Grown-Ups Got Plenty Of Alternatives To Theaters’ Offerings In 2015

This year’s big screen offerings brought big numbers for theaters. The problem is that the majority of those big numbers were the result of Hollywood’s (and audiences’) seemingly insatiable appetite for prequels, sequels, and remakes. It’s a sad statement when one really sits down and thinks about it. And thankfully more audiences are coming to their senses about it each year and staying home instead, taking in the variety of alternatives being offered on television and online. Given, far too many of those alternatives were (and still are) serials, dramas, and some mixture thereof. But for all of the serials and dramas out there, they were just a drop in the bucket in terms of just how much was offered to audiences this year in the way of home entertainment. Shout! Factory released two more volumes of episodes from the cult classic series Mystery Science Theater 3000 this year. It also released the final two seasons of the classic sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, the complete series run of The Saint, and much more. PBS has released all three current seasons of its hit reality/cooking show A Chef’s Life, and partnered once again with itv to release the third season of Mr. Selfridge. Timeless Media Group even gave audiences a good scare this year with the release of A Haunting: Season Seven. And for all of the conspiracy theorists out there, Lionsgate and History channel offered up the seventh season of Ancient Aliens. These are just some of the alternatives offered to audiences this year from the home entertainment realm. And they are all on the Phil’s Picks list of 2015’s Best New Box Sets for Grown-Ups. That is in comparison to box sets for the whole family. That is a whole other list. That list will be presented tomorrow. In explaining the choices for the list of this year’s top new box sets for grown-ups, the overall packaging of each set was taken into consideration alongside each set’s bonus materials (or lack thereof) and the writing that went into each presentation. The combination of each element in each set went into coming up with this list. Not every set had bonus material such as with Welcome Back, Kotter’s third and fourth season. But the writing behind each season made each season entertaining enough that they each stand quite well on their own merits. The bonus material featured in both volumes of MST3K played a big role in their presentations deserving them their own spots as did the bonus material in Time Life’s new Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts box set and that of Hell on Wheels’ fourth season. That should hopefully give at least some background on why each title was listed where it was listed. Keeping that in mind every title listed here is fully deserving of its spot on this list. So enough rambling. Without any further ado, I offer for your reading pleasure dear readers, the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Box Sets for Grownups. As always, the Top 10 make up the main body of the list while the bottom five each receive special mention as they deserve to be on the list just as much. Here you go!

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW BOX SETS FOR GROWN-UPS

  1. A CHEF’S LIFE: SEASON 1

 

  1. A CHEF’S LIFE: SEASON 2

 

  1. A CHEF’S LIFE: SEASON 3

 

  1. WELCOME BACK, KOTTER: SEASON 3

 

  1. WELCOME BACK, KOTTER: SEASON 4

 

  1. MR. SELFRIDGE: SEASON 3

 

  1. THE DEAN MARTIN CELEBRITY ROASTS: STINGERS AND ZINGERS

 

  1. HELL ON WHEELS: SEASON 4

 

  1. MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: VOLUME XXXIII

 

  1. MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: VOLUME XXXIV

 

  1. THE SAINT: THE COMPLETE SERIES

 

  1. BROADCHURCH: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

 

  1. HALT AND CATCH FIRE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

 

  1. A HAUNTING: SEASON 7

 

  1. ANCIENT ALIENS: SEASON 7

 

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The Seventh Season Of A Haunting Is One Of The Series’ Best

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Everybody loves a good scare, right? Okay, maybe not everybody. But there are lots of people out there that do enjoy a good scare. For those that do, there are lots of choices out there that offer said scares both in the realm of movies and television. It could be argued that there are so many options in fact that it becomes difficult to decide which options deserve the watch and which ones don’t stand an ahem* ghost of a chance. Yes, that awful pun was fully intended. One piece that anyone wanting a good scare should check out is Timeless Media’s upcoming box set A Haunting Season 7. A Haunting Season 7 will be released on DVD next Tuesday, April 14th. This season of A Haunting was especially a surprise for many of the series’ fans considering the fact that Season Six only lasted a total of four episodes. That short run left a lot of people wondering if Season Six would be the end for the cult favorite paranormal series. And then late last year, fans were pleasantly surprised when Season 7 premiered. Season 7 consisted of sixteen episodes that offer some of the series’ best stories to date. They are stories that should A Haunting not be picked up for an eighth season, make for a good ending for the series. And should it in fact be renewed, audiences will enjoy these episodes just as much if not more while they wait for said season’s premiere. Regardless of what the future may or may not hold for A Haunting, it can definitely be said of Season 7 that its episodes are at the heart of its success. The work of the re-enactors is just as important to note in regards to the enjoyment of A Haunting Season 7. For the most part the re-enactments that make up this season are relatively entertaining. And of course what paranormal show would be complete without its special effects. The special effects used in this season actually prove to be relatively respectable. Together with the work of the re-enactors, they help make the stories presented across the set’s four discs entertainment in their own right. Together with the stories themselves, all three elements together make the seventh season of A Haunting a great collection for any of the series’ fans and for anyone looking for a good scare in general.

The seventh season of Destination America’s A Haunting may or may not be the last for the series. That is because at the time of this review’s posting, there is no word on whether or not the series has been renewed for an eighth season. If it isn’t picked up for another season, audiences will agree that this season is a good way for the series to finish off. If there is however an eighth season, Season 7 will still prove to be just as valuable for fans as they wait for Season 8’s premiere. The main reason that Season 7 proves to be so entertaining is its episode selection. The episodes chosen for this season are some of the best that the series has offered to date. Season 7’s lead disc proves this all by itself. Disc one presents a story of a house haunted by its former owner and an evil spirit that has kept the spirit of the original owner there in the disc’s opener “Demon’s Revenge.” “The Shadowman” is an aptly titled story. That is because it presents the story of two brothers that were terrorized by a shadow figure. The figure in question has been attracted to the home because of the anger exuded by their father. His anger is the result of his PTSD as he is a military veteran. “Demon Unearthed” presents the story of a man trying to cover up his infidelity even in death even if it means scaring a family out of its dream home. And in the disc’s final episode, a couple moves into a home that is haunted by the spirit of a former slave master. The man, whose name was Hal, does not want the couple there. And it leads to a showdown with Hal that leads to an unexpected ending. This is all just on the set’s first disc. The set’s second disc is highlighted by the story of a family haunted by the angry spirit of a woman murdered by her husband in “Ghost Fury.” Much like the story of “Evil never Dies,” the closer to disc one, “Ghost Fury” doesn’t have the ending some might expect, either. Not to give away too much, but sometimes those that are haunted don’t always come out on top. It’s especially interesting to note that in so many of the stories, the wives/girlfriends are the ones being haunted while the husbands/boyfriends don’t believe the women. It’s a sidebar. But an interesting one nonetheless. For all of the tales of terror offered up in Season 7, there is also a heartbreaking story in Disc three’s “Trapped in Terror.” This episode tells the story of a little girl who was murdered by a man after he had lost a poker game and murdered two other men. This is actually a story with a happy ending. The ending won’t be given away. But anyone not moved even slightly by the story simply has no heart. For those looking for something unlike the typical haunted house story, there is Disc four’s “Curse of the Mummy.” This story plays out like something right out of a really bad 1970s B-movie. A young man looks at a mummy in a museum one day and is subsequently haunted by the god/spirit that protected her even though he hadn’t done anything to the mummy. It all leads to a showdown between a priest and the being after it possesses the young man. Yes, it seems corny. But it’s so corny that it’s actually entertaining. And it’s one more way in which the episodes culled for this collection prove it to be so enjoyable for anyone that has any interest in the paranormal. The episodes not noted here are just as worth the watch, too. The combination of those episodes with the ones noted here shows clearly why Season 7’s episodes lie at the center of its success and enjoyment and why it deserves at least one more season.

The episodes that make up the body of A Haunting Season 7 show collectively that the series has definitely gotten its second wind and in turn that it deserves at least another chance by the heads at Destination America. They also show why fans of the series will undoubtedly enjoy this season especially if they weren’t able to catch them in their original broadcast. As intriguing as this season’s episodes prove to be in the long run, they would not be as impactful as they are without their companion re-enactments. That is the second important element to note of these episodes. The re-enactments used to help tell Season 7’s stories are relatively impressive. This is the case especially when they are compared to the re-enactments used in previous seasons of A Haunting and when compared to the re-enactments used in other paranormal series currently on television. Perhaps the only exception to that rule would be the gentleman playing the boys’ father in “The Shadowman.” He clearly tries a little too hard in his role. That aside, the work of the other actors this season overall does its own share to make the presented stories completely gripping and engaging and that much more enjoyable for fans of the show. It also helps once more prove the case why this series deserves at least another series, should the heads at Destination America be considering its fate.

The stories presented in the seventh season of A Haunting coupled with their re-enactments make for plenty of reason for the series’ fans to pick up its seventh season. It also proves again why it is deserving of at least one more season. The same can be said of the special effects used in this season’s stories. That is the last element of this season to note. Just as with the re-enactments in whole, there is no denying the comparison of these episodes’ special effects to those used in both other series’ re-enactments and to this series’ own previous seasons. The lighting and makeup used for the actors portraying the spirits. And rather than just have them appear with some over-the-top fade effect, those behind the cameras opted instead to actually have some of them come in as if they were living people. It’s nice to not have that unnecessary, over-the-top special effects used in that case. Even in the case of say the dark energies, those charged with handling the show’s special effects did a relatively respectable job. Believe it or not, there are those that can’t even handle a task such as crafting a shadow person properly whether for television or movies. It’s surprising yet true. Thankfully that wasn’t the case here. Whether for these noted special effects or for any of the season’s others, the special effects work in direct tandem with the work of the actors to make these episodes entirely worth the watch by any fan of A Haunting and by paranormal enthusiasts in general. It is also more proof of why this series deserves one more season at the very least.

So much can be said in regards to what makes A Haunting Season 7 one of the series’ best seasons to date. The stories that make up this season run the gamut. It boasts a solid mix of terror-filled tales, heart wrenching stories of lives lost too soon, and even some more extraordinary tales across its sixteen total episodes and four discs. The work of the stories’ re-enactors helps to illustrate just what makes each story so frightening, moving, and outrageous. The tasteful use of special effects across this season’s episodes adds even more enjoyment to the whole. All three elements together show without a doubt why both the series’ long-time fans will enjoy this box set and why having gotten its second wind, it deserves at least one more season whether on Destination or another network. It will be available on DVD next Tuesday, April 14th. More information on A Haunting is available online at:

Website: http://www.destinationamerica.com/tv-shows/a-haunting/

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

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.

Fear Not, Everyone! A Haunting Season 7 Is Finally Coming Home

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

It’s not Halloween. That goes without saying. But it also goes without saying that it is never a bad time for a good scare, right? Right. And next month, horror lovers and those that love a good ghost story will get their fix thanks to Timeless Media Group. That is because TMG will release the seventh season of A Haunting on DVD.

A Haunting: Season 7 will be released on DVD Tuesday, April 14th. The box set will feature all sixteen episodes from the hit paranormal series’ seventh season. The series tells tales of families whose homes were haunted by oftentimes malevolent forces. It also tells tales of possessions, and other spooky tales. It will retail for MSRP of $26.95 but can be pre-ordered online now at a reduced price of $21.95 at http://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/horror/a-haunting-season-seven. More information on this and other releases from TMG is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/timeless-media-group

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364

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.

A Haunting: The Television Series Is One Wonderfully Fright-Filled Box Set

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group/Shout! Factory/Discovery Channel/Discovery Communications/Destination America

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group/Shout! Factory/Discovery Channel/Discovery Communications/Destination America

Halloween is a little over a week away. Many stores have already stored away their Halloween decorations and have replaced them with their Christmas decorations. Others are even already pumping the annual stream of Christmas music over their speakers. It’s sad. But worry not Halloween lovers. Timeless Media and Shout! Factory have not fallen victim to that trend just yet. Timeless Media and Shout! Factory released A Haunting: The Television Series last Tuesday. This nine-disc box set is a good fit for any fan of the paranormal whether on Halloween or any other time of the year. The main reason for that is that it has compiled the series’ first six seasons into one complete set. The inclusion of the series’ first six seasons in one place is its own positive in that it means not having to hunt from box to box for one episode or another. It just means hunting through one full box. This is only one positive to this set. Another positive to the box in whole is that one box versus multiple boxes saves space on anyone’s DVD rack o in said persons’ cabinets (depending on which one a person uses). And last but hardly least of all worth noting of this set is the stories themselves. What examination of this set would be complete without a look at the stories that make up the set? They offer plenty of frights for audiences. This is the case both on Halloween and any time of the year. Together with the box’s packaging and its associated factors, the stories included in this set complete the box and make it one that anyone looking for a good scare will appreciate whether it be on Halloween or any other time of the year.

A Haunting is one of the more interesting paranormal series on television in recent years. Unlike its counterparts on Syfy, LMN, and Travel Channel, it never seemed to really fit in with the other programs on Discovery or even Destination America. Yet somehow it has continued to maintain a healthy fan base. It has gone on to see a number of episode compilations released throughout the years as well as stand-alone single season sets for said fan base. Now, fans have been rewarded for their loyalty to the series with this complete nine-disc set that encompasses the series’ first six seasons. Having all six previously released seasons put into one complete set is a reward as those single-season stand-alone sets and compilation discs are not easy to find. Now audiences won’t have to hunt for each one. They can have all six previously released seasons in a single box. Those that do have any of said previous releases will appreciate this set as having all six seasons in one set also means no more fumbling through their other boxes for one episode or another. They need only open the box and flip through the discs to find their favorite episodes. It’s a major positive and possibly the most important to the box set in terms of what does and doesn’t work about it.

Timeless Media and Shout! Factory’s newly released A Haunting: The Television Series succeeds so strongly primarily because of the inclusion of all six of the series’ previous seasons in one box. Their inclusion means no more hunting in stores, online and through DVD racks for one season or another. It’s all right there in one box set. Having everything in one single box set is a positive not just for the content but also for the matter of space, speaking of DVD racks. Any number of stand-alone compilation discs has been spawned from A Haunting. And each of the series’ previous seasons have been released as stand-alone sets, too. All of those compilation discs and stand-alone seas sets take up a lot of room on DVD racks. Now audiences can trade in all of those noted releases in favor of this ergonomically packaged nine-disc set. All nine discs that make up the series’ previous seasons are here. They have been packaged in exactly the same fashion as other releases from Timeless Media and Shout! Factory. That packaging means has become the standard seemingly across the board. However not every company out there utilizes that standard even today, believe it or not. It’s sad. Thankfully fans of A Haunting don’t have to worry about that. It’s one more reason that the partnership between Timeless Media and Shout! Factory has made both leaders in home releases of TV series and movies. And it’s one more reason that audiences will appreciate this latest release from their partnership.

The overall packaging of A Haunting: The Television Series and the inclusion of the series’ full six season run—prior to its now seventh season airing on Destination America—couple to make the box set even more enjoyable for audiences than it would have been in lacking one factor or the other. As important as those factors are, the stories that make up each season are just as important if not more so. Without interesting and gripping tales of terror, there would be nothing to watch. In “Hungry Ghosts,” audiences are taken to Japan where an American family is haunted by ancient spirits when the family moves into a posh new home upon the father accepting a high-ranking position in his company. “Nightmare Upstairs” sees an Arkansas family scared out of its house when it is revealed that it is haunted by demons and possibly evil incarnate itself. Viewers are also taken to Ireland for a heart wrenching story about a house haunted by the spirit of a murdered child in “A Haunting in Ireland.” These are just a few of the terror-filled tales that make up A Haunting’s six-season run in this set. There are far more tales from which viewers can choose their own favorite(s). Needless to say, having so many stories to take in, there are plenty of frights to be had. And after watching the stories that make up A Haunting: The Television Series, audiences might not be going to sleep anytime soon. Some might even find themselves checking under their beds and even turning on that night light when they go to bed. Who knows? There might…or might not….be something there….Or maybe they’re all just stories. Audiences can choose for themselves when they purchase A Haunting: The Television Series for themselves. It is available now on DVD and can be ordered direct via the Timeless Media website at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/timeless-media-group. More information on this and other releases from Timeless Media is available online now at:

Website: https://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/timeless-media-group

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364

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.

Timeless Media Announces Release Date For A Haunting: The Television Series

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group/Shout! Factory/Discovery Channel/Discovery Communications/Destination America

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group/Shout! Factory/Discovery Channel/Discovery Communications/Destination America

Timeless Media will release a special collection of episodes of A Haunting next month.

A Haunting: The Television Series will be released Tuesday, October 14th on DVD.  The box set will contain all six current seasons of the series, which ran first on Discovery Channel and then on Discovery’s digital sister station Destination America.  They will be spread across nine DVDs contained in one box.  The seventh season of A Haunting premiered last month and ran its most recent episode “Devil Inside Me” on September 7th.  Two more episodes are scheduled to air in early December.

A Haunting: The Television Series will retail for MSRP of $29.93.  More information on this and other releases from Timeless Media is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/timeless-media-group

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364

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.

A Haunting Season 6 Offers Plenty Of Frights For Audiences

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

August is almost at its halfway point.  That means that as the month passes, the annual wave of Halloween-themed releases will start to make their presence known on store shelves.  There are just as many releases, it would seem, for Halloween as there are for Christmas each year from which audiences can choose to get their fear fix every year.  This year is no different.  Already, Timeless Media will offer audiences one of those early options next Tuesday, August 19th in the form of A Haunting: Season 6.  This season only ran for a total of four seasons on Destination America, which is part of Discovery Communications.  Even with only four episodes, anyone looking for a good fright will appreciate this season and the fact that the series has been picked up for a complete seventh season.  That will all be discussed later.  The stories that make up the sixth season of A Haunting are the crux of this season’s success.  They are not all that is worth noting, either.  The re-enactments should be noted here, too as should the bonus features.  The bonus features included on this disc show that as scary as the re-enactments were, the actors had their share of fun bringing the stories to life.  Audiences will see that in the included gag reel.  The same can be said of those responsible for the stories’ special effects.  There is a short bonus feature focusing on that factor, too.  These bonuses along with the stories included on the disc and their re-enactments will give any horror fan the frights and fun that any Halloween party needs.

The sixth season of A Haunting only lasted a total of four episodes.  According to the rumors, the reason for that is in relation to the numbers for the series’ fifth season.  However, Destination America has allegedly renewed the series for a full seventh season as the numbers for Season Six were impressive enough to renew it.  And now with its upcoming release on DVD, audiences will see for themselves just why officials with Destination America opted to renew the series.  The stories included in Season Six each offer their own frights.  The season’s opener sees a woman who is haunted by an evil spirit conjured by a jilted admirer.  Episode two, “Well From Hell” involves a house haunted by spirits coming from a well that is essentially a doorway to the other side.  A family is haunted by some not so nice spirits in “Black Magic” after a young ward of the family’s matriarch starts practicing black magic.  And in the season finale, “Haunted Victorian,” a young couple has found the home of their dreams.  But it soon turns into the home of their nightmares not long after. All four stories will have viewers on the edge of their collective seats, wanting to know what happens next. And not to give away too much information, they don’t all have the happy ending that some might hope for or expect. Those slightly surprising endings are reason enough to watch these episodes. And they’re not the only reason, either. Another reason for audiences to check out this upcoming DVD is the re-enactments used to help tell each of the four stories on the disc.

The stories that are included in the sixth season of Destination America’s A Haunting are by themselves reason enough for lovers of ghost stories to purchase this season’s DVD. Another reason for audiences to check out this DVD is the collective re-enactments used to help tell each of the stories included on the disc. The actors hired to help re-tell each of this season’s stories are impressive in their own right. The best of the re-enactments comes in the season finale. The couple that re-enacts the story of the young couple that had bought the Victorian House is quite the pair. The way that the young woman portrays having been somewhat possessed by the deceased maid is creepy in its own right. And the actors that helped tell the story of “Black Magic” do just enough to make that story believable, too. The actors in this season’s remaining two episodes do their own part to make said episodes worth at least one watch, too. Audiences will see this for themselves when they order or purchase the DVD for themselves.

The re-enactments and stories that are featured in the sixth season of A Haunting work in tandem to make this season just as enjoyable as the series’ previous season. Having noted them, these is only one more factor to consider in the overall success of A Haunting: Season 6. That final factor is the bonus material included on the DVD. All four of the episodes included on this disc offer their own frights for audiences. On the exact opposite side of the coin, the gag reel offers its own laughs, too. It helps to lighten the mood a little bit. And those with any interest in production and special effects will appreciate the bonus special effects reel. This reel gives just a slight glimpse behind the scenes of the show in regards to how the ghosts were *brought to life* (bad pun fully intended here). They are the final touch to a DVD that any horror fan will welcome in their home horror collection whether for Halloween or any other time.

A Haunting: Season 6 will be available on DVD Tuesday, August 19th. It can be pre-ordered online via the Shout! Factory online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/haunting-season-6. More information on this and other new releases from Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.timelessvideo.com, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364, http://www.shoutfactory.com and 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.

 

Timeless Media Group Announces Release Date For A Haunting Season 6

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

August is already almost halfway over. That means that the countdown is on to Labor Day and then the unofficial start of the annual holiday season in the form of Halloween. And with the start of that countdown, many companies have started releasing their yearly horror movies and ghost stories to the masses. Among that mass of movies and television shows that is already on tap for release is the sixth season of A Haunting.

A Haunting: Season 6 will be released Tuesday, August 19th. The series, which originally aired on Discovery Channel, currently airs on Destination America. This season of A Haunting features four more hour-long episodes of the paranormal. Also included in Season 6 is a collection of blooper reels from the actors that re-enact the stories. There are also features centered on the special effects and stunts used in each of the season’s four episodes as bonus material.

A Haunting: Season 6 will retail for SRP of $14.93. More information on this and other releases from Timeless Media Group is available online at http://www.timelessvideo.com and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364?sk=timeline. 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.