Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions Are Also Some Of The Original Series’ Greatest Episodes

Courtesy:  CBS DVD/Paramount

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount

When NBC first brought Star Trek to the airwaves in 1966, it was not the only sci-fi series to come to audiences at the time.  The Twilight Zone ran on CBS from 1959 – 1964.  ABC responded in 1963 with The Outer Limits.  From 1964 to 1968, ABC took audiences beneath the waves in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which itself stemmed from the 1961 big screen feature of the same name.  CBS also had Lost in Space from 1965 – ’68 and My Favorite Martian from 1963’66.  From 1967 – ’68, ABC also ran The Invaders.  Looking at all of this, it goes without saying that Gene Roddenberry’s series had its fair share of competition in its original run on television.  And interestingly enough, it actually ran for about the same amount of time—three seasons—as those other series.  In some cases, it ran longer than its competition.  Yet having only run three seasons it has gone on to become the most successful of all of the franchises that came before and after.  From the time of its original broadcast on NBC, Star Trek has gone on to spawn no fewer than six big screen features, five more series, four more movies linked to one of those series, and countless video games, books and box sets.  The latest of those box sets—Star Trek: The Original SeriesCaptain Kirk’s Boldest Missions—was just released this past March.  More specifically, it was released March 17th.  Regardless of audiences’ familiarity or loyalty to Star Trek: TOS, this latest collection of episodes proves itself a worthwhile addition to any fan’s Star Trek collection.  The main way in which it proves itself a worthwhile addition to any fan’s collection is through the episodes culled for the collection.  From playing a game of cat and mouse in “The Corbomite Maneuver” and “Balance of Terror” to facing off against a device that could destroy entire worlds, Kirk and company face some huge odds in the episodes collected for the set.  And these are just a few examples of what fans have to expect from this set.  There is much more for audiences to enjoy from these and the set’s other episodes in whole, proving why the episodes collected for the set are the foundation of its enjoyment.  The bonus commentary included with the set adds even more enjoyment to the set even as limited as it proves to be.  It is one more reason that audiences should check out Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions.  Last but not least worth noting of this collection is its collective production values.  The episodes presented here look and sound just as impressive as in their previous DVD and Blu-ray releases with the other episodes from the series’ full season sets.  That means that all eight episodes prove just as enjoyable to watch here as in the series’ full-season sets.  And it solidifies Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions as quite the bold outing itself.  It is a collection that Star Trek fans of all ages should have in their collection regardless of whether they already own the previously released stand-alone full season sets or not.

Star Trek: The Original SeriesCaptain Kirk’s Boldest Missions is obviously not the first collection of classic Star Trek episodes to have been released since the series first hit the airwaves in 1966.  It is however a great addition to any Star Trek fan’s personal collection regardless of their familiarity or loyalty to the series.  It holds its own quite well against all of the other TOS collections that have come before (including the stand-alone full-season sets).  The main way in which it holds its own so well is through its featured episodes.  It features eight total episodes spread across two discs.  The episodes culled for this set are not just some of Captain Kirk’s boldest missions but also some of the most memorable episodes of the series’ overall.  Disc one sees Kirk and company playing a high stakes game of cat and mouse in “The Corbomite Maneuver” and “Balance of Terror.”  They also come face to face with Khan for the first time in “Space Seed.”  “The Conscience of the King” features an interstellar murder mystery of sorts.  Disc Two presents just as much entertainment for audiences.  It offers up two alternate timeline/universe stories in the form of “The City on the Edge of Forever” and “Mirror.”  Both stories are classic alternate universe stories in their own right, too.  “Mirror Mirror’s” alternate story sees Kirk thrust into a universe in which the crew of the Enterprise is anything but honorable.  “The City on the Edge of Forever” sends Kirk and company back in time to an Earth that is ruled by the Nazi party.  And it’s up to them to change that.  “The Doomsday Machine” is just as gripping and thought provoking.  That is because the machine in question was a humanly created machine meant solely for warfare.  And it has gone rogue so to speak.  Now it’s yet again up to Kirk to lead his crew and stop the machine before it destroys the Enterprise.  “Return To Tomorrow” offers its own interest as it raises the question of whether or not beings from other worlds visited Earth eons ago. The manner in which the show’s writers raised this discussion is itself short. But it definitely opens up the door for that discussion. And it’s just another way in which the episodes featured in Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions prove themselves the most important part of the set’s enjoyment.

The episodes collected for Kirk’s Boldest Missions each offer audiences their own share of enjoyment, showing from one to the next why they sit at the center of this set’s enjoyment. As enjoyable as each episode proves itself to be, the episodes can only go so far on their own merits. Luckily for fans, there is additional commentary included with the set, too. Of course it is limited. There is no commentary within the episodes per se. But there is still commentary included on both discs. The most extensive commentary precedes “The City on The Edge of Forever.” William Shatner and co-star Joan Collins (who guest stars on the episode in question) discuss the importance of the episode and the implications of World War II’s outcome. It drives home the importance of what the Allied Forces accomplished in stopping Hitler’s Nazi regime. Didn’t think that sci-fi could be so deep? It most certainly can be. And as in this episode, it most certainly is deeper than many people think. Speaking of that depth, Shatner offers even more depth in the bonus commentary included in the set’s first disc as he discusses the importance of the captain keeping a log on Star Trek and how that mirrors a person keeping a personal journal in real life. He also relates the characteristics of a good captain to a good leader in real life, and the legacy left behind by Captain Kirk. Yet again, he makes a real world comparison to the legacy that people leave in their own lives. These discussions continue the depth presented in the one episodic commentary included in the set’s second disc. All of the commentaries combined, they offer their own insight and entertainment for audiences. Those commentaries added to the episodes prove even stronger why Kirk’s Boldest Missions is a great addition to any Star Trek fan’s collection even if said fan(s) already own the series’ stand-alone season sets.

The bonus commentary and episodes featured at the center of Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions collectively give Star Trek fans plenty of reason to add the compilation to their own DVD libraries. Having noted both elements, there is still one more element to note to its positive. That last element is the look and sound of the episodes, or its overall production values. The episodes culled for Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions look and sound just as good as they do alongside the series’ other episodes in its previously released stand-alone season sets. As lacking as this seems in terms of importance to the whole, it is actually rather important. There are some companies out there that try to churn out compilations such as this one for other series without trying at all to make them look or sound even presentable. Those companies will remain nameless here. But they do exist. Luckily for fans, those at Paramount and CBS Video have made certain to make these episodes look and sound their best once more for fans regardless of whether or not fans already own the series’ standalone sets. Because the episodes sound and look as good as they do, they make for all the reason for fans to watch the episodes and commentary and add this set to their personal Star Trek collections.

Star Trek: The Original SeriesCaptain Kirk’s Boldest Missions offers the series’ fans plenty of reason to add this collection to their own personal DVD libraries. It offers audiences eight episodes that are not only some of Captain Kirk’s greatest (and boldest) missions, but eight episodes that are also fan favorites. On top of that, it also includes some rather in-depth commentary form Captain Kirk himself. Topping of the ways in which this set proves itself worthy of Star Trek fans around the world is its collective production values. The episodes presented here look and sound just as good as in their previous presentations. All three elements combined together prove this double-disc set one that every Star Trek fan of every age will appreciate with every watch and should have in their own home DVD collection. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from CBS Home Entertainment at http://cbshe.com/STKirk. More information on this and other titles available from CBS Home Entertainment is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.cbshomeentertainment.com

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

 

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Lionsgate Announces Release Date, Specs For Ex Machina

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

Lionsgate’s hit sci-fi thriller ex machina is coming to DVD and Blu-ray this summer.

Officials with Lionsgate have announced that ex machina will be released Tuesday, July 14th. It will be releaed both on Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack and DVD + Digital combo pack. The movie stars Domhnall Gleeson (Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens, Unbroken), Alicia Vikander (The Circle, A Royal Affair) Golden Globe®-nominated actor Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens, A Most Violent Year) and is helmed by Alex Garland (Dredd, writer of 28 Days) in his directorial debut.

The story behind ex machina is centered on young computer programmer Caleb (Domhnall). Caleb has won a competition to spend a week at the mountain retreat of his company’s CEO Nathan (Isaac). What Caleb doesn’t realize is that he didn’t necessarily win a contest. He has actually been chosen to be part of a study involving an artificial intelligence (played here by Alicia Vikander). Caleb has been sworn to secrecy and what’s more, he has been cut off from the rest of the world in the study. Upon meeting the android Caleb is pulled into a world that he never thought possible. Both the DVD + Digital combo pack and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack will feature a handful of bonuses including a making of featurette, a panel discussion from South X Southwest with the cast and crew, and a number of behind the scenes videos. The Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack will retail for MSRP of $24.99 and DVD for MSRP of $19.98. More information on this and other titles from Lionsgate is available online at:

Website: http://www.lionsgate.com

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

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PBS’ Armstrong Bio Is More Proof Of Why NOVA, PBS Remain Tops In Television

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

That’s one small step for man.  One giant leap for mankind.  Neil Armstrong spoke those words as he took the first steps onto the surface of the moon almost forty-six years ago.  July 20th of this year will mark forty-six years since that history changing took place.  While Armstrong was the first living being to step foot on the lunar surface, it is his fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin that has remained in the public eye in the years since.  Armstrong on the other hand shied away from the limelight after the men returned from the historic mission of the Apollo 11.  Now as the world prepares to mark celebrate the 46th anniversary of the lunar landing PBS has released an episode of its hit science-based series NOVA that examines Armstrong’s life and legacy.  Released this past December, NOVA: First Man on the Moon examines not just Neil Armstrong as the legendary figure that so many people know, but Neil Armstrong the reluctant public figure.  That in itself is the central reason that audiences will enjoy this episode of NOVA.  The use of interviews with Armstrong’s friends and family along with actual vintage footage and pictures from his life and career add even more interest to the program.  Thanks to its pacing, the third element of the program’s enjoyment and success, the interviews and footage combined with the story in whole are made easy for audiences to follow and in turn all the more impactful.  Being able to fully take in the impact that Neil Armstrong made and the legacy that he left behind, every viewer will agree that NOVA: First Man on the Moon is a program that should be in classrooms at every level from middle school through college.  It is that valuable a program.  And it is yet more proof both in the argument that NOVA remains today the best science-based series on television and that PBS is the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming.

Much has been said and made of Neil Armstrong and the legacy that he created over the course of his life.  The problem is that for all that has been said and made of his legacy,  most of what people know of Armstrong is the that he was the first human to step foot on the moon.  What’s really interesting is that despite this recognition, Armstrong actually never embraced the celebrity that came with this fact.  For that matter, he never embraced the mantle that was placed on him even before the historic flight of Apollo 11.  Rather, as audiences will see in NOVA: First Man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong was the epitome of the anti-celebrity.  Audiences learn through this nearly hour-long program that from his childhood, Armstrong’s first love was flight.  He never pursued his love for celebrity.  He chased the dream because of his pure love for aviation.  Through everything that he achieved during his life, the program reveals that Armstrong never once tried to bring light to his accomplishments.  The attention in question came from exterior sources.  It was that same attention that led him to shy away from the media later in his life after the events of the moon landing.  The companion interviews included with the program reveal that Armstrong actually never felt that he deserved the attention that he received after the mission.  It is also revealed that responsibilities such as speaking engagements were actually thrust onto him and that he only reluctantly accepted them, leading to his undeserved reputation as a recluse.  It’s a truly eye-opening story needless to say and one that every American should experience whether in the classroom or the living room.

The revealing story presented in NOVA: First Man on the Moon is reason within itself for audiences of all ages and interests to watch this episode of NOVA.  The story by itself is interesting.  But without the companion interviews and footage used to advance it, the story would have only gone so far.  The interviews included in the program are with Armstrong’s own friends and family including one of the men working at mission control during the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong’s wives (yes, he was married more than once) his friend and fellow Apollo 11 crew member Buzz Aldrin among many others.  The insights offered by those interviewed paint a vivid picture of a man that few likely have ever known.  Their stories paint the picture of a man that did not go into his profession for celebrity, women or any other related reason.  Rather the picture painted through the story’s interviews is one of a man that went into his field for his love of the profession.  As the interviewees reveal, even in the direst of situations, he stayed calm and collected even after the fact, playing the situations down like they were everyday occurrences instead of making a big deal over them.  That is a huge statement.  Along the way, audiences get to see first-hand just some of the situations in question thanks to the inclusion of actual footage from some of the missions and projects in which he was included.  Audiences actually get the see the result of a docking mission gone wrong as they hear from those first-hand interviews of his cool demeanor in the face of certain doom.  They also see the result of that collected mindset as he and his fellow mission member touched down safely in the South China Sea and then returned to U.S. soil as the story is told of how he even played the event down in its aftermath.  That same picture of a man focused on his job is painted when a lunar landing training project goes awry.  Viewers see Armstrong eject from the training vehicle safely as it falls to earth, yet again playing down the event in its aftermath.  These are just a couple of examples of how the interviews and footage incorporated into NOVA: First Man on the Moon make it such a memorable story.  The story that is in turn presented along with the companion footage and interviews ironically makes Armstrong even more respected and perhaps even legendary than he was just for being the first man on the moon.  It makes him even more respected and legendary for being a man and a man that put his job and his family above fame.  Yet again here is even more reason for audiences to check out this in-depth video biography of a man who was great not for his accomplishments but for who he was.

The story of who Neil Armstrong was and his importance to American history in NOVA: First Man on the Moon is by itself a moving presentation. The interviews and footage interwoven into the story help to not only advance the story but to make the story all the richer and engaging for viewers. For all of their importance, the noted elements would mean nothing without proper pacing. It goes without saying that the pacing of this episode is at the very core of its success. Considering how much ground is covered over the course of the episode’s roughly fifty-three-minute run time, its pacing is solid from beginning to end. Not once does the program move so fast as to lose audiences or so fast that audiences are left feeling left behind. That is even considering all of the background information provided via the episode’s companion interviews. Taking into mind the balance of the program’s speed to its overall content, the end product proves to be an episode that is more than just another episode of NOVA or even just another biography. It proves in the end to be an in-depth look at a man that very few truly knew. It is a picture of a man that is just as deserving for who he was as for what he did. It is one more example of why NOVA remains today the best science-based series on television today and why PBS in whole remains the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.

A lot of thought and work went into NOVA: First Man on the Moon before it was brought to life. The story presented here isn’t just another piece touting Neil Armstrong as “the first man on the moon.” It paints a picture of a man that was far more than that. It paints a picture of a man that wanted only to do what he loved rather than be in the limelight for what he did. The interviews and footage incorporated into the central story help paint that vivid picture. The pacing of the program in whole makes the companion footage and interviews easy to follow. Because the interviews and footage are so easy to follow, the story in whole becomes that much more accessible to audiences, and in turn that much more engaging and enjoyable. All three elements together show precisely that while it might have been released some months ago, NOVA: First Man on the Moon remains just as enjoyable in the living room as the classroom and will be for some time to come. NOVA: First Man on the Moon is available now on DVD and can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=49575346&cp=&sr=1&kw=first+man+on+the+moon&origkw=First+Man+on+the+Moon&parentPage=search. More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online at:

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/novapbs

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Day At The Races Is A Fine Final Lap For Chuck and Friends

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Discovery Family/Hub/Hasbro Studios

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Discovery Family/Hub/Hasbro Studios

The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Day at the Races is more than likely Shout! Factory Kids’ last installment of episodes from the family friendly series. If it is in fact the last collection of episodes that audiences will receive, then it is safe to say that it is a great way for the series to go out. That is thanks in large part to its writing. Once again, audiences get ten episodes that present a solid mix of both entertainment and invaluable lessons for young audiences. The overall run time of this allegedly last installment of episodes is another important key to the whole of the DVD. The work of those behind the show’s look is worth the note one more time, too. The episodes here look largely unlike other CG-based children’s offerings out there in terms of its overall design. It rounds out the reasons the audiences of all ages will appreciate the episodes presented here and shows together with the other noted elements why it is fully deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the best new DVDs and Blu-rays for children and families.

If the latest collection of episodes of The Adventures of Chuck and Friends is in fact the last that audiences will get to enjoy, it is something of a sad thing. That is because even over the course of only two seasons it offered audiences so much to like. And this collection of episodes is no different from the series’ previous releases, either. The main reason that it proves itself just as enjoyable as its predecessors is the work of the series’ writers. Once more, the writers have crafted ten more episodes that expertly balance both entertainment and education so to speak. The education in question comes in the form of lessons that are just as invaluable for young viewers as those presented in the series’ previous compilations. Right from the disc’s outset this time, viewers are presented with an important lesson about teamwork in the episode “Contest Countdown.” The lesson in question is taught as a contest is held for the chance to ride with a well-known traffic reporter chopper. The way to win is to answer a riddle. Chuck and his friends end up working together and answer the riddle together. The lesson obviously taught here is that when people work together, everybody wins. As a sidebar, viewers also learn about the importance of developing problem-solving skills along the way. These two lessons are just a couple that show how the show’s writing proves its value to The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Day at the Races. The disc’s second episode “Tough Break” teaches an equally invaluable pair of lessons.

When Chuck breaks his mom’s brand new wench in “Tough Break,” he enlists his friends to try to rebuild the wench. But in trying to cover it up, he ends up being caught and has to confess to what he’s done. He and his friends do end up fixing his mom’s wench. Along the way, he realizes the episode’s dual lessons–respecting others’ property and taking responsibility for one’s actions. These are lessons that can’t be driven home enough for young viewers. And they aren’t the last important lessons, either.

“The Short Cut,” the third episode included in this set, teaches its own equally invaluable lesson, to young viewers. The lesson presented here is that of the value of hard work. The lesson is taught as Chuck has some important things to do for his mom including building a new tool shed. In seeing the directions to building the shed, Chuck decides to try and take a short cut to finish the job, thinking nothing could go wrong. The end result is obviously quite the contrary. Simply put, the writers have presented to young viewers the message that nothing worth doing is ever easy. And the way to do things the right way is to follow the directions, NOT to try and do things one’s own way (I.E. taking shortcuts). This is an especially important lesson especially in an age when young audiences increasingly expect instant gratification for everything. It’s yet another example of how the writing used in these episodes shows itself the most important aspect of the collection. There are plenty of other important lessons that audiences will get out of the set’s other episodes. Those presented here are just a glimpse into how much the collection in whole has to offer audiences. For all of the value that the writing offers in this collection, the writing is just one part of what makes the collection in whole a success. The run time of each episode is just as worth noting in considering what makes The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Day at the Races a success.

The work of the writers proves itself the most important aspect in The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Day at the Races. That is because of the writers’ ability to balance the series’ entertainment with its more important developmental lessons. The lessons in question are presented in a fun way, rather than some obviously over the top, in-your-face approach that is used by other shows. As important as the writers work proves to be in the long run, their work would mean nothing without the time limitations put on each script or more simply put, the episodes’ run times. Each episode runs roughly eleven minutes. That means that the writers had a very fixed time in which to present each episode’s problem and solution/lesson. They managed those limitations with expertise, making sure not to spend too much time on the buildup or on the eventual outcome of each story. There are in fact some series whose episodes suffer from this issue of time management. The end result is young viewers easily losing interest even within the shows’ key demographics. That thankfully isn’t the case here. Because it isn’t the case, audiences will find themselves fully engaged yet again from beginning to end of each episode. Hopefully in the long run, that combination of solid writing and relatively short run times will lead to viewers of all ages picking up on the episodes’ lessons. In turn viewers will see for themselves why both elements of the episodes make this collection of episodes a success.

The run times and writing incorporated into the episodes featured in The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Day at the Races are equally important to the set’s success. Of course they are only two-thirds of what makes this collection another success for audiences. The overall look of the episodes plays its own role in their enjoyment and success, too. Compared to so many other CG-based children’s series and movies (specifically Disney/Pixar’s Cars and Planes franchises) out there today, this series boasts its own identity thanks to its look. There’s something about the richness of the colors and even the design of the characters and their world in whole. While it’s obvious that this series was created via computers, it doesn’t look like the show’s heads and those behind its creation didn’t just toss something together and call it done. This has been a standard since the series’ first collection of episodes. There is a certain attention that has always been paid to the specific look of Chuck and each of his friends. Those responsible for bringing the characters and their world to life went to painstaking efforts to make each look as much like their real world counterparts as possible. That includes details as minute as the design of the vehicles’ tire treads and the overall shape of their chassis. Even the junkyard, the race track and Chuck’s “family home” received specific details. Audiences can tell that special attention was paid to especially this element with the inclusion of everything that a person would see in a normal everyday garage. It’s one of so many fine details that were given the utmost attention. Whether for these details or others not noted, the work put in to make them look different from the other CG-based series and movies out there paid off once again. Together with the work of the writers and the overall run time of each episode, all three elements make The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Day at the Races one more (and last?) fun collection of episodes for audiences of all ages.

Whether it be for the work of the writers, the run times of each of the collection’s ten episodes or for the work of those responsible for designing the characters and world of Chuck and his friends and family, there is plenty to say to the show’s positive. It’s too bad that it looks like the series has now come to its end. One look at Discovery Family’s new website would seem to hint that it is no longer running the family friendly series. Even if it is indeed the end of the road for this series, then this potentially last installment of episodes proves a fine final lap (ba-dumb-bump bad pun fully intended) for one of the more underappreciated series in the last decade. The Adventures of Chuck and Friends: Day at the Races is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/the-adventures-of-chuck-friends-day-at-the-races. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory and Shout! Factory Kids is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

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Dragonforce Announces Release Date, Specs For Upcoming Live Recording

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

It is finally official. Dragonforce’s new live recording will finally become reality this summer.

Officials with Metal Blade Records announced on Friday that Dragonforce’s new live recording In The Line Of Fire will be released on Friday, July 10th. That is the first official release day on the music world’s new “Global Release Day.” The recording will be released both on double-disc Blu-ray and double-disc DVD presentation. One disc of the DVD presentation will feature the band’s performance on DVD, The other will feature the performance on CD. Both presentations feature the band’s Ultimate Stage headlining performance from the 2014 Loud Park Festival at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. Regardless of which platform fans choose, they can pre-order either or both right now online at http://www.metalblade.com/dragonforce. Audiences can check out the trailer for the recording online now along with one of the songs included in the show’s setlist–‘Three Hammers–via SoundCloud at http://www.metalblade.com/dragonforce. Fans can also see the band performing that same song via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIv3cmvZRTI.

Dragonforce is currently wrapping up a tour alongside Kamelot, which is also touring in support of its latest new release Haven. The bands will perform live today, May 23rd at Iron City in Birmingham, Alabama. Once that show is done, the band will take some much-needed time off before heading overseas for the European leg of its tour beginning with the famed Download Festival at Donington, U.K. It will begin the Asian leg of its tour in Bangkok, Thailand on August 29th. That tour runs through September 11th in Tokyo, Japan. As an added note, the band will return to the United States this fall on November 13th for the second leg of its tour with Kamelot. That tour includes a stop in North Carolina’s “Queen City” on November 17th at The Fillmore. Fans can keep up with the band’s latest tour updates and news online now, including news on its upcoming live recording, at:

Website: http://www.dragonforce.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/dragonforce

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Eagle Rock Announces Release Date, Specs For Upcoming Elliot Smith Documentary

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release its latest new music documemtary this summer.

Elliot Smith: Heaven Adores You will be released Friday, July 17th. The documentary examines the life and work of famed singer/songwriter Elliot Smith. It is the first documentary to do so. Smith first rose to fame in the 1990s and early 2000s before his untimely death at the age of 34 in 2003. The documentary mixes together bits and pieces of Smith’s previously unreleased and unfinished songs with a look back at his life and career to paint a picture of a man who was both a genuinely talented musician and yet a troubled soul. Along with the previously unreleased and unfinished songs, the program also features some of Smith’s greatest hits including: ‘Miss Misery,’ ‘Happiness,’ ‘Son of Sam,’ and ‘Waltz #2.’ There is also a bonus performance of ‘Heaven Adores You’ from Aaron Espinoza (vocalist/guitarist for indie rock band Earlimart) included in the program and roughly an hour of interviews with those that contributed to the documentary’s creation. Audiences can check out a trailer for the documentary online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOnImKYMpSs&feature=youtu.be.

Elliot Smith: Heaven Adores You will be available in stores and online Friday, July 17th. It will be available both on DVD and Blu-ray.  the DVD will retail for MSRP of $14.98 and the Blu-ray for $19.98. It can be pre-ordered online now at http://www.myplaydirect.com/elliott-smith. Fans that pre-order the documentary through this website can get it as part of a bundle that also includes a bonus T-Shirt.

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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Audiences Of All Musical Tastes Will Enjoy Enjoy Eagle Rock Entertainment’s New Dylan Documentary

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new music documentary Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued is an interesting new presentation. Regardless of whether audiences are fans of Bob Dylan and his body of work or fans of the artists recruited to resurrect Dylan’s “long lost” there is plenty for audiences of all ages and tastes to like throughout the program beginning fittingly with its virtual music history lesson. The program’s very presentation style is another element of the documentary that audiences will appreciate. Despite essentially being a standard “making of” feature, it doesn’t come across like so many other guerilla style making of peices thrown together by so many other acts just to sell records. And then of course there is the bonus material. In the case of this Blu-ray, the bonus material lives up to its name as it brings the whole presentation full circle. It doesn’t present the finished product of each song rehearsed in the main feature. But it does give audiences a look at the finished product of half of the noted songs. And that’s only the beginning of what makes the bonus material a true bonus. That will be discussed later. Taking into consideration everything noted here, Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued proves itself a music documentary well worth the watch by audiences of any musical taste.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new music documentary Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued is an interesting work that audiences of any musical taste should see. It should be noted right off the top that it is not a piece that audiences of any age should see. that is because there is some language older audiences might find questionable for some younger viewers. There is also one scene from some vintage 1960s film that shows a topless woman dancing with a group of other people. None of this seems to be noted anywhere on the documentariy’s casing. So it would be irresponsible if this critic didn’t note these issues right off the bat. Having gotten that out of the way, this program is still one that older audiences of any musical taste will want to see. The central reason for that is that it is within itself a virtual music history lesson. The lesson is centered on a group of previously “undiscovered” writings from none other than legendary singer/songwriter Bob Dylan. Audiences get a glimpse into where the writings came from, how they originally came into being so many decades ago and even their original intent. Some of this information is provided by Dylan himself even though the only time that Dylan actually appears on camera is in vintage footage of Dylan with his band mates collected for the documentary. Audiences will be surprised to learn that many of the writings if not all of them were never even intended for mass consumtion by fans. Audiences will be just as interested to learn why Dylan and company opted to record the original songs literally in the basement of a house instead of the sterility of a studio as they watch. That little factoid is in itself quite enlightening. there is even more information thrown out throughout the program that audiences will find interesting. So that will be left to viewers to discover for themselves. That information coupled with the information noted here shows clearly to be a history lesson that intended or not serves as one of the most important elements of Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued in its enjoyment. It is only part of the program that makes it a joy for fans. The documentary’s overall shooting and presentation style make for their own enjoyment in this case, too.

The overall shooting style and manner of presentation in Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued make for just as much reason for audiences to check out the program as its virtual music history lesson. “Making of documentaries” are all too commonplace in today’s music industry. The problem with all of the “documentaries” is that few prove to be memorable in any form or fashion. More often than not they are throwaway extras used to convince audiences to purchase already overpriced albums that are themselves forgettable. They are typically shot in guerilla, home-video style and presented as such, too. Thankfully none of this applies to Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued. What audiences get in this program is a piece that fully lives up to the title of music documentary. It is an expertly shot and edited program that ties together music’s past and present and will in turn keep audiences engaged from beginning to end. There are no fast moving pans or tilts from the camera crew. And the music being rehearsed makes the presentation emotionally moving and powerful both as the recruited artists–who are themselves some of the music world’s biggest names today–work together and by themselves. There are no jump cuts. And while some special effects are used, they are used sparingly throughout, making the presentation all the more worth the watch.

Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued more than lives up to the title of music documentary. It is the total antithesis of the largely forgettable throwaway pieces out there that masquerade as making of documentaries. This includes the standalone pieces and the ones that are thrown in with albums that are themselves largely forgettable. It stands out from those presentations thanks in large part to its professional production values and its virtual music history lesson. Both elements play their own important part in the success and enjoyment of Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued. As important as each element proves in the long run, there is one more element to note that brings the presentation full circle. That element is the documentary’s collective bonus material. The bonus material in this case is a presentation of some of the songs featured in the main feature in their entirety. While not all twelve of the featured songs are included as bonus material. No fewer than half of the songs are featured, though. Having gone through the rehersals and creative process presented in the program’s main feature, the half dozen songs featured as bonus material are essentially a reward for audiences that watched the creative process that led to the songs. Again, while not all twelve songs presented in the main feature are included with the bonus material, the half dozen that are featured bring the presentation in whole full circle.

The full song “performances” featured in the bonus features of Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued are themselves bonus for audiences. They are bonuses in large part because they finally let audiences hear at least some of the presented songs in their identity. That isn’t the only reason that they are bonuses, though. They are bonuses also because of the fact that each song features one of the recruited artists leading the given songs in his or her own style. Because each of the recruited artists gets to lead at least one song included in the bonus features, not one of the noted songs sounds like the other. Each comopsition has a sound and style completely separate from the others. It shows each artist’s own musical roots and influences thus deepening the program in whole even more. It is within itself a bonus of the bonus material and one more reason that audiences will want to watch Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued.

Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued is one of the more interesting music documentaries that has been released so far this year. For that matter, it is one of the only presentations released so far this year that rightfully deserves to be called a documentary. That is thanks in large part to its virtual music history lesson. Whether or not the history lesson was intended, it is there. The program’s production values set it apart from all of thoe throwaway pieces that try to pretend to be documentaries, too. And the bonus material rewards audiences that stayed and watched Bob Dylan’s “long lost” slowly come to life in more than one way. All three elements together show why audiences of all musical tastes, if not ages, will want to watch this documentary. Together, they show that while Eagle Rock is known largely as the leader in live recordings, it holds its own in the world of music documentaries, too. Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued will be available in stores and online Tuesday, May 26th. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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