American Experience: Space Men Reaches Its Own Great Heights

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Neil Armstrong.  Buzz Aldrin. Virgil “Gus” Grissom.  Every American knows their names.  Their names are taught from childhood up through adulthood.  That is because of their accomplishments during their time as astronauts with NASA.  They are just a few of the names that put the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on the map over the course of its now nearly sixty years in operation.  For all of the history that has been taught about NASA and its famed astronauts through the years, one part of NASA’s history that hasn’t been so widely taught at any level is its very roots.  Thanks to PBS, though audiences recently received a healthy introduction to NASA’s roots in a new episode of its series American Experience titled Space Men.  This new episode of American Experience delves into NASA’s earliest roots, explaining the men and the tests that helped form the foundation of today’s space exploration efforts.  It will be available next Tuesday, April 19th on DVD.  For those that were not lucky enough to catch it in its initial broadcast on their local PBS stations, there is plenty to appreciate about this episode of American Experience beginning with its story.  The story, as already noted, focuses not so much on NASA’s more commonly discussed era but its earliest roots.  This will be discussed shortly.  As with so many other PBS presentations the interviews, pictures, and footage that are used to advance the story and better illustrate it add even more to its presentation.  This will be discussed later. Last but hardly least of note is the program’s pacing and overall organization.  The two elements work in partnership with one another.  Together with the program’s central story and its overall content, each of the elements combine with one another to make American ExperienceSpace Men mandatory viewing for history buffs and space history buffs alike whether in the home or in the classroom.

American ExperienceSpace Men is mandatory viewing for history buffs and more specifically space history buffs alike.  This applies just as much in a home setting as in a classroom setting.  The main reason for this is the program’s story.  Rather than present the all too commonly discussed topic of the “Space Race” this program instead focuses on NASA’s earliest roots. Ironically though, it is noted early in the program’s roughly hour-long run time that even in NASA’s infancy it was in fact engaged in a space race of sorts with the Russians.  However in that time the race in question was quite different as it was just to see who could get a balloon higher into the stratosphere.  That is just one of the interesting tidbits that are revealed about NASA’s early life in this program.  Audiences also learn that if not for the concerted efforts of certain parties, America’s efforts to reach space might not have progressed beyond that original record setting balloon journey.  That is because more than once, government officials though that what would go on to be called the “Man High Project” wasn’t worth the funding.  That’s not all that audiences learn about.  They learn about the men that made everything happen, beginning with the man called “The fastest man on earth”–thanks to the tests that he underwent–Dr. John P. Stapp.  His dedication to keeping America’s earliest astronauts safe was truly laudable, as audiences will learn in watching this story.  There are also profiles of Joseph Kittinger, Davis Simons, and Clifton McClure, the men that piloted the aptly titled Man High Project in each of its flights.  This and s much more is presented in American ExperienceSpace Men’s central story.  Altogether it is more than enough reason for history buffs and space history buffs alike to watch this new episode of PBS’ history-based series.  It’s just one part of the program that makes it well worth the watch, too. The interviews, pictures, and vintage footage that are incorporated into the program add to its presentation.

The story at the center of American Experience: Space Men is in itself plenty of reason for history buffs and space history specialists alike to check out this program.  It’s just one part of what makes the documentary worth the watch.  The combined interviews, pictures, and footage that are incorporated into the episode are just as important to it as its story.  The interviews are so important to the episode because they help tell the story both from a third person perspective at times and at others from a first hand perspective.  In other words it is told collectively and wholly from the point of people who are very knowledgeable about the story and whose passion for the story is just as obvious.  The footage of the Man High project and the projects that preceded them will take viewers right back to those early days of NASA’s attempts to reach space.  The pictures that work alongside that footage add even more interest to the story and help to advance it even more.  Both of those elements, when set against the program’s interviews, will keep viewers just as engaged and entertained as the movie’s story being that they tell the program’s story.  Keeping all of this in mind, the story and its overall content are not the only important and notable of the program’s elements.  Its collective pacing and organization are just as important as its story and associated content.

There is plenty to say to the positive about American Experience: Space Men as has already been noted in the discussions about the program’s story and its overall content.  As important as both elements are to the whole of the program they are not the episode’s only important, notable elements.  The program’s collective pacing and organization are just as important to the episode’s presentation as its story and associated material.  Being that it has so much ground to cover its pacing is relatively solid from beginning to end.  Audiences will agree in watching through the program it never short-changes viewers at any point or even spends too much time on one subject or another.  Each moment in the story receives just enough attention to the end that audiences will never feel lost or bored.  In the same vein the program’s organization will keep viewers just as engaged.  The whole thing starts at the story’s end in order to set it all up.  From there, it rewinds back to the story’s beginning and sets the stage for the achievements to come.  Again through it all, no one moment receives too much or too little time.  The end result is a roughly hour-long program that is loaded with little known history and that in turn is certain to introduce many audiences to a whole new part of NASA’s history.  That is especially the case when the program’s pacing and organization are set against the episode’s story and its associated content.  All things considered American Experience: Space Men proves in the end to be a presentation that, once again, proves to be well worth the watch among history buffs and space history specialists.  It is yet more proof of why PBS remains today the last remaining bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.

American Experience: Space Men is another edition of PBS’ history-based series that is well worth the watch by its specific audience and history buffs in general.  This is thanks in part to the episode’s story.  It tells a part of NASA’s story that is rare (if ever) taught at any level of education and even known by audiences.  To that end it will keep audiences engaged and entertained.  The program’s content is just as certain to keep viewers engaged.  The program’s combined pacing and organization rounds out its most notable elements.  All things considered these elements work together to make American Experience: Space Men a program that reaches its own *ahem* heights for history buffs and space history specialists alike.  It will be available next Tuesday, April 19th and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=89071786&cp=&sr=1&kw=american+experience+space+men&origkw=american+experience+space+men&parentPage=search.  More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

 

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PBS Reaches For The Stars In New AE Episode

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Next month PBS and PBS Distribution will reach for the stars when they release another new episode of American Experience to DVD.

PBS and PBS Distribution will release the new American Experience episode Space Men on Tuesday, April 19th.  The hour-long program focuses on the men that formed NASA’s foundation—John Paul Stapp, Cpt. Joseph Kittinger, Dr. David Simons, and others—and their impact on the agency’s future.  The story starts with Stapp’s experiments on g-force at Edwards Air Force Base in the late 1940s and progresses to Project Manhigh (Man – High), which Stapp conducted alongside Dr. Simons.  From there, the story goes into even more depth as the years pass, explaining agency’s literal and figurative highs and lows.  There is even a discussion of the agency’s efforts in regards to the early days of the so-called “Space Race” in the program.  There is far more for audiences to take in over the course of the program.  It can all be taken in when the program is released on DVD on Tuesday, April 19th.  Audiences can view a trailer for this episode online now via the American Experience YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK4-elKF9Z8.

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

American Experience: Space Men will be released on Tuesday, April 19th.  It will retail for MSRP of $24.99 but can be pre-ordered at a discounted price of $19.99 via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=89071786&cp=&sr=1&kw=american+experience+space+men&origkw=american+experience+space+men&parentPage=search.  More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

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

 

 

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.

PBS’ New “AE” Episode Is A Brief But In-Depth Portrait Of Bonnie & Clyde

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Bonnie and Clyde are two of the most mythical figures in America’s war on crime. While not the only figures that led to the creation of the FBI in America’s first great crime wave, the duo is one of the most talked about and well-known from that period. Numerous books have been penned about the pair and just as many movies have been centered on them. And last month PBS added to that mix when it feature the pair in an episode of its hit historically based series American Experience. That episode, American Experience: Bonnie and Clyde, will be released Tuesday, February 16th. Regardless of viewers’ familiarity with the history of the infamous outlaw duo any viewer with any interest in real crime will find plenty to appreciate about this episode of American Experience beginning with its story. The story follows the lives of Bonnie and Clyde from their meager upbringings to their almost celebrity status as adults in Depression-era America. The interviews, pictures, and footage that are used to tell the story are collectively another important and notable element of the episode’s presentation. Last but hardly least of note of this DVD is its pacing and editing. It rounds out the program’s presentation. And together with the program’s central story all three elements together make American Experience: Bonnie and Clyde a good piece for any high school history class or above and just as good of a piece for anyone with any interest in America’s real crime history.

American Experience: Bonnie and Clyde is hardly the first ever profile of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. There is no getting around that. Yet even with all of the documentaries, books, movies, and more that have been churned out about the duo throughout the years, this piece still holds its own among that crowd. The main reason for that is its central story. The story focuses on the lives of Bonnie and Clyde and what continues to make them such polarizing figures even today, decades after they made their way across the country’s Southwest. It all begins with the couple’s own meager upbringings. It reveals that both Parker and Barrow grew up in less than outstanding settings. It affected both figures differently with Barrow going to a life of crime early on and Parker basically dreaming of being swept away by her own sort of prince charming. Of course that prince charming turned out to be Barrow. Just as interesting along the way is the revelation that Barrow actually did try to get Bonnie to leave him and his gang, telling her that the authorities were hunting him not her. This was well after she had already badly injured her leg in a car crash that was the result of another police pursuit. Audiences are also presented with the story of how Bonnie and Clyde broke out some friends from jail to make up his gang and even the story about the pair’s meeting with another infamous group of outlaws. As if all of that isn’t enough, the story notes as it reaches the pair’s death the despicable (in this critic’s own view) behavior of those that were near the final showdown between police and Bonnie and Clyde. It notes how after the pair was killed by police, people swarmed in like a bunch of hyenas and tried to take pieces of clothing from the pair, body parts–one person allegedly took Barrow’s trigger finger as a trophy according to the presented story, which is somewhat disturbing in all reality–and even Bonnie’s wedding ring. It makes one stop and ask one’s self who was worse, Bonnie and Clyde or the opportunistic people who just wanted a piece of the pair both figuratively and literally? These are just some of the highlights of the story presented in American Experience: Bonnie and Clyde. They are hardly the only notable moments presented in the program, too. There is much more for audiences to take in here. And they will be able to do so when they order the DVD for themselves.

The story at the center of American Experience: Bonnie and Clyde is in itself more than enough reason for audiences to check out this DVD. It is just one of the program’s important and notable elements. The collective interviews, pictures, and footage that are used to tell the story of the infamous outlaw duo. Throughout the course of the program’s near hour-long run time extended members of Bonnie and Clyde’s family are interviewed, as are academics an historians. The extended family members give first-hand stories that were passed down to them about the duo’s deeds. And it goes without saying that they add quite a bit of interest to the story. There are even additional pieces of the story added by relatives of the police that chased Bonnie and Clyde alongside insights offered by historians and academics on the importance of the events that unfolded in the search for Bonnie and Clyde and even the cultural impact of the pair’s actions on American culture. Author Bryan Burrough, who penned the nonfiction history of America’s first great crime wave Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, is also interviewed for the program. For those that have yet to read Burrough’s book, it is one of the most concise crime histories crafted by any author in recent memory. It is a wonderful companion to this program and vice versa. Getting back on topic, Bonnie and Clyde were almost idolized by Americans to a point because of the story of their meager beginnings and what they were doing. It’s very much along the same lines as that of Dillinger. He, too was seen as a hero of sorts by Americans. But that is a story for another time. The interviews are just one part of what is used to tell the story of Bonnie and Clyde’s crime spree. Pictures of the pair are presented along the way alongside original newsreel footage recorded during the search for the duo. Watching the footage is like opening a long-closed time capsule and looking back to that era. It is something that must be seen to be fully appreciated. On a related note, one of the pictures receives a special mention. It is noted that the picture in question was one that Bonnie had not wanted published originally. Yet somehow it managed to be published regardless. And it would be the beginning of a profile of Bonnie and Clyde that ironically would help establish the pair’s reputation among Americans. It adds even more depth to the history behind the story of Bonnie and Clyde and in turn shows even more why the elements used to tell Parker and Barrow’s story are just as important to this program as the story itself. Both elements together show with great clarity just what makes this episode of American Experience such an interesting viewing experience both for history buffs and crime history buffs alike. Of course they are only two of the program’s important elements. The program’s collective editing and pacing round out the program.

The story that lies at the center of American Experience: Bonnie and Clyde, and the elements used to tell the program’s story are both key to its overall presentation in their own right. The story tells a brief but concise story of the outlaw duo’s short lives and what continues to make them such polarizing figures to this very day. The interviews, pictures, and footage that are used to tell the story give it even more depth even in its slightly less than sixty-minute run time. While both elements prove to be of equal importance in the overall presentation of this program, they are only part of the program’s whole. The program’s collective editing and pacing are just as key to the program as the previously noted items. The program’s editing seamlessly ties together the elements used to tell the story with the story itself to present a story that while brief (in the grand scheme) still paints a rich picture of Bonnie and Clyde and their importance in America’s history to this very day. By direct connection, the editing creates a pacing that will keep viewers just as engaged. No one part of the story receives more attention than another, thus keeping the story moving, but not so fast that it loses audiences at any point. Being that it doesn’t lose audiences, and keeps them interested (thanks in part to the program’s editing) viewers will be even more certain to remain engaged and in turn agree that the program’s other noted elements work with these elements to make American Experience: Bonnie and Clyde yet another episode of PBS’ hit historically based series that is just as valuable in the classroom as it is in the living room and to history buffs as it is to crime history buffs. Simply put, it is yet more proof of why PBS remains today the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television today.

American Experience: Bonnie and Clyde is not the first portrait of the infamous outlaw pair to ever be presented to audiences. Numerous movies and books have been crafted about the pair. Yet even with that in mind, this latest profile of the infamous criminal duo easily holds its own against those creations. While brief its story gives a concise history of Bonnie and Clyde’s crime spree and influence on America. The interviews, footage, and pictures incorporated into the story add an extra level of interest to the story, making it feel even more in-depth than the story alone proves to be. The program’s collective editing and pacing round out the program’s most notable elements. They work together and with the aforementioned elements to keep viewers engaged. This is regardless of viewers’ familiarity with Bonnie and Clyde and their history. Each element noted here proves in to be hugely important to the program in its own right. Altogether they make this program one that crime history buffs and history buffs in general will each appreciate equally. Because of this, they make it yet more proof as to why PBS remains today the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television. It will be available February 16th and can be ordered direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=85258136&cp=&kw=american+experience+bonnie+and+clyde&origkw=American+Experience+bonnie+and+clyde&sr=1 for $19.99. That is a big price break from the MSRP of $24.99. More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

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

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.

PBS Delves Into America’s Crime History In New Episode Of American Experience

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

This winter PBS and PBS Distribution will take audiences into the lives of two of America’s most notorious criminals when they release American Experience: Bonnie and Clyde.

American Experience: Bonnie and Clyde will be released on Tuesday, February 16th. It will be available exclusively on DVD. The approximately hour-long program follows the lives of the infamous duo both before its meeting and during its time together. It seeks to discover what continues to make Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow such polarizing figures even today. It will retail for MSRP of $24.99. However, audiences can pre-order it now online at a discounted price of $19.99 via PBS’ online store at

http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=85258136&cp=&kw=american+experience+bonnie+and+clyde&origkw=American+Experience+bonnie+and+clyde&sr=1. Audiences can check out a preview of this episode of American Experience online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1_NZFZERvc.

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

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

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.

PBS’ New Disney Profile Is One Of This Year’s Best New Documentaries

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Walt Disney is one of the most iconic figures in the Hollywood’s rich history. His name graces not one but two of America’s most famous and beloved theme parks and one of the most powerful companies in the entertainment world today. A number of biographies have been written about the legendary figure as well. Now PBS has added to that number with its own presentation centered on Disney in the form of American Experience: Walt Disney. Considering all that has been presented both on screen and on the printed page over the years, the obvious question that instantly arises here is that of what makes this presentation stand out. What makes this presentation stand out more than anything else is its overall narrative about Disney from his birth and upbringing to his tumultuous life as the head of his company to his unexpected passing. It presents Walt Disney the man and the man behind the myth warts and all. And despite what some might have viewers believe, those behind the presentation didn’t set out with this video bio to belittle and destroy Walt Disney’s reputation. Rather it was to paint a picture of an imperfect man. It is a picture of a man that was driven but at times maybe too driven for his own good. That should be kept in the front of viewers’ minds in watching this episode of American Experience. It is just one part of what makes the new DVD presentation of American Experience well worth the watch now that it is available on DVD. Its overall structure within the confines of its DVD is another reason that viewers will appreciate its presentation here. Its four-hour run time is broken up into two separate two-hour-long segments. Viewers can either watch each segment all the way through, or they can choose at which point they start watching. It might not seem like much, but a more lengthy discussion later will explain just why it is so important. Last but not least is the material used to help advance the story of Disney’s life. More specifically speaking the collective interviews, vintage footage, and pictures help to paint the picture intended by writer/director Sarah Colt and co-writer Tom Jennings. Those collective elements essentially tell Colt and Jennings’ story. They bring everything full circle in this presentation with the end result being a program that proves to be one more of this year’s best new documentaries if not the best of the year’s best. Regardless of where it ends up on any critic’s list it can be said that this latest take on Walt Disney’s life is one that every lover of the film arts and film history should see and should have in his or her own home DVD library. It is yet more proof of exactly why PBS remains today the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.

American Experience: Walt Disney is one of this year’s best new documentary presentations if not the best of the year’s best. Even with it coming in at a whopping four hours it still proves from beginning to end to be a rich, thorough examination of the life nad legacy of one of the entertainment’s most iconic figures. It presents not just Walt Disney the grandfatherly figure that the world came to know in his most successful years but the man behind the man, too. There are those out there that would like viewers to believe that writer/director Sarah Colt and co-writer Tom Jennings set out with this presentation to paint a negative picture of Walt Disney. But those that take the time to watch the program in whole will find that quite the opposite is the case. What they set out to do was pay homage to a man who while being perhaps too driven for his own good at times, also became a paradigm for the entertainment industry even now in the twenty-first century thanks to that drive. Audiences will be surprised to learn of Disney’s desire not so much to make cartoons but to make–in his own words–art. He was not the type to sit easily on his own laurels because of his drive. He didn’t want to churn out this movie or that movie or this TV show or that one just for the sake of it. He wanted people to take notice. Considering that, one can’t help but wonder what Mister Disney would think of what has become of his beloved studio. Just as interesting is that viewers are presented with a man who despite his intense drive, was a surprisingly vulnerable man, emotionally speaking. That is exhibited upon the death of two of those closest to him. He held in a lot of emotional pain and interestingly enough used that pain to push himself even more. It’s just one more example of why the portrait painted by Colt and Jennings within this presentation is so important to its overall success. Again, it is a portrait of a man who while perhaps flawed in one way, was just as worthy of applause for that drive. For if not for that drive, some of the advances that the movie and TV world have today might have never happened or might not have happened until years beyond when they happened. To that extent, the portrait painted of Walt Disney in this presentation in this presentation is one that is more positive than negative even showing Walt’s les shiny side. And it makes the documentary in whole all the more interesting for audiences, proving yet again why it is so important to the whole of the program.

The portrait of Walt Disney that is painted in this program is not of the shining, grandfatherly figure that so many Americans came to know over the course of their lives and of his. It is a portrait of a man who despite his drive (and because of it) was then and is even today one of the most important figures in the history of both film and television. It is just one part of the program’s whole that make it such an impactful program. The program’s structure in its DVD presentation is just as important to viewers’ enjoyment as the central story. The four-hour-long program is split, on DVD, into two separate two-hour programs. This allows audiences to choose whether they want to start on Disney’s early life or his later years as in the second part. On a more precise level, both Part 1 and Part 2 are given their own separation points, thus letting audiences choose just how precise they want to be in where they begin and end watching Part 1 or Part 2. On the surface, this doesn’t seem all that important. But the reality is quite different. It gives viewers an option that streaming a program such as this one doesn’t give. If viewers have to stop watching a program online and pick it up later, they have to drag and click to find the precise moment where they left off. What’s more, they have to have that access to begin with that allows for streaming. In watching the program on DVD, viewers can start and stop wherever they want without having to scrub through a timing bar. They can just pick a specific scene and if need be fast forward or back up until they reach the given starting point. On yet another level, by having all of these options on DVD, viewers won’t even have to worry about whether or not the program is still available to stream online. Rather they can watch it any time that they want and as much of it as they want. And as of the time of this review’s posting, only the program’s first half is currently available in full. In regards to its second half, only the first chapter of that half is currently available to stream. The rest of Part 2 is seemingly unavailable now. Now having noted all of that, it should be clear by now why even something as simple as a program’s structure in its main menu is just as important as any other part including the case of this deep presentation.

Both the story presented within American Experience: Walt Disney and the program’s overall structure in its DVD presentation are equally important to the success of the program’s viewing experience in their own right. For all of their importance, they are only two-thirds of the whole of what makes this documentary such an interesting presentation. The collective interviews, vintage footage and photographs used to tell the story of Disney’s life and legacy round out the presentation. Throughout the course of the program audiences get to hear from a handful of former Disney employees as well as Disney biographer Neal Gabler, art historian Carmenita Higginbotham, and a number of other academics and professionals. Each interview builds upon the last throughout the course of the program with the end result being a picture of a man who is not so much a mythical figure but an icon even despite his overpowering drive for success. Adding even more depth to that picture are the vintage film clips and pictures used to illustrate the story of Disney’s life and legacy. Viewers get to see Disney’s change over time through that collection of footage and pictures. Also made clearer to viewers is why he changed and why he did just that. From his personal life to his business life, viewers are presented with both sides of Walt Disney from his childhood to his death. The understanding that the footage and pictures provide to viewers leads to a greater appreciation for just who Walt Disney was and for all that he contributed to the world of movies and television that audiences know today. In gaining that new appreciation, viewers will in turn look back on the whole of American Experience: Walt Disney and agree that this episode of PBS’ hit series is, again, one of the best of this year’s new documentaries if not the best of the year’s best. They will also agree in gaining that appreciation that yet again PBS has proven once more why it remains the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television today.

American Experience: Walt Disney is not the first bio on Walt Disney to ever be released. That aside, it still proves in the end to be one of this year’s best new documentaries if not the best of the year’s new offerings in that category. That is because of the rich, deep profile presented throughout the course of its four-hour run time. This includes the stories presented by the program’s interviewees and the collective vintage footage and pictures used to help illustrate those stories. It is also thanks to the program’s structure in its new DVD release. All things considered here, American Experience: Walt Disney proves in whole that it is more than deserving of being called one of this year’s best new documentaries if not the best of the best. It is available now and can be ordered online via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=american%20experience%20walt%20disney&origkw=American+Experience+Walt+Disney&sr=1. Audiences can see a preview of the program online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPNOBBoZqIo. More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

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

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.

American Experience: Walt Disney Available Now

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Walt Disney is one of the most well-known figures in the annals of Hollywood’s rich history. The man behind Disneyland and DisneyWorld, and what is now one of the most powerful media empires in the world, Wat Disney is profiled in the new PBS program American Experience: Walt Disney.

The latest episode of PBS’ popular series American Experience, American Experience: Walt Disney was released on Tuesday, September 15th. Available exclusively on DVD, the program is available for MSRP of $29.99 and runs a total of four hours. It is four hours very well spent, too. The program features not only Walt Disney the beloved figure that the media allowed the world to see, but also Walt Disney the imperfect person. It presents a man whose love for his craft led him to be both a figure of respect and revile among some including his own employees. That is not to say that he was a bad person by any means. Rather it presents Disney as a man who cared too much. Through interviews with both academics and two of Disney’s biographers, this episode of American Experience shows Walt Disney as a man for which audiences will feel sympathy as well as some surprise. Audiences can check out a trailer for the DVD online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPNOBBoZqIo. It can be ordered online now online direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=american%20experience%20walt%20disney&origkw=American+Experience+Walt+Disney&sr=1. More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

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

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PBS Proves The Reach Of 1964’s Events In New Dcoumentary

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

American Experience: 1964 is quite the interesting look at what was one of the most important years in America’s modern history. The approximately two-hour program takes viewers through the events of the year, showing the good, the bad, and the ugly. That fully unbiased presentation is central to the success of this edition of American Experience. Along the way, various figures are interviewed to help illustrate the importance of the events that made 1964 an important year. From historians to activists and more, each figure makes the year’s different subjects much clearer and more interesting than they would have otherwise been. That is another key factor to the overall success of this presentation. The subjects examined throughout the two-hour run time of American Experience: 1964 and those that helped to illustrate each subject work together to make this a presentation that any history buff will appreciate. There is one more factor to take into account in examining the program that makes it work as well as it does. That final factor is the program’s pace. A lot of ground is covered over the course of 1964’s two-hour run time. Even with as much as is covered over that time, those behind the program keep the pace at just enough of a pace to not lose viewers along the way. This final factor brings everything full circle in this episode of American Experience, making the program complete and even more well worth the watch whether it be in the classroom or the living room.

The first and most important factor that makes American Experience: 1964 is the completely unbiased presentation. Presented within the course of the program’s near two-hour run time is all of the good, the bad, and the ugly. It presents the violence that arose from the civil rights movement. It presents Lyndon Johnson’s attempts to fill the shoes of John F. Kennedy after his assassination. It even shows the cultural impact of the arrival of The Beatles in America and of the now influential book The Feminine Mystique on women across the country among much more. Through it all, the events of the year are presented chronologically from New Year’s Eve 1963 to the year’s end. It is all wrapped up nicely with the use of singer Sam Cooke’s hit song ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ as the discussion point for the events that would come as a result of everything that happened in 1964. The tone taken in those final moments is one of optimism. It drives home the argument that for all of the unsettlement experienced in 1964, it would lead to much positive change in the years to come.

The unbiased presentation of the events of 1964 and their chronological together form a solid starting point for the success of American Experience: 1964. The presentation is made even richer through interviews with various scholars, activists, and others. The interviews in question are used to help illustrate precisely why each of the year’s events were so pivotal. Some of the most powerful of the program’s interview segments are with civil rights activist Dave Dennis. At one point late in the program, he recalls the mistreatment of a young African-American male by police in riots that rose from other events. His reaction at recalling a conversation with one of three civil rights activists that had come down to help was just as powerful. There are other equally enlightening interviews from various scholars, journalists and more that illustrate the events that made 1964 such a pivotal year in America’s history.

The events discussed in American Experience: 1964 and the accompanying interviews go a long way toward making the program especially useful whether it be used in the classroom or the living room. The last piece of the presentation that will impress viewers is its pacing. At no point through the course of the program’s two-hour run time does its pacing ever go too fast or too slow.   And keeping in mind the number of topics covered over the course of the program’s total run time, the pacing becomes even more of a positive. Viewers aren’t left feeling like they were just rushed through a freshman level college history course by the program’s end. And it’s that, along with the program’s interviews and topics, that together make American Experience: 1964 a must see whether one is a history buff or just wants to learn a little bit of America’s history.

American Experience: 1964 is available now on DVD. It can be ordered directly from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=29630386&cp=&sr=1&kw=1964&origkw=1964&parentPage=search. More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online at http://www.facebook.com/AmericanExperience and http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience. 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.