PBS Distribution To Release ‘Nazi Mega Weapons: Season 3’ On DVD Next Month

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution has announced the home release date for the third season of its WWII-based series Nazi Mega Weapons.

Nazi Mega Weapons will be released on DVD Tuesday, September 13th. The latest installment of episodes from the series, Season Three focuses on the Blitzkrieg, Hitler’s mountain powerhouse topped with what has come to be known as The Eagle’s Nest, U-Boat Type 21 and the Nazi fortifications of the Channel Islands.  That is all just in the season’s first disc.

The set’s second disc expands beyond Hitler’s mega weapons and into the weapons used by the Japanese military including the battleship Yamato and the Tunnels of Okinawa.

Nazi Mega Weapons: Season Three runs 360 minutes (6 hours) and is spread across two discs.  It will retail for MSRP of $34.99 and can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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Every Deep Purple Fan Will Welcome ‘Live At The NEC’

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

This coming Friday, August 26th, Deep Purple will release its latest live recording Live at the NEC.  Originally recorded September 14th, 2002 at The NEC in Birmingham, England, the DVD recording comes about a year after the release of the band’s 2015 dual live recordings From The Setting Sunin Wacken and To The Rising Sunin Tokyo. Being that so little time has passed between those records and this recording’s upcoming release one might wonder what makes it stand out from its predecessors.  The first element that makes it stand out is its set list.  This will be discussed shortly.  The band’s stage presence over the course of the show’s nearly two-hour run time is just as important to note as the set list. The bonus interviews that are included with the recording round out the recording’s most important elements.  Each element is important in making this live recording stand out from Deep Purple’s previous live recordings. All things considered they make this latest offering another welcome addition to any Deep Purple fan’s music library.

Deep Purple’s new live recording Live at the NEC is another welcome offering in any Deep Purple fan’s music library.  This is the case even with the recording coming only a little more than a year after the release of the band’s most recent dual live recording set—From The Setting Sun…in Wacken and To The Rising Sun…in Tokyo.  That is due in part to the recording’s set list.  The sixteen (technically fourteen not counting the show’s keyboard solo from then new keyboardist Don Airey and guitarist Steve Morse) song set pulls largely from the band’s early years. It even goes all the way back to the band’s 1968 debut album Shades of Deep Purple with the inclusion of its cover of ‘Hush’ and all the way to 1996’s Perpendicular with the inclusion of ‘Vavoom: Ted The Mechanic’ in the show’s set list.  The band even went so far as to include some slightly lesser-known pieces in the recording in the form of ‘When A Blind Man Cries’ and ‘Black Night.’  The prior was the b-side to the song ‘Never Before,’ which was itself originally included in 1984’s Perfect Strangers.  The latter was included as a b-side for ‘Speed King, from the band’s 1970 album Deep Purple in Rock.  Those songs couple with the band’s much bigger hits—‘Highway Star,’ ‘Space Truckin’,’ ‘Smoke on the Water,’ ‘Woman From Tokyo’—and the rest of the set’s featured songs to make the set in whole one that will keep audiences engaged and entertained throughout the course of the concert’s near two-hour run time.

The set list that is featured in this recording is undeniably important to the recording’s presentation. That is because while it does feature some of the band’s biggest hits, it also features some lesser known songs.  It comes across as a very focused set list.  Even with the show being the last at the time for founding member and keyboardist Jon Lord, Lord did not play a creative role in every one of the featured songs.  This leads to plenty of discussion on the reasoning behind the set list.  Even with that in mind the show’s set list is just one part of what makes the recording in whole welcome in any Deep Purple fan’s music library.  The band’s stage presence throughout the course of the concert is just as important to note as the songs that the band performs.  The songs that make up the concert’s set are largely upbeat.  They have plenty of energy.  Of course there are some slower, more reserved moments.  Through it all the band’s members keep the audience completely entertained.  The band shows that an act doesn’t necessarily have to rely on pyrotechnics and other gimmicks in order to entertain audiences.  Rather, the band shows in whole that sometimes all a band needs to keep audiences entertained in a live setting is that presence.  And presence is exactly what the band has here.  Front man Ian Gillan commands the stage with ease as guitarist Steve Morse and drummer Ian Paice drive each song.  Speaking of Morse, his interaction with his band mates during his extended guitar solo shows the chemistry between the musicians.  Keyboardists Don Airey and Jon Lord are just as entertaining to watch as they perform both solo and in tandem.  Airey shows his vast musical background with some playful pieces and even some equally impressive classical snippets in his keyboard solo.  Lord is just as entertaining to watch as he works his way through the second half of the set list.  All things considered each man does his own part to entertain audiences throughout the concert.  Home viewers will agree with this when they see the concert for themselves.  Their presence, when considered together, makes the concert’s overall experience just as enjoyable to watch as the show’s set list.  When both element are set against one another, they come together to show even more clearly why this concert is another welcome addition to any Deep Purple fan’s music library.  They are not the only elements to consider in the concert’s new home release.  The bonus interviews that are included in the concert are just as important to note here as the show’s set list and the band’s performance of said set list.

The set list that is featured in Live at the NEC and the band’s performance of said set list are both key elements in the recording’s overall presentation.  As important as they prove to be to the recording’s presentation, they are hardly its only positives.  The interviews that are included in the recording are just as important to its presentation as the set list and the band’s performance thereof.  One of the interviews—with Gillan and Glover—is included as bonus companion material that stands separate from the concert.  It is an extensive interview that touches on a number of topics including the story behind ‘Smoke on the Water.’ Roger Glover’s thoughts on rock versus metal, his thoughts on rock versus pop, and how famed veteran guitarist Joe Satriani came to work with Deep Purple for a period of time among much more.  The main concert feature includes a post concert interview with Jon Lord in which Lord talks about his feelings of performing for the last time.  Audiences will be moved both to smiles and tears as Lord talks about discovering after the show that he had broken down crying after leaving the stage and hadn’t even realized it at first.  His ruminations will keep audiences just as engaged as his performance on stage.  When it’s all said and done, audiences will agree that the two interview segments prove to be just as invaluable to this recording as the recording’s main feature and the band’s performance of the set list.  All things considered there is a lot to say to the positive for Live at the NEC; so much so that the recording proves with full clarity why it is another welcome addition to any Deep Purple fan’s music library.

Live at the NEC is hardly Deep Purple’s first live recording.  It is though, a completely welcome new live recording to any Deep Purple fan’s music library.  That is proven through the show’s focused, sixteen-song set list.  The set list, which comes in at just under two hours features a collection of songs that come largely from the band’s early days.  The band’s performance of that set is just as important to the recording’s presentation as the set list itself.  The band keeps audiences completely engaged and entertained just with its own performance.  It shows through its performance that a band doesn’t always need big showy elements and other gimmicks in order to entertain audiences.  It just needs good music and good stage presence.  The interviews that are included in the recording play just as much of a part in its presentation as the band’s performance and the concert’s set list.  That is because of the insight and entertainment that they offer in their own right.  As if all of this isn’t enough, one can’t (and shouldn’t) ignore the recording’s packaging.  Audiences will notice that the recording is packaged in what is essentially a Blu-ray box.  It is not the first time that Eagle Rock has packaged its live DVDs in such packaging.  It is good to see this packaging used yet again, too.  It shows that DVD packaging can be the exact same size as Blu-ray packaging, thus saving even more space on audiences’ DVD racks.  It is an approach that sets Eagle Rock Entertainment ahead of every other home entertainment company, and in turn shows once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains to this day the lading name in live recordings.  With any luck the rest of the home entertainment realm will use this packaging as a model and eventually catch up to Eagle Rock Entertainment in this avenue.  Regardless of whether or not that ever happens, this element couples with all of the previously noted elements to, again, show why Live at the NEC is another welcome addition to any Deep Purple fan’s music library and why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.

Live at the NEC will be available this Friday, August 26th.  More information on Live at the NEC is available online now along with all of Deep Purple’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.deeppurple-nowwhat.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/_DeepPurple

 

 

 

More information on Live at the NEC and other title 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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Every Horror Movie Purist Should “See” ‘I Saw What You Did’

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Universal Pictures

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Universal Pictures

Hollywood’s horror genre has come a long way from what it once was and not for the better either.  It seems like every other horror flick churned out by Hollywood today is either an overly dark and violent movie centered on demons and the like or it is an equally violent (and gory) slasher flick.  That wasn’t so much the case in Hollywood’s golden age.  It was wholly possible for studios in that age to make horror flicks—regardless of their specific subgenre—without being so dark, bloody, and violent.  Alfred Hitchcock’s classic slasher flick Psycho is proof of this as is the 1963 nightmare-inducing ghost story The Haunting and Allied Artists’ 1959 fright fest House on Haunted Hill.  All three of these movies are examples of what once made horror such a great genre.  They are also examples, when set against their newer counterparts, of just how far the genre has fallen from its pedestal.  The comparison is stark to say the very least.  Earlier this year Scream Factory, Shout! Factory’s horror division released another example of what once made Hollywood’s horror realm so great when it released the classic slasher flick I Saw What You Did on Blu-ray.  This 1965 flick from William Castle Productions (which was also behind House on Haunted Hill) and Universal Pictures is a must have for any horror fan looking to escape the glut of cookie cutter slasher flicks and ghost stories currently being churned out by Hollywood’s Big Six studios.  That is due in no small part to the movie’s story.  That will be discussed shortly.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note in its presentation as its story.  Last but hardly least of note in the movie’s presentation is its general lack of blood, gore, and violence.  This element rounds out the movie’s most important elements and is no less important than the movie’s story or the work of the movie’s cast.  Keeping that in mind, each element does its own part to make this movie an entertaining work of horror.  Altogether they make this movie another must see for any horror purist.

Universal Pictures’ 1965 slasher flick I Saw What You Did is a must see for any horror movie purist.  That is because like so many horror flicks of its age it is the antithesis of everything that Hollywood’s horror genre has become.  That is clear in examining the story at the center of the movie.  The story centers on the antics of teenagers Libby Mannering (Andi Garrett—The Wild Wild West, Black Sheep Squadron) and Kit Austin (Sarah Lane—The Virginian, The Trial of Billy Jack, Billy Jack Goes To Washington) and the eventual terror that comes as a result of what they think are harmless phone pranks.  The pair’s prank calls end up having a rather far-reaching effect, causing (indirectly) the murder of Judith  Marek (Joyce Meadows—The Brain From Planet Arous, Two Faces West, The Girl in Lovers Lane) by her husband Steve (John Ireland—Spartacus, All The King’s Men, Red River).  Libby calls Steve’s number, pretending to be another woman, which leads Judith to confront Steve while he’s showering.  What’s interesting is that when Judith goes to confront Steve, she notices that their bathroom is a shambles.  It is clear that Steve’s intent was to murder Judith regardless and make it look like someone else did it.  But her confrontation leads Steve to murder her in the shower and then get rid of the body.  When Libby calls back later, she tells Steve, “I saw what you did and I know who you are,” he thinks that she is serious, which leads to even more tension.  What’s really interesting in all of that tension is that in adapting author Ursula Curtiss’ novel Out of the Dark to cinematic form, writer William P. McGivern unknowingly included a story element that is wholly relevant today.  The element in question involves the young, naïve Libby actually going to meet Steve because she thinks he actually wants to meet her, not knowing that he is a murderer.  This is an issue that the world faces even more today than ever before due to the advent of online messaging services, chat rooms, etc.  Who would have thought a story crafted more than fifty years ago would have such a relevant element within its script?  This revelation makes the movie’s story all the more believable, and in turn engaging.  Of course the movie becomes somewhat cheesy in its final act.  That aside, the rest of the story will still keep audiences on the edge of their seats.  That being the case, the story in whole shows just how important it is to the movie’s overall presentation.  It is just one of the elements that make the movie such an entertaining work of horror.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note as its story in examining what makes the movie a must see for horror purists.

William P. McGivern’s cinematic adaptation of Ursula Curtiss’ novel Out of the Dark is an important part of the presentation of I Saw What You Did.  That is because it is by and large, a thriller that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.  It manages to do so even without the use of any overt violence and bloodshed.  That is not to say that there is no violence or bloodshed.  It is there.  Don’t mistake that.  But it is kept to an extreme minimum since censors at the time didn’t allow but so much of said elements.  It shows that horror can be enjoyable even without blood, gore, or overt violence.  Of course the movie’s story is just one of the most important elements to examine in McGivern’s adaptation of Curtiss’ novel.  The work of the movie’s cast in interpreting McGivern’s script is just as important to examine here as his story.  Garrett and Lane are completely entertaining as lead stars Libby and Kit.  The pair makes audiences shake their heads in disbelief at Libby and Kit.  That is because the actresses fully embrace the girls’ lack of forethought in their actions.  While teens today might not make prank calls for their own fun that lack of foresight, teens today still act just as thoughtlessly even if in different ways.  And it gets them into their own share of trouble, too.  On the other end of the spectrum John Ireland is just as entertaining to watch as the villainous Steve Marak.  Steve’s actions might not seem all that believable on the surface.  But anyone that has ever watched an episode of 48 Hours or Dateline knows that what he did is in fact rather commonplace in real life crimes.  He does such an impressive job in presenting Steve’s paranoia about having been seen.  That is especially considering that only two people saw what he was doing over the course of the movie.  Each of the movie’s other cast members do their own part in adding to the movie’s enjoyment.  But it is really the trio noted here that most shines through.  Their work in interpreting their parts (and McGivern’s script) is just as important to the movie’s presentation as McGivern’s own work.  It still is not the last remaining element to note in examining what makes this classic slasher flick so surprisingly entertaining.  The general lack of overt violence and bloodshed, as slightly mentioned earlier, plays a part in the movie’s presentation that is just as important to note as the movie’s story and the work of the movie’s cast.

The story at the center of I Saw What You Did and the work of the movie’s cast are both important in examining what makes this classic slasher flick so entertaining.  Each element plays its own part in making it a movie that any horror purist should see as has already been noted.  They are not the only elements that make the movie so surprisingly enjoyable either.  The movie’s general lack of blood, gore, and overt violence is just as important to note in examining the movie’s presentation as its story and the work of its cast.  There is some blood and violence incorporated into the movie.  But most of it comes when Steve Marak murders his wife and his mistress.  Even when he does this, the bloodshed is virtually nothing when compared to most of the slasher flicks that are available to audiences today.  Rather it is more comparable to the bloodshed used in the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960).  Given that is the result of standards set by censors and the MPAA at that time.  But it is a good thing.  That is because it forced McGivern (as with every other writer at the time) to actually rely on story more so than on the violence factor (I.E. quality versus quantity).  It is a standard to which this critic personally wishes horror movies would return.  McGivern did an admirable job in focusing on the movie’s quality.  He showed that a story can stand on its own literary merits even in a horror setting without having to rely on blood, gore, and violence.  It really serves as a model for today’s horror screen writers.  It shows that a horror movie can be fun without being overly violent, bloody, gory or even nightmare-inducing.  Keeping this in mind, it rounds out the movie’s most important elements.  Together with McGivern’s work and that of the movie’s cast all three elements join together to make the movie in whole a surprisingly fun ride for any horror movie purist.

Scream Factory’s recent re-issue of I Saw What You Did is a surprisingly fun ride for any true horror movie purist.  That is because it shows that it is possible for horror flicks to be fun without being overly violent and sexualized.  That is evident most prominently in the movie’s story, written by William P. McGivern.  The story relies more on its literary elements than its actual visual content to keep audiences entertained and engaged.  The movie’s cast is just as notable in its work in front of the camera.  Garrett, Lane, and Ireland are completely believable in their respective roles and in turn envelope audiences in the story.  The story’s general lack of blood, gore, violence, and sexual content is Just as important to note here as the story itself and the work of the movie’s cast.  It brings everything full circle and shows together with the previously noted elements that it is possible for a horror flick to be entertaining without being questionable in its content.  All things considered the recent re-issue of this classic horror flick proves to be a surprisingly enjoyable ride for any true horror movie purist.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/i-saw-what-you-did.  More information on this and other titles from Scream Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/scream-factory

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/scream_factory

 

 

 

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Eagle Rock Entertainment To Release New Everly Brothers Documentary

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment has a new Everly Brothers documentary on the way.

Everly Brothers: Harmonies From Heaven will be released Friday, September 9th, 2016.  It will be available on separate 2DVD, DVD + Blu-ray, combo pack, and digital platforms.  The documentary was originally aired earlier this year on BBC4.  Its new home releases includes not just the original documentary but a handful on bonuses, too.  The bonuses in question includes: never-before-seen bonus interview footage and a complete DVD featuring a previously unreleased live 1968 performance recorded for Australian TV at Chequers Night Club.

The live recording features rare performances of ‘Bye Bye Love,’ ‘Cathy’s Clown,’ ‘Wake Up Little Susie,’ ‘Bird Dog,’ ‘(Til) I Kissed You.’ ‘So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad),’ ‘Let It Be Me,’ and many other Everly Brothers hits.

Along with all of its rare footage, Harmonies From Heaven also features interviews with the people who inspired The Everly Brothers.  Among those influences are: Art Garfunkel, Keith Richards, Graham Nash, Dave Edmunds, Tim Rice, Albert Lee, an Waddy Wachtel.  It also features interviews with the acts that have come since and themselves called The Everly Brothers their inspirations.  The complete track listing for the recording’s bonus DVD is noted below.

TRACK LISTING (DISC TWO)

Live At Chequers Nightclub, Sydney:

1) Lucille

2) Walk Right Back

3) Susie Q

4) Wake Up Little Susie

5) Cathy’s Clown

6) All I Have To Do Is Dream

7) Bye Bye Love

8) So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)

9) Bowling Green

10) (Til) I Kissed You

11) Bird Dog

12) Let It Be Me

13) Be-Bop-A-Lula

14) Kentucky

 

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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‘Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation’ Is An Interesting Piece Of ‘TMNT’ History

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban

Thirty two years ago Mirage Studios first introduced American audiences to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  The “heroes on the half shell” were created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.  In the years since their creation, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo (and their rodent sensei Splinter) have gone on to become a worldwide phenomenon with various incarnations on both the silver screen and the small screen.  Some have been hugely popular such as the original 1987 animated series (perhaps the franchise’s most successful incarnation) and the 1990 big screen adaptation of the comic book.  That incarnation even spawned three sequels.  Other incarnations have not been so successful, such as the 2014 big screen reboot and its new sequel Out of the Shadows.  They are not the franchise’s only lesser installments.  In 1997 Saban tried its hand at its own take on the everyone’s favorite reptile heroes in the form of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.  That incarnation ultimately proved to be a bust for the company.  It only lasted one season and a total of twenty-eight episodes.  Now thanks to Shout! Factory fans of this short-lived series can own it for themselves on DVD.  That is because Shout! Factory released the series in its entirety early this past May.  While the series was obviously one of the least successful of the TMNT franchise it still is a good addition to any hardcore TMNT fan’s collection.  That is because it serves as a historical document of sorts showing everything that was done right and wrong with the series.  In examining those pros and cons in whole audiences will agree that while it might not be the best of the TMNT franchise’s installments it also is not its worst.  That (dis)honor still goes to Paramount and Nickelodeon’s 2014 big screen take on the turtles.  Keeping that in mind, this installment proves once more to be a worthwhile addition to any TMNT fan’s collection if only for historical purposes.

Saban’s 1997 live-action take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise is by no means the franchise’s best incarnation.  In all fairness it is also not the franchise’s worst incarnation either.  Keeping that in mind, it is a welcome (and important) addition to any TMNT fan’s collection.  That is because it shows through its twenty-eight total episodes that Saban, with all of its successes, was not invincible at the time of the series’ run.  That is not entirely the fault of the people at Saban, though.  In examining for instance the timing of the series’ debut it had a lot working against it.  The series was meant to follow the events of the franchise’s original cinematic trilogy.  The problem is that that trilogy wrapped in 1993 with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III.  Saban’s live action series didn’t start until four years later in 1997, which was also only a year after the original animated series came to its own end.  When the story lines presented in each are taken into consideration and the timing of their beginnings and endings, they worked wholly against Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.  Had Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation come earlier—perhaps during the animated series’ run as an alternate universe series of sorts—then it might have had more of a fighting chance.  But because of the timing of its debut and its plot line it is clear why it failed in the long run.  That is just one important part of the show that should be noted in examining what the series in whole.  the series’ writing, in the bigger picture of its presentation, played its own integral part in the series’ failure.  The same can be said of the look and the feel of the series.

The timing of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation’s debut is a big part of what might have made the series’ run so short.  The timing of its release, when considered alongside the events of the franchises cinematic trilogy and its animated series, put a rather large nail in the series’ proverbial coffin.  The series’ writing is just as problematic as the timing of its release.  The series’ writers opened this series by introducing its key villain—Dragon Lord–early on.  The problem is that he wasn’t the series’ only villain starting out.  The writers incorporated Shredder into the story, too.  However, they wasted very little time taking him out of the story, too.  The way in which they wrote him out was rather anticlimactic to say the very least, too.  It almost leaves one asking why he was even used in the overall story considering how little impact his elimination had on the series’ overall story.  It could be argued that in so randomly eliminating Shredder, the writers were just throwing something out there just to see if it would work and make the series in whole anywhere near feasible.  While the overall story did work, it still ended up being relatively lackluster at best.  The same thing happened when the writers behind the TMNT animated series tried to keep that series going after the turtles eliminated Shredder.  They introduced a new villain—an alien from another world—but it just didn’t work, which ultimately led to the series’ end in Season Ten.  The same sort of mindset led to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III’s failure, too.  With Shredder out of the way at the end of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II it was as if the writers were asking where to go from there.  One can only assume that someone just said, “hey, let’s send them back in time on a quest and see how audiences react.”  While the end result was entertaining in its own right, it is still obvious that the movie’s writers struggled to come up with something to keep the movie (and the franchise) going.  This, again, goes back to the obvious practice of the writers behind Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.  It is as if, again, the writers went into the series blindly and just threw in what they could as the series advanced.

The timing of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation and its writing are both key elements that worked against the series in its short run on FOX Kids from 1997 – 1998.  They are not the only elements that should be considered in examining what the series got right and what it got wrong.  The look and the feel of the series are just as important to note as the timing of its run and its writing.  The look of the series will be examined first.  The costumes and the sets that were used in Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation are a stark contrast to those used by Saban’s Power Rangers franchise at the time.  That series had come a long way in terms of its look from the days of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.  Some of the camp was still there in terms of its look.  But that look had also clearly evolved to a point since those days, too.  By comparison Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation took audiences back to the days of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers thanks to the campy look of its sets and costumes.  No effort was made by the people at Saban to make this series look anything like the franchise’s original cinematic trilogy, which again this series was supposed to be linked. Even the look of Shredder’s outfit barely made him look menacing.  He looked more like one of the then WWF’s costumed bad guys than any truly menacing villain.  That is thanks to the design of his outfit.  Even the look of the turtles was a complete change of pace from their look on the big screen and its previous small screen incarnation.  This is again even with the series’ alleged connection to the franchise’s cinematic trilogy.  The only part of the series that really bore any similarity (and that term is used very loosely here) to that trilogy is that of the turtles’ subway lair.  It is obvious that whoever designed their lair for this series did in fact make a concerted effort to connect the two universes.  Sadly it is about the only thing that actually connects the two universes in terms of the series’ look.  The rest of the sets and costumes are more akin to the MMPR series than anything seen on the big screen or any other TMNT incarnations.  By relation, the feel of the series is linked just as directly to MMPR as its look.

The look of Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation is an undeniably important part of the series’ life span.  That is because of how starkly it stands out from that of the rest of the offerings in the TMNT universes and even from that of Saban’s Power Rangers universes at the time.  The series’ feel is just as important to note as its look.  That is because its feel stands out just as starkly as its look.  The feel includes the series’ cinematography and the acting.  The cinematography throws back to the days of MMPR just as much as the costumes and sets that were used throughout this series.  That is evident in the scene transitions, the angles used within given scenes, and even the speed of the shot changes within the scenes, too.  The transitions from the general scenes to those of the dragons’ lair are key examples of that throwback look.  MMPR used very similar transitions when its scenes transitioned from Angel Grove to Rita (and later Zedd’s) moon base.  That is something that was gradually phased out as the Power Rangers franchise evolved over time.  The acting on the part of both Shredder and Dragon Lord plays its own part in the series’ feel.  The same can be said of those that brought Leo, Raph, Donnie, Mikey, and even Venus to life.  The camp in their collective work gives the series a fun, cheesy feel that interestingly enough will keep audiences entertained because of that cheese factor.  Again it is all a noticeable throwback to the days of MMPR.  Again in comparing this to the feel presented in the likes of Power Rangers in Space, the current installment of Saban’s Power Rangers franchise at the time, it is a completely different feel.  Good or bad is in the eye of the beholder.  In all fairness it likely played its own part in the series’ downfall since few programs if any had that same campy feel at the time.  So that probably hurt the series even more.  Between that and the show’s equally campy look, it becomes even more evident why the series’ combined look and feel might have hurt the series more than it helped.  That is especially considering the time at which the series was on television.  Speaking of the time at which the series debuted, it plays its own part in the series’ problems.  The writing behind the series plays its own part in the series, too.  Each element plays its own part in the series’ short run.  That goes without saying.  All things considered it becomes wholly clear why Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation is one of the least successful entries in the TMNT universe.  But when it is compared to those other entries in it still is not the franchise’s worst installment.  Keeping that in mind, it is still a welcome and important addition to any TMNT fan’s home collection if only for its historical value.

Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation is hardly the best offering in the TMNT universe.  It is not the franchise’s worst offering, either.  That (dis) honor belongs, to this day, to Paramount and Nickelodeon Studios’ 2016 big screen reboot of the original cinematic franchise.  Given, this series had (and has) a lot working against it.  But still in comparison to other offerings from the TMNT universe it could have been a lot worse.  Considering all of this it is still a welcome addition to any true TMNT fan’s collection whether for entertainment or for historical value.  It is available exclusively via Wal-Mart and can be ordered online via Wal-Mart at http://www.walmart.com/ip/Ninja-Turtles-The-Next-Mutation-The-Complete-Series/51301759.   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 Distribution Announces Release Date For ‘The Tunnel: Season 1’

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution

PBS Distribution has announced the release date for PBS’ new political crime thriller The Tunnel.

The Tunnel will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, August 9th.  The movie stars Stephen Dillane (The Hours, Game of Thrones, King Arthur) as lead character Detective Karl Roebuck.  Roebucks is investigating the death of a prominent French politician who was found in the middle of the fame Channel Tunnel, straddling the border between England and France.  It is up to Roebuck and his partner Elise Wasserman (Clemence Poesy—Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I & II, 127 Hours) to solve the mystery of the politician’s death.  Things take a gripping turn when a shocking discovery is made at the scene of the crime.  The discovery forces both French and British police to put aside their differences and work together in order to solve the case while Roebuck and Wasserman are pulled ever-deeper into the case.

The Tunnel’s run time is 450 minutes spread across 3 discs.  The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $49.99 and the Blu-ray set for $59.99.  It can be pre-ordered online now direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on The Tunnel is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website:  http://www.thetunnelmovie.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thtunnelmovie

 

 

 

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PBS Kids’ New ‘Peg + Cat’ DVD Is In Fact Another “Out Of This World” Collection

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution/PBS Kids/PBS

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution/PBS Kids/PBS

School is currently out for most students across the country.  But even with children being out on vacation, it is never too soon to instill a little education with their summer fun.  That’s where PBS Kids comes into play.  PBS Kids has already released a handful of family friendly DVDs that will both entertain and educate audiences of all ages this summer.  Earlier this month it released yet another new family friendly offering in the form of Peg + Cat’s new DVD Out Of This World.  This latest offering from the award-winning series is much smaller than its predecessors.  But it still offers plenty to be appreciated beginning with its featured stories.  That will be discussed shortly.  The lessons that are contained therein are just as important to note in the collection’s bigger picture as the stories in which the lessons are presented.  The bonus material that is included in the set rounds out the collection’s most important elements.  It brings everything full circle here and shows together with the featured stories and lessons why the DVD is, in whole yet a rather aptly titled collection.

Peg + Cat: Out Of This World is an aptly titled new collection from the award-winning PBS Kids series.  That is because it proves in whole that it is in fact an out of this world set, even as small as it may be.  This is proven in part through the stories that make up the main body of the disc.  Unlike previous Peg + Cat DVD collections, this one is much smaller than its predecessors in regards to its stories.  It features only for stories, whereas the majority of its predecessors feature twice that number.  Not every collection does.  But the majority of those collections do double up on that story count.  Even featuring only four episodes it still doesn’t detract from the collection.  That is because the stories are original and also interconnected.  Each story sees Peg and her furry, blue friend visiting their alien pal Richard, who lives on the purple planet for different reasons.  “The Doohickey Problem” sees Peg and Cat having to fix their rocket ship because it has broken.  And it is up to Richard to help them.  The duo visits him yet again in “The Long Line Problem” as he waits to get the latest new yellow gadget.  This is an especially funny episode for parents because it is obvious that the writers were poking fun at Apple and the people who wait so rabidly for the latest new Apple gadget even if they don’t know entirely what it does.  In “Richard The Third” Peg and Cat have to help motivate Richard as he competes with his siblings (who just happen to also be named Richard).  The story plays on the practice of people being called “the first,” the second,” and so on.  The set’s final episode “The T-Ball Problem” joins Richard with Peg and Cats T-Ball team in order to take on another team for the purple planet’s “world series.”  It’s a fitting way to not only entertain and educate young audiences (and even some older audiences thanks to its lesson) but also build hype over MLB’s road to the “second season” now that said annual road is being paved once again.  All four stories have their own identity separate from the others.  But they are all connected by one underlying thread—that of Peg and Cat’s visits with Richard.  The fact that the people at PBS Kids and PBS Distribution were able to connect all four episodes together all while maintaining the episodes’ identities is impressive in its own right.  It shows again that while the set boasts only four stories, they are still four stories that will keep audiences of all ages entertained and educated from beginning to end.  The stories are collectively just part of what makes this latest collection of Peg + Cat episodes so enjoyable.  The lessons that are tied into the stories are just as important to note as the stories that are featured within each episode.

The stories that make up the main body of Peg + Cat: Out Of This World are in their own right hugely important to the DVD’s overall presentation.  That is because each story has its own identity yet is connected to the others by the central thread of Peg and Cat visiting Richard in each story.  The balance presented therein makes the stories their own clearly important part to the disc’s presentation.  The lessons that are tied into each story are just as important to the collection’s presentation as the stories themselves.  The lessons presented here are not just the standard math lessons either.  The value of teamwork is taught alongside elementary level counting skills in “The Doohickkey Problem.”  “Richard The Third” presents an equally lesson about self-confidence and sense of self alongside its own elementary counting lesson.  “The Long Line Problem” and “The T-Ball Problem” are the only stories presented here that focus primarily on math.  The prior teaches a basic lesson about ordinal numbers while the latter presets a basic lesson about statistics.  Whether for the math lessons, the more personal lessons, or for both, it can be said that the lessons in whole add their own element to the collection.  It clearly shows that continued effort by The Fred Rogers Company to instill that sense of self among audiences (and do so in a way that doesn’t exactly mirror the lessons from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) all while also teaching valuable lessons, proving the importance of math in everyday life on a level that makes that importance accessible by younger audiences.  There is no denying the impact that this balance of education (both socially and in terms of math) plays in the bigger picture of this collection.  Together with the set’s featured episodes the two elements strengthen the DVD’s presentation even more.  They still are not its only important elements.  The bonus material that is included in the set is just as important to note as the set’s featured stories and their related lessons.

The stories that make up the main body of PBS Kids’ new Peg + Cat collection are undeniably important to the collection’s presentation.  The social and mathematical lessons that are tied into the episodes are just as important to its collection as the stories themselves.  They are not the collection’s only important elements, though.  The bonus material that is included in the set is just as important to the collection’s presentation as its stories and lessons.  That is because the bonus material is made up of lessons that drive home the concepts presented within each of the stories and lessons.  They encourage parents and teachers to work with children in order to drive home those lessons, too.  “Monster Math” is one of those bonuses.  It drives home the basic counting lesson presented in “The Doohickey Problem” and “Richard The Third” by having an adult work with a child to build a “monster”–much like the one on the purple planet, who loves all things yellow—out of an empty tissue box and construction paper.  The adult then cuts up the construction paper even more, putting numbers on each piece before giving those pieces to the child.  From there, the adult calls out the numbers for the child to find and then feed to the monster.

“Triple Addition” is another of the set’s bonus features.  It, too echoes the basic counting lesson presented in “The Doohickey Problem.”  It does so by having children and parents find household items in order to make their own patterns.  The suggested items include candy (to make the lesson educational and tasty), pasta (in its various forms), and different colored and shaped blocks just to name a few.  Parents and children can use those suggestions or find their own items.  Over time parents and children can build pattern recognition skills using any number and type of items.

“Marble Mayhem” is the last of the bonuses included in the set.  This bonus lesson uses dice, marbles, (or whatever item parents and children choose) and a cup.  It is a multi-player game that teaches counting skills by having children roll the dice and put the matching number of marbles into their respective cups.  The first child to fill his or her cup wins the game.  As is noted in the activity, younger children can use just one die while older children can use a pair of dice.  It is a simple game that is sure to entertain and educate any child.  That is not to discount “Triple Addition” or “Monster Math” either.  All three bonus activities offers its own education and entertainment for the whole family.   Those bonus activities couple with the set’s stories and their associated lessons to make this collection in whole yet another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library.  They come together to make it a collection that truly is “out of this world” whether used in the classroom or the living room.

Peg + Cat: Out Of This World is yet another impressive collection from the award-winning PBS Kids series.  It is another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library that is in fact rather aptly titled.  That is due in part to the interconnected stories which make up the body of the DVD’s presentation.  The lessons that are tied into each story are just as important to note as the stories themselves in noting what makes the DVD so impressive.  The bonus activities that are included with the collection round out its most important elements and bring everything full circle.  They join with the set’s stories and their associated lessons to ensure children’s (and even adults’) entertainment and education from beginning to end, proving again why this set is so “out of this world.”  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this DVD is available online now along with lots more Peg + Cat activities, games, printables and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/peg

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

 

 

 

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