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

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

 

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

  1. A CHEF’S LIFE: SEASON 1

 

  1. A CHEF’S LIFE: SEASON 2

 

  1. A CHEF’S LIFE: SEASON 3

 

  1. WELCOME BACK, KOTTER: SEASON 3

 

  1. WELCOME BACK, KOTTER: SEASON 4

 

  1. MR. SELFRIDGE: SEASON 3

 

  1. THE DEAN MARTIN CELEBRITY ROASTS: STINGERS AND ZINGERS

 

  1. HELL ON WHEELS: SEASON 4

 

  1. MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: VOLUME XXXIII

 

  1. MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: VOLUME XXXIV

 

  1. THE SAINT: THE COMPLETE SERIES

 

  1. BROADCHURCH: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

 

  1. HALT AND CATCH FIRE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

 

  1. A HAUNTING: SEASON 7

 

  1. ANCIENT ALIENS: SEASON 7

 

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Phil’s Picks Celebrates The Holidays Again With Annual Holiday Giveaway

It’s time once again, everybody.  The holiday season is officially upon us.  And that means that it is time once again for the annual Phil’s Picks holiday giveaway.  Each Friday in December I will be giving away a prize to one lucky reader from the list below.  Here’s the catch:  YOU the reader get to choose the prize instead of me.  I’m going to sweeten the deal for you, the loyal Phil’s Picks fans this year, too.  I am going to bundle together the standalone season sets of Hey Dude, and The Wild Thornberrys.  This is just the current list.  There’s a chance I could throw in even more prizes as the month goes on.  So if you want a chance to win a prize for yourself or someone you know, make sure that you get your name in now!  Good luck and spread the word!

Movies

1. The Aviator (Blu-ray + DVD)

2. Believe Me (Blu-ray)

3. Blancanieves (DVD)

4. Born Yesterday (Blu-ray)

5. The Duellists (DVD)

6. Dying of the Light (Blu-ray + Digital HD)

7. Grizzly Adams (DVD)

8. Jimmy P. (DVD)

9. Liberal Arts (Blu-ray)

10. Life’s A Breeze (Blu-ray)

11. Match (DVD)

12. May in the Summer (Blu-ray)

13. Perfect Understanding (Blu-ray)

14. Premature (DVD)

15. Robot Jox (Blu-ray)

16. Ships (DVD)

17. Shout At The Devil (Blu-ray)

18. Speak No Evil (DVD + Digital)

19. Spike Island (DVD)

20. The Sweeney (DVD)

21. Tooken (DVD)

22. The Voices (Blu-ray + Digital HD)

23. While We’re Young (Blu-ray + Digital HD)

DVD/BD BOX SETS

1. Beetleborgs Metallix: Season Two Volume Two (DVD)

2. Broadchurch: The Complete Second Season (DVD)

3. The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes (DVD)

4. CPO Sharkey: Season 1 (DVD)

5. CPO Sharkey: Season 2 (DVD)

6. Cook’s Country: Season Five (PBS DVD)

7. Fireball XL5: The Complete Series (DVD)

8. Halt and Catch Fire: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray + Digital HD)

9. The Hee-Haw Collection (DVD)

10. Hey Dude: Season 3 (DVD)

11. Hey Dude: Season 4 (DVD)

12. Hey Dude: The FInal Season (DVD)

13. I Spy: The Complete Series (DVD)

14. Joe 90: The Complete Series (DVD)

15. Mister Ed: The Final Season (DVD)

16. Mr. Warmth: Don Rickles–The Ultimate Collection (DVD)

17. The Red Skelton Show: The Lost Episodes (DVD)

18. The Red Skelton Show: The Early Years: 1951 – 1955 (DVD)

19. Sapphire And Steel: The Complete Series (DVD)

20. Secret Agent (AKA Danger Man): The Complete Series (DVD)

21. Stingray: The Complete Series (DVD)

22. The Wild Thornberrys: The Complete Series (DVD)

23. The Wild Thornberrys: Season 2 Part 2 (DVD)

24. The Wild thornberrys: Season 2 Part 3 (DVD)

25. The Wild Thornberrys: Season 3 (DVD)

LIVE RECORDINGS

Black Veil Brides (Blu-ray)

Ceelo Green: Loberace–Live in Vegas (Blu-ray)

Concert For Ronnie Montrose (DVD)

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer: Live at Montreux 1997 (2 CD)

Jeff Lynne’s ELO: Live in Hyde Park (DVD)

Jon Lord: Concerto For Group and Orchestra (Blu-ray)

Lord of the Dance (DVD)

Marillion: A Sunday Night Above The Rain (2 CD)

Ministry: Enjoy The Quiet–Live at Wacken 2012 (DVD/2 CD)

Ministry: Last Tangle In Paris–Live 2012 (DVD/2 CD)

Neil Sedaka: The Show Goes On–Live at the Royal Albert Hall (Blu-ray)

Peter Gabriel: Live Blood (2 CD)

The Richard Thompson Band: Live at Celtic Connections (Blu-ray)

Saga: Spin It Again!–Live in Munich (2 CD)

Shania Twain: Still The One–Live in Las Vegas (Blu-ray)

Simply Red: Live at Montreux 2003 (Blu-ray)
Documentaries

1. After Newtown: Guns in America (PBS DVD)

2. The Booker (DVD)

3. Heaven Adores You: A Documentary Film About The Life & Music Of Elliott Smith (Blu-ray)

4. How To Survive A Plague (DVD)

5. Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued (Blu-ray)

6. Produced By George Martin (DVD)

7. Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis? (DVD)

DVDs/BDs

1. Don Rickles: TV Specials Volume 1

2. Highlights of the 2012 Masters Tournament (DVD)

3. Power Rangers: Trickster Treat (DVD)

4. Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show (DVD)

5. Transformers Prime: Ultimte Decepticons (DVD)

CDs

1. All Time Low–“Dirty Work”

2. Anders & Kendall–“Wild Chorus”

3. Beatallica–“Abbey Load”

4. The Blues Magoos–“Psychedelic Resurrection”

5. Bob Schneider–“A Perfect Day”

6. Breathe Carolina–“Hell Is What You Make It”

7. Buzz Cason–“Troubadour Heart”

8. Buzz Cason–“Record Machine”

9. The Dangerous Summer–“War Paint”

10. Daniel Guaqueta–“Saying Is Only Saying So Much” (EP)

11. Darkest Hour–“The Human Romance”

12. Derek Sherinian–“Black Utopia”

13. Device–“Device” (Clean)

14. Divided By Friday–“Prove It”

15. Empresarios–“The Vibes”

16. Eternal Voyager–“The Battle of Eternity”

17. Francesca Blanchard–“Deux Visions”

18. Glasscloud–“The Royal Thousand”

19. High on Fire–“Snakes for the Divine”

20. James Durbin–“Memories of a Beautiful Disaster”

21. Janus–“Nox Aeris”

22. Jefferson Grizzard–Learning How To Lie (X4)

23. Joe Gruschecky–“Somewhere East of Eden”

24. Kittie–“I’ve Failed You”

25. Laura Wilde–“Sold My Woul”

26. Limp Bizkit–“Three Dollar Bill Y’all”

27. Marillion–“Sounds That Can’t Be Made”

28. Marillion–“Sounds That Can’t Be Made (Special Edition)

29. Matt Skiba and the Sekrets–“Babylon”

30. Permanent Ability–“Bring It On”

31. Rebelution–“Count Me In”

32. Red Hot Chili Peppers–“Blood Sugar Sex Magik”

33. Roy Orbison–“Greatest Hits”

34. Saving Abel–“Bringing Down The Giant”

35. Shahidah Omar–“Freedom”

36. Something Unto Nothing–“Something Unto Nothing”

37. Tempt–“Under My Skin” (EP)

38. There For Tomorrow–“The Verge”

39. Throwdown–“Deathless”

40. Throwdown–“Intolerance”

41. Tim Chaisson–“The Other Side”

42. Uh Huh Her–“Future Souls”

43. Unbreakable–“Knock Out”

44. The Wild Beyond–“The Wild Beyond”

45. The Winery Dogs–The Winery Dogs (Special Edition)

46. Yellowcard–“When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes”

 

PBS Announces Release Date, Specs For Grantchester Home Release

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS’ hit series Masterpiece brings to audiences another gripping murder mystery this spring when it releases Grantchester on DVD and Blu-ray.

Grantchester will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, April 7th. The story is based on author James Runcie’s novel Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death. It picks up just after the end of World War II. Elizabeth II had just become queen. And Grantchester’s local priest was one of the town’s most respected figures. A lawyer in nearby Cambridge is found dead. A suicide note, a gun, and alcohol point directly to an open and shut case. But confessions to local priest Sidney Chambers reveals much more than Inspector Geordie Keating had thought. The confessions lead the pair to team up solve what turns out to be a murder. Audiences can check out a trailer for Grantchester online now via YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3tzFp5CeAU.

Grantchester stars James Norton (Rush, Death Comes to Pemberly, Mr. Turner) as Sidney Chambers. He is joined by Robson Green (Being Human, Mount Pleasant, Strike Back) as Inspector Geordie Keating. Also on board for this mystery are: Morven Christie (The Young Victoria, Death in Paradise, Sirens) as Amanda Kendall, Tessa Peake-Jones (Only Fools and Horses, Casualty, Doctors) as Mrs. Maguire, Al Weaver (Sherlock, Me and Orson Welles, Doom) as Leonard Finch, and Pheline Roggan (Soul Kitchen, Chiko, Kebab Connection) as the widow of lawyer Stephen Staunton, the series’ first victim.

Grantchester will be available Tuesday, April 7th on DVD and Blu-ray. The series is spread across six episodes for a total run time of 360 minutes. It is spread across two discs on both its DVD and Blu-ray release. The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $34.99 and the Blu-ray set for $39.99. Both can be ordered online along with a DVD/Book combo and Blu-ray book combo via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=grantchester&origkw=grantchester&sr=1.

More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

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 Bringing British Murder Mystery To American Audiences This Spring

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS/Starz/BBC/BBC Two

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/Starz/BBC/BBC Two

This spring, PBS distribution will release a gripping new miniseries for all the mystery lovers out there.

Dancing on the Edge will be release on DVD an Blu-ray on Tuesday, May 5th. The story focuses on a group of black jazz musicians living and performing in London in the 1930s. The group, known as The Louis Lester Band is becoming increasingly popular all around London, even being asked to perform for the royal family. Along the way, American businessman Walter Masterson and his employee Julian catch the group and become very interested in it. It seems that everything is coming up roses for The Louis Lester Band. But then tragedy strikes. A series of challenges follows that threatens to end the group’s rise to stardom. The story was written by famed writer and director Stephen Poliakoff (The Lost Prince). It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, American Gangster, Children of Men), John Goodman (Monsters, Inc., Monsters U, Argo) Matthew Goode (The Imitation Game, Watchmen, The Good Wife), Jacqueline Bisset (Bullitt, Murder on the Orient Express, The Deep), Tom Hughes (Page Eight, About Time, Cemetery Junction), Angel Coulby (Merlin, Imagine Me and You, Magicians), Wummi Mosaku (Philomena, Citadel, I Am Slave) and many others.

The mini-series’ six episodes bring its total run-time to roughly seven hours. Those episodes are spread across three discs both in its DVD and Blu-ray presentation. Audiences can check out a trailer for the mini-series online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcqnCz5chXs. The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $34.99 and the Blu-ray for $39.99.
The Blu-ray can be ordered online at: http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=58647396&cp=&sr=1&kw=dancing+on+the+edge&origkw=dancing+on+the+edge&parentPage=search#AdditionalInfo.

The DVD can be ordered online at: http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=58647376&cp=&sr=1&kw=dancing+on+the+edge&origkw=dancing+on+the+edge&parentPage=search.

More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

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.

Anchor Bay, Starz Conjure Up Second Season Of Da Vinci’s Demons On DVD, Blu-ray

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz Media

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz Media

Fans of the original drama Da Vinci’s Demons have reason to be excited this winter. That is thanks to Anchor Bay’s announcement Tuesday that it will release the hit drama’s second season next month.

Officials with Starz announced Tuesday that the second season of Da Vinci’s Demons will be released Tuesday, March 3rd. It will be released on Blu-ray + Digital HD and DVD. Season Two picks up where the series’ first season left off. Da Vinci continues to defend Florence against the powers that be in Rome. Meanwhile he also continues his quest for the fabled Book of Leaves and for answers about his mother. New enemies rise up along the way, too; forces that prove to be even more dangerous than even Pope Sixtus and his minions. Both the DVD and Blu-ray + Digital HD presentation of Da Vinci’s Demons include a handful of bonuses to complement its ten-episode run. Those bonuses include a “making of” featurette, a recap of Season One, a look at the new sets used in Season Two and more. The full list of bonus material included on Season Two’s box set is noted below.

New Bonus Features:

  • New Sets
  • Creating the World
  • A Closer Look

The Journey Begins: Season 1 Recap

Da Vinci’s Demons stars Tom Riley (I Want Candy, Return to House on Haunted Hill, Happy Ever Afters) as famed inventor Leonardo Da Vinci. He is joined by Laura Haddock (Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Inbetweeners Movie), Blake Ritson (Rock N Rolla, Titus, Red Cap), Elliot Cowan (Happy-Go-Lucky, Alexander, The Golden Compass), Lara Pulver (Edge of Tomorrow, True Blood, Sherlock), and James Faulkner (Downton Abbey, Bridget Jones’s Diary, X-Men: First Class). The Blu-ray + Digital HD box set will retail for $54.99 and the DVD box set for $44.98. All of the latest updates on Da Vinci’s Demons are available online at:

Website: https://www.davincisdemons.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/davincisdemons.starz

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DaVincis_Starz

All of the latest information on Da Vinci’s Demons and other titles from Anchor Bay Entertainment is available online at:

Website: https://www.anchorbayentertainment.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnchorBay

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anchor_Bay

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Anchor Bay Reveals Release Date, Specs For TURN The Complete First Season

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment/AMC

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/AMC

Anchor Bay Entertainment announced recently that it will release the first season of its hit AMC series TURN: Washington’s Spies this spring.

TURN: Washington’s SpiesThe Complete First Season will be released Tuesday, March 17th. That is just in time for audiences to catch up with the hit historically-based series before its second season debuts this spring. It will be released both on DVD and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack. The ten-episode season will be spread across three discs on both sets. It will also include a handful of extras, which are noted below.

Bonus Features:

  • The History Of TURN: WASHINGTON’S SPIES
  • From Art To Image
  • Deleted Scenes

Based on author Alexander Rose’s book Washington’s Spies, Turn: Washington’s Spies centers on patriot Abe Woodhull. Woodhull is a farmer living in British-occupied Long Island. He joins with a group of his childhood friends to form what would become known as the Culper Ring in an effort to help then General Washington and his forces defeat the Red Coats in the Revolutionary War. What resulted would go on to be considered the birth of espionage. The series stars Jamie Bell (The Adventures of Tin Tin, Billy Elliot, Flags of Our Fathers), Seth Numrich (Gravity, Private Romeo)m Daniel Henshall (Out of the Blue, These Final Hours, The Babadook), Heather Lind (Boardwalk Empire, Sleepy Hollow, Blue Bloods), Kevin R. McNally (Downton Abbey, Pirates of the Caribbean 1 – 4, Supernatural ), Meegan Warner (Portend, The Veil, A Place To Call Home), Burn Gorman (Torchwood, Pacific Rim, The Dark Knight Rises), Angus McFayden (Californication, Chuck, The Pinkertons), JJ Field (The Musketeers, Captain America: The First Avenger, To The Ends of the Earth), and Samuel Roukin (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, Bright Star, Happy-Go-Lucky).

TURN: Washington’s SpiesThe Complete First Season will retail for MSRP of $49.98 on DVD and $59.99 on Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack. More information on TURN: Washington’s Spies is available online at:

Website: http://www.amctv.com/shows/turn

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

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 Kids Releasing New Arthur DVD This Month

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Kids will release a special new DVD from its hit animated series Arthur later this month.

PBS Kids will release Arthur: Fountain Abbey on DVD Tuesday, January 27th. The Downton Abbey-inspired special focuses on Muffy Crosswire as she makes a stunning discovery about her family’s past. Muffy Crosswire has always known that her great-great grandmother Mary Alice was royalty. However, she learns in this special new episode of Arthur that what she knew wasn’t necessarily the case. It turns out that Mary Alice was not royalty but a common maid. This leads Muffy on a search for answers. The search leads her to her great-great grandmother’s diary. When she reads the diary, Muffy learns even more about Mary Alice, the estate where she worked and more. The revelations in the diary eventually give way to a whole new view of and appreciation for her great-great grandmother and her own humble family history. On the surface, this episode is a tribute to what has become one of the biggest series on television today. On another level, the episode teaches young viewers about the importance of knowing their roots and having an appreciation for those roots.

Fountain Abbey is coupled on this disc with three more episodes, the first of which it titled “Arthur Calls It.” Arthur learns about the power of peer pressure in this episode and its potential consequences. When Arthur calls his best friend Buster out during a baseball game, he ends up with a lot on his mind.

The second of the disc’s companion episodes, “Whip. Mix. Blend” isn’t what some might think. Its title is misleading. In this episode, Arthur’s friend Rattles sees his mom dating one Archie Vanderloo. Archie has two young children of his own—twins no less. As Archie and Rattles’ mother get closer, Rattles finds himself having to learn what it’s like to be part of a blended family. This episode is just as important as the others on the disc as it presents a very realistic situation to which many families today can relate. The result is an episode from which many audiences will take at least something.

“Staycation’ rounds out the disc’s episodes. In this episode, it’s absolute chaos when Arthur tells his parents that he’ll babysit for them so that they can get some much needed r&r albeit in their own backyard. Arthur learns that babysitting isn’t as easy as he might have thought thanks to his little sister D.W. being on the loose.

Along with the disc’s four episodes, audiences are also offered bonus printable coloring pages and activities.

Arthur: Fountain Abbey will retail for MSRP of $6.99. It can be ordered online via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=49575116&cp=&kw=arthur+fountain+abbey&origkw=Arthur+Fountain+Abbey&sr=1. More episodes of Arthur and games are available online at http://www.pbskid.org/arthur. Viewers can get more information on this special episode of Arthur and all of the latest news on the series both there and through its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/PBSArthur. 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.