Ancient Aliens’ Eight Season Is One Of The Series’ Best Seasons Yet

Courtesy:  A&E Home Video/History Channel

Courtesy: A&E Home Video/History Channel

The aliens are back!  This Tuesday, January 5th History Channel will release the eighth season of its hit history/sci-fi series Ancient Aliens.  Whether audiences are familiar with the long-running series (it recently wrapped up its tenth season) or not, audiences across the board will agree that there is plenty to like about this season.  It could even be argued that in comparison to the series’ previous seasons’ this season is one of its best yet.  The main reason for that is the collection of topics tackled in this season.  Unlike in so many of the show’s previous seasons, this season doesn’t just rehash old theories that have been done time and time again.  It actually brings some fresh topics into the mix.  That will be discussed at more length shortly.  Also of note in Season Eight is the collective footage used to help advance each episode.  That will be discussed at more length later.  Last but not least of note are the transitions within each episode.  Each noted element is important in its own right to the whole of Ancient Aliens’ eighth season.  Altogether they make Ancient Aliens: Season Eight (Apparently Season 10 online) one of the series’ best seasons yet regardless of whether it is the show’s eighth or tenth season.

History’s latest collection of episodes from its hit history/sci-fi series Ancient Aliens is one of its best yet.  Online, the episodes are listed as making up the series’ tenth season.  Yet in its new double-disc box set, they are collectively considered the series’ eighth season.  It would be good to see History Channel get everything lined up both on disc and online.  But that aside, there is still plenty to like about this latest collection of episodes beginning with the topics tackled in each episode.  The topics that are tackled in these episodes are so important because they don’t just rehash the topics tackled in previous seasons.  That has been something that has hindered said previous seasons more so than anything else.  Discussions on the pyramids and Atlantis have been replaced with discussions on whether aliens have been (and still are) fighting for control of Earth in “The Alien Wars”, and on what could in fact be hidden in those areas of the world that have been deemed “off-limits” due to conflicts or other reasons in the noted regions in “The Forbidden Zones.”  Even the familiar topic of caves and their roles in interstellar travel has been minimized in “Aliens B.C.” so as to make more time for other topics such as a profile of German aerospace engineer Wernher Von Braun in “NASA’s Secret Agenda” and whether the fabled sea monsters of myth are fact instead of fiction in “Creatures of the Deep.”  Yes, the show goes beneath the waves once again this time out.  But instead of delving into the realm of underwater aliens it instead opts to question if many of the beasts of legend (E.g. the Loch Ness Monster, Kraken, etc.) were in fact beings from other worlds that used bodies of water as worm holes of sorts.  The noted episodes are just a partial example of why the topics presented in Ancient Aliens’ eighth (tenth?) season are so important to its overall presentation.  There are plenty of others that audiences on both sides of the E.T. debate will agree are just as important to this season including: “Dark Forces,’ “Aliens and Robots,” “The Alien Evolution,” “Circles from The Sky,” and “The Other Earth.”  Altogether all ten episodes featured in this season serve as a good starting point for any number of discussions regardless of which side one takes in the debate on extraterrestrials.  They are just part of the reason that audiences will want to see this latest collection of episodes from Ancient Aliens.  The footage that is incorporated into this season is just as important to its overall presentation as the topics tackled throughout each episode.

The topics that are tackled throughout the latest season of Ancient Aliens are in themselves plenty of reason for audiences to check out this collection.  That is because while they do bring up some previously handled topics, they generally trend more towards new topics this time out.  They are just part of the reason that audiences will want to check out this season.  The footage that is incorporated into each episode is just as important as the topics themselves in keeping audiences engaged.  This includes both the live action footage and the CG-based material included in each episode.  The live action footage serves to help support the arguments while the CG-based material serves to entertain audiences.  It is clear in watching each episode that a lot of time and effort was put into each episode’s CG sequences.  That is because instead of just being some haphazardly developed designs, they really have sharp detail.  Believe it or not this is important to note because there are some studios out there that make CG presentations that look like they were crafted by middle school students or younger.  That is anything but the case here.  Said sequences maintain a fully professional look in each episode.  Being that they do they ensure even more audiences’ engagement in each episode.  The live footage adds its own value to each episode’s presentation (and the overall presentation of this season).  That is because it serves to help drive home the theories being presented within episode.  It is not necessarily meant to serve as supporting evidence in each theory.  There are those that have for whatever reason misinterpreted this.  Rather it is meant to show what the theorists are discussing and in turn allow viewers to form their own conclusions from the presented material.  To that end, the footage in question couples with the presented CG sequences to result in core material that together with the thought-provoking theories, will certainly keep audiences entertained and engaged.

Regardless of which side one takes in the never-ending debate on the debate of extraterrestrial existence, one cannot deny that the topics presented across each of this season’s episodes give plenty of reason to check out each episode.  The same can be said of the core material incorporated into each episode.  This includes both the CG sequences and the live footage.  While each noted element proves to be important in its own right to this season’s overall presentation, they still are not the season’s only notable elements.  The transitions within each episode are just as important as the presented theories and the episodes’ combined footage.  The transitions are important to note because the episodes are presented on DVD exactly as they were in their original run on television.  That means that each episode is separated at exactly the same point and in turn presents the same material from beginning to end.  What is really interesting to note is that while some episodes even include the full transitions to commercial and from commercial, others simply cut in and out.  In other words, some episodes include the segment previews at the commercial breaks while others don’t.  While not having those “teases” in every episode doesn’t necessarily take anything away from the overall presentation of this season on DVD, it just would have been better to either have them in every episode or not.  Personally, this critic’s view is such that having them in actually makes the overall viewing experience more enjoyable.  That is just this critic’s view, however. Regardless, it is interesting that the noted teases were included to any extent. It’s a nice addition that really makes one feel like one is watching the episodes on TV rather than on DVD. To some that is a special feeling. It just brings something back to some viewers (such as this critic). Hopefully if Ancient Aliens reaches an eleventh season, those behind the show will take that into account and have it in every episode when it reaches DVD should that happen. Should it not then audiences at least have it to some extent here. And combined with the thought-provoking theories and footage, all three elements together make Ancient Aliens: Season 8 another good addition for any true believer and skeptic alike.

Whether one is a true believer or a skeptic, it can be said of the latest season of Ancient Aliens that both will have plenty to talk about after watching the episodes presented here. That is evident in the fact that while some older theories are brought back up again, they take something of a back seat to other theories for once. That in itself gives audiences plenty to talk about, the theories aside. The live footage and CG sequences that were incorporated into each of the set’s ten total episodes add even more interest to this set. That is because each piece will keep viewers engaged in its own way. The general presentation of each episode rounds out the ways in which this set guarantees audiences’ engagement. Some episodes come complete with segment teases while others aren’t. While it would have been nice to have those teases in every episode rather than just a few, one can’t complain since at least some did. Hopefully should an eleventh season see the light of day that will be taken into account when it hits DVD. But that is a story for another time. Regardless, everything that went into Season Eight’s presentation shows why this double-disc set is a welcome addition to the home DVD library of any true believer and skeptic alike. It will be available Tuesday, January 5th in stores and online. More information on Season 8 is available online along with full episodes from season 8 at:

 

Website: http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens

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

 

 

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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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2015 World Series Presentations Set For Release Next Month

The 2015 MLB season is officially a wrap. But even as the season has come to its last inning Lionsgate, MLB Productions, and A&E Home Video have announced that it is giving fans some extra-innings enjoyment with the upcoming release of the 2015 World Series Film and 2015 World Series Collector’s Edition.

Courtesy:  MLB Productions/A&E Home Video/Lionsgate

Courtesy: MLB Productions/A&E Home Video/Lionsgate

Lionsgate, MLB Productions, and A&E Home Video have teamed up once again to cap off another season of Major League Baseball with another complete installment of World Series collections. The companies will release the 2015 World Series Film and 2015 World Series Collector’s Edition on Tuesday, December 1st. Both collections will be released on their own separate DVD and Blu-ray platforms. The 2015 World Series Collector’s Edition features the complete 2015 World Series spread across eight discs on both DVD and Blu-ray. It also includes the Sleevestats(TM) ooklet with official game stats and trivia for each game. As an additional bonus the 2015 World Series Collector’s Edition also includes two key Royals post season games (the ALDS and ALCS clinchers) and key regular season highlights. The Blu-ray will retail for MSRP of $69.99 and DVD for $59.98. Audiences can pre-order the set on DVD for a discounted price of $44.98 via Lionsgate’s online store now at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/search_results.asp?Search=2015%20world%20Series.

 

Courtesy:  MLB Productions/A&E Home Video/Lionsgate

Courtesy: MLB Productions/A&E Home Video/Lionsgate

The 2015 World Series Film is a shortened take on the annual Fall Classic. It is narrated this year by famed actor Paul Rudd (Ant-Man, Role Models, I Love You Man). Rudd takes audiences through the most pivotal moments of this year’s World Series in the DVD. There are also interviews, exclusive behind-the-scenes access footage, and more throughout the eighty-six minute presentation. As with the 2015 World Series Collector’s Edition, the 2015 World Series Film will be released both on DVD and Blu-ray. It will retail for MSRP of $34.99 on Blu-ray and $29.98 on Blu-ray an DVD respectively. It can be pre-ordered online now for a discounted price of $27.99 on Blu-ray and $19.98 on DVD via Lionsgate’s online store at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/search_results.asp?Search=2015%20world%20Series. More information on both the 2015 World Series Film and 2015 World Series Collector’s Edition and other titles from Lionsgate is available online now at:

Website: http://www.lionsgate.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LionsgateNews

More information on the latest titles from MLB Productions is available online now at:

Website: http://mlbproductions.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MLBProductions

More information on the latest titles from A&E Home Video is available online now at:

Website: http://www.aetv.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/aenetworks

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.

History Channel Announces Release Date For Ancient Aliens: Season 8

Courtesy:  A&E Home Video/History Channel

Courtesy: A&E Home Video/History Channel

The aliens return this winter!

History Channel and A&E Home Video have announced that the eighth season of its hit history-based series Ancient Aliens will be released Tuesday, January 5th. It will be available in stores and online exclusively on DVD. In the eighth full season of Ancient Aliens, a hacker who broke into secure U.S. computer systems over the course of thirteen months was arrested in 2002. The hacker, Gary McKinnon claimed after his arrest that his illegal activities revealed evidence that the United States military and government was amassing a secret space fleet complete with USSS (United States Space Ship) designations. The question is if the U.S. is indeed gathering ships for an interstellar fleet, is it for peaceful means or for something more concerning? “The Alien Wars,” Season Eight’s finale asserts the theory that warring alien races have been fighting for eons and have even brought their conflicts to Earth, leading to the alleged activities on the part of the government and military. “The Other Earth,” another episode from Season Eight, alleges that beings from other worlds came to Earth after searching for their own “Other Earth” just as humans have searched the stars for another planet like their own. In “Dark Forces,” the question is raised as to the existence of supernatural forces. It ponders whether the alleged supernatural forces summoned by the likes of Rasputin, the Nazis, Aleister Crowley, and others were extraterrestrial rather than supernatural. It’s just one more theory presented through the course of the ten total episodes that make up Ancient Aliens’ eighth season.

Ancient Aliens: Season Eight will be available Tuesday, January 5th in stores and online. It will be available exclusively on DVD and will retail for MSRP of $19.98. More information on this and other seasons of Ancient Aliens is available online now at:

Website: http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens

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

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.

Ancient Aliens: Season Seven BD Box Set Gives Viewers Plenty To Appreciate

Courtesy:  History Channel/A&E Home Video

Courtesy: History Channel/A&E Home Video

For eons, man has looked to the stars and wondered if mankind is alone in the universe. For all of the fascination with the heavens that man has shown since the days of the Mayans and Egyptians and even the study of outer space (both the Mayans and Egyptians were expert astronomers), no firm evidence of intelligent life’s existence has been found. Or has it? That is the premise behind History Channel’s hit history-based series Ancient Aliens. The series, now in its tenth season, has provided dozens of intriguing theories arguing that intelligent beings have in fact visited Earth as far back as the stone age. Late this summer, History and A&E Home Video made another group of those theories available to audiences when they released Ancient Aliens: Season Seven on DVD and Blu-ray. The theories presented over the course of Season Seven are in themselves the central reason for audiences to check out this collection. Regardless of whether or not audiences are believers, want to believe, or skeptics, audiences in whole will find something to like about this season’s episodes. In regards to the season’s more extrinsic value, audiences will be happy to know that Season Seven has been released in two separate formats–DVD and Blu-ray. On the surface this might not seem like such an important element to discuss. But it actually is important in its own right in terms of ergonomics. That will be discussed later. And last but not least of note is the actual presentation of the episodes in the Blu-ray presentation. Audiences will be glad to know that they can actually stop either of the Blu-ray set’s discs and later come back to them without worrying about said discs restarting from the beginning. What’s more the Blu-ray presentation allows audiences to keep any of the season’s given episodes running and go through its menus at the same time. Whether or not History has allowed for this on DVD is admittedly not known to this critic as this critic has been honored with the Blu-ray presentation in place of the DVD presentation. Regardless, this addition is in itself one more important part of the whole of Season Seven that at least on Blu-ray every viewer will appreciate. Along with the noted aspects of the BD set’s packaging and the set’s featured episodes Ancient Aliens: Season Seven proves in whole to be a set that true believers will enjoy and appreciate just as much as the most hardline skeptics.

Late this summer, History Channel and A&E Home Video released the seventh season of History Channel’s hit history-based series Ancient Aliens on DVD and Blu-ray. For the sake of this review, the focus will be on the Blu-ray presentation of Season Seven. Now whether one is a true believer, wants to believe, or is the most hardline skeptic it can be argued that there is plenty to enjoy and appreciate about this season’s Blu-ray presentation beginning with the set’s featured episodes. Regardless of one’s beliefs about life on other planets or even the existence of alien life on Earth, it can be said of these episodes that they will have audiences of all types talking in one way or another. That is because of the theories presented across its twelve episodes. One of the most intriguing of those theories is that beings from other worlds used (and possibly still use today) caves as a means of interstellar transportation. It also purports that the giant crystals contained within other caves actually serve as an interstellar power source. One of the pieces of evidence used to support this seemingly interconnected drawings discovered in caves around the world. There are spiral drawings said to be representative of portals, and of beings said to be from other worlds even by people native to given regions today. It is even argued that within another ancient civilization, caves were not portals to the underworld (the world of the dead) but to the heavens. The episode takes viewers from caves in Africa to a cave in the Grand Canyon that allegedly depicts beings from other worlds, to a cave in the Himalayas where thousands of Hindus flock each year to the spot where they believe Shiva revealed the secrets of the universe and immortality to his wife among much more. Between those caves and others noted throughout this episode, the stories presented about each cave will definitely keep viewers engaged regardless of whether or not viewers believe. That is because for all of the theories espoused by the episode’s interviewees, the historical background of the theories in and of itself makes this episode an interesting part of the season’s whole. Information such as the Mayan belief of their people having to travel to the underworld in order to get to a certain other realm is fact rather than fiction. The Mayans actually did believe this. In regards to the Native American caves found in the Grand Canyon, the physical depictions left by the region’s former inhabitants are in fact real. And regardless of audiences’ beliefs, the discussions on said art are enough reason to watch this episode. Viewers don’t have to believe the sometimes outrageous theories about the caves’ use in interstellar travel. Even this critic is not necessarily a true believer. But the real history in which the theories are based is interesting enough to keep viewers engaged. It’s just one example of why the season’s episodes are so important to its overall viewing experience.

Another of this season’s more intriguing theories comes later in the season’s run in “Aliens and The Civil War.”. It speculates the role (if any) that beings from other worlds might or might not have had in the Civil War. It will definitely raise some viewers’ eyebrows regardless of said viewers’ beliefs. That is because at no point does it actually try to argue whether or not beings from other worlds played any role in America’s worst conflict. Rather it remains largely objective, spending more time speculating than actually saying yea or nay to the theory. It does however try to argue that there were beings that knew about the impending conflict. This is argued as it is alleged that Mormon founder Joseph Smith was visited not by an angel but by an alien from another world. It is theorized that said being warned Smith about the war, to which Smith responded by including the warning in what is known today as the Book of Mormon. There is also an intriguing theory presented about Lincoln that seems to purport that either he was a pre-cog or that he at least received an image of his future. According to the story a young Lincoln looked in the mirror one day and saw a much older, rougher vision of himself and in telling his wife Mary Todd Lincoln, she become somewhat unsettled herself. This story is tied in to this episode by theorizing that it was an image showing how he would look as a result of his efforts to maintain the union. It goes without saying that this is a bit of a stretch. But it makes for its own share of entertainment, regardless. And as with the season premiere its historical background (and that of the Joseph Smith story) is enough reason for viewers to give this episode and season in whole a chance regardless of their beliefs.

‘The Vanishings,” Season Seven’s penultimate episode is yet another intriguing episode and perhaps its most believable. It takes the mysterious disappearances of people throughout Earth’s history and regions and uses them as the basis for the argument that aliens have and are still playing a role in the lives of Earth’s inhabitants. And yes, it does include the standard stories of the Bermuda Triangle disappearances. There is a story of lights seen in the mountains of North Carolina and people searching for the lights mysteriously disappearing, never to be seen again. The story of the Mayans’ disappearance is also there. However in this case, audiences get a story that any viewer will admit is rather intriguing in itself. It claims that the Mayan calendar was not a countdown to doomsday (as we all know now) but a countdown of another sort. It is theorized here that the calendar was used to track when the Mayan people would return to the stars. Of course there’s no way that that could have been possible unless the calendar started much farther back in history than is believed to have started. That’s the only way that this theory could hold any amount of water being that the Mayans disappeared long before the calendar ended. And even when it did end, nothing happened good or bad. So to that extent, it is good to see here that the program didn’t take the all too common doomsday prophecy, which has since been debunked and tried to tie it in to alien attacks or some such. Though the presented argument is obviously just as unbelievable. That is unless the calendar is in fact much older than believed to be. Perhaps the single-most believable aspect of this episode is the argument that maybe, just maybe, the vanishing of certain ancient civilizations wasn’t accidental but intentional; a means to hide said civilizations’ technological advancements from the modern world. Considering the evils that the modern world has committed as a result of its own advances, one can’t blame any ancient civilization from hiding its advances if in fact they did have said advances. Some of these theories have more historical backing than others. Regardless of that backing or lack thereof, the episode in whole proves even more why it is another good example of the episodes’ importance to Ancient Aliens’ seventh season. It is hardly the last example of what makes this season’s episodes so integral to the season in whole. “The Alien Agenda,” “The Great Flood” and “Hidden Pyramids” are hardly believable. But they are still entertaining in their own right. Though, the historical backing behind “The Great Flood” makes for interesting viewing as it explains just some of the flood stories that are presented not just in the bible but in other cultures’ documents, too. Al things considered, the episodes featured in Ancient Aliens: Season Seven make for plenty of interesting material that is sure to keep viewers engaged from start to finish regardless of viewers’ beliefs about aliens. They are only one part of what makes Season Seven such an interesting watch, too. The set’s dual presentations and packaging therein is just as important to this season.

The episodes that make up the body of Ancient Aliens’ seventh season are in themselves paramount to the season’s overall viewing experience. That has hopefully been clearly exemplified by this critic. That aspect having been noted, the set’s presentation on both DVD and Blu-ray is just as important to its success. Season Seven’s presentation on both DVD and Blu-ray shows that History kept all of its viewers in mind in sending it to store shelves. Regardless of which platform audiences choose, all viewers get the same content in both platforms. What makes the Blu-ray presentation even more impressive than the DVD presentation is its ergonomics. Season Seven’s DVD box set spreads its content across three discs in a standard size box thanks to smart packaging. However, the Blu-ray presentation presents the same amount of information on only two discs in a standard Blu-ray case. The Blu-ray case, as audiences know, is smaller both in height and width than a standard DVD case. This means it takes up far less room on a viewer’s DVD/Blu-ray rack than a DVD case. In other words, while neither DVD nor Blu-ray presents any more or less in its presentation, those that purchase the Blu-ray set will come out better because of the set’s ergonomics.

Interestingly enough there are some companies out there that are beginning to use Blu-ray boxes as the model for DVD boxes, too in essence making both boxes exactly the same ergonomically. The only thing that sets them apart is that one has the Blu-ray logo while the other sports the DVD logo. Of course History Channel and A&E Home Video didn’t take that route with its DVD presentation of Ancient Aliens Season Seven. Though, it would be easy to house three discs into one box of that size by simply using the standard plastic insert to hold one disc and place the first and third disc on the front and back inside the case. Maybe History and A&E Home Video will consider taking that route with its future DVD releases and start helping make it the standard and phasing out the all too bulky standard DVD boxes of every size. Getting back on topic…the ergonomic aspect of Ancient Aliens: Season Seven in its Blu-ray presentation and the season’s featured episodes makes this season just as fun for alien enthusiasts as for skeptics. It still is not the final element of this box set that makes it such an interesting watch either. The viewing options given to audiences with the season’s Blu-ray presentation round out the whole of the set.

Those that pick up Ancient Aliens: Season Seven in its Blu-ray will notice something very special about its overall viewing options beginning with its playback. The Blu-ray presentation allows audiences to stop either disc, and come back to it without worrying about the disc restarting from the beginning if they have to stop watching and come back to watch more at another point. Believe it or not, there are some Blu-ray discs out there that will in fact restart from the beginning of the disc even if viewers only opt to stop at a given point rather than stop the disc in whole. That can be really annoying. So that History and A&E Home video have made sure that doesn’t happen here deserves its own share of applause. On another level, they have also allowed Blu-ray viewers to actually toggle through each disc’s menu without having to stop an episode and then go to the disc’s menu. Instead, viewers can hit the “menu” button on their remotes to reveal a picture-in-picture sort of setup. The running episode is squeezed into a relatively acceptable sized box in the screen’s upper right hand corner while the menu options are presented in the screen’s left hand side and at the bottom. This multi-tasking option of sorts means that audiences don’t have to worry about missing out on anything should they decide they don’t want to switch episodes. They can go right back to the episode while it continues to run if they so choose. Or they can just go to another episode. It is a wonderful aspect in considering the set’s overall viewing experience. And again, not every studio out there offers this option in their Blu-ray presentations. Yes, there is a good number that do in fact do this. but there are just as many that don’t. Considering that, it makes this option another great addition to the set in whole that every viewer will appreciate regardless, again, of their belief about E.T.s. Together with all of the previously noted elements, all three elements together make Ancient Aliens: Season Seven a collection that every viewer will appreciate regardless of their belief (or lack thereof) in the existence of E.T.s.

History Channel’s seventh season of its hit history-based series Ancient Aliens is a collection that true believers and skeptics alike will appreciate and enjoy. Regardless of viewers’ belief in E.T.s the theories and historical backing behind each of its twelve episodes will keep viewers in whole engaged from beginning to end. The Blu-ray presentation’s ergonomic packaging adds even more reason for audiences to appreciate it verses its DVD presentation. The viewing options provided to audiences in the Blu-ray presentation round out the whole of the collection. All things considered Ancient Aliens: Season Seven proves in the end to be a piece that any viewer will appreciate regardless of their belief in otherworldly beings. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct via History’s online store at http://www.shophistorystore.com/products/blu-ray/. More information on this and other seasons of Ancient Aliens is available online now along with the show’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AncientAliens

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.

Joe 90: The Complete Series Is One Of Gerry Anderson’s Classic Supermarionation Series

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Timeless Media and Shout! Factory have done it yet again. The two companies have proven once again today why they are collectively the absolute leader in home entertainment. How have they done this? They have done so by re-issuing yet another of Gerry Anderson’s classic supermarionation series, this time in the form of Joe 90. This release, much as with the companies’ other re-issued series, was originally released on DVD by A&E Home Video some twelve years ago in 2003. While Anderson’s series Thunderbirds leads the way among his many works, Joe 90 is deserving of its own credit, too. One could actually argue that among the many series that Anderson created throughout his life, this series actually stands right on par with Thunderbirds. Perhaps part of the reason for its success is its writing. One could argue that unlike Anderson’s other series, Joe 90 follows more purely the classic action model. Those other series were more sci-fi and fantasy-based by comparison. It is more akin to Thunderbirds than those series when placing them side by side. On a related note, there is something about the overall look of the series, too. There is something about the detail of the marionettes and the way that they move, coupled with the acting of those pulling the marionettes’ strings that makes this series look more realistic than any of Anderson’s other series. Simply put, seeing is believing. The bonus material included in this set rounds out the reasons that it performs so well. There is another archived interview with Gerry Anderson in which he discusses the roots of his work in even more depth, and commentary with specific episodes just as with Timeless Media Group’s other Gerry Anderson sets. The bonus features, the look of the series, and the writing are each important to the enjoyment and success of Joe 90 in their own right. When all three elements are assembled together, they show clearly why Joe 90: The Complete Series is another welcome addition to any classic TV buff’s collection. They also show collectively why Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory together are the single leading entity in the world of home entertainment.

TMG and Shout! Factory’s brand new re-issue of Joe 90: The Complete Series is another big win for both companies and for classic TV buffs alike. It is not the first of Gerry Anderson’s classic supermarionation series that the companies have released so far. But it is one of Anderson’s best by comparison. One of the reasons that this series stands out among Anderson’s many series is its writing. Unlike Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons, Stingray, and Fireball XL5–or even Supercar, which is due out next month–Joe 90 is that one series that is perhaps most closely akin to Anderson’s biggest hit, Thunderbirds. The sci-fi elements of those other series are present here. But this series is more characterized by its pure action elements more so than the sci-fi elements. The sci-fi elements incorporate here are more tools to help the episodes advance than the star of the show again unlike those aforementioned series. Audiences that might not be so familiar with Joe 90 will appreciate in this series that as with Anderson’s other series, the main character–Joe 90–goes on all kinds of adventures. But in the case of this series those adventures are all centered on Earth. They don’t take Joe into the depths of space or the sea or any other outrageous backdrops. This makes the stories a little more believable and in turn even more interesting. Speaking of that ability to suspend disbelief, two of the series’ episodes pit Joe 90 against two of the West’s biggest Cold War foes in Russia and China. Presenting two real foes from the time the series ran helped to make the series that much more believable and in turn enjoyable. It made it that much easier for audiences to root for Joe 90. On another note, Joe 90 also boasts its own share of pure action stories. One example comes late in the series’ run in the episode “Trial At Sea.” This episode sees Joe 90 having to stop a madman that wants to sink a ship. Only Joe can stop the bomb from going off and sinking the ship on which he and his father are riding. Even when Joe and his dad try to go on vacation, they can’t get a break as they are pulled into an international incident in which a military organization has taken over one of W.I.N.’s outposts. It’s yet another example of how the stories crafted for Joe 90 make this series stand out from Gerry Anderson’s other series and in turn, what makes it so enjoyable. Whether for the noted episodes or for those not noted, Joe 90 proves itself a fun watch for the whole family. Its stories are more reality based despite their sometimes outrageous settings. One can’t help but think about James Bond at least to some extent in watching this series. And maybe at its heart, this is why the show works. Not only is it similar to Thunderbirds, but it also bears a similarity to James Bond. Regardless, the episodes crafted for Joe 90 are collectively one clear reason why Joe 90 is so enjoyable for audiences of all ages and why it is one of the best of Gerry Anderson’s series.

The writing that went into Joe 90 is one of the most important parts of the series’ enjoyment and success in its new re-issue. That is hopefully made clear with the basic outline of the writing noted above. As important as it is to the whole, the look of the series coupled with the work of the people pulling the strings is just as important. The look of Joe 90 is noticeably different from that of Gerry Anderson’s other supermarionation series. The detail on the marionettes makes them look even more human than in any of Anderson’s other series. The work of those pulling the strings adds to that feeling of realism as audiences will see. Maybe it is just the interpretation of this critic. But the motions of the marionettes seems more fluid and real than in any of Anderson’s other series. Those fluid motions from the marionettes and their seemingly more detailed look overall makes them as close as marionettes could come to being human without being human. It makes the ability of viewers to suspend their disbelief all the easier. In turn, it makes the series in whole that much more enjoyable and all the more worth adding to any classic TV buff’s home library.

The surprisingly impressive look of Joe 90 by itself makes for plenty of reason for classic TV buffs to check out this blast from the past. The series’ solid writing taken into consideration along with its look shows just as much why it is so enjoyable for audiences of all ages. They are not the only factors to note in the set’s success, either. The bonus material included with this box set rounds out the package. Audiences are treated to episode-specific commentaries and another archived interview with Gerry Anderson. The commentaries in question add their own insight into the given episodes, just as with TMG’s other Gerry Anderson series. Together with the archived Anderson interview, in which Anderson discusses another star of his series (not just Joe 90), the interview and companion commentaries offer plenty of insight into Joe 90 and the other series that made Gerry Anderson so famous in his day. They also collectively show why this series and his others remain family favorites to this day.

The insight offered via the bonus commentaries and archived interview are few. Even as few commentaries as there are, the amount of insight offered via said commentaries–and the bonus interview with Gerry Anderson–makes for plenty of enjoyment for every classic TV buff. The same can be said of the series’ writing and its equally surprisingly impressive look. All three elements considered together, they show without a doubt that Joe 90 is one of the best of Gerry Anderson’s supermarionation series. It also proves itself to be, again, a piece that any classic TV fan will love to have in his or her own home collection. Joe 90 is available now on DVD in stores and online and can be ordered direct online at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/joe-90-the-complete-series. More information on this and other titles 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

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MLB Productions Releasing New Babe Ruth Documentary This Spring

Courtesy:  Lionsgate/A&E Networks/A&E Home Video/MLB Productions

Courtesy: Lionsgate/A&E Networks/A&E Home Video/MLB Productions

This spring, MLB Productions will examine the life and career of one of baseball’s greatest figures when it releases American Hercules: Babe Ruth.

American Hercules: Babe Ruth will be released on DVD on Tuesday, May 19th. It will be released in partnership with Lionsgate and A&E Networks. The film, narrated by veteran actor Martin Sheen, examines Ruth’s life and career from his early days as a youth in Baltimore to his time as a member of both the Red Sox and the Yankees. Along the way, it examines why Ruth remains such a revered figure among both baseball players and fans alike to this day. It does all of this through the use of new psychological and historical perspectives on Ruth the man and Ruth the legend.

American Hercules: Babe Ruth will retail for MSRP of $19.98. It can be ordered online via MLB Production’s online store at http://shop.mlb.com. More information on this and other titles from MLB Productions is available online now at:

Website: http://mlbproductions.com

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

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.