‘Live In Maui’ Is An Essential Experience For Any Jimi Hendrix Fan

Courtesy: Sony/Legacy Recordings/Experience Hendrix, LLC

Sony/Legacy Recordings and Experience Hendrix, LLC released another important chapter to the story of Jimi Hendrix’s life and career Friday.  The “chapter” came in the form of the new live recording/documentary Live in Maui.  The brand new release is a presentation that every Hendrix aficionados.  The liner notes that accompany the hybrid recording forms the package’s foundation and will be discussed shortly.  After having read through the extensive liner notes in the set’s companion booklet, audiences will then remain engaged and entertained by the set’s two live performances by Hendrix and company, as well as the fiasco that was the Rainbow Bridge documentary.  The two elements together make the presentation in whole, and unforgettable story on what would sadly become the last chapter of Hendrix’s life.  The three-disc set’s packaging rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  When it is considered along with the collection’s primary and secondary content, the whole becomes a must have for any Jimi Hendrix fan.

On July 30, 1970, legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix and his fellow musicians Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox played what would be one of the group’s final performances together.  Only days after the intimate concert, Hendrix would die of a drug overdose.  Now thanks to Sony/Legacy Recordings and Experience Hendrix, LLC, audiences can experience the ill-fated concert any time they want on Blu-ray and CD in the form of Live in Maui.  Released Friday, the three-disc set is an important chapter in the story of Hendrix’s life and career in part because of the story behind the concert and the documentary that spawned the concert, Rainbow Bridge.  That story is told through liner notes featured in the recording’s companion booklet, which were crafted separately by journalists Jeff Slate and John McDermott.  Slate points out in his portion of the liner notes, a variety of interesting facts about the documentary that Hendrix was not initially on board for the documentary, which his manager Michael Jeffrey had bankrolled, in large part on Hendrix’s back.  It points out that in order to pay for the creation of Rainbow Bridge, Jeffrey had gotten a $1 million advance from Reprise Records – Hendrix’s label at the time – to pay for the creation of Rainbow Bridge, and that half of that amount was taken against potential future royalties from sales of the next album that Hendrix was working on at the time.  That is rather selfish of Jeffrey to have done that to Hendrix,  let alone trying to get Hendrix and his band mates on board for the documentary even though they already had a packed schedule.  This is just a part of what makes this set’s liner notes so important.  Slate’s revelation that few if any preparations were made for Hendrix and company ahead of their performance — a rickety stage, microphones that were unable to handle the sound impacts of high winds, and sound problems that are audible and visible in the final recording – shows how short-sighted Jeffrey was in his attempt at an art style production.  Viewers will note from Slate’s statements that the foam covering the mics was in fact from the band’s equipment cases, and was meant to muffle the sound of the strong winds that were blowing that day.  There are also issues with sound syncing throughout the performance, which Slate also addresses in his liner notes.  It reminds audiences that the production problems seen and heard in the concert are not the fault of anyone at Sony/Legacy Recordings and Experience Hendrix, LLC, but rather of those who were behind the creation of Rainbow Bridge and the associated two-set concert.

McDermott, in his notes, backs up Slate’s writing about the production problems that faced Hendrix and his band mates, but pointing out that the trio took the whole thing in stride, performing just as professionally as it would at any other concert.  Additionally, McDermott takes time to point out why the concert’s order was presented as was.  As a hint, that is also related to the production problems caused by those behind Rainbow Bridge’s creation and that of the concert.  Keeping in mind this, everything pointed out in Slate’s notes and even more not mentioned here, the liner notes featured with Live in Maui form a strong foundation for the recording’s presentation.  It is just one aspect of what make the recording so appealing.  The two sets that make up the recording’s featured concert build on that foundation, making for even more enjoyment and engagement.

The two sets that are featured in Live in Maui are important both for their content and their presentation.  As is noted in the recording’s liner notes, the set opens with what was then one of Hendrix’s newest songs, ‘Hey Baby (New Rising Sun).’  From there, the concert went into a series of fan favorites, such as ‘Hear My Train A-Comin’,’ ‘Foxey Lady’ and ‘Purple Haze’ before presenting another new song, ‘Spanish Castle Magic.’  That then new song is followed by another new tune, ‘Lover Man,’ which is itself followed by the first set’s closer, ‘Message to Love.’  In simple terms, Hendrix and company presented the audience with a well-balanced set featuring some familiar content and something new from beginning to end in this case.  The second set gives listeners a fair share of familiar songs, too, again, doing its own part to ensure audiences’ engagement and entertainment.  The two sets clearly entertained the audience who attended the event.  The intimate audience, who had originally taken part in the filming of Rainbow Bridge danced nonstop to the performance.

While the featured set lists do plenty to keep audiences engaged, it should also be noted that the editing used in the recording is impressive in its own right.  That is because, as noted in the liner notes, the whole concert was not recorded by cameras during the shoot for Rainbow Bridge.  There are plenty of points at which cameras apparently stopped rolling.  It is at those points at which the post production came into play.  That aspect was also discussed in the liner notes.  The painstaking efforts that were taken to assemble the concert’s audio in post paid off, as the transitions are seamless.  The result of those efforts is a full concert recording that even without full visual footage still proves so enjoyable.  To that end, the combination of the previously unreleased concert footage and audio proves just as enjoyable as the liner notes that accompany the concert and its associated documentary.  These two elements together just make up one part of what makes the recording so appealing.  The set’s packaging rounds out its most important elements.

The packaging used for Live in Maui is important to note through the placement of its three discs.  This set’s packaging is not the standard multi-disc presentation.  Rather than using a familiar gatefold style packaging for the 2CD/BD set, it opens more like a box, with the cover section opening downward, the another portion opening up, and the final two portions opening left and right.  The companion booklet is held in the middle of it all while the CDs and Blu-ray disc each sit in their own spot in the gatefolds.  It is an original packaging style to say the very least that also manages to protect each disc.  The only downside to the packaging style is that it can put undue stress on the package, leading to the potential of each “wing” tearing over time.  Even with that in mind, if a person is careful enough with the packaging, that wear should be minimal over time.  To that end, the packaging is more of an aesthetic element here, but is still important to note in its own right.  When it is considered along with the liner notes and the concert footage itself, the whole of the recording proves that much more engaging and entertaining.  All things considered, this rare live/documentary hybrid set proves to be a welcome addition to the library of any Jimi Hendrix fan.

Sony/Legacy Recordings and Experience Hendrix, LLC’s new Jimi Hendrix recording Live in Maui is an important chapter of Jimi Hendrix’s life and career that until now has been unreleased.  Now thanks to the companies, it is out there for fans to experience.  The liner notes that fill the companion booklet tell a rich story in this chapter.  They set the stage for the previously unreleased live recording featured in this set.  The packaging that is used to house the set’s two discs and one Blu-ray puts the finishing touch to the set with is aesthetic value.  And of course for those who want, the much maligned documentary Rainbow Bridge is also included on the Blu-ray.  Though knowing the story, it will make some not even want to watch the program.  Regardless, its inclusion in the set along with the concert footage and liner notes, makes the set in whole a must have for any Jimi Hendrix fan and any classic rock fan.  It is available now.

More information on Music, Money, MadnessLive in Maui and other Jimi Hendrix releases is available online at:

Websitehttp://www.jimihendrix.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/JimiHendrix

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/JimiHendrix

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Film Movement’s ‘I Am A Dancer’ Re-issue Will Appeal To The Most Devoted Ballet Fans

Courtesy: Film Movement

Independent film studio Film Movement resurrected the vintage documentary I Am A Dancer this year.  Re-issued on Blu-ray and DVD on Sept. 22, the 92 minute (on hour, 32-minute) documentary is an interesting but imperfect presentation.  Its profile of legendary ballet dancer Rudolph Nureyev serves as an appealing introduction to the fame figure.  At the same time, the approach to the profile in question is such that audiences will find it problematic.  This will be addressed a little later.  The documentary’s average price point makes for its own appeal.  When it is considered with the documentary’s primary presentation, the two elements join to make the presentation such that ballet aficionados will find the vintage documentary worth watching at least occasionally.

I Am A Dancer is a work that will appeal primarily to the most devoted ballet aficionados.  That is because the vintage documentary, re-issued in September by Film Movement, give those audiences a glimpse into the man who is among the most elite figures in the ballet world.  It offers this glimpse through footage of Nureyev at work in the dance studio.  Audiences get to see Nureyev’s dedication to his art and his versatility, working on classical and modern dance styles.  Along the way, audiences are also treated to some insight from those who were close to Nureyev as to who he was.  One dancer noted in her audio commentary, that Nureyev allegedly was known for having mood swings, but even with that, was still a respected figure because he was still mostly happy.  Audiences also learn from the narration about the circumstances of Nureyev’s birth and his familiarity with traveling and working.  There are also insights into the featured performance segments in the narration, which will help keep the noted audiences engaged and entertained.  Audiences even get to see Nureyev in the dressing room as he prepares to perform.  It continues to show the man at work in all of his focus.  Between everything noted here and more, it becomes clear that the primary presentation of I Am A Dancer is certain to engage and entertain the noted audiences.

For all that the primary presentation does to help this vintage documentary’s presentation, the execution thereof is something that the noted audiences will agree is somewhat problematic.  That is because what audiences get here is, as noted, more a glimpse than a full profile of the legendary dancer.  Yes, audiences are treated to some in-depth clips  of Nureyev at work on stage and screen, and in the rehearsal room, but the problem is that it is mostly that.  Yes, the insight about his birth is there, but even the bonus content that is featured with this re-issue does not necessarily add much to the whole.  So again, what audiences get is just something brief, in the bigger picture.  It’s not a full profile outlining the roots of Nureyev’s career.  At the most, viewers get fleeting mentions of those roots.  Whether one is a ballet aficionado or just an observer, one cannot deny that this detracts from the presentation.  Without that extra content, this whole really just come across as a simple look at the legend at work more than a full profile of a legend.

Keeping in mind the primary content featured in this vintage documentary and the presentation thereof, the documentary’s average price point makes it at least somewhat more appealing for viewers.  Using listings featured at Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers – it was not listed through Target and Books-A-Million at the time of this review’s posting – the presentation’s average price point comes to $23.97 on Blu-ray and $17.30 on DVD.  In other words, the prior comes in at less than $25 while the latter totals less than $20.  Amazon provided the least expensive listing for each platform at $14.00 (Blu-ray) and $14.95 (DVD) while Walmart claims the most expensive listing for each platform at $29.95 (BD) and $19.95 (DVD).  Simply put, at its least expensive, the set barely touches the $15 mark and at its most expensive comes in at $30.  That the noted audiences can get the documentary at that noted low price makes for its own appeal, especially considering everything else addressed here.  All things considered, I Am A Dancer proves to be a work that is worth watching at least once at the lowest price.

Film Movement’s recently re-issued presentation of the vintage documentary I Am A Dancer is an intriguing presentation.  It gives a good glimpse into the man who was the legendary dancer Rudolph Nureyev.  While it serves as a good starting point on a look into his legacy, the way in which it was presented proves somewhat problematic.  It detracts, to a point, from the overall presentation.  Keeping all of that in mind, the documentary’s average price point makes for at least some more appeal.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this documentary’s re-issue.  All things considered, it proves itself worth at least the occasional watch. 

More information on this and other titles from Film Movement is available at:

Websitehttp://www.filmmovement.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/FilmMovement

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/Film_Movement

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PBS Distribution’s Debut ‘Molly Of Denali’ DVD Set Is Awesome

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

The wait is officially over for the first ever collection of episodes from PBS Kids’ animated series Molly of Denali.  The two-disc collection features 32 episodes from the series’ debut season released Tuesday, and it largely lives up to its title.  That is proven in part through its episodes, which will be discussed shortly.  The stories that are featured in the episodes build on the appeal formed through the compilation’s featured episodes.  They will be discussed a little later.  The set’s average price point rounds out its most important elements, considering the extensive content featured in this set.  Each item noted is key in its own way to the presentation of Molly of Denali: Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures.  All things considered, they make this double-disc set a great first collection from the Peabody Award®-winning series.

PBS Kids’ first-ever collection of Molly of Denali episodes, Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures is an impressive DVD debut from the series.  That is due in no small part to its featured episodes.  The collection features 32 episodes from the series’ debut season.  That equals to 16 full-length half hour episodes, which is almost half of the body of the series’ only season so far.  Season one consists of 40 full half-hour episodes.  For the most part, the featured episodes are presented in chronological order, though there is some jumping around at points.  Ironically, being that each episode is presented in full, one can’t help but wonder why they were split up in the presentation here rather than being presented exactly as they were on television.  That aside, it is still good to see so much of the first season presented together rather than just have a jumble of shorts from the bigger overall episodes.  Hopefully audiences will not have to wait too long to complete their Season One collections, keeping all of this in mind.

While the episodes that are featured in Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures (that’s a lot of alliteration, isn’t it?) do a lot collectively to make this collection appealing, they are just a part of what makes it so appealing.  The stories that are featured within the episodes play into the collection’s appeal in their own right.  That is because they are so diverse.  Case in point is the story featured in “Book of Mammoths.”  As Molly and her dad go on a camping trip, they meet a tourist named Travis who is a conspiracy theorist of sorts.  He has read a book that has led him to believe that mammoths are still alive in Qyah.  This is a sort of spoof of all the people who think aliens have been to Earth since prehistoric times.  On a completely different note, “Name Game” and “Grandpa’s Drum” focus on the importance of accepting, appreciating, and recording cultural diversity and history.  “Qyah Spy,” yet another featured entry in this set, offers audiences yet another enjoyable story.  Molly and Tooey play spies as a mysterious stranger comes to Qyah and she thinks some of the town’s residents are being very secretive.  She thinks someone in town is up to no good, but the reality is the exact opposite.  Between these stories and so many others featured in the collection’s episodes, audiences get so much wonderful variety throughout the course of the collection’s approximately six-and-a-half hour run time.  Keeping this and the sheer volume of content in the set in mind, the set’s average price point proves to be its own positive.

The average price point of Molly of Denali: Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures is $12.49.  That price was reached by averaging listings at Amazon, Best Buy, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ online store.  It was not listed through Walmart, Target, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ stores at the time of this review’s posting.  PBS’ listing and that of Books-A-Million are the most expensive, at $14.99 each.  Amazon and Best Buy each  list the set at $9.99, which is well below that average.  Considering again, the extensive amount of content featured in this collection, and the variety therein, a listing of roughly $10 is not bad at all.  Even $15 is not too bad though obviously lower prices are available.  Regardless of which retailer one chooses, PBS will still benefit in the end, so either way along with audiences.  To that end the set’s average and separate price listings prove their own value to this presentation just as much as the set’s content.  All things considered , PBS Distribution’s new Molly of Denali proves to in fact be awesome.

PBS Distribution’s debut Molly of Denali DVD set, Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures is an impressive first home release from the award-winning animated series.  That is proven in part through its extensive episode listing, which covers almost half of the series’ first (and only so far) season.  The variety presented within the episodes is certain to keep audiences engaged and entertained throughout.  The set’s average price point puts the finishing touch to its appeal, coming in at less than $15.  The separate listings each are less than $20, adding even more appeal to that note.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the double-disc set.  All things considered, the collection truly lives up to its name, leaving no doubt that it is in fact awesome.

More information on Molly of Denali is available along with games, activities, printables and more at:

Websitehttp://pbskids.org/molly

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/MollyOfDenali

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Shout! Factory, MLB Productions Announce Release Date, Specs For World Series Sets

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/MLB Productions

Los Angeles Dodgers fans and baseball fans alike can relive history beginning next month.

Major League Baseball Productions and Shout! Factory have partnered to release 2020 World Series: Los Angeles Dodgers Dec. 8. The 90-minute presentation takes audiences through the Dodgers’ 2020 season all the way through the World Series.

Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully narrates the program, which culminates in the Dodgers’ first World Series Championship in 32 years.

Scully was humble as he talked about taking part in the production.

“It was 32 years since the Dodgers won a World Series and the seventh in the history of the organization, bringing great joy to their fans and the city of Los Angeles in particular,” said Scully. “This is their winning story against the Tampa Bay Rays, and it’s an honor for me to recount just how they did it.”

Media access was limited this year as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. However, approved access and other feeds allowed for this year’s production to happen. The set is expected to retail for MSRP of $19.98 (DVD) and $26.98 (Blu-ray/DVD combo pack).

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/MLB Prouctions

As an additional bonus, the entire six-game world series is scheduled for release Feb. 9 through Shout! Factory and Major League Baseball Productions. The set will feature Game 3 of the National League Division Series and Game Seven of the National League Championship Series as bonus content.

2020 World Series Collector’s Edition is expected to retail for MSRP of $59.98 (DVD) and $74.98 (Blu-ray).

More information on these and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Websitehttp://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

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‘Star Trek: Picard’ Falls Short Of Expectations In Its Debut Season

Courtesy: Paramount/CBS/CBS All Access/CBS DVD

CBS All Access’ latest entry in the ever-expanding Star Trek universe, Picard is another disappointment in the “new generation” of Star Trek series, next to Discovery.  The 10-episode debut season of Picard gives audiences little reason to remain engaged or even entertained in its writing and acting.  That is not to say that this season is a complete failure.  It is saved at least in part by its special effects and the packaging of its home release.  Other than those aesthetic elements, there is really no other reason for viewers to even try out this attempt to resurrect the TNG era of Star Trek.

The debut season of CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Picard is a rough first outing for the show.  It is not a complete failure, though.  It does have at least a couple of positives, one of which is its special effects.  Technology has come a long way in terms of the use of special effects, and they were used quite well throughout the course of Picard’s debut season.  Audiences will marvel at the upgrades made to the Borg cube that was so badly damaged in an epic battle with the Enterprise back in the days of TNG.  In a similar vein, the effects that were used to create the home world of the “synths” and the Federation headquarters is just as impressive.  The space battles that took place were just as  enjoyable to watch, even though they looked more like something out of Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5.  The effects that were used to create the early destruction of the Mars shipyards is worth acknowledging, too.  Those sequences are pretty brutal, even though again, one can’t help but think of BSG in this case, too.  Simply put, the special effects that were presented throughout the course of Picard’s debut (and hopefully only) season give viewers at least something to appreciate here.  Going back again to the mention of the BSG comparison, that item is just one of many that brings about the season’s one major detractor, its writing.

The writing that is featured in the first season of Picard is problematic to say the very least.  The whole thing starts off as essentially a “sequel” of sorts to Star Trek: Nemesis, the finale to The Next Generation’s cinematic universe.  That 2002 movie was the lowest point for the TNG franchise at the time, but Jean Luc’s desire to find Data’s consciousness here is just cheesy to say the very least.  The real Jean Luc-Picard did mourn for Data in Nemesis, but he ultimately would have accepted Data’s passing.  So to have this story open like this makes suspension of disbelief difficult to say the least.  From there, audiences are presented with the all too familiar topic of whether artificial intelligence can become fully sentient.  It is a topic that became central to TNG, but was addressed far before Star Trek was a thing, thus the reference to Isaac Asimov throughout this season.  It has been used and used again so many times throughout the sci-fi world that it has become little more than a trope.  The over-the-top preachiness that ensues in regards to the Romulans’ blind hatred of synths is yet another echo of something that has been addressed so many times in other movies and television shows that preceeded Picard.  To that end, it makes the topic that much more unengaging. 

Of course for all of the negative in the show’s writing, it does have some positives.  One positive element of the writing comes in Jean Luc’s revelation about the Borg being “victims, not monsters” as he visits the Borg cube in which he himself became a Borg in TNG.  He realizes that the Borg were in fact real, living beings who were transformed by the sentience.  That is a direct connection to the bigger discussion on the synths’ place in the universe, but is still far less preachy than the other noted talk.  Considering that the story line in Star Trek Discovery states the Federation essentially made the Borg when it created “Control,” Picard’s statement holds even more water so to speak.

Staying on the topic of Jean Luc’s revelations, his comment early on that the Federation does not decide which society survives is powerful in itself.  It echoes back to Luke Skywalker’s disillusionment with the Jedi order in the Star Wars universe.  The Federation’s Prime Directive was to not get involved directly in any society, so for his fellow Admiral to declare the Federation does hold that power makes Jean Luc a more sympathetic character.  It shows that there is at least a little bit of positive to the writing.  Sadly though, other than these revelations, most of the writing still poses its share of problems.  There is so much exposition and waxing philosophical throughout the season that the show’s pacing starts to suffer many times.  It isn’t the lighter but direct writing that audiences enjoyed in the “old days” of Star Trek.  Audiences are even made to endure an extensive discussion on mortality in the season finale (not to give away too much) that is way heavy. 

As if everything noted was not enough, the blatant foul language and often gory content written into the scripts detracts from the writing even more.  TOS, TNG, DSN, Voyager, and Enterprise did not need violence and foul language in order to work.  To that end, why did the show’s creative heads think these elements were so necessary in this case?  It leaves one shaking one’s head in disbelief that much more.

Simply put, the writing detracts from the presentation of Picard: Season One noticeably.  That is even with its rare positives.  While the writing does considerable damage to this season’s presentation, there is at least one more positive for audiences.  It is the packaging of the season’s home release.

Audiences will note that Season One’s packaging actually is its own positive.  The set’s three discs sit on their own “plate” inside the box.  This protects them from being damaged in any form.  Brief but concise episode summaries are also printed on the inside of the set’s cover art.  This is where things get a little bit problematic.  Due to being printed on the inside of the case’s art, some of the summaries are partially covered by the package’s “bones.”  This leads to the need to shift the box so that they can be better read.  Even doing that is problematic because even in doing that, there is still some difficulty in reading said summaries.  Thankfully it doesn’t happen with all of the summaries.  To that end, the inclusion of the summaries is still mostly positive in its own fashion.  When all of this noted packaging presentation is considered along with the show’s special effects, the show’s presentation proves to have at least something to appreciate

The debut season of CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Picard is a rough start for this series.  It does not give audiences much to appreciate.  Rather, it comes across more as a cash grab attempt by someone to get fans of The Next Generation to welcome the “new age” of Star Trek.  That is evidenced in large part through the season’s central story and writing.  The writing comes across as some kind of attempt by the  show’s creative heads to see if they could make up for the failure that was Nemesis while also rehashing the far too familiar topic of artificial intelligence and the potential results of said intelligence becoming sentient.  It all feels so forced.  To the show’s defense, there are at least a couple of positives to the writing, but they are just not enough to make this season memorable.  The only real positives to this season are its special effects and the packaging of its home release.  Even as much as they do to help the season’s presentation, they just are not enough to save Season One.  Ultimately, one can only hope that considering all of the problems posed throughout the season, the now confirmed second season will be anything but the failure that is Season One.

More information on Star Trek: Picard is available along with all of CBS All Access’ latest news at:

Website: http://www.cbs.com/allaccess

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cbs

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

CMG Announces Release Date, Specs For Fourth Buster Keaton Collection

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Cohen Media Group will release its fourth collection of Buster Keaton films next month.

The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 4 is scheduled for release Dec. 8 on Blu-ray and DVD. Its release will come more than a year after the release of the ongoing series’ first three volumes. This two-movie collection will feature Keaton’s 1925 movie Go West and its 1927 follow-up, the timeless movie College.

Keaton plays the role of “Friendless” in Go West. Feeling the desire to explore the country, Friendless heads west to find his destiny. The comedy finds Friendless having a hard time adjusting to the life of the cowboy/ranch hand, but he ends up becoming a hero when a bunch of steer is accidentally unleashed on Los Angeles.

College finds Keaton playing the part of Ronald. Ronald follows his romantic interest Mary to a university whose student body is made up largely of athletes, who Mary prefers more than bookworm types, such as Ronald. The story reaches a dramatic moment, leading Ronald to become a hero in another way while also winning Mary’s heart.

The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume Four will retail for MSRP of $29.95 (Blu-ray) and $19.95 (DVD).

More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.cohenmedia.net

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/CohenMediaGroup

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

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Motorhead’s ‘Ace Of Spades’ 40th Anniversary Box Set Is A Great Tribute To A Great Album And Band

Courtesy: BMG/Sanctuary Records

Forty years ago Motorhead released what has gone on to become one of the most beloved records in the history of rock when it released Ace of Spades.  The timeless album got its own re-issue Friday thanks to officials at /Sanctuary Records in the form of the Ace of Spades Box Set.  This multi disc box set is a fitting tribute to the album and to the legacy of Motorhead.  That is proven in part through the expansive content featured in the box set.  It will be discussed shortly.  The box set’s packaging adds to the appeal of its presentation.  It will be discussed a little later.  The set’s average price point rounds out its most important elements and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the box set.  All things considered, the 40th anniversary presentation of Ace of Spades proves itself a fitting tribute to an important album and band.

BMG/Sanctuary Records’ newly released 40th anniversary celebration of Motorhead’s landmark album Ace of Spades is a fitting tribute to the album and band.  It is a presentation that the band’s most devoted audiences will welcome in their music libraries.  That is proven in part in its expansive content.  Audiences do not just get a standard CD re-issue here.  This set is a multi-disc vinyl collection that features the band’s album re-mastered along with two previously unavailable double live albums separate previously unreleased instrumentals and demos ad b-sides.  Between the live content, the b-sides, demos, instrumentals and the album, the total track count comes to 73.  Along with all of the musical content, audiences also get a bonus comic book, 40-page book that tells the story of Ace of Spade’s creation, “Ace of Spades Tour” booklet, and dice to go along with the board game featured in the packaging.  This aspect will be discussed shortly.  Adding to the appeal even more is that the collection also features a DVD loaded with a full live concert from 1981 and a series of live TV clips.  The live content on the live vinyls is impressive in its own right because on one hand its production is top notch.  On the other hand, the content is not limited to just Ace of Spades.  Rather, it features music that the band had composed up to and including that point. 

The DVD that comes with the box set is an impressive added accent in its own right to the presentation.  The editing between the talk show content and live content is smooth.  What’s more, the quality of the vintage footage is surprisingly appealing, too.  Considering that most of the footage was recorded in 1980 and 1981, it has clearly stood the test of time.  That in itself is sure to instill a certain sense of nostalgia among the band’s most devoted and longtime fans.  One of the most powerful moments in the presentation comes early in its nearly hour-long presentation as drummer Phil Taylor noted that being in the band was what kept him out of any trouble, and how honestly appreciative he was to be able to be part of the band.  The moment when the band is sitting down for an interview on a Swedish talk show is a great light hearted moment, too.  Audiences will laugh as Lemmy Kilmister talks about being fired from his first band and starting Motorhead literally three days later.  It’s one of those moments when one can only imagine what the rock world would have been like had Lemmy not parted ways with that first band.  It was one of those blessing in disguise moments, obviously.  That anecdote that he shares is just one of the wonderfully entertaining discussions that audiences get from that talk show.  Audiences will have even more to discover for themselves when they purchase this box set.  When the content on the Blu-ray is coupled with the material on the vinyls, that whole makes for so much for audiences to appreciate.  That goes without saying.  All of this is just part of what makes this box set a win for Motorhead fans.  The box’s very packaging adds even more to its presentation.

The packaging for the new Ace of Spades box set is so stand out in part because of how it contains everything.  The vinyls are essentially stacked inside their own unique “sleeves” inside the bigger case.  Essentially they are their own packaging as their own releases within the bigger box.  They are stacked one on top of another, but still protected with enough room to move around inside the box without danger of damage.  Fans will really appreciate this aspect of the packaging.  What’s more, it opens and closes easily and safely without concern about it coming open accidentally.

On another note, the packaging also doubles as a board game, complete with the previously noted dice.  So not only do audiences get lots of great music here, but they also get to play a game while taking in that great music at the same time.  Simply put, Ace of Spades’ 40th anniversary box set stands out just as much for its packaging as for its content.  Now keeping all of this in mind, there is one last element to examine, the pricing.

Ace of Spades 40th Anniversary box set is not an inexpensive set.  Using listings at Target, Best Buy, Amazon, and Walmart, its average price point is $165.  It was not listed at Barnes & Noble Booksellers or at Books-A-Million.  That seems like a high price on the surface, but considering that the box contains the Ace of Spades album, two double live recordings, a DVD loaded with live content, a disc containing rarities and b-sides, another disc of previously unreleased instrumentals from the Ace of Spades sessions, a facsimile tour booklet, board game complete with dice, and a comic book, the price really adds up.  If audiences consider the average price of a full-length album, the price for a double live recording, and everything else, the pricing is about right.  To that end, yes, the average price point is high, but it is not over the top.  Amazon offers the lowest of the prices, at $149.82 while Best Buy’s listing of $179.99 is anything but the best buy here.  Target’s listing of $153.99 is the middle ground for this set.  Walmart has the second highest price at $174.98.  Regardless of which retailer audiences choose, the quantity and quality of the content makes the box set a welcome offering for Motorhead’s most devoted and longtime fans.  When this is considered along with the content and packaging, the whole shows that even more to be true.

BMG/Sanctuary Records’ new 40th Anniversary re-issue of Motorhead’s landmark album Ace of Spades is a standout among this year’s field of music re-issues.  That is proven in part through its expansive content, which will keep listeners engaged and entertained for a long time.  The box’s packaging builds on that appeal even more for many reasons.  The pricing for the box set rounds out its most important elements, as noted here.  Each item noted is important in itself to the set.  All things considered, this box set proves a must have for Motorhead’s most devoted and longtime fans.  The set is available now.  More information on the box set is available along with all  of the latest Motorhead news at:

Website: http://www.motorhead.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/myMotorhead

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

PBS Distribution Announces Release Date For New ‘Molly Of Denali’ DVD Set

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS Distribution/PBS

PBS Kids’ animate series Molly of Denali is coming to DVD.

PBS Distribution is scheduled to release its new two-disc compilation Molly of Denali: Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures Nov. 10. The Peabody Award-winning series’ new collection with feature 32 episodes, more than three-quarters of its existing first season at an MSRP of $14.99.

Among the most notable of the collection’s featured shorts are episodes, such as “Hot Springs Eternal” (yes, a spoof of Hope Springs Eternal), “A-Maze-ing Snow,” and “First Fish.” The latter of that trio features a story of Molly going on her first fishing trip with her family. She wants to catch her first fish, but along the way, ends up catching her friend Tooey’s boot. It’s up to Molly to use her knowledge of the salmon life cycle to catch her first fish.

A-Maze-ing Snow” the roof on Molly’s school needs repairs, but the school can’t afford them. As a result, Molly comes up with the idea for a community ‘fun’-raiser with a large snow maze. Things don’t go exactly as planned, though Molly and her friends do manage to raise enough money to repair the school’s roof.

“Hot Springs Eternal follows Molly as she tried to find a hot spring that her Grandpa Nat discovered in his younger days. The pair sets off with Molly’s dad and her best friend Tooey to find the fabled hot spring. It’s up to Molly’s knowledge of the stars to help guide the group to the hot spring.

More information on Molly of Denali is available along with games, activities, printables and more at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/molly

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

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

Arrow Video Announces Release Date, Specs For ‘Silent Running’ BD Re-Issue

Courtesy: Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment Group

Arrow Video is resurrecting Universal’s 1972 ecologically-minded science fiction flick Silent Running.

The company is scheduled to re-issue the movie Nov. 17 on Blu-ray. The movie stars Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight, The Burbs, Nebraska) as lead character Freeman Lowell. Lowell is on a ship carrying some of the last forests from Earth and is told that the ship is to be destroyed and that he will return to Earth. He refuses to follow orders and takes matters into his own hands in order to protect the ship’s plant life, going to very even desperate measures in the process.

The forthcoming re-issue will feature a new 2K scan. Additionally, it will feature a variety of bonus features, such as a new feature length audio commentary from critics Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw, a new interview with music historian Jeff Bond about the movie’s soundtrack ,and collector’s booklet with new liner notes on the movie by Forshaw and Peter Tonguette.

The full listing of the re-issue’s bonus content is noted below.

Bonus Materials

— Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative, approved by director Douglas Trumbull and produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release

— High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray™ presentation

— Original lossless mono audio

— Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

— Brand new audio commentary by critics Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw

— Original audio commentary by Douglas Trumbull and actor Bruce Dern

— Isolated music and effects track

— No Turning Back, a new interview with film music historian Jeff Bond on the film’s score

— First Run, a new visual essay by writer and filmmaker Jon Spira exploring the evolution of Silent Running’s screenplay

— The Making of Silent Running, an archival 1972 on-set documentary

— Silent Running by Douglas Trumbull and Douglas Trumbull: Then and Now, two archival interviews with the film’s director

— A Conversation with Bruce Dern, an archival interview with the film’s lead actor

— Theatrical trailer

— Extensive behind-the-scenes gallery

— Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Arik Roper

— FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Barry Forshaw and Peter Tonguette

Pre-orders are open for Silent Running.

More information on Arrow Video’s Silent Runnning re-issue is available along with all of the company’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.arrowfilms.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

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

‘The Jetsons: The Complete Series’ Is In Fact Incomplete

Courtesy: Hanna-Barbera/Warner Home Video

When Hanna Barbera debuted its animated series The Jetsons in 1962 on ABC, few if any people would have thought that the series would go on to be such a prophetic program and so beloved.  So when the series’ first season was released on DVD in 2004 through Warner Home Video, it gave lots of people plenty of reason to be excited.  It would take another five years before audiences would see another release, which came in the form of the first half of the series’ second season.  That release was the last official release for the series, while the second half of the second season, the third full season and the whole season were released on DVD and Blu-ray respectively through an on-demand platform through a partnership between Amazon, Hanna-Barbera, and Warner Brothers.  Those releases were not official releases, meaning that audiences were pretty much left waiting and wondering when and if the rest of the series would ever get an official release.  Audiences got their answer Oct. 13 with the release of The Jetsons: The Complete Series on DVD.  The eight-disc collection is a mostly enjoyable presentation, though also imperfect.  Its main positive is it’s the fact that it does in fact contain all three of the series’ seasons in one set.  The importance hereof will be discussed shortly.  While the inclusion of all three of the series’ seasons is an undeniable positive, its overall lack of any bonus content hurts its presentation considerably.  This will be discussed a little later.  While the lack of any real bonus content hurts this collection’s presentation without argument, the set’s packaging actually helps that presentation.  This will be discussed later, too.  When it is considered with the very presentation of the full series, the two elements do just enough to make the set worth owning for the series’ most devoted fans, but just enough.

Warner Home Video’s recently released presentation of The Jetsons: The Complete Series is a presentation that while mostly enjoyable, falls somewhat short of expectations.  It is not a complete failure, though.  One thing about the collection that audiences will appreciate is that it is in fact the full three-season run of the timeless, beloved series.  This is important because this release marks the first time ever that the series has ever received an official full series release.  As already noted here, Warner Home Video and Hanna-Barbera partnered in the early 2000s to release the series’ first season in whole on DVD.  That was followed five years later with the release of the first half of the series’ second season.  After that though, the series never released any other official DVD releases.  Amazon partnered with Hanna-Barbera and Warner Brothers to release the second half of Season Two and the whole of Season Three on an on-demand DVD platform, and the series’ full run on an on-demand Blu-ray platform.  Those releases, in other words, are recorded to DVD-R/BD-R discs when audiences purchase the sets online.  According to some reviews read by this critic, allegedly the Blu-ray series set may in fact not be the whole set, but only Season One.  That is stated by multiple people who reviewed the set through Amazon.  If in fact there is some credence to the allegation, then it makes this new DVD collection that much more appealing for the noted devotees of The Jetsons.  Now, for all that the actual full physical presentation of the series’ run does for this collection’s presentation, the lack of secondary content detracts greatly from its presentation.

Secondary content is, in this case, bonus content.  The only bonus content that is featured in this collection is the Jetsons movie The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones.  On the surface, having the movie seems okay.  However, it is a downfall because the movie in question is already featured in the much less expensive double disc set of The Flintstones movies and TV specials as one of the featured movies.  That collection in question costs only about $14.87 (using listings at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellsers, and Books-A-Million).  This eight-disc collection of The Jetsons averages $26.18 (sing price listings at Walmart, Target, Amazon, Best Buy, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers – it was not listed at Books-A-Million).  Audiences will find themselves left scratching their heads and wondering why The Jetsons movie was not also featured as a bonus here.  Additionally, the box sets for the series’ first season and the first half of its second season featured lots of bonus content, such as a history of The Jetsons, the series’ cultural importance and even a pair of feature-length audio commentaries.  Those bonuses were not carried over to this collection.  Considering that each set was released in partner between Warner Home Video (Warner Media Group) and Hanna-Barbera, it seems odd that the noted content was not carried over.  As a result, audiences who (like this critic) enjoy that bonus content and already own the noted sets will basically have to keep them in order to enjoy them since they were not brought to this latest set.  That is a disservice to the noted audiences and is collectively an undeniable detractor from the set’s presentation.  Now for all that the lack of any real bonus content does to detract from the collection’s presentation, it does not make the set a complete failure.  One other item – the set’s packaging – makes up for the problems posed by the lack of bonus content.

The packaging in question actually takes up less space than the two official season sets that Hanna-Barbera and Warner Home Video released in 2004 and 2009.  In other words, it will take up slightly less space on audiences’ DVD/BD racks than those noted standalone sets.  This is unquestionably positive.  Even better is that the discs are themselves packaged well inside the case.  Each disc sits on its own “plate” inside the case, separate from the other discs.  There is no having to move the discs and risk damaging them in order to remove or replace them before and after watching them.  It may come across as a surprise, but there are still some companies who take that old packaging approach for their multi-disc DVD and BD sets.  To that end, this adds to the set’s appeal.  It still is not the last of the most notable of the packaging positives. 

The set also features an insert that clearly points out each episode’s title, on which discs the episodes are featured, and even which discs present which season.  Again, there are a lot of home video companies even today that will not take that approach.  So both companies are to be commended for taking this simple step, too.  Putting the proverbial cherry on top of this presentation is the exterior packaging.

The exterior packaging for The Jetsons: The Complete Series is simple.  The case is surrounded by a simple cardboard type outer “box” that slides simply on and off of the case that contains the discs.  This protects the case and the discs while also saving audiences time in getting to the discs.  This is important to note because in comparison, the Season One and Season Two, Volume One sets each essentially have to be shaken from their exterior packaging to even get to the cases.  That is because the cases are packed so tightly in their respective exterior packaging.  Having to shake the cases can lead the discs to potentially come undone from their spots inside the cases and get damaged.  It is also time consuming to have to take that extra time trying to just get to the case, let alone the discs therein.  To that end, this aspect of the packaging is definitely its own positive, even being more of an aesthetic aspect of the packaging.  When this aspect is considered with the other noted packaging elements, the whole of the packaging really stands out and shows its importance just as much as the fact that the entire series is actually presented here.  When these two elements are considered along with the concerns raised by the lack of any real substantive bonus content, the whole of those elements makes the collection enjoyable although imperfect.

Warner Home Video and Hanna-Barbera’s recently released The Jetsons: The Complete Series set is an enjoyable presentation, but is sadly not necessarily complete.  Yes, it has the series’ full three-season run.  Yes, its packaging definitely is complete.  However, it lacks any real substantive bonus content.  To that end, the series is complete in one aspect, but it still will leave some audiences wanting for more in the long run.  Keeping that in mind, one can only hope that if the set is ever re-issued, it really will live up to its title of being complete.  More information on this and other titles from Warner Home Video is available at:

Website: http://warnerbros.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Warnerbros

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