Arrow Video’s ‘Cold War Creatures’ Blu-ray Box Set Is A Wonderful Treat For Classic Sci-Fi, Horror Fans This Halloween and Beyond

Courtesy: Arrow Video

Halloween is less than half a month away.  With the unofficial start of the holiday season once again so close, Arrow Video is offering audiences a great way to get into the holiday spirit with its recently released Blu-ray box set, Cold War Creatures.  Released Sept. 14, the four-disc collection is an excellent way for audiences to do just that.  That is due in no small part to the movies featured in this collection and their stories.  They will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content featured across the set is just as important as the movies and their stories and will be discussed a little later.  The set’s pricing rounds out its most important elements, considering the overall content.  It will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the box set.  All things considered, they make this collection one of the absolute best of this year’s new DVD and BD box sets for grown-ups.

Arrow Video has quickly become one of the leading names in home entertainment over the course of the past year or so, even surpassing the likes of Shout! Factory.  The reason being is its offerings.  It continued to do just that last month when it released its new classic sci-fi horror cinema collection, Cold War Creatures.  Released Sept. 14 on Blu-ray, the four-disc collection features four classic Columbia Pictures flicks, all produced by Sam Katzman.  The movies are all from the 1950s, the era that gave audiences some of the greatest sci-fi and horror flicks of all time.  In this case, the movies are spread across those genres.  The Giant Claw (1957) is a classic creature feature.  It was Columbia Pictures’ answer to all of Universal’s classic creature features.  Yes, it is so cheesy from beginning to end, but it is one of those flicks that is just so bad that it is great.  Thanks to HD technology, audiences can even see the strings and wires that controlled the giant bird and all of the model planes.  On another note, The Werewolf (1956) throws back to Universal’s older monster movies, but even being a werewolf movie, is not just a ripoff of The Wolfman.  This will be discussed shortly as the focus turns to the movies’ stories.  Creature With The Atom Brain takes the focus on atomic energy in that era and crosses it with a mob flick and a zombie flick.  That all sounds really contrived, but in a weird way, it works here.  Meanwhile, Zombies of Mora Tau is a more supernatural movie that, as the title infers, centers on a bunch of zombies.  However in this case, they aren’t brain-eating zombies.  This will also be discussed as the focus turns to the movies’ stories.  Looking at all of this, it is clear that the movies are unique from one another while also showing the ground that they cover within the sci-fi and horror realms of the time.  Simply put, they in themselves give audiences diversity in their viewing options.

Moving to the movies’ stories, the stories are as diverse as the movies themselves.  The story featured in Werewolf for instance centers on a man named Duncan Marsh (playe by Steven Rich – Wagon Train, Plunder Road, City of Fear) who is suffering from amnesia and just wants to remember who he is and how he became a werewolf.  Meanwhile, the residents of Mountaincrest — the town where Marsh ends up — meet him and eventually come to find out he is also the one responsible for a series of “murders” that happen in the town.  The revelation of how Marsh became a werewolf in the first place versus the mindset of sheriff Jack Haines (Don Megowan – Blazing Saddles, The Creation of the Humanoids, The Devil’s Brigade) and that of his fiancé, Amy Standish (Joyce Holden – Private Eyes, The Milkman, The Ford Television Theatre) really does a good job of making Marsh a sympathetic character.  Haines’ mindset meanwhile really makes him more of a villain in the bigger discussion on humans’ humanity and lack thereof.  That and the intolerance shown by the townspeople versus Amy’s more humane mindset really makes the story even more interesting.  That coupled with the blatant Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde comparison makes the story even more engaging and entertaining.  It does well to help separate this movie from its Universal Pictures counterpart, The Wolfman.  Interestingly enough, the movie is in fact a lifting of another movie, as is revealed in some of the set’s bonus content.  This will be addressed later.  Getting back on topic, it is just one of the interesting stories featured in this set.  The story featured in Zombies of Mora Tau is completely unlike that featured in The Werewolf.

The story featured in The Zombies of Mora Tau centers on a group of treasure hunters who have come to an unnamed region of Africa to retrieve a cache of diamonds.  As the set’s bonus content notes (again, this will be discussed later) the comparison to RKO Pictures’ 1932 movie White Zombie (which starred Dracula himself, Bela Lugosi) are inescapable.  AS it turns out, the diamonds are “protected” by the zombie crew that originally tried to steal the diamonds.  There is some tension and action throughout.  It is a story that is completely unlike that of the stories in the set’s other movies.

On yet another side of things, the story featured in The Giant Claw harkens back to the so bad they’re great creature features, such as The Deadly Mantis (1957), Them! (1954) and The Fly (1958).  In the case of The Giant Claw, the story is simple.  A giant, monster bird (apparently from outer space) comes to Earth to terrorize the planet while also preparing the next generation of super powered creatures.  It’s up to a smart mathematician named Sally Caldwell (Mara Corday – The Rookie, The Gauntlet, Sudden Impact) and her guy friend, the stereotypical, headstrong male lead, Mitch MacAfee (Jeff Morrow – This Island Earth, Kronos, Flight To Tangier) to figure out how to beat the apparently extraterrestrial beast.  This approach – the elite pair/team working to defeat the deadly beast(s) – was so typical of the creature features of the 50s, but is still just as entertaining to watch here as in those movies, even as cheesy as it is here.  Of course Sam Katzman was known for just rehashing previously used plots and plot elements from other movies for the movies that he produced.  This is also noted in the expansive bonus content featured in this set.  It will also be discussed later.  Getting back on topic again, this story is yet another example of the diversity in the movies’ stories.

As noted earlier, the story in Creature With The Atom Brain is unique in its own right.  It features a mobster named Frank Buchanan (Michael Granger – Battle of Rogue River, Fort Vengeance, Murder By Contract) who enlists the aid of ex-Nazi scientist Dr. Wilhelm Steigg (Gregory Gaye – Ninotchka, My Gal Sal, Dodsworth) to bring a bunch of dead criminals back to life and use them to get even with the law enforcement officials who caused him to be deported.  What audiences get here is a story that blends elements of a crime story and a zombie story to make quite the unique tale that is, again, super cheesy but still somehow so entertaining at the same time.  Looking at all of this, it is clear that the stories featured in this set are just as unique from one another as the movies’ genres.  To that end, they are just important to the set’s presentation as the movies themselves.  The two together are just one part of what makes this collection so entertaining.  The bonus content that accompanies the movies and their stories is of its own importance. 


To say that the bonus content featured in this set is expansive would be an understatement.  Each movie comes with its own bevy of bonuses.  Film historian and critic Kim Newman provides his own new introduction to each movie.  Each also features its own feature-length audio commentary and other extras.  One of the most notable of the “other” extras is the in-depth bonus, “Family Endangered!,” which comes with The Giant Claw.  Critic Mike White discusses in this feature, how so many movies in the 1950s reflected audiences’ concerns and the real world in general.  For instance, White points out that Creature With The Atom Brain features two antagonists who essentially represented the axis powers from WWII, in an Italian mobster and an ex-Nazi scientist.  The hero, an American detective went up against the pair, eventually defeating the men.  In the essay about the movie (which is part of the set’s bigger “Essaays” collection about each movie), writer Curt Siodmak was himself a survivor of sorts of Hitler’s regime.  The movie’s essay points out that he and his family actually fled their homeland to come to America to get away from Hitler and his evil.  So it is interesting to note that this likely played into his writing here.

Getting back on topic, in the case of The Giant Claw, White points out that the bird was essentially a physical manifestation of the fears that Americans had during the Cold War.  It was able to “cloak” itself from radar, and destroy so much of America.  It even ate the United Nations building while also building a nest in an attempt to spread its evil.  In other words, the whole movie was, in essence an allegory of global political tensions at the time.  That is interesting in its own right to learn.

On a related note, Newman points out in his introduction to The Giant Claw that allegedly, special effects legend Ray Harryhausen looked into The Giant Claw and essentially turned it down because of the low budget special effects.  This is shocking in its own right.

Moving on to Werewolf, Newman points out in this movie’s introduction, the comparison to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hydeand adds that it was an intentional throwback to the old Universal monster movies of days gone by.  The noted “Essays” collection that comes with the set adds to Newman’s own in-depth discussion, pointing out that the movie was in fact a lifting of the 1943 Columbia Pictures flick The Return of the Vampire.  This goes back again to the bigger discussion on Katzman’s willingness to just lift from other movies for the works that he produced.  This is also discussed in the “Essays” booklet. 

The discussion on Katzman’s willingness to lift plots and plot elements from other movies points out that such a move was intentional.  It was part of Katzman’s overall overly spendthrift approach to making movies during the 1950s.  He knew that people would buy into such an approach, and that in turn, the movies would make a profit.  Keeping that in mind, it leads one to realize that the more things change the more they stay the same, especially in Hollywood.  Knowing that movie studios have been excessively taking such an approach over the past 20 years or so, it looks like their approach is nothing new.  It lessens the annoyance of studios doing that even today, but at the same time adds to the annoyance that Hollywood even has taken such approach.  Ironically if not for that approach, the movies in this set would never have existed, so it becomes something of a bizarre necessary evil.  It is just one more of so many bonuses featured in this collection that show the importance of the set’s bonus content.  Between everything noted here and so much else featured with the set, the whole strengthens the set’s presentation that much more.  Keeping the breadth and depth of that content in mind along with that of the movies and their stories, the whole of the primary and secondary content gives audiences more than enough reason to own this cinematic set.  It also makes the set’s pricing money well spent.

The average price point of Cold War Creatures is $93.23 according to prices averaged through Amazon, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble Booksellers.  The collection was not listed through Walmart, Target, and Books-A-Million at the time of this review’s posting.  Best Buy actually is the best buy in this case, listing the set at $79.99.  Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Amazon each list the movie at $99.99.  That roughly $80 price point (just over that, counting shipping and handling) is not that bad, considering – again – the amount of content and the depth thereof in this collection.  Considering so many Blu-rays ranging from as little as $9 to about $25 on average by themselves, that noted price is actually that much more affordable, considering that at the high end, buying each by itself would equal to about $100.  Add in the two extensive booklets that discuss the movies and their art one by one, and that average price point and the least expensive listing becomes that much more affordable.  Keeping that in mind along with the overall content, the whole proves even more why any cinephile, any classic sci-fi and horror fan, and any fan of all things Halloween will find this set so enjoyable.  It leaves no doubt that the set is among the best of this year’s top new DVD and BD box sets for grown ups.

Arrow Video’s recently released box set of vintage Columbia Pictures movies, Cold War Creatures, is one of the most impressive of the company’s releases so far this year if not the company’s most impressive this year.  That is due in part to its primary content.  That primary content consists of the set’s featured movies and their stories.  The movies and their stories are all unique from one another, offering plenty of diversity from the top down.  The secondary content – the bonus content that accompanies the movies and their stories – adds even more engagement and entertainment to the presentation.  That is because of the amount of background that it provides for the movies.  Any true cinephile fill agree it makes the set that much more immersive.  The set’s pricing proves to be money well spent, especially on the lower end.  On the lowest end from the nation’s major retailers, audiences will spend less than $100 on the set.  Speaking specifically, the lowest point is just over $80.  That is not bad, again, considering all of the noted content.  When that pricing is considered along with the content, the whole makes this collection overall a complete success one of the year’s top new DVD and BD box sets for grown-ups. 

Cold War Creatures is available now. More information on this and other titles from Arrow Video is available at:

Websitehttps://www.arrowfilms.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Turner Sports Announces Broadcast Schedule For Opening Week Of NHL’s 2021-22 Regular Season

1060573 NHL Rehearsal – Studio Sets
Courtesy: Turner Sports

TNT will launch its coverage of the NHL’s 2021-22 regular season Wednesday.

The network’s inaugural season with the NHL is scheduled to open with a double header schedule. Up first on Wednesday’s slate is an Eastern Conference matchup between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals. Puck drop is slated for 7:30 p.m.

The night’s second game will see the Colorado Avalanche hosting the Chicago Blackhawks at 10 p.m. ET.

NHL on TNT Face Off Presented by Verizon will open the night at 7 p.m. ET. The pre-game broadcast will air live from TNT’s new state-of-the-art studio in Atlanta, GA. Liam McHugh will anchor the broadcast. NHL legend Wayne “The Great One” Gretzky will join McHugh for additional commentary along with fellow NHL veteran Anson Carter, three-time Stanley Cup Champion Rick Tochet and veteran hockey star Paul Bissonette.

Kenny Albert will call the early game. He will be joined by analyst Eddie Olczyk and rinkside reporter Keith Jones. Brendan Burke will have the call for the late game. Analyst Darren Pang will join him for additional commentary while 2013 Stanley Cup Champion/15-year NHL veteran Jamal Mayers provides the game’s biggest headlines.

Additionally, retired NHL official will join the in-studio broadcast team for additional insight and analysis into each game.

More information on Turner Sports’ NHL coverage is available along with all of the company’s headlines at https://twitter.com/TurnerSportsPR.

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

ESPN Announces Key Matchups For Week 7 Broadcast Schedule Of The 2021-22 College Football Season

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has announced its broadcast schedule for week seven of the 2021-22 college football season.

This weekend’s schedule is set to kick off at 10:30 p.m. ET Friday. Pac-12 conference opponents No. 9 Oregon and California are scheduled to face off.

The college football action continues at noon Saturday with a packed schedule. One key matchup at noon will see a showdown between American Athletic Conference opponents #3 Cincinnati and UCF. The game is scheduled to air on ABC. Meanwhile over on ESPN2, Nebraska and Minnesota are scheduled to kick off at noon.

Also at noon, the Gators and LSU Tigers will face off on ESPN. It will simulcast on ESPN Radio. Additionally, No. 21 Texas A&M will face Missouri at noon on the SEC Network.

Saturday’s daylong schedule continues at 3:30 with two more games. No. 19 BYU will face Baylor on ESPN’s 4K Game of the Week. Also at 3:30, No. 2 Iowa is scheduled to hit the field against Purdue on ABC following the Bearcats/Golden Knights game.

The SEC will get more attention at 7 p.m. on ESPN as No. 5 Alabama takes the field against Mississippi State.

Back over on the SEC Network, Ole Miss and Tennessee will go under the lights at 7:30 p.m. ET on SEC Saturday Night Presented by T-Mobile. #22 NC State will be on the road against Boston College at 7:30 p.m. on the ACC Network. The gridiron action continues at 7:30 p.m. on ABC’s Saturday Night Football Presented by Capitol One as No. 4 Oklahoma hosts TCU.

Utah and No. 18 Arizona State round out the key matchups on this week’s schedule of games across the ESPN networks. Kickoff is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The games noted here are just a handful of contests scheduled for this weekend. Even more games are scheduled across the ESPN networks.

More information on this weekend’s broadcast schedule is available along with all of the latest college football headlines at:

Websitehttps://www.espn.com/college-football

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/espncfb

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

Ice Nine Kills Launches Another New Single, Video From Its Latest Album

Courtesy: Fearless Records

Ice Nine Kills offered audiences another preview of its new album over the weekend.

The band debuted its new single, ‘Funeral Derangements‘ and its video Saturday. The song is the fourth single from the band’s forthcoming album, The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood. The band premiered the album’s third single,  ‘Rainy Day‘ and its companion video approximately a month prior.

The premiere of ‘Rainy Day’ was preceded in August, by that of ‘Assault and Batteries,’ and its video, the second single and video from the record. The album’s lead single,  ‘Hip To Be Scared‘ and its video premiered July 9.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Funeral Derangements’ is everything that audiences have come to expect from INK. The vocal harmonies are there. So are the screams and heavy breakdowns, as well as the rich bass and drums. It leans in the direction of the sound and stylistic approach taken in ‘Communion of the Cursed’ by and large while still maintaining its own identity.

The song’s video is an homage to author Stephen King’s classic horror novel Pet Sematary. This is even mentioned by one of the officers in the video’s final scene. The video by the way, is NSFW because of all of the blood and overall darkness and violent content, so viewer discretion is advised.

The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood is scheduled for release Oct. 15 through Fearless Records. The album is technically the second “sequel” to the band’s 2018 album, The Silver Scream. That record was followed by the release of  The Silver ScreamThe Final Cut.

The Silver Scream and The Silver ScreamThe Final Cut produced the singles, ‘Thank God It’s Friday,’ ‘Stabbing in the Dark,’ ‘A Grave Mistake,‘ ‘The American Nightmare,’ ‘Savages,’ ‘Enjoy Your Slay‘ ‘A Grave Mistake,’ ‘Thank God It’s Friday,’ ‘Stabbing in the Dark‘ and a cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller.’

The band followed up The Silver ScreamThe Final Cut with the release of its live recording, I Heard They Kill Live last year. The recording produced live performances of The Silver Scream‘s songs, ‘Rocking The Boat,’ and ‘Stabbing in the Dark.’

The track listing for The Silver Scream 2Welcome to Horrorwood is noted below.

Ice Nine Kills

The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood

Track Listing

1. Opening Night…

2. Welcome To Horrorwood

3. A Rash Decision 

4. Assault & Batteries

5. The Shower Scene

6. Funeral Derangements 

7. Rainy Day 

8. Hip To Be Scared (feat. Jacoby Shaddix) 

9. Take Your Pick (feat. Corpsegrinder) 

10. The Box (feat. Brandon Saller of Atreyue & Ryan Kirby of Fit For A King) 

11. F.L.Y. (feat. Buddy Nielsen of Senses Fail) 

12. Wurst Vacation 

13. Ex-Mørtis

14. Farewell II Flesh 

More information on Ice Nine Kills’ new album, single, and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://iceninekills.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/IceNineKills

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/iceninekills

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.

PBS Kids, PBS Distribution’s New Season, Holiday DVD Sets Will Entertain, Engage Audiences Of All Ages

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

The unofficial start of the annual holiday season is only days away.  For those who don’t know, that is a reference to Halloween.  As Halloween nears, many are already turning their attention to colder weather and Christmas, including officials with PBS Kids and PBS Distribution.  The companies are scheduled to release two new seasonal DVD collections Oct. 19 on DVD in the form of PBS Kids: 20 Snowy Stories and PBS Kids Christmas Collection.  The collections, one a double-disc collection and the other a single-disc set, are successful new offerings.  Their success comes in part through the episodes featured in the set.  This will be examined shortly.  While the featured episodes do plenty to keep viewers engaged and entertained, the sets are not perfect.  Each collection suffers in the way of their packaging.  This element will be examined a little later.  The sets’ pricing rounds out their most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the collections.  All things considered, they make the collections wonderful ways for families to get into the seasonal and holiday spirit.

PBS Kids and PBS Distribution’s upcoming DVD collections, PBS Kids: 20 Snowy Stories and PBS Kids Christmas Collection are mostly successful offerings from the companies.  Their success is due in large part to their featured episodes.  The episodes are culled from a variety of PBS Kids’ most beloved series past and present, such as Arthur, Splash & Bubbles, and Word World just to name a few.  Also featured are episodes from the likes of Let’s Go Luna!, Dinosaur Train, and World World just to name a few more.  For the most part, the episodes feature stories that match the collections’ titles, too.  The only episode that is out of place is the Dinosaur Train episode, “Cretacious Conifers.”  Featured in the 20 Snowy Stories collection, it has no snow or even ice.  Yes, there is a mention of the winter solstice at points throughout, but it also focuses heavily on more of a Christmas theme as the story progresses.  To that end, it seems more of a fit on the Christmas Collection set.  While the Ready Jet Go! episodes featured in the 20 Snowy Stories collection are a little bit of a stretch – they feature Jet and his friends bringing ice back from outer space to beat the summer heat in two separate ways and for two separate reasons – they do at least fit a little bit.

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

In the case of the Christmas Collection, its episodes are more uniformly in line with its title.  One of the most notable of its episodes is “Luna’s Christmas Around the World.”  After getting stuck in Antarctica thanks to the captain of the ship on which they are riding, Andy, Carmen and Leo lean from the members of the Circo Fabuloso how Christmas is celebrated in different regions of the world.  By the episode’s end, the kids learn the most important lesson of all about Christmas as they finally get the boat working again and leave Antarctica.

WordWorld’s episode, “The Christmas Star” is another of the most notable of the Christmas Collection episodes.  The title sounds like something that might present a religious theme, but that could not be farther from the truth.  Rather, in this case, Duck is on a search for the Christmas star because it belongs on top of the Christmas tree that he and his friends have put up.  Duck wants to use the star as his present to his friends.  Of course it has a happy ending that also ties in a basic spelling lesson.

Wild Kratts: A Creature Christmas has already been released on a standalone Wild Kratts DVD.  That aside, it is still welcome here.  In this extended episode, it’s up to Chris, Martin and their friends to save a group of animal babies from Zach Varmitech after he kidnaps the cute, cuddly creatures for use as ornaments on his own metal Christmas tree.  As with every other episode in which the guys face off against Zach, they come out on top and get the animals back to the wild and living free.  How it happens will be left for audiences to discover for themselves if they have not yet seen this special episode.  Between this episode, the others examined here and the rest of those in this set and in 20 Snowy Stories, the episodes in whole make for more than enough reason to add these collections to one’s home library.  This is the case even though at least one episode is a bit out of place in its collection.

While the episodes featured in these collections form a strong foundation for the sets, the collections are not necessarily perfect.  The lack of an episode guide anywhere in the packaging detracts from the presentations to a point.  The episode guides are obviously there when audiences put the sets’ discs into their DVD and/or Blu-ray players, but they are not printed anywhere within the packaging.  As a result, audiences are forced to figure out and essentially memorize which episodes are aligned with which discs.  Yes, this is an aesthetic issue, but it would certainly help the presentation because it would save audiences time and effort in trying to decide which episode(s) they want to watch.  Instead of the episodes, the packaging lists the episodes’ sponsors inside the case.  That could have been done on the back of each set’s case.  This is not enough to make the presentations failures, but certainly would have benefited the sets’ presentations.

Keeping in mind that the lack of episode guides in the set is not enough to completely ruin them, there is one more positive to address.  It comes in the form of the collections’ pricing.  The average price point for PBS Kids: 20 Snowy Stories is $7.95.  Rounded up, it is a mere $8.00.  That price is obtained by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ store.  Books-A-Million and PBS are the only retailers that exceed that price point, while the majority of the others list the double-disc collection at either $6.95 or $6.99.  Best Buy lists the collection at $7.99, which while a few cents over the average, is still right in line with the average price point.  Considering the amount of content featured across the set and the representation of the PBS Kids shows, that affordable price point definitely proves positive and money well-spent.

The average price point for PBS Kids: Christmas Collection is $11.33.  That price was reached by averaging prices at the noted retailers.  Amazon’s listing of $29.99 is either an anomaly or just outright incorrect, but for the most part, it is listed between $6.69 and $9.99, with a middle ground of $7.99, listed through Best Buy and Barnes & Noble Booksellers.  Books-A-Million and PBS each list the single-disc set at $9.99.  Walmart and Target each have the least expensive listing, at $6.69.  Yet again, these prices are mostly such that they will not break anyone’s budget.  Knowing how much content even this set features, that knowledge makes purchasing the set even more encouraging, too.  Keeping in mind the affordability noted in each set along with the content featured in each collection, those elements make the sets well worth owning and successes in their own right.  That is even with the issue of the lack of episode guides in mind.  One becomes one more of this year’s top new family DVDs and BDs while the other more than earns its spot among the year’s top new family DVD and BD box sets.

PBS Kids and PBS Distribution’s forthcoming seasonal/holiday DVD sets, 20 Snowy Stories and Christmas Collection are successful new offerings from the companies.  Their success comes in large part through their featured episodes.  The episodes largely follow the theme of each set’s title.  They also teach important lessons within the stories.  That education and entertainment that they offer is sure to keep audiences engaged and entertained.  While the episodes are the key point of the collections, the lack of any episode guide in either set detracts from the sets’ presentation to a point.  It is not enough to make the sets failures, but still does hurt them to a point.  Keeping in mind the breadth and depth of the content featured in each set, the sets’ pricing proves positive, too.  That is because their pricing proves so affordable for the most part.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the collections.  All things considered, they make each set successful by themselves and collectively.

PBS Kids: 20 Snowy Stories and PBS Kids: Christmas Collection are scheduled for release Oct. 19.  More information on these and other titles from PBS Kids is available online at:

Website: https://pbskids.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PBSKIDS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pbskids

More information on this and other titles from PBS Distribution is available at:

Website: https://pbsdistribution.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PBSDistribution.org

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pbsdistribution

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.  

Cohen Media Group’s Upcoming ‘Corridor Of Mirrors’ Re-Issue Is More Worth Streaming Than Buying

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Apollo Film’s 1948 suspense flick Corridor of Mirrors is “one of the most unusual British films of the 1940s.”  That is the exact wording used in the summary for the movie’s forthcoming re-issue.  It is an accurate description, too.  Scheduled for re-issue Oct. 19 on DVD and Blu-ray through Cohen Media Group, the 96-minute movie truly is an unusual presentation, but is still worth watching at least once.  Its story shows that to be the case.  The story’s execution on the other hand, is a little problematic, but is not enough to doom the presentation.  Staying on the problematic side, the movie lacks a scene selection offering in the main menu, which negatively impacts the presentation’s aesthetics.  It will be discussed a little later.  Rounding out the most important of the presentation’s elements is the movie’s cost on DVD and Blu-ray separately.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the movie and its presentation.  All things considered, they make the presentation one of the rare lesser of this year’s new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues.

Cohen Media Group’s upcoming re-issue of Apollo Film’s 1948 suspense flick Corridor of Mirrors is an anomaly from the company.  It is a presentation that is worth watching at least once.  That is due in large part to the movie’s story.  The story in question follows its main protagonist, Mifanwy (Edana Romney – The Strangler, Alibi) as she recalls her affair with the peculiar millionaire, Paul Mangin (Eric Portman – A Canterbury Tale, The Whisperers, Dear Murderer) after going to Madame Tussaud’s wax museum to meet someone.  Not to give away too much, but that person was connected to Paul.  As Mifanwy recalls her affair with Paul, it is revealed that not everything is as it seems about Paul.  As it turns out, Paul is a womanizer, but that is just one part of what makes the story so interesting.  Someone else connected to Paul makes the story even more interesting as it progresses.  For all of the interest that Mifanwy’s story proves to be for the most part, it does suffer from one issue, and that is the fact that its writing team could not seem to clearly figure out how to end the story as they translated it from the page to the screen.  There are so many points throughout the story in its final act in which it easily could have closed out, but instead kept dragging out.  The result is that the movie’s 96-minute run time feels even longer.  What’s more, the final scene (which again will not be revealed here) will leave many audiences scratching their heads.  That is because the story leaves Mifanwy portrayed as the victim of sorts, but she was cheating on her fiancé with Paul all along.  So in essence, for her to be portrayed the way in which she was is just wrong.  It is a terrible way to end the story, to say the least and is just one of the problems that audiences will catch.  Another problem presented is in the movie’s general presentation.

When audiences play the movie, they will note that the main menu lacks a scene selection option.  This may seem minor on the surface, but in reality is problematic.  It is especially problematic because even if viewers hit stop just one (versus twice, which is a full stop) on their remotes, the movie will still start back from the very beginning.  It does not just go back to the point at which the movie was stopped in the previous playback when audiences click on the “play movie” option.  It starts at the beginning of the movie.  The result is that viewers have to fast forward through scenes to get back to where they stopped, searching for that moment.  Yes, it is an aesthetic element, but is still important.  It is important because it will leave viewers somewhat frustrated having to do that search when said situation arises.  It is disappointing that this was allowed to happen with this presentation.  It also is not enough to make the movie’s presentation a failure, but certainly is problematic to the presentation.  Moving from there, there is at least one more positive to the movie in its home presentation in the form of its pricing.

The movie’s average price point on DVD is $18.63 and on Blu-ray is $27.95.  Those prices were obtained by averaging prices listed through Amazon, Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and Books-A-Million.  The movie’s separate listings on Blu-ray sadly largely exceed its average, coming in at $29.95.  Barnes & Noble Booksellers lists it even more expensively at $29.99.  Target offers the least expensive of the movie’s Blu-ray listings at $19.89.  On the other hand the separate listings for the movie’s DVD presentation at $19.95 and $19.99.  Again, Target has the least expensive of the listings at $13.29.  So overall, the DVD presentation’s pricing is less expensive.  This is important to note because each platform’s presentation is the same.  There is no bonus content featured with the movie on either platform, so audiences will get the same presentation in each case.  This means that audiences can still get the movie at less than even $20 from at least one retailer without worrying about missing out on any content.  What’s more, audiences can get he movie on DVD in general for approximately $20 at the most expensive, meaning they will not break the bank when and if they order the movie.  To that end, the movie’s pricing (at least for its DVD presentation) proves to be its own positive.  When this is considered along with the movie’s story, the two elements make the movie at least a little more positive, even having no bonus content and some severe audio level problems (audiences will find themselves having to turn up the volume to almost maximum level because the playback volume is so low).  Keeping all of this in mind, Corridor of Mirrors is worth watching at least once, but more so through streaming than buying.

Cohen Media Group’s forthcoming re-issue of Corridor of Mirrors is an intriguing presentation.  Scheduled for release Oct. 19 on DVD and Blu-ray, it proves worth watching at least once thanks to its story.  As noted in the movie’s summary, which is printed on the back of the movie’s case, it incorporates influence of Beauty and the Beast and Brief Encounter.  Watching through it, one cannot help but wonder if the writing staff behind Rebecca took this movie as at least some inspiration for that movie.  For all of the interest that the movie presents, it is not perfect.  It poses its own problems, primarily in its final act.  Also of concern here is the fact that there is no scene selection option featured in the main menu.  It will leave audiences having to search through the movie from time to time instead of just being able to stop the movie and come back to it where they stopped.  It is not enough to make the movie’s presentation a failure, but is still problematic.  The movie’s pricing, at least that of its DVD platform, is another positive.  That is because it will not break viewers’ budgets.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the movie in its upcoming home re-issue.  All things considered, they make the movie more worth streaming than buying unless audiences are truly fans of the movie. 

Corridor of Mirrors is scheduled for release Oct. 19 through Cohen Media Group. 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

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

Another One Down! Debuts ‘Deadweight’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Earshot Media

Pop punk band Another One Down! debuted hte lyric video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the lyric video for its single, ‘Deadweight’ Friday. The song is the second single from the band’s forthcoming debut album, A Bitter Descent, which is scheduled for release Nov. 5. Pre-orders are open now. The band debuted the video for the album’s lead single, ‘Headspace’ last month.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Deadweight’ is a familiar pop punk style composition. It will appeal to fans of bands, such as NOFX, Sum 41, and All American Rejects. Its lyrical theme meanwhile touches on a topic that will connect with a wide range of audiences.

According to a statement from the band, ‘Deadweight’ “is a song inspired by former bandmates who refused to pull their own weight. It encapsulates the frustration of dealing with someone who will never admit their faults and will blame anyone else but themselves.”

More information on Another One Down!’s new single and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AnotherOneDownRI

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/anotheronedown_

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Feral Vices Debuts New EP’s Lead Single, Companion Video

Courtesy: Earshot Media

Independent rock band Feral Vices is giving audiences the first preview of its new record.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Mass Produce Your Revolution‘ and its video Thursday. The song and video are the first from the duo’s forthcoming EP, With Offerings. The EP is scheduled for release Dec. 3.

The musical arrangement featured in the song is a catchy, mid-tempo composition. The fuzz from the guitar and the thickness of the drums pairs with the vocals all work together to make the song comparable to works from the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Royal Blood, and Jet.

The lyrical theme featured alongside the song’s musical arrangement is a sociopolitical statement that will resonate with audiences. That is thanks to its delivery and to the musical arrangement, which itself will keep listeners engaged and entertained.

Guitarist/vocalist Alexander Hoagland talked about the song’s lyrical theme in a prepared statement.

“The song is about how we give these massive platforms to people who really don’t actually know all that much of what they’re talking about,” said Hoagland. “It’s buzzwords in a nice package so we just consume it. The second part of the song is about how these ultra-rich business people or specifically celebrities are throwing their pocket change into something just for the press and getting even more money out of it than they put in and it all becomes this vicious cycle that we all participate in.”

The song’s video is a relatively simple artistic presentation. It features Hoagland and band mate, drummer Justin Cottner, in a studio setting, shot in black and white. various mix effects are used to show the duo performing together and in boxes that are presented throughout the video.

Hoagland talked about the video in the noted statement.

“The goal of the video was to really invoke the feeling of the rock and hardcore videos of the early 2000’s that were super influential for us and the director, James Wightman,” said Hoagland. “We wanted something that matched the frantic energy of the song and also had a visual aesthetic that was as eye catching as the song was sonically.”

More information on Feral Vices’ new single, video, and EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.feralvices.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FeralVices

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FeralVices

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Summer Years Debuts New Single, ‘The Picture You Paint,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: ENCI Records

Pop punk band Summer Years debuted its new single and companion video this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘The Picture You Paint‘ and its companion video Friday. The single is the second single from the band’s forthcoming EP, You Can’t Live There Forever. The band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘This Light‘ June 15. The EP’s official release date is under consideration.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘The Picture You Paint’ is a catchy, upbeat composition. It will appeal to fans of works from bands, such as Blink-182, All Time Low, and New Found Glory.

The lyrical theme featured in the new single delivers a contemplative message, which band member Mike Liorti discussed in a prepared statement.

“The Picture You Paint’s’ overall premise is dealing with doubt,” said Liorti. “As musicians, we kinda live a life of constant Show & Tell to our fans, friends, and family. These days, especially, even the most passionate/understanding supporters & teammates can quickly lose touch of the artists’ vision/potential and basically dismiss them entirely. The smallest comment/action of doubt can be very potent and contagious (sometimes even making its way into the artists’ mind), so the song is coming from a Relic/Lifer’s evolved mindset of understanding the bliss/oasis that comes from creating art for nobody but themselves and letting the dominoes fall as they may.”

Additionally, Liorti talked about the song’s video in the statement.

“The video is a compilation of the post-pandemic live shows we’ve been so honored and lucky to play and capture thanks to the help of our extremely supportive local scene,” he said.

More information on Summer Years’ new single, video, and EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.summeryears.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/summeryearsband

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Starset Debuts ‘Earthrise’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Fearless Records

Starset premiered the lyric video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the lyric video for its new single, ‘Earthrise’ Thursday. The song is the third from the band’s forthcoming album, Horizons, which is scheduled for release Oct. 22 through Fearless Records.

The band premiered the lyric video for the album’s second single, ‘Leaving This World Behind’ late last month. Its premiere was preceded by that of the video for the album’s lead single, The Breach’ in early September.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Earthrise’ is similar to that featured in ‘The Breach.’ There is a heavy, but controlled melodic industrial/electronic sense to the arrangement in other words. At some points, audiences can make comparisons to works from the likes of Breaking Benjamin and at others, to works from any number of emocore bands. The song’s industrial elements meanwhile conjure thoughts of Ice Nine Kills and Fear Factory together in one. The whole gives the arrangement a unique identity that will keep audiences engaged and entertained.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announcing the lyric video’s premiere. In reading the lyrics, which are presented in the video’s lower right hand corner (as with the lyric video for the band’s previous single), audiences are left to infer that the song is a heavy ballad of sorts. It sounds like a person declaring his or her love for that other person.

In other news, Starset is scheduled to launch a tour in November in support of Horizons. The tour is scheduled to launch Nov.3 in Asheville, NC and to run through Dec. 18 in Cleveland, OH. Stops in cities nationwide, such as Newport, KY; Dallas, TX and Nashville, TN are also featured in the schedule.

The band’s tour schedule is noted below. Tickets and VIP packages are available here along with the band’s current 2022 European tour schedule.

STARSET DEMONSTRATIONS:
11/3 — Asheville, NC — The Orange Peel
11/4 — Knoxville, TN — The Mill & Mine
11/5 — Atlanta, GA — Buckhead Theatre
11/7 — Ft. Smith, AR — Temple Live
11/8 — Dallas, TX — House of Blues
11/9 — Houston, TX — House of Blues
11/10 — San Antonio, TX — House of Blues
11/13 — Daytona, FL — Welcome to Rockville*
11/14 — N. Myrtle Beach, SC — House of Blues
11/15 — Harrisburg, PA — HMAC
11/17 — Philadelphia, PA — Theatre of Living Arts
11/19 — Stroudsburg, PA — Sherman Theater
11/20 — Horseheads, NY — The L
11/21 — Portland, ME — Aura
11/23 — Worcester, MA — The Palladium
11/24 — New Haven, CT — Toad’s Place
11/26 — Columbus, OH — Express Live 
11/27 — Newport, KY — Ovation
11/28 — Grand Rapids, MI — Intersection
11/30 — Bloomington, IL — The Castle Theater
12/1 — McKees Rock, PA — Roxian
12/3 — Buffalo, NY — Rapids Theater
12/4 — New York, NY — Irving Plaza
12/5 — Silver Spring, MD — The Fillmore Silver Spring
12/7 — Charlotte, NC — The Fillmore Charlotte
12/8 — Nashville, TN — Brooklyn Bowl
12/10 — St Louis, MO — Delmar Hall
12/11 — Madison, WI — The Sylvee
12/12 — Minneapolis, MN — The Fillmore Minneapolis
12/14 — Des Moines, IA — Wooly’s
12/15 — Chicago, IL — House of Blues
12/17 — Detroit, MI — Majestic Theatre
12/18 — Cleveland, OH — House of Blues
*Festival Date

Horizons‘ track listing is noted below.

HORIZONS TRACK LISTING:
“UNVEILING THE ARCHITECTURE”
“THE BREACH”
“OTHERWORLDLY”
“ICARUS”
“EARTHRISE”
“LEAVING THIS WORLD BEHIND”
“DEVOLUTION”
“ANNIHILATED LOVE”
“ALCHEMY”
“DISAPPEAR”
“ENDLESS ENDEAVOR”
“SYMBIOTIC”
“DREAMCATCHER”
“TUNNELVISION”
“INFECTED”
“SOMETHING WICKED”

More information on Starset’s new album, single, video, and tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://starsetonline.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/starsetonline

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/starsetonline

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.