Aerosmith Rocks Donington And The World On Its New Live Recording

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Veteran rock band Aerosmith is an anomaly of the music community.  For forty-five years, the Boston, MA-based rock band has been rocking audiences the world over.  What’s more, the band has managed to face every obstacle put before it and stick together as a unit no matter the tumult that has faced its members.  Because the band has faced all of those obstacles and overcome them, it has become known as one of the most prolific acts in not just the rock community but the music community in whole.  And it has proven that yet again with its latest new live recording Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 is one of the best live recordings that Aerosmith has released to date.  That is especially the case with the concert’s 3-LP/DVD combo pack.  It is not the only platform on which the concert will be available upon its release on September 4th.  But it is definitely one of the best platforms on which the recording is available.  That is because it offers audiences the complete concert experience.  The LPs create a wonderful sense of nostalgia both through their sound and packaging.  The DVD adds the full video experience of the concert, giving viewers the full experience.  It is recommended though, that regardless of whether enjoyed on vinyl or on DVD, this concert specifically is enjoyed on a home theater system.  That isn’t to say that those without a home theater system shouldn’t buy this recording.  But audiences that experience the concert will agree to the need for said system.  That’s just one element of the recording that audiences will appreciate.  The show’s set list is just as worth noting.  It runs twenty songs deep and features some of the biggest hits from the band’s decades-long career.  The band’s stage presence throughout its nearly two hour performance makes all the more enjoyable.  It’s incredible to see so much energy from this veteran act’s members four plus decades removed from their first time together.  That energy coupled with the work of the show’s camera crew makes for a performance that translates just as well on screen as it surely must have for audiences that were in attendance at the concert’s taping.  All of these elements assembled together present a clear, vivid picture of a concert that is both one of Aerosmith’s best live recordings to date and one of this year’s best new live recordings overall.  It is just one more example of why today Eagle Rock Entertainment maintains the mantle of the leader in live recordings.
Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 is one of Aerosmith’s best live recordings to date and one of this year’s best new live recordings overall.  There are so many reasons that it earns such recognition that there is not enough time or space to cover them all. So for the sake of this review, we will focus on three of the most notable reasons that it stands out. The first of those reasons is its availability over multiple platforms. One of the best of those platforms is its 3 LP/DVD combo pack. This presentation gives audiences one of the fullest concert experiences possible for this recording. Not only do audiences get the audio portion spread across three double-sided 180 gram LPs but they also get the complete audio/video presentation in the set’s companion DVD. For those fans that are more particular about the format in which they enjoy music, the set’s three double-sided 180-gram LPs are a great part of the set. That is because they serve to really establish a welcome sense of nostalgia especially considering that Aerosmith got its start at a time when vinyl was the only listening option for music. The artwork incorporated both into the double gatefold packaging and that of each LP’s sleeve adds to the enjoyment for those audiences. The packaging presents a great down-angle shot of the band from behind drummer Joey Kramer in the initial opening. From there, the secondary opening presents an even wider shot of the band from the vantage point of the audience. Both shots serve to fully illustrate the magnitude of the show. The LP’s sleeves each present their own bonus as each has a picture of each of the band’s members performing at the show. They aren’t just random publicity shots, but actual shots of the band members performing. There is just something special about that that audiences will enjoy if only for cosmetic reasons.

Regardless of whether or not audiences take in the show on DVD or vinyl, it is recommended that it is enjoyed on a home theater system if at all possible. That is not to say that those without a home theater system won’t be able to enjoy the concert. But thanks to the work of those behind the boards at the show and those charged with handling the audio in post-production, it is clear that a home theater system is the best listening option in this case. The sound is just that full and rich from start to finish. It is a tribute to the work of those noted individuals. The work of the camera crew is a whole other story. The camera crew was right in time with the band, capturing every bit of the show’s energy and highlighting it so well. Their work really makes the band’s energy translate so well even on screen. That will be discussed at more length later. For the moment though, it can be said that the inclusion of the concert on such a full presentation is in itself plenty of reason for audiences to add this set to their home music libraries or to those of their favorite Aerosmith fans.

The presentation of Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 on a full 3 LP/DVD combo pack gives Aerosmith fans of all ages plenty of reason in itself to pick up this recording. It hardly the only reason that fans will want to add it to their personal music libraries, too. Its set list is just as much of a reason that fans will enjoy it. The show’s set list runs twenty songs deep and just shy of the two hour mark. More specifically speaking it runs roughly an hour and forty-five minutes. And that’s just counting the concert. That is not counting any bonus material. The set list could very easily be considered a career-spanning collection of songs featuring quite the variety of songs. Those songs include the likes of: ‘Dream On’ from the band’s self-titled 1973 debut, ‘ Same Old Song and Dance’ from its follow-up, 1974’s Get Your Wings, and the title track from the band’s third album, 1975’s Toys in the Attic among so many others. Simply put, the band pulled from almost all of its now fifteen (yes, fifteen) studio recordings in order to make up the set list for this show. It shows that the band wanted to give fans the fullest concert experience even in this aspect. It succeeded quite well in this avenue, too. And the success didn’t end here, either. The band’s stage presence throughout its rich set list was another success.

Aerosmith’s stage presence throughout its nearly two-hour set at Donington is the proverbial icing on the cake that is the band’s new live recording. It is difficult to put fully into words just how incredible the band’s stage presence is in its performance here. One would think that almost half a century into their time together, the band’s members would be anything but what they were in the band’s heyday. But watching this show, the band performs with the energy of so many of today’s much younger acts. This is especially the case watching front man Steven Tyler running around on stage, jumping on a piano and much more, and lead guitarist Joe Perry strutting all around with the confidence of a much younger man. The core of the band, these two are full of energy. And drummer Joey Kramer even shows quite the stamina through it all as he keeps the band moving. Audiences will be blown away at the band’s energy throughout it all. Even some bands out there today that have been around as long as Aerosmith don’t have the power and energy exhibited here. As noted previously, the work of the people behind the cameras enhances that energy and makes the concert in whole that much more intense for fans. From their pans and zooms to their interesting variety of angles, the shots captured by the camera crew translate so well even on screen. They honestly give fans at home an even better seat than those that were there. On a side note, for all of the band’s energy from start to finish, there is some foul language throughout the show courtesy of Tyler. As a matter of fact there is so much that it is a surprise that the recording didn’t receive a parental advisory warning. Though, on the hand there are no gratuitous shots of topless women at any point. Of course near the show’s end Tyler does throw a comment in the direction of a woman who one can only assume decided to put herself on display for the band. Again audiences don’t actually see said woman. So one can only assume, luckily. All of this in mind, Aerosmith’s stage presence throughout the course of its show completes the concert. They along with the show’s camera crew create an energy that translates perfectly on screen. That, coupled with the show’s extensive set list and its overall presentation in its 3 LP/DVD combo pack make fully clear why it is such an impressive release. It is one more example of why Aerosmith remains today one of the leading bands in both the rock community and the music community in whole. It is also one more example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the rightful leader in live recordings and why the recording in whole is one of the best of the year’s new live recordings overall.

Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 is one of the best of this year’s new live recordings overall. From the multitude of platforms through which it is presented to its extensive set list to the energy exuded by the band from start to finish, the band offers lots of reason for fans to add this recording to their personal music libraries. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

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Eagle Rock Entertainment To Release Another Classic Lynyrd Skynyrd Concert This Fall

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Earlier this summer Eagle Rock Entertainment unearthed a couple of Lynyrd Synyrd’s classic live performances for fans for the band’s new live archived recording Sweet Home Alabama. That recording contained the band’s 1997 performance at the famed Rockpalast Festival as well as a handful of songs from its 1974 performance at the festival. The double-disc CD recording was a companion to the concert’s 2008 DVD release. Now officials with the leader in live recordings have announced that the label will release yet another classic Lynyrd Skynyrd concert this fall in the form of Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin nerd & Second Helping Live From Jacksonville at the Florida Theatre.

Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin nerd & Second Helping Live From Jacksonville at the Florida Theatre will be released nationwide on Friday, October 23rd. It will be available on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital formats. Wal-Mart will also carry an exclusive DVD + 2CD combo pack presentation of the concert. The concert presented in this presentation was recorded earlier this year. It marked the first time ever that the band in any of its incarnations had ever performed its first two albums live in their entirety. It was so popular that it spanned two nights in the band’s home town of Jacksonville, Florida. Audiences can check out the band’s performance of ‘Gimme Three Steps’ from the concert online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcDT-0XkUCc&feature=youtu.be.

Lynyrd Skynyrd is currently making its way across America, performing for audiences around the country. Its next scheduled live date is Friday, September 4th in Alton, Illinois. The band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

Catch LYNYRD SKYNYRD on tour this fall:

September 3 – St. Paul, MN – Minnesota State Fair

September 4 – Alton, IL – Liberty Bank Amphitheater

September 5 – New Lenox, IL – Village Of New Lenox

September 6 – Wauseon, OH – Fulton County Fair

September 11 and 12– Lincoln City, OR – Chinook Winds Casino

September 15 – Saratoga, CA – The Mountain Winery

September 17 – Jackson, CA – Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel

September 18 – Pomona, CA – La County Fairgrounds

September 19 – Tucson, AZ – Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater

September 20 – Scottsdale, AZ – Talking Stick Resort & Casino

September 25 – Lewisville, TX – 2015 Western Days

September 26 – Houston, TX – Sam Houston Race Park

October 1 – Seviersville, TN – Smokes Stadium

October 2 – Nashville, TN – Ascend Amphitheater

October 3 – Muncie, IN – Emens Auditorium

October 4 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life Music Festival

November 7 – Montgomery, AL – Alabama National Fair

December 5 – Mescalero, NM – Inn Of The Mountain Gods Casino

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

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

More information on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s current tour is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.lynyrdskynyrd.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/skynyrd

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

Black Stone Cherry Teaming With Eagle Rock Entertainment For New Live Recording

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

The annual summer concert season is officially winding down for another year. But don’t tell the people at Eagle Rock Entertainment. That’s because the leader in live recordings still have quite a few new recordings on the way for fans as the temperatures start to turn with the leaves including a brand new live recording from Roadrunner Records’ own Black Stone Cherry titled Thank You: Livin’ Live, Birmingham, UK October 30, 2014.

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Thank You: Livin’ Live, Birmingham, UK October 30, 2014 a year to the day after the band’s performance sold-out performance at the Birmingham LG Arena. It will be available on DVD + CD combo pack, Blu-ray + CD combo pack, and digital audio and digital video separate from one another. There are also bundle packs that include T-Shirt, hat and exclusive fan poster that can be ordered online now at http://www.myplaydirect.com/black-stone-cherry. The performance, which features twenty-one hit songs from across all four of the band’s current studio recordings, runs a total of two hours. It includes hits such as: ‘Rain Wizard,’ ‘Blind Man,’ ‘Like I Roll,’ ‘Blame it on the Boom Boom’ and a number of others. The complete track listing for the recording is listed below.

Thank You: Livin’ Live, Birmingham, UK October 30, 2014 Track Listing

  1. Rain Wizard
  2. Blind Man
  3. Me & Mary Jane
  4. In My Blood
  5. Holding On…To Letting Go
  6. Maybe Someday
  7. Such A Shame
  8. Things My Father Said
  9. Fiest Del Fuego
  10. Sunshine of Your Love
  11. Like I Roll
  12. Bad Luck and Hard Love
  13. *drum solo*
  14. Hollywood in Kentucky
  15. Hell and Highwater
  16. Soul Creek
  17. White Trash Millionaire
  18. Blame it on The Boom Boom
  19. Layla
  20. Peace is Free
  21. Lonely Train (Can’t Judge a Book)

Audiences can check out the band’s performance of ‘White Trash Millionaire’ from the recording online right now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-Yth-dPd-A&feature=youtu.be.

Black Stone Cherry is currently touring in support of its most recent album, 2014’s Magic Mountain. It is also working on material for its fifth full-length studio release, which is expected to be released in early 2016. There are also plans for the band to return to the UK in early 2016 to headline the nation’s inaugural Carnival of Madness tour. More information on this is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and tour updates at:

Website: http://www.blackstonecherry.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BlkStoneCherry

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Stiller’s Latest Indie Outing Is One Of This Year’s Best New Independent Movies

While Were Young BD Box ArtBen Stiller is one of the most accomplished actors in Hollywood’s modern history. Having starred in countless movies and TV series, and worked behind the lens in just as many projects with plenty more in the works. One of those countless projects, While We’re Young was released direct to DVD and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack earlier this summer. The movie, which also co-stars Naomi Watts (King Kong, Mullholland Drive, The Ring), Amanda Seyfried (Les Miserables, Mama Mia, Dear John) and Adam Driver (Inside Llewyn Davis, This is Where I Leave You, What If), is not Stiller’s first jaunt into the indie movie world. In 2010, Stiller starred in the largely forgettable indie flick Greenberg. That movie was forgettable for good reason. While We’re Young however, proves to be more worth viewers’ time than Greenberg. It should be noted that while it is more worth viewers’ time than the prior movie, it is still very much an acquired taste. Though, that is the case with most Noah Baumbach movies. Now having noted that, While We’re Young is an interesting new entry for Stiller and the people at Lionsgate that is worth at least one watch. The main reason for that is its script, crafted by Baumbach. The script follows a couple played by Stiller and Watts that upon meeting a young twenty-something couple begins ruminating on years lost and in turn starts trying to reclaim and relive those years. Yes it’s an oft-used story element. But Baumbach takes an approach in his script that gives the story a new identity in the case of this movie. The additional commentary on the connection between technology and culture that is intertwined into the script is another reason that viewers will enjoy this movie. It is neither preachy nor unnecessarily comic. The bonus material included with the movie rounds out the reasons that While We’re Young proves worth the watch. It is made up mostly of interviews with Baumbach and the movie’s cast. It is one of those rare cases in which the standard bonus addition actually proves to actually be a bonus. And together with the aforementioned elements, all three show together why While We’re Young is one of the best of this year’s new independent movies.

While We’re Young is one of this year’s best new independent movies. It is a movie that stands out both among the endless sea of prequels, sequels, and remakes filling theaters and its fellow independent counterparts alike. It shows this mainly through its script. The script, crafted by writer/director Noah Baumbach, centers on a married couple played by veteran actor and actress Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts. Josh (Stiller) and Cornelia (Watts) are married and both in their forties. After a chance meeting with the much younger Jamie (Driver) and Darby (Seyfried), Josh and Cornelia start ruminating on lost years and lost chances. The resultant effect leads to plenty of laughs and even some moments of deep introspection. It is that balance of humor and contemplation that sets Baumbach’s script apart from every one of the previous instances in which this oft used plot has appeared. Rather than being the typical shmaltzy, slapstick story about people trying to reclaim their youth (E.g. Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2), it offers a solid balance of both humor and depth that few if any other stories of its kind present. That mix of humor and depth is exhibited especially through the blatant cultural differences (of sorts) between the two couples. There’s a lot of truth to the behaviors presented by both pairs. There’s also just enough humor shared between the couples to keep viewers entertained and engaged from beginning to end thus showing again exactly why Baumbach’s script in itself makes While We’re Young worth at least one watch.

The central story presented in Baumbach’s script presents a strong reason why the movie’s script in whole makes this movie worth at least once watch. It is just one reason that this surprisingly interesting independent movie is worth at least that one watch. Along with its central story, there is also an intended commentary on the connection between technology and culture tied into the central story that will have viewers laughing and thinking just as much as the movie’s main story. The commentary regarding the acceptance of technology’s overly intrusive nature (I.E. cell phones being used for everything all the time) is just once example of how the commentary tied into the story helps to make the story all the more enjoyable. There is also a commentary centered on one generation trying to keep up with technology while the other (today’s younger generation) is bringing back everything that was once cool years ago and calling it cool by their own self-serving judgement. It really serves as another example of art clearly imitating real life thus showing yet again why the commentaries included in the movie’s script make the movie all the more entertaining for its target audiences. They are just a couple of the commentaries that are tied in to the script, too. Audiences will see for themselves that there are even more commentaries when they see the movie for themselves. Once again, here is reason that While We’re Young stands out both among the year’s new releases overall and the year’s new independent releases.

Both the central story presented in Baumbach’s script for While We’re Young and the commentaries that accompany the movie’s main story present plenty of reason for viewers to watch this movie at least once. Both elements are of equal importance to the movie’s success and enjoyment. However, they are only a portion of what makes the movie worth the watch. The bonus material included with the movie make its overall presentation all the more worth the watch. The bonus material in question here is largely composed of interviews with Baumbach as well as the movie’s cast. This is a pretty standard bonus included in most movies’ home releases. The difference between these interviews and those included in so many other movies is that the interviews included with this movie actually present a certain value believe it or not. Baumbach and company actually offer some valuable insight into the movie, its script, commentaries and more. It’s quite the change of pace from those other, lesser interviews that try to pass themselves off as “bonuses” with other movies. In the case of this movie, they are in fact bonuses; bonuses that every viewer will find quite insightful. The insight offered by the bonus interviews along with the script’s main story and its companion commentaries make While We’re Young a movie that in whole while not for everyone is still one of the best of this year’s new independent film field and a movie worth at least one watch.

While We’re Young may not have gotten the coverage from media outlets as the major motion pictures released this summer by Hollywood’s “Power Five Studios.” But in comparison to those largely unoriginal, uncreative, prequels, sequels, and remakes, it holds its own quite well. It even holds its own quite well among its fellow independent counterparts. That is thanks to the movie’s script, which includes a new take on a classic story line and some equally entertaining yet in-depth commentaries that will have viewers talking and laughing long after the movie ends. The bonus interviews included with the movie make the overall viewing experience of this movie even richer for fans. All three elements combined, they prove While We’re Young to be one of this year’s best new independent movies and potentially even one of the year’s best overall new movies. It is available now in stores on DVD + Digital and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack.

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.

Fifth Harmony Gets Spooky With Hotel Transylvania 2 Soundtrack’s Lead Single

Courtesy:  Sony Pictures Animation

Courtesy: Sony Pictures Animation

Adam Sandler and company are back. Next month, Sony Pictures Animation will release Hotel Translyvania 2. And ahead of the highly anticipated movie’s release, the hit pop group Fifth Harmony has debuted the lead single from the movie’ s sound track ‘I’m In Love With A Monster’ and audiences can check it out online now via Vevo.

Courtesy:  Epic Records

Courtesy: Epic Records

Audiences can check out the video for ‘I’m In Love With A Monster’ online now via Vevo at http://www.vevo.com/watch/fifth-harmony/Im-In-Love-With-a-Monster-(from-Hotel-Transylvania-2)/USSM21501512. The video mixes together footage of the group performing its song in various settings along with footage from the movie as well as appearances from some rather spooky guests. While many of the group’s songs are generally aimed at specific audiences, the infectious grooves and family friendly lyrical content are sure to make the song just one more part of the movie that families will enjoy.

Fifth Harmony is currently winding down its “Reflection Summer Tour.” It is currently scheduled to perform live at Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Maryland on Saturday, September 5th and at the Washington State Fair on Wednesday, September 16th. After those two dates, the group will take some down time, it will be back on Stage on Wednesday, December 2nd at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. All of the latest updates on Fifth Harmony’s tour is available online now along with all of the group’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.fifthharmonyofficial.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/fifthharmony

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

WHV Finally Gets One Right With Its New Peanuts Collection

Courtesy: Warner Home Video

Courtesy: Warner Home Video

This Thanksgiving, Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox will team up to bring audiences the first-ever big screen Peanuts adventure that (go figure) is simply titled The Peanuts Movie. Personal opinions aside, it is interesting to note that as the movie’s debut nears, so is Warner Brothers’ home entertainment division–Warner Home Video (WHV)–stepping up its re-issues of the classic Peanuts TV specials. Already released this year WHV has re-issued Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown. Officials with WHV have also announced that the organization will also release Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back) and He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown along with the company’s new compilation set Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection. The latter of the trio is currently planne for a nationwide release on Tuesday, September 15th. Though, interestingly enough it has already been released through Target likely via a special deal between the retailer and the people at WHV. For those that were not lucky enough to pick up the dual-disc collection in its original release via Target will be pleased to add it to their personal collections. The main reason that audiences will be pleased to add it to their collections is its featured specials. It features eleven classic Peanuts TV specials that while previously released on one platform or another are now collected into this much more ergonomic collection. This will be discussed at more length shortly. Another reason that the collection proves so interesting and worth the purchase is the material presented within each special. Audiences actually get to hear an adult talk for the first time ever in one special (She’s A Good Skate, Charlie Brown). And while most audiences are familiar with the classic Peanuts holiday specials, some will be surprised that there is another holiday special of sorts that is just as deserving of attention in the form of What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown? This special is a deeply moving Memorial Day special that will impact viewers of all ages. Last of note in regards to this collection’s positives is that classic hand-drawn animation style. The old school style of artwork is yet another example of what once made animated features truly animated and in turn truly entertaining. Each noted element shows in its own way that Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection is a surprising new release from WHV. It would be nice to think that maybe it marks the beginning of WHV finally moving in the right direction after having slid in the wrong direction for the past couple of years or so. One can only hope. Even if it is just a random diamond in the rough from the once powerhouse studio, it proves through all three noted elements together, to be one that any Peanuts fan will happily welcome into his or her home DVD library.

Warner Home Video has been noticeably declining over the course of the past two years or more. That is evident through every one of its releases both for families and for select audiences. Said releases have shown that someone(s) at WHV apparently did not and does not care about providing audiences with quality home releases. For all of the problematic releases that WHV has put out in stores over the past couple of years or so, finally a random diamond in the rough from WHV will be released very soon in the form of the new Peanuts collection Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection. This collection of TV specials includes eleven classic Peanuts TV specials that some of which were nominated for Emmy Awards while certain others actually received the coveted trophy. It should be noted that all eleven of the specials featured in this new double-disc collection have each previously been released via one platform or another. Some have been released on VHS while others have previously been released on DVD. Others have even been issued and re-issued on one platform then another. Despite this, some viewers out there might not have been lucky enough to add one, another or more of the featured specials up until this point. That being the case, all eleven specials show collectively to be of the utmost importance for all viewers. That is because more than likely among the legions of Peanuts fans around the world few to any likely have all of the included specials.

The inclusion of each of its specials in one collection is good for Peanuts fans everywhere in large part because having them all in one place means just that. It means that for the first time ever each one of the specials has been finally released on one platform on which all audiences can watch them. No one is left behind. On another level, for those that had one or more of the specials in question from their previous releases can finally eliminate those platforms (or at least most of them if they own the original VHS copies of said specials). That will ultimately lead to saved space for many fans on their respective DVD racks. Again, this might not apply for every Peanuts fan. But it will definitely apply to many fans. And that being the case, it makes the collection’s ergonomic factor that much more important to the whole of its success and enjoyment.

The episodes presented in Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection show clearly why they are within themselves quite important to the whole of the collection. Examining the episodes on a closer level, ther writing shows to be just as important to the collection as the episodes themselves. In examining the specials’ writing it becomes clear why they were either nominated or in some cases even won an Emmy. That is most evident through the surprisingly moving special What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown. This sequel of sorts to Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back) follows Charlie Brown and company on their departure from France. Along the way, the Peanuts gang happens to arrive at Normandy and the site of the Allied landing on D-Day. The history lesson provided by Linus upon their arrival is unbiased and moving all at the same time. The writers don’t pull any punches here, revealing that the Allied attack on Normandy was in fact anything but perfect. Linus notes in his lesson that weather conditions had ruined the mission so much that Allied commanders even considered pulling back. That is a lesson that sadly very few history teachers and professors alike will teach in the classroom. So it is nice to have that historical truth noted in a special that is aimed at younger viewers.

In another of the collection’s episodes, She’s A Good Skate, Charlie Brown, audiences actually get to hear an adult speak for the first (and probably only)time in the history of the Peanuts TV specials. The adult in question is Peppermint Patty’s teacher. She continuously calls on Patty as Patty continues falling asleep in class thanks to her early morning skating practice. Yes, skating. That is another reason that the writing in this special proves so notable. Anyone that knows their Peanuts history knows that Peppermint Patty is more of a tomboy than a girly girl. Heck, she was even voiced by males in a number of the specials. So having Patty taking part in a sport that is traditionally more aimed at females than males shows a completely opposite side of Patty and to the Peanuts universe in whole.  It is a change that all audiences will agree now in the 21st century is a welcome change.  It shows that it’s okay for a girl to be girly and one of the boys.  Simply put, it really serves to defy those strict, standard gender roles established by society.  Whether or not that is the reason that it at least received an Emmy nomination, it is one more reason that the writing behind this special stands out so strongly as one more part of the whole of the collection’s writing.

Why, Charlie Brown, Why? is perhaps the strongest evidence of the importance of the writing behind the collection’s featured episodes. This episode tackles the issue of cancer. On a more specific level, it tackles the issue of childhood cancer and the impact of cancer on both the victim and his or her friends and family. Its story centers on a young girl named Janet who is diagnosed with leukemia. It just so happens that she is friends with Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Though, Linus is the main character of this story. That side element of the story’s writing will be discussed shortly. Sticking on the main topic, the manner in which the writers tackled the subject is hugely worthy of applause. It was handled with the utmost gentility and in a fashion that also made the topic accessible even for much younger viewers. That in itself makes this special more than just a special. It is special in every sense of the word. It’s just one aspect of the special’s writing that makes it so notable among the others included in this set. The fact that Linus was made the story’s central character makes it even more worth the watch. It’s not the first time that Charlie Brown took a back seat to his Peanuts pals. But it is one of the most successful episodes that featured someone other than Charlie Brown at the center of the story. That is especially the case as audiences see Linus actually lose his cool in a very rare instance. He loses it when another child makes fun of Janet for having lost her hair right in front of him. Audiences will find themselves cheering Linus on and even doing so with the slightest tear in their eyes. That rare moment really exemplifies the pent-up feelings that not only children feel in a situation such as that presented here, but grown-ups, too. So for that reason too, the writing behind Why, Charlie Brown, Why? shows even more the importance of the episodes’ writing in whole in examining the set in whole. It is just one more example of the importance of the writing within each of the set’s episodes. The writing within each of the remaining eight specials shows in its own way why the writing in whole is so important to the episodes’ enjoyment and the success of the set in whole. And together with the episodes themselves, both elements together make a strong argument why every Peanuts fan should have this new collection in his or her own home DVD library. They still are just part of the whole of the collection’s positives. Last of note is the animation style within each episode.

Both the episodes featured throughout the body of Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection and the writing within each special makes for plenty of reason for Peanuts fans to appreciate this latest collection of Peanuts classics. Of course what examination of such a classic collection would be complete without mention of the specials’ animation style. Every one of the specials featured as part of Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection was drawn by hand. That means that endless hours were spent bringing to leave each and every second of each special. Now being that each special runs roughly in the range of about twenty minutes (or just a little more in some cases), the math adds up to quite a bit of time spent on bringing each special to life for broadcast. That says a lot when these specials are compared to the largely CG presentations out there today that try to claim themselves as being animated. They are animated in name only. These specials show everything that was once great about true, animated features. Each one of the specials boasts a similar look. But there are also minute details within each special that set them apart. Audiences that have eagle eyes will catch that minutia. The same can’t be said of today’s CG creations. It really gives these classic specials a real soul and heart. Together with the episodes’ impressive writing and the episodes themselves all three elements come together to make Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection a clear must have for any real devoted Peanuts fan.

Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection is a must have for any real Peanuts fan. That is the case whether or not said fan already owns any of the specials presented here on their original release platforms. The collective writing presented within each of the collection’s makes the episodes and the collection in whole even more enjoyable. The standout animation style presented across each of the collection’s specials rounds out the presentation. It reminds audiences by comparison of what once made animation so great. The animation is original. Even the upcoming Peanuts Movie that is due out this Thanksgiving doesn’t entirely hold up to that style of animation despite the efforts of those behind the movie to make it look like the classics on which it is based. Each element in itself proves to be an important part of the collections’ whole. Altogether they make Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection a collection that any true-blooded Peanuts fan would himself or herself be honored to have in his or her home DVD library. Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection is available now exclusively in Target stores nationwide. It will allegedly be available nationwide in other stores beginning Tuesday, September 15th. More information on this and other upcoming Peanuts releases is available online now along with the latest Peanuts news at:

Website: http://www.peanuts.com

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Indiepix Import Ships Sails Despite Syncing Issues

Courtesy:  Indiepix Films

Courtesy: Indiepix Films

Earlier this year, independent movie studio Indiepix imported the Turkish foreign film Ships for American audiences. The movie, which originally debuted in its home country in January 2014, is quite the interesting work. Coming in at just over the ninety-minute mark, its script lies at the heart of its interest. The movie’s script follows a young man named Ali (Ugur Uzunel–El yazisi) as he ponders his life in the port town that is he calls home in regards to his own future, his relationship with his father, and much more. As the story, penned by writer/director Elif Refig, progresses, it becomes more than just a story ruminating on one’s place in the world but one that even boasts just the slightest amount of romance. Luckily that romance factor doesn’t overpower the movie’s main plot. Rather it plays into the movie’s overall plot, leading to a deep philosophical (and psychological) concept that will definitely have viewers talking after the movie ends. While the movie’s script plays a powerful part in its surprising enjoyment, it can’t be said that the movie is pefect. There is a clearly noticable problem with the movie’s sync. The movie is not dubbed in English. So this is not just the standard English voice actor dubbing over the foreign original. The audio and video is at the very least a good second and a half off from one another. To some this may not seem like that much. But it is noticeable. And while it doesn’t necessarily kill the movie (or the bonus short included with the movie–it also has a sync issue)it is a hindrance that must be noted. Having noted the painfully obvious issue with the movie’s sync (and that of the movie’s companion short film) that noted bonus companion short film adds even more to the movie’s overall presentation. That is the case even with its sync issue. It abrely tops the twenty-minute mark. But in the course of that time, it achieves plenty. And even despite it having its own syncing issue it still combines with the presentation’s main movie to make Ships a must see indie fick and one of this year’s top new independent films.

Indiepix Films’ recently imported independent foreign film Ships is a must see for anyone wanting to escape the monotony of the material being churned out by Hollywood’s “Power Five Studios.” It is also one of this year’s best new independent movies. The main reason that it is worthy of holding both titles is its script. Penned by writer/director Elif Refig, the script behind this movie isn’t just some overly artsy forieng film that is artsy for the sake of it. Rather it balances that art film approach with a mainstream style story and presentation that is just as accessible to audiences as any human drama churned out by Hollywood’s “Power Five studios” in the last twenty years or more. The story that lies within the movie script follows Ali as he ponders his place in the world and comes to the realization that he needs to get out of his hometown and branch out. That realization becomes even stronger when he meets what will become his female love interest Eda (M. Sitare Akbas–Ada, Not Worth A Fig, Dila Hanim), who also feels the need to get on one of the boats (there is one in particular called the Vamos of which Ali dreams and thus thinks will be the pair’s ticket out of their town) and sail away. What is really interesting about all of this is that Refig flips the standard gender roles used in the movie’s American counterparts in the development of both Ali and Eda. Ali is a dreamer while Eda is something of a bad girl figure, painting graffiti, wearing the dark hood, etc. early on. And it is in fact her growing relationship with Ali that leads her, not him, to change. This is a subtle element of Refig’s script. But it is an element that proves quite interesting to those that pay close enough attention to catch it. Even more interesting are the philosophical and even psychological discussions that are certain to be generated by Refig’s script by the time the movie ends. It will raise discussions on whether Ali’s dreams about the Vamos were n fact real signs or if perhaps they were just the catalyst for the relationship between he and Eda that forms over time. It’s just one more of so many elements within the movie’s script that make the script so important to the movie’s success and enjoyment. There is potentially more that this critic might have missed in regards to the scripting. That aside, the elements that were in fact noted here and the expert manner in which Refig balanced each element within the body of the script shows even more so why the script behind Ships is so important to its enjoyment and overall success.

For all of the positives that Ships’ script presents, it is painful to say that in watching this movie, the script is its one major positive. In other words the movie (and its companion bonus short film) does have a noticeable problem. Audiences will note that both the central presentation and its companion short film both suffer from a noticeable issue of the audio and video’s syncing. Before anyone gets upset, automatically thinking that it is just a dubbing issue, that is not the case. The cast’s speaking parts were not covered by English-speaking voice actors. Rather the cast’s speaking parts were handled via English subtitles. This makes it painfully clear that there is a problem with the movie’s syncing. It is not relegated to just those speaking parts either. The audio and video appear to be out of syn from the movie’s opening scene to its last. Some will attempt to argue that this is a non-issue since English-speaking viewers will probably spend most of their time reading the subtitles. However, the rebuttal to that argument is that even those audiences will still be watching the movie at the same time as reading the movie’s subtitles. This problem isn’t relegated to just Ships. It is just as obvious in the movie’s companion short film Man To Be. In defense of those behind both presentations, the synching issue doest not necessarily eliminate any reason to watch either film. but it does have a noticeable impact on the movies’ enjoyment. That being the case, both Ships and Man To Be are still worth at least one watch even with that painfully obvious issue thus leading again to the argument that Ships is at the very least one of 2015’s top new independent movies. It just can’t be said that it is the year’s best because of that issue.

Ships is one of this year’s best new independent movies. This is even despite the noticable issue of its syncing between its audio and video throughout. It is so well worth the watch because of its largely original and creative script. Thanks to writer/director Elif Refig’s attention to detail, it proves itself to be anything but just another existential coming of age piece. Rather it is something much deeper that will keep audiences engaged throughout the course of its ninety-two minute run time. It is just one part of the whole that makes this movie worth the watch. The inclusion of its companion bonus short film Man To Be is one more reason that this presentation proves so powerful. Just as with Ships, Man To Be proves so enjoyable thanks to its script. The acting of its cast adds even more enjoyment to this deeply human story. It presents its young lead actor having to grow up very fast because of some very difficult situations. He lives at home with his mother, grandmother, and uncle, who happens to be a not so nice person. He plays a direct role in him becoming a man at a far too young age, as he is forced into situations to which no one at his age should be exposed. From seeing the girl he is crushing going off with his uncle, to having to save his uncle from some very bad men, to having to do his uncle’s dirty work trying to convince his grandmother to sell her house, the young man in this movie faces some very difficult situations. He is even forced to make a literal life and death situation in the film’s climax that no one will see coming. The ending won’t be given away, but he comes out okay. Though it can be said that as is evidenced in the film’s final scene how okay is debatable. It and the rest of the film will leave viewers talking just as much as they will in watching Ships. This being the case, the combination of both movies together makes Ships even more clearly a must see. This is despite both films suffering from a painfully obvious issue with the synching of their audio and video. Even with that problem noted, the movie’s scripts and the work of each movie’s cast together proves Ships in whole to be a must see for anyone wanting to escape the monotony of Hollywood’s endless lust for prequels, sequels, and reboots and in turn one of the year’s best new independent movies.

While not perfect (thanks to the issues with its production values) Ships is not an altogether awful movie. Rather it is actually a surprisingly interesting film that any true lover of the film arts will want to see. Its script and the work of the movie’s cast coupled with both noted elements of Man To Be make the presentation in whole one of this year’s best new independent movies. It is available now and can be ordered online via Indiepix Films’ online store at http://www.indiepixfilms.com/film/5945#.VeC0HvZViko. More information on this and other titles from Indiepix Films is available online now at:

Website: http://www.indiepixfilms.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/IndiePixFilms

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