Eagle Rock Announces Release Date, Specs For Upcoming Elliot Smith Documentary

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release its latest new music documemtary this summer.

Elliot Smith: Heaven Adores You will be released Friday, July 17th. The documentary examines the life and work of famed singer/songwriter Elliot Smith. It is the first documentary to do so. Smith first rose to fame in the 1990s and early 2000s before his untimely death at the age of 34 in 2003. The documentary mixes together bits and pieces of Smith’s previously unreleased and unfinished songs with a look back at his life and career to paint a picture of a man who was both a genuinely talented musician and yet a troubled soul. Along with the previously unreleased and unfinished songs, the program also features some of Smith’s greatest hits including: ‘Miss Misery,’ ‘Happiness,’ ‘Son of Sam,’ and ‘Waltz #2.’ There is also a bonus performance of ‘Heaven Adores You’ from Aaron Espinoza (vocalist/guitarist for indie rock band Earlimart) included in the program and roughly an hour of interviews with those that contributed to the documentary’s creation. Audiences can check out a trailer for the documentary online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOnImKYMpSs&feature=youtu.be.

Elliot Smith: Heaven Adores You will be available in stores and online Friday, July 17th. It will be available both on DVD and Blu-ray.  the DVD will retail for MSRP of $14.98 and the Blu-ray for $19.98. It can be pre-ordered online now at http://www.myplaydirect.com/elliott-smith. Fans that pre-order the documentary through this website can get it as part of a bundle that also includes a bonus T-Shirt.

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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ESPN Names Host For 2015 ESPYS Broadcast

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Audiences now know who will host this year’s installment of ESPN’s annual ESPYS.

Joel McHale, host of E!’s The Soup, will emcee this year’s awards show, which will air live July 15th at 8pm ET on ABC. This year is not the first time that he has appeared on The ESPYS. he has also served as a presented on the annual awards program. Regarding that appearance and his love for the sports world and ESPN, ESPYS Executive Producer Maura Mandt said “I’ve had the opportunity to work with Joel on previous projects, including when he presented at The ESPYS, and he’s an enthusiastic fan whose talents will bring a new spin to the night’s celebration.”

Along with his previous appearance on The ESPYS, McHale also hosted the annual White House Correspoondent’s dinner last year. Conner Schell, Senior VP of ESPN Films and Original Content heads ESPN’s annual ESPYS broadcast. He explained the reason for choosing McHale noting his talent and love for sports. “Joel is an extremely talented performer, a unique voice and a huge sports fan,” he said. “His experience as a comedian and love of sports make Joel the perfect host for The ESPYS inaugural broadcast on ABC.”

McHale was originally a member of the University of Washington’s football team while in college before eventually being recruited for its rowing program. He kept the mood light in discussing the announcement of his appointment saying, “I’m thrilled to be hosting The ESPYS. Just ecstatic. After my stunning victory in the Iditarod this year by only using six Bichon Frises and a lamb, I think the sports world saw me as the logical host.”

ESPN will precede its annual ESPYS broadcast with a special broadcast of SportsCenter at The ESPYS from 6 – 7pm ET and The ESPYS Countdown Show Presented by Capital One from 7 – 8pm ET. Fans that want to attend this year’s ESPYS can purchase tickets online now at AXS.com. More information on this year’s ESPYS broadcast is available online now via Twitter at http://twitter.com/ESPYS.

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National Geographic Films, Virgil Films Team Up For New Documentary Film

Courtesy:  National Geographic Films/Virgil Films

Courtesy: National Geographic Films/Virgil Films

Virgil Films and National Geographic Films will release Nat Geo’s latest documentary Pandas: The Journey Home next month.

Pandas: The Journey Home will be released Tuesday, June 16th on 2D and 3D Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. Shot entirely in IMAX, the documentary follows a group of pandas from birth to transition back to the wild. In order to create the program, its filmmakers were given unprecedented access to the Wolong Panda Center in China. The thirty-six minute documentary presents the work put in to protect pandas and return them to the wild.

Actress Joely Richardson (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Nip/Tuck) serves as narrator for the film. The project is helmed by director Nicolas Brown (Human Planet, Expedition Alaska) and produced by Caroline Hawkins (Meerkats 3D, Fatal Attractions) of Oxford Scientific Films. Hawkins noted in a recent interview part of her reason for signing on for this film explaining that pandas “are more than just cute and cuddly animals to see in the zoo. They have a place in the wild and in the ecosystem.”

Pandas: The Journey Home will be available from Virgil Films and National Geographic Films Tuesday, June 16th. It will be available in a 2D/3D Blu-ray + DVD combo pack for MSRP of $29.99. It will also be available on demand and via digital platforms in both SD and HD versions. Audiences can check out a trailer for Pandas: The Journey Home online now along with more information on the film online at http://movies.nationalgeographic.com/movies/pandas/. Audiences can get more information on this and other movies from National Geographic Films online at http://movies.nationalgeographic.com/movies. More information on this and other titles from Virgil films is available online now at:

Website: http://www.virgilfilmsent.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/virgilfilms

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.

ESPN’s FNF Ends Its 17-Year Run This Friday With Boxcino 2015 Finals

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

This Friday marks the end of an era for ESPN.

This Friday night, ESPN’s Friday Night Fights will come to an end after seventeen years on the air. The long-running weekly boxing series will come to a close with the highly anticipated finals of the “Boxcino 2015” Tournament. The tournament kicked off this past February. It is a single-elimination tournament made up of sixteen fighters in two weight classes—heavyweight and junior heavyweight. Friday night’s tournament and series finale will come live from the Omega Products Center in Corona, California at 10pm ET/7pm PT on ESPNs and ESPN Deportes. Those not near a television can also catch Friday night’s broadcast online via WatchESPN.  Friday’s card is presented by Banner Promotions.

Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be ringside for ESPN2. Studio host Todd Grisham will be on-site for the broadcast, too with all of the latest boxing news and information. Pablo Viruega and Delvin Rodriguez will have the call for ESPN Deportes. Leopoldo Gonzalez and Clauda Trejos will be live in studio for the network. Bernardo Osuna will have live interviews and reports for both networks. Along with the featured fights, Friday’s broadcast will also feature a special video essay looking back on the series run. Tessitore narrates the essay in which he discusses what the show has come to mean for boxing fans and what the brand has meant to the boxing community over the course of its seventeen years on the air.

Andrey Fetosov (27 – 3, 22 KOs) will take on Donovan Dennis (14 – 2, 11 KOs) in a ten-round fight in the final round of the Heavyweight Division of the Boxcino tournament. Fedosov took down Nate Heaven with a round one TKO in the tournament’s opening round. He took down Lenroy Thomas in only the third round of the pair’s semifinal bout. On the other side of the ring, Dennis opened the tournament with a fourth-round TKO victory over the previously undefeated Steve Vukosa. Dennis followed up that win with an incredible one-punch KO win over Razvan Cojanu in the tournament’s semi-finals.

Brandon “The Cannon” Adams (17 – 1, 12 KOs) will go 10 rounds against John “Apollo Kid” Thompson (16 – 1, 5 KOs) in the final round of the Junior Middleweight division. Adams was a finalist in the 2014 Boxcino tournament. He moved on to this week’s final round after defeating Vita Gasparayan in seven rounds in the tournament’s semifinals. He made his way to the semifinal round thanks to a fifth-round TKO win over Alex Perez in the quarterfinal round. Thompson opened his performance in this year’s tournament with a six-round unanimous decision win over Ricardo Pinell. He followed that up with an eight-round split decision win over Stanislav Skorokhod in the semifinals.

Boxing fans can score the fights themselves from the comfort of their homes thanks to the “Live Friday Night Fights Facebook Voting App. It can be obtained via the Friday Night Fights Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf. Fans can also get all of the latest news on this week’s matchups online via Twitter at http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF and http://twitter.com/espnboxing. FNF’s Spanish-speaking audiences can also get all of the latest news via Twitter at http://twitter.com/espnboxeo. Fans can also get all of the latest boxing news on ESPN’s newly re-designed boxing website http://espn.go.com/boxing.

While ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra is coming to an end this weekend, their end doesn’t mark the end of boxing programming on the worldwide leader in sports. Beginning Saturday, July 11th at 9pm ET, ESPN will debut is new boxing program Premiere Boxing Champions on ESPN. ESPN Deportes will carry all broadcasts of Premiere Boxing Champions on ESPN as part of its Noche de Combates series.

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.

Lionsgate Announces Release Date, Specs For New Dramedy While We’re Young

While Were Young BD Box ArtLionsgate will release actor Ben Stiller’s new dramedy While We’re Young next month.

While We’re Young will be released on Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack and DVD + Digital combo pack on Tuesday, June 30th. Stiller (Night at the Museum 1 – 3) and Naomi Watts (King Kong, The Impossible, Mullholland Drive) star as a pair of aging urban sophisticates trying too hard to hold onto their youth in the movie. In their efforts to hold onto their youth, the pair—Jason (Stiller) and Cornelia (Watts)—join a hip-hop dance class and “mind-expanding” parties among other activities. They are joined by Adam Driver (HBO’s Girls), Amanda Seyfried (Alice in Wonderland, Les Miserables, Mamma Mia), Charles Grodin (Beethoven, Beethoven’s Second, Midnight Run) and now former Beastie Boys member Adam Horovitz (a.k. Ad-Rock) along the way. The movie was helmed by Academy Award®-nominated director Noah Baumbach (Best Original Screenplay The Squid and the Whale, 2005). Baumbach has also previously worked with Stiller on the 2010 drama Greenberg. He also developed the big screen adaptation of the classic children’s book The Fantastic Mr. Fox in 2009.

One writer for Variety called While We’re Young a “blisteringly of-the-moment and classically zany comedy.” Along with the main feature, both the Blu-ray + Digital HD and DVD + Digital combo pack will also feature a handful of bonus material including six behind-the scenes featurettes and some more scene specific features. The complete list of bonus material included on the Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack is noted below.

BLU-RAY/DVD SPECIAL FEATURES*

  • Six Behind-the-Scenes Vignettes:  “The Cast,” “Working with Filmmaker Noah Baumbach,”
  • “Generation Tech,” “Working with Charles Grodin,” “Ayahuasca Ceremony” and “Hip-Hop Class”

*Subject to change

While We’re Young will be released on Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack and DVD + Digital combo pack on Tuesday, June 30th. The Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack will retail for MSRP of $24.99 and the DVD + Digital combo pack for $19.98. More information on this and other titles from Lionsgate is available online now at:

Website: http://www.lionsgate.com

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

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.

NOVA: Big Bang Machine Is A Blast For Anyone With Experience And Interest In Physics

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

Early last month, researchers at CERN restarted the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, for the first time in two years.  The world’s largest supercollider, it was designed to answer some of science’s most pressing questions.  Fittingly, PBS released a new episode of its hit science-based series NOVA this past March in anticipation of the LHC’s restart.  NOVA: Big Bang Machine takes audiences behind the scenes of the LHC’s creation and the importance of the experiments that take place within its seventeen mile circumference.  Regardless of whether audiences are themselves are deeply involved in the world of physics (theoretical or otherwise) or are just interested in the operations of the LHC, the concepts discussed throughout the episode are made easily accessible for audiences of every background.  The pacing of the presented discussions adds to the program’s enjoyment.  Just as the topics discussed are set at a level that is relatively accessible for all audiences, the pacing of the discussions in question will keep audiences engaged and in turn help them better understand the noted discussions.    If the pacing of the program and the information provided throughout isn’t enough, the interviews and footage inside the structure that houses the LHC add even more interest to this episode in whole.  The interviews included in the program offer their own share of additional information to the presentation in whole.  That final element ties in to the program’s accessibility and its pacing to make NOVA: Big Bang Machine a piece that any viewer with any interest in physics—theoretical or otherwise—will appreciate.

NOVA: Big Bang Machine is another interesting addition PBS’ hit science-based series.  It is a piece that even those with no formal training in the world of physics will appreciate.  The main reason is its accessibility.  Those behind this episode have made the concepts discussed throughout the program easy enough for average audiences to understand.  Those audiences will never feel like the program and those featured are talking down to them at any point, either.  So not only will said viewers feel like they can actually get at least a basic grasp of the noted topics in this episode, but they also never feel like they are being lectured.  To that extent, those responsible for bringing this episode to life are to be commended for such efforts.  At the same time, those with formal training in physics won’t feel like the discussed topics are below them, either.  The very fact that those in charge of assembling such in-depth material and balance it in a manner that it can reach so many audiences says plenty of those individuals and their efforts.  It is just the beginning of what makes NOVA: Big Bang Machine yet another example of why NOVA has remained one of the best science-based series on television for so many years if not the best science-based series on television

The ability of NOVA: Big Bang Machine to reach audiences of all types with its overall content is the most important of the elements that makes this episode of NOVA another great installment of the science-based series.  As important as the information’s balance proves to be to the episode in whole, the pacing of the information’s delivery is just as important to consider.  Audiences will be happy to know that while the amount of information provided by this episode makes it feel like an introductory physics course of sorts, the pacing doesn’t leave audiences at any level feel like they are being left in the dust, struggling to follow along and catch everything.  Rather its pacing remains rock solid despite the amount of information discussed throughout the program’s near hour-long run time.  Because audiences won’t feel left behind and confused, they will also have increased odds of not only catching the featured topics but more clearly understanding them, too.  It is yet more reason for anyone with any interest in the LHC or anyone with any interest or experience in physics to watch NOVA: Big Bang Machine.

Both the topics covered in NOVA: Big Bang Machine and the pacing of the material covered are important in their own right to the overall enjoyment and success of the episode.  Both elements already noted, there is still one element that should be noted here that makes this episode work.  That element is the collective interviews featured throughout the episode.  Some of the scientists working on the LHC are interviewed for their own insight on the machine’s importance in both the scientific community and the world.  There are also interviews with a variety of academics throughout the program.  Their insight coupled with that of the people that work on the LHC paints quite a vivid picture of the machine’s importance and its capabilities.  Their thoughts show even more clearly the importance of the LHC being recently being restarted and the implications for what it could potentially reveal to the world in being restarted.  Those insights round out the reasons that NOVA: Big Bang Machine proves itself worth the watch whether audiences are experienced members of the physics community or whether they just have a general interest in the subject.  Together with the program’s pacing and its depth of information, all three elements show not only why audiences should definitely see this episode of NOVA but why NOVA remains overall one of the best science-based series on television today if not the best.

NOVA has remained one of the best science-based series on television for a number of years thanks to the variety of episodes that it tackles and its accessibility to such a wide range of audiences in every episode.  That standard is exactly why it maintains its place in the pantheon of educational television in NOVA: Big Bang Machine.  The solid packing of the topics taken on throughout the program is another reason that it maintains that reputation and why the episode itself is such an interesting watch.  And as with so many other episodes of NOVA, the interviews included across the episode add even more insight and enjoyment. Each of the elements plays an important part in the whole of the program. Together, they show clearly why NOVA: Big Bang Machine will make a big bang of its own among anyone with any interest or experience in the world of physics. It is available now on DVD and can be ordered online at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=nova%20big%20bang%20machine&origkw=NOVA+Big+Bang+Machine&sr=1. It can also be ordered in a combo pack that also includes a wristwatch for $49.99. The combo pack will retail in stores for $68.94. Audiences can check out a clip from this episode of NOVA online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfJBUJMywPs. More information on NOVA: Big Bang Machine and other episodes of NOVA is available online now along with all of the latest NOVA news at:

Website: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

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

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.

Audiences Of All Ages Will Enjoy PBS Kids’ Latest Trip To Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

PBS Kids will release the latest collection of episodes from its hit series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood later this month.  It’s A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood is an aptly titled release as it is such a great new collection.  The central reason that it is such a joy is the collection of lessons incorporated into each of its eight episodes.   From its opening lesson on getting outside and getting active to its lesson on healthy eating to a lesson about responsibility and making things right when one makes mistakes and more, the lessons incorporated into these episodes make them a wonderful watch for audiences of all ages.  Another reason that it shines so brightly is the fact that the episodes are run in chronological order once again as with previous collections and with the series itself.    Last but not least worth noting is the material added onto the collection as bonus material.  The printable coloring pages and activities that have been included with previous collections are present here.  There are also a couple of bonus music videos performed by the trio Voodoo Highway Music & Post.  One of the videos and its song drives home the lesson centered on self-confidence.  The other sees the trio performing the show’s theme song.  All three elements together show fully why Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood is yet another welcome addition to any family’s personal DVD library.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: It’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood offers plenty of reason for any family to add it to their personal home DVD library.  The central reason that it is so worth the purchase is the collection of lessons incorporated into each of its episodes.  Being that summer is now right around the corner, many of the lessons the lead off lessons centered on getting outside and exploring nature is a fitting way to lead off the collection.  These lessons are taught as Daniel and his friend O The Owl go outside with O’s uncle X The Owl for a walk in “Daniel Explores Nature” and “Daniel’s Nature Walk.”  X teaches the boys about appreciating all that nature has to offer in these episodes and that even if there’s a little sprinkle it doesn’t necessarily mean that one has to go indoors.  The boys (and in turn audiences) learn about all the different plants and animals in nature in the collection’s lead off episodes.  This will hopefully get young audiences encouraged to go outside themselves and learn about all the joys that nature has to offer.  By connection, going outside also promotes getting active which is just as important for young viewers to learn if not more so.  On a similar note, the pairing of “Fruit Picking Day” and “A Trip To The Enchanted Garden” teach young viewers about healthy eating by showing just some of the great tasting healthy foods there are out there.  If that isn’t enough for audiences (especially parents and teachers), there is also a lesson about being responsible for one’s actions and making things right when one has made a mistake.  The lesson includes a sub-lesson of sorts that teaches young viewers about taking things that aren’t theirs without asking.  Yet again, here is another reason that this collection should be in every family’s home and maybe even every pre-school and kindergarten classroom.  It’s not the last reason that it should be included in both settings, either.  There is also a lesson that teaches young viewers about the importance of cleaning up and another centered on safety at the beach (again just in time for summer).  Regardless of which lesson(s) one chooses, every viewer will agree that every one of the lessons featured in this collection make it well worth the purchase and the watch.

The lessons that are presented throughout the course of PBS Kids’ new Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood collection are central to its success.  That should be crystal clear by now.  They make up just one reason that every home and every pre-k and kindergarten classroom should have this collection.  Another reason that it proves itself well worth the purchase and the watch is the fact that the lessons are presented in a clear and concise fashion.  More simply put the episodes that teach each of the lessons are presented together once again just as with previous collections from the series.  It also mirrors the way that the lessons are presented in the series, too.  This is a direct throwback to the way the lessons were taught in Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood so many years ago.  Keeping the episodes in question in chronological order as it were means keeping young viewers’ fully engaged.  Had the episodes jumped around then the lessons incorporated into said episodes wouldn’t have been driven home as well if at all.  But in keeping each episode paired, it ensures the lessons are driven home.  It is one more way in which the people at PBS and PBS Kids have succeeded once again with this latest collection and even more reason for parents and teachers alike to add this set to their home and classroom collections respectively.

The lessons incorporated into the new collection of episodes from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and the clear connection of the episodes to drive home the lessons are both key in their own way in making the collection enjoyable.  Having noted the most important of the disc’s elements there is still one more element to note that makes it so enjoyable.  That last element is the material included as bonus material.  Included with this collection are all of the bonus printable coloring pages that were included with the series’ previous DVD collections.  The bonus activity “All Aboard” is included once again, too.  The coloring pages feature Daniel and his friends by themselves and together on board Trolley.  Speaking of Trolley, the bonus activity “All Aboard” gives young viewers the chance once again to “buy” their own imaginary tickets and ride their own make believe trolley.  Along the way, the activity teaches those same viewers about taking turns.  Those families and teachers that might not have the series’ previous DVDs will most appreciate that these same bonuses have been included once again.  That is because it keeps them on the same page as viewers that do have the noted collections.  The music videos included with this collection are the new additions.  The videos present the series’ theme song and another piece that teaches young viewers about self-confidence.  The songs in both pieces are performed by Voodoo Music & Post.  The second of the songs is especially important as it can be used as part of an invaluable discussion on self-worth especially in an age when it seems like bullying is still at near epidemic levels in this country.  It is one more important way in which Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: It’s a Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood shines, proving itself a must have whether in the classroom or the living room.

PBS Kids’ new collection of episodes from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is yet another must have whether in the classroom or the living room.  Its lessons and their organization are both important in their own way to the enjoyment and success of this latest collection.  The bonus material included with the disc is just as important to the presentation in whole.  All three elements considered together, they prove once again the collection’s value regardless of the setting in which it is used. It will be available Tuesday, May 26th on DVD and can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=60958536&cp=&sr=1&kw=daniel+tigers+neighborhood&origkw=daniel+tiger%27s+neighborhood&parentPage=search. More information on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is available online along with more episodes and games at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/daniel

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

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.