‘Command And Control’ Is An “Explosive” New Episode Of ‘American Experience’

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

On September 18, 1980 America narrowly escaped what could have been one of the worst nuclear disasters that it has ever experienced when a Titan II ballistic missile exploded in its silo in Damascus, Arkansas.  PBS recently profiled the near catastrophic event in a new episode of its history-based series American Experience titled American Experience: Command And Control.  This two-hour program is a visualization of author Eric Schlosser’s book by the same name.  It is a powerful presentation, too that is certain to keep its audiences enthralled just as easily as any big screen action thriller.  That is due in part to its story, its most important element.  The information that is provided within the story is just as important to note as the story itself in examining the program’s overall presentation.  The program’s dual presentation rounds out its most important elements.  Each element plays its own important part in the program’s presentation.  All things considered, they make this episode of American Experience a documentary that is certain to command and control any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries.

American Experience: Command And Control is the first great documentary of 2017.  This two-hour program is certain to command and control any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries all year.  That is due in no small part to the story at the center of the program.  The story at the center of this program follows the events that unfolded on September 18, 1980.  It follows the events almost hour-by-hour from the events ahead of the near catastrophe to the fallout (no pun intended) that followed from the event.  It is right up there with some of the biggest action flicks of the 20th century.  In fact, being a real life event and not overly embellished by Hollywood writers, it is even more enthralling. Speaking of Hollywood blockbusters, the story’s transitions are just like something that would be used in a major Hollywood production.  It is a minor element, but even as small as it is, it does so much to keep viewers entertained and engaged in the story.  It should also be noted that the story includes a rather scathing indictment of the military and its protocol as the story is told.  That indictment comes direct from those involved in the event.  It also presents a warning about the dangers of nuclear weapons and relying on nuclear buildup as it provides a history on the nuclear weapons accidents that happened before the Damascus accident.  It should be noted that considering the discussions that are raised by those involved in the accident, not every viewer will want to watch this story because of their views.  But those who are not so set in their ways will enjoy and appreciate this story and all of its elements.  Speaking of those elements, they lead into another important piece of the program’s whole, its information content.

The story at the center of AE: Command and Control is in its own way a key piece of the program’s presentation.  It is a story that is just as engaging as any Hollywood blockbuster of its kind, if not even better.  It is just one of the program’s key elements. The information that is presented throughout the story is just as important to note as the story itself.  Audiences learn over the course of the program’s two-hour run time that the 1980 incident was just one of a number of accident that had happened since the end of World War II.  There is mention of the H-Bomb incident in North Carolina and other accidents that happened before and after.  At the story’s end, audiences learn that between the Damascus incident and others, thousands of incidents had been reported by the military but not made public.  It is even revealed here that the Air Force tried to cover up the Damascus incident, which luckily didn’t turn out to be as bad as it could have been, but still could have been.  Thousands of people could have died not just in Arkansas but across the country had it been worse.  That the military didn’t initially tell the public about what was happening as it happened is understandable to a point.  It is also very troubling considering how bad the situation could have been and how many lives could have been lost.  Audiences also learn of how poorly the men involved in trying to stop the incident were treated by the military after the event as part of the presented informational content.  It probably wasn’t the first time the military has done its officers so wrongly, and definitely not the last time it has ever acted so wrongly toward those who wear the assigned uniform.  Between those revelations and other items presented throughout the program, audiences will find that the information presented throughout this program is indeed just as important to its presentation as its story.  It is not the last important element to note, either.  The program’s dual presentation rounds out its most important elements.

The story at the center of AE: Command and Control and the information that makes up the story are both key elements to the program’s presentation.  That is because of their ability to keep viewers engaged, informed, and entertained.  They combine make the program just as gripping as any big screen presentation crafted by any Hollywood screen writer.  As important as they are to the program’s presentation, they are not its only important elements.  PBS Distribution presents the program in both a standard hour-long presentation and a full two-hour presentation.  Why PBS Distribution would even go that route is anyone’s guess.  Perhaps that has to do with its use at certain levels in high school and beyond.  It is possible maybe younger high school-age viewers would only have an attention span for an hour-long presentation while older audiences would be more apt to sit the entire two-hours.  It would be interesting to find out why exactly the company went this route.  Regardless, giving audiences the option of the program’s hour or two-hour-long presentation is certain to be beneficial in one way or another depending on the setting in which each is used.  When this is set alongside the program’s story and its rich depth of information, it rounds out the program’s most important elements.  It joins with them to show once and for all why this program is such an interesting watch.  It is a piece that students and lovers of military history and history in general will appreciate.  All things considered, it is a program that will command and control any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries.

American Experience: Command and Control is a work that students and lovers of military history and history in general will appreciate.  It is a work that is certain to command and control any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries.  That is due to its wholly engaging story.  The story presented here is just as enthralling as any major Hollywood action thriller with a similar plot.  Being that it is real life, it is even more enthralling than those movies.  The information that makes up the body of the program adds even more depth to the viewing experience.  It will educate audiences and potentially shock them at the same time.  That is because of the revelations that are made throughout the program.  That audiences are given the choice to watch the program in its abbreviated, hour-long presentation and its full two-hour theatrical presentation makes the experience even more engaging.  Each element plays its own important part to the program’s presentation.  All things considered, they make this episode of American Experience a program that will command and control any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries.  It is available now on DVD.  It can be ordered online now via PBS’ store both by itself and in a bundle pack with Schlosser’s book.  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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PBS Bringing ‘Odd Squad: The Movie’ Home Later This Month

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Things are going to get a little bit “odd” for lots of families later this month thanks to PBS Distribution.

PBS Distribution will release Odd Squad: The Movie Jan. 24 exclusively on DVD.  It marks the first time that the movie has ever been released since airing late last year on PBS Kids stations nationwide.  In its biggest adventure yet, the Odd Squad has to deal with a new group of problem solvers called The Weird Team.

The Weird Team is led by Weird Tom (Jack McBrayer—30 Rock, Despicable Me, Wreck-It Ralph) and has a gadget to solve any problem.  This forces the Odd Squad to call it quits and go back to their normal lives.  However, a discovery about that gadget leads the Odd Squad’s down time to be short-lived.

Instead of fixing problems, The Weird Team’s gadget only covers up problems instead of fixing them.  When this is revealed, the Odd Squad has to team back up to save the world from utter destruction.  Audiences can view a trailer for the movie online now here.

Odd Squad: The Movie will be released Jan. 24 exclusively on DVD.  It will retail for MSRP of $6.99.  More information on this and other Odd Squad DVDs is available online now along with games, activities and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/oddsquad

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

 

 

 

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Eagle Rock Entertainment Proves ‘Pet Sounds’ Classic Status In Recently Released Doc

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

The Beach Boys is one of the most iconic acts in American popular music.  That goes without saying.  Through the group’s ups and downs in its career, the group has continued to entertain fans around the world with now 29 full-length studio recordings under its collective belt and shows in every corner of the globe.  In 2016, fans marked an important moment in the group’s history – the 50th anniversary of the release of its 1966 album Pet Sounds.  That album remains today one of the group’s most influential records both for audiences and the mainstream music industry.  Eagle Rock Entertainment joined in the celebration with the release of a documentary focused on Pet Sounds in the form of Classic Albums: Pet Sounds.  The “rock-umentary” is the latest addition to Eagle Rock Entertainment’s award-winning music documentary series.  Whether one is a casual listener or a more devout fan, audiences who haven’t yet seen this presentation will find it has plenty to appreciate beginning with its main feature.  This will be discussed shortly.  The program’s bonus material is just as important to note here as the discussed songs.  The information that is provided through both the main feature and bonus material rounds out the most important of the program’s most important elements.  Each element plays its own part in this program’s presentation.  All things considered, they make it a music documentary that audiophiles and devout Beach Boys fans will appreciate.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s recently released Beach Boys “rock-umentary” Classic Albums: Pet Sounds is a work that audiophiles and devout Beach Boys fans alike will appreciate.  That is due in part to the program’s main feature.  The main feature presents the original 94-minute broadcast version of the program in its entirety.  That means those who might not have been lucky enough to see it when it originally aired on the British Broadcasting Corporation last year finally get to see it any time that they want in this new home release on DVD and Blu-ray.  The main feature includes discussions on a handful of the songs featured on the band’s now landmark 1966 album as well as personal accounts from the band’s members. The discussion on the information shared through those discussions will be touched on later.  Getting back on the subject at hand, this program aired originally overseas, so its release via Eagle Rock Entertainment late last year marks the first time that American audiences got the chance to see it for themselves.  Its availability on separate DVD and Blu-ray platforms adds even more reason for audiophiles and the band’s more devout fans to see it at least once.  It is just one part of what makes this program such a worthwhile watch for said audiences.  The bonus material that is included in the program’s recent home release makes it even more worth the watch.

Classic Albums: Pet Sounds’ 94-minute main feature is in itself plenty of reason for audiophiles and The Beach Boys’ more devout fans to watch this program.  That is thanks to the in-depth discussions on the album’s songs and the band’s own personal experiences that are shared throughout the course of that time.  They will be discussed at more length later.  The program’s availability on both DVD and Blu-ray doesn’t hurt its overall presentation, either.  While all of this is important to note to this program’s presentation, it is only a portion of what makes the program worth the watch.  The bonus material included with the program makes it even more worth the watch.  The bonus material in question is half an hour of interviews that were not included in the program’s original BBC broadcast.  In other words, it gives audiences even more information—enhancing the viewing experience even more. Simply put, having that previously unreleased material included here presents audiences with two separate programs in one.  If they want, audiences could also argue they make one whole program split into two parts for a total of two-hours and four minutes.  That’s all sans commercials, too.  Whether audiences consider the combination of the bonus material and main feature one version or two, the combination of the two elements does plenty to make the program all the more enjoyable for audiophiles and the band’s more devout fans.  Of course as important as having the program available in whole is to its presentation, that means nothing without discussions and information to keep viewers entertained and engaged.  Said discussions and information are plentiful to say the very least.

Having Classic Albums: Pet Sounds available both in its original 94-minute broadcast presentation and its full 124-minute presentation in one setting both on DVD and Blu-ray is in itself quite important to this recording’s presentation.  That is because it provides audiences the program in whole and then some.  While this does plenty to make the program worth the watch, the inclusion of discussions and information that will keep audiences thoroughly engaged and entertained adds even more depth to the program’s presentation, too.  The discussions featured in the program’s main feature don’t cover the whole of Pet Sounds’ 13-song body.  Though, they do paint a relatively vivid picture of what makes the now landmark 1966 recording so important.  The songs that are covered include ‘I Know There’s An Answer,’ ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice,’ ‘I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times’ and others. Audiences will be interested to learn of the time that Brian Wilson took arranging the songs so that they wouldn’t be just another group of hot rod and surfing songs.  Wilson explains himself that he wanted to branch out into new territory both lyrically and musically on the album.  It shows, too in the discussions on the songs’ instrumentations and their compositions.  For those who might wonder, the band even touches on the rumor of Wilson’s drug use in the discussion on ‘I Know There’s An Answer.’  It isn’t an in-depth discussion, but the band does touch on the matter.  In terms of the program’s bonus material, audiences will be just as interested to learn of the band members’ desire to have another song included in the album and why they wanted to have it included.  The discussion on said song’s (the song won’t be revealed here for the sake of those who haven’t yet seen this program) instrumentation explains why they wanted it include in the album.  The song includes the standard band instrumentation plus banjo (yes, banjo), electro-theramin, and much more.  The balance of that instrumentation illustrates clearly how much thought went into the song’s creation.  It is just one more of so many discussions and pieces of information that makes this program—both in regards to its main feature and bonus material—such an enjoyable watch.  When the information presented in the program’s main feature and bonus material is included with the very presentation of the program’s 94-minute broadcast and its bonus segments, the whole of the program proves once more why it is a work that audiophiles and the band’s more devout fans alike will appreciate.

Classic Albums: Pet Sounds is a work that audiophiles and The Beach Boys’ more devout fans will appreciate.  That is due in part to the presentation of the program’s original 94-minute BBC broadcast as its main feature.  The inclusion of half an hour of extra material not included in the program’s original broadcast adds to its enjoyment even more.  That is because it provides audiences what is essentially two programs in one (or one program split into two segments).  The information shared in the program’s featured discussions rounds out its most important elements.  The discussions don’t touch on every one of the album’s 13 songs.  But they still paint a rich, vivid picture of why the album is so important both for the band and the music industry in whole even more than half a century after its initial release.  Each element is important in its own right to the program’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Classic Albums: Pet Sounds a program that audiophiles and truly devout Beach Boys fans will appreciate.  It is available now in stores and online.  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

 

 

 

More information on Classic Albums: Pet Sounds is available online now along with all of The Beach Boys’ latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.thebeachboys.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheBeachBoys

 

 

 

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‘Caillou Goes For The Gold’ Deserves Its Own Medal

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

The weather outside is frightful for most of the country right now, so the fire is definitely so delightful.  No, this critic doesn’t want it to just snow.  However, since there’s no place to go since most events happen during spring and summer, PBS Kids has a way for families to keep their kids entertained.  That resource is the latest DVD release from the network’s kid-friendly series Caillou, Caillou Goes For The Gold.  Originally released late last July, this DVD is just as useful in cold weather months as during the summer.  That is due in part to the episodes’ underlying theme.  This will be discussed shortly.  The lessons that are taught within each episode are just as important to note here as the episodes’ underlying theme.  The bonus material included with the DVD rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the DVD’s presentation.  All things considered, these three elements together make Caillou Goes For The Gold its own gold medal winner.

When PBS Distribution released Caillou Goes For The Gold late last July, the company’s intent was to tie the DVD in to the 2016 summer Olympics.  That’s all good and fine, but even now six months later, the DVD has proven to be just as important for families to watch as when it was originally released.  That is due in part to the episodes’ underlying theme. The episodes were all sports-related as the DVD was, again, meant to tie in to the Olympics.  But in the bigger picture, each episode serves to support the push for physical activity.  Whether running in a race, learning karate, swimming or other activities, each episode promotes physical activity of some sort.  Obviously outdoor physical activity is difficult while old man winter has his icy grip on the nation.  But there are facilities out there that boast heated, indoor pools and indoor walking/running tracks.  There are even indoor batting facilities where young people can go to learn to hit a ball.  Heck, there are even bowling centers in almost every city across the country.  Considering the multitude of opportunities for families to get out and get active even in colder months, that underlying theme that runs through each episode makes this DVD a win by itself.  It is just one of the elements that gives the DVD such a solid score, too.  The lessons that are taught within each of the featured episodes are just as important for audiences to note as the episodes’ underlying theme.

The underlying theme of physical activity’s importance runs through all 11 episodes featured in Caillou Goes For The Gold.  While that theme is hugely important to the DVD’s presentation – since it gives plenty of inspiration for indoor activity even in cold months – it is not the DVD’s only important element.  The lessons provided within each episode are just as important to note as that underlying theme.  Young audiences are taught the importance of focusing on play rather than winning in the disc’s opening episode, “Everyone’s Best.”  “Caillou’s Big Kick” teaches an equally important lesson about perseverance in its short segment.  As if that isn’t enough for audiences, “Caillou’s Mini-Marathon” encourages families to get out and get active together and for children to try something that might be difficult.  Between these lessons and the lessons presented in each of the disc’s other episodes, it becomes clear in watching each program why their incorporated lessons are just as important as their underlying theme of physical activity’s importance.  Even with both elements in mind, they are only two of the key elements to note in examining this collection’s overall presentation.  The bonus material included with the disc rounds out its most important elements.

Caillou Goes for the Gold presents plenty of reason that it will earn its own awards through the underlying theme that runs through each of its 11 episodes.  The same can be said when placing the episodes’ separate lessons in place of their underlying theme.  While both elements are undeniably important to this collection both by themselves and collectively, they are only two of the disc’s key elements.  The bonus material that is included with the DVD is just as important to note in examining this collection’s presentation as its underlying theme and its lessons.  The bonus material in question comes in the form of three bonus activities that drive home both that underlying theme and lessons.  The first of the bonus activities encourages parents to hold backyard races in which the “contestants” can win ribbons.  The second activity is essentially a homemade ring toss game, and the third is a relay race that not only encourages physical activity but also teaches letter recognition for preschoolers.  It scores double for touching on not one but two different areas.  Each lesson is a positive in its own right.  Parents and educators alike will agree they are a wonderful bonus to this DVD’s viewing experience.  When they are set against the episodes’ lessons and their underlying theme, all three elements join to make the DVD well-deserving of its own award.

Caillou Goes For The Gold has been available in stores and online for about six months since its release in late July, 2015.  While the collection has been available for half a year, that does nothing to lessen its importance even now in the colder months of the New Year.  Its underlying theme promoting physical activity is a good start for discussions on physical activity among children and parents/educators before finding ways to get active indoors.  The lessons that are presented in each episode add even more depth to the disc’s presentation.  The bonus material included inside the disc’s case rounds out is most important elements.  Each element is important in its own way to the disc’s overall presentation.  All things considered, they make this collection a medial winner for every family whether in the year’s colder months or its warmer months.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other Caillou collections is available online along with games, activities and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.caillou.com

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

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘The Ultimate Legacy’ Does Little For The Legacy Of ReelWorks’ “Ultimate” Franchise

Courtesy: Cinedigm/ReelWorks Studios

Courtesy: Cinedigm/ReelWorks Studios

Evangelical movie studio ReelWorks Studios will release the latest installment in its ongoing “Ultimate” franchise on Tuesday when it releases The Ultimate Legacy.  The franchise’s third installment, it is enjoyable, but hardly perfect.  That is not to say that it is a total loss, but this critic would be lying to say that it is one of the year’s best new cinematic offerings independent or otherwise.  One of the key elements that keeps this latest installment in the “Ultimate” franchise afloat is the work of the movie’s cast.  This will be discussed shortly.  While the cast’s work is laudable, its story is sadly not so laudable.  That is hugely important to note, and will be discussed later.  Of course whereas the movie takes a big hit due to its story, the movie’s cinematography makes up for that hit if only slightly.  When the cinematography is coupled with the cast’s work on camera, they luckily do just enough to make up for the movie’s story, which is anything but original.  Each element plays its own important part in the movie’s overall presentation.  All things considered, The Ultimate Gift proves to be anything but the ultimate cinematic triumph.

ReelWorks’ latest installment in its “Ultimate” movie franchise is enjoyable, but is hardly an ultimate cinematic offering.  Luckily for its parent studio though, it is not a total loss.  It does have some saving graces, one of which is its cinematography.  The movie, shot at least partially in La Grange, Kentucky, will impress audiences if only for the work of its cast.  Viewers will be surprised to learn that the supporting cast is more deserving of credit than the lead cast in this movie.  The most notable of the support cast are Torry Martin and Doug Jones.  The pair plays two of Anderson House’s staff, and while they are not on camera at all times, their time on camera is successful.

Audiences will love watching Martin (The Matchbreaker, The Errs of Birdie Hollow, Adrift) as the innocent, nerdy housekeeper Oscar.  Martin makes Oscar such a loveable character through his portrayal.  His comic timing is spot on as he stumbles over what to call Joey, and as he runs to save the day after Joey accidentally hits a water line while developing the memorial garden.  Even in a more serious moment such as when Oscar and Hawthorne (Jones) reveal a long-held secret to Joey, Martin impresses.  As enjoyable as he is to watch, one can only hope that he will get more opportunities to shine in bigger movies and sooner rather than later at that.

Jones’ (Star Trek Discovery, Hellboy, Hellboy II) portrayal as Hawthorne is just as enjoyable Martin’s take on Oscar.  Just like with Martin, Jones’ time on screen is limited.  But he shines just as much.  Those who are familiar with Disney Junior’s animated series Sofia The First will be able to instantly compare Jones’ portrayal to Tim Gunn’s portrayal of Sofia’s butler Baileywick.  The difference is that Hawthorne barely has any speaking lines in this movie.  Even with that being the case, Jones still impresses when he does speak.  He impresses just as much when his acting is done more through emoting than speaking.  Jones gets even those moments right, and whether those moments come when he’s alone or he is alongside Martin, he shows exactly why he is deserving of credit.  When Jones and Martin work alongside, the pair shows fully that they are the real stars of this movie and collectively one of the only shining stars in this otherwise forgettable evangelical flick.

While Jones’ and Martin’s work is a laudable piece of The Ultimate Legacy’s overall presentation, the movie is anything but perfect.  The movie’s story weighs it down and while it has some funny moments, it is otherwise unoriginal and forgettable.  The movie’s story is a blatant rehashing of the “Ultimate” franchise’s first two movies and just as much of a ripoff of Fireproof.  That is right down to the book that holds Sally Mae’s original will and the 12 Gifts that Joey has to work on in order to earn his inheritance.  Just as with the franchise’s first two films and with Fireproof, the story’s main character has to go through a certain process in order to obtain enlightenment (so to speak) and his ultimate reward.  That process includes self sacrifice (again just like with the aforementioned movies) and tithing in a manner of speaking.  What’s more, Joey doesn’t necessarily go through any major transformation in the story.  The fact that he gave charity early on in the movie made him little more than the bad boy with a heart of gold.  That in itself is hardly original in the bigger picture of the entertainment world.  Considering the fact that he never really went through any major transformation, it almost completely negates any reason to watch the movie.  Luckily, these issues with the movie’s story (it’s writing in the bigger picture) aren’t enough to make the movie completely unwatchable.  Its cinematography does its share to make it worth at least one watch, just as with the work of the movie’s cast.

The story at the center of The Ultimate Legacy does more of a disservice to the movie than a service.  Joey doesn’t necessarily go through any earthshaking transformation when one truly examines the story closely.  The process that Joey has to go through is nothing new both to the movie’s franchise, and is also a reworking of the story presented in Fireproof.  For all of the problems that the story poses, those problems are offset by the movie’s cinematography.  Viewers will be especially impressed by the soaring aerial shots of Hamilton House’s vast property and the countryside shots as Joey helps an elderly woman on her way to his grandmother’s funeral.

The movie’s various interior shots offer audiences just as much to applaud as its exterior shots.  One case comes as Sally’s lawyers watch Joey at work on the memorial garden from inside the mansion’s dining room.  The wide shot of the room and the contrast of the grounds from the inside exquisitely captures the details not just of the room but of the setting in whole.  The shots captured in the mansion’s library and barn are just as impressive in their own right, and are hardly the only footage worth noting.  Between the various impressive interior shots and exterior shots presented throughout the movie’s 99-minute run time, its cinematography paints quite a laudable picture; a picture that makes the movie worth at least one watch if only for that one factor. That is made clearer when one takes into consideration the work of supporting cast members Doug Jones and Torry Martin.  When their work is joined with the work of the movie’s camera crew, the end result is a movie that is worth at least one watch even though it is anything but ultimate.

The Ultimate Legacy is a work that is anything but ultimate.  Its story does little more than rehash the story used in the franchise’s previous installments.  It also uses a very similar story presented in Sherwood Films’ movie Fireproof.  That in itself does more harm than good to the movie.  Even as much damage as it does to the movie’s value, the work of the movie’s support cast and its camera crew does just enough to make it worth at least one watch.  Considering all of this, The Ultimate Legacy does little for the legacy of ReelWorks’ “Ultimate” franchise.  It still remains a movie that while anything but ultimate, is worth at least one watch.  It will be available Tuesday in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from ReelWorks Studios is available online at http://www.reelworks.net.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Students, Lovers Of The Biological, Ecological Sciences Will Appreciate ‘Wonders Of The Arctic’

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory gave audiences an early taste of winter this past September when it released the documentary presentation Wonders of the Arctic on Blu-ray/Digital combo pack and 4KUHD/BD 3D/Blu-ray/digital expanded combo pack.  Yet another of the company’s recent IMAX offerings, the 40-minute-plus program is an interesting look at life in the Arctic that is worth at least one watch.  That is due in part to its central topic.  That will be discussed shortly.  The information provided within the program is just as important to note in examining the program’s presentation as its central topic.  That will be discussed later.  As with Shout! Factory’s other IMAX offerings, this program’s cinematography stands proudly as one of the program’s most outstanding elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the program’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Wonders of the Arctic a program that students and lovers of the biological and ecological sciences will appreciate.

Wonders of the Arctic is a program that any student and lover of the biological and ecological sciences will appreciate.  They will agree it is a program that is worth at least one watch.  That statement is supported in part through the program’s central topic.  The topic in question is that of life in the Arctic.  It presents the interaction and intersection of humans and wildlife in one of the planet’s coldest regions.  At the same time, it also points out the delicate balance that humans and animals share in that area.  What is so important about this is that while it points out that balance, those behind the program never allow the message of that balance become preachy.  That is important to note because at least two other offerings in the company’s IMAX series – The Last Reef: Cities Beneath The Sea and Humpback Whales – have both been blatantly preachy in nature.  This program however, walks that line but never allows itself to fall in with those counterparts.  That being the case, it does its own part to ensure audiences’ engagement at least to a point.  It is just one of the elements that should be noted in examining this program’s presentation.  The information presented within the program is just as important to note as the program’s central topic.

The central topic presented in Wonders of the Arctic is a key piece of the program’s overall presentation.  That is because those behind the program never allow it to become too much of an activist film, unlike some of its counterparts, as it presents the intersection of human and animal life in one of the planet’s coldest places.  That is just one piece of the program that should be noted here.  The information that is provided throughout the program is just as important to note as its central topic.  One of the most interesting pieces of information presented in this program focuses on the ways in which the Inuit people survive in the region.  Audiences will be interested to see that they keep alive the tradition of using every part of the animals they hunt.  That includes animals both above and below the ice.  Touching on the matter of the information’s balance between informational and influential, narrator Victor Garber discusses the changes in the region’s ice flows and the impact those changes are having on the area at one point.  This is one example of the information presented here consciously effectively walking that line.  There is also mention of the research conducted on the area to study how much the region has changed over time.  Even this mention manages to effectively balance information and influence.  It is one more example, too of the importance of the presented information to the program’s whole.  There is plenty of other information that audiences will appreciate just as much.  All things considered, the information presented throughout Wonders of the Arctic clearly proves to be just as important to the program’s presentation as its central topic, and is just one more of the program’s key elements.  The program’s cinematography is just as important as its topic and associated information if not even more important than those elements combined.

The topic at the heart of Wonders of the Arctic and its associated information are both key pieces of the program’s overall presentation.  The two in themselves do plenty to keep viewers entertained.  When they are set against one another, they ensure even more, audiences’ engagement.  While both elements play their own important part in the program’s whole, they are just two of the program’s key elements.  The program’s cinematography is just as important to note in examining its presentation as the previously discussed elements.  Audiences will marvel at the aerial shots over the mountainous parts of the region just as much as they will the footage recorded in the area’s icy waters.  Viewers will enjoy just as much getting to ride along on sled dog rides across the icy terrain.  These are just some of the ways in which the program’s cinematography stands out.  There is so much more for audiences to enjoy just from the visual angle here.  When that outstanding overall cinematography is set alongside the program’s largely focused topic and equally engaging information, they make the program overall a work that, again, students and lovers of the biological and ecological sciences will appreciate.

Wonders of the Arctic, another entry in Shout! Factory’s IMAX series, is a work that students and lovers of the biological and ecological sciences will appreciate.  They will agree it is a program worth at least one watch.  That is proven in part through the program’s largely focused central topic.  While it walks the line between being informative and influencing, it never allows itself to become preachy unlike a couple of its counterparts.  The information presented throughout the program is just as important to note because it ensures even more, audiences’ engagement.  The program’s cinematography rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the program’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Wonders of the Arctic a program worth at least one watch by students and lovers of the biological and ecological sciences.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online 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/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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La La Land Is Phil’s Picks’ Most Laudable Movie Of 2016

Courtesy: Black Label Media/Gilbert Films/Impostor Pictures

Courtesy: Black Label Media/Gilbert Films/Impostor Pictures

The end is here.  2016 officially ends tonight.  So with the year’s end here, Phil’s Picks has one last year-ender before the clock strikes midnight and we welcome 2017.  That final list of the year is the year’s top new movies overall.  It includes both independent releases and theatrical releases.

One of the biggest surprises of the year was La La Land.  It is a breath of fresh air in a field of films overly crowded by prequels, sequels and remakes.  Little Men, another independent offering, is also in this list.  Sure, its premise isn’t overly new.  But at the same time, audiences don’t see a lot of movies with its premise about two young men becoming friends while their parents fight.  It sends a powerful message.  On the bigger stage, Dr. Strange and Star Wars: Rogue One are on the list along with Jason Bourne.

As a final reminder, the list includes both the Top 10 movie picks from Phil’s Picks plus five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 movies.  That being said, here for you is Phil’s Picks 2016 Top 10 New Movies list.

 

2016 PHIL’S PICKS 2016 TOP 10 NEW MOVIES

 

  1.  La La Land

 

  1. Fences

 

  1. Little Men

 

  1. Marguerite

 

  1. Zootopia

 

  1. Dr. Strange

 

  1. Jason Bourne

 

  1. Star Wars: Rogue One

 

  1. Moana

 

  1. Deadpool

 

  1. Star Trek Beyond

 

  1. Queen of Katwe

 

  1. The Edge of Seventeen

 

  1. Captain America: Civil War

 

  1. The Nice Guys

 

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.