robin Williams reference was intentional).  The whole of the movie’s primary and secondary content makes the movie’s average price point, which is on par with Disney’s other home releases, money well spent by the most devoted fans of Aladdin.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of this re-issue’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the movie a presentation that casts its own wonderful magic for the whole family.  It will be available Sept. 10 on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack.  More information on the movie is available online now at:




Website: http://Movies.Disney.com/Aladdin

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DisneyAladdin




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‘Aladdin’ Reboot Home Release Is A Wish Fulfilled For Disney’s, Movie’s Most Devoted Fans

Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

Fans of Disney’s Aladdin will get their wishes granted very soon with the home release of the movie in two formats.  Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will release the live action reboot of the classic 1992 movie on DVD/Blu-ray combo pack on Sept. 10 alongside a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack re-issue of the noted modern animated classic.  The live action/CG reboot was originally planned for an Aug. 27 release, but that date was later pushed back to Sept. 10 to coincide with the re-issue of the animated feature instead of separating the pair into two separate release dates.  The upcoming home release of the reboot is a presentation that will appeal to the most devoted fans of the original offering.  That is due in part to its story, which will be addressed shortly.  The bonus content featured with the movie’s home release also plays into that appeal and will be addressed a little later.  The movie’s average price point, considering the story and bonus content plays its own part in the whole of the movie’s home release and will be addressed later, too.  When it is considered along with the noted content, the whole of said content and pricing makes the new live action/CG reboot of Aladdin a presentation  that while maybe not totally magical, still a wish fulfillment for the most devoted fans of the movie.

Walt Disney Studios’ upcoming home release of its live action/CG Aladdin reboot is a presentation that is not as magical as its source material.  It is however, a wish fulfillment for the most devoted fans of that property.  That is due in part to the story at the center of the movie.  The story does keep some of the elements of the 1992 animated feature from Disney, but it also features a number of changes from that source material.  Whereas the ’92 version offers plenty of back story and development early on in its 90-minute run, this story ignores all of that background, opting instead to open in the market scene in which Aladdin and Jasmine first meet.  On one hand, it detracts from the story significantly in that it gives the story a decidedly abrupt feeling.  At the same time, Director Guy Ritchie and co-writer John August – the pair wrote the movie’s screenplay — somehow manage to make the situation work despite the abrupt feeling.  Another notable change to the story finds Aladdin going to the cave of wonders with Jafar out of costume.  Unlike the case in the 1992 movie, Jafar does not try to hide his identity in this story.  He instead opts to try to seduce Aladdin with promises of power if he helps him.  Why Ritchie and August chose this route is anyone’s guess.  There is no discussion on this choice in the movie’s bonus content, which does not even feature any bonus commentary.  Oddly enough, despite being so clearly different, the change does still manage somehow to work in its own right.  These are just a couple of the changes that are evident throughout the course of this reboot.  There are lots of others that viewers will find themselves.  For all of the changes that fill the story, there are some moments that remain mostly the same.  The moment when Aladdin reveals to the sultan that Jafar has been controlling his mind is still there, albeit in a slightly different way the famed cave of wonders sequence finds some slight variances, but is still largely the same, as is the market scene.  To that end, the story does present a variety of changes, but for all the changes, they are balanced out with elements from the ’92 Aladdin’s story, making the movie worth at least the occasional watch.  The balance of the original story elements and the altered elements is just one element that will appeal to the most devoted fans of Aladdin.  The bonus content that is featured with the movie’s forthcoming home release plays into the movie’s presentation just as much as the story.

The bonus content featured with the movie’s upcoming home release are the standard behind-the-scenes making of featurette, a discussion with Ritchie about the movie’s genesis and creation, a discussion with Will Smith about taking on the iconic role of the genie, a collection of bloopers and deleted scenes, and a song that was cut from the movie.  The making-of featurette gives the relatively commonplace element — that is included in almost every movie ever released – a new twist by presenting it through the use of a smart phone.  That approach doesn’t really do much to add to the feature’s appeal, but the revelations of how each of the movie’s key sequences were made will interest viewers.  Case in point is the carpet ride sequence.  Viewers learn how it was made using a hydraulic rig, blue screen and video screens so that stars Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott would be able to coordinate the song’s verses and choruses with the different scenes within the sequences.  Audiences also learn about Massoud’s Jordanian heritage as the post-Cave of Wonders scene is shot in the Wadi Rum valley in Jordan.  Massoud openly talks about the emotional impact that shooting in the valley had on him.  It is an interesting aspect that is certain to engage viewers.  There is also a light hearted discussion in this featurette about the making of the Prince Ali introduction sequence that features comments from Scott and Massoud’s co-star Will Smith.

Ritchie’s discussion about the movie’s genesis and creation is even more certain to engage and entertain viewers than the “making of” featurette because it offers comment from Ritchie himself about his role in the movie.  He states in his interview that he decided to join on the movie because he is a family man, saying, “I live within a world of children. I want to make films my family can see.  So I was driven to remake this movie.  Creatively most engaging is that it is a musical within this fantastical world.”  Smith adds his own comments, noting, “Once I heard how he [Ritchie] was going to shoot some of these sequences, I said ‘Yes, ok, I’m in.”  The movie’s musical creative heads add their own comments to the segment, as do Scott and Massoud.  All things considered here, the whole of this segment proves to be one of the movie’s most notable bonuses.

Another of the most notable bonuses is the discussion on Smith’s role as the genie.  One of the movie’s most important roles, Smith talks here about his trepidation about taking on a role that – as he said himself – Robin Williams made so iconic.  It shows that Smith knew it would be difficult to live up to Williams’ legacy as the beloved character, but still tried to do just that while also honoring the work that Williams did in the role.  Given, Smith does not live up to that legacy, but knowing that he wanted to pay tribute to Williams and his work while also doing his own thing does create a new respect for Smith in this aspect.

The collective bonus gag reel and deleted scenes are interesting additions to the whole of the movie’s presentation.  The gag reel is brief, but will put a smile on viewers’ faces.  The deleted scenes are important because audiences see for themselves that some scenes were wisely cut while others, such as Aladdin and genie’s talk immediately after Prince Ali’s introduction should have been included in the movie.  It is a great, light hearted moment that while brief, would have added more enjoyment to the movie. Keeping this in mind along with everything else noted, it becomes clear that the bonus content featured in Aladdin’s home release plays its own key part in the movie’s overall presentation.  When it is considered along with the balance of the movie’s new and old story elements, the two together make the movie worth the cost for the movie’s most devoted fans and the most devoted Disney fans.

The average price point of Aladdin is $27.05.  That price is obtained by averaging prices at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million.  Amazon had the movie listed at the time of this review’s posting, but the listing did not feature prices for any of the movie’s platforms.  Disney’s shop links back to Walmart, Target and Best Buy.  Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ price of $30.32 is well above the average, while Best Buy is, in this case, the best buy with a price listing of $24.99 along with Target, which lists the same price.  Books-A-Million’s price listing of $22.99 is just below that of Barnes & Noble, but is still well above the average.  Walmart lists the movie at $24.96, so is it below the average, just like Target and Best Buy.  Keeping in mind so many of Disney’s movies tend to list in store in the area of $24.95 – and very close to that number – the noted prices are right on par with those other noted Disney flicks.  To that end, consumers won’t feel that they are getting ripped off when they purchase this movie, especially considering the balance of the story’s old and new content and the bonus content.  All things considered, those elements and the pricing make this presentation of Aladdin one that the most devoted Disney and Aladdin fans will appreciate.

The upcoming home of Disney’s new Aladdin reboot is an interesting work.  It is certainly a work that will appeal to a very target audience.  It is not for everybody.  That is due in part to a story, which presents a variety of changes to the story presented in the movie’s 1992 presentation.  That alone has made it a very divisive presentation.  That being the case, it will appeal largely to those most devoted fans of the movie and of Disney.  Those same viewers will appreciate the bonus content featured in the movie.  The movie’s average price point and separate price listings are in range with those of other previous releases from Disney.  Keeping all of this in mind, the movie’s upcoming home release gives the most devoted Disney and Aladdin fans something in this presentation to enjoy at least occasionally.  More information on Aladdin is available online now at:



Website: http://Movies.Disney.com/Aladdin-2019

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DisneyAladdin




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Bad Blood’s Self-Titled Debut LP Is “Bad” In The Best Way

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Rock super group Bad Blood released its self-titled debut record last month, and in the short time since its release the album has gotten quite the attention.  Aquaman himself, Jason Mamoa has thrown his support behind the band and its album, tweeting, “My dear friend @kennnydaleborill and his band @badbloodofficial just released their album.  That tweet was delivered when the album was released July 26.  Roughly a month later, the album continues to impress with its musical arrangements and lyrical themes of overcoming adversity.  ‘Light ‘Em Up’ is just one of the songs that serves to illustrate and support the noted statements.  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘We Will Prevail,’ which comes much later in the half-hour record’s run, also displays the strength of those arrangements and themes.  It will be addressed a little later.  Much the same can be said of ‘Anything Is Possible.’  All three songs show in their own way, the appeal of the album’s musical arrangements and positive lyrical themes.  When they are considered alongside the likes of ‘Rise Up (Bring It On),’ ‘Own The Night’ and ‘I Am The Hero’ and the rest of the record’s entries, the whole of Bad Blood proves that the record in whole is anything but bad.

Bad Blood’s self-titled debut album is easily one of this year’s most surprisingly enjoyable offerings within the rock realm and one of the year’s best new independent albums, too.  From start to finish, this 10-song, half-hour debut from the rock super group proves that while the band’s (and album’s) name is Bad Blood, the album in whole is anything but bad.  That is proven early on in the form of the album’s second song, ‘Light ‘Em Up.’  The song’s arrangement is a high-energy composition that is driven largely by its guitars and time keeping.  It will appeal highly to fans of bands, such as Eve To Adam, Buckcherry and Saliva.  The hooks and riffs couple with the solid time keeping to make it a song that will easily become a fan favorite both on record and in a live setting, especially with the slight changes in tempo and feel in the song’s bridge.  That high-energy arrangement is just one part of what makes ‘Light ‘Em Up’ such a favorite among listeners.  As noted earlier, this record is full, lyrically, of positive, upbeat lyrical themes.  This song is no exception to that rule.  It plays its own key part to the whole of the song.

Front man Chad Cherry sings in the song’s lead verse, “…hell bent and holdin’ the line/Clock’s tickin’/Heart’s kickin’/It’s a race against time/Better buckle up, it’s a hell of a ride/Straight from the cradle/Send ‘em to the grave/Rain down the fury in 10,000 waves/Better buckle up, it’s a hell of a ride.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Can you feel the thunder/Feel it in your bones/Time to take ‘em under/Time to send ‘em home/better buckle up/It’s a hell of a ride.”  Yes, it’s a relatively basic message, but it is a positive message.  It is a message of doing the absolute best that one can and being better than the competition, regardless of the situation, taking people by surprise by that drive.  When that message couples with the song’s adrenaline-fueled arrangement, the whole of the song becomes instantly one of Bad Blood’s best offerings and strongest examples of what makes the album in whole so appealing.  It is of course just one of the songs that serves to show how much the album has to offer listeners.  ‘We Will Prevail’ is another example of the album’s strength, both musically and lyrically.

‘We Will Prevail’ presents a slower, yet solid driving arrangement that is again centered on its guitars and drums.  Its bass line rounds out its foundation, creating a very blues-based rock arrangement that lends itself to arrangements from the likes of Muse.  That arrangement is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  As is the case with ‘Light ‘Em Up,’ this song’s lyrical content is positive in its own right.

Cherry sings in the song’s lead verse of “black hole eyes” and “dark hearts with intent to kill.”  He and his band mates sing on the song’s chorus, “Our souls are not for sale/Stand up/We will prevail/Tonight we rise/through all the lies/This is our time/Stand up we will prevail!”  The song’s second verse finds Cherry singing, “Petrified, crucified/Bank on fear/All seeing eye/Shout out/Battlecry/Won’t back down/Our flag will fly.”  This critic’s own take on this message is one of standing up to life’s adversity, not giving in to those forces that will and do work to push us down and kick us when we are down.  Cherry seems to be telling listeners to not give in to the negative forces in life, and to overcome them, too.  It is another message that any listener will welcome.  When it is joined with the song’s infectious arrangement, the whole of the elements serves to show even more why Bad Blood is such a positive new offering from the band.  It still is not the last of the album’s most notable entries.  ‘Anything Is Possible’ is yet another addition to Bad Blood that exhibits the album’s strength.

‘Anything Is Possible’ is another blues-based rock song that lends itself again to Buckcherry and even to the likes of AC/DC and Airbourne.  That is the case even down to the song’s bluesy bridge, which immediately conjures thoughts of riffs made so famous by the one and only Angus Young.  What is important to note here is that while this song’s arrangement can so easily be compared to the noted acts, it doesn’t just rip off their music.  Rather it uses those influences to develop its own musical identity, which is even better for the song.  The same can be said of the other songs discussed here.  They also are comparable to those noted acts’ works, but still maintain their own identity.  Again, here is something key to note of those songs and the rest of the album’s entries.  Now having noted that and getting back on track, the musical side of ‘Anything is Possible’ is only one part of what makes the song notable.  Its lyrical side plays its own important part to its whole.

Cherry sings in the song’s lead verse, “Sing a little song/Dance to the beat/Let’s go downtown/Let’s get on down/I got that funny feelin’/I know what you’re dealin’/You are contagious/I got that funny feelin’/I know what you’re dealin’/You are outrageous/When I’m with you, anything is possible/When I’m with you.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Transistor radio/Turn it up as loud as it can go/A.M. disco radio/It’s got a real nice flow/Jump to the ceiling/I know the feeling/Goodness gracious/Jump to the ceiling/I know the feeling/You are so shameless/When I’m with you, anything is possible/When I’m with you.”  Given, on the surface, this song is clearly a piece that focuses on the all-too-common topic of relationships.  What is important to note though, is that it is another song that illustrates the underlying theme of positivity that runs throughout the course of the album’s 10 songs.  It just does that in a fashion that is perhaps more radio ready than many of the album’s other songs.  Considering this, it makes the song stand out that much more.  When this is considered alongside the song’s equally accessible musical arrangement, the whole of the song stands out even more as one of the album’s most notable works.  When it is considered alongside the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s offerings, the whole of the album becomes that much more clearly bad in the best way possible.

Bad Blood’s self-titled debut album, released independently last month, is one of the most surprisingly entertaining offerings from the rock community so far this year.  It is another offering that shows why the independent music scene deserves just as much credit and attention as the mainstream realm.  That is exhibited through all three of the songs noted here and the rest of the album’s offerings.  All things considered, they make Bad Blood anything but bad, unless one is using the term “bad” in the best way possible.  Bad Blood is available now.  More information on Bad Blood is available now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:




Website: http://www.badblood.band

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




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Disciples Of Verity Debuts ‘Worthy’ Lyric Video

Hard rock/metal outfit Disciples of Verity debuted the video for its new single this week.

The band — Corey Glover (Living Colour, Bowie Experience), George Pond (ex-Negative Sky), Danny Puma (Negative Sky) Corey Pierce (ex-God Forbid) and Mark Monjoy (Sekond Skyn) — released the lyric video for their song ‘Worthy’ Thursday through Revolver magazine.

The song is the lead single from the group’s forthcoming album Pragmatic Sanction, which is scheduled for release later this year through The Label Group and INgrooves. The album’s exact release date will be announced soon.  Pre-orders are open now.

‘Worthy’ features guest guitar work by Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Nevermore).  Loomis’ Nevermore influences are clear in this song alongside Glover’s vocals.  Glover said in a recent interview, the song is lyrically a work that presents a message of overcoming feelings of personal adversity.

“No matter what you’re going through as long as you’re breathing and still here to see another day, it is another chance,” he said.  “Being worthy though, that is the rub you are always trying to figure out.  The heart and mind play against each other.  Your mind says you aren’t good enough, but your heart knows you are worthy.  That said, I am here for a reason.  I am ‘WORTHY!'”

Courtesy: The Label Group/INgrooves/TAG Publicity

More information on Disciples of Verity and the band’s new lyric video is available online now at http://www.facebook.com/Disciplesofverity.

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Dave Ellefson Debuts ‘Sleeping Giants’ Video

Courtesy: Combat Records/EMP Label Group

Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson released his solo debut album last month, and this week, debuted the video for the album’s lead single.

Ellefson, who also heads EMP Label Group, debuted the video Sleeping Giants‘ lead single Friday.  the video features guest appearances from Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Bumblefoot, Ilias Papadakis (Memorain), Steve Conley (Flotsam  and Jetsam) and Ellefson’s fellow EMP Label Group head Tom Hazaert.

Ellefson talked about the collaboration in a recent interview.

“It was truly an honor to collaborate with DMC, and I think the track came out great,” he said.  “When Thom and DMC wanted to do a collaboration with us, I instantly thought of ‘Sleeping Giants.’  When he [McDaniels] came out to Revolution in Amityville to perform with us and shoot the video, it was an awesome energy.  I think everyone there got a show they won’t ever forget.”

Hazaert expanded on Ellefson’s comments.

“David had all these great instrumental songs laying around, and ‘Sleeping Giants’ was one of them,” he said.  “He suggested I write and record some vocal parts for them, so I called up DMC andasked if he’d want to collaborate with us on a track, and we got to work.  I’ve always loved off-the-wall metal/hip-hop collaborations (E.g. ‘Judgement Night’ — from Onyx and Biohazard) and I think ‘Giants’ definitely draws from that.  The song and video both ended up with a really cool aggressive, old-school New York hardcore/hip-hop feel.  In my book, it doesn’t get any more legendary than Run DMC.  This was definitely one for the history books.”

The video for ‘Sleeping Giants’ was shot on location in Amityville, NY and the Salton Sea in California.  Hazaert and Melody Myers co-directed the video.  It was filmed and edited by Myers/Designed by Melody (Altitudes and Attitude, Escape The Fate).

Sleeping Giants was released July 19 through EMP Label Group and Combat Records.  The record is a compilation of new music from Ellefson as well as demos and previously unreleased material that spans Ellefson’s career outside that with Megadeth.

One of those previously unreleased tracks is the song ‘If You Were God,’ which features a guest appearance from John Bush (Anthrax, Armored Saint).  The CD version features a bonus compilation of artists and songs that are in the EMP and Combat Records stables.

More information on Dave Ellefson’s new video and album is available online now along with all of his latest news at:


Website: http://www.davidellefson.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ellefsondavid


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.

Yankees, Mariners Open Three-Game Series Monday Night Live On ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA will feature a matchup of first versus worst and East vs. West Monday night in an American League inter-divisional showdown

The  Seattle Mariners (55-75) will host the New York Yankees (84-47) in a three-game series.  The Mariners sit in last place in the American League West while the Yankees sit atop the American League East, eight games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Seattle great Ken Griffey Jr. will serve as a guest analyst for Monday night’s broadcast, which is scheduled to start at 10 p.m. ET.  He will join Dave Fleming and analyst Eduardo Perez for the broadcast.  Fleming will have the call for the game while Perez will also serve as an analyst for the telecast.

Monday night marks the second time this season that Griffey, who played 13 seasons for Seattle, has served as a guest analyst on ESPN’s Major League Baseball coverage.  Griffey and Perez both come from MLB “royal blood.”  Griffey’s father, Ken Griffey Sr. and Perez’s father Tony Perez were both members of Cincinnati’s famed “Big Red Machine.”

Ken Griffey Jr. eventually made his way back to Cincinnati during the later years of his career before retiring in 2010 as a member of the Reds organization.  Shortly after his retirement, ESPN announced Griffey was added to the network’s on-air talent roster for its MLB coverage.

Griffey collected 630 home runs over the course of his 22-year career.  He also was a 13-time All-Star, a 10-time Gold Glove winner and an American League M.V.P.  He was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 2016 and is a member of the Reds and Mariners’ Halls of Fame.

The starting pitchers for each team were not listed on MLB’s official website as of Sunday afternoon.  The Yankees are 35-27 on the road so far this year while the Mariners are 28-37 at home.  At the same time, the Yankees are 4-6 in their last 10 games while the Mariners are 6-4 in their last 10 games.

Both teams fell in their most recent games on Saturday, the Yankees falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1.  The loss followed a 10-2 win by the Yankees over the Dodgers in that series’ opener, making Sunday’s game the rubber match in that series.

The Mariners meanwhile fell to Toronto Saturday 7-5 after defeating the Blue Jays Friday 7-4, making the teams’ game Sunday afternoon the rubber match in that series, too.

More information on Monday’s game between the Mariners and Yankees is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:


Website: http://www.espn.com/mlb

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn


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.


Viewers Of All Ages Will “Celebrate” PBS Distribution’s New ‘Arthur’ DVD

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

United we stand and divided we fall.  Sadly, it is seeming more and more like America (and the world) is on the brink of falling because we have become so divided by religions, political views and rhetoric.  To that end, PBS Distribution and PBS Kids’ latest Arthur DVD Arthur Celebrates Community – released just last month – could not have come at a better time.  The DVD features eight episodes from the series that promote community unity in eight very different ways.  That variety of topics is one of the most important and notable aspects of the DVD and will be addressed shortly. While the episodes each promote community through their own unique fashion, they also serve as starting points for discussions on the various topics, another key aspect of the DVD that will be addressed a little later.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s average price range makes it a DVD that proves to be yet another welcome addition to the library of any family and educator.  Keeping all of this in mind, Arthur Celebrates Community proves to be a presentation that many audiences will themselves celebrate.

PBS Distribution/PBS Kids’ latest Arthur DVD Arthur Celebrates Community is a presentation that many viewers will celebrate.  That is due in pat to the many ways in which its episodes promote that community unity.  The whole thing opens with the much-talked about episode “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” which is a story that addresses the issue of gay marriage.  The very topic is something that has been extremely divisive in America today, yet is becoming more accepted.  This episode serves to continue the fight to make it even more accepted as well as those who are within that community.  “The Feud,” which immediately follows that episode, encourages people to not let disputes between two people to infect their own views and spread like some disease.  Considering what is going on in America today because of Donald Trump, this message of maintaining community and unity is completely relevant and important.  Much the same applies to “When Rivals Came To Roost,” as it reminds us that we cannot let stereotypes and things of the past keep us divided.  Again, here is a key message celebrating community and unity.  “The Longest eleven Minutes” presents a unique message of community as it reminds audiences of the dangers of becoming so reliant on the internet because of how it has truly separated and dehumanized us.  “Muffy’s House Guests” turns things even more as it presents more of a message of biological and ecological unity.  Muffy wants to evict the peregrine falcons who have made a home outside her home, but she learns in the long run, the importance that they play in the Earth’s bigger community.  The tone changes slightly in “Binky Can’t Always Get What He Wants” as Binky learns a key lesson that sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.  That theme continues in “Muffy’s Car Campaign” as she and her friends learn about the impact of locally sourced resources versus those sourced from far away.  “Truth Or Poll” goes back to the issue of politics as it points out the negative impact that polls and statistics can have on community.  It approaches the topic in a way that is accessible for viewers of all ages, too.  All of these episodes considered, it is clear how they all follow the same theme of promoting community and unity by relation.  The fact that they follow that one central theme, but in so many ways, makes for plenty of reason for viewers to watch this DVD from start to finish.  The commonality of the episodes’ stories, in terms of their theme, is just one key aspect of the DVD.  The fact that the varied stories serve as their own starting points for so many topics makes the DVD even more appealing for viewers.

“The Longest Eleven Minutes” is a key example of how the episodes serve as that starting point. In an age when everything is digital and people have come to expect instant gratification and have seemingly forgotten about the beauty of the world, etc. this story is a good stepping stone to remind people of how humans survived prior to the digital age.  It reminds viewers that it is possible to survive without so much technology, too.  That Arthur’s father was listening to music on a radio instead of an ipad, a cell phone, etc. is proof positive of that.  “Muffy’s Car Campaign” and “Binky Can’t Always Get What He Wants” serve collectively as a good starting point for a discussion about putting others’ needs before their own.  Such discussions can lead to discussions about the importance of sharing and considering others’ thoughts and feelings.  “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone” serves as that starting point for discussions on the fact that not everyone is the same and that accepting one another’s differences will help make our global community so much better.  “The Feud” and “When Rivals Came To Roost” serves to remind viewers that words can be very powerful, especially when they are words of hurt and stereotyping.  This is something with which we as a people deal with even today in the real world.  It’s just one more way in which the stories featured on this disc show their importance not just for their stories but for what the stories can do in terms of creating whole new discussions among viewers.  Keeping all of this in mind, this DVD proves to have some very engaging and enjoyable content.  That content makes the DVD’s average price point money well-spent

The average price point for Arthur Celebrates Community is $5.99.  That price is determined by averaging prices from Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million and PBS’ store.  At the time of this review’s posting, it was not listed through Walmart.  The most expensive of the listings is at PBS’ store and at Books-A-Million, at $6.99 while the least expensive listing is at Amazon and Target at $4.69.  Best Buy ($5.99) is the midpoint of the price range while Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ listing of $6.58 is just under the most expensive listing.  Regardless of which retailer one uses, the fact of the matter is that a portion of the sales will still go to benefit PBS in its efforts to continue to entertain and educate audiences of all ages.  It does that and more with this DVD, whose average price point doesn’t even reach $10.  Considering that the breadth and depth of the DVD’s content, that is a rather admirable aspect.  Keeping this in mind, it joins with that noted content to show even more why Arthur Celebrates Community is such a positive new release from PBS Distribution and PBS Kids.  It shows even more why viewers of all ages will celebrate the DVD, which is available now.

Arthur Celebrates Community is another positive new addition to PBS Distribution’s ongoing series of Arthur DVDs.  That is proven in part through the eight episodes that make up the body of the DVD.  The stories each follow the DVD’s central theme of community unity, all in different ways.  The discussions that the stories can start among viewers of all ages add to the DVD’s appeal, as noted here.  The combination of the stories and those discussions that they can create makes the DVD’s average price point of less than $10 well worth spending as it is certain viewers will find themselves watching all eight of the DVD’s episodes time and again and discussing their content plenty, too.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of Arthur Celebrates Community.  All things considered, they make the DVD a presentation that audiences of all ages will celebrate.  More information on the DVD is available along with lots of printables, activities, games and more at:




Website: http://www.pbskids.org/arthur

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




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