The Lonely Ones Debuts New Single, ‘Change The Station,’ Companion Video

Courtesy:Imagen Records

Independent rock band The Lonely Ones is giving audiences their first preview of its upcoming debut EP.

The band debuted the as-yet-untitled EP’s lead single, ‘Change The Station‘ Friday along with the song’s companion video. The song boasts a modern rock style musical arrangement that is akin to works from the likes of Small Town Titans. One can also argue there is a comparison to some songs from the likes of Shinedown and other similar acts in the arrangement.

The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement is a clear statement about everything that has taken place across America in recent months. It is a gripping commentary whose content works well with the song’s musical arrangement.

The video that accompanies single mirrors the energy and urgency in the song’s collective musical and lyrical content. It features the band performing its single in a studio setting. Each member performs his respective part to the song while cameras spin — almost to dizzying lengths — around the group.

‘Change the Station’ is just the latest single from The Lonely Ones. The band gained acclaim last year for its cover of Queen’s ‘Flash Gordon/The Hero‘ and its original tune ‘Real Big Trouble‘ as well as its other originals, ‘Eternal Sadness‘ and ‘The Lonely One.’

Queen member Brian May and Flash Gordon himself — Sam J. Jones — praised The Lonely ones for its take on ‘Flash Gordon/The Hero.’

May said of the cover through a prepared statement, “What a fantastic cover! I didn’t realize they were going to go into The Hero and the whole reprise…magnificent!”

Jones had the following to say of the cover.

“This is one of the best covers I have ever heard and seen,” he said. “What a gifted group – The Lonely Ones are for everyone of us, from the 1980’s to right now!”

It is unknown if the band’s cover of ‘Flash Gordon/The Hero’ or ‘Real Big Trouble’ will feature in The Lonely Ones’ upcoming EP. Other than the fact that ‘Change the Station’ will feature in the record, all that is known about the record is that it is expected for release this year through Imagen Records.

Front man Marty McCoy recently spoke about the EP’s upcoming release.

“We’re very excited to partner with Imagen Records in 2021,” he said. “They put a deal on the table that was very artist friendly and their excitement about the band has been contagious. It’s a great team with Bob Winegard, Shauna O’Donnell, Steven Nathan and Morgan Rose. The music industry is constantly changing and these cats have their ears to the ground. We are looking forward to this new adventure with Imagen on our side.”

Winegard spoke warmly of The Lonely Ones in his own statement.

“I am very excited to have The Lonely Ones on the Imagen Records roster,”  said  Winegard. “I knew from the moment I heard their songs that this band was something special. They are hit makers!”

Rose, who is the head of A&R at Imagen Records and is also the longtime drummer for Sevendust also shared his thoughts on the band’s signing.

‘I’ve known Marty and the boys for most of my career,” he said. “When the opportunity to sign them came up, I jumped at it. This band is stacked with hooks and tons of attitude. I can’t wait for the world to hear what they have to say,”

More information on The Lonely Ones’ new single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at The Lonely Ones’ official Facebook page.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/phispicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Audiences Will Neither Love Nor Hate Arrow Video’s BD Re-Issue Of ‘The Hatred’

Courtesy: Kid Kalifornia Productions/Arrow Video

Kid Kalifornia Productions’ independent horror flick The Hatred is an intriguing presentation.  It is a movie that horror fans will not necessarily hate, but that they will likely not love, either.  As with its counterpart The Deeper Your Dig — also created by the independent film making family dubbed “The Adams Family” – it boasts its positives.  But it also bears its own negatives.  The most obvious of its positives is its story.  This aspect will be addressed shortly.  While the story is simple enough to follow, the movie’s production values – the very way in which the story is presented – detracts considerably from the overall presentation.  It will be addressed a little later.  While the overall presentation of The Hatred considerably detracts from its presentation, the pacing of the story makes up for that issue at least to a point.  It will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this indie hybrid horror flick.  All things considered, they make the movie worth watching maybe occasionally at best.

Arrow Video’s recent Blu-ray re-issue of “The Adams Family’s” independent horror flick The Hatred is a presentation that fans of the genre will agree is worth watching maybe every once in a while.  Re-issued in October by Arrow Video as part of a two-movie set that also features “The Adams Family’s” other flick The Deeper You Dig, this movie is hardly memorable, but not a complete failure.  One thing that it does have going for it is its story.  The civil war-era story featured in this movie is simple.  A young woman is left orphaned after a group of apparently Union soldiers murders her sister and mother, this after the group shot and killed one of its own and then hanged the other.  The girl – played by Zelda Adams (the youngest member of the “Adams Family” – is so overcome by her rage at what the soldiers did to her family, that when she finds the hanged soldier, she somehow brings him back to life (she claimed it was through praying in her story to the Union officer who is interrogating her.  This matter will be discussed shortly, as it does hurt the story) and uses him to make the other soldiers pay for what they’ve done.  One by one, the unnamed soldier kills his former fellows by increasingly gruesome fashion, from gunshot to slashing to even disembowelment.  Yes, there is a lot of blood and gore here, so those with weak stomachs are cautioned here.

As the story progresses, it is revealed that the story is in fact the girl’s recollection as she is being interrogated by another Union officer about the deaths of the men.  This is where the plot hole comes into play.  The story never explains how the girl was apprehended and brought in for the interrogation.  It seems like a minor issue on the surface, but on a much larger scale, considering that the murdered soldiers are the only other figures in the forest, it would have been nice to know how she was captured.  This problem does not leave the movie completely unwatchable, but it is a matter that audiences cannot and should not overlook.

Staying on the topic of problems from which this movie suffers, its very presentation is problematic in its own right.  Between the cinematography, the girl’s narration, and the overall acting, the very manner in which this story is presented detracts from the movie’s appeal, in its own way.  The constant cold, snowy backdrop and the grey skies are important to setting the mood, given.  However, after almost an hour, the gloomy feeling that they generate wears thin.  The girl’s narration is so pretentious and goth.  It conjures Lydia (Winona Ryder) in Beetlejuice as she sits in her room, writing what is meant to be a suicide note.  Adams’ demeanor as she delivers her story is just as annoying as her very delivery.  It just detracts considerably from the overall presentation.  She is not the only cast member whose performance is problematic.  The Union officer who is interrogating her is just as unbelievable in his performance.  The same applies to the soldier who is bludgeoned to death by the resurrected soldier.  The way in which the bludgeoned soldier begs for mercy is a bit “hammy” to say the least.  Simply put, the performances overall, the general cinematography and even the narration give this movie the feel of something that was crafted by a college student more so than a professional film maker, even being an independent work.

For all the problems that the general presentation of The Hatred raises, it does have at least one other positive that keeps it worth at least one watch.  That one other positive is the pacing of its story.  Audiences are reminded here that The Hatred’s run time does not even reach the one hour mark.  Yes, it is that short, coming in at 59 minutes.  In that short run time, the story actually does manage to keep its focus throughout.  From one soldier to the next, the girl recounts how the resurrected soldier murders each man.  There is no side tracking for secondary story lines at any point, which is a very good thing.  That allows the story to progress smoothly and in turn keep audiences engaged if only through this aspect.  Even in the slightly slower moments in the cabin in which the girl is being interrogated, the pacing does not slow down too much.  The end result of that balance in the story’s pacing throughout is that audiences will appreciate the story, even with its one notable plot hole.  To that end, viewers will agree that the easy to follow story and its pacing are just enough counter to the movie’s presentation style and make it worth watching maybe occasionally. 

Kid Kalifornia Productions’ 2018 independent horror flick The Hatred is hardly one of the most memorable entries in the genre.  At the same time it is worth watching maybe at least occasionally. That is due in part to the movie’s easy to follow story.  That is the case even despite its one notable plot hole.  The movie’s overall presentation style does detract from its appeal as it gives the movie the feel of a production that was created by a college student more so than even a professional independent film maker.  While The Hatred’s presentation style greatly detracts from its appeal, the pacing of the movie’s central story makes up for that issue at least partially.  When this aspect is considered along with the story, the two elements join to make the movie worth watching maybe at least once.

More information on Arrow Video’s The Hatred re-issue is available along with all of the company’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.arrowfilms.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/phispicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Pacing, Plot Hole Problems Aside, ‘The Deeper You Dig’ Re-Issue Proves Worth Watching At Least Once

Courtesy: Arrow Video/Wonder Wheel Productions

Independent cinema is more important than ever nowadays.  In an age when mainstream movies are primarily prequels, sequels, reboots, and movies based on actual events, independent movies offer audiences a much needed alternative to the general lack of originality being turned out by Hollywood’s Big Six studios.  To that end, any time that a new, independent movie is released, it is worth at least some consideration.  Such is the case with the independent horror thriller The Deeper You Dig.  Originally released in 2019 by Wonder Wheel Productions, the movie was re-issued late last year on Blu-ray by Arrow Video as part of a two-movie collection that also features the movie The Hatred.  Each feature was produced and directed by the husband/wife/daughter trio that is known as The Adams Family – John Adams, his wife Toby Poser and their daughter Zelda.  For the sake of this review, the attention will remain on The Deeper You Dig.  The 95-minute movie is a presentation that fans of paranormal stories and those of crime dramas find equally appealing.  The noted audiences will agree that this independent offering is worth watching at least once.  That is proven in part through its central story, which will be discussed shortly.  While the story at the heart of The Deeper You Dig offers at least some appeal for audiences, its pacing becomes somewhat problematic as it progresses.  This will be addressed a little later.  Considering that Arrow Video’s recent release of this movie is a re-issue, its bonus content is just as worth noting as its primary content.  It will be addressed later, too.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of The Deeper You Dig.  All things considered, they make this independent horror/crime thriller a moderately successful entry into its respective genres.

Arrow Video’s recent re-issue of Wonder Wheel Productions’ 2019 independent horror/crime thriller The Deeper You Dig is a presentation that fans of the noted genres will find worth watching at least once.  That is proven in part through its story.  The story centers on main character Ivy’s (Tobin) search for her daughter Echo (Tobin’s daughter Zelda) after she goes missing.  Echo’s disappearance is the result of Kurt (Adams) accidentally hitting her with his truck one night after a night of drinking.  Upon realizing that Echo has survived the incident, Kurt freaks out and decides to suffocate Echo so that she can’t go to the authorities to tell what happened.  This on the surface might seem outlandish to some viewers.  However, anyone who watches TV newsmagazine shows, such as 48 Hours, 20/20, and Dateline know better.  Kurt’s actions are actually quite similar to those of so many of the killers presented in the stories in those shows.  That even includes his heinous actions that follow after Echo’s ghost (or is it his own guilt?) gets to him.  This aspect of the story – whether it was really Echo’s ghost or just Kurt’s own guilt – echoes hints of Edgar Allen Poe’s timeless tale, The Tell-Tale Heart, in which the main character kills a man, but ends up confessing because of his own guilt.  Considering that there are people who have burned bodies to hide evidence, dismembered them, etc. in real life crime stories on the news, Kurt’s actions are heinous, but not unbelievable, sadly.  Now keeping all of this in mind, there is at least one major plot hole to the story, that of the lack of damage to Kurt’s truck following the initial incident.  Anyone who has ever heard and seen stories of people being hit by vehicles knows that regardless of how fast a vehicle is going, if it is going fast enough to even knock out a person, then there would be damage to a vehicle’s bumper, headlights, glass, etc.  Audiences who look closely will notice that Kurt’s truck shows none of those damage signs.  That damage is something that the police officers would have instantly noticed when they came to the house that Kurt was flipping.  What’s more, when Kurt buys the rope and tarp at the convenience store, the clerk says nothing and does not even take any action.  That aspect is not believable, either.  Considering that a person was missing, and someone buys items that people have so commonly heard about in crimes on the noted TV news magazines, suspension of disbelief here is impossible.  The whole thing ends in quite the unexpected fashion.  That finale will not be revealed here, but it will definitely leave audiences scratching their heads.  Yes, it turns the typical horror finale on its head, but also seems a bit convoluted at the same time.  One can only wonder why the family decided to close out the story how it did.  The lasting impression that it leaves will cause viewers to look back on the story and just be confused.  The family discusses this aspect and more in its extensive discussion about the movie in the bonus content.  That content will be discussed later.  Going back to the story, all things considered in the story, the plot hole and contrivances aside, the story’s setup is believable, so it in itself will leave audiences wanting to watch.  That it can be likened to Poe’s famed literary work makes for its own share of interest, too.  Now for all that the story does to make The Deeper You Dig worth watching, the story itself does suffer from one problem, that of its pacing.

The pacing in The Deeper You Dig’s story starts off relatively stable, keeping the story moving along well.  However, as it reaches its second act, in which Ivy starts actually looking for Echo, things dramatically slow down.  It makes the movie’s 95-minute run time feel much longer.  Much of the time is spent with Ivy going into some alternate realm after visiting an old friend in hopes of getting him to help her.  The overly artsy approach and resultant look here greatly detracts from viewers’ engagement and entertainment.  Thankfully though, the pacing finally picks back up in the third and final act when Ivy finally realizes Kurt is responsible for Echo’s disappearance and death.  Though, that final sequence does get a bit too over the top in its weirdness.  That is a story for another time though.  It will be addressed in the discussion on the bonus content, too.  Getting back to the issue of the pacing, if audiences can force themselves to endure the plodding second act, then they will make it easily through the third act and end.  To that end, the pacing of The Deeper You Dig’s pacing is problematic, but luckily not enough to completely derail the story.  The bonus content that accompanies the movie’s recent re-issue does its own share to make the movie worth watching at least once.

The bonus content that accompanies Arrow Video’s recent Blu-ray re-issue of The Deeper You Dig is extensive to say the least.  There is a full, feature-length audio commentary that accompanies the movie, as well as a visual essay about the theme of family in this movie, and some smaller extras, such as a poster and music video.  They all do their own share to entertain audiences, but the roughly 45-minute featurette, “At Home With The Adams Family” is easily the most important of the bonuses.  This presentation reveals that Adams is an artist during one of the family’s discussions.  This revelation would explain the movie’s sometimes overly artsy look.  Adams also explains that “he likes violence” which would explain one of the movie’s most gruesome scenes in its final act.  Yet another discussion that the family takes on in this featurette is the story’s finale.  Poser explains that the unsettling finale was intentionally set.  She explains that the family did what they did with the finale because they wanted to do something different.  There is nothing wrong with doing something different, but this story’s finale will not leave audiences with a sense of fulfillment, but rather with confusion and even some anger at Ivy.  These are just some of the topics that the Adams family tackles in its extensive discussion.  There is also a discussion about the story’s overall lack of a soundtrack, which is itself another positive aspect to its presentation.  That ambient sound versus a constant musical soundtrack actually does much to make the movie engaging and entertaining in its own right.  Adams’ discussion on the use of sound in the movie is another interesting topic that will engage audiences.  When these topics and the others addressed in the family’s interview are considered along with everything noted in the feature-length audio commentary, the whole of that content works with the movie’s general story to make The Deeper You Dig worth watching at least once even despite the pacing problems and its one notable plot hole.

Arrow Video’s recent Blu-ray re-issue of Wonder Wheel Productions’ 2019 independent horror/crime thriller The Deeper You Dig is a presentation that will appeal widely to fans of the noted genres.  That is due in large part to the movie’s story.  The story mirrors so many of the real life murder stories that TV news magazine shows, such as 48 Hours, 20/20, and Dateline have run throughout their runs.  To that end, as brutal as the story is, it actually is believable at least to a point.  What happens to Kurt as a result of that central story shows influence from Edgar Allen Poe’s timeless tale, The TellTale Heart.  Of course for all the ability of viewers to suspend their disbelief in watching the story, it is not without its problems.  It does suffer from one major plot hole that otherwise negates everything in the story.  The pacing in the story’s second act detracts from its engagement and entertainment, too.  Even with those issues in mind, they are not enough to completely derail the movie.  Its collective bonus content makes for its own share of engagement and entertainment.  Keeping that in mind, that content and the movie’s story form a foundation for the story that makes it worth watching at least once.

More information on Arrow Video’s The Deeper You Dig re-issue is available along with all of the company’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.arrowfilms.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/phispicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Bonus Content Is The Saving Grace For Arrow Video’s ‘Silent Running’ Blu-ray Re-Issue

Courtesy: Arrow Video/Universal Pictures

When Disney and Pixar released their movie WallE back in 2008, it was lauded by audiences and critics alike, even receiving a score of 95 from Rotten Tomatoes.  All of the accolades that the movie received are prime examples of how easily audiences really do forget the past.  The movie is a clear lifting of MGM’s 2001: A Space Odyssey as well as ruminations by the late great scientist Isaac Asimov.  On another level, it is also a lifting from another well-known sci-fi flick by the name of Silent Running.  As a matter of fact, one could argue that WallE pulls more from that movie than from 2001: A Space Odyssey with its overly preachy content.  That would go to show the influence of the latter, decidedly nihilistic flick, which in fact received the Blu-ray re-issue treatment last month thanks to Arrow Video.  Re-issued Nov. 17, the 1972 cult favorite sci-fi flick will appeal equally to its longtime fans and sci-fi fans who might be less familiar with the movie.  That is due in part to the movie’s central story, which will be discussed shortly.  While the story is certain to keep viewers engaged throughout the movie’s roughly 90-minute run time, the re-issue’s presentation does suffer from at least one concern, its production.  Most notably, the audio production proves somewhat problematic and will be addressed a little later.  The bonus content that accompanies the re-issue adds to the presentation’s appeal and together with the story, makes for even more appeal.  The two items together make up for the concerns raised by the audio production and make the movie’s re-issue worth watching at least occasionally by the most devoted science fiction fans and of Silent Running.

Arrow Video’s recent Blu-ray re-issue of Universal Pictures’ 1972 sci-fi statement flick Silent Running is a presentation that will appeal to the most devoted of the movie’s fans.  It will also appeal to the most devoted science fiction fans.  That is due in part to the movie’s story.  The story in question centers on Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern – The Burbs, Nebraska, The Hateful Eight) as he makes his way into space to (he thinks) protect a forest that he oversees in a bio-dome structure attached to his ship, the Valley Forge.  The flight happens after an order from Earth for all ships orbiting Earth to destroy their biodomes, which contain the last plant and animal life from Earth.  While no reason is ever given for the order, the script does manage to explain that by having one of Freeman’s soon-to-be deceased crewmates note that he did not understand the order either.  In a way, that lack of explanation is a sort of commentary about the oftentimes mind boggling actions of any government body.  Lowell’s development as the story progresses is really what makes the story engaging.  His focus on protecting the forest gradually declines as he increasingly falls victim to the psychological effect of isolation.  He eventually comes to the realization that being alone, there is no reason to keep trying to save the forest, leading to the story’s disturbing finale.  This critic will not reveal that finale here for those who have yet to see the story.  What can be said is that it will leave audiences unsettled, to say the very least.

On another note, there is one notable plot hole to this story that almost completely negates the whole thing.  That plot hole comes early on as one of Lowell’s crewmates makes mention that the Earth at the time was 75-degrees.  The companion booklet that comes with the movie’s recent re-issue points out that the degrees measure in question is Celsius, not Fahrenheit.  That Celsius measure equals to 167-degrees in Fahrenheit.  So it leaves one scratching one’s head that Lowell’s crew mates talk about returning to Earth when no human, let alone plant and animal, could survive such temperatures.  Humans even now struggle when summer temperatures in the real world get to the 100s, so there is no way humans could even begin to survive at a temperature of nearly 200-degrees year-round.  Audiences who can overlook this massive Earth-size plot hole will find themselves able to stay engaged.  However in hindsight, that noted realization detracts from the story’s enjoyment quite a bit.  The plot hole pointed out in the re-issue’s companion booklet is just one aspect of the bonus content that will be pointed out later.  It is also just one of the problems from which the movie itself suffers. The audio production presented in the movie is another concern.

Throughout the course of Silent Running’s 90-minute run time, its audio levels are problematic.  The dialogue plays out at a low volume while the music, crafted and performed by folk singer Joan Baez and composer Peter Schickele, is far too loud whenever it is used.  Whether that was the result of work done on the movie’s re-mastering or if it was originally like that is anyone’s guess.  It was not discussed in any of the movie’s bonus content.  Again, the bonus content will be discussed later.  Regardless, the constant volume adjustments that audiences will find themselves having to make as they take in the movie will become bothersome to say the least.  At least the video quality is worth its share of applause.  It makes up at least to a point for the problems posed by the problematic audio production.

For all of the problems posed by Silent Running’s story and its audio production, its re-issue does come with at least one undeniable positive, its bonus content.  As has already been noted, the movie’s bonus content makes for plenty of engagement and entertainment.  The companion booklet that comes with the re-issue is just one of the noted extras worth addressing.  Journalist Peter Tonguette points out on page 21 of the booklet, “In the screenplay by Deric Washburn, Michael Cimino, and Steven Bocho, the temperature of the Earth has  eached 75-degrees Celsius, apparently rendering it inhospitable to a wide assortment of plants and animals.”  A check of those credits on IMDB.com certifies they crafted the movie’s script.  Again referencing this, 75-degrees Celsius is equal to 165-degrees Fahrenheit.  How that would even be hospitable to any life is confusing.  Humans in reality can barely handle temperatures in excess of 100-degrees.  So for Lowell’s crew mate to be excited that the planet’s year-round temperature is 75-degrees leaves one wondering how humans have adapted to such high temperature.  It creates a massive plot hole about the size of the ships that orbit Earth.  It is just one of the interesting aspects pointed out in the movie’s companion booklet.  Audiences also learn from journalist Barry Forshaw, that director Douglas Trumbull’s turn helming Silent Running was not his first jaunt into space so to speak.  Forshaw points out in his essay, that Trumbull worked on 2001: A Space Odyssey prior to taking on Silent Running, and that it was his stint on the prior that led to the latter.  On an equally interesting note, WallE – as already noted – lifts liberally from both movies for its story.  Additionally, Forshaw points out in page 11 of the booklet, that famed Star Wars director George Lucas was so impressed by Trumbull’s use of sound in the open space scenes, that he was moved to incorporate the use of sound for space scenes, rather than just leave the outer space scenes outside the ships quiet.  That is quite the statement for Trumbull to have had such impact.  Between all of this and so much more noted in the booklet, it alone more than proves the importance of the movie’s bonus content.  It is just one part of the bonus content that is worth addressing.

The bonus content that is presented on disc ensures viewers’ engagement and entertainment in that it does not just rehash the bonus content featured in the movie’s 2015 re-issue, its then most recent re-issue.  That content is featured here, but is joined by even more new content, such as a discussion on the movie’s soundtrack.  As is revealed in that discussion, Schickele’s turn on Silent Running was in fact his first time scoring a big screen feature.  Music historian Jeff Bond, who narrates the feature, points out that Schickele’s work with Baez stemmed oddly enough from Baez’s intent to work on a holiday music compilation of all things.  Additionally, Bond discusses the attention that Schickele paid to each scene, to ensure every note of every scene made for the utmost emotional impact on audiences.

“First Run,” another of the new bonuses featured in this re-issue, takes audiences through a look at the initial first scenes of Silent Running.  The comparison of those early scenes to the final product makes for more appreciation for that final product.

The archived “Making of” featurette joins with the newer content to make for even more engagement and entertainment.  Audiences learn firsthand from Dern in the vintage extra, that he ran “200 miles” on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Valley Forge (which was used for most of the movie’s principal shooting) during down time as a means to stay healthy.  That is a lot of running.  Audiences also learn in this extra that Trumbull did not even initially want to direct the movie, but do other things on the film.  Audiences will be left to learn that whole story for themselves.  Between this story, the other items noted here and the rest of the features extensive information, it and the rest of the equally extensive list of bonus content does much to entertain and engage audiences.  If for no other reason than the bonus content, audiences will find the movie worth watching at least once.  Audiences who can overlook the aforementioned plot hole involving the planet’s temperature in the story will find the rest of the movie’s ecologically-minded story worth watching, too.  The two items together give audiences reason to watch this movie at least occasionally. 

Arrow Video’s recent Blu-ray re-issue of Universal Pictures’ 1972 sci-fi eco/space drama Silent Running is a presentation that will find enjoyment among the most devoted sci-fi fans and those of the movie.  That is due in part to the movie’s story.  The story, which does suffer from one massive plot hole, follows a botanist – Lowell — who goes rogue after being told that the forest for which he cared was going to be destroyed.  As a result of his actions, Lowell falls into a slow spiral of depression and despair, leading to the movie’s rather depressing finale.  That the movie’s script never addresses its one major plot hole greatly detracts from its presentation.  Audiences who can overlook that problem will find the movie engaging at least to a point.  The video quality of the movie’s re-issue is a positive in its own right, but the audio production proves problematic in its own right, as audiences will find themselves having to raise and lower the volume throughout the movie.  The extensive bonus content featured with the movie’s re-issue is its primary saving grace.  If for no other reason than that content, audiences will find the re-issue worth watching.  Even with that in mind, that content is more worth watching than the movie itself.  To that end, the movie in whole is going to find the most appeal among the movie’s most devoted audiences and sci-fi fans than general sci-fi fans and other audiences.  Silent Running is available now.

More information on Arrow Video’s Silent Runnning re-issue is available along with all of the company’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.arrowfilms.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/phispicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Arrow Video Announces Release Date, Specs For ‘Silent Running’ BD Re-Issue

Courtesy: Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment Group

Arrow Video is resurrecting Universal’s 1972 ecologically-minded science fiction flick Silent Running.

The company is scheduled to re-issue the movie Nov. 17 on Blu-ray. The movie stars Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight, The Burbs, Nebraska) as lead character Freeman Lowell. Lowell is on a ship carrying some of the last forests from Earth and is told that the ship is to be destroyed and that he will return to Earth. He refuses to follow orders and takes matters into his own hands in order to protect the ship’s plant life, going to very even desperate measures in the process.

The forthcoming re-issue will feature a new 2K scan. Additionally, it will feature a variety of bonus features, such as a new feature length audio commentary from critics Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw, a new interview with music historian Jeff Bond about the movie’s soundtrack ,and collector’s booklet with new liner notes on the movie by Forshaw and Peter Tonguette.

The full listing of the re-issue’s bonus content is noted below.

Bonus Materials

— Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative, approved by director Douglas Trumbull and produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release

— High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray™ presentation

— Original lossless mono audio

— Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

— Brand new audio commentary by critics Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw

— Original audio commentary by Douglas Trumbull and actor Bruce Dern

— Isolated music and effects track

— No Turning Back, a new interview with film music historian Jeff Bond on the film’s score

— First Run, a new visual essay by writer and filmmaker Jon Spira exploring the evolution of Silent Running’s screenplay

— The Making of Silent Running, an archival 1972 on-set documentary

— Silent Running by Douglas Trumbull and Douglas Trumbull: Then and Now, two archival interviews with the film’s director

— A Conversation with Bruce Dern, an archival interview with the film’s lead actor

— Theatrical trailer

— Extensive behind-the-scenes gallery

— Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Arik Roper

— FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Barry Forshaw and Peter Tonguette

Pre-orders are open for Silent Running.

More information on Arrow Video’s Silent Runnning re-issue is available along with all of the company’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.arrowfilms.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/phispicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Arrow Video Announces ‘Warning From Space’ Re-Issue Date, Specs

Courtesy: Arrow Video/Toho Company/Daiei Sttudios

Arrow Video will resurrect the 1956 Japanese science fiction flick Warning From Space next month.

The company is scheduled to re-issue the movie Oct. 13 on Blu-ray.  The story centers on a race of beings from another world that has come to Earth to warn the planet’s people about an impending meteor impact.  The problem is that the beings look like starfish.  Knowing that they will only terrify the planet’s inhabitants, one of the beings takes on the form of a human female so as to spread the warning.

Originally distributed through Toho Company and Daiei Studios, the movie was the first Japanese science fiction movie to be presented in color.  its forthcoming release marks its first-ever high definition release in the United States and a newly restored English dub.

As an added bonus, the movie will also feature a feature-length audio commentary by author Stuart Galbraith IV.  Galbraith wrote the book Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo!

Pre-orders for Warning From Space are open.

More information on Arrow Video’s Warning From Space re-issue is available along with all of the company’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.arrowfilms.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/phispicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Lonely Ones Debuts New Single, ‘Real Big Trouble’

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Independent rock band The Lonely Ones debuted its latest single over the weekend.

The band debuted its new single ‘Real Big Trouble‘ Friday.  The song is the band’s first new music since the debut of its single ‘The Lonely One’ March 23.  The band debuted its cover of Queen’s Flash Gordon theme song in July.  Its debut was not connected to Arrow Video’s re-issue of Universal’s 1980 movie last month.  The movie was an adaptation of the classic comic strip.

The Lonely Ones’ cover of Queen’s original has received praise from Queen guitarist Brian May and Flash Gordon himself, Sam J. Jones, since its debut.

May said of the cover, “What a fantastic cover! I didn’t realize they were going to go into The Hero and the whole reprise…magnificent!”

Jones also praised the band’s cover.

“This is one of the best covers I have ever heard and seen,” he said. “What a gifted group – The Lonely Ones are for everyone of us, from the 1980’s to right now!”

The Lonely Ones’ new single is a heavy work that will fit into any active rock radio station programmer’s daily play list.  The melodic hard rock arrangement featured in the song is grounded in its bass and drums.  The guitar and vocals build on that foundation to flesh out the song even more.

The lyrical content featured in this song hints at someone who has caved under the pressure of his past. He even goes so far as to say, “I’m ready for the judgement day/I’m crawling out of my skin/I got myself in some real big trouble again.”

More information on The Lonely Ones’ new single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/_thelonelyones_

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/phispicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Arrow Video’s ‘Flash Gordon’ Re-Issue Is The Movie’s Best Presentation Yet

Courtesy: Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment Group

Arrow Video’s recently released Blu-ray re-issue of Universal’s classic sci-fi flick Flash Gordon is the new gold standard for the movie’s home release.  Released Aug. 18 on Blu-ray and 4KUHD, this latest re-issue of the 1980 comic strip adaptation is the movie’s first domestic re-issue since 2012, when it was re-issued alongside The Last Starfighter, Dune, and the pilot for the original Battlestar Galactica series in a four-disc DVD set.  The movie’s audio and video form the foundation for its latest re-issue, and will be discussed shortly.  The extensive bonus content that accompanies the movie’s home release builds so much on the foundation formed by the movie’s production values.  It will be discussed a little later.  Flash Gordon’s story rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the movie’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the movie’s latest re-issue a presentation that is without question one of this year’s top new DVD/BD re-issues.

Arrow Video’s new Flash Gordon re-issue is a presentation that will appeal to a wide range of audiences.  From sci-fi fans to fans of comics to action movie aficionados to classic cinema connoisseurs, this movie’s appeal will find plenty of appreciative audiences.  That is proven in part through the production values presented in this re-issue.  The colors in the sets and the costumes are so rich, especially the reds (red was allegedly the favorite color of the movie’s famed Producer Dino De Laurentiis according to information provided in the movie’s bonus content) of Ming’s palace.  In comparison to footage from the movie in its original presentation (which is shown in the noted bonus content), it is clear that painstaking efforts were taken in order bring forth the true, rich color.  If De Laurentiis were alive today, he would be just as impressed by this aspect.  In the same vein, every laser blast and every note of rock band Queen’s feature-length soundtrack is expertly balanced, enhancing the viewing experience for audiences even more.  Even a minor touch, such as the ambient sounds of Planet Mongol and its moons get their own attention.  From that production aspect to the noted deep, rich colors and the balance in the music and sound effects, it is clear that painstaking efforts were made in order to offer viewers the best possible presentation once again.  It’s another way in which Arrow Video continues to prove itself one of the leading names in the home media world.  Those efforts also go a long way toward making this presentation so enjoyable for viewers.  It is just one of the most notable aspects of the movie’s new home re-issue, too.  Its bonus content adds even more enjoyment to its presentation.

The bonus content that is featured in Flash Gordon’s latest re-issue is extensive to say the absolute least.  Audiences get two separate feature length audio commentaries, — one from director Mike Hodges and the other from star Brian Blessed (who played Prince Vultan) – a series of interviews with the movie’s cast and crew, two episodes of the Flash Gordon cartoon series, and a vintage “making of” featurette as well as photo galleries from the movie’s creation.  The bonus content alone makes for literally hours of entertainment and engagement.  The vintage making of featurette reveals that creation of the set for Ming’s palace alone took four months.  That and the other sets were so extensive that production had to take place primarily in a six-million cubic foot aircraft hangar.  It was just one of the facilities that was used for the movie’s production.  As director Mike Hodges reveals (off the cuff) during his audio commentary, Elstree Studio was also used.  That is the same studio in which Star Wars was created by George Lucas.  This is especially important to note because it is also revealed in one of the bonus discussions, that George Lucas apparently wanted to make Flash Gordon before Star Wars, but could not afford the rights, so he ended up making Star Wars.  How is that for a little six-degrees of separation?

As if everything already noted here is not enough reason to check out the bonus content, viewers will learn that there apparently was quite a bit of tension behind the scenes during the movie’s creation.  Hodges points out during his commentary that De Laurentiis viewed the movie’s creation in a very serious fashion, even though Allin was extremely displeased with the final product.  The vintage making of featureette does point out that De Laurentiis was himself very much a Flash Gordon “fan boy” prior to producing the movie.  To that point, his “seriousness” was perhaps chalked up to that fandom, even though he might not have thought he was going to such extreme.  There is nothing wrong with his approach, either, since he wanted to pay proper tribute to the original, timeless Flash Gordon comic strip.

Allin, on the other hand, said during the new bonus featurette “Lost in Space: Nic Roeg’s Flash Gordon,” that he and Roeg wanted to make a serious film in Flash Gordon complete with sociopolitical commentary, but that De Laurentiis wanted to stay true to the original Flash Gordon comic strip, which ran daily from 1934 to ’92.  Its Sunday edition continued until 2003.  The movie does just that with its special effects and its overall look (what with its costumes and sets).  The short and simple here is that Allin and Roeg’s story would have been a good fit among today’s comics based movies (since dark, brooding stories are about all that audiences get nowadays in comics-based movies).  De Laurentiis’ version has remained a cult favorite for four decades meanwhile maybe because of his dedication to its source material.  Regardless of which side viewers take, all of the noted discussions are sure to engage audiences thoroughly and generate plenty of discussion among audiences.  All things considered here (along with the bonus content not directly noted – again the bonus content here in fully immersive) the bonus content featured with Arrow Video’s recent Flash Gordon re-issue more than makes the movie worth owning.  When it is considered with the outstanding production values presented in this re-issue, the two elements together make for so much enjoyment for audiences.  They are still not all of the positives provided in the movie.  The movie’s central story adds even more to that enjoyment.

The story at the center of Flash Gordon is relatively easy to understand.  It starts with Flash and Dale Arden taking a flight somewhere (it’s never pointed out where the pair is going interestingly enough) and ending up crashing in the lab of the mad scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov.  Zarov basically kidnaps the duo and the trio ends up flying into space where they end up rocketing to another galaxy that is ruled by the evil emperor Ming The Merciless.  Along the way Flash unites the peoples of the worlds ruled by Ming, befriending them in the process.  The story has a happy ending, but also leaves the door open for a sequel (which going back to the bonus content, could have happened, but never did).  It has to be assumed in the movie’s story that as the clock reaches zero near the movie’s end, Ming does stop his attack on Earth before his alleged death, though that is never made 100 percent certain.  The only way audiences can assume the Earth is safe comes in the final scene in which Dale tells Flash that she is a New York girl and would rather go home than stay on the planet Mongol.  Next to that note, the only other odd note from the story is centered on all of star Sam J. Jones’ constant costume changes.  It just so happens that everything he wears is Flash Gordon-themed.  It is never fully explained where he gets all of his attire, but oh well.  That aside, the story’s simple approach is very much in line with the original Flash Gordon comic strip.  Yes, comics often do have deep philosophical language, but they are also meant to entertain the masses, and that is what this story does.  It entertains while also presenting at least some philosophy.  To that end, the story succeeds just as much as the movie’s bonus content and its production values.  When all three elements are considered together, they make the movie in whole the best presentation yet of this cult classic flick.

Arrow Video’s recent Blu-ray re-issue of Flash Gordon is an applause-worthy presentation that will appeal to a wide ranger of viewers.  That is proven in part through the movie’s production, which fully brings out the deep, rich colors in the sets and costumes.  The same can be said of the movie’s sound, which is so well-balanced in terms of the soundtrack and special effects noises.  The bonus content featured with the movie’s new re-issue will immerse audiences even more in the movie.  From everything noted here to other items, such as the realization that Queen was not the first choice for the movie’s soundtrack, and the note that the movie never got the merchandising push that other movies have gotten over the years, the bonus content adds so much of its own appeal to the movie.  The movie’s simple story does its own part to appeal to audiences with its simple presentation.  All three items noted here are important in their own way to the whole of the movie’s latest re-issue.  All things considered, they make this presentation, the best yet for the movie.

More information on Arrow Video’s Flash Gordon re-issue is available along with all of the company’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.arrowfilms.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/phispicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

May, Jones Praise The Lonely One’s ‘Flash Gordon Theme/The Hero’ Cover

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

The Lonely Ones’ cover of Queen’s Flash Gordon theme song/’The Hero’ is getting some high praise.

The song, which the band debuted in July has received praise from Queen guitarist Brian May and Flash Gordon himself, Sam J. Jones.  A comment from May on the song was released Wednesday, noting of The Lonely Ones’ cover, “What a fantastic cover! I didn’t realize they were going to go into The Hero and the whole reprise…magnificent!”

Jones also praised the band’s cover.

“This is one of the best covers I have ever heard and seen,” he said. “What a gifted group – The Lonely Ones are for everyone of us, from the 1980’s to right now!”

The band’s take on the song pays full tribute to Queen’s version of the classic work.  The Lonely Ones’ rendition is longer than that of Queen, with the original clocking in at just under three minutes and the cover coming in at five-and-a-half-minutes.  Even with that in mind, the band’s cover is still very much in line with Queen’s original work.

The band talked about its take on the song in a collective statement.

“We recorded Flash in 2019 – a pretty dark year for the four of us on all fronts,” the statement reads. Our original musical output reflected that darkness, so recording a cartoonishly triumphant, heroic cover song seemed like a good counter-balance. Fast forward to spring 2020 and the impending COVID-19 Stay at Home order. With limited time and help from some fans we got our friends together to film a music video while we were still able. It’s July now and, with the future more unclear than ever, it seems like the perfect time to release the most positive song we have.  I hope you enjoy it. “Flash/The Hero. A Queen Cover.”

The Lonely Ones’ cover of the Flash Gordon theme song/’The Hero’ is available to stream and download here.

 

Courtesy: Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment Group

The debut of The Lonely Ones’ cover of the song came less than a month ahead of the Blu-ray and 4KUHD re-issue of the classic movie Flash Gordon.  Arrow Video re-issued the movie on the noted platforms last month.  The debuts are not connected, however.

The new re-issue features a companion booklet with new liner notes on the movie penned by a variety of film critics and historians; separate feature length audio commentaries by Mike Hodges and Brian Blessed; cast interviews; a behind-the-scenes making of featurette; archival interview with Mike Hodges, screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr. and comic book artist Alex Ross as well as much more.

More information on The Lonely Ones’ cover of ‘Flash Gordon’/’The Hero’ is available along with all of the band’s latest news at The Lonely Ones’ official Facebook page.

More information on Arrow Video’s forthcoming re-issue of Flash Gordon is available along with all of the company’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.arrowfilms.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/phispicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Arrow Video Announces Release Date, Specs For ‘Flash Gordon’ Re-Issue

Courtesy: Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment Group

Arrow Video is resurrecting the classic science fiction flick Flash Gordon.

The studio is scheduled to re-issue Starling Films/Famous Films/Dino De Laurentiis Company’s 1980 movie Aug. 18 on 4KUHD/BD combo pack and standalone Blu-ray.

The movie’s story follows American football star Flash (Sam J. Jones — Jane and the Lost City, Code Red, Ted), as he is kidnapped by beings from another world along with his girlfriend Dale Arden (Melody Anderson — FirewalkerBattlestar GalacticaDead & Buried) and their friend Dr. Hans Zarkov (Topol — Fiddler on the Roof, For Your Eyes Only, Sallah), while aboard Zarkov’s rocket.  The trio is taken back to planet Mongo, which is ruled by Ming The Merciless (played by Max Von Sydow — The Seventh SealMinority ReportThe Tudors).  Ming wants to take Dale from Flash, and destroy Earth.

Complicating things even more for Flash is that Ming’s daughter Princess Aura (Ornella Muti — OscarFirst Love, The Most Beautiful Wife) is romantically pursuing Flash.  Between dealing with her, trying to save Dale and keep Ming from destroying Earth, Flash has his hands full.

The forthcoming re-issue will feature a companion booklet with new liner notes on the movie penned by a variety of film critics and historians; separate feature length audio commentaries by Mike Hodges and Brian Blessed; cast interviews; a behind-the-scenes making of featurette; archival interview with Mike Hodges, screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr. and comic book artist Alex Ross as well as much more.

Francesco Simeoni, Arrow Video’s Director of Acquisitions and Business Development, said in a prepared statement, he was looking forward to the movie’s re-issue.

“We are proud to announce that we have decided to launch our first 4K Ultra HD titles,” said Simeoni. “At Arrow we have always sought to have the best standards in home video presentation so it seemed a logical step that we would embrace this new format, to present you with the best versions of the finest cult and classic films.”

 

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

In other news, independent rock band The Lonely Ones recently debuted the video for its cover of Queen’s performance of the Flash Gordon theme song and its companion song ‘Hero.’  The video features the band performing its take on the song in a studio setting, complete with sound effects and audio from the original movie.

The band’s take on the song pays full tribute to Queen’s version of the classic work.  The Lonely Ones’ rendition is longer than that of Queen, with the original clocking in at just under three minutes and the cover coming in at five-and-a-half-minutes.  Even with that in mind, the band’s cover is still very much in line with Queen’s original work.

The band talked about its take on the song in a collective statement.

“We recorded Flash in 2019 – a pretty dark year for the four of us on all fronts,” the statement reads. Our original musical output reflected that darkness, so recording a cartoonishly triumphant, heroic cover song seemed like a good counter-balance. Fast forward to spring 2020 and the impending COVID-19 Stay at Home order. With limited time and help from some fans we got our friends together to film a music video while we were still able. It’s July now and, with the future more unclear than ever, it seems like the perfect time to release the most positive song we have.  I hope you enjoy it. “Flash/The Hero. A Queen Cover.”

It should be noted that the band’s premiere of its new cover is not connected with the movie’s forthcoming re-issue.  It is merely coincidence.

More information on The Lonely Ones’ cover of ‘Flash Gordon’/’The Hero’ is available along with all of the band’s latest news at The Lonely Ones’ official Facebook page.

More information on Arrow Video’s forthcoming re-issue of Flash Gordon is available along with all of the company’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.arrowfilms.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/phispicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.