Shout! Factory Kicking Off Kovacs Celebration Early

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is getting a head start on the celebration of Ernie Kovacs’ upcoming birthday.

January 23, 2019 will be the 100th birthday of the late, great entertainer, and in honor of the occasion, Shout! Factory is releasing a new box set this week featuring Kovacs’ most memorable moments in Ernie KovacsThe Centennial Edition.  The nine-disc collection is scheduled to be released Nov. 13.

The in-depth retrospective 22 hours of Kovacs’ comedy culled from his many moments on television, including, but not limited to, his his local and national morning shows, his prime-time TV work, his ABC specials and the rare color version of his silent show Eugene 3.  Also included in the set are highlights from his hit series Take A Good LookA Pony For Chris and the pilot for the series Medicine Man, which co-starred Buster Keaton.

Along with the primary content, the collection also features an extensive list of bonuses, which are listed below.

ERNIE KOVACS: THE CENTENNIAL EDITION Bonus Programming:
  • 1987 ATAS Hall Of Fame Induction
  • Andy McKay 8mm Home Movies
  • Audio Lost
  • Baseball Film
  • Charlie Clod In Brazil
  • Dutch Masters Commercials
  • Ernie’s Opening Monologue
  • Home Movies: Golf With Edie And Ernie
  • Howard, The World’s Strongest Ant on “A Hot Date” and “Howard’s Campground”
  • Interview: Algernon Gerard, Archaeologist
  • Interview: The World At Your Doorstep
  • Introducing Coloratura Mimi Cosnowski
  • Irving Wong: Tin Pan Alley Songwriter
  • J. Burlington Gearshift
  • Making Of “Baseball Film”
  • Martin Krutch, Public Eye
  • Matzoh Hepplewhite
  • Miklos Molnar’s Glue
  • Muriel Cigars Commercials Featuring Edie Adams
  • Original Theatrical Trailers: “Wake Me When It’s Over” And “Five Golden Hours”
  • Our Man In Havana” Behind-The-Scenes Footage
  • Percy Dovetonsils : “Ode To A Housefly”, “Ode To Electricity” and “Ode To Stanley’s Pussycat”
  • Remembering Ernie With George Schlatter And Jolene Brand
  • Rock Mississippi In “Fingers Under Weskit”
  • Silents Please
  • Skodney Silsky, Hollywood Reporter
  • Strangely Believe It: Writers To Blame
  • Superclod Test
  • Surprise Audience Member
  • Take A Good Look: “Clues” and “Sales Film”
  • The Kapusta Kid In Outer Space Meets Olivia Scilloscope
  • The Mysterious Knockwurst
  • Trailer For “Operation Mad Ball” – “It Happened To Ernie” 

Limited Edition sets of never-Before-Available-Or-Seen lithographs are also available in celebration of Kovacs’ career starting at $250 for the unframed pictures.  Professionally-framed lithos start at $1,000.

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

 

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

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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‘Prehysteria’ Re-issue Is An Enjoyable Offering For The Whole Family

Courtesy: Moonbeam Entertainment/Full Moon Features/MVD Entertainment Group

Dinosaurs are big business for Hollywood.  From the Jurassic Park franchise to Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur to Blue Sky Studios’ Ice Age franchise and more, dinosaurs have brought in big bucks for Hollywood throughout the years.  Now thanks to MVD Distribution, a slightly lesser-known dino-centric flick has been brought back to light in the form of Prehysteria for audiences to enjoy again for the first time.  Originally released as a direct-to-VHS flick more than 25 years ago from Moon Beam Pictures – an imprint of Full Moon Features – it was re-issued on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack Oct. 9 via Full Moon Features, and is a welcome offering for most families even today.  That is proven in part through the nearly 90-minute movie’s story.  The story will be discussed shortly.  The movie’s bonus material adds to the movie’s presentation, and will be discussed a little later.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of Prehysteria.  All things considered, Prehysteria proves to be a work that while maybe not as well-known as other dino-centric flicks, is still a fun family flick.

Moon Beam Pictures’ newly re-issued indie dino flick Prehysteria is a welcome, fun family flick.  It is an underrated and underappreciated addition to Hollywood’s much hyped prehistoric realm (and yes, that awful pun was intended).  That is proven in part through the story at the center of the movie.  The story centers on the Taylor family — Jerry (Austin O’Brien — The Last Action HeroMy Girl 2The Lawnmower Man), his sister Monica (Samantha Mills — Step By StepCalifornia Dreams, The Family Man) and their father Frank (Brett Cullen — Ghost RiderThe Dark Knight RisesPerson of Interest) as they deal with a group of newborn dinosaurs brought home by their family dog, Ruby, who is clearly mourning the loss of her puppies.  As is explained through the movie, Frank gave away Ruby’s last litter of puppies, so she takes on the pigmy dinos as her own.  Plenty of hilarity ensues in the Taylor household after the dinosaurs — named after the family’s favorite musicians – are born.  From the little dinos making a mess of the Taylor family’s kitchen, to the adorable little creatures finding the beat as Elvis plays just outside their room and more, the smiles and “awwwws” are plentiful.  Meanwhile, an evil museum curator named Rico Sarno (Stephen Lee — War GamesThe NegotiatorBurlesque) is out to get the tiny dinos back, leading to even more laughs, and some action in the process.  What’s interesting here is that plot point involving Sarno trying to get the little dinosaurs is somewhat similar to one of the plot points of Jurassic Park, which actually came out after this movie.  So to that end, it makes that plot point even more interesting when added to the whole of the story.  Of course, the whole thing has a happy ending, though the ending is left somewhat up in the air.  Not too much will be given away here, but the story is left rather open-ended in its very last scene.  The result is that audiences will be left feeling uncomfortable because it does not leave viewers with that full sense of closure that a finale needs.  Director Charles Band and star Austin O’Brien talk about this and much more in the bonus audio commentary, which, as one of the movie’s bonus features, adds its own interest to the movie’s presentation.

Getting back to the movie’s story, there are some plot holes, not the least of which being the issue of how the dinos survived in the Taylor’s house for such a long time if they in fact needed a very hot, humid climate in order to survive – according to Vicki (Colleen Morris) late in the movie.  In retrospect, it leaves one scratching one’s head even more.  Even with that and other plot issues in mind, the movie is still a fun flick that the whole family will enjoy taking in every now and then.

While the story, even with its plot holes and other issues, does plenty to make this little-known family flick well worth at least one watch, it is only part of the movie’s success in its recent re-issue.  The bonus material included in the movie’s new home release adds even more interest to the presentation.  The bonus commentary, noted above, offers just as much entertainment as the story at the movie’s center.  Throughout the movie, director Charles Band and lead star Austin O’Brien share plenty of insight and entertainment.  O’Brien reveals that one of the scenes involving the family truck was so hot that ice had to be put into the truck bed for “Ruby” to sit on so that the dog could stay cool.  That was because the movie was shot largely in Los Angeles.  Another interesting tidbit to learn is that the very first appearance of the dinosaurs was shot on a stage placed five feet above the ground.  That was so as to allow all of the puppeteers to do their jobs controlling the dinosaurs from below.  Staying on that same note, Band also reveals during that noted sequence that he is – even in August, 2018 – against studios’ use of CG.  This is a rare view from film makers today, even despite the cost.  As noted above, the duo also takes on the movie’s rather odd, uncomfortable ending, actually pointing out how bad that final scene was.  Again, that final scene won’t be revealed here, but it really does ruin the otherwise happy closure offered just before that scene.  It’s just one more interesting note shared throughout the course of the movie’s 83-minute run time.  There is also a note from O’Brien himself that prior to the movie, he himself was unfamiliar with Elvis and Elvis’ career, so he had to do a lot of cramming in order to get familiar with Elvis for the movie.  Band also notes, surprisingly, that prior to watching the movie with O’Brien back in August of this year for the commentary, that he had not actually watched Prehysteria in full since its debut.  That is kind of odd, considering the movie’s cult following.  One would have thought he would have had more pride in the movie.  That aside, that revelation, the others noted here and so much more offers plenty for audiences to appreciate.  Keeping this in mind, the audio commentary is just one of the bonuses worth discussing here.  The bonus “Videozone” featurette offers its own interest to the movie’s presentation.

The “Videozone” featurette included in the movie’s re-issue is important to discuss because it is, for all intents and purposes, a “making of” featuerette.  Audiences get in this featurette a vintage look back in time at the original cast interviews that are in themselves eye-opening.  There are notes about which cast members did and did not have that much fun making the movie.  Band also offers his own thoughts in the vintage interviews alongside his father and Prehysteria co-director Albert Band that gives even more insight into the movie’s creation.  As if these interviews are not enough, audiences are also treated to a companion feature that shows how the dinosaurs were created, using wires and special modeling clay.  The whole of the features here shows even more, the importance of the movie’s bonus material.  Between everything offered throughout the “Videozone” featurette and the bonus feature-length commentary, the bonus material included in this re-issue makes the movie so much more entertaining and in turn worth the money spent.  Speaking of money, the movie’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.

The average price point for Prehysteria’s re-issue is $27.15.  That price is determined using prices from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and MVD Entertainment’s online store.  MVD is included as it is the company handling the movie’s distribution.  On the surface, some might say that this price is a little high.  However, taking into consideration everything noted in this review, and that the bonus commentary and “Videozone” featurette are included not just on Blu-ray, but also on DVD, that price actually becomes quite affordable.  It is actually on par with prices for movies that are far more well-known and released in their own BD/DVD combo packs.  In other words, audiences will not break the bank at such a cost.  Keeping this in mind, along with the entertainment and insight offered through the movie and its bonus material, and that dual availability through the packaging, this presentation proves to be one that proves well worth the money and being added to any family’s movie library.

Full Moon Features/Moon Beam Pictures’ recent re-issue of Prehysteria is an enjoyable presentation for families seeing it for the first time and for those seeing it for the first time again.  As has been discussed here, that is due in part to a story that even despite its plot holes, is still fun and endearing.  In turn, it is sure to keep the whole family entertained from start to finish.  The bonus material included in the movie’s new re-issue adds to that enjoyment.  When the main feature and secondary material is taken collectively into consideration, they make the average price point of just under $30 well-spent.  Keeping that in mind, the package in whole proves to be a positive presentation that the whole family will enjoy.  It is available now.  More information on this and other titles being distributed via MVD Entertainment Group is available online now at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://mvdentertainment.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/MVDEntertainmentGroup

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/mvdentgroup

 

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Eagle Rock’s New Joni Mitchell Concert/Doc Is An Engaging New Profile Of The Veteran Singer-Songwriter

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Famed singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell marked a major milestone this week as she marked her 75th birthday, and she celebrated in style with a star-studded event to mark the occasion.  Thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment, fans of the veteran singer-songwriter can celebrate Mitchell and her legacy in their own way with a recently released live recording.  Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 is a memorable presentation that Mitchell’s most devoted audiences will appreciate.  That is due in part to the recording’s set list.  This will be discussed shortly.  The documentary film that is woven into the concert adds just as much interest for audiences as the set list.  It will be discussed a little bit later.  The recording’s average price point rounds out is most important elements, and will also be discussed later.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970.  All things considered, they make this recording a piece that will appeal largely to the most devout fans of Mitchell and her work.

Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 is an interesting presentation from Eagle Rock Entertainment and veteran singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.  That is because the recording, released Sept. 14 via Eagle Rock Entertainment, presents a very interesting portrait of the then very young and still up-and-coming performer.  At the time of her performance, Mitchell had only released four full-length studio recordings – Song to a Seagull (1968), Clouds (1969), Ladies of the Canyon (1970) and Blue (1971) – making her still a very young performer, despite her experience.  Her 11-song set list featured in this performance lifts liberally from the latter trio of albums.  Clouds gets four nods while Ladies of the Canyon and Blue each get three nods.  ‘Hunter,’ which apparently was a b-side from Blue that never made the album’s final cut, is also included in here.  Interestingly enough, her 1968 debut record Song to a Seagull is nowhere to be seen in this set list.  Either way, audiences at the time still got a relatively well-balanced representation of her catalog at that point due to that clear focus that was put on the set list.  What’s more, a whole new generation of audiences now get a glimpse into who Joni Mitchell was at that time thanks to this new recording.  To that end, the set list proves itself to be a critical part of the recording’s whole.  It is just one of the important pieces of the presentation’s whole.  The documentary that is interwoven into the concert adds even more interest to the recording’s overall presentation.

The documentary that is coupled with Mitchell’s performance is important to note because it is really a dual story line of sorts.  On one side, the story shows Mitchell growing both as a person and as an artist, as she is forced to face a crowd that was not expecting her so early; a crowd that was likely expecting a more lively act than her.  Over the course of her rescheduled performance, audiences see the crowd slowly turn and accept her, almost making her an underdog figure of sorts.  Mitchell’s interviews, originally recorded in 2003, add their own depth to this story, making her even more of an endearing figure.

The other story included in the documentary is that of the unrest throughout the festival.  Audiences are introduced to a group of people within the audience that was protesting the festival and its managers.  That is because they were not being allowed inside the venue.  That led to some unexpected moments in which some of those protestors actually made their way on stage to make their protests heard loud and clear.  Simply put, the protestors were people who were a little bit too enthusiastic about the festival. Interestingly enough, this ties back into Mitchell’s story because it was her performance and her music that seemed to help quell the problems with the protestors.  That ability to calm the crowd – and win over the audience in the process – helped her overcome the nerves that she noted having in her 2003 interview segments.  The result is a performance that audiences will agree improved with each song.  Keeping all of this in mind, the combined performance and documentary presentation of Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 makes for a work that Mitchell’s most devoted audiences will appreciate just as much as those perhaps less familiar with her and her work.  Staying on that note, the Blu-ray offers audiences the choice to watch the concert by itself and to watch it coupled with the doc.  This critic’s own interpretation is to watch the two presentations as one.  It makes for a much richer experience than watching the concert by itself.  Having noted all of this, the content that makes up the whole of Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight gives audiences plenty to appreciate here.  Even with that in mind, there is still one more item for audiences to appreciate.  That item is the Blu-ray’s average price point.

Using prices listed at Amazon, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble, the set’s average price point comes to $18.79.  Research on the set finds that it is not listed at the websites of Walmart, Target or at Books-A-Million.  Considering the depth of the recording’s overall presentation and the pacing of the more than two-hour program (the exact run time is listed at two hours, 12 minutes), that average price of less than $20 is relatively affordable and money well-spent.  When this is all considered together, it makes Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 another positive offering from Eagle Rock Entertainment, and one that any of Joni Mitchell’s fans will appreciate.

Both Sides Now:  Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 is a good addition to the collections of Joni Mitchell’s most devoted fans.  It is also a welcome watch for today’s younger audiences who might be getting their first taste of the veteran singer-songwriter.  As noted above, that is due in part to the recording’s set list.  It shows Mitchell at a point in which she was growing in popularity, but still young enough that she was showing her personal and artistic development.  The documentary that is tied into the doc adds to that story while also presenting an equally interesting story about the festival itself.  The Blu-ray’s average price point is relatively affordable.  When it is considered along with the recording’s overall content, it proves the Blu-ray to be money well-spent, and a recording that, again, Mitchell’s most devoted audiences will appreciate as much as a whole new generation of audiences.  Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 is available now.  More information on this recording is available online along with all of Joni Mitchell’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://jonimitchell.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JoniMitchellcom

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

 

 

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‘NOVA: Decoding The Weather Machine’ Eliminates All Doubt About Climate Change

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

The issue of climate change is one of America’s most divisive topics today.  Between scientists and civilians, opinions on climate change have created a deep rift between Americans.  The deniers constantly claim that the planet’s climate is not changing and that humans are not to blame.  Those on the other side attest the exact opposite.  Now thanks to a recently released episode of PBS’ hit science-based series NOVA, — Decoding The Weather Machine — those raising the alarm about climate change and mankind’s influence on climate change have even more support for their arguments even as the deniers continue to hold firmly to their deluded beliefs.  That support is provided in large part to the program’s primary presentation, which will be discussed shortly.  The program’s overall construction – its transitions and related pacing – play into the program’s presentation, too.  It will be discussed a little later.  The single-disc presentation’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the whole of this release.  All things considered, this two-hour presentation is a powerful and convincing warning about what is currently happening to Earth and a reminder that it is not too late for the planet or for Earth.

NOVA: Decoding The Weather Machine is one of the most powerful discussions on the issue of climate change that has been released in recent years.  The in-depth program leaves no doubt – despite deniers’ own beliefs – that climate change is real, and that mankind is in fact playing a part in what is happening to the weather, and in turn to Earth.  As has been noted, that is due in no small part to the discussions that make up the program’s primary presentation.  Over the course of the two-hour presentation, academics and scientists alike discuss the roles that Mother Nature and mankind alike play in climate change.  They do admit that climate change has been happening for eons, but in the same breath, prove through extensive discussion that it has been increasing dramatically ever since the start of the industrial revolution.  From there, the discussions turn to a focus on the obvious rise in the number of wildfires in the west, Category 4 and 5 hurricanes in the Atlantic and the equally obvious decline of the polar ice caps, and even decrease in sea ice in the Antarctic to prove the effects of that continued rise in the earth’s temperature and carbon dioxide levels.  Audiences are also taken to areas, such as Norfolk, VA and the Falkland Islands to illustrate the impact of the world’s rising ocean levels.  Between those illustrations of the impact of climate change and the evidence exhibited throughout the first half of the program, it becomes painfully clear that climate change deniers have no case in their arguments.  It shows climate change is in fact very real and very much an issue that must be addressed now.

Speaking of being addressed now, the second half of the program addresses just that.  It reminds audiences that if mankind starts making changes now, it can avoid a very bleak future.  It points out that the best way to avoid that potentially bleak future is to adapt and mitigate now, adding that thankfully there are those who are already mitigating.  Case in point is the rise in the use of solar and wind power discussed in this portion of the program.  Some scientists are even finding ways to recycle carbon dioxide and put it to use for mankind while even profiting from that use.  The end result is not only profit, but also a decline in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which also means less heating of the atmosphere, and in turn less damage to Earth.  As if that is not enough, in America’s heartland, one farmer shows that non-tilling of fields is another way in which mitigation is helping decrease carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.  In turn, it is also making soil on farmland richer, despite how the land might look.  Simply put, the program shows just as clearly how mitigation and adaptation can help humans make a positive change in Earth’s future as it does how mankind has played a direct part in speeding up Earth’s natural climate change.  It reminds audiences that the future does not have to be bleak.  Keeping this in mind, the primary program of NOVA: Decoding The Weather Machine creates a solid foundation for the program’s presentation.  The program’s overall presentation strengthens that foundation even more.

The construction of NOVA: Decoding The Weather Machine strengthens the program’s foundation because of its ability to keep viewers engaged throughout.  This is even despite any clear segment breaks.  From one segment to the next, the transitions are just clear enough that audiences are not left wondering where the topic changes from one item to the next.  The program starts off by focusing on the earth’s atmosphere (air) before moving to the planet’s oceans (water) and then to the land (earth & fire), connecting each portion smoothly.  As noted previously, the program also focuses on the changes that can be made to avoid a bleak future.  Even the transition to the discussions on what mankind can do in order to create a better future for the planet is smooth in its own right.  Through it all, those smooth transitions keep the program’s pacing stable throughout, ensuring even more, viewers’ engagement.  Given, segment breaks would have been a nice addition to the program.  Either way, the manner in which the program was constructed – both in regards to its transitions and pacing – builds on the foundation formed by the program’s main presentation, and strengthens it even more.  The end result is a program that, despite its two-hour run time, is still a powerful work that is certain to keep viewers engaged, and in turn, remind audiences that mankind is in fact impacting climate change.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s average price point proves to make the program’s purchase money well spent.

The average price point of NOVA: Decoding The Weather Machine – using prices from PBS’ store, Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million – is approximately $18.84.  That is a relatively affordable price considering the amount of evidence presented here of climate change’s reality, and the reality of mankind’s role in the increasingly dramatic impacts of climate change.  When considering the relatively smooth transitions from one discussion to the next along with the material featured in the main presentation, it becomes even more affordable.  To that end, this must-see episode of NOVA proves to be solid proof that despite what some people want to believe, climate change is very real, and mankind’s impact on that natural process is just as real.

The latest episode of PBS’ hit science-based series NOVA is one of the series’ most important episodes to be released in recent memory.  That is because it proves without a doubt that climate change is real, and that humans’ role in climate change is just as real as climate change itself.  The program’s overall construction ensures with ease that that viewers remain engaged so that that message is received, and clearly at that.  The DVD’s relatively affordable average price point ensures even more that viewers’ will receive that important message about climate change and its impact on the planet.  Each item is clearly important in its own right to the whole of this DVD, as has been pointed out above.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Decoding The Weather Machine a presentation that everybody should see at least once.  It is available now.  More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:

 

 

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/novapbs

 

 

 

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‘MacGyver: The Complete First Season’ Hindered By, But Not Stopped By Content, Pricing Problems

Courtesy: CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount Home Entertainment

MacGyver is officially back.  No, not the new, younger MacGyver, but the man, myth and legend played by Richard Dean Anderson.  Thirteen years after the original MacGyver series was last released on DVD, Paramount Home Entertainment/CBS Home Entertainment has resurrected the first season of the timeless action series on Blu-ray.  It marks the first time that the series has ever been released on Blu-ray, and while it is a welcome re-issue, due to the writing – which will be discussed shortly – it is not a perfect presentation.  That is due to a lack of any bonus material, which will be addressed a little later on.  The set’s average price point rounds out its most important elements, and will also be addressed later.  Each element noted here is important in its own right to the whole of MacGyver: The Complete First Season.  All things considered MacGyver: The Complete First Season is still a good offering from CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount Home Entertainment.

MacGyver: The Complete First Season is a good new offering from CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount Home Entertainment.  That is proven in part through the writing exhibited throughout the series’ debut season.  From the season premiere to the finale, Season One sees Angus MacGyver work taking on a wide range of scenarios around the world (although the whole season was filmed in Los Angeles).  The season premiere took MacGyver to the American Southwest in an attempt to stop a chemical leak at a secret military base, which threatened the whole region’s water supply.  Later in the season’s run, he is hired by a federal witness who is testifying against his own brother, who just happened to be an infamous drug lord.  A little later, it’s up to MacGyver to stop a mad bomber from destroying a cruise ship.  As if all of those adventures are not enough, the action and thrills continue even later in the season, as MacGyver and a young computer wiz have to work together to stop another madman from launching a pair of missiles on a California bridge.  Even closer to the season’s end, MacGyver finds himself having to avert a global crisis after a train is hijacked by Indian terrorists who want vengeance against two men who sold poisoned medicine to the terrorists’ family and friends.  Between these episodes and the 16 others that make up the rest of the season, the stories presented throughout the season offer plenty of variety for audiences, and in turn, plenty of enjoyment.  That variety in the adventures is just one aspect that makes the writing stand out.  The deeper elements of the writing deserve just as much note as the adventures that form the foundation of the writing.

The deeper elements of the seasons writing are, specifically, the seeming deeper messages presented in the adventures.  Case in point is the message of personal pride that the writers deliver in “Ugly Duckling.”  This is the episode in which MacGyver takes a young female computer hacker under his wing after a professor, respected by both figures, is inadvertently killed in an attempt to kidnap him by a group of domestic terrorists.  The young lady is extremely smart in the realm of computers, but has very low self-esteem at the same time, even calling herself ugly.  It takes MacGyver’s honesty and gentility for her to realize she should have every bit of pride in herself, both in regards to her looks and in regards to her talents with computers.  Considering the current feminist era in which Americans are living, this positive message is something that members of the MeToo movement will appreciate.  That is because it sends those messages to women in general, that it is okay to be smart and that they should not be made to feel a certain way about their bodies.  Kudos are in order to the series’ writers for this.

Staying in that vein, “Countdown,” which sees MacGyver working to keep a mad bomber from sinking a cruise liner, sees a female 1st Officer take over as the ship’s captain after the captain is killed by one of the mad bomber’s intricate devices.  This might not seem like much on the surface, but again, it is one of those deeper elements that deserves being noted.  Putting a woman in such a high position of power was not exactly something prominent on screen back in the late 80s and early 90s (and even before that span).  So seeing her taking control of the ship, and confidently so at that – even working side-by-side so to speak – with MacGyver to save the ship, gives her even more control.  Again, this is something that was before its time, and again is certain to appeal to today’s female audiences.

“Slow Death,” which sees MacGyver dealing with Indian terrorists, presents its own deep content as MacGyver tells the group’s head that killing someone else out of vengeance for the death of one’s own people is not justice, but in fact pride, and thus its own sin.  The sequence in which this discussion takes place is no more than perhaps about five minutes in length.  Yet, even in that short time, this deep discussion on ethics and religion makes for its own interest in this case, showing yet again why the deeper content in the writing is just as important as the season’s stories.  It is most certainly not the last example that can be cited in proving the importance of the writing’s deeper elements.  The very discussion in the season premiere on the military’s weaponization of so much technology, and the discussion on family loyalty in ‘The Prodigal’ brings even more proof of the importance of the intrinsic elements of Season One’s writing.  When this is considered along with the deeper elements of the season’s other episodes, and the stories’ primary elements, the whole is unarguable proof that the writing in Season One is the most important of its overall elements.  Of course for all the good that the writing does for MacGyver’s debut season, the lack of any bonus content, does just as much bad for the set’s presentation.

A close watch of Season One’s Blu-ray re-issue reveals that there is no bonus content included in the set.  It is not the first time that the first season has lacked any bonus content either.  Research into the most recent re-issue of Season One (a DVD release from 2005) revealed that the noted set also lacked any bonus material.  This is a negative in that there is so much that could be presented, not the least of which is that deeper material included in each episode’s writing.  It would have been interesting to learn how those elements were woven into each episode.  That is because it honestly added so much heart and overall substance to each episode.  That heart is something that is so sadly lacking in so many television shows and movies today.  Also that would have been welcome is some audio commentary talking about the variety in MacGyver’s adventures connected with select episodes.  What’s more, it would have been nice to have had some kind of discussion comparing ABC’s original series to the series’ recent reboot from the vantage point of lead star Richard Dean Anderson and the rest of the cast and crew.  One could even argue in favor of discussions on shooting locations, making places around Los Angeles and the rest of the west coast look like other parts of the world.  Simply put, there are so many discussions that could have been included as secondary items to the set.  They honestly could have also added so much depth to the set’s overall presentation, especially being that Season One’s previous DVD release also lacked any bonus material, too.  Presenting Season One again sans any of those discussions detracts noticeably from the set’s presentation.  In turn, it makes the set imperfect, despite the enjoyment offered through the writing.  It also plays directly into some concerns over the set’s average price point.

The average price point of MacGyver: The Complete First Season in its new Blu-ray re-issue comes to approximately $45.61.  That price is found by averaging prices from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers.  A search of Books-A-Million did not turn up any sign of the set.  Keeping in mind what has been noted of the season’s writing and its lack of bonus material, that average price point is slightly questionable.  It is not money wasted, considering the enjoyment offered throughout Season One’s 22 total episodes.  However,  that lack of bonus content leads one to wonder if that price point could be less expensive.  Given, it is not the nearly $80 that consumers had to pay when The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete First Season and I Love Lucy: Season One and Two were released on Blu-ray, or even when each of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s seven seasons were originally released.  Those prices have long since been reduced dramatically.  Regardless, even with 22 timeless adventures featured here, complete with plenty of substance within each adventure, one would think a price perhaps $10 less would be more fitting since that bonus material is so lacking here.  To that end, PHE/CBS Home Entertainment’s new re-issue of MacGyver: The Complete First Season is a good offering from the companies, but it could have been better.

CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount Home Entertainment’s recently released Blu-ray presentation of MacGyver: The Complete First Season is a good offering from the two companies.  It offers plenty of action and adventure that is, honestly, fun for most of the family, unlike so much of today’s television.  That is evidenced through the adventures on which MacGyver embarks in each of its 22 episodes.  The secondary content that ties into each adventure adds even more enjoyment to each episode.  It collectively gives audiences plenty to appreciate.  While the episodes and their writing do so much to make this set enjoyable for viewers, the set’s lack – once again – of any noticeable bonus material detracts from the set’s presentation.  In direct connection, the average price point of $45, considering that lack of any bonus material, creates its own concerns for the set, too.  If the bonus material that the set is lacking was present in the set, that price point would not be an issue.  However, not having it there means that the price point should be at least $10 less expensive.  Keeping all of this in mind, this latest re-issue of MacGyver: The Complete First Season is not a miss for CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment, but it is not a hit, either.  It is available now and can be ordered online at http://cbshe.com/MacG1.

 

More information on this and other titles from CBS Home Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://cbshomeentertainment.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/CBSHE

 

 

 

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Accept Releases ‘Breaker’ Clip From Its Upcoming Live Recording

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Accept has released a new live clip from its forthcoming live recording Symphonic Terror, which us currently scheduled to be released Nov. 23 via Nuclear Blast Records.

The band debuted the clip of its performance of its classic 1981 hit single ‘Breaker‘ early last month.  The performance is one of 21 total songs performed by the band at Wacken Open Air Festival 2017, where the band’s performance for this recording was captured.

Pre-orders for Symphonic Terror are open now.  Audiences who pre-order the recording now via iTunes will receive ‘Breaker’ as an instant grat download along with instant grat downloads of the band’s performances of ‘Balls to the Wall’ and ‘Symphony No. 40,’ both of which are also included in the band’s extensive set.

Speaking of ‘Balls to the Wall‘ and ‘Symphony No. 40,’ the band previously released clips of its performance of those songs, too, in anticipation of Symphonic Terror‘s upcoming release.

‘Balls To The Wall’ is also available now in a limited edition 10-inch vinyl pressing.  The band’s performance of ‘Symphony No. 40’ serves as the vinyl’s b-side.  The vinyl pressing can be ordered both physically and digitally now.

Symphonic Terror will be available in a variety of platforms, which are listed below.

Symphonic Terror – Live at Wacken 2017 will be available in the following formats:

  • BluRay+2 CD-DIGI
  • DVD+2 CD-DIGI
  • 2 CD-DIGI
  • 3 LP Box (black) incl. booklet, poster
  • 3 LP Box (gold) incl. booklet, poster // NB Mailorder exclusive
  • BluRay+DVD+2 CD-Earbook
  • BluRay+DVD+2 CD-Earbook + photo card (signed) // NB Mailorder exclusive

The full track listing for Symphonic Terror is noted below.

The track list reads as follows:
DVD/Blu-Ray
Part 1: Accept
01. Die By The Sword
02. Restless And Wild
03. Koolaid
04. Pandemic
05. Final Journey
Part 2: Headbanger’s Symphony
06. Night On Bald Mountain
07. Scherzo
08. Romeo And Juliet
09. Pathétique
10. Double Cello Concerto in G Minor
11. Symphony No. 40 in G Minor
Part 3: Accept with Orchestra
12. Princess Of The Dawn
13. Stalingrad
14. Dark Side Of My Heart
15. Breaker
16. Shadow Soldiers
17. Dying Breed
18. Fast As A Shark
19. Metal Heart
20. Teutonic Terror
21. Balls To The Wall
Bonus:
22. Making Of: Wacken
23. Making Of: Headbanger’s Symphony

More information on Accept’s latest live clip, Symphonic Terror and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.acceptworldwide.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/accepttheband

 

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Opeth Debuts ‘Ghost of Perdition’ Live Clip

Courtesy: Moderbolaget Records/Nuclear Blast Records

The wait is finally over for Opeth’s new live recording, and in celebration, the band has debuted another live clip from the recording.

Opeth officially released its new live recording Garden of the TitansLive at Red Rocks Amphiteater on Friday.  In celebration of the recording’s release, the band debuted one more live clip from the presentation in conjunction with the album’s release.  The clip features a full performance of the band’s single ‘Ghost of Perdition.’  

The band has also released a special limited edition 10-inch vinyl pressing of the live performance as an additional bonus for its most devoted fans.  The band’s performance of ‘Sorceress,’ which is also included in the band’s new live recording, serves as the record’s b-side.

The record is available now in four different color pressings, which are listed below.  It can be ordered via Nuclear Blast America’s online store and at Opeth’s own store.

— 10″ pink sparkle in sleeve (limited to 700)
— 10″ violet sparkle in sleeve (NB mailorder exclusive, limited to 300)
— 10″ toffee in sleeve (US NB mailorder exclusive, limited to 250)
— 10″ summer bronze in sleeve (US NB mailorder exclusive, limited to 250)

‘Ghost of Perdition’ is the third live clip that Opeth has released from Garden of the TitansLive at Red Rocks.  The band has also released clips featuring full performances of ‘Sorceress,’ and ‘Demon of the Fall.’

Three separate trailers for the recording have also premiered leading up to the recording’s release. They are listed below.

Trailer 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhbDDBdvgpl

Trailer 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul648fFDvRw

Trailer 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhtE-bcCXk8

More information on Opeth’s new live recording, video and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.opeth.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/officialopeth

 

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.