PBS Distribution Releasing New ‘Wild Kratts’ DVD Next Month

Courtesy: PBS/PBS DIstribution

The Kratt Brothers are hitting the high seas again in another new Wild Kratts DVD.

Wild KrattsThe Briny Blue Sea is scheduled for release on April 9 on DVD and digital.  The DVD features four more episodes from the hit animated series that find Chris, Martin and their friends going on a variety of aquatic adventures.

In the episode “Osprey,” Jimmy accidentally loses the keys to the Tortuga, leaving Chris and Martin to use Osprey powers to find the keys before things get real bad for the group.  Jimmy is the center of attention in another of the DVD’s episodes, “Sea Otter Swim.”  He learns how to swim from none other than a sea otter.

Aye Aye, yet another of the DVD’s episodes, finds the Kratt brothers having to save an aye aye who was washed away from its home by a strong storm.  “Puffin Rescue” finds the Kratt brothers and their friends strewn across the sea by a rogue wave.  It is up to Chris and Martin to use Puffin powers to reunite everyone and get everyone back to the Tortuga.

Wild KrattsThe Briny Blue Sea‘s run time is 105 minutes.  It will retail for MSRP of $14.99.  It can be pre-ordered now via PBS’ online store.

More Wild Kratts episodes are available now along with activities, games and printables at:

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/wildkratts

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

 

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PBS Distribution Announces Release Date For New ‘Ready Jet Go!’ DVD

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution will release another new collection of Ready Jet Go! episodes next month.

Ready Jet Go!Chasing The Sun is scheduled for release on April 9.  It will be released on DVD and digital.  The latest collection from the hit animated series features eight episodes, totaling 100 minutes.

“Our Sun Is A Star” teaches the episode’s noted lesson, that the sun is just one of countless stars in the galaxy.  “Galileo, Galileo! offers audiences a history and science lesson after Mindy tells Jet that she can see the sun moving across the sky.  Jet, in turn, has to explain that the sun doesn’t move, and that it just looks like it moves because of the earth’s axis and rotation.  “Treehouse Observatory” finds Jet and his friends turning treehouse into their own observatory.

The other episodes featured in Ready Jet Go!Chasing The Sun are: “Just The Right Distance From The Sun,” “Solar Power Rover,” “Mindy’s Bedtime,” “Sunspot’s Sunspot” and “How We Found Your Sun.”

Ready Jet Go!Chasing The Sun will retail for MSRP of $12.99.  It can be pre-ordered now via PBS’ online store.  More information on Ready Jet Go! is available online now along with games, activities and printables at:

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/readyjetgo

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

 

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Shout! Factory, Sesame Workshop Set To Release Another New ‘Sesame Street’ DVD

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Sesame Workshop

Shout! Factory and Sesame Workshop will release another new Sesame Street compilation DVD this spring.

Sesame StreetAwesome Alphabet Collection is set for release on May 7.  The new DVD will help teachers and parents alike teach their pre-schoolers their ABCs with performances by The Beetles (yes, The Beetles), Norah Jones, Tori Kelly and Pharrell Williams.

Famed author and activist Maya Angelou also makes an appearance in the new DVD.  She offers her thoughts on the importance of giving hugs, while Sheryl Crow helps the letter “I” soak up some sun and actor Ricky Gervais sings a lullaby for Elmo.

The trailer for the new DVD is streaming here.  The movie’s run time is two-hours.  Pre-orders are open now.  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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Every Family Will Celebrate Sesame Workshop’s New ‘Sesame Street’ DVD

Courtesy: Sesame Workshop/Shout! Factory

In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.  For those who might be unfamiliar with this famed adage, it was originally spoken by none other than Benjamin Franklin, one of this nation’s founding fathers and greatest inventors and philosophers.  While Franklin was right in his statement, he was also somewhat wrong.  There is actually a third constant in life – family.  Through thick and thin, in the good times and bad, family will always be there for one another.  There are many kinds of families today, and in its latest DVD, Celebrate Family, Sesame Workshop examines the different kinds of families that exist, and what makes each kind of family special.  It is a DVD that every family will enjoy.  This is proven in part through the DVD’s primary content, which addresses different kinds of families and what sets them apart.  The secondary content that is included within the primary content makes the DVD even more appealing to every family.  The bonus content featured with the DVD rounds out the DVD’s most important elements.  It is just as certain as the DVD’s primary and secondary content to keep audiences engaged and entertained.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of Sesame Street: Celebrate Family.  Altogether, they make Sesame Street: Celebrate Family a presentation that the whole family will celebrate.

Sesame Workshop’s new Sesame Street DVD Celebrate Family is another new offering from the organization, that the whole family will celebrate.  That is due in part to the DVD’s primary content.  The primary content featured five segments that focus on different types of families and the things that families do differently from one another.  The opening segment Elmo and his dad together with Abby Cadabby, her stepbrother Rudy and stepfather as the two families have dinner together at Elmo’s house.  This segment in itself teaches young viewers that families do not always have to fit the traditional nuclear family mold.  Families can be a single parent and child and they can be extended, featuring two families brought together.  The segment is followed later with a segment in which Abby’s stepbrother and stepfather are introduced for the first time.  Abby, Elmo and Rosita are on a “secret mission” of sorts to find them because they are coming to Sesame Street for the first time ever in said segment.  Segments celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day focus specifically on the noted family members while the disc’s closing segment focuses on grandparents and their importance as part of families, too.  That segment is special in its own right as Elmo is so excited that his grandparents will are supposed to attend the event, only to find out that they won’t be able to attend.  Being a family friendly presentation, the story has a happy ending that finds Elmo still getting to spend time with his grandparents.

The easily accessible lessons about the different types of families and their members is just one part of what makes this primary presentation so engaging for the whole family.  The opening segment reminds viewers that not every family does things the same way.  Elmo’s dad gives Elmo and his friends the choice of what to have for dinner while Abby and Ruby’s family does things a little bit differently.  At the same time, Elmo, Abby and Rudy have their own favorite taste while their dads have their favorite tastes.  It’s another reminder that not every family is the same, and that those differences should in fact be celebrated.

The primary content featured in Sesame Street: Celebrate Family’s segments goes a long way toward making this DVD appealing for the whole family.  It truly does celebrate families and their members in a variety of ways.  The secondary content that couples with that presentation adds even more to the DVD’s appeal.  It is subtle, but is there.  As Abby and her friends work to find Rudy and his dad, one of their human friends – a woman – comes by to talk to them.  As she leaves, she makes mention of her engineering homework.  This is a short, subtle comment, but in the bigger picture, is a much bigger statement.  It is clearly part of the push to encourage women to get into science, technology, engineering and math (S.T.E.M.)-related studies and careers.

On a completely separate note, the segment featuring Elmo and Abby’s families having dinner together presents a classroom type of lesson instead of a cultural one.  As Elmo’s dad prepares dinner – pizza — the kids learn about the differences between meats and vegetables and about the differences in shapes.

The DVD’s final segment, which focuses on grandparents, is certain to entertain grown-ups as the writers joke about the technology gap between generations.  Baby Bear’s grandfather has all kinds of technology but admits that it was Baby Bear’s grandmother who bought it all, not him.  He open admits that he doesn’t know how to use everything that she got.  Meanwhile, Baby Bear has no trouble helping his grandfather learn how to use his various tech gadgets.  On a bigger picture, the statement made by baby Bear’s grandfather about Baby bear’s grandmother trying to keep up with the times is telling in itself.  He states that technology was so much easier to handle in days gone by.  He is right on both statements.  It seems that there is far too much reliance today on technology.  To that end, there is an important statement there, albeit likely unintentional, but it is still there.  It is just one more way in which the secondary content featured in the DVD’s primary content makes the DVD in whole appealing for the whole family.  The DVD’s featured bonus content adds even more appeal to its presentation.

The bonus content featured in Sesame Street: Celebrate Family follows the same theme as that of the DVD’s primary content.  The full-length Sesame Street episode included as one of the bonuses focuses on siblings.  It finds Chris and his sister talking about siblings with Baby Bear and his sister.  Chris and his sister remind Baby Bear that no siblings ever get along completely, but that they still love each other and find similarities.  They just have to look for those things that can unite them.

The “Elmo’s World” segment that is featured in this episode also focuses on siblings.  This time Elmo spends a little time with Mr. Noodle and his brother, as well as two trios of pig siblings.  One trio is the three little pigs, while the other trio is a group of singing swine.  It does not add a lot to the central lesson in the overall episode, but is still a nice accent to the episode’s overall presentation.  When it is coupled with the episode’s central message of siblings and family love that conquers all, it makes the overall episode a welcome addition to the DVD.  When the bonus episode is joined with the DVD’s primary content and its companion secondary content, the end result is a presentation, that will appeal to the whole family.

Sesame Workshop’s new Sesame Street DVD, Celebrate Family is a presentation that will appeal to the whole family.  That is thanks in part to the DVD’s primary content, which presents the different kinds of families that exist and their members.  The segments’ companion content, which teaches its own invaluable lessons, adds even more appeal to the presentation.  The bonus content that comes with the DVD continues the DVD’s family theme while also reminding young viewers that while siblings might argue sometimes, they are still family and can always find common ground.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of Sesame Street: Celebrate Family.  All things considered, they make the DVD another offering from Sesame Workshop that the whole family will celebrate.  More information on this and other titles from Sesame Workshop is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.sesameworkshop.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

 

 

 

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‘I Am Not A Witch’ Is A Powerful Debut For Writer/Director Rungano Nyoni

Courtesy: Film Movement

Gender equality and the lack thereof is a pressing issue around the world today.  From the issue of unequal pay between men and women in the United States to the issue of female subjugation overall in the Middle East and Africa, gender equality is a very significant top of discussion.  That is not to say that it is being ignored, as clearly advances have been and are being made in bridging the gender gap around the world.  However, there is still work to be done.  Independent movie company Film Movement did its own part in addressing the matter early this year with the domestic release of the Zambian import I Am Not A Witch.  Writer/Director Runganoo Nyoni’s debut work, it is a powerful allegory about the gender gap that will keep viewers fully engaged from beginning to end.  That story is just one part of what makes this movie stand out among this year’s crop of imports.  The work of the movie’s cast plays into its presentation, too and will be addressed a little bit later.  The bonus content included with the movie also plays into its presentation, and will be addressed a little bit later, too.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of I Am Not A Witch.  All things considered, it can be said with ease that it is among the year’s best new independent movies.

Film Movement’s recently imported Zambian movie I Am Not A Witch is a powerful new allegory about gender equality and the lack thereof.  Given, it is hardly the first story to ever focus on the topic, but its approach to the subject through its story makes it stand out among that mass of movies.  The story follows Shula (Maggie Mulubwa) as she is accused of witchcraft and sent to live in a community with other women who have been accused of witchcraft.  No solid proof is ever given of Shula being a witch, but she never fights the charge.  This is part of what makes the story so gripping, believe it or no.  It will be discussed more as the cast’s on-camera work is addressed.  After the other women in the community save Shula from having to work in the fields, she ends up being exploited by them and by the corrupt government official, Mr. Banda (Henry B.J. Phiri).  This dual exploitation by Banda and her fellow community members, coupled with her continued exile with the other “witches” is certain to generate plenty of discussion among audiences.  Forcing the women to live their lives tethered to giant spools of ribbon so that they cannot go but so far adds even more to that discussion.  It is a physical metaphor to that glass ceiling, which so many societies keep women from breaking through.  Not to give away too much, but the story does not have a happy ending.  Rather, the ending is quite bittersweet to say the absolute least.  It is an ending that will stick in viewers’ minds long after the movie ends as it puts a very powerful period on the statement about the impact of socially created gender inequality.  The story overall will easily lead audiences to make comparisons to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.  However, audiences will learn through the movie’s bonus content that those trials were not the inspiration for the movie.  Rather, Nyoni confirms in the noted content that her real-life experience, meeting Ghanaian women accused of witchcraft served as the inspiration for the story.  That and other revelations made in the bonus content will be discussed a little later.  Getting back on the subject at hand, Nyoni’s approach to the story’s core subject makes it even more engaging.  It would have been so easy for her to allow the story to become another run-of-the-mill preachy finger-pointer.  She did not go that route, though.  Rather, she opted to take a route that made the story engaging yet simple enough in its approach that it ensures audiences get the story’s message.  In other words, the story does everything right.  It is just one part of what makes I Am Not A Witch stand out.  The work of the movie’s cast plays into the movie’s presentation, too.

The work of the movie’s main cast – Mulubwa and Phiri – is important to note in that neither actor is a professional.  The juxtaposition of Banda’s vile persona to that of Shula’s innocence is expertly displayed by Phiri and Mulubwa.  For being “non-professional,” each actor’s work is quite impressive.  Mulubwa’s handling of Shula as she endures her constant mistreatment makes Shula the very epitome of a sympathetic character.  Shula’s stoicism as she is dragged from her class mates and as she is initially accused of being a witch are just a couple of examples of Mulubwa’s acting ability.  It makes viewers root for her so much.  The contradiction of those moments with Shula’s happier moments – spending time with her class mates on her first day of school and her personal time with Mr. Banda’s wife – makes her even more endearing.  It shows that Shula is human and has emotions, yet is being forced to hold in her emotions because she knows that those controlling her don’t care about her emotions.  She knows that she is being suppressed.  This in itself is an illustration of what so many women endure every day around the world.

Phiri’s take on Mr. Banda is notable because he does such an impressive job of making Mr. Banda a despicable figure.  From that first interaction when Banda is telling Shula that he and Shula will work together to the later moment when he threatens to send her back to work with the other “witches,” Banda proves to be a figure that audiences will love to hate.  Phiri’s body language and his facial reactions as he tells Shula about working together creates a comparison to so many dopey TV bad guys, such as Boss Hogg (Dukes of Hazard), Col. Klink (Hogan’s Heroes) and Dean Wormer (Animal House).  That’s thanks to Banda’s dopey presence in this moment.  By contrast, his fury following the failed interaction between Shula and the government official shows a completely different person.  He yells at his wife much in the same way that he did Shula later on when she refused to unlock the van for him.  Banda’s wife worked to try and get Shula to react.  She was presenting a sort of motherly presence, and made her just as sympathetic as Shula.  That contrast to Banda’s fiery overreaction adds even more to viewers’ dislike of Banda.  It illustrates even more, that Banda is doing everything that he is doing just for himself.  That is revealed even more as he takes Shula on TV and is accused of mistreating her by one of the show’s callers.  Between these noted moments and plenty of others, the whole of Phiri’s performance proves just as entertaining as that of Mulubwa.  When their collective performances are coupled with the engagement ensured by the movie’s story, the movie’s presentation, gives viewers plenty to appreciate.  They are not the only important elements to examine, of course.  The movie’s bonus content is worth noting, too.

The bonus content featured in Film Movement’s DVD release of I Am Not A Witch includes a brief interview with Nyoni as well as extra background information on the movie printed inside the DVD’s case and a short film, titled Mwansa The Great.  The short film is interesting in its own right, but has nothing to add in terms of the primary content that is I Am Not A Witch.  The interview with Nyoni, which runs roughly three minutes, is brief.  However, audiences do gain some appreciation for the movie after hearing what she had to say about the movie.  Nyoni notes during her comments, that she did quite a bit of research on witches prior to writing her story, and even spent time visiting witch camps. In addition, she talks about her frustration of how the women accused of witchcraft are exploited in those real life camps.  She also confirms that she intentionally wrote the story in a fashion that would make it accessible for any viewer.  There is also an interesting revelation about the change in the movie’s backdrop and Shula’s own development as a character.  This is one of the most important of Nyoni’s statements, as most audiences (this critic included) will not catch that connection in their initial watch.  That being the case, it creates a certain “aha” moment for viewers, and in turn, will create even more appreciation for the movie in viewers’ minds.

Nyoni’s brief, yet insightful interview is just part of what makes the movie’s bonus content notable.  The background information provided in the movie’s packaging generates even more appreciation for the movie.  It includes comments from Nyoni not included in the bonus interview, such as the revelation that Zambia, in reality, is in fact a very egalitarian society, and that the inspiration for this story came from visits to witch camps in Ghana.  Film Movement’s statement as to why the company added this movie to its collection of offerings notes what makes the story stand out – its reflection of what women around the world endure in terms of their mistreatment by society.  Between this background, the background offered by Nyoni in the movie’s “liner notes” and her comments in the bonus interview, the bonus content provided with I Am Not A Witch proves to be its own important part of the movie’s presentation.  When it is considered along with the work of the movie’s lead actors and the story itself, the three elements together make I Am Not A Witch a movie that anyone is a welcome alternative to Hollywood’s unending barrage of prequels, sequels, reboots and stories based on actual events.  It is a very bittersweet human drama, but one that is memorable because of that nature.

Film Movement’s recently imported human drama I Am Not A Witch is a powerful presentation that holds its own easily against Hollywood’s unending barrage of prequels, sequels, reboots and stories that are based on actual events.  That is proven in part through a story that makes a key statement without preaching about its central topic.  The work of the movie’s lead actors does just as much to keep viewers engaged.  The bonus content featured with the movie generates its own share of interest in the movie.  Each item is important in its own right to the whole of I Am Not A Witch.  All things considered, the movie proves to be one of this year’s top new indie imports.  More information on this and other titles from Film Movement is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.filmmovement.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Film_Movement

 

 

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Shout! Factory Taking Audiences Back To The 90s With ‘MMPR: The Movie’ Re-Issue

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is resurrecting Mighty Morphin’ Power RangersThe Movie.

The company announced in a news release sent Friday, that the movie will be re-issued June 4 on Blu-ray.  It marks the first time that the movie he been released on Blu-ray.

The first of the Power Rangers big screen  flicks, this movie’s story sees is a standalone work that finds everyone’s favorite teenagers with attitude facing off against the deadly Ivan Ooze.Ozze strips the Rangers of their power, forcing them to go in search of the secrets of the ancient Ninjetti on a distant planet.  Once they find the secret and master their new skills, the Rangers return to earth with their Ninjazord to face off against Ooze in one final climactic battle to save the world from his evil.

Shout! Factory’s upcoming Blu-ray re-issue of Mighty Morphin’ Power RangersThe Movie will feature new interviews with director Bryan Spicer and cast members Johnny Yong Bosch and Paul Freeman, in the featurette,”The Mighty Leap to the Silver Screen.”  Also included is the movie’s original trailer and featurette.

Pre-orders for Mighty Morphin’ Power RangersThe Movie are open now.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment 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.

Classic Creature Feature Gets Great Re-Issue Thanks To Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Scream Factory/Universal International

Shout! Factory and its horror arm, Scream Factory are taking sci-fi fans back in time again next month with the release of yet another one of Universal Pictures’ timeless creature features.

The Deadly Mantis is scheduled for release on March 19 on Blu-ray.  The classic low-budget b-flick was lambasted by critics following its theatrical debut on May 26, 1957.  The criticisms focused on items, such as its overt use of stock footage and re-use of sets.  While it hardly received a warm welcome in its debut, The Deadly Mantis has since gone on to become a cult favorite among sci-fi fans and movie buffs alike, but has been difficult to find on DVD and Blu-ray.  That is until now.  This new re-issue of The Deadly Mantis is another welcome addition to the library of any of the noted audiences.  That is proven in part through the movie’s story.  Its bonus content adds even more interest and appeal to its presentation as its story.  The Blu-ray’s average price point rounds out the most important of its elements.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the movie.  All things considered, they make The Deadly Mantis’ new Blu-ray re-issue another welcome watch for sci-fi fans and movie buffs alike.

The upcoming Blu-ray re-issue of Universal International Pictures’ 1957 creature feature The Deadly Mantis is a presentation that will appeal to cinephiles across the board.  That is proven in part through its story.  The story focuses on the introduction of a giant prehistoric praying mantis into the 20th century world and mankind’s efforts to stop the creature before it has any chance to reproduce.  The story was hardly the only one of its kind at the time, having been preceded by Them! in 1954, Tarantula in 1955, and Attack of the Crab Monsters only three months prior to the debut of The Deadly Mantis.  The latter of that trio – one of famed director Roger Corman’s creations – was an Allied Pictures presentation, unlike the other two mentioned here.  This is important to note as it was just one part of what was a much bigger cinematic trend at that point in time.  Considering the bigger trend being presented, what makes this movie stand out is that it did not center on giant mutant creatures that came to be as a result of the military’s nuclear testing.  Rather, the mantis simply existed millions of years ago, and was freed from its cryogenic slumber (of sorts) as the overarching result of a volcanic eruption thousands of miles away in the Earth’s southern hemisphere.  Film historian Tom Weaver addresses this scientific approach during his bonus commentary.  This will be discussed a little later on.  Getting back on the subject at hand, the story at the center of The Deadly Mantis might have seemed silly at the time, but considering the scientific advancements and discoveries that have been made in the current age, it makes the story more believable.  That ability of audiences to suspend their disbelief (even today) due to the story’s setup, ensures even more, viewers’ maintained engagement and entertainment.  Now given, missiles and fire being unable to bring down the giant beast seems a bit of a stretch, considering it is just a giant praying mantis.  That thing must have had an exoskeleton made of titanium, especially considering what ultimately ended its reign of terror.  That aside, the reality that giant beasts did in fact exist at one time in reality, and that scientists even today are in fact, trying to clone other giant beasts (E.g. wooly mammoths and saber-tooth tigers) makes this story that much more believable, and in turn enjoyable.  The ability of audiences to suspend their disbelief with this movie’s story is just one part of what makes the movie such a joy for sci-fi fans and movie buffs alike.  The movie’s bonus content adds even more enjoyment to the movie’s presentation.

The bonus content featured in this movie includes the previously noted feature-length audio commentary from film historian Tom Weaver and fellow film historian David Schecter, and the full-length episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 that featured The Deadly Mantis.  Unlike The Mole People, which was re-issued by Shout! Factory/Scream Factory last month, this movie’s re-issue is lacking a bonus “making of” featurette.  The lack of that featurette is disheartening, but not enough to ruin the movie’s presentation.

The feature-length commentary from Weaver and Schecter reveals quite a bit of interesting information.  Viewers learn from the commentary, that principal photography — the main part of a movie’s production involving capturing scenes in which the cast is on camera – took only 13 days, and that the use of stock footage in the movie played a direct role in the movie.  Weaver reveals that approximately 14 minutes (or 1/5) of the movie was composed of stock footage.  Considering that the movie’s run time is listed as just 79 minutes, that 14 minutes is actually a large portion of the movie.  Additionally, viewers learn through the duo’s commentary, that the movie’s original opening scene was actually different from what is in the final cut.  Weaver notes that the final cut was presented, as the movie’s director – Nathan Juran – wanted to ensure the story was believable, right from the opening sequence.  The end  result was that the frozen mantis was freed as the result of a volcanic eruption thousands of miles away.  This is actually believable, considering what we know today about the effects of volcanic eruptions.  Now, could the weather patterns that might have resulted from said eruption been enough to thaw out the mantis?  That is debatable, even today.  However, knowing mankind’s impact on climate change, it actually does not seem overly unbelievable.  Keeping this in mind, the right move was taken to change the opening.  As if all of this is not enough for fans, audiences also learn the identity of the film used for part of the stock footage – S.O.S. Iceberg (1933) – through Weaver’s scripted commentary.  It is revealed that the Eskimos in the noted scenes were reacting to a seaplane circling their community in Greenland, not to a giant praying mantis.

Schecter’s portion of the movie’s commentary will appeal just as much to music lovers as it will to movie lovers.  Schecter notes in his portion of the movie’s commentary, that legendary composer/conductor Henry Mancini played a specific part in the movie’s soundtrack.  The full depth of his involvement in the soundtrack will be left for audiences to learn on their own.  He was just one of the famed musical figures who were connected to the movie, according to Schecter.  Fellow composer Irving Gertz also had a tie to the movie’s soundtrack, as Schecter notes.  He makes note that the soundtrack to The Deadly Mantis and The Monolith Monsters were indirectly connected to each other.  Again, the full discussion will be left for viewers to take in on their own time.

The items listed here are just a portion of what Weaver and Schecter discuss throughout the course of The Deadly Mantis.  Far more is discussed, such as ties that certain members of the crew had to the now infamous “Red Scare” and the various ties that the cast had to other movies of the age. While Schecter’s (and Weaver’s) commentary are quite insightful, the one negative to their insight is that each man’s commentary is once again scripted.  This is made clear through their delivery.  Each man is obviously watching the movie as he shares his insight.  The problem is that each man is watching the movie only for timing purposes with his commentary.  This detracts from the commentary at least a little bit. It is not enough to make the commentary unenjoyable, but cannot be ignored.

Speaking of things that detract from the experience, the movie lacks a “making of” featurette this time out.  It doesn’t ruin the viewing experience, but it would have been nice to see what could have been told through such a feature that maybe was not addressed in the bonus commentary.  In defense of Shout! Factory/Scream Factory, there had to have been a good reason for omitting it this time out.  Luckily, the commentary from Weaver and Schecter does provide enough insight and entertainment to make up for that omission.

While The Deadly Mantis lacked a “making of” featurette, one thing that was thankfully included was the full episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 that focused on the classic creature feature.  Shout! Factory/Scream Factory did the same with its recent re-issue of The Mole People, and once again, it is a welcome addition to the movie’s presentation.  This time out, Mike and his robot pals are trying to escape Pearl Forrester once again, and luckily escape her after her ape friends inadvertently activate a thermonuclear device that destroys Earth.  Of course Pearl and company managed to escape the blast.  How they escape and what happens from there will be left for audiences to discover on their own.  In the meantime, plenty of riffing happens as the crew of the Satellite of Love take in The Deadly Mantis.  Early on there is a joke about Minnesota (the state in which the show was based), that audiences will enjoy.  As the movie progresses, there is a joke about one of the unidentified cast members because of a certain shot.  “Shot in bald spot vision,” one of the robots cracks.  There are also pop culture references about Wheaties and Vicks Vapo rub later in the movie, along with a joke about the famed comic opera, the H.M.S. Pinafore and so much more.  Between the constant riffing and the live segments, the laughs that result from this episode of MST3K prove to be nonstop.  When that entertainment is coupled with the insight offered through the movie’s bonus commentaries, the end result is content that truly is a bonus in every sense of the word.  When it is collectively considered along with the story, which itself guarantees just as much engagement and entertainment, the movie proves that much more welcome in any cinephile’s home library.  Keeping all of this in mind, the breadth and depth of the movie’s primary and secondary content makes the movie’s average price point money that is well-spent.

The average price point for Shout! Factory/Scream Factory’s upcoming re-issue of The Deadly Mantis, using price listings at Shout! Factory’s store and those of Amazon and Books-a-Million, is $25.39.  The movie is not listed at Target, Best Buy, Walmart and Barnes & Noble Booksellers at the time of this review’s posting.  Research shows that Shout! Factory’s price of $22.99 is the least expensive of the three listings, and is will below that average price point.  Books-A-Million’s listing of $27.99 is the most expensive, while Amazon’s list price of $25.19 is barely below that average.  In other words, at the time of this review’s post, Shout! Factory’s price for the re-issue is the most affordable.  It is money that sci-fi purists and movie buffs alike will agree, is well-spent.  That is because of the already noted content overall.  Add in that right now, the only outlets that audiences have for such a movie are occasionally on Turner Classic Movies and Me-TV’s hit show Svengoolie (both of which are themselves wonderful outlets), it makes that money even more well-spent, as it will allow audiences to watch this timeless classic any time that they want.  Keeping all of this in mind, it can easily be said that the upcoming Blu-ray re-issue of The Deadly Mantis is one more of this year’s top new DVD/BD re-issues.

Shout! Factory/Scream Factory’s upcoming Blu-ray re-issue of The Deadly Mantis is one of this year’s top new DVD/BD re-issues.  That is proven in part through the movie’s story (its primary content), which is actually quite believable considering what science has discovered to this day, and through its bonus content (its secondary content).  The insight and entertainment offered through the bonus content is just as certain to keep audiences engaged and entertained as the story.  Add in an average price point that once again won’t break viewers’ banks, and the movie proves a completely welcome addition to any cinephile’s movie library.  It will be available March 19.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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