MLB All-Time Bloopers Offers Audiences Nine Innings Of Laughs And More

Courtesy:  A&E Entertainment/MLB Productions

Courtesy: A&E Entertainment/MLB Productions

The old year is almost out and the New Year is nearly here.  For those who aren’t much for sports that just means it’s the start of a new year.  For those who are lovers of the game, that means something completely different.  It means the end of one sport’s season and the start of another.  Any true lover of sports has noticed that as the old year comes to its end, the news surrounding the baseball world has been increasing once more.  Right now, it’s mostly about some major trades.  But as the calendar turns from one year to the next, the news will turn to America’s pastime even more.  That means every baseball fan across the country will be counting the days until opening day.  In celebration, MLB Productions and A&E Entertainment have given fans one more offering as they wait for the big day.  That offering is the new single disc collection, MLB All-Time Bloopers.

MLB All-Time Bloopers is a laugh riot from start to finish.  This near hour long presentation offers baseball’s legions loads of laughs.  It offers audiences some of the game’s funniest moments both on the field and off.  That also includes some of the most interesting antics not just from the players but the fans and even animals.  Yes, even the animals make the blooper real in this brand new collection.  Perhaps one of the funniest of the collection’s moments comes not from the players and animals, but from one certain celebrity.  Fans even get some hilarious sound bites from the players own mouths from the sounds of the game.  It all combines to make for plenty of laughs for those wanting to get their baseball fix during the offseason.

MLB All-Time Bloopers is separated nicely into about four different segments.  It starts off with some of the funniest on-field moments from across the league and its history.  From players hitting the outfield wall to running into each other and even making some really wild plays, it shows that for all the training that these professional athletes go through, even they are capable of making some of the game’s funniest moments.  From there, it moves on to some of the funniest players in the game through the twentieth century.  Prince Fielder gets some love, as do a number of other veteran athletes.  One of the funniest moments comes when said veterans are profiled for their fan favorite rainy slip and slide moments.  Others get their own moment in the limelight not so much for what they do on the field but for their clubhouse antics.  One of those is a certain player streaking through an interview with his teammates.  Thank goodness that was blurred out.  Think that’s a wild blooper moment?  Try the segment featuring the mascots of the game.  That’s right, even the mascots get their own segment in this collection.

The players make for more than their share of entertainment throughout a season both for audiences and sports analysts.  But the team mascots also make for their own share of laughs.  And few have the resume of the one and only Philly Phanatic.  This legendary mascot has more than enough material to make his own blooper reel.  What fans do get to see here though, is a few snippets of the long running love/hate relationship between the Phanatic and Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda.  Apparently, there was one incident initiated by the Phanatic of which Lasorda was no fan.  Fans will have to check out this DVD to find out what exactly that incident was.  It’s an incident that will keep audiences laughing and talking even after watching it.  The same thing applies for watching the fans and even “fan mascots.”  Wait.  Fan mascots?  That’s right.  While they’re not the official team mascots, the teams have their own “fan mascots” in the stands.

Football isn’t the only sport with “fan mascots.”  Even baseball has this dedicated legion of fans.  They will get out on top of the dugout and entertain the fans in order to get them worked up, cheering for their team.  Some come just as themselves.  Others come dressed to the nines in their full homemade regalia.  And they all come with their own moves that get fans both at the games and watching on TV equally charged up thanks to their moves.  Baseball fans will get to see all of that and so much more throughout the course of this laugh-a-minute presentation.  As if what’s on this disc isn’t enough, fans will note in watching it that there are sure to be more volumes to come as the seasons roll on.  That’s because even the show’s narrator notes it’s only the first volume.  That’s not noted on the DVD’s case.  But being that it is noted, fans can be sure that the 2013 season will bring its own share of bloopers.  Until it starts though, this collection will put smiles on any fan’s face for nine innings and more.  MLB All-Time Bloopers is available now.  It can be ordered online direct via MLB Productions’ online store at

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Giants Blu-ray, DVD Set A Solid Year Ender For All Baseball Fans

Courtesy:  MLB Productions/A&E Home Video

Courtesy: MLB Productions/A&E Home Video

The 2012 Major League Baseball season is in the books, and the champs have officially been crowned.  But fear not baseball fans.  The 2013 season is right around the corner.  December’s nearly over.  With the end of the year, baseball fans will start hearing more news as teams start prepping for the first pitch of Spring training 2013.  As fans await that first pitch, A&E Home Video and MLB Productions have partnered once again for what is truly a “giant” of a release both for fans of the World Series champs and of baseball in general.  The release in question is the San Francisco Giants 2012 World Series Collector’s Edition

The San Francisco Giants 2012 World Series Collector’s Edition is offered both on DVD and Blu-ray format, so as to not leave out anyone.  This is a bonus right off the top for all baseball fans.  Now there are those who have had their say about this new set, complaining about one game being omitted from the set, but what those people need to understand is that the inclusion of Game 5 of the team’s NLDS and NLCS were included in the set as each was the pivotal game in each series on the way to the team’s incredible sweep of the Tigers in the World Series.  Keeping this in mind, both MLB Productions and A&E have done the right thing in assembling the set in its present setup.  The inclusion of those two games makes for a nice setup to the team’s sweep of Detroit, which is profiled in its entirety in the set’s first four discs.  And as has been the case with every previous MLB Productions release this year, these four games are just as exceptional as previous releases.

The collection of games included in this brand new set is exceptional in that complaints from others aside, both the World Series games and the NLDS and NLCS games are presented with the same standard set by both companies with previous releases.  The games are contained within their own slimcases inside a larger box.  Each slimcase contains all the information needed to easily follow the game.  It is a program in itself for all intensive purposes.  The inning by inning rundown is on the front of each game, while the inside of each case offers a full box score unlike anything that any newspaper or even sports broadcast could offer.  True baseball fans will appreciate that the companies have maintained this standard.

That MLB Productions and A&E have maintained the high level of product quality is just one part of what makes its latest release so impressive for fans.  Also making this set impressive for fans is the inclusion of the previously released single disc presentation of the team’s inclusion into the Baseball’s Greatest Games series in the form of its “First Perfect Game” presentation.  Maybe someone already owns this on DVD.  That’s fine.  Having it in duplicate is just as good.  That’s because God forbid something happens to one copy, having this in duplicate means that fans will have a backup copy of it.  And for those who don’t already own this landmark game, then it’s all the more of a bonus to an already impressive baseball box set.

The bonus Baseball’s Greatest Games disc included in this set is just one of the bonuses that put the set over the top.  It also includes a bonus disc with some of the team’s best moments.  It includes highlights of some team members’ twenty-game hit streaks, and the moment in which it claimed this year’s NL West title, just to name a few highlights.  Even presented in standard definition, it looks good.  For those who own HDTV’s and Blu-ray players, it looks even better as the Blu-ray player will automatically up-convert this stand-alone DVD.  Yet again, audiences are presented with a disc that’s more than just another disc.  It is in its own way, one more true bonus to a set that’s already well worth the price.  And combined with the remaining seven discs, it makes the entire eight-disc set one big out of the park home run to finish off the year for both MLB Productions and A&E Home Video and A&E Entertainment.

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Ancient Rome Box Set An Amazing Look At An Amazing City


Courtesy:  History Channel/A&E Entertainment

Courtesy: History Channel/A&E Entertainment

Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Who hasn’t heard or even spoken that old adage at one point or another in their life?  It’s true; Rome wasn’t built in a day.  As a matter of fact, it took Rome ages to become the city and the world power that it was in the ancient world.  Now, a new box set from History Channel is taking viewers deeper into the history of Rome than before.  Ancient Rome Anthology is comprised of six discs each in their own slipcase encased in a larger box.  Each disc takes viewers on a journey into specific aspects of Rome that made it one of the most important cities in the world then and even today.

The first pair of the discs in the Ancient Rome Anthology features some of the most important battles in the history of the Roman Empire.  They are taken from History Channel’s special, Decisive Battles.  The first of those decisive battles was the slave revolt led by Spartacus.  Unlike in so many of History Channel’s specials, this one actually opted for something other than live actors to re-enact the scenes being discussed.  Rather, it uses video game style animation to outline how the various battles happened.  This is an excellent method, despite what some might want to believe.  It makes for an excellent visual aid, especially when used in the classroom.  In an age when video games dominate young minds, this will easily get the attention of younger audiences.  In the process, maybe that initial interest will even lead to a growing interest since the topic being discussed is major battles.

From the major battles, the Ancient Rome Anthology moves into a discussion of the most important leaders in Rome’s history.  Of those most important were Julius Caesar and the infamous Constantine.  Both men are featured in the third disc of the set along with the equally infamous Caligula.  All three rulers are featured as part of History Channel’s special, Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire.  This special is more in line with History Channel’s other specials in that the lives of the three featured rulers are portrayed by actual live actors.  Yet again, this is a good tool in that for older audiences, it can hold the attention of older audiences.  The actors help to illustrate what is being discussed in each ruler’s segment.  Even more interesting that even in standard definition presentation, the visuals come across in stark clarity.  This is especially the case with the set’s next presentation.      

After going through three of Rome’s most influential (and infamous) rulers, audiences are taken through the engineering feats that helped to make Rome such an incredible city.  Along with the city’s engineering feats, the feature continues its discussion on Rome’s rulers in connection.  It discusses how Julius Caesar, Claudius, and others influenced the great structures of Rome.  One of the most important of those was the aqueducts, which were crafted by Claudius.  Yet again, the visual aids in this segment play a bigger role than some would think in its success.  In discussing the aqueducts, History Channel uses a mix of computer graphics and blueprint style visuals to illustrate how the aqueducts were built.  Even Nero himself is featured in this portion of the set.  He is featured for his construction of his lavish estate on the backs and money of the Romans.  As impressive as the estate would have been, it was the execution of its construction that leads to his inclusion in this segment.  The final product was astoundingly beautiful.  But by contrast, his own view of himself is what led to its construction, and eventually his downfall.  That in itself makes for quite the discussion.  The discussion of Rome’s engineering greatness doesn’t end with Nero.  It goes into far more depth for those who are truly interested in everything that put Rome so far ahead of its time.

The fifth disc of the Ancient Rome Anthology finishes out what had been started with the set’s fourth disc.  It explains how Rome’s roads were built, along with some of its greatest monuments.  This is how much there is to discuss in terms of Rome’s architectural greatness.  The entire set is closed out with what is best described as a bonus disc in its sixth disc.  The set’s final disc offers bonus segments featuring the long hidden catacombs of Rome, and a pair of other features of one of the world’s greatest cities.  There is so much here and in the rest of the set that it more than makes a perfect gift idea for any history buff or for teacher looking for the perfect teaching tool, regardless of whether it is used in public school or college.  It is a wonderful tool for either level.  And it is available now.  It can be ordered online now at History Channel’s online store,

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Ancient Egypt Anthology An In-Depth Journey Through Country’s History

Courtesy:  History Channel/A&E Entertainment

Courtesy: History Channel/A&E Entertainment

History Channel’s recently released box set, The Ancient Egypt Anthology is more excellent material both for history buffs and history teachers at every level.  This new six disc set contains the network’s previously released specials in one complete box.  It opens with the double disc set, Planet Egypt before expanding a little more in the set’s next pair of discs featuring the special, Beyond The Pyramids.  Next up is the single disc presentation of Engineering An Empire.  The entire set closes out with a compilation of other specials on Egypt on the set’s sixth disc.  At an estimated price of $50.00, the six discs included in this make the price well worth the purchase.

The set opens with the double disc set, Planet Egypt.  This presentation was released earlier this year in its own double disc presentation.  Fittingly, it opens this new complete box set, too.  Planet Egypt tells the story of Egypt from its earliest days through the rise of its most influential and important pharaohs.  It tells of the military might and political power of each pharaoh including the one and only Pharaoh Hatshepsut.  It also discusses how the pyramids come to be as a result of each leader.  From the discussion on the pyramids, The Ancient Egypt Anthology moves into an even more in depth discussion of them by going Beyond The PyramidsBeyond The Pyramids takes viewers even deeper into a study of the pyramids.  It explains to viewers how the pyramids were built and why each was built with its given internal structure.  Along with that, it also helps to highlight what made the pyramids so important as it compares the lives of the Pharaohs to that of the ordinary Egyptian during the time of the Pharaohs.  This comparison works with the discussion on the pyramids construction and cultural significance to make for a fitting continuation of what was started with Planet Egypt.

The fifth disc in the new Ancient Egypt Anthology is a good finishing touch to this set.  Having already discussed the construction of the pyramids, the Ancient Egypt Anthology goes into even deeper depth with a more broad discussion on how engineering helped not only bring the pyramids to their heights, but also Egyptian society as a whole.  This segment starts off with a discussion on the annual flooding of the Nile River Valley, and its impact on life in the region.  It proceeds to discuss how given rulers used their own engineering methods to help build and maintain Egyptian society through its most important times.  It makes for a nice final piece in the set.  But it isn’t all.  As an added bonus, the Ancient Egypt Anthology offers viewers a sixth disc in which topics such as medicine in early Egypt, and more material about the pyramids and a pair of Egypt’s most famed Pharaohs.  It makes for a nice extra touch on a set that already will impress any history buff and history teacher.  Anyone who has any interest in the history of Egypt will enjoy this and the set’s other five discs, too.  The Ancient Egypt Anthology is available now.  It can be ordered online at

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New History Channel DVD Release Is Another Great Set In And Out Of The Classroom

Courtesy: History Channel/A&E Entertainment

Did you know that Hollywood has hugely mishandled the famed gunfight at the OK Corral?  What about Benjamin Franklin?  Did you know that he actually created America’s first gossip rag, and even fathered an illegitimate son?  And allegedly, Rat Pack front man Frank Sinatra really wasn’t the brains behind the band?  Thanks to its new show, 10 Things You Didn’t Know, History Channel reveals these facts and more.  And fans can learn about these little tidbits of information and more next week when History Channel releases the first season of 10 Things You Didn’t Know About on DVD.

In 10 Things You Didn’t Know About host David Eisenbach reveals to audiences some of the secrets of history’s most famous and infamous figures and events.  One of the most intriguing facts that Eisenbach reveals to audiences is that the battle of the OK Corral actually didn’t happen in the OK Corral.  Rather, it happened in a vacant lot behind the corral.  And unlike what’s been presented in movies, it only lasted a grand total of thirty seconds.  In those thirty seconds, only thirty shots were fired, one for each second.  And while most audiences know Wyatt Earp as an iconic hero figure, he was originally a business man who had only been in one fight before the fight at the OK Corral.  He actually helped run a brothel before everything leading up to the now legendary gunfight.  The story of what led up to the gunfight is even more interesting.  It gets somewhat discombobulated, as a number of factors ended up leading to the fight.  But in adding it all up, many audiences may find it surprising what led to the gunfight.

The gunfight at the OK Corral and its combatants weren’t the only famed events and figures that Eisenbach discusses in this season of 10 Things You Didn’t Know About.  He also reveals through discussions with academics and experts that the iconic picture of Benjamin Franklin holding a kite with a key was not entirely true.  As a matter of fact, Eisenbach reveals through his interviews that it was in fact Franklin’s illegitimate son William who actually had the kite.  Franklin himself actually ran for cover during the storm.  Speaking of his illegitimate son, the show notes that Franklin admitted in his autobiography that he had fathered William with a prostitute.  Of course, prostitution wasn’t illegal back then.  While there are some seedy details revealed about his life in this show, it does also reveal that Franklin did a lot for the country, his inventions aside.  For instance, he helped to found the country’s very first public hospital.  And thanks to his ways with the ladies, Franklin managed to convince the wife of French ruler Louis XVI to side with America in its war with Britain.  And if not for that partnership, America might have otherwise lost the war. 

Lawmen and founding fathers aren’t the only figures covered by Eisenbach in History Channel’s hit show.  For those who are more into pop culture, 10 Things You Didn’t Know About also travels into that realm.  In this brand new collection, Eisenberg reveals to viewers that the famed Rat Pack actually was not called the Rat pack, but the Summit.  It was actually actress Lauren Bacall who came up with the Rat Pack name, which Frank Sinatra never liked.  The Summit named, it’s revealed, had political links.  And speaking of politics, it’s also revealed that the Rat Pack—Sinatra especially—was very closely tied to the civil rights movement, even helping Dr. Martin Luther King’s now famous organization, the SCLC.  This is just a small sampling of what is revealed about The Rat Pack in this season of 10 Things You Didn’t Know About.  Fans can learn even more about the group, and even more figures when they get the two-disc set for themselves next Tuesday, August 28th.  It can be ordered direct from History Channel on its website at

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The Picks And The Fun Keep Coming In American Pickers Volume Four

Courtesy: History Channel/A&E Entertainment

Reality shows are all over television today.  They’re a dime a dozen.  Any viewer who has surfed through the channels even once knows that nearly every network on television—if not every network—is top heavy with reality television series.  So the question is what to watch?  This critic personally recommends History Channel’s hit series, “American Pickers.”  There might be those out there who are unable to check it out for one reason or another.  Fret not.  The show is available on DVD.  And the latest collection of episodes, “American Pickers Volume Four” is available on DVD now, too.  Volume Four has what are some of the best episodes from the series to date.  In Volume Four, Mike and Frank travel to upstate New York where they meet Kathy.  Kathy has inherited her late father’s farm and is looking to sell all the things that her father had accumulated in his life so as to pay for the farm.  That’s just part of the guys’ adventure through New York.  In another of the pair’s adventures, Mike and Frank trek through Tennessee where they meet one of the most memorable individuals in the show’s history.  He simply goes by the name, “Junior.”  Those episodes and more are all in “American Pickers Volume Four.”

In the episode, “Too Hot To Handle” Mike and Frank are driving through upstate New York.  The pair happens on Kathy.  She and her husband had inherited her father’s farm after his death.  Her story of her father is another prime example of what makes American Pickers such a great show.  She explains that her father had served in WWII, and how that linked to his massive accumulation of stuff.  Ironically, if not for her father’s collection, Mike and Frank might never have met Kathy and her husband.  While they’re visiting with the couple, Mike picks a pile of bicycle parts that dated circa 1890’s.  Frank, on the other hand, finds an old Yankee Z motorcycle, which he bundles with a Newark news paper box and oil can of sorts for $250.  The picks don’t end there.  Mike finds a pond boat, which he picks for $20.  He follows that up with a pick of a gas tank from a 1930’s era Harley Davidson motorcycle.  He bundles the gas tank with a classic radio for $100.  From there, Mike also finds an old Ribbon mic that he gets for $125.

After Mike and Frank end their visit with Kathy and her husband, it’s off to Lincoln, New York, where they get some help from the local fire department to get into a building that’s going to be torn down.  Once it’s torn down, the land on which it stands was to be donated to that fire department.  The guys make a pretty good pick here, too.  Frank finds an old G.I. Joe jeep and trailer that he gets for $20.  Mike finds an old carousel toy that he gets for $40.

The first two stops on Mike and Frank’s trip through upstate New York yield lots of good picks, and some equally great stories.  But the one stop that stood out more than the others in this trip was the guys’ visit with mother and daughter Marlene and Julia.  The pair lived in a house that was used as a stopping point on the Underground Railroad.  Mike and Frank are even shown the hidden passages used by slaves to hide in the house.  They find their share of great picks during their visit.  As great as the picks are, what makes this stop so interesting is that apparently Marlene’s daughter, Julia, turns out to have quite the crush on Frank.  Even Mike jokes with him about it.  The way that she flirts with Frank will have audiences rolling.  It makes this stop one of the most memorable in the show’s run so far.

Speaking of memorable moments, the guys have another truly memorable moment later in Volume Four in the episode, “Keep Out.”  The guys are in Tennessee during this episode.  As they’re driving through the state, they happen on a property that’s loaded with really cool stuff.  But it’s also loaded with signs warning people to stay away and to keep out, etc.  Mike and Frank take a risk and drive up anyway.  What they find is a really big tough looking guy who simply goes by the name of “Junior.”  “Junior” looks tough, but as the guys find out during their visit, he’s really just a “softie.”  It turns out that he’s willing to sell his stuff to Mike and Frank.  The reason he’s willing to sell is really the heart of what makes this episode so memorable.  It turns out that “Junior’s” wife had died a year ago.  So he realized all the stuff on his property was just stuff.  Without her there it didn’t mean anything anymore.  So for all his big touch and gruff exterior, here was a guy who was obviously a very gentle and loving person.  That one moment when “Junior” tells Mike and Frank about his wife, it was obvious how much he loved her.  He even starts to tear up a little talking about her.  Yet again, more proof of this show’s heart.  Sure the guys make a lot of picks, including a Dukes of Hazzard garbage can and tray and a PET ice cream sign.  But that single moment, not the picks, is what stands out in the entire episode.  Of course, it isn’t the only visit that the guys make during this episode.  Audiences can check out who else Mike and Frank meet during their trip through Tennessee when they get the double disc set themselves.  “American Pickers Volume Four” is available now.  It can be ordered online at 

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WWII in HD is a powerful, fitting tribute to the Greatest Generation

Courtesy: History Channel/A&E Home Video

Never forget.  Those two simple, tiny words have echoed throughout America’s people since the tragedy of September 11th, 2001.  That dark day was this generation’s Pearl Harbor.  It changed our country forever, just as Pearl Harbor did for the Greatest Generation.  Sadly, today roughly only ten percent of that generation still remains today to tell the story of what happened when the United States entered the war, which had already ravaged much of Europe for two years.  Now, thanks to History Channel and A&E Home Video, a new piece of the history from World War II has been brought to light in order to make sure that no generation will ever forget.  That piece of history is the recently released WWII in HD Collector’s Edition on blu-ray. The WWII in HD Collector’s Edition on blu-ray was released May 15th of this year.  The new collector’s edition is one of the more comprehensive sets released in recent memory.  The two primary discs that make up the set take audiences from the dark days when the Nazi occupation began spreading through Europe straight to the closing days of the war when the allied forces finally closed in and tightened the noose around the Nazi forces in the German capital of Berlin.  It also includes two bonus discs.  The first of the two bonus discs is a roughly forty-minute program that focuses on the battle to take the island of Iwo Jima.  It goes into full depth explaining how rather than taking ten days (as was predicted by one official), the battle to claim the island took more than a month.  The raising of the two flags atop Mount Suribachi was only one part of that horrific battle.  The second bonus disc focuses on the air war over the European Theater and its attempts to disable the production of Messerschmitts in Nazi occupied Germany.  The run time on this program is just under an hour and a half.  But it is truly worth that near ninety-minutes for anyone from military historians to students to the most casual of viewers.

The story presented in WWII in HD starts off in Germany, 1939.  Audiences are first introduced to Austrian Jew Jack Werner.  He is one of a dozen figures from whom audiences will learn what life in the war was like.  Werner came to America to escape the Nazis.  He also came with stars in his eyes, hoping to become a movie star.  When that didn’t happen, he ended up working in a flower shop before joining the American war effort.  The other eleven figures are:  Bert Stiles, Shelby Westbrook, Nolan Marbrey, Jack Yusan, Rockie Blunt, Archie Sweeney, Richard Tregaskis, Charles Scheffel, Jimmie Kanaya, June Wandry, and Robert Sherrod.  Each figure brings their own perspective to the men and women who served during one of the country’s most difficult times.  North Carolinians will appreciate the mention of Archie Sweeney, who was voiced by Mark Hefti throughout the program, was originally assigned to Fort Bragg before entering the war.

Among the more interesting pieces of history included in WWII in HD are that when America’s military first entered the war, it was hardly the largest or most well trained.  That lone puts the entire war into a wholly different perspective.  Audiences also learn of the reaction of Nurse June Wandry to providing candy to the captives in the concentration camps, and of the prisoners themselves to receiving said candy.  It’s one of those moments that will bring even the most emotionally strong individual to tears.  There is also note of how President Truman actually gave the Japanese the opportunity to surrender.  He offered them two chances, as a matter of fact.  It was because they refused both of those chances, according to the documentary, that both bombs were dropped.  Audiences will also learn other interesting facts such as the landing force used at Okinawa was larger than that used at Normandy on D-Day. 

WWII in HD shares so many stories that there is no way to tell each one of them.  And while there is no way to possibly tell each individual’s story shared in this mini-series, one thing is certain, though, of this presentation.  The complete story shared in the WWII in HD Collector’s Edition reminds viewers of the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform past and present.  It helps us to appreciate everything that they have gone through and go through today.  It serves not only as an educational tool or entertainment.  Rather, it serves as a tool to ensure our world will hopefully learn from its past, and never forget.  Audiences can purchase this box set in stores or online at

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to and “Like” it or its companion page at  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at