No Surprise Here: ‘The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island” Is Another Relatively Enjoyable Addition to Shout! Factory’s “Boxcar Children” Cinematic Universe

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Legacy Classics

Shout! Factory and Legacy Classics are bringing the classic literary figures The Boxcar Children to Blu-ray and DVD in a brand new, Dove-approved adventure next week.  Set for release August 7, this second cinematic adaptation of the beloved children’s books is another mostly enjoyable offering from Shout! Studios and Legacy Classics Family Entertainment despite production values that again prove somewhat problematic to the movie’s presentation.  Those collective production values will be discussed a little later.  That’s because again, this production is not entirely negative.  It does boast a story that is certain to keep audiences of all ages engaged from start to end.  The bonus material included in the movie’s upcoming home release is another positive worth discussing.  It will be noted later, too.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island, and are certainly not the only items that could be discussed in examining the movie’s presentation.  One could also discuss the work of the movie’s voice cast, which includes at least two very well-known actors.  All things combined, The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island proves, unsurprisingly, to be an enjoyable new entry in Shout! Studios’ ongoing slate of stories from the beloved literary series.

The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island, the latest entry in the ongoing Boxcar Children cinematic series from Shout! Studios and Legacy Classics Family Entertainment, is a mostly enjoyable addition to the series.  That is due in part to a relatively simple story that, through its simplicity, is easy for viewers of any age to follow.  This time out, the kids – Mike, Benny, Jessie and Violet – are staying on an island on which their grandfather James (voiced by veteran actor Martin Sheen – Apocalypse Now, Spawn, The West Wing) has a barn of sorts.  While they are exploring the island, the children – who are obviously orphans no more, considering that they have their grandfather – run into John Joseph (Dan Dehaan – Chronicle, The Place Beyond The Pines, The Amazing Spiderman 2).  John Joseph has been hired by Dr. Moore (J.K. Simmons – Spiderman 1 – 3, Whiplash, La La Land) to help take care of things on the island.  Early on, it is revealed that John Joseph has a secret, but it isn’t until later that said secret is ultimately revealed.  His secret won’t be given away, but it goes without saying that his secret is somewhat predictable.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it could help to continue the children’s story in the next Boxcar Children entry.  Obviously, the story has a happy ending, though one can’t help but wonder why exactly the kids were living alone on that island for the summer in the first place when they end up going back to their grandfather’s mansion in the end, which is only a boat ride away.  Story begets story, perhaps.  The obvious rebuttal there is that had they not gone to live on their own in the barn (which had no electricity), there would have been no story leading to John Joseph’s secret and revelation.  What’s more, the discovery of the Native American skeleton in the cave seems to be brushed aside.  That loose end would have been a nice side story.  Maybe it will be covered in another adventure.  Getting back on the subject at hand, even with those digressions in mind, the movie’s story is still simple enough that it will keep viewers of all ages engaged and entertained from start to end of its roughly 82-minute run time.  Of course while the story itself will keep viewers engaged, the movie’s production proves problematic in the bigger picture of the movie’s presentation.

Once again, audiences get in this movie, a presentation whose animation is on par with an old N64 video game.  In other words, while it does create a clear setting for the story, the overall look sadly leaves so much to be wanted.  If one were to compare this full-on CG animation to other CG movies currently available, the comparison to said movies would reveal an aesthetic item that makes the movie somewhat uncomfortable to watch.  In the same vein, the movie’s music, while a nice addition to the overall presentation, sometimes has a tendency to overpower the cast’s own presentations.  This happens not just once or twice, but at multiple points throughout the movie.  As minor as that may seem, it does play a big part in the movie’s presentation.  Keeping that in mind, the movie’s production, while interesting to learn about in the companion bonus features, does detract from the viewing experience.  It doesn’t make the movie unwatchable, but it does take away from the overall experience.  As much as it takes away from the movie’s presentation, the noted bonus features make up at least to a point.

The bonus material included in the movie’s presentation includes the standard behind-the-scenes featurette and some insightful pieces on the music, sound effects and sound mixing included as extras.  The behind-the-scenes featurette is highlighted by the discussions on and from the voice cast and creative heads, of course.  It also includes an interesting note from one of the movie’s creative heads about how someone close to Gertrud Chandler Warner, the author of the original Boxcar Children books directly played into the movie’s creation (and that of its predecessor).  It’s noted in this interview that there was insistence that the cinematic adaptations of the books stay true to their source material and that said insistence overpowered the thoughts of some very powerful figures.  While the movie’s animation may leave viewers wanting, at least viewers know that certain higher-ups who wanted to update the story didn’t get their way, and instead allowed the story’s adaptation here maintain the look and feel of the original story.  It’s a small victory for creative power, but a victory nonetheless.  What’s more, this discussion itself serves to show yet again the importance of bonus features to a movie.  This in itself creates its own appreciation for the movie, making up at least a little for the low quality of the movie’s animation.  It’s just one of the discussions that proves the value of the bonus features.  The discussion on the movie’s music and its creation is just as interesting as that of the discussion on the approach to the movie.  Audiences learn through this discussion that the movie’s soundtrack was created almost entirely through real instruments.  The introduction of said instruments might even be the first-ever for many audiences.  It was for this critic.  That aspect of the movie’s creation adds even more appreciation for its presentation as does the standalone discussion on the creation of the movie’s sound effects.  The discussion on the sound production and mixing is the only one that will leave viewers scratching their heads, again considering the problems with the final product.  Even with that in mind, the other noted bonus features do just enough to make up for that feature.  That’s because they show how much time and work went into making the movie aesthetically appealing.  To that end, that work – set alongside the movie’s story – does just enough to make the movie worth an occasional watch even with the movie’s production problems.

Shout! Studios’ and Legacy Classics Family Entertainment’s latest addition to the Boxcar Children cinematic universe is a relatively enjoyable offering for the whole family.  It does have its shortcomings thanks to some production problems that cannot be ignored, but its easily accessible story and its interesting bonus material do enough to make up for that problem.  In turn, they join to make The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island a movie that is unsurprisingly enjoyable for the whole family for an occasional watch.  It will be available next Tuesday, August 7 and can be pre-ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

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‘Jasper Jones’ Is One Of This Year’s Best Foreign Imports

Courtesy: Film Movement/Screen Australia

Murder mysteries and coming of age tales are among the most overly common story plots used today in literature and cinema.  From the U.S. to the U.K. to points around and between, both plots – both alone and combined – they seem to be among the most popular story types among viewers and readers alike.  Yet it seems in so many cases that between the genres, that there is little variance from one story to the next.  Luckily though, every now and then, a little variance does happen along.  Enter the Australian import Jasper Jones.  Originally released in Australia on March 2, 2017, this powerfully moving human drama made its domestic debut this past April courtesy of the independent movie studio Film Movement.  Billed as “Australia’s Stand By Me,” this deeply engrossing story can also be likened in part to To Kill A Mockingbird.  That is evident in the movie’s writing, which forms the foundation of the movie’s presentation.  It will be discussed shortly.  The cast’s on-screen work adds to the movie’s presentation, too and will keep viewers just as engaged as the movie’s central story.  It will be discussed a little later.  The bonus cast interviews put the final touch to the movie’s home presentation.  It will also be discussed later.  Each element is critical in its own way to the whole of this story.  All things considered, they make Jasper Jones a movie that fans of murder mysteries and coming-of-age flicks alike will appreciate from its home country all the way to America and points in-between.

Film Movement and Screen Australia’s gripping human drama Jasper Jones is a powerful cinematic work that crime drama and coming-of-age fans around the globe will appreciate.  That includes American audiences who maybe are looking for something different from the constant run-of-the-mill gory crime dramas that so permeate television and theaters here in this country.  That is due in no small part to its story.  Unlike so many American movies and television crime dramas, this story relies solely on writing instead of blood and gore (which is what it seems so many American crime dramas rely on today) to keep viewers engaged.  Here, audiences find a young boy named Charlie who…well…comes of age after being pulled into the mystery of a young girl’s death by a young man who the whole town dislikes.  The townspeople dislike Jasper, it would seem, purely out of some personal bias.  That bias comes into play later when the family of Charlie’s friend Jeffrey Lu is harassed by white members of the community in retaliation for Jeffrey helping his cricket team win a match.  That’s getting off topic.  Getting back on topic, Charlie is forced to keep secret what Jasper has revealed to him as the pair tries to figure out who killed the girl.  It just so happens that the girl is the sister of Charlie’s love interest, Eliza (played here by Angourie Rice – Spiderman: Homecoming, The Nice Guys, The Beguiled).  This complicates things even more until Eliza herself reveals a troubling truth about her sister’s death that puts everything on its ear, especially after the revelation of the red herring.  What’s interesting about the red herring (who won’t be revealed here) is that the inclusion of the character in question, is where the comparison to Harper Collins’ great novel To Kill A Mockingbird comes into play.  The character and its inclusion can so easily be likened to the use of Boo Radley in the novel in question.  While all of this is going on, Charlie (who honestly, in this critic’s view looks like Joshua Jackson from his time in Disney’s Mighty Ducks franchise when he was around that age) also has to deal with family issues at home.  His parents are constantly fighting, his mother is cheating on his dad (played by Dan Wyllie – The Hunter, No Activity, Muriel’s Wedding), and he is just trying to navigate it all.  One can’t deny that at times, the balance between this element and the main story does cause the movie to get bogged down in itself a little bit, but thankfully it’s not so much that it makes the movie unwatchable.  Rather, it could have perhaps been a little bit better balanced as it seems at times to bounce back and forth as part of the overall story.  Either way, this plot element and the story’s main plot still work well enough together to keep audiences engaged throughout the course of the roughly 103-minute (1-hour, 43-minute) movie.  Of course when it’s all said and done, audiences will also agree that the story overall is so powerful that one absolutely must be in a certain mindset in order to appreciate the movie’s emotional depth.  It’s not one of those stories that one can just turn on any time.  It really demands that much and that kind of emotional attention and connection in order to fully appreciate it’s depth.  Keeping that in mind, the movie’s story is a key piece of its presentation that forms a strong foundation for its presentation.  That foundation is strengthened even more through the cast’s on-camera work.

The cast’s work on camera throughout this story is so critical to note because of the story’s emotional depth.  It is not an easy story to take in, being so deep.  That being the case, it was key for the cast to do its utmost to help illustrate that emotional depth.  Each cast member did just that, beginning with lead star Levi Miller, who plays Charlie.  Miller, who is a relative newcomer to the movie industry according to IMDB (it lists no film or TV credits to his name) is to be commended for his handling of Charlie as Charlie has to come to terms with everything going on in his life.  One of the moments in which he shows he deserves such credit is the subtle moment early on when Jeffrey (Kevin Long – another relative newcomer to the business — is asking Charlie a bunch of “would you rather” questions on the pair’s ride to school.  Charlie is clearly lost in his thoughts of what Jasper revealed to him, and it would have been so easy for Miller to go over the top in his handling of Charlie’s mentality at the moment.  Instead though, he made Charlie’s mindset fully believable as someone who has really got too much for someone of such age on his mind.  Miller’s handling of Charlie as he continues to struggle to tell Eliza what he discovered of her sister is another good example of what makes his work so endearing.  Again, it would have been so easy for him to ham up those dramatic moments, yet his subtle acting in those moments added to the story’s tension.  Even how he handled his growing frustration toward his mother, Ruth (Toni Collette – Little Miss Sunshine, The Sixth Sense, Muriel’s Wedding) shows so much talent for such a young actor.

Miller’s performance throughout the story here is definitely worthy of applause.  His isn’t the only applause-worthy performance, though.  Collette’s work as Ruth Bucktin, Charlie’s mom, cannot and should not be overlooked.  As Collette noted in the movie’s bonus interviews (the interviews will be discussed a little later), Ruth is in a place in this story in which she is trying to make sense of her life.  The thing is, Ruth trying to make sense of her life makes it so easy for viewers to hate Ruth.  From over reacting to the local death mystery (including forcing her son to do unnecessary back-breaking manual labor, which likely would have gotten her arrested today) to her cheating ways, Ruth is just a completely troubled character who has got a lot of problems.  There is just no defending her, which it would seem is what the story was aiming for.  It helped to illustrate the emotional strife that Charlie was going through and having to navigate as he also dealt with the knowledge of the girl’s death.  So kudos goes to Mrs. Collette for her portrayal of Ruth.  She really proves to be one of this story’s unsung stars.  Hers is still not the last of the notable performances included in this movie.  Aaron L. McGrath (The Code, Around The Block, Ready For This) who plays the movie’s title character, deserves his own share of attention, too.

Considering that the movie is named after Jasper, but it is never explained why everyone instantly assumes he’s responsible for the disappearance of Eliza’s sister or why he appears so little on camera, McGrath does a good job of adding his own tension to the story when he is on camera.  His best moment comes as he confronts Mad Jack and is forced to face a certain dark reality that will surprise everyone.  The way in which McGrath presents Jasper’s mix of pained emotion as he points the rifle at Mad Jack makes one really feel for Jasper.  That’s because it shows how much Jasper really cared about Eliza’s sister.  This is another one of those moments in which an actor could so easily go way too far over the top, yet McGrath didn’t.  Rather, he handled the moment expertly, pulling audiences in and holding them through the whole sequence.  It’s just one more way in which the cast’s on-camera work here is so critical to the movie’s presentation.  Each of the other cast members could just as easily be cited here, but there’s not enough time or space to pay each one the time they deserve.  Keeping that in mind, the cast’s work, as shown here, couples with the story’s writing to do plenty to keep audiences completely engaged in the story from start to end.  It still is not the last element to note in examining the movie’s whole.  The bonus cast interviews included in the movie’s home release are also of note.

Miller’s sit-down is one of the more notable of the cast interviews.  His discussion on Charlie’s relationship with his parents shows the seriousness of that element of Charlie’s personal growth.  The same can be said of his understanding of Charlie’s own growth from the beginning of the story to the end.  His appreciation for author Craig Silvey (who wrote the book on which Jasper Jones is based) shows just as much his maturity in handling his on-screen responsibilities.  One must remember in taking in these and other discussions brought up during his interview, that this is a young man who apparently had little to no screen credits coming into his role.  So to hear such frank and mature discussion shows this young man is certain to have a solid acting career if given the chance.  Director Rachel Perkins’ discussion on balancing the movie’s dark and light elements shows a real focus on that key detail.  It’s refreshing to hear such serious attention so as to not let the movie be too depressing.  Her discussions on the cast, and what made each cast member the right choice adds even more appreciation for each cast member’s work, speaking again of the cast’s work.  Her discussion on the movie’s reach and accessibility is jus as enlightening because she shows she understands the importance of properly adapting a literary work to the cinematic world.  She notes that Craig Silvey approved the script’s final draft, which clearly lifted a great burden from her.  It’s a fun, yet clearly appreciative moment that shows how serious she took getting the adaptation right.  The discussion on how the movie addresses race relations at the time at that part of the country is enlightening in its own right.  Between these discussions and others that she shares, Perkins’ discussions show yet again the importance of the movie’s bonus interviews.  They really add their own strength to the overall foundation of the movie’s presentation.  That is shown through the other noted interviews and those not directly noted.  When all of the interviews are considered along with the movie’s story and the cast’s work throughout, the end result is a work that drama fans – not just crime drama fans – the world over will appreciate.

Jasper Jones might not be one of the best-known human/crime dramas to be released in recent years.  Yet, it is a human/crime drama that clearly deserves more attention than it has already gotten.  That is because it has so much to offer fans of both genres beginning with its gripping story.  The story follows its young protagonist as he has to navigate the waters of keeping a dark secret while also dealing with what is a difficult home life.  Yes, it does get a little bogged down at time, but not to the point that it makes one want to skip through any scenes.  That’s a tribute to those charged with adapting the original literary work to the screen.  The cast’s work adds to the story, giving audiences just as much to appreciate, as has been noted.  The bonus interviews included in the movie’s home release strengthen the movie’s foundation even more, and in turn, show once more the importance of bonus material to any movie, domestic or otherwise.  When all three elements are jointly considered, they present Jasper Jones as one of this year’s best unknown foreign import flicks.  It is available now.  More information on this and other titles from Film Movement is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.filmmovement.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Film_Movement

 

 

 

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Shout! Factory Kids, Legacy Classics Partner To Release New Boxcar Children Adventure

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Legacy Classics

Shout! Factory and Legacy Classics are bringing the classic literary figures The Boxcar Children to Blu-ray and DVD in a brand new, Dove-approved adventure this summer.

The Boxcar ChildrenSurprise Island is scheduled to be released August 7 via Shout! Factory Kids.  The story, co-directed by Dan Chuba (The Boxcar Children) and Mark Dippe (SpawnGarfield Gets RealGarfield’s Pet Force), follows the young orphans as they spend the summer on their grandfather’s tiny, almost uninhabited island.  As it turns out, there is at least one other person living on the island, a mysterious figure named Joe.

Joe seems very friendly and helpful, but something about him doesn’t seem right.  So, the kids start trying to figure out if he’s hiding something.  The movie features the voice talents of J.K. Simmons (Spiderman 1 – 3WhiplashLa La Land), Martin Sheen (The DepartedApocalypse NowSpawn), Griffin Gluck (Just Go With ItWhy Him?, Just Before I Go), Dane Dehaan (ChronicleThe Place Beyond The PinesThe Amazing Spder Man 2), Joey King (The Kissing BoothWhite House DownThe Conjuring), Talitha Bateman (The 5th WaveAnnabelleCreation, Love, Simon) and Gil Birmingham (TwilightThe Twilight SagaBreaking Dawn Part 1, The Twilight SagaBreaking Dawn Part 2).

The Boxcar ChildrenSurprise Island can be pre-ordered online now direct via Shout! Factory’s online store.  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/officialshoutfactory

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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‘The Railway Children’ Proves A Success In Its Domestic Debut

Courtesy: Film Movement

Finding presentations in this day and age that will not only bring families together but entertain adults as well as children, is a difficult task. As a matter of fact, It seems today that bringing the family together to watch anything, whether on television or on disc, is next to impossible. Finding something that will entertain the whole family at the same time is just as much of a feat. That being the case, Film Movement has potentially done the impossible with its soon to be released theatrical adaptation of author E. Nesbit’s beloved children’s book The Railway Children. Originally released on DVD overseas in 2016 from the York Theatre Royal’s stage adaptation, that presentation is scheduled to make its domestic debut April 3 via Film Movement. There is plenty to like about this presentation beginning with the story at the tale’s center. This will be discussed shortly. The presentation put on by the play’s cast does its own part to make this presentation enjoyable. It will be discussed later. The play’s production values (most notably its audio and cinematography) play their own collective role in the play’s presentation, too. Of course, there is one extra surprise connected to those values that will be discussed along with them. That item, along with the noted production items, the cast’s work and the story itself are each important in their own way to the whole of this presentation. All things considered, this domestic debut of The Railway Children‘s 2016 stage play proves to be a wonderful presentation for the whole family regardless of families’ familiarity with the story.

Independent movie studio Film Movement’s forthcoming domestic DVD debut of the 2016 stage adaptation of author E. Nesbit’s book The Railway Children is a miracle of a presentation. It is a work that is certain to not only bring families together, but also to entertain the whole family. That is a telling statement. It proves to be such a powerfully entertaining presentation in part through its central story. The story follows three children — Bobbie (Roberta), Phyllis and Peter — as they move from their opulent life to the Yorkshire countryside after their father is wrongly imprisoned on accusations of spying against the British. the story takes place around the time of World War I. There is an obvious statement made at one point against certain governmental styles when the children help a French-speaking Russian refugee who is searching for his wife and daughter. This critic will admit to having never read Nesbit’s original book. However, the addition of that statement to the story is something that will reach most older audiences and generate its own share of discussion among said audiences. It’s a statement that sadly is just as relevant today as it would have been in the time of the story. That’s because there are regimes around the world that would — and do — jail people for speaking their minds even today. Getting back on the subject at hand, the children’s story, that follows their daily activities as they wait for their father’s return is accessible for adults and children because it is told by the children. Speaking of this presentation, the telling of the story by the children plays into their overall performance, another important part of the play’s presentation.

The cast’s presentation of the story is so important to discuss because it does so much to pull audiences into the story as the story itself. The cast — Rosalind Lailey (Bobbie), Beth Lilly (Phyllis) and Izaak Cainer (Peter) — tell the story to the audience while at the same time acting out the scenes. That balance of breaking down the fourth wall while also putting on a performance in each scene is to be commended. That is because the cast so easily moves back and forth between the two scenarios that somehow audiences are still able to maintain suspension of disbelief. It truly pulls audiences that much more into the story. It’s an enjoyable, unique approach. Staying on that note, Lailey, Lilly and Cainer are deserving of their credit for their work, not just the way in which they balance fantasy and reality. Lailey truly makes Bobbie a sympathetic character as she prays for the return of the children’s father. Her reaction when she reads in the newspaper that their father had been foudn guilty of spying (not to give away too much here) is such a painful moment. That is meant in a positive way. Lailey really makes audiences feel for Bobbie in this moment. At the same time, Bobbie’s more joyful moments such as when the Russian leans he will be reunited with his family (again, not to give away too much), will put a smile on anyone’s face. Cainer and Lilly are just as entertaining as they support Lailey. Cainer’s take on Peter offers its share of laughs. One of his best moments comes as he has to handle Bobbie thinking Peter was giving his locomotive to her. It’s a slightly emotional moment, but funny, too. It’s funny because so many audiences can relate to such a sibling scenario. Even Lilly offers her own entertainment as she breaks that fourth wall right before the play’s intermission, staying in character the whole time as she tells the audiences it was a good time to take a break. It’s a minor moment, but adds so much just because she stays in character even there. For those who might be worried, the intermission is omitted here, replaced expertly by a fade out and fade in at the intermission’s start and end respectively. Keeping all of this in mind, it becomes clear why the work of the play’s cast is so important to its overall presentation. One would be remiss to ignore the part played by the rest of the supporting cast here. The supporting cast does just as much in its time on stage as the primary cast. Again, their addition to the play shows even more why the cast’s work is so important in keeping audiences engaged and entertained. All things considered here, the work of the cast is without argument, critical to the enjoyment of this play, even on screen. When it is coupled with the story itself, the two elements go a very long way toward making this presentation worth the watch. It still is not the last of the presentation’s most important elements. The production values round out its most important elements.

Considering that this plays was presented in a railway museum’s theater, audio and video were of critical importance. The cast didn’t seem to be wearing mics at any time here. If they were, then those behind the scenes are to be commended for having made them invisible to the naked eye. Regardless of mic or no, those behind the scenes are still to be commended for their work in making the sound audible for home viewers. The manner in which the cast delivers its lines — thanks to those individuals’ work — makes watching this play on screen feel almost as if one is there in person watching from some VIP box. The addition of the equally expert directing and cinematography gives home viewers the best seat in the house as so many angles are used throughout the play. Those who attended the play in person had a very limited range of vision, so having so many angles provides an even fuller experience for home viewers. It makes watching the play here on DVD even better than being there in person. That is not to say that being there likely wasn’t enjoyable in its own right. That should not be misinterpreted here. Rather, it enhances the experience that much more, and together with the solid audio engineering, makes the experience, in terms of production, completely enjoyable. Add in the inclusion of an actual engine — the same engine used in the book’s 1970 cinematic adaptation no less — and the experience becomes even more enthralling. Seeing that engine enter the theater as part of the story is just something special — again — even on screen. It adds so much with those minute appearances. Keeping all of this in mind, it should be obvious by now why the production values of The Railway Children are just as critical to its presentation as the work of the play’s cast and the play’s story. When all three elements are joined, they prove without any doubt that The Railway Children is a work that the entire family will enjoy.

Film Movement’s upcoming domestic home release of The Railway Children on stage is a work that is a must see for any and every family. That is due in no small part to the family friendly story, which touts the positives of kindness, friendship and devotion to family. The cast’s work on stage is just as important to the play’s presentation. Both the main and supporting cast offer plenty to appreciate here, as has been noted. The play’s production values are also key to its presentation. They make the viewing experience just as good, if not better than, being there. Each element is critical in its own way to making this presentation so enjoyable. All things considered, they make this domestic release of The Railway Children on stage a work that, again, the entire family will enjoy. It will be available in stores and online April 3. More information on this presentation of The Railway Children is available online now at:

Website: http://www.railwaychildrenfilm.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheRailwayChildrenFilm2016

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TRCthefilm

More information on this and other titles from Film Movement is available online now at:

Website: http://www.filmmovement.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Film_Movement

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Shout! Factory, GKids Partner To Release Updated Take Of Classic Brothers Grimm Story

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/GKids

Shout! Factory’s partnership with GKids is producing yet another home release for both companies this winter.

The Girl Without Hands is currently scheduled to be released Tuesday, Feb. 20 in stores and online.  The movie, based on the classic tale from the Brothers Grimm, will be available on DVD and Blu-ray/DVD combo pack.  It follows a young girl who is being chased by the devil yet is protected by the grace of God.

The story is not one that would be suitable for younger viewers, despite being released via GKids as it deal with the girl’s hands being cut off and being pursued by the devil, but rather for older audiences.  It does have a positive ending, though.

This take on the Grimms’ classic story debuted at the ACID section at the most recent Cannes film festival and was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Cesar Awards, a French film honors festival.  It won the Jury Prize at the Annecy International Animation Festival, which is a French festival celebrating animated films.  It features the voice talents of Anais Demoustier (ThereseThe Snows of KilimanjaroSweet Evil) and Jeremie Elkaim (Declaration of WarHand in HandMarguerite & Julien).

Along with its main feature, The Girl Without Hands will also feature a handful of bonuses including an interview with director Sebastien Laudenbach and some of his own short films.  It also features a “making of” featurette and a trailer for the movie.

The Girl Without Hands will retail for MSRP of $22.97 on DVD/BD combo pack and $16.97 on DVD, but can be pre-ordered now at a reduced cost of $18.97 (DVD/BD) and $13.97 (DVD) via Shout! Factory’s online store.  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

 

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

 

Website: http://www.gkids.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/GKIDSfilms

 

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PBS Shares Another Important WWII Story In New “AmEx” Episode

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

PBS and Public Media Distribution are set to share another new story from World War II with the masses next week.

The story in question is that of the development of a once top secret tech that helped the Allies win the war, and it comes in the form of American Experience: the Secret of Tuxedo Park.  Set for release next Tuesday, Jan. 16 on DVD and Digital HD, the 55-minute program tells the story of the development of the first radar.

The story starts in the fall of 1940, when Hitler’s forces were preparing for an all-out assault on Britain.  America was still neutral at this point in the war, but British Prime Minister Winston Churchill knew American help was needed to prevent the Nazis from advancing.  He sent a small group of scientists to the United States, who then met with Wall Street tycoon — and himself a scientist — Alfred Lee Loomis.

The two sides met at Loomis’ private laboratory at Tuxedo Park, just outside of New York City.  Loomis used his connections and his finances to help develop the first working radar, which would ultimately play a critical role in the Allied forces’ defeat of the Axis powers.

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Based on author Jenny Conant’s book Tuxedo ParkA Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science That Changed The Course of WWIIAmerican ExperienceTuxedo Park will retail for MSRP of $24.99, but can be pre-ordered at a reduced price of $19.99 via PBS’ online store.  It can also be ordered as a bundle with Conant’s book at a price of $32.99.  Audiences can view a trailer for this episode online now here.

More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

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Public Media Distribution To Release New Adaptation Of Author’s Classic Book Next Month

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

PBS will take families on a special trip next month with its new DVD We’re Going On A Bear Hunt.

Based on author Michael Rosen’s book by the same name, the DVD will be released Feb. 13.  The story presented in the new DVD follows siblings Stan, Katie, Rosie, Max, the baby, and their dog Rufus as the group goes in search of bears. The journey is not without incident as the group has to go through snowstorms, mud and even dark forests in that search.

The 25-minute program features the voices of Olivia Coleman (BroadchurchThe Night ManagerHot Fuzz), Pam Ferris (MatildaCall The MidwifeHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and Mark Williams (Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsHarry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceHarry Potter and the Goblet of FireHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and will retail for $9.99.  It can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store.

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt has sold more than 11 million copies since its original publication in 1989.  It was illustrated by Helen Oxenbury and published in the UK by Walker Books.  Simon & Schuster published the book in the United States.

More information on We’re Going On A Bear Hunt and other titles from PBS 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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