‘The Vietnam War’ Is A Powerful New Look At One Of The World’s Most Talked About Conflicts

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

So much over the years has been written and created about the Vietnam War.  From books to feature-length movies to documentaries, the conflict in Vietnam has remained a hot button topic for generations.  Next Tuesday, Sept. 19, PBS will add its own new addition to the topic when it releases The Vietnam War: A Film By Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.  This in-depth documentary is easily one of the most comprehensive pieces ever presented on the conflict and just as easily one of the year’s top new documentaries.  That is due in no small part to the information presented over the course of the documentary’s 18-hour run time.  This will be discussed shortly.  The set’s packaging, which includes the doc’s episode listing, is just as important to the set’s presentation as its information.  It will be discussed later. The set’s bonus material rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own way to the set’s overall presentation, as will be made clear through this review.  All things considered, they make The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick a must have for military history buffs and history buffs in general, and one of the year’s top new documentaries.

The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick is easily one of PBS’ top docs so far this year and one of the year’s top new docs, too.  In the same vein, it is also a must have for military history buffs and history buffs alike.  That is due in no small part to the information presented throughout the course of this 18-hour run time.  Right from the program’s outset, the program reveals the true roots of the Vietnam War—French occupation of Vietnam during the late 1800s.  This is a piece of information that is rarely, if ever, taught in and out of any classroom.  The program reveals that the French, who had colonized Vietnam since the late 19th Century, treated the Vietnamese quite poorly.  It further adds that between their mistreatment at the hands of the French–and at the hands of the Japanese during World War II–led to the fight for Vietnamese independence.  Just as interesting to learn is that the conflict that happened following the nation earning its independence is what eventually led to the war between the North and South.  Understanding this much deeper history behind the war puts it (and other items) into a whole new perspective; a perspective that definitely needs to be more widely taught than it already is being taught.

The rarely taught roots of the Vietnam conflict are collectively just the tip of the iceberg in the information that makes this presentation so engaging.  Much later in the program’s run, audiences learn that the American military was not the only side that was impacted by the war.  Interviews with former North and South Vietnamese soldiers lead to some very powerful revelations including that the conflict likely could have been averted in the first place and that—as one former soldier noted—there are no winners in war.  There is also plenty of information about the conflict that boiled over here in the United States as a result of beliefs about the war including hindsight from some protesters that will surprise audiences as much as any other featured information.  When audiences consider this and so much more information shared throughout the program’s 18-hour run time, they will see clearly why that information is so important to the program’s overall presentation.  Staying on that same thought, the episode summaries presented as part of the set’s packaging is another key part of its presentation.

The episode listing included as part of this set’s packaging is integral to its packaging because it creates a solid first piece of information for each episode.  Case in point is the episode summary for the set’s second disc.  That summary notes that Diem’s increasing autocratic rule in South Vietnam increased the conflict in the peninsula while President Kennedy had to figure, as America’s leader, how intensely America should have gotten involved in the conflict.  In other words, this lone summary not only sets the stage for the episode but also tells in short yet another piece of the war’s history.  The documentary’s other nine episode summaries work much in the same fashion, showing clearly why they are so important to the set’s packaging.

On another note, the discs’ actual packaging solidifies the set’s packaging even more.  The set’s 10 total discs are split into two separate five-disc cases.  Each of the discs within the cases is placed on its own plate inside the case, including inside the rear of the case.  Not only does this help save space with on DVD (and Blu-ray) racks, but it also protects the discs from one another.  This, in turn, increases the discs’ life span and in turn shows even more clearly the importance of the set’s overall packaging.  Keeping this in mind, the set’s packaging is just one more of its key elements.  The bonus material included in this set rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus material included with The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick is an important part of the documentary’s whole because of the additional information that it reveals.  Audiences will be surprised to learn through the bonus material, the painstaking efforts taken to show not only the American side of the war but the Asian side, too.  That meant taking years to find former soldiers from North and South Vietnam willing to share their stories.

Just as interesting to learn through the bonus material is the psychological impact that war has on those involved.  That revelation is made through a discussion among a large group of veterans from various wars.  The deeply rooted emotions displayed by each veteran are so powerful even being experienced just on screen.  Hearing the pain expressed by the veterans is enough to bring tears to even those who have never experienced the horrors and the traumas of war.

The frank, honest discussion from Jack Todd on why he left the Vietnam War—with a group of young military cadets no less—is just as powerful as that discussion on war’s psychological impact among the veterans.  Todd’s thoughts on the draft, reconciling his own thoughts about war with what to teach his children and other items are certain to create plenty of discussion among audiences.  Those certain discussions show the importance of this segment and even more in whole, the importance of the set’s bonus material.  Whether through Todd’s discussions, the veterans’ discussions, the discussions on how the documentary came to life or other discussions, audiences will see time and again the importance of this documentary’s bonus material time and again throughout each discussion.  Every discussion will keep audiences fully engaged long after the doc’s main feature–and bonus material–ends.  Keeping this in mind, it becomes wholly clear why the bonus material included in this set is so pivotal to its presentation.  It is its own powerful look at the war that is not shown in the documentary’s main feature, and makes the overall program all the more engaging.  When this is considered along with the engagement generated through the main feature’s information and the aesthetic value of the set’s packaging, the whole presentation proves to be an impressive work that is a must have for history buffs and military history buffs alike.  It proves to be one of the year’s best new documentaries and one of PBS’ best documentaries so far this year.

The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick will be available next Tuesday, Sept. 19.  It can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other titles 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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ESPN To Close 2017 MLB Regular Season Schedule With “Western” Showdown

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN will close out its coverage of Major League Baseball’s 2017 regular season later this month with a modern day “Western” showdown.

The Dodgers and Astros will face off Sept. 24 live in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell.  Los Angeles currently leads the NL West at 92 – 51, 11 games ahead of the division’s second-place team, the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Houston leads the AL West at 86 – 57, 13 games ahead of the second place Angels.

Neither team has announced its starting lineup for the game, which will be the closer for the teams’ three-game series.  The game is currently scheduled for an 8:05 p.m. start time according to the league’s official website.

Dan Shulman will have the call for the game.  He will be joined in the booth by analysts Jessica Mendoza and Aaron Boone for additional commentary.  Reporter Buster Olney will have all of the game’s latest news and interviews.

Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton will have the game’s call on ESPN Radio.

More information on ESPN’s coverage of the team’s Sept. 24 game is available online now along with all of the latest Major League Baseball headlines at http://www.espn.com/mlb.

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.

Heaven & Earth Announces ‘Hard To Kill’ Release Date

Courtesy: Quarto Valley Records

Heaven & Earth will release its next album next month.

The band announced this week that it will release Hard to Kill, its fourth full-length studio recording Friday, Oct. 6 in stores and online via Quarto Valley Records.  Pre-orders are open now through the band’s PledgeMusic campaign.

The 11-song album opens with a tribute to rock music’s longevity in the album’s title track.  ‘L.A. Blues,’ another of the album’s songs, tells the story of the downside of living and working in Los Angeles while ‘The Game Has Changed’ focuses on changes. A lyric video for the song is streaming online now here.

The songs noted here are just a few of the album’s key additions.  Just as important to the album’s whole are the likes of ‘Til It’s Over,’ ‘Bleed Me Dry’ and ‘Walk Away.’

Heaven & Earth guitarist Stuart Smith said in a recent interview that the band in whole has been looking forward to the album’s release and had high hopes for its reception.  He added the band is looking forward just as much to bringing its new songs (and older material) to its audiences live.

“We feel that Hard to Kill is definitely the band’s best work yet, and we’re excited to see how it’s received,” Smith said.  “We’re looking forward to going on tour and playing sections from all four Heaven & Earth albums, as well as a few surprises.”

More information on Hard to Kill is available online now along with all of Heaven & Earth’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.heavenandearthband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/heavenearthband

 

 

 

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Steve Aoki, Linkin Park Partner To Release New Benefit Single

Courtesy: Dim Mak Records

Famed EDM artist Steve Aoki has released a new song to pay tribute to the late Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington.

Aoki debuted Friday ‘Darker Than The Light That Never Bleeds (Chester Forever Steve Aoki Remix).  He made the announcement Friday via his official Instagram account. Audiences can hear the song online now here through a number of sources.  A short 30-second preview clip of the song is streaming at the link, too.

The song is a mashup of two songs that Aoki composed with Linkin Park—‘Darker Than Blood’ and ‘A Light That Never Comes.’  Net proceeds of the song’s sale will benefit Music for Relief’s One More Light fund in Bennington’s name.

Aoki praised Bennington in a recent interview, calling him a friend as he expressed his sadness over Bennington’s passing.

“Chester Bennington was my favorite singer of all time,” Aoki said.  “I feel so incredibly honored to not only have worked with him on these songs, but am so deeply touched to have gotten to know him as a friend.  I’m still shattered by this tragic loss.  It’s hard to realize that he is not coming back.  Chester was such an invaluable human being that bled out the pain and passion through Linkin Park, touching so many people’s lives.  He helped so many people that have felt these similar feelings around the world scream out and feel like they are not alone.  Life can be incredibly trying and tough.  Nothing can bring more consolation than knowing that there are others going through this same pain.  Chester was such a beautiful human being.  I will never forget our conversations and moments shared together in the studio, on the stage and in life.  We now have Chester in our hearts and minds forever.  Keep his inspiration and passion alive and play Linkin Park f***ing loud.  Scream the lyrics f***ing loud.  Live in these moments f***ing loud.  I miss you dear friend.  You are in our hearts and minds forever.  Chester forever.”

More information on Steve Aoki’s new tribute to Bennington is available online now along with all of his latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.steveaoki.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/steveaoki

 

 

 

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Syemtria Announces New Album’s Release Date

Courtesy: Tripsquad Records/O’Donnell Media Group/Head First Entertainment

Later this month, New Jersey-based metal outfit Symetria will release its latest full-length studio recording.  The eight-song record will be released independently Sept. 29 via Tripsquad Records and echoes influences from the likes of Metallica, Judas Priest, Megadeth and other similar acts that made the metal community so strong in the 80s.

Lyrically speaking, the album’s songs touch on a number of topics including addiction—as displayed in ‘Flying High,’ the seven deadly sins in ‘Vinial Sin,’ and even making the most of every day in ‘Too Late.’  The album’s full track listing is noted below.

SYMETRIA TRACK LISTING

1. Wakening

2. Flying High

3. Vinial Sin

4. All The Same

5. Stomp

6. Time

7. Too Late

8. Symetria

More information on Symetria’s new self-titled album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at http://www.facebook.com/symetriaband.

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.

Indians, Orioles Close 3-Game Series Sunday Live On ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN will feature an American League interdivisional matchup this weekend on Sunday Night Baseball.

The American League Central-leading Cleveland Indians will play host to the Baltimore Orioles (American League East) live at Progressive Field.  Broadcast of Sunday’s game is currently scheduled to start at 8 p.m. with Dan Shulman on the call.

He will be joined in the booth by analysts Jessica Mendoza and Aaron Boone for additional commentary.  Reporter Buster Olney will be on hand for all of the game’s latest news and interviews.

Sunday night’s broadcast will be preceded by Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet at 7 p.m. ET.  Karl Ravech will anchor the broadcast and will be joined by David Ross and Tim Kurkjian for additional commentary.

Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton will have the game’s call on ESPN Radio.  They will also call the second game in the teams’ three-game series Saturday on ESPN Radio.

Trevor Bauer (15 – 8) is expected to get the start for Cleveland Sunday night while  Jeremy Hellickson (8 – 8) is expected to take the mound for Baltimore.

Cleveland is currently looking strong as the regular season nears its end. It was riding a 14-game win streak at last report and was looking for its 15th straight win Thursday night as it played the Chicago White Sox.  It earned its 14th straight win against the White Sox Wednesday night in a 5 – 1 win.

Cleveland’s home record has proven respectable, too at 36 – 29 so far this season.  The Indians have proven to be just as good on the road as at home, too, going 47 – 27 so far this season on the road.

Baltimore currently sits third in the AL East, eight games back from the division-leading Boston Red Sox.  The Orange Birds have struggled this season on the road, going 27 – 39 so far on that record.  The team has done considerably better at home with a 44 – 30 home record so far and will be looking to bounce back in this weekend’s series after falling to the Yankees at home Thursday 9 – 1.

More information on Sunday’s series closer between the Orioles and Indians is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at http://www.espn.com/mlb.

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 Networks Announce College Football Week 2 Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN and its networks have announced their broadcast schedules for the second week of the 2017 – 18 college football season.

The networks have a full slate of games for Week 2 that will be capped off Sept. 9  on ABC by a matchup of No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 2 Ohio State at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday Night Football presented by Wells Fargo.  No. 3 Clemson will host No. 13 Auburn at 7 p.m. on ESPN the same night.

Saturday night’s schedule is only part of the ESPN networks’ Week 2 college football schedule.  Sam Houston State was on the road Thursday against Prairie View A&M on ESPN.

Memphis and UCF are scheduled to face off Friday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU as a result of Hurricane Irma.  Over on ESPN2, No. 11 Oklahoma will be on the road against South Alabama beginning at 8 p.m.

Saturday’s schedule starts at 10:30 a.m. ET as South Florida faces UConn on ESPNNEWS due to the impacts of Hurricane Irma.  The Cincinnati Bearcats are scheduled to face No. 8 Michigan live on ABC beginning at noon. Also scheduled for high noon are matchups between North Carolina and No. 17 Louisville on ESPN; Iowa at Iowa State on ESPN2; Northwestern at Duke on ESPNU and a number of other games.

The networks’ full schedule for the weekend is noted below.

ESPN’s Networks Week 2 Schedule as of 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7

Date

Time (ET)

Game

Network

Thur, Sept. 7

7:30 p.m.

Sam Houston State at Prairie View A&M
Eric Clemons, Jay Walker

ESPNU

Fri, Sept. 8

6:30 p.m.

Memphis at UCF

ESPNU

8 p.m.

No. 11 Oklahoma State at South Alabama
Adam Amin, Dusty Dvoracek, Molly McGrath

ESPN2

Sat, Sept. 9

10:30 a.m.

No. 21 South Florida at UConn
Mike Corey, Rene Ingoglia

ESPNEWS

Noon

Cincinnati at No. 8 Michigan
Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard, Allison Williams

ABC

No. 17 Louisville at North Carolina
Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill

ESPN

Iowa at Iowa State
Jason Benetti, Kelly Stouffer, Julia Stewart-Binks

ESPN2

Northwestern at Duke
Mike Couzens, John Congemi

ESPNU

Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky
Taylor Zarzour, Andre Ware, Olivia Harlan

SEC Network

Tennessee-Martin at Ole Miss
Mike Morgan, Barrett Jones, Richard Cross

SEC Network Alternate

Northern Colorado at No. 22 Florida
Joel Meyers, Brian Kinchen,

SEC Network +

Louisiana-Monroe at No. 10 Florida State

ACC Network Extra

12:30 p.m.

Jacksonville at Georgia Tech

ACC Network Extra

1 p.m.

Wake Forest at Boston College
Robert Lee, Matt Chatham

ACC Network Extra

3 p.m.

UAB at Ball State
Jim Barbar, Hutson Mason

ESPN3

3:30 p.m.

Pittsburgh at No. 4 Penn State
Joe Tessitore, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe

ABC

Fresno State at No. 1 Alabama
Adam Amin, Anthony Becht, Rocky Boiman

ESPN2

Indiana at Virginia
Dave Weekley, John Gregory

ESPNU

San Jose State at Texas
Lowell Galindo, Ahmad Brooks, Kris Budden

Longhorn Network

Howard at Kent State
Michael Reghi, Jerod Cherry

ESPN3

Eastern Illinois at Northern Illinois
Jordan Bernfield, Marcus Ray

ESPN3

Savannah State at Appalachian State
Brock Bowling, Stan Lewter

ESPN3

Austin Peay at Miami (Ohio)
Jeff McCarrigher, Bobby Carpenter

ESPN3

Villanova at Temple
Greg Mescall, Tyoka Jackson

ESPN3

Middle Tennessee at Syracuse
Doug Sherman, Doug Graber

ACC Network Extra

Delaware at Virginia Tech
Drew Fellios, Forrest Conoly

ACC Network Extra

4 p.m.

Indiana State vs. No. 25 Tennessee
David Neal, Matt Stinchcomb, Dawn Davenport

SEC Network

Alabama A&M vs. Vanderbilt
Mark Neely, Jay Walker, Desmond Purnell

SEC Network Alternate

Louisiana at Tulsa
David Saltzman, George Wrighster

ESPN3

New Hampshire at Georgia Southern
Matt Stewart, Wayne Gandy

ESPN3

6 p.m.

South Dakota at Bowling Green
Dan Dutowsky, Watson Brown

ESPN3

Alabama State at Troy
Tiffany Greene, Rene Nadeau

ESPN3

Marshall at NC State
Kevin Fitzgerald, Dustin Fox

ACC Network Extra

6:30 p.m.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Akron
David Wilson, Travis Tannahill

ESPN3

7 p.m.

No. 13 Auburn at No. 3 Clemson
Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay

ESPN

South Carolina at Missouri
Anish Shroff, Mike Golic, Jr, Roddy Jones

ESPN2

Nicholls at Texas A&M
Roy Philpott, Tom Ramsey

ESPNU

North Texas at SMU
David Raymond, Stanford Routt

ESPN3

Toledo at Nevada
Trey Bender, Jay Taylor

ESPN3

7:30 p.m.

No. 5 Oklahoma at No. 2 Ohio State
TV: Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor
Radio: Bill Rosinski, Dusty Dvoracek, Ian Fitzsimmons

ABC and ESPN Radio

Chattanooga vs. No. 12 LSU
Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic

SEC Network

8:30 p.m.

No. 14 Stanford at No. 6 USC
Marc Kestecher, David Norrie

ESPN Radio

9 p.m.

UNLV at Idaho

ESPN3

10:15 p.m.

Utah at BYU
Mike Patrick, Tommy Tuberville, Paul Carcaterra

ESPN2

10:30 p.m.

Boise State at No. 20 Washington State
Mark Jones, Rod Gilmore, Quint Kessenich

ESPN,

Houston at Arizona
Clay Matvick, Kirk Morrison

ESPNU

 

Due to Irma’s projected path, this weekend’s game between No. 16 Miami and No. 10 Florida State has been canceled. Indiana and Virginia will face off in place of that game.

Louisiana-Monroe and No. 10 Florida State has also been impacted by Irma.  It has been pushed up to a noon start time Saturday as a non-exclusive game on ACC Network Extra.

Northern Colorado and No. 22 Florida has also been impacted by Irma.  It has been moved to noon Saturday and will be streamed exclusively on the SEC Network+.  Along with that move, Chattanooga at No. 12 LSU has been moved from SEC Network Alternate to SEC Network.

The last of the games currently affected by Irma is Saturday’s game between New Hampshire at Georgia Southern.  That game has been moved to a 4 p.m. start time and will be played at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.  It will be broadcast live on ESPN3.

More information on the ESPN networks’ College Football Week 2 coverage schedule is available online now along with all of the latest college football news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.espn.com/college-football

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espncfb

 

 

 

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.