Kate & Mim Mim Make Their American DVD Debut Next Month

Courtesy:  Public Media Distribution/Disney Junior

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution/Disney Junior

Kate & Mim Mim is coming to DVD for the first time ever next month.

Public Media Distribution will release Kate & Mim Mim: Flight of The Flowers on Tuesday, March 1st. The DVD is the series’ first collection to be released on DVD for American audiences. It will feature six episodes from the series which currently airs on Disney Junior. In the collection’s lead episode Kate learns about not giving up when she and Mim Mim travel to Mimiloo for Lily’s surprise Spring Thing Party. As part of the party Kate and her friends have to learn how to fly giant wind flowers. But Mim Mim has never flown one. So it’s up to Kate to help Mim Mim get up his confidence and try. This helps Kate realize that despite falling down time and again on her bike, she can’t give up now that she has taken off her training wheels. Audiences can check out a clip of the episode online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s63uWvGamnY. It’s just one of the fun stories that will entertain young audiences. “Small Wonders” teaches those young viewers that even little people such as themselves can do big things. And “Butterfly Flowers” teaches an important lesson about independence and balancing said independence with acceptance of help. It’s a deep lesson. But it is presented in a fashion that is easily accessible for young viewers. The complete episode listing for Kate & Mim Mim: Flight of the Flowers is noted below.

 

Kate & Mim Mim: Flight of The Flowers Episode Listing

  • Flight of The Flowers
  • The Need For Seed
  • Butterfly Flowers
  • Small Wonders
  • Babysitting Squoosh
  • Bunch O’Boomers

 

Kate & Mim Mim: Flight of The Flowers will be available in stores and online on Tuesday, March 1st. It will retail for MSRP of $12.99. It can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=88167676&cp=&kw=kate++mim+mim&origkw=Kate+%26amp%3B+Mim+Mim&sr=1. More information on Kate & Mim Mim is available online now along with games, news, and more at:

Website: http://www.kateandmimmim.com

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

 

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Shout! Factory Kids’ Latest Rescue Bots DVD Is Another Welcome Collection Of Episodes

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids

Later this month Shout! Factory Kids and Hasbro Studios will release the latest collection of episodes from Discovery Family’s hit animated series Transformers Rescue Bots. The DVD, Transformers Rescue Bots: Adventures in Time and Space is the series’ ninth collection of episodes to be released. And being that a fourth season of the hit series is on the way it obviously is not the last. Would it be nice to see the series’ current three seasons in their own standalone sets? The answer is yes. It has been overseas but not here stateside. Maybe that will eventually happen for American audiences. But in the meantime this latest collection of episodes is still a good addition to the personal DVD library of any of the series’ fans. The main reason for that is the collection’s featured episodes. The writing presented within each of the featured episodes is just as important to note as the episodes themselves. That is because it reaches audiences of all ages in a number of ways that will be discussed later. Rounding out this collection’s overall presentation is once again the work of the series’ voice cast. The cast’s work is impressive yet again. Though, something intriguing happens in one of the episodes that must be noted here. Even with that notable instance, the cast’s work remains just as enjoyable as in episodes featured in the series’ previous DVD collections. Together with the episodes themselves and the writing therein all three elements collectively make Transformers Rescue Bots: Adventures in Time and Space one more collection that any of this series’ fans should have in their own home DVD libraries.

Transformers Rescue Bots: Adventures in Time and Space, the ninth collection of episodes from Discovery Family’s hit animated series Transformers Rescue Bots, is yet another welcome addition in the home of any of the series’ fans. The main reason for this is its featured episodes. By and large the episodes featured on this disc were lifted from the series’ third season with one episode—”It’s A Bot Time”—coming from the series’ first season. This is important to note because that episode completes Shout! Factory Kids’ presentation of the series’ first season. The remainder of Season One was spread out across the course of six of the series’ previous eight single-disc compilations. The rest of the episodes featured here all come from Season Three. They are not the only season’s episodes to be presented so far either. Five of Season Three’s twenty-eight total episodes were already presented in the series’ 2015 collection Transformers Rescue Bots: Dino Bots. Keeping this in mind and that of Season Two’s twenty-four episodes only ten have been presented so far, it means that Transformers Rescue Bots: Adventures in Time and Space is hardly the series’ last collection of episodes. That is especially with the announcement last year that the series had been re-upped for a fourth season, which apparently has yet to debut at the time of this review. Staying on that note it would be nice to have all of Season One presented in a single collection for American audiences instead of so many separate single-disc collections. And with any luck Shout! Factory Kids will do just that sooner rather than later. But in the meantime fans of the show will appreciate having said collections and yet another part of the series added into their personal DVD libraries with this latest collection. To that extent even though it is yet another single-disc collection of episodes it is still another important piece for any of the show’s fans until such time arrives.

The episodes featured in Shout! Factory Kids and Hasbro Studios’ latest Transformers Rescue Bots DVD are in themselves an important part of the collection’s overall presentation. That is because coupled with the Season Three episodes presented in the 2015 collection Transformers Rescue Bots: Dino Bots they take another proverbial bite out of the series’ third season. Together with the noted collection, nine of Season Three’s twenty-eight total episodes have now been presented on DVD. Fans of the show would likely welcome a standalone, full-season set just as much as this latest collection if not more. So that in mind this collection’s episodes prove to be just as important to the disc’s presentation as anything else in the meantime. As important as the episodes are to the collection’s overall presentation the writing presented within the episodes is just as important as the episodes. This includes both the episodes’ storylines and the smaller elements incorporated into the whole of the stories. “It’s A Bot Time” is the first half of a two-part story arc that closes out Season One. “Bot To The Future” was previously released in a previous TRB (as it will henceforth be known) collection. This portion presents the setup for the story, explaining how Cody and the Rescue Bots ended up in the past and why they had to go back in the first place. Go figure the whole thing was the result of Doc Green’s overly curious mind, not to reveal too much. “Unfinished Business” sees Boulder and Blades head back out into space in order to complete a mission involving an “energy vampire.” Their discovery upon returning to the site of their last encounter with the beast results in quite the outcome. That outcome won’t be revealed here. But it does ultimately leave viewers laughing at least a little bit believe it or not. There’s even a classic body/brain switching storyline in “Switcheroo” that sees the Rescue Bots trading places with their human counterparts after a trip into outer space. It’s an all-too-familiar story line that has been used in countless other sci-fi series animated and otherwise. But even with that familiarity in mind, the writers still manage to keep the story fresh and entertaining here. And even in the Groundhog Day style story “Time After Time” the writers managed to keep that familiar story line fresh in its own right. “The Last Of Morocco” is perhaps the most interesting of the episodes presented in this collection. That is because considering the evil Doctor’s deeds his final fate is not exactly what audiences would expect. It’s one more way in which the stories crafted by the show’s writers show the importance of its writing in regards to the episodes themselves. The writing behind the episodes’ stories is just one important way in which the series’ writing shows its importance in these episodes. The writing within the episodes is just as important as the stories that were crafted for each episode.

The stories that were developed for each of the episodes featured in Transformers Rescue Bots: Adventures in Time and Space show in their own way the importance of the writing in the episodes. While they are important in their own right in exhibiting the importance of the series’ writing, the writing within the stories themselves proves to be just as important as the episodes’ stories. That is evident in “Switcheroo.” When the Rescue Bots and the Burns Family head up into space the first time, the writers pay direct tribute to Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey as Johann Strauss II’s ‘The Beautiful Blue Danube’ plays in the background. The same song is used in one of the movie’s opening scenes as a space station floats in space. In “The Last Of Morocco” the writers don’t just use Jules Verne as a figure for the story. They actually accent his foresight of technology and his desire to use technology for the greater good. What’s more those responsible for the show’s animation even went so far as to use pictures of Verne for the character in the episode in question. That the writers and designers would collaborate and make that happen in this episode shows a great eye for detail. On a completely different note, “Unfinished Business” presents some interesting writing as it opens with a flashback sequence. The catch is that the writers don’t come out and make clear that the opening sequence is in fact a flashback. Audiences are in fact led to believe that they are watching the series’ real first episode. Of course it isn’t. And that ultimate reveal in itself makes for its own share of enjoyment for viewers. The story that follows is just as entertaining with Boulder and Blades hunting down the Energon vampire from the story that they told Cody. The duo’s showdown with the beast and victory both show some great writing, too. That is because the showdown shows Boulder and Blades having to get innovative in order to defeat the beast since it is just the two of them. The outcome presents a setup that all of the anglers out there will appreciate. It’s one more example of what makes the writing within the episodes so important to the DVD’s overall presentation. Each of the noted examples are in their own right important in showing what makes the episodes’ writing so important. The other episodes not directly analyzed here each have their own examples of what makes their writing just as important. Together with the directly noted episodes, the writing within each of this disc’s episodes show clearly and collectively why their writing is so important in the episodes’ presentation. Keeping this in mind, the disc’s featured episodes and their writing show only in part why Shout! Factory Kids and Hasbro Studios’ new Transformers Rescue Bots DVD is a great addition to the personal DVD library of any of the series’ fans. The work of the series’ cast is just as important to these episodes as the writing within.

The episodes presented in Transformers Rescue Bots: Adventures in Time and Space and their writing are both equally important in their own right to the DVD’s overall presentation. As important as they are to the whole of the DVD, they are not the DVD’s only notable elements. The work of the series’ voice cast is just as important as the other noted elements. For the most part the voice cast’s work is just as impressive throughout these episodes as in the episodes presented in the series’ previous DVDs. There are a couple of interesting notes that have to be made, though. At first in “Switcheroo” the cast avoids the typical trapping of switching voices when their characters switch bodies. However as the episode progresses that seems to wear off as some of the cast ends up falling into that trap and others not. Even with that happening it doesn’t necessarily detract from the episode. But it does leave one raising one’s eyebrow at times. There is another episode in which Cody’s voice seems to be lower than in previous episodes. This could be attributed to voice actor Elan Garfias either being sick or getting older. Though in other episodes Garfias’ voice sounds completely normal. So it leaves one wondering needless to say. Regardless, Garfias’ performance in said episode is still solid from beginning to end. LeVar Burton is just as entertaining in each episode especially as Doc Green takes more of a direct role in each episode. At times he is so spot on in his role that audiences won’t be able but to laugh at Doc Green in his enthusiasm for what he does. That joy and the entertainment brought from the rest of the cast’s work in these episodes combines to show that the cast’s talent has not dwindled in the least even with the noted anomalies. And together with the displayed work of the series’ writers and those that chose the DVD’s episodes, all three elements come together to make this DVD in whole one more welcome addition to the show’s current series of DVDs. And until or unless the series begins to see its seasons in their own standalone season sets it will be just as welcome in the home DVD library of any of the show’s fans.

Transformers Rescue Bots: Adventures in Time and Space is hardly the first collection of episodes to be released from Discovery Family’s hit animated series. And by the looks of things it definitely won’t be the last. From its featured episodes, which feature another chunk of the series’ third season, to the writing incorporated into each episode to the work of the show’s voice cast there is plenty to appreciate about this DVD. Even if the series never receives the full, standalone season sets that it deserves, the elements that went into making this DVD become reality make it a collection that any of the show’s fans will want to add to their home DVD libraries. It will be available in stores and online Tuesday, February 23rd in stores and online and can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/transformers-rescue-bots-adventures-in-time-and-space. 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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PBS Unveils Animals’ Many Tricks In New Episode Of Nature

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Camouflage, ink jets, and body colors are just a few of the methods that animals use in their daily lives in order to escape predators. There are far more than just those few methods, too. And in Nature: Natural Born Hustlers–the latest episode of PBS’ hit wildlife series to hit DVD–audiences will learn about those and a number of other defense mechanisms that animals use in order to survive on a daily basis.

PBS and PBS Distribution will release Nature: Natural Born Hustlers on Tuesday, March 8th. The three-hour program sees animals use their adaptations for evading predators, tracking prey, and even for procreation. Each purpose for which animals use their adaptations is presented in its own three-hour-long segment separate from the others. The first of those segments, “Staying Alive” follows various animals as they use their adaptations in order to evade predators. “The Hunger Hustle” is the program’s second segment. It presents the various ways in which different types of animals use their adaptations to hunt prey. And in the third and final segment, “Sex, Lies & Dirty Tricks,” audiences see how animals use their adaptations in order to secure the survival of their kind. Viewers can check out a trailer for this three-part episode of Nature online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBI2M6l4z3E.

Nature: Natural Born Hustlers will be available on Tuesday, March 8th. It will be available exclusively on DVD and will retail for MSRP of $24.99. It can be pre-ordered online now at a reduced price of $19.99 via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=85258466&cp=&kw=nature+natural+born+hustlers&origkw=Nature+Natural+Born+Hustlers&sr=1. More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature

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

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Time Life’s Latest Hee Haw Collection Is Small But Packs Lots Of Laughs

Courtesy:  Time Life Entertainment/StarVista Entertainment

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment/StarVista Entertainment

CBS’ classic variety series Hee Haw is one of the most surprising series in television’s modern history.  That is because of the length of its run.  It initially ran for two years on CBS from 1969 to 1971 before the network dropped the show, which was originally a replacement for another variety show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.  Even after begin cut from CBS’ ranks as part of its “rural purge” the show still managed to stay on the air in a variety of fashions until 1993.  Even after it finally ended its run on television, it still has not stayed dead thanks to Time Life Entertainment.  When the networks relinquished the reins on the show Time Life picked them up and has kept the show alive for yet another generation thanks to its DVD box sets featuring the show’s episodes.  Time Life has been churning out those box sets for a number of years.  And next Tuesday it will release yet another collection of episodes in the form of The Hee Haw Collection: Kornfield Klassics.  The core element of this collection is its episodes.  Unlike so many Hee Haw collections before it, this collection features only enough episodes to fill a single disc.  More specifically it features just two episodes.  But they are still enjoyable in their own right.  That brings up the disc’s second most important element, the content of said episodes.  There’s plenty of country and bluegrass for fans of those genres.  There are also plenty of laughs to be had in the skits that serve as the episodes’ main body.  Last but not least of note in this latest collection of sorts is its collective production values and companion booklet.  These pieces of the disc’s presentation round out its most notable elements.  They play their own important part in the whole of Time Life Entertainment’s new Hee Haw presentation.  Together with the episodes and their overall content all three elements make The Hee Haw Collection: Kornfield Klassics a “collection” that any of the show’s fans should have in his or her own home DVD library.

Time Life Entertainment’s latest “collection” of classic Hee Haw episodes is one more that any of the show’s fans should have in his or her own home DVD library.  This is even with the single disc presentation boasting only two episodes.  Even with just two episodes, the episodes in question are still reason enough in itself for fans of the classic variety show to own this disc.  The episodes in question are both true classics.  They are both lifted from the series’ second season and feature plenty of great music and comedy.  Considering that the show was originally pulled from CBS’ lineup after its second season, this latest pairing becomes all the more important for fans.  It is a document of sorts of the show in its infancy; one that is quite rare nowadays.  That is even with so many other Hee Haw sets having been released over the past decade or so.  Of course the two episodes featured in this latest release are collectively just one important element in its overall presentation.  The actual content presented in each of the episodes is just as important as the episodes themselves.

The episodes that are featured in Time Life Entertainment’s new Hee Haw collection are in themselves an important part of its overall presentation.    They are only one important and notable element of its presentation.  The actual content within the featured episodes is just as important to the presentation of this disc as the episodes themselves.  What audiences get in these episodes is another sampling of what made (and continues to make) Hee Haw such an undervalued series.  Audiences get the classic doctor skit featuring the doc telling his patients not to do what hurts them, the fan favorite front porch skits with grandpa laying out telling jokes with Roy, and so many laugh riot outtakes that audiences themselves will be laughing tears of joy as they hold their sides on the floor.  This is just a miniscule example of what makes the episodes’ content so important to this release’s presentation.  There are also great performances from the likes of Roger Miller, Loretta Lynn, Peggy Little and lots more across both episodes.  Between the episodes’ great tunes, the laugh-a-minute skits and equally riotous outtakes included in the episodes, the whole of their presentation makes up for the fact that there are only two episodes featured in this collection.  Both episodes will keep audiences that well entertained. Keeping that in mind, both the episodes featured in this new Hee Haw presentation and their content prove hugely important to its overall presentation. They are not the disc’s only notable elements either. The episodes’ collective production values and the disc’s companion booklet are the last but hardly least important elements. The episodes’ production values—their audio and video mix—is so important to their presentation in that if there was any re-mastering done within these episodes it is nearly unnoticeable. That being the case, the look and sound of the episodes creates a wonderful, welcome sense of nostalgia for those that grew up watching this timeless series. And for those that are part of the new generation, the “rough” look of the show versus the spit-shined look and sound of today’s TV shows serve as a reminder of the life and soul of TV back in that era. The sound wasn’t rough per se. but at the same time, it’s clear that it didn’t have that “modern” sound either. Together with the original footage both elements together give a viewing experience that is in itself more than enough reason to see both episodes. On a related note, the companion booklet that comes with The Hee Haw Collection: Kornfield Klassics is just as important to its presentation as its collective production values. While there’s no specifics about the episodes’ air dates, audiences do at least get a guide in regards to the episodes’ makeup. More specifically it focuses on the musical performances contained within each episode. Audiences can choose between those performances when they choose the “index” option in the DVD’s main menu. Between the two elements, viewers can pick out from either show with ease which performance(s) they want to see. It would have been nice to choose the skits, too. But in Time Life’s defense, the skits move so fast that separating them out would not have made any real sense in hindsight. To that extent, the companion booklet included with this disc still plays its own important part in the overall presentation of the DVD. Together with the welcome, wonderful nostalgic feel that the footage brings in its production values, the two elements together give one more reason that audiences will want to experience these classic Hee Haw episodes. The same can be said just as easily when setting those elements against the DVD’s episodes and their nonstop, laugh-inciting content. All things considered The Hee Haw Collection: Kornfield Klassics is one more presentation that any Hee Haw fan will want to add to his or her own DVD library.

Time Life Entertainment’s latest Hee Haw presentation is yet another piece that any fan of the classic variety series should have in his or her own DVD library. This is evident through the classic episodes featured on the disc and their hilarious content. The wonderful and welcome feeling of nostalgia that is created in audiences in watching these episodes through their production values adds even more enjoyment to the disc’s viewing experience. The companion booklet that is included with the DVD even plays its own important role, making the process of choosing one classic performance or another all the easier for audiences. Each element plays its own important part in the whole of the DVD. Altogether they make The Hee Haw Collection: Kornfield Classics another must have for anyone that grew up with the classic variety series just as much as for the show’s new generation of audiences. It will be available next Tuesday, February 9th and can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Hee-Haw-Kornfield-Klassics-DVD/dp/B018DSA8ZW/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1454689274&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=The+Hee+haw+Collection+Kornfield+Klassics. More information on this and other titles from Time Life Entertainment is available online now at:

 

Website: http://timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

 

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PBS To Release New Ken Burns Documentary This Spring

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

This spring PBS and PBS Distribution will release a brand new documentary from acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns.

PBS and PBS Distribution will release Ken Burns’ new documentary Jackie Robinson this spring. The four-hour documentary will be released on April 15th. The timing of the double-disc set, which will be presented both on DVD and Blu-ray, is wholly intentional as it will coincide with Jackie Robinson Day. It follows the life and career of the famed baseball star and the impact that he had both on the diamond and off. That impact is highlighted through discussions from the likes of famed newsman Tom Brokaw, singers Carly Simon and Harry Belafonte, and even President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama among others.

Jackie Robinson is not the first time that Burns has delved in to the baseball world having helmed his documentary Baseball in 1994. In discussing the film Burns explained that the film came from a desire to focus more closely on Robinson after having helmed that docu-series. “Jackie Robinson is the most important figure in our nation’s most important game,” he said. “He gave us our first lasting progress in civil rights since the Civil War and, ever since I finished my BASEBALL series in 1994, I’ve been eager to make a stand-alone film about the life of this courageous American. There was so much more to say not only about Robinson’s barrier-breaking moment in 1947, but about how his upbringing shaped his intolerance for any form of discrimination and how after his baseball career, he spoke out tirelessly against racial injustice, even after his star had begun to dim.”  Audiences can hear Burns discuss his new film at more length in an interview on CBS’ Face The Nation via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUawlPAl5vA.

Jackie Robinson was co-directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon. It will be available on Tuesday, April 15th and will be released both on DVD and Blu-ray. The program’s double-disc DVD presentation will retail for MSRP of $24.99 and the double-disc Blu-ray presentation for $29.99. It will also be available in a number of combo packages, from which audiences can choose online and pre-order at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=ken%20burns%20jackie%20robinson&origkw=Ken+Burns%27+Jackie+Robinson&sr=1. 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

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Dark Sky Bringing The Sheik To DVD Next Month

Courtesy:  Dark Sky Films

Courtesy: Dark Sky Films

Professional wrestling is one of the biggest “spectator sports” in America today if not the world. This is even with people knowing that it is scripted. And even though it is scripted the people behind the characters in the ring are very much real. Any number of documentaries have been done on the men and women who take to the ring throughout the years. However many of said presentations have been more about the characters than those behind them. Next month Dark Sky Films will bring to audiences one of the few presentations about a figure behind the character when it releases the documentary presentation The Sheik.

Dark Sky Films will release The Sheik on Tuesday, March 1st. It will be available exclusively on DVD in stores and online. It focuses on the life and career of Khosrow Ali Vaziri, known for decades in the squared circle as The Iron Sheik. Vaziri, as audiences will learn in the documentary, was born n Iran in 1942. Before coming to the United States in the early 1970’s Vaziri had quite the career in his homeland. He was a bodyguard for the Shah of Iran, an amateur wrestler, and even an Olympian competing in the 1968 summer olympics. But it would be the death of close friend and fellow oympian Gholamreza Takhti, who himself had earned olympic gold, that would change Vaziri’s life forever. After Takhti’s controversial death, Vaziri left his homeland for the U.S. and begin his career as a professional wrestler. He took on the persona of The Iron Sheik in the then WWF and would go on to become one of the company’s most famed villains. His character helped launch the worldwide sensation that came to be known as Hulkamania. Outside of the ring though, things were not all bright and shining. Vaziri battled alcoholism after the murder of one of his daughters. But now in his 70s, Vaziri has garnered new fame as an over-the-top social media figure thanks to his familiar funny outbursts and wild antics.

Originally having premiered in Canada on April 26th, 2014 the hour and thirty-five minute-long documentary tells Vaziri’s story through interviews with his family and friends including his fellow wrestling superstars and pro wrestling historians. The Sheik will be available on DVD in stores and online on Tuesday, March 1st. Pricing information will be announced soon. More information on this and other titles from Dark Sky Films is available online now at:

Website: http://www.darkskyfilms.com

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

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.

Mr. Holmes Is An Intriguing Portrayal Of Sherlock Holmes

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

On November 20th, 1886 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle brought to the world one of the greatest figures in literary history when he published his novel A Study in Scarlet. The book was the debut of none other than Sherlock Holmes. In the nearly one hundred and thirty years that have passed since that novel was first published, Holmes has become one of the greatest detectives in the realm of fictional crime and in the literary world in whole. Holmes’ many adventures have been published and republished countless times over that time. Just as many movies and even TV series have been spawned from Doyle’s “best man” so to speak. There has even been a number of new, original stories crafted by modern authors in the past fifty years or so that have been influenced by Holmes’ adventures. In 2015 Lionsgate Studios released a new Sherlock Holmes story unlike any out there. The story, Mr. Holmes, is based on one of those new, original literary tales that goes by the title of A Slight Trick of the Mind. The book was authored by Mitch Cullin. Despite being marketed as a suspense/thriller piece, it is in fact neither one. In reality it is more drama than anything else as its story reveals. That story is this movie’s central element. The work of veteran actor Ian McKellan is just as important as the movie’s story. Last but hardly least of note in this movie is its cinematography. The various shots of the British countryside in which McKellan’s Holmes resides are stunning to say the very least. Each element is in its own right important to the whole of Mr. Holmes. Altogether they make Mr. Holmes a story that any Sherlock Homes fan should see at least once both because of its differences from Doyle’s original Holmes stories and despite those differences.

When Lionsgate brought author Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of The Mind to the big screen last year in the form of Mr. Holmes it is safe to say that up to that point, few if any stories like it had been crafted about the world’s most famous detective. That central-most element of Mr. Holmes makes it worth the watch if not more. The movie was originally marketed as a thriller/suspense tale. But in reality it is neither. It is in fact a drama that follows Sherlock Holmes in the twilight of his life as he struggles to remember the events of his final case so as to put them to paper. That, essentially, is the movie’s plot. As audiences soon learn in watching the story unfold, McKellan’s Holmes is battling the growing effects of dementia as he tries to recall the events of the case in question. At the same time Holmes is also having flashbacks to a meeting with a man in Japan whose father the man claims met Holmes years before and left his family as a result. It doesn’t initially make any sense but does eventually tie back in to Holmes’ attempts to recall the events of that final case. At first the story jumps around with few clear transition points, forcing audiences to give the movie their full attention. And it does move slowly at first, too. But as the story unfolds it becomes somewhat easier to follow. And perhaps it could be argued that this was intentionally done so as to accent Holmes’ growing mental struggles. If that is the case then kudos to writer Jeffrey Hatcher for taking such an approach. Regardless it must be mentioned. Even with all of this in mind Mr. Holmes still proves to be a story that is worth at least one watch especially among true fans of Holmes’ many adventures. It is not the only reason that Mr. Holmes is worth a watch either. Lead star Ian McKellan’s work on camera is the movie’s real shining bright spot.

The story behind Mr. Holmes is unlike almost any story that has ever been crafted about Holmes since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first introduced Holmes to the world nearly one hundred and thirty years ago. It presents a story of a Holmes at his worst so to speak rather than his best as he battles the onset of dementia. It is a story that is worth at least one watch. While its separation from so many other Holmes stories makes it well worth at least one watch, lead actor Sir Ian McKellan’s work on camera makes the movie even more worth the watch. He fully embraces the portrayal from beginning to end, creating a character whose struggles make viewers’ hearts hurt for him. It is clear that this Holmes is so quickly slipping away and trying to pass on his love of deduction to a younger generation in his friendship with the young Roger (Milo Parker — Robot Overlords, Ghosthunters on Icy Trails, The Durrells). It would have been so easy for McKellan to go over the top with his portrayal. But being the consummate professional that he is, he avoids that trapping and in turn puts in an Oscar-worthy performance. Even with the Academy voters not giving that credit where it is due, audiences that watch his performance will agree that McKellan has once again put in an award-worthy performance here and single-handedly saved the movie.

Sir Ian McKellan’s portrayal of the aging Sherlock Holmes in Mr. Holmes is the movie’s single brightest element. His performance is one that was just as deserving of an award as any of the others throughout his career. That is not to take anything away from the movie’s central story. As a matter of fact McKellan’s performance and the movie’s original story are both reasons in themselves for audiences to see this movie at least once. While both elements give audiences reason enough to watch this movie at least once, they are not the movie’s only notable elements. Its cinematography rounds out its presentation. Audiences will be blown away by the shots of the famed White Cliffs as McKellan and Parker go for a swim in the ocean. The shots of the British countryside where Holmes lives are just as powerful. This is especially to note considering just how few sets were actually used in the grand scheme of the movie. And the footage of the train traversing that countryside is especially powerful. Who cares that the engine and its cars might not have been exactly from 1947. That is beside the point. Watching the engine as it steamed along the countryside is still something that will leave any viewer in awe. There’s something about the contrast of its power against the calm, gentle countryside that just makes it stand out. It’s something that must be seen to be fully understood and appreciated. The same applies with the other noted shots and so many others. Considering this, the cinematography is one more saving grace for Mr. Holmes. together with McKellan’s expert work on camera and the intriguing new portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in this story, the movie in whole proves to be worth at least one watch.

Lionsgate’s new Sherlock Holmes story Mr. Holmes is a take on the world-famous detective that is definitely brave to say the very least. It isn’t just another Sherlock Holmes crime story. It is in its own right a tribute to the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as audiences will note in watching the story. But even more so it is a story of the world-famous detective at his weakest. It shows a man whose mental greatness has all but fled him. He is a pale shadow of his former self. Yet even in the twilight of his life he still has just enough left in the tank to finish off his final case and correct at least one of the stories that he claimed Mr. Watson improperly recalled. That story in itself makes the movie worth at least one watch. The work of Sir Ian McKellan adds even more interest to the story. As a matter of fact his portrayal of the aging Holmes is the brightest of spots in this movie. It is just as award-worthy as his work in his other films. The movie’s cinematography is just as impressive as McKellan’s work. It really accents the emotion established by the story’s script. It rounds out the movie’s most notable elements. Together with McKellan’s work and that of scriptwriter Jeffrey Hatcher, all three elements combine to make this intriguing portrayal of Sherlock Holmes one that is worth at least one watch. It is available now in stores and online on DVD + Digital combo pack and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack.

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