PBS Distribution’s New ‘Arthur’ DVD Is A Welcome “Present” In Any Family’s Home DVD Library

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

Later next month, PBS Distribution is bringing fans of PBS Kids’ hit series Arthur a special new present in the form of the series’ new DVD, Arthur: D.W. and the Beastly Birthday.  The DVD’s release will come nearly a year after the special first aired on PBS Kids—Aug. 2, 2017.  Why PBS would wait this long to release the DVD is anyone’s guess.  That aside, it proves to be a presentation that the whole family will enjoy.  That is due in part to the story at the center of the DVD’s main feature and its companion story.  This will be discussed shortly.  The bonus companion episode included in the DVD adds its own touch to the DVD’s presentation.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own way, as will be discussed here.  All things considered, they make Arthur: D.W. and the Beastly Birthday a new Arthur DVD that was well worth the wait.

PBS Distribution’s new forthcoming Arthur DVD, D.W. and the Beastly Birthday is a DVD that was well worth the year-plus wait.  That is proven in part to the story at the center of center of the DVD’s main feature.  The story takes a page from the famed children’s book Where The Wild Things Are.  In the case of this story, it’s D.W.’s birthday, but Arthur doesn’t want to get pulled into the annual celebration.  That’s because every year, Arthur has to do everything that D.W. wants.  So he gets her a card, not realizing it’s for a boy, and then goes to a show at the planetarium with his classmates as an excuse to avoid her birthday party.  However, while he’s there, the Earth goes through a wormhole, aging everyone except for Arthur’s class by four years.  Of course, the whole thing is a dream sequence, just like D.W.’s trip to Ukubonga, where Arthur’s friends happen to look just like the creatures from the aforementioned book.  Both brother and sister learn their own valuable lesson in the process, obviously.  What’s really interesting to note, in a deeper examination, is that considering this story, one could even argue that the classic Jimmy Stewart classic movie It’s A Wonderful Life was a partial influence, considering the whole thing happens as a result of two dream sequences – the realization of what life would be like, etc.  Keeping in mind the dual influences in this story, and the story that results from those influences, what audiences get here is a story that will entertain audiences of all ages and also ensure said viewers’ engagement.  Sure, it’s not fully original, but there is enough originality here that it makes the story stand easily on its own merits.  To that end, the story at the center of the DVD’s main feature is reason enough in itself for this DVD to be in any family’s home DVD library.  It builds a strong foundation for the DVD’s presentation.  The companion episode Arthur’s Birthday strengthens that foundation even more.

The companion episode included in D.W. and the Beastly Birthday, Arthur’s Birthday strengthens the DVD’s presentation even more as it presents its own birthday-themed story that boasts its own identity separate from that of the DVD’s main feature.  Taken from very first season of Arthur, this story sees Arthur having to navigate some difficult waters when it turns out that Muffy is having her birthday party on the same days as his.  The problem comes when Muffy announces that anyone who doesn’t come to her party isn’t her friend anymore.  Obviously the whole thing has a happy ending after a compromise is made.  That lesson about compromise is in itself key to the episode’s whole from which the whole family will benefit in taking in.  Add in the fact that this episode comes from the series’ debut season and that not even one season of the hit series has been released to DVD or even Blu-ray in whole to this day from PBS Distribution, and the episode proves even more ,a present in itself for audiences. Maybe PBS’ people will read this and take this to heart.  A lot of people would like to see this series start getting proper full season releases from PBS Distribution.  That aside, just having this episode included as a thematically complimenting piece is a bonus.  Having a piece of the series’ origins adds to its positive.  Having noted all of this, the bonus birthday episode is still not the last of the DVD’s positives.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.

The average price point of Arthur: D.W. and the Beastly Birthday sits at $6.24.  That price was obtained using the DVD’s listing at PBS’ online store and online listings from Target, Best Buy and Amazon.  It didn’t seem to be listed at Wal-Mart’s online site.  Even with this in mind, a 70-minute presentation between the two features at $6.24 is not a bad price at all.  It’s actually quite affordable.  And considering that 70-minute run time, it’s a price that will more than pay for itself as families will enjoy the DVD time and again whether together or if younger viewers watch by themselves.  To that end, the DVD’s average price point proves truly critical in its own right to the DVD’s whole.  When this is considered along with the content in the features and the features themselves, what audiences get here is a DVD that, again will is a welcome present in any family’s home DVD library whether on birthdays or other days.

PBS Kids’ new Arhur DVD, D.W. and the Beastly Birthday is a welcome present for any family whether on a birthday or other day of the year.  That is due in part to the DVD’s main feature, which entertains audiences while presenting some valuable life lessons.  Much the same can be said of the DVD’s companion Season One episode, Arthur’s Birthday.  That episode is also a welcome look back at the history of Arthur since the series still has yet to get a proper full-season release from PBS Distribution.  The DVD’s fully affordable average price point proves to be another positive to the DVD.  Each element is key in its own way to the whole of this DVD.  All things considered, they make Arthur: D.W. and the Beastly Birthday a welcome present for the whole family whether on a birthday or any other day.  It will be available August 14.  more information on this DVD is available online now along with plenty of games, printables, activities and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/arthur

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

 

 

 

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PBS Announces Release Date, Specs For New ‘Dinosaur Train’ DVD

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS Kids/PBS/Public Media Distribution

PBS Distribution has another new Dinosaur Train DVD on the way.

Dinosaur TrainMeeting New Friends is scheduled to be released June 12 on DVD and Digital HD.  The series’ latest collection of episodes, it features another handful of episodes that finds the Pteranodon family making new friends in a variety of situations.

In one of the collection’s episods, the Pteranodon family takes a surprise day trip that leads them to meet a Tyrannosaurus Rex who has features similar to Buddy’s.  Another of the featured adventures finds the Pteranodon family helping a pair of new friends find their way home.  In yet another of the collection’s episodes, the Pteranodons meet a 40-foot crocodile named Deanna Dienosuchas, who has quite the toothy smile.

In all, Dinosaur TrainMeeting New Friends features eight episodes and runs for a total of 88 minutes.  It will retail for MSRP of $12.99, but can be pre-ordered online now at a reduced price of $7.99 via PBS’ online store.

More information on Dinosaur TrainMeeting New Friends is available along with Dinosaur Train games, activities, printables and more at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain

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

 

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PBS Presenting Rarely Told WWII Story In New Doc Next Month

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

The atrocities committed against Jews before and during World War II has been well-documented throughout the decades.  It has been presented time and again in so many books, movies and documentaries.  Now this May, PBS is bringing to DVD a new, rarely told story of Jews in WWII in the new documentary GI JewJewish Americans in World War II.

This 90-minute doc is currently scheduled to be released on DVD May 8.  It tells the story of the battles that Jewish Americans fought externally and internally as part of America’s military.  Those internal battles included anti-Semitism from their own fellow servicemen.

This story of Jewish immigrants becoming American all while working to overcome so many obstacles will retail for MSRP of $24.99, but can be pre-ordered now at a reduced price of $19.99 via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other programs from PBS is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pbs

 

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NBA TV Announces Matchups For Monday’s Double Header Schedule

Courtesy: Turner Sports

NBA TV will air a special double header schedule of games next Monday.

The Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons are first on what will be a busy afternoon of basketball, with tip-off scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET.  The Hornets (15 – 24) sit 11th in the Eastern Conference, 16 games back from the conference-leading Celtics, while the Pistons (22 – 18) sit in 8th in the conference, 9.5 games back from the Celtics, fighting one game at a time to keep their post season hopes alive.

The Atlanta Hawks and San Antonio Spurs face off in a David vs. Goliath cross-conference matchup at 3 p.m. to round out the day’s action.  The host Hawks sit dead last in the Eastern Conference at 11 – 30 while the Spurs (28 – 14) sit third in the Western Conference, five games back from the conference-leading Golden State Warriors.

Pre-game coverage for the day’s schedule starts at noon and includes a special sit-down interview with Dr. Bernice A. King and Ambassador Attallah Shabazz, the daughters of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.  The interviews will be hosted by Isiah Thomas.  They will include discussions on each man’s legacy, the families’ relationship and the now 50th anniversary of King’s assassination.

More information on NBA TV’s schedule, news and more is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.nba.com/nbatv

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/NBATV

 

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Here’s To Hoping We’ll See More Rugrats Sooner Rather Than Later

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Paramount

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Paramount

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re-issues.  Most people in this day and age don’t give them the attention or credit that they deserve.  Yet in an age in which prequels, sequels and reboots dominate theaters and in which reboots are beginning to develop a noticeable presence on television, re-issues are becoming critical entertainment outlets.  Whether on DVD or Blu-ray, re-issues are playing increasingly vital for those looking for an alternatives to all of the unoriginal prequels, sequels, reboots (and even overly embellished bioflicks) that are churned out on the big screen and small screen.

Because re-issues are so important for audiences looking for an alternative to the general lack of substantial new or creative material on television and in theaters, it is just as fitting that they receive their own year-ender list.  That being the case, that is exactly what is being presented here, the top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues of 2017.  Included in this year’s list are re-issues of United Artists’ 1960 romantic dramedy The Apartment courtesy of Arrow Films, MGM’s 1951 sci-fi/horror classic The Man From Planet X, and even re-issues of some classic TV series including the first two seasons of Nickelodeon’s timeless animated series  Rugrats.  Those two sets, previously released via Amazon (along with the series’ other eight seasons) take the top two spots on this list.

As with every previous list, this list features this critic’s Top 10 titles as well as five additional titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New DVD/BD Re-Issues.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW DVD/BD RE-ISSUES

  1. RugratsSeason 1
  2. RugratsSeason 2
  3. The Old Dark House
  4. The Man From Planet X
  5. Terror In A Texas Town
  6. Misery
  7. The Apartment
  8. Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus
  9. The Yogi Bear ShowThe Complete Series
  10. Spongebob SquarepantsThe First 100 Episodes
  11. Where On Earth Is Carmen San Diego? — The Complete Series
  12. The Love Of A Woman
  13. The Big Knife
  14. Car Wash
  15. Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie

That’s it for this list, but not for the DVD and Blu-ray titles.  There are still lists for the year’s top new family DVDs/BDs, grown-up DVDs/BDs, Children’s DVDs/BDs and maybe even the year’s top new independent movies and theatrical releases.  Time will tell if I have time to get to them.  Either way, there’s still more to come, so stay tuned!

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PBS’ Richard Sherman Studio “Concert” Hits All The Right Notes For Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Live DVDs/BDs List

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Experiencing a live performance by one’s favorite acts is a special experience.  The sights and sounds — from the performance itself to the enjoyment and excitement experienced alongside other fans — come together to make the live experience something almost as magical as it is memorable.  Of course it’s not always that easy to have that experience because of work, family or maybe other items.  Enter the live DVD and Blu-ray.  These recordings are pivotal for audiences the world over because people don’t always get to see their favorite acts.  They also often prove to give audiences an experience that is at least slightly different from that offered in their CD counterparts.  Keeping that in mind, it is fully justifiable for critics to present lists of the year’s top new live DVDs and Blu-rays as well as live CDs.  That is exactly what this critic is doing here.

This year, as with so many years past, Eagle Rock Entertainment has proven to have the majority of the year’s top new live DVDs and Blu-rays, once again proving why it is the leader in live recordings.  Of course it is not the only label represented in this critic’s list this year.  Live recordings from The Winery Dogs, The Dead Daisies, and even famed songwriter Richard Sherman (one half of the famed Sherman Brothers creative team) are all on the list, too alongside new material from Between The Buried and Me and Michael Schenker.  Those noted recordings are all from other labels.  In other words, this year saw a healthy range of new live DVDs and Blu-rays.  With that in mind, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Live DVDs and Blu-rays.  As always, the list includes this critic’s Top 10 choices as well as five additional honorable mention titles, for a total of 15 titles.  Let’s go!

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW LIVE DVDS/BDs

  1. Richard ShermanSongs of a Lifetime
  2. Tedeschi Trucks Band — Live From The Fox Oakland
  3. Slipknot — Day of the Gusano
  4. Mumford & Sons — Live From South Africa
  5. Between The Buried and Me — Coma Ecliptic
  6. Black Sabbath — The End
  7. Jeff Beck — Live at the Hollywood Bowl
  8. The Rolling Stones — Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015
  9. The Who — Tommy Live at the Royal Albert Hall
  10. The Winery Dogs — Dog YearsLive in Santiago and Beyond 2013 – 2016
  11. Eagles of Death Metal — I Love You All The Time — Live at the Olympia Paris
  12. Sting — Live at the Olympia Paris
  13. Spock’s Beard — Snow Live
  14. The Dead Daisies — Live & Louder
  15. Michael Schenker — Michael Schenker Fest Live Tokyo International Forum Hall

That’s all for this list and still not all for the live recordings.  Still to consider is the whole of the combo packs and the standalone recordings.  In other words, there is still a list of the year’s top new live recordings overall to consider.  Also still on the way are the year’s top new albums as well as a handful of DVD and Blu-ray lists.  As many as possible will be covered before the year lets out, so stay tuned for all of that.

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.

Combat Records To Rise Again

Courtesy: Combat Records/EMP Label Group/O’Donnell Media Group

Combat Records is coming back.

EMP Label Group head Dave Ellefson announced this week that the label, which was one of the seminal punk and thrash labels from the 1980s, has been resurrected and will be part of the EMP Label Group family. The one-time powerhouse label shuttered its doors in the mid-2000s after its catalogue was absorbed by Sony Music.

The label’s official re-launch will happen in 2018, with its first release being British hard rock act Raven’s next, as yet untitled album. It will also re-issue a number of classic thrash and metal albums from various acts once it officially opens as well as a new compilation piece from Helstar and new recordings from Dead By Wednesday and 80s progressive thrash outfit Wrath.

Ellefson said in a recent interview about the label’s re-launch that he was optimistic about its new life.

“Today is a really exciting day, as after over a year, it was finally announced that we will be re-launching the legendary Combat Records as a new label through EMP Label Group,” Ellefson said. “We are so excited and honored to be able to revive such an iconic brand that was so instrumental to my history. Even though we signed to Capitol after Killing is My Business, Combat’s logo was on all the Megadeth releases through Countdown to Extinction, and it was and is one of the most iconic metal labels of all time, even being home to some of the other artists who would end up on the EMP roster, like Helstar. The same independent spirit that drove Combat in those early days, is truly the same spirit that drives what we do with EMP, and we are honored to launch another amazing conduit to support new and established metal artists, with great respect to the legacy of the past.”

Ellefson added with Combat’s resurrection, it will only handle new material because Sony has control of the label’s back catalog.

“…And to clarify, we do not own any rights to the Combat Records back catalog,” Ellefson stressed. “That is owned and controlled by Sony, and they have done a great job of curating it through other imprints. Combat Records will solely focus on nre releases under the Combat banner. As always, thank you for your support and stay tuned for more details!”

Combat Records will be distributed through EMP Label Group via Amped Distribution domestically and via SPV in Europe.

More information on Combat Records, along with its latest news, is available online now at:

Website: http://www.combatrecs.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/combatrecs

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.