Anchor Bay Entertainment Announces Home Release Date For The Walking Dead Season Five

Courtesy:  Anchor  Bay Entertainment/Starz

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz

The end is almost here for AMC’s hit horror serial The Walking Dead.

The fifth season of The Walking Dead just wrapped this past Sunday. And as fans count down to the sixth (and supposedly last) season of the hit drama, Anchor Bay Entertainment has wasted no time announcing the home release date for the series’ fifth season. Anchor Bay Entertainment announced today that The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season will be released in stores and online Tuesday, August 25th. It will be released on both DVD and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack.

Current details on pricing, bonus materials, specs, box art, and limited edition box sets are currently unavailable. They will be announced soon. All of that information will be available online along with all the latest updates on the series at:

Website: http://www.amctv.com/shows/the-walking-dead

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/WalkingDead_AMC

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Shout! Factory Kids’ New Littlest Pet Shop DVD Is Another Big Hit For Little Ladies

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory Kids/Hasbro Studios/Discovery Family

Courtesy: Shout! Factory Kids/Hasbro Studios/Discovery Family

Discovery Family’s hit animated series Littlest Pet Shop has proven to be one of the network’s top rated shows ever since it made its U.S. debut three years ago in 2012. Thanks to that popularity, the series has gone on to generate seven DVDs containing a handful of episodes from the series. Each of those compilations have themselves garnered their own positive results both in terms of reaction from audiences and in terms of sales. That success has continued this year as Shout! Factory Kids released the eighth compilation of episodes from the series earlier this month. Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Shop Pals was released in stores and online on Tuesday, March 17th. The newly released DVD is *ahem* more wild fun for the whole family. The most obvious reason for this continued enjoyment is the work of the show’s writers. The episodes collected for this latest compilation each exhibit their own solid writing that is sure to entertain any of the show’s target viewers. This is regardless of whether or not said viewers have seen the chosen episodes. This ties in directly to the second of the positives of the episodes. That second positive is the run time of each episode. Each episode runs roughly twenty-two minutes. Considering the average age of the show’s target audience that run time is just long enough to keep those viewers engaged. Add in the solid writing of each episode and this collection shows even more why any of the show’s key viewers will enjoy it. Last of note in regards to this latest compilation is the inclusion of a bonus sing-along. The sing-along is connected to the included episode “Lotsa Luck.” It runs just over the ninety-second mark. But it will entertain the show’s young viewers just as much as the episodes themselves thus rounding out this collection. The sing-along by itself will in fact achieve its goal of having young viewers singing and dancing along. Together with the episodes’ solid writing and their run times, Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Shop Pals proves in whole to be yet another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library.

Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Shop Pals is not the first collection of episodes from Discovery Family’s (formerly Hub) hit animated series to be released since the series’ debut back in 2012. It is in fact the series’ eighth compilation to be released to date. That aside, it is still another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library regardless of how many of the previous collections families already own. One reason for this is the work of the series’ writers within each of the DVD’s five episodes. One example of the writers’ talents in this collection is the story presented in “Helicopter Dad.” It sees Blythe starting to break away from her dad. This results in her dad trying too hard to connect with her. The way that the writers present this change in the father/daughter dynamic is actually relatively realistic. It could apply just as much if it were a father/son relationship. Of course there are some moments that are a little bit over the top. But those moments help to keep the story lighthearted and in turn entertaining. “Lotsa Luck” is just as entertaining but for a completely different reason. The writers behind this episode present a story with two wholly different story lines. One story sees Blythe discover that Miss Anna T. has a long-held secret talent. The other sees Pepper the skunk trying to impress a famous comedic orangutan that she has looked up to for a long time. While they are two different stories, both have the same underlying plot. Because of that, the writers were able to easily connect them for one whole that is in turn simple to follow and thus fully entertaining. On another note, the subtle joke in Miss Anna T.’s flashback about the moon landing will have older audiences laughing in their own right. It’s just one pop culture reference that audiences will appreciate in these episodes, too. There is a blatant spoof of Mel Gibson’s 1995 drama Braveheart in the disc’s opener “Books and Covers.” This will have older audiences laughing just as much as the moon landing reference. Whether for these writing elements or for those not noted here, audiences will find plenty of ways that the writing in these episodes make them so enjoyable. In turn, audiences will agree that those many elements go a long way toward making Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Shop Pals such a welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library.

The writing that went into each of the episodes included in Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Shop Pals is in its own right quite important to the overall enjoyment of the DVD. It’s not all that makes these episodes work so well, either. The run time of each episode is equally important to the presentation in whole. Each episode presented here runs roughly twenty-two minutes. At five episodes, that equals to roughly 110 minutes. Considering that this series is aimed at audiences about 5 years old to perhaps 6 or 7 years old, that run time is just long enough to keep those intended audiences engaged without losing them along the way. This is just as much the case without commercials segmenting the episodes as with them. The solid writing of each episode coupled with that run time makes for even more reason to applaud these episodes. It is another tradition continued from the series’ previous DVD sets that audiences of all ages will applaud. Because it is a standard carried over from those previously released DVDs, it shows that continued dedication to entertaining audiences as best as possible. In the grand scheme of things it makes Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Shop Pals that much more worth the addition to any family’s home DVD library regardless of how many of the previously released DVDs families already own.

The writing behind each episode of Littlest Pet Shop included in this disc is just as important to the overall enjoyment of the presentation in whole as the run time. The two elements together make this latest collection of episodes well worth the purchase by any family with young ladies in the household. While both noted elements are of the utmost importance in the enjoyment of Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Shop Pals, one would be remiss to ignore the bonus sing-a-long included with the package. The bonus sing-a-long is part of the episode “Lotsa Luck.” It is actually part of the episode itself. The people at Shout! Factory Kids have simply taken it and lifted it from the episode to make it its own stand-alone entity of sorts. This allows the show’s young audiences to enjoy the song, singing and dancing along, without having to fast forward to it every time they want to do so. It’s one more way that Shout! Factory Kids has made this DVD more enjoyable for audiences. And together with the solidly written stories and smart run times, the package in whole proves without a doubt a great addition to any family’s home DVD library regardles of whether or not they already own any previously released Littlest Pet Shop DVDs.

Shout! Factory Kids’ newly released Littlest Pet Shop compilation DVD is another welcome addition to the home DVD library of any family with young ladies in the household. The episodes included on this disc each exhibit writing that is just as strong as in the series’ previously released compilation DVDs. Each episode’s twenty-minute plus run time works right in time (no pun intended) with the writing to keep audiences fully engaged and entertained. The bonus stand-alone sing-a-long rounds out the presentation, making it a fully enjoyable experience for audiences of all ages that is just as welcome in any family’s home DVD library as any of the series’ previously released compilation DVDs. Littlest Pet Shop: Pet Shop Pals is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from Shout! Factory’s online store a at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/littlest-pet-shop-pet-shop-pals. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

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Paramount Comes Up Short With Its New Peanuts Re-Issue

Courtesy:  Paramount

Courtesy: Paramount

This past February, Paramount released to DVD for the first time the 1977 Peanuts “movie” Race For You Life, Charlie Brown. Its recent release marks the first time ever that it has seen the light of day on DVD. It wasn’t even included on either of the Peanuts 1970s Collections released by Warner Home Video in 2009 and 2010 respectively. As long as audiences have waited for this movie to finally be released, its release back in February of this year proved to be anything but outstanding. Interestingly enough, WHV didn’t handle Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown. It was actually handled solely by Paramount, one of Hollywood’s Big 5 Studios. Considering this one would have thought that Paramount would have taken more pride in its product than WHV. Alas, that wasn’t the case with this release. It is a bare bones presentation lacking any bonus material for audiences. That will be discussed later. The movie itself presents an enjoyable story. And the overall presentation looks and sounds great. But that glaring lack of ANY bonus material hurts the overall product in a big way. The end result is a DVD that any Peanuts fans will welcome in their home library, but will do so very begrudgingly. It proves to be a DVD that Paramount should have handled far better than it did especially after making audiences wait nearly four decades for it to receive a DVD release albeit a DVD release that could have been far better.

Audiences have waited nearly forty-years for Paramount’s recent release of Race For You Life, Charlie Brown on DVD. Considering the wait, it goes without saying that the wait was not entirely worth it, going through this DVD. That will be discussed shortly. It isn’t all bad, though. The movie itself presents a fun story that takes both the Peanuts gang and audiences out of the typical world created by the Peanuts TV specials. Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz’s story takes Charlie Brown and company out of the comfort of their own neighborhood and puts them into the wilderness racing for not just camp pride but in fact for their own lives. Because it is such a foreign setting for the Peanuts gang, it also forces Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang to band together in order to survive. As ominous as it sounds, it is all entirely family friendly. Even more interesting to note is that the adventure forces Charlie Brown to show a side that was otherwise very rarely put on display in any of the Peanuts special before or after. Schultz even allowed Charlie Brown to end up on top for once. While there were some instances in which he came out on top in other Peanuts specials, those moments are rare. This being one of those rare instances, it makes the story all the more special. And together with the rest of the story, it makes the whole of the script behind Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown the key element that makes this DVD worth the purchase by any Peanuts fan.

Charlies Schulz’s script for Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown is one of the key elements that makes this movie worth the purchase by any Peanuts fan. It is not the only reason that audiences will enjoy it, either in its new DVD release. The movie’s overall look and sound is just as worth noting. And it will be discussed shortly. For now the focus will turn to the movie’s one glaring negative.That negative is the fac that the movie’s presentation is a bare bones presentation. There is no bonus TV special. There is no feature offering any background on what led to the story’s creation or any other bonuses. All audiences get aside from the movie is the movie’s original trailer. Had this piece been released like this from say Warner Home Video, that would have been expected. That’s because of WHV’s track record in recent years with both releases for families and grown-ups alike. But having been released by Paramount, one of “Hollywood’s Power 5 Studios,”it comes as something as a disappointing surprise. The movie comes in at a little more than an hour. So that had to have left some room for some extras. For whatever reason though, someone at Paramount decided not to include anything extra with the movie other than its trailer. One can only hope that when and if Paramount releases another Peanuts movie or TV special on stand-alone Peanuts movie and/or feature it will include at least a little more than what this one has offered audiences.

The fact that Paramount has offered audiences very little other than the original trailer for Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown as a bonus to the presentation is somewhat disheartening. It is disheartening considering the fact that every previously released Peanuts feature has included at the very least a bonus TV special and a little bonus featurette offering insight into the given presentations. As much as the overall lack of any bonus material hurts Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown’s overall presentation, at least audiences can look to the overall look and sound of the movie in its first-ever DVD presentation. It is presented in full 16:9 format instead of the standard 4:3 with the black bars on either side. What’s more it looks and sounds just as good as it did in its debut roughly thirty-eight years ago. This is something especially important to note. It is important to note because in comparison to some re-issues out there, said re-issues show that very little effort was taken to properly restore them. They look scratchy and sound just as bad. But as in the case with every previously released Peanuts feature, this one looks and sounds just as great as it did in its debut. Nothing was lost along the way in terms of updating the soundtrack and footage. That continued dedication to properly presenting Charles Schulz’s beloved Peanuts features coupled with the “movie’s” original script makes Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown well worth the purchase even despite its glaring lack of any extras. This being noted, Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown may not be the year’s best new DVD for children and families. But it is at least one of the year’s best.

Looking at Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown in whole, it offers audiences its own share of positives. Its script presents a wholly original story in comparison to the other features that make up the Peanuts universe. It also looks and sounds just as good as in its original debut some thirty-eight years ago. That is thanks to the efforts of those charged with resurrecting the movie. For all of its positives, it suffers just as greatly from its overall lack of extras. The only extra–if one wants to call it an extra–that the DVD boasts is the movie’s original trailer. That’s all. There is no bonus TV special. There is no extra feature offering any insight on the movie’s creation, etc. Because of this, major points are taken away. As troublesome as that lack of extras proves itself to be to the overall presentation of Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown, it still doesn’t hurt it enough to keep it from being added to any family’s home movie collection. It is available now in stores and online. All of the latest information on this movie and all of the latest Peanuts news is available online now at:

Website: http://www.peanuts.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/snoopy

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.

PBS Announces Release Date, Specs For Grantchester Home Release

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS’ hit series Masterpiece brings to audiences another gripping murder mystery this spring when it releases Grantchester on DVD and Blu-ray.

Grantchester will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, April 7th. The story is based on author James Runcie’s novel Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death. It picks up just after the end of World War II. Elizabeth II had just become queen. And Grantchester’s local priest was one of the town’s most respected figures. A lawyer in nearby Cambridge is found dead. A suicide note, a gun, and alcohol point directly to an open and shut case. But confessions to local priest Sidney Chambers reveals much more than Inspector Geordie Keating had thought. The confessions lead the pair to team up solve what turns out to be a murder. Audiences can check out a trailer for Grantchester online now via YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3tzFp5CeAU.

Grantchester stars James Norton (Rush, Death Comes to Pemberly, Mr. Turner) as Sidney Chambers. He is joined by Robson Green (Being Human, Mount Pleasant, Strike Back) as Inspector Geordie Keating. Also on board for this mystery are: Morven Christie (The Young Victoria, Death in Paradise, Sirens) as Amanda Kendall, Tessa Peake-Jones (Only Fools and Horses, Casualty, Doctors) as Mrs. Maguire, Al Weaver (Sherlock, Me and Orson Welles, Doom) as Leonard Finch, and Pheline Roggan (Soul Kitchen, Chiko, Kebab Connection) as the widow of lawyer Stephen Staunton, the series’ first victim.

Grantchester will be available Tuesday, April 7th on DVD and Blu-ray. The series is spread across six episodes for a total run time of 360 minutes. It is spread across two discs on both its DVD and Blu-ray release. The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $34.99 and the Blu-ray set for $39.99. Both can be ordered online along with a DVD/Book combo and Blu-ray book combo via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=grantchester&origkw=grantchester&sr=1.

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

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

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.

PBS Bringing British Murder Mystery To American Audiences This Spring

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS/Starz/BBC/BBC Two

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/Starz/BBC/BBC Two

This spring, PBS distribution will release a gripping new miniseries for all the mystery lovers out there.

Dancing on the Edge will be release on DVD an Blu-ray on Tuesday, May 5th. The story focuses on a group of black jazz musicians living and performing in London in the 1930s. The group, known as The Louis Lester Band is becoming increasingly popular all around London, even being asked to perform for the royal family. Along the way, American businessman Walter Masterson and his employee Julian catch the group and become very interested in it. It seems that everything is coming up roses for The Louis Lester Band. But then tragedy strikes. A series of challenges follows that threatens to end the group’s rise to stardom. The story was written by famed writer and director Stephen Poliakoff (The Lost Prince). It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, American Gangster, Children of Men), John Goodman (Monsters, Inc., Monsters U, Argo) Matthew Goode (The Imitation Game, Watchmen, The Good Wife), Jacqueline Bisset (Bullitt, Murder on the Orient Express, The Deep), Tom Hughes (Page Eight, About Time, Cemetery Junction), Angel Coulby (Merlin, Imagine Me and You, Magicians), Wummi Mosaku (Philomena, Citadel, I Am Slave) and many others.

The mini-series’ six episodes bring its total run-time to roughly seven hours. Those episodes are spread across three discs both in its DVD and Blu-ray presentation. Audiences can check out a trailer for the mini-series online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcqnCz5chXs. The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $34.99 and the Blu-ray for $39.99.
The Blu-ray can be ordered online at: http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=58647396&cp=&sr=1&kw=dancing+on+the+edge&origkw=dancing+on+the+edge&parentPage=search#AdditionalInfo.

The DVD can be ordered online at: http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=58647376&cp=&sr=1&kw=dancing+on+the+edge&origkw=dancing+on+the+edge&parentPage=search.

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

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

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.

MST3K Volume XXXII IS Yet Another Must Have Both For Series’ Long-Time Fans And Classic Movie Buffs

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Mystery Science Theater 3000 is one of the most underrated series in television’s modern history. The series, which originally ran from November 1988 to August 1999, was on the surface a show that poked fun at the best of the worst of Hollywood’s history. On a deeper level though, it proved a show that actually celebrated that history in its own playful way. It is because of MST3K that so many then much younger audiences become the lovers of film that they are today. This critic is among that mass of cinephiles, or lovers of cinema. After its cancellation in 1999, it became relatively difficult to find the show anywhere, including online. Thanks to the efforts of Shout! Factory though, the series has been kept alive through an ongoing series of box sets, each containing four episodes from the series’ eleven-season run. And today, Shout! Factory released what is just the latest in that ongoing series of box sets in the form of Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXXII. Volume XXXII is yet another joy for any MST3K fan or film buff in general. The central reason for this is of course the films that were chosen for this collection. Shout! Factory has pulled four more best of the worst flicks. They are flicks that are so bad that they’re great even though their cast and crews would rather they remain forgotten.  Another reason that that it is another great set is the collective segments that break up the movies. The timing of Joel, Mike, and their cast mates make for plenty of laughs within themselves. And last but not least worth noting is the bonus material included with the movies. Cast member Frank Conniff offers new introductions to two of the movies. There is also a pair of background pieces on Space Travelers and Hercules that audiences will enjoy along with a pair of bonuses that focus more on the show. All of these bonuses by themselves offer plenty of enjoyment for MST3K fans of all ages. Together with the movies chosen for this set and the live action segments that break them up, MST3K Volume XXXII proves itself one more great addition to the collection of any movie buff and any MST3K fan out there today.

One hundred ninety-seven episodes and eleven years. That is how long the cult hit series Mystery Science Theater 3000 ran in its original broadcast. Throughout the course of time and those episodes, MST3K offered audiences more laughs than one can even begin to count. One of the reasons that it remained such a laugh riot for so long was its choice of movies and those movies’ associated commentary. That is just as obvious in the series’ latest collection of films. The movies picked for this collection include Radar Secret Service (1950), San Francisco International (1970)—which was the “pilot” for the short-lived series—Space Travelers (1969), and the granddaddy of all Hercules incarnations in the 1958 Italian import starring Steve Reeves. Gene Hackman probably doesn’t mind that Space Travelers is one of his far lesser-known pieces today, considering his body of work. And were he alive today, Gregory Peck would likely feel the same about the movie. Yes, it’s that campy. By comparison, Apollo 13 and every other cheesy space flick that has come along since puts this movie to shame. Yet it’s so bad that one can’t help but watch. By contrast, the 1958 Italian import of Hercules is actually campy I nits own right. But at the same time, it is just as enjoyable as it is campy. It could even be argued that its camp is what makes it so worth the watch, again supporting the central argument of why this collection’s movie selection makes it another must have for fans of the series. Radar Secret Service is just as campy both in its story and in its presentation. The story sees a group of government agents tracking a shipment of stolen uranium through the use of (yup) radar. The acting is just as cheesy as the story. It is pretty much on the same level as B-movie king Roger Corman’s classic sci-fi flicks. Again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It is os cheesy that audiences can’t help but laugh at it, in turn making audiences want to keep watching the movie. Still not enough? How about the standard cheese factor of the original Hercules (1958). The movie features one of the greatest of the demi-gods going on a quest for the mythical golden fleece. There is plenty of eye candy for the ladies. And for the guys, there is even an island populated by nothing but women that allegedly mate with men who come there and then kill them. And then there’s the over-the-top action of San Francisco International that takes place at a San Francisco airport. Of course as dumbed down and cheesy as that seems, there is plenty of material out there today that is even less intelligent offered to audiences. Keeping that in mind, it actually makes the likes of San Francisco International and the rest of this set’s movie’s all the more entertaining and important to its enjoyment.

The movies that were chosen for MST3 Volume XXXII are each equally entertaining in their own right. By themselves, they will offer their own share of laughs for both long-time fans of the series and for classic movie buffs alike. Of course by themselves, the movies can only offer but so many laughs. The segments that break up the movies (and the riffing during the movies) add to the laughs. Audiences will laugh uproariously when Crow and the rest of his robot buddies try to bring Mike back to himself in the skits used between Radar Secret Service. Their attempt to re-create his high school class reunion is a prime example of how the show’s mid-movie skits will leave audiences in stitches. Tom Servo’s speech between segments of Hercules about the ability to line up the stars to make any constellation is just as hilarious. It is so funny because it’s true. For eons, humans have passed down the knowledge of certain star clusters being specific patterns. Yet there are so many stars out there that it would be just as easy to take the same groupings of stars, line them up with other star groupings and make wholly different constellations. After all, who is to say that there couldn’t be a “sandwich” constellation? Audiences that watch this episode will get that joke. Speaking of jokes, the riffing during the movies expertly complements the mid-movie segments. In only a matter of minutes in Radar Secret Service, Mike and company take playful jabs at Harrison Ford, the classic 1975 sitcom Welcome Back Kotter, and even breakfast cereal Golden Grahams. If that’s not enough, there are jokes at the expense of the late, great Judy Garland and famed director John Sturges in Space Travelers (a.k.a Marooned). The writers playfully jab at Sturges that he had done much better work than Space Travelers, showing just how cheesy and over-the-top it was. There are plenty more jokes and riffs at which audiences will laugh uproariously throughout this set’s movies. They come so fast and furious that the only way for audiences to catch and fully enjoy them all is to pick up MST3K Volume XXXII. Regardless of whether for the noted skits and riffs or for others not noted here, audiences will agree in purchasing MST3K Volume XXXII that the laughs generated by each and every skit and joke more than make this collection of classic flicks a must have for any of the series’ fans and classic movie buffs alike.

The mid-movie skits and riffs offered up throughout the course of each of this set’s movies are a laugh riot. Between the zany skits, the jabs at all things pop culture, and the jokes in general, many audiences might find themselves laughing so hard that they cry tears of joy. That is thanks to the talent of the writers and to the choice of movies for this collection. For all of the enjoyment brought by the movies and the collective riffs and skits, they still are not all that makes this collection so fun for fans and movie buffs alike. The bonus material included with the movies puts the finishing touch on the set, proving without a doubt not only why MST3K Volume XXXII is a must have for fans and movie buffs alike, but also that this set is one of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences. This time out, Shout! Factory has included a history on Space Travelers and its legendary director John Sturges and a history on Hercules producer Joseph E. Levine. There is also a fun little look at Frank and Trace’s trip to the U.K. for a sci-fi fan fest across the pond, and an equally entertaining piece focusing on the history of “Satellite News.” Space Travelers’ feature centering on director John Sturges spends a little bit of time going into detail on his body of work that included huge hits such as The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, and The Old Man and the Sea just to name a few. It compares those works to Space Travelers and its value versus that of this much bigger hits, explaining that is how the riff in the movie came to be. There is also an interesting point/counterpoint in whether or not its heads should have stuck with the title of Marooned or if going with the title of Space Travelers was better. For anyone that is a true lover of movies, this discussion in itself is sure to bring about plenty more discussions. Hercules’ feature centering on producer Joseph E. Levine is an eye-opener for cinephiles of all ages. It points out the movies that were brought to American viewers thanks to his efforts. As is noted in the feature, if not for Levine’s efforts American audiences might never have gotten to see the 1958 take of Hercules or another major motion picture in the form of Godzilla and other major foreign language films. Yes, Levine was even responsible for importing Godzilla. He is also the man responsible for bringing to audiences such hits as The Graduate, The Producers (go figure), and Darling among so many others. While it is not an extensive profile, this feature on Joseph E. Levine is still an important addition to MST3K’s latest collection of movies. It is just as important for any film history buffs, too. This feature and the piece on Space Travelers’ history are the central bonus features included in this set. That is not to discount the video post card that is Frank and Trace’s trip to London. or the “Satellite News” feature included in San Francisco International. Frank and Trace’s overseas trip serves to show the continued popularity of MST3K not just in America but around the world. That by itself is quite the statement. And speaking of statements, such a statement partnered with each and every other element noted here shows exactly why MST3K Volume XXXII is a must have for any of the series’ fans and for any classic movie buff. What’s more, everything noted here proves why this box set belongs on every critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-ups come December.

Whether for the movies chosen for the set, the mid-movie skits included in each episode and the riffing during the movies, or for the bonus material, MST3K Volume XXXII proves itself clearly to be a must have for any long-time fan of this cult favorite series. It also proves to be just as much of a must have for any classic movie buff out there. MST3K Volume XXXII is available in stores and online now and can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-comedy/mst3k-volume-xxxii. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

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.

History, Lionsgate Announce Release Date, Specs For Sons Of Liberty

Courtesy:  History Channel/Lionsgate

Courtesy: History Channel/Lionsgate

Courtesy:  History Channel/Lionsgate

Courtesy: History Channel/Lionsgate

Officials with History Channel announced this week that the network’s latest mini-series Sons of Liberty will be released this spring.

History Channel will release Sons of Liberty on DVD + Digital combo pack and Blu-ray + Digital HD on Tuesday, May 26th. The epic five-hour mini-series focuses on the events of the American Revolution including: Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride, the Boston Tea Party, The Battle of Lexington, and much more. Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Dorian Grey) leads the cast in the role of patriot Sam Adams. He is joined by Dean Norris (Breaking Bad, Under The Dome, Little Miss Sunshine), Ryan Eggold (The Blacklist, 90210, Dirt), Michael Raymond James (Jack Reacher, Once Upon A Time, True Blood), Rafe Spall (Prometheus, Life of Pi, Shaun of the Dead), Henry Thomas (Gangs of New York, E.T. The Extra-terrestrial, Legends of the Fall), Marton Csokas (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, The Amazing Spiderman 2), Jason O’Mara (Terra Nova, Vegas, Men in Trees), and Emily Berrington (24: Live Another Day, The White Queen, The Inbetweeners 2).

Along with the series’ main presentation, the Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack and the DVD + Digital combo pack will both include a handful of bonuses for audiences. Those bonuses include a “Making Of” featurette, a feature on the central figures of the revolution, and a piece focusing on the special effects that helped bring the battles of the revolution to life. The full list of bonus materials is noted below:

BLU-RAY/DVD SPECIAL FEATURES*

  • “Lensing Liberty: The Making of Sons of Liberty” featurette
  • “Men of Independence: The Historic Figures of Sons of Liberty” featurette
  • “The Choreography of War: Creating the Battles and SPFX of Sons of Liberty” featurette

Sons of Liberty will be available on Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack and DVD + Digital combo pack Tuesday, May 26th. The Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack will retail for MSRP of $29.99 and the DVD + Digital combo pack for $26.98. Audiences can check out a trailer for Sons of Liberty online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yS6GcKFm9og&feature=youtu.be.

More information on this and other titles from History Channel is available online at:

Website: http://www.history.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/HISTORY

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