‘The Bad Guys’ Is One Of The Most Welcome Surprises Of 2022’s Field Of New Movies

Courtesy: Universal Pictures/Scholastic Entertainment/Dreamworks Animation

Everyone loves a great heist movie, right?  Okay maybe not everyone, but lots of people do, though.  Thanks to Universal Pictures, Dreamworks Animation and Scholastic Entertainment, audiences of all ages got a great new heist movie this year in the form of the cinematic adaptation of author Aaron Blabey’s The Bad Guys books in the aptly titled movie, The Bad Guys.  This almost two-hour movie is one of the biggest cinematic surprises of 2022.  Having made its theatrical debut April 22, the movie did not last long in theaters, coming home less than two months later to digital and physical platforms June 21.  Why it made the transition so quickly is anyone’s guess.  Its gross ticket sales of more than $96 million managed to finish the movie’s theatrical run in the black.  Regardless of why it was pulled so quickly, that is not necessarily a bad thing.  That is because it meant home audiences who did not want to have to go to the theater would not have to wait that long to finally get to enjoy it in the comfort of their homes.  There is plenty to appreciate about the movie, beginning with its story, which will be discussed shortly.  The work of the movie’s cast is also important to note in terms of the movie’s engagement and entertainment and will be discussed a little later.  The bonus content that accompanies the movie in its home release rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later.  Each item noted does its own share to keep audiences engaged and entertained throughout this movie.  All things considered they make The Bad Guys a very good movie for the whole family.

Universal Pictures, Scholastic Entertainment, and Dreamworks Animation’s cinematic adaptation of author Aaron Blabey’s The Bad Guys book series is one of the most unsuspecting successes of this year’s theatrical releases.  Its success is due in part to its featured story.  The story stays largely true to its source material, combining elements of the stories in Blabey’s beloved children’s books for an overall story about Mr. Wolf, Mr. Shark, Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha, and Ms. Tarantula turning from bad to good, but still at least being a little bad in the end.  The group’s transformation happens after being arrested early on for a heist that it commits.  Professor Marmalade (played by Richard Ayoade – The IT Crowd, The Watch, The Double) comes in after striking a deal with Diane Foxington (voiced by Zazie Beets – Deadpool 2, Joker, Atlanta) to help reform the criminals.  In the process of their reformation, Mr. Wolf (voiced by Sam Rockwell – Moon, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) actually does start going good, which leads to its own share of conflict within the group as the story progresses.  Of course being a family friendly movie, the story ends up with a surprise happy ending that will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  Coming in at just under two hours (one hour, 40 minutes to be exact), the story’s pacing helps things along, too.  Even the romance subplot (yes, sadly even here there is a romance story) does not overpower the bigger story of the Bad Guys turning good, but rather is blended well into the overall story, letting itself take a backseat to the bigger tale.  The overall story also has plenty of jokes that are just edgy enough to have adults laughing but not questioning their content.  So even here is an aspect of the story that further shows the story’s importance and impact.  Overall, the story featured here in The Bad Guys offers so much for audiences to appreciate more than once.

As much as the story featured in The Bad Guys does to make it enjoyable, it is just one part of what makes the movie so engaging and entertaining.  The cast’s work throughout does its own share to make the movie enjoyable.  From Alex Borstein (Family Guy, Bad Santa, Catwoman) taking on the comedic role of Police Chief Misty, who is hellbent on catching Mr. Wolf and company, to Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine, This Is The End, Pineapple Express) adding so much comedic timing as Mr. Shark, to Anthony Ramos (A Star is Born, In The Heights, Hamilton) bringing something of a Joe Pesci type personality to Mr. Piranha, and more, the whole cast brings so much enjoyment to the movie.  Staying for a moment on Ramos’ performance, he does such a great job giving Mr. Piranha that Napoleon complex of sorts for which Pesci’s characters have come to have over the years.  He really has a great gangster persona yet he does it in such a fun fashion that the whole family will enjoy his work.  Robinson brings his own talent to Mr. Shark, making Mr. Shark an equally great comic relief among the group.  He succeeds in creating that contrast between the personalities of his cast mates and deserves his own share of applause.  Borstein, who is largely known for her work on Family Guy is just as entertaining as Officer Misty, giving Officer Misty an almost Ahab-esque personality in her quest to catch The Bad Guys once and for all.  The moments when the group escapes her clutches, her reaction makes for so many laughs.  Between these cast members and the others, every cast member here brings so much to the table and makes for that much more engagement and entertainment for the whole family.  When the cast’s work pairs with the movie’s story, that collective makes for all the more enjoyment here.

The bonus content that accompanies the movie in its home release rounds out the presentation’s most important elements.  There is a lot of bonus content but not a lot at the same time.  There is an expansive amount of content in the way of learning how to make push pops (which is directly related to a certain element of the movie’s story).  Families can learn how to make healthy and tasty fruit push pops and how to dress each one up as a character from the movie, which takes up a lot of time.  It also means it will take a lot of time for parents to write everything down if they actually make the frozen treats. 

Another bonus that stands out is the standard making of featurette.  Audiences learn through this featurette that the animation style used in this movie was intentionally meant to be different from all of the cookie cutter animation presented by Disney and so many other Dreamworks movies.  It is pointed out that the movie’s animation is an intentional blend of anime and French animation style.  It gives the animation its own welcome unique touch that is just as endearing as the movie’s story and the cast’s work. 

In yet another of the bonuses, audiences get to hear from the movie’s main cast, as the group talks about taking on its respective roles.  The interviews are brief, but still enlightening and entertaining.  That is because of the insight that each cast member offers in terms of taking on the roles of characters that most audiences might not know.  It shows a certain level of respect that each cast member has for the characters, the movie, and for one another.  Between this bonus, the others discussed here and the few others included in the movie’s home release, the overall bonus content is not necessarily ground breaking, but it does add at least a little bit of extra engagement and entertainment to the presentation.  When the enjoyment raised by the bonus content is considered along with the movie’s story and the cast’s work therein, the whole makes the movie overall such a joy to take in any time with the whole family.

Dreamworks Animation, Universal Pictures, and Scholastic Entertainment’s recently released cinematic adaptation of The Bad Guys is a surprisingly enjoyable presentation that the whole family will enjoy together time and again.  That is proven in part through a movie that does so well in bringing together elements of author Aaron Blabey’s books for its central story.  The work of the cast interpreting the scripts adds even more enjoyment to the mix because of the personality that each actor brings to his and her respective character.  The bonus content that accompanies the movie in its home release adds its own subtle touch to the presentation, too.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the movie.  All things considered they make Bad Guys one of the biggest surprises of this year’s field of new theatrical and home movie releases.

Bad Guys is available now on digital and physical platforms.  More information on The Bad Guys is available at:

Website: https://uni.pictures/TheBadGuys

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

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

“Rebels At Sea: Privateering In The American Revolution” Is A Welcome Read For Any History Buff

Courtesy: Liveright Publishing

Independence Day is here once again and with its are plenty of movies on Turner Classic Movies about America’s fight for freedom from Britain.  There are also plenty of cookouts, music, and fireworks to stir nationalistic pride among Americans.  For all that Americans know about America’s fight for independence from the crown in the years spanning 1777-1781, there are still stories that have sadly rarely if ever been shared of the American Revolution including those of the men (and even women) who took part in the privateering against Britain’s navy during the war.  Now thanks to author Eric Jay Dolin, those stories finally came to light in May in his new book, Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution.  Running approximately 247 pages (counting the acknowledgements and not counting the bibliography), the book is a must read for every history buff, including those who are more specifically interested in military and nautical history.  That is due in large part to the stories and information that Dolin shares throughout the book.  This will be examined shortly.  The transitions make the book even more engaging and will be addressed a little later.  The illustrations incorporated into the stories also play into the book’s engagement and entertainment and will also be examined later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the book’s success.  All things considered they make the book a welcome read for a wide range of audiences.

Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution, the latest historical presentation from author Eric Jay Dolin, is a presentation that will appeal to a wide range of history fans.  The book’s appeal comes in large part through the stories that Dolin shares with his audiences.  The stories in the book’s first half alone are more than enough to keep readers engaged and entertained.  Audiences learn from early on that a blockade that Britain had in place on the United States’ northern colonies played directly into the start of the revolution.  This is something that is rarely if ever taught in public schools or even colleges and universities.  Why this so rarely if ever taught is anyone’s guess.  Another key revolution that Dolin makes in his new book is that of the role of American privateers and their crews in the slave trade.  He reveals that many privateers that were meant to disrupt British supply lines would take Africans from British ships, but then sell them themselves at port.  That is an atrocity for which the south has been admonished for such a long time, yet here it is revealed that the northern states and privateersman who were hired to work the privateers by private businessmen and those in power were doing the same thing that the southern states did in the decades leading up to the Civil War.  Again, this is something that is rarely if ever taught in public schools and institutions of higher learning.  In still other stories, audiences learn about the role that France played into the American privateer movement during the revolution, making for even more interest.  Again, this is all just in the book’s first half.  The second half offers just as many eye-opening and enlightening stories of the role of privateers and their crews.

Staying on the matter of the stories, the manner in which Dolin presents them is fully accessible.  What that means is that his writing style is in the simplest possible layman’s terms without simply writing down to audiences.  He makes each story easy to follow and in turn understand.  That means that whether a reader is the intellectual type or more of a casual reader, any reader will find himself or herself remaining engaged because he writes each story in simple fashion.  It makes every story so accessible and in turn ensures readers’ engagement and entertainment even more.

As the stories that Dolin shares progress, his writing style and the stories themselves are just part of what makes them remain engaging.  The transitions that he uses are just as important to the book’s presentation as those elements.  As noted, this is a historical document.  That means it is a non-fiction.  Within the chapters, the stories are all relevant to one another within the bigger picture of each section.  Case in point is the collection of triumphs and tragedies presented in the book’s sixth chapter.  Dolin tells the stories here of two separate privateers, each named after infamous revolutionary figure Benedict Arnold.  The two ships met distinctly different fates.  He also tells the story here of how one American caught as part of the fate of one of those ships ultimately escaped British hands and went on to become George Washington’s “personal” dentist.  It is a story of highs and lows for the man that fits perfectly into the bigger chapter, but still stands well apart from the stories of the two ships.

In another case, Dolin introduces readers to life onboard a privateer, revealing that in many cases, things were not always the greatest.  The privateersmen, the men (and even sometimes women) who served on the ships often had to deal with the risks of food and drinking water going bad.  They also had to deal with contracts outlining certain codes the crews had to follow and much more.  Those codes were often crafted by the private business owners (some of whom were prominent politicians) who owned the ships.  The way in which Dolin connects it all is impressive in its own right, again, ensuring readers’ sustained engagement and in turn enjoyment.  It further shows the impact of the book’s transitions alongside the stories and writing style therein.  Considering all of that together, it all gives audiences lots of reason to keep reading the book and is still only part of what makes the book worth reading.  The illustrations that accompany the stories round out the most important of its elements and put the finishing touch to the presentation.

The illustrations that accompany the stories are important because they help audiences to better visualize everything about which Dolin writes.  Faces are put with names through various illustrations.  Pictures of models of some of the ships of which he writes are also incorporated into the book.  This helps readers better visualize the size of those ships, and in turn creates more appreciation for the ships and the crews that worked onboard them.  What’s more, the illustrations also take up space on multiple pages throughout the book.  This means that it actually lessens the amount of space for written content.  It sounds simple but having less overall to read means more encouragement for casual readers to pick up the book.  Together with the expansive bibliography included in the book’s back, it all makes the book actually a relatively short read, and when considered with the examined writing style and stories, a relatively simple read, too.  Overall, those illustrations work with the content and its presentation style to make the book overall a successful offering that any history buff will find fully engaging and entertaining.

Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution, the latest historical offering from author Eric Jay Dolin, is a presentation that any history buff will enjoy.  That is due in no small part to its stories.  The stories are for the most part, takes that are rarely if ever taught of the revolution, including the very fact that a blockade that the British had on American’s northern colonies played just as much into the revolution happening as the taxation and other more commonly taught factors.  The manner in which the stories are told makes the accessible to the most casual reader, too.  That accessibility is certain to keep so many readers engaged and entertained.  The transitions used throughout the book do their own share to keep audiences engaged.  Within the course of each chapter, the stories all tie together but still manage somehow to stand as their own at the same time.  In other words, the transitions are seamless.  That makes for even more readability.  The illustrations that Dolin incorporates into the stories enriches the stories even more engaging.  That is because they put faces to some of the figures and make more real just how big and small some of the privateers that took part in the revolution were in comparison to the British ships that they faced.  They also take up space in the book, reducing the book’s overall length along with the expansive bibliography in the book’s back end.  It puts the finishing touch to the presentation that when considered along with the stories and way in which they are delivered, makes the book that much more engaging.  All things considered they make Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution a successful entry that any history buff will appreciate.

Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution is available now through Liveright Publishing.  More information on the book is available along with all of Dolin’s latest news at:

Website: https://ericjaydolin.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EricJayDolin

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

Dinah Jefferies’ ‘Daughters Of War’ Succeeds Through Its Story, Transitions, Chapter Lengths

Courtesy: Harper Collins

World War II has, for ages, been the source of so many stories.  From real history to historical fiction, countless stories have come from the noted era.  Yet another tale from the “second great war” (so to speak) will come Tuesday from author Dinah Jefferies in her new historical fiction, Daughters of War.  Jefferies’ eighth novel, it will come more than a year after the release of her then latest novel, The Tuscan Contessa.  This latest offering is yet another wartime drama from Jefferies, much as with its predecessor, but different from the prior novel in its story.  This will be discussed shortly.  The story’s transitions work with the story itself to make for more appeal.  It will be discussed a little later.  The chapter lengths are also of note and will be examined later, too.  They round out the most important of the book’s elements.  When it and the other noted items are considered together, the whole makes the novel another work that will appeal to Jefferies’ established audiences and female readers in general.

Dinah Jefferies’ forthcoming novel, Daughters of War, is a presentation that is certain to appeal to her established audiences and to female readers in general.  The book’s appeal comes in part through its story.  The story in question follows three sisters – Helene, Florence, and Elise – as they navigate life together in the tiny, French town of Saint-Cecile during the waning months of WWII.  The sisters are living there after the war forced their separation from their mother, Claudette.  All three young women face their own trials and tribulations while living in what is apparently their childhood home.  Love is found and lost.  There is also tragedy added to the mix for the sisters.  This all happens over the course of the story’s first two acts, which run approximately 262 pages to be exact.  That makes up the story’s first half.  The story’s third act runs from there to its end and includes Helene working with her love interest, Jack, to help a Jewish woman escape from the Nazis’ clutches and get to Spain.  It also finally uncovers a dark secret about Claudette that while painful, helps bring Helene, Florence and Elise even closer together.  Not to give away too much since the book has yet to be released, but the secret in question involves the all too familiar dramatic plot element of forbidden love.  The story does have a happy ending, and part of that happy ending involves, of course, the end of the war.  All in all, the story is unique from that of Jefferies’ previous novel even with some similarities in mind between the stories.  Keeping that that in mind the story in whole plays out like something one might expect from one of so many direct-to-DVD wartime dramas or even some Hallmark Channel dramas.  In other words, this story, like so many from Jefferies, will appeal mainly to female readers, all things considered.  That is not to say that the story is bad by any means.  It just suffices to say that it is another work that Jefferies has aimed at her established female audiences and female audiences in general.  It is just one part of what will ensure those audiences’ engagement and entertainment, too.  The transitions between the chapters work with the story to add to that sustained interest.

The story’s transitions are so important to examine because they play their own key role in the story’s general effect.  From one chapter to the next, Jefferies does well to solidly end and begin each section.  Where one sister’s story ends momentarily, another’s begins (and in some cases continues) so fluidly from one chapter to the next.  Whether it be a brief cliffhanger that connects chapters or the simple, solid move from one portion of the story to the next, everything interconnects solidly and fluidly throughout the story.  The result is that from the story’s opening to its finale it never leaves readers feeling behind or even lost.  In other words, it keeps the story’s pacing moving that nicely, too.  Keeping that in mind, the transitions clearly play their own pivotal part to the whole of the novel.  They work directly with the story to ensure readers’ engagement and entertainment in their own way.  When this is considered along with the novel’s story, the two elements collectively give Jefferies’ audiences even more reason to keep reading.  Staying on the matter of the chapters, their lengths is also of note.

The chapter lengths are important because just as with the transitions, they play directly into the story’s pacing, too.  Readers will not that the chapters in this book are relatively short for the most part.  They are as short as four pages long and as long as 12 pages at the most.  Just as important to note is that even as the story reaches its midpoint, Jefferies does not just intentionally spread out that section’s chapter.  Rather, she finds the right points at which to lengthen specific chapters and at which to shorten others.  This may not seem like much on the surface, but the reality is that there are authors out there who will reach a certain point in their books and make those chapters extensively long while the majority of the other chapters are not as lengthy.  In the case of this novel however, the chapter lengths fit each portion of the tale fittingly.  Jefferies clearly did not just try to get to the climax and stretch it out for the sake of stretching it out.  Again, too many authors go this route with their novels, and it really gets annoying.  Any true bibliophile will agree with that.  She instead ensures that each chapter runs the right length for itself.  This helps keep readers engaged in its own right and further ensures their enjoyment.  All in all, audiences will find themselves moving through the story so solidly, leaving them feeling even better about themselves having read so much in the process.  By the time the story ends, readers will need a moment to realize they have reached the finale, but in the best way possible.  Again, this clearly is connected to the solid pacing just as much as the transitions themselves.  When the chapter lengths and transitions are considered along with the novel’s very story, all three elements make the novel in whole a good introduction to Jefferies and her works for some and an equally enjoyable offering for her established female audiences.

Dinah Jefferies’ forthcoming wartime drama, Daughters of War is a presentation that her established audiences and more casual female readers will find equally enjoyable.  That is due in large part to the novel’s story.  It is a story of survival in a time of great trials and tribulation, much as with Jefferies’ existing works.  It also incorporates plenty of romance for Jefferies’ noted female readers.  The whole does end with a happy finale despite everything that the sisters go through over the course of the story. The chapters’ transitions play in with the story to keep readers engaged.  They move solidly from one to the next, ensuring not to lose readers along the way.  They interconnect that well throughout the story and in turn also ensure the story’s pacing remains fluid.  Staying on that note, the chapters’ lengths also keep the story moving fluidly, only getting longer when really need be.  Otherwise, the chapters remain relatively short.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the novel.  All things considered, they make Daughters of War another offering from Dinah Jefferies that her established audiences will enjoy just as much as more casual readers.

Daughters of War is scheduled for release Nov. 16 through Harper Collins.  More information on this and other titles from Harper Collins is available at:

Website: https://harpercollins.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarperCollins

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

‘Rainbow In The Dark’ To Start Publishing Worldwide Soon

Courtesy: Permuted Press

Audiences around the world will soon get to read Ronnie James Dio’s new autobiography.

According to information in a press release distributed Thursday, the book, Rainbow in the Dark, will start publishing in multiple languages starting Aug. 27 in Germany. Additionally, publications in Finnish, Bulgarian, Portugese (in Brazil), Japanese, Swedish, Italian, and Polish are coming, as well as in Hungarian in the first quarter of 2022, the document states.

Rainbow in the Dark originally published last month through Permuted Press in the United States and Canada, and through Constable in the United Kingdom. The autobiography collects Ronnie James Dio’s own notes that he wrote throughout his life for its story. The story starts in Dio’s childhood and runs up through his namesake band’s premiere at Madison Square Garden in 1987.

Co-written by music journalist Mick Wall and RJD’s wife Wendy, the book premiered at #12 on Publisher’s Weekly‘s Hard cover/Non-Fiction Best Sellers list last week.

More information on the book is available along with all of Dio’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://ronniejamesdio.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/OfficialRonnieJamesDio

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/OfficialRJDio

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

‘Rainbow In The Dark’ Leaves Readers Wanting More In The Best Way Possible

Courtesy: Permuted Press

Ronnie James Dio is one of the most prolific figures in the modern history of music.  That goes without saying.  Dio fronted not one, not two, but three of the most famous and respected acts in the history of rock in Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and his own band.  While not a physically large figure on stage, his persona more than made up for that.  As his forthcoming autobiography, Rainbow in the Dark shows, his time with those bands are only a thumbnail of what is a much bigger overall career and life.  Set for release July 27 through Permuted Press, the 244-page autobiography is a rich look at the first part of Dio’s life.  The story featured therein serves as the book’s foundation and will be discussed shortly.  The story’s transitions add to the story’s appeal and will be addressed a little later.  The pictures that are incorporated into the story add a nice aesthetic element to the whole and round out the book’s most important elements.  Each item noted is important in its own right to the whole of the book.  All things considered, they make this book a welcome personal recounting of Ronnie James Dio’s life.  It will leave audiences hoping that his widow, who compiled Dio’s writings for the book, will eventually release a follow-up that completes his story.

Permuted Press’ forthcoming Ronnie James Dio biography, Rainbow in the Dark is a book that every rock and hard rock fan will enjoy.  Given, it is hardly the only biography or even autobiography ever released from any rock act, but is still fully enjoyable in its own right.  Its engagement and entertainment comes in large part through its story.  The story is told through Dio’s own words and starts in his childhood living in upstate New York.  Right from the outset, audiences learn that ultimately, Dio’s grandparents are really to thank for him becoming a musician and performer.  As he reveals here early on, they made Dio’s father and his siblings learn to play an instrument.  His own father did the same to him, too, repeating history.  If not for that, it is possible that Dio might have otherwise pursued a career in baseball.  It was this fateful event that would set Dio on a lifelong course that would eventually see him and his band mates in Elf record for Deep Purple’s own Purple Records.  Those recordings and tours with Deep Purple would eventually lead to the biggest part of his career.  The stories that Dio shares along the way are, at times laugh-inspiring in the best way possible, and at other times so dramatic.  Case in point is Dio’s recollection of the fateful night in which a crash involving a drunk driver claimed the life of one of his then band mates in Ronnie Dio and the Prophets and put his own life and that of another in jeopardy.    One of the funnier recollections shared along the way comes as Dio shares how he used his stage name (as it turns out, Dio is not his real name.  This will be left for audiences to learn for themselves.  He was in fact Italian by direct descent) at a gig during his formative years and almost got himself tied up in the mob.  Even later in the story, Dio shares another funny and albeit short anecdote about how he and Wendy Dio got used to living out of their suitcases while Dio was a member of Rainbow.  Again it is only a short statement, but still will leave plenty of people laughing.  Speaking of Wendy, she points out in the books preface that the story presented here culminates in her late, great husband debuting with his own band at Madison Square Garden in 1987.  It also opens at that point before going back to Ronnie’s childhood.  The whole story is so easy to read from start to finish because at no point do Ronnie’s notes try to be flowery.  He uses simple language that is accessible to everybody.  The result is that the story, which again spans 244 pages, can be finished in a day or two at the most.  That accessibility and the equally engaging and entertaining stories do a lot to make this (hopefully first) part of RJD’s life and career so enthralling.  The transitions that are used in telling his story play their own part in the story’s appeal.

The transitions that are used to help tell Ronnie James Dio’s story are so important because they are so clear and solid throughout the book.  That is thanks to the way that Ronnie started and ended each of his writings.  Those points perfectly connect the chapters.  Add in clear division points that involve blank pages and pictures, and the whole makes the story progress that much more smoothly.  Those blank pages and pictures are important because they feel almost like virtual commercial breaks within the story.  They, together with the solid wording connecting the stories, completely ensure readers’ maintained engagement and entertainment, showing completely, the importance of the story’s transitions.  Keeping all of this in mind, there is a lot for readers to alike about this story of Ronnie James Dio’s life and career.  It still is just a portion of what makes the story so appealing.  The noted pictures used between the chapters round out the story’s most important elements.

The pictures that are presented throughout Rainbow in the Dark are important because they honestly help to tell the story in their own right.  Case in point is an early picture of Ronnie as a boy with his parents.  Readers will note that Ronnie’s father is in a military uniform.  That might help to explain the sense that Ronnie explains he got of his father.  That sense in question is a determination to make sure one is one’s best self possible.  That is a value that the military does in fact instill in its personnel young and old alike.  A later picture of Ronnie with his band mates in Elf during the 1970s made them comparable to the look of bands, such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, and others.  Ronnie explains in the story that follows the story, a laugh-inducing anecdote about not wanting to cut those long locks, but seemingly having to in order to help market the band.  It is another way in which the pictures tie in to the story to help enrich the reading experience.  On another note, there is also a picture of Ronnie with Ritchie Blackmore in the early days of Rainbow backstage before a show.  It helps to bridge two other chapters in which Ronnie talks about that part of his career.  It is such a casual picture, clearly not staged.  Together with his own words, it showed how happy Ronnie was at that time.  Between these pictures and so many others, the pictures prove to tell the story here just as much as the story itself.  Keeping this in mind along with the impact of the smooth transitions, the whole of these noted items makes Rainbow in the Dark a fully immersive, engaging and entertaining story of one of rock’s greatest figures.

Permuted Press’ forthcoming presentation of Rainbow in the Dark is a wonderfully engaging and entertaining look into the life and career of Ronnie James Dio.  The story itself is told through Ronnie’s own words on pages up on pages of collected notes.  The stories are at times laugh-inspiring and at others heartbreaking.  Through it all, the stories are told simply, making the story fully accessible for readers.  This is in itself, reason enough for audiences to read this story.  The transitions that are used between the story[s chapters build on the appeal established by the story.  That is because of their fluidity.  The manner in which Ronnie ends and begins each story is the biggest part of that fluidity.  The blank pages and pictures used between the chapters also play into that fluidity.  That is because they allow readers a moment to take in everything before moving on to each chapter.  Speaking of the pictures, they do well as visual aids, helping to tell the story just as much as Ronnie’s own words.  In some cases, they add even more to the story.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this book.  All things considered, they make Rainbow in the Dark a story that will appeal to a wide range of readers.  The book is scheduled for release next Friday, July 27, through Permute Press.  More information on the book is available along with all of Dio’s latest news at:

Website: https://ronniejamesdio.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OfficialRJDio

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

Microcosm Publishing Announces Release Date For New GG Allin Graphic Novel/Bio

Courtesy: Microcosm Publishing

Punk shock rocker GG Allin’s life and career is receiving renewed attention in a new graphic novel.

Microcosm Publishing is scheduled to release the graphic novel Rock and Roll TerroristThe Graphic Life of Shock Rocker GG Allin Oct. 13  Crafted by author/writer/musician Reid Chancellor, the 192-page graphic novel tells Allin’s story by examining his life on and off stage.  It tells the story of his traumatic upbringing to bring renewed attention to how that played into the man that he would become on stage.

As an additional bonus, the graphic novel will come with an activity/coloring book.  The adult publication will allow readers to draw Allin’s tattoos on him, color scenes of Allin and company on sage, and more.

The set will retail for MSRP of $14.95.

More information on this and other titles from Microcosm Publishing is available along with the company’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.microcosmpublishing.com

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

 

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‘A Gator Took My Toothbrush’ Is Among The Most Notable Of This Year’s New Children’s Books

Courtesy: Sweetwater Books

Seeing the world through the eyes of a child is one of the greatest rewards of being a parent.  It reminds a parent of the wonder of the world even as the world seems to do all that it can to bring us down on a daily basis.  Keeping that knowledge in mind, it makes the story in the new children’s book A Gator Took My Toothbrush such an enjoyable tale.  The book in question is the debut offering from independent author Brandy Frisby.  Scheduled for release Sept. 22 through Sweetwater Books, the book presents a story that in fact is presented from the imagination of a boy.  It makes for its own share of success and will be discussed shortly.  The book’s illustrations add to the book’s appeal in their own way.  They will be addressed a little later.  The book’s price puts the finishing touch to its presentation and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of A Gator Took My Toothbrush.  All things considered, they make this new children’s book a work that will appeal to readers of all ages.

Independent author Brandy Frisby’s debut children’s book A Gator Took My Toothbrush is a welcome addition to the home library of any family.  It is such a fun read that the whole family will enjoy.  This is due in part to the book’s central story.  The story in question is told from the imagination of a young boy who does not want to get ready for bed.  More specifically, he explains to his mom why he has not taken a bath and brushed his teeth – necessary nightly steps for every child.  The boy tells his mom that, as the book’s title states, an alligator took his toothbrush so as to brush its own teeth.  He adds in his story, that a beaver took up the bathtub and that he even had to deal with a lion whose mane had itself gone wild.   The ultimate reveal will be left for families to discover on their own.  The manner in which the story is told adds to the appeal.  It is presented in a specific rhyme scheme, which keeps it flowing smoothly from page to page.  This approach to the storytelling is a familiar tactic for children’s books across the board.  Frisby clearly took that into account in crafting the boy’s tale.  He succeeded in the process.  The result of that catchy rhythm and the boy’s imaginative excuse for not getting ready for bed makes for more than enough reason for families to enjoy this book.  It is just one of the most notable of the book’s elements.  The illustrations that accompany the story add even more appeal to the book’s presentation.

The illustrations for A Gator Took My Toothbrush – created by Wes Wheeler – add even more enjoyment for families as they read this unique new children’s book.  The artistic style here is important to note because it boasts its own identity apart from that of other children’s books out there past and present.  The colors are so rich from page to page, from the blues to the greens to the browns and more.  Even the subtlety of something like little drawing on the walls of the boy’s bedroom works so well.  What is really interesting here is Wheeler’s balance of smooth angles and more defined angles in each picture.  The use of the different styles together gives the book’s art a bit of a comic book style presentation more so than that of a storybook.  Case in point is a comparison to the artistic presentations in more well-known children’s books, such as If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, Where The Wild Things Are and even the more modern Niccolini’s Song.  The stylistic approach here is decidedly more modern.  That is not a bad thing, either.  It shows that Wheeler, just as much as Frisby, is in touch with the current generation of young readers, and uses that knowledge to keep those young readers engaged and entertained in his own way.

Younger readers are not the only one who will be entertained through Wheeler’s work.  Grown-ups will enjoy the art, too.  That is thanks to the pop culture references that Wheeler threw in for them.  On one page, Wheeler has added in a subtle reference to the classic television/movie/toy Masters of the Universe/He-Man franchise through a poster that is hanging on one of the walls in the boy’s room.  The boy even has the castle in which Skeletor lived as one of his toys.  The boy’s excuse about a lion spoofs the Head & Shoulders shampoo brand, which will get a laugh from grown-ups in its own right.  The same can be said of the bear holding a book of “dad jokes” and the Kraggle Rock poster on another of the walls in the boy’s room.  The poster in question is a spoof of Jim Henson’s beloved Fraggle Rock property.  The noted subtle inclusion of the boy’s “wall art” will put a smile on older readers’ faces just as much, as will the dirt all over the boy’s shirt and the trash all over his floor.  All things considered here, the illustrations that are featured in A Gator Took My Toothbrush does just as much to make the book appealing for the whole family as its actual story.  As much as the noted elements do to make this book enjoyable, they are not its only positives.  Its price is its own positive.

According to its listing on Amazon.com, A Gator Took My Toothbrush is priced at $16.99.  That is on par with the prices for other children’s books.  Amazon lists the hardcover copies of the timeless book Where The Wild Things Are at $16.15, right along the lines of this book’s price.  The book’s listing at Books-A-Million is $17.55 and $17.95 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers.  The Caldecott Award-winning children’s book Locomotive, written by author Brian Floca, by comparison is listed through Amazon at $14.89.  Barnes & Noble Booksellers lists the book at $17.99 while Walmart lists the book at $15.93.  Books-A-Million meanwhile lists the book at $1759.  Simply put, the price for A Gator Took My Toothbrush is proven to be right along the same price lines as other more well-known children’s books that are out there.  Given, some other books may be less expensive than Frisby’s debut book, but that does not apply for all of them.  To that end, the book succeeds in its price point just as much as it does in its overall content.  Together with that noted content, all three elements make the book overall a notable new children’s book that every family will enjoy.

A Gator Took My Toothbrush is a strong start for up-and-coming author Brandon Frisby.  It is a book that holds its own against other new books in the children’s realm.  That is due in part to the book’s central story, which is told from the vantage point of a young boy who does not want to get ready for bed.  The book’s illustrations add to its appeal, giving it a modern look that will appeal to the current generation of children.  The book’s price is on par with other, more well-known books past and present.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the book’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the book a wonderful start for Frisby that every family will enjoy whether before bed or during the day.  More information on A Gator Took My Toothbrush is available along with all of Brandon Frisby’s latest news at http://www.brandonfrisby.com.

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

‘The Berenstain Bears’ Remains As Enjoyable, Entertaining As Ever In Its Final Season

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS Kids/Nelvana

When Stan and Jan Berenstain created their beloved characters The Berenstain Bears so many years ago, odds are they had no idea that their creations would become the beloved figures that they have.  The furry family has seen its adventures beloved by families for generations in countless books.  There are even plush toys, shirts and various DVDs.  One of the latest of those DVDs is the third and final installment in the series’ Treehouse Tales collections.  The two-disc collection is in reality the last season of PBS Kids’ series, which launched in 2003 and ran for three seasons on the network.  Released May 19, approximately four months after the series’ second season was released, this 26-episode collection is another enjoyable offering from PBS Kids, PBS Distribution and Nelvana.  That is due in part to the stories featured within the episodes.  This will be addressed shortly.  The lessons that are tied into the stories are important in their own way to the whole of the set, and will be discussed a little later.  Keeping in mind the amount and type of content featured in the et, its average price point proves key in its own right.  It will also be discussed later.  All three items noted here are important in their own way to the whole of the set.  All things considered, they make The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume 3 a wonderful way to wrap up the series’ full season sets.

The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume 3 is an enjoyable final season set from PBS Kids’ beloved animated series.  It is another presentation that audiences of all ages will enjoy and appreciate.  That is proven in part through the stories featured throughout the season.  Season 3 opens with the Bear family getting a new neighbor.  The neighbor in question, Ursus, is a very tech savvy figure.  At first Papa Bear is not fond of Ursus because he is so much different from Mr. Kodiak.  However, as Papa gets to know Ursus, the pair becomes better friends.  The story itself is unique in the bigger picture of Season 3 (and the overall series).  What’s more, it presents a familiar lesson in that unique setting, proving easily why it is just one example of the importance of the set’s stories.

That story is followed up with a story in “The Big Election.”  The story at the center of this episode finds Papa unwittingly ending up as a candidate in the Bear Country elections.  Considering that this is an election year, it’s a fitting story.  Given, it isn’t the first time that any program – animated or live action – has ever gone the political route, but it still works even in this presentation.  Audiences will especially enjoy this story because of how realistic it is, what with people lobbying for this, that and the other thing.  That the topic is presented in a way that makes it easy for younger viewers to understand the matter, too makes the story that much more engaging for everyone.  To that end, it is just one more example of the importance of the set’s stories.  It is just one more way in which the stories show their importance.  “That Stump Must Go” is one more example of why the set’s stories are key to its presentation.  This story finds Brother, Sister, and Papa having to deal with their own problems.  Sister and Brother are struggling to make a present for Papa for Father’s Day while Papa is struggling to get rid of an old tree stump.  Each interweaving story line will connect with any viewer in its own right.  Parents will laugh as Papa loses the rear bumper on the family car in his efforts to pull up the tree stump.  Children meanwhile will connect with Brother and Sister’s frustrations in their effort to make something special for Papa.  Staying on that note, adults will relate to Papa’s quandary because even adults get frustrated when they struggle to reach a goal.  It’s one more way in which the stories featured throughout this set prove so important to the overall presentation of The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume 3.  When these noted stories are considered along with the rest of the set’s stories, the whole of that content comes together to make the collection well worth watching if only for that aspect.  Of course, it is just one of the set’s positives.  The lessons that are tied into the set add to its appeal.

The lessons that are connected with the stories are timeless and will connect with audiences of all ages just as much as the stories themselves.  Case in point is the lesson at the center of the episode “Pet Show.”  When brother enters his grandmother’s pet parakeet in his school’s pet show, the bid doesn’t talk, but does mimic various household sounds, such as a rocking chair, a typewriter and even bells.  The lesson that Brother learns in this episode is that expecting things to work out specifically one way is not the best plan of action.  Audiences learn that by looking at things differently than how one expects can reveal something good.  In this case, Brother had to realize that his expectation of the bird talking only resulted in frustration.  When he realized what the bird actually did, his outlook changed.  So, if we look at things in life in a way other than how we expect, that can make all the difference in our daily lives, whether adult or child.  It is just one of the key lessons featured in this season’s stories.  The lesson featured in “The Female Fullback” is another key example of the importance of the collection’s lessons.

The lesson featured in “The Female Fullback,” which is a sports-themed episode, reminds audiences that while practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect, it plays a key part in us getting better at what we do.  The interesting thing about this lesson is that while the story is sports-themed, this lesson applies in so many avenues, from practicing a musical instrument to practicing for a big test or whatever other scenario.  Whether it be athletes at any level of their games, musicians at any level of their respective professions or even politicians preparing for public appearances, practice is critical for everyone in so many avenues.  It’s just one more important lesson that will connect with listeners of any age.  “Go To The Movies” is yet another example of the importance of the stories’ companion lessons.

The lesson at the center of this episode is crucial especially for adults.  It teaches grown-up (and children alike) that having quality family time does not have to mean making major plans and spending lots of money.  It can be something as simple as watching home movies at home together, remembering great memories.  In an age of social media and parents constantly bragging about their families’ vacations through nearly every (if not every) social media channel, this is a lesson that really every grown-up needs.  Parents have forgotten that vacations and family time are supposed to be about family, not about bragging about that time on social media and posting pictures of their children posed.  Family time is supposed to be about family.  Keeping this in mind, this unforgettable lesson proves once more why the lessons featured in this set are so important to its presentation.  When it is considered along with the set’s other featured lessons, that whole shows without doubt why the collection’s lessons are so important to the series and not just the set.  When all of this is considered with the season’s stories, the whole of the set’s content shows without doubt the important role that it collectively plays in the set’s presentation.  Considering the depth and breadth of the overall content featured in Tree House Tales Volume 3, it makes the set’s average price point a positive in its own right.

The average price point of Tree House Tales Volume Three is $11.83.  That price is obtained by averaging prices listed at Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ online store.  The collection was not listed through Target at the time of this posting.  The least expensive listing of $8.69 is at Amazon and Walmart while the most expensive listing of $14.99 is at Books-A-Million and PBS’ online store.  Best Buy did not have the best buy in this case, listing the set at $9.99, which along with the listings at Amazon and Walmart is still below the noted average.  Barnes & Noble Booksellers lists the set at $13.64.  Simply put, at least half of the set’s listings are below the noted average while the other half exceeds that number.  Even in breaking that boundary, even the most expensive of the listings are still below the $20 mark, so that means that it is still relatively affordable even if not the least expensive.  Considering again the breadth and depth of the discussed content, any of the listings are money well-spent for any family.  What’s more, a portion of sales through any retailer other than PBS still goes to PBS, so audiences will still be supporting the network regardless of which retailer is chosen.  Keeping this in mind along with the importance of the content, it makes the last of the Berenstain Bears season sets a positive finish in terms of the series’ season sets.  It makes it one more of the year’s top new family DVD/BD box sets.

The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Volume 3 is a positive final season presentation from the beloved animated series.  The stories in the season’s episodes are just as engaging and entertaining as those in the series’ previous seasons.  The lessons that accompany those stories are just as important to the set as the stories themselves.  Keeping in mind the positive impact of the season’s overall content, the average price point of less than $20 (and separate listings, some of which are below $10), proves just as appealing for audiences.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the set.  All things considered, they make this final standalone season set from the 2003 Berenstain Bears set a fitting finish for the series’ full season sets.  It is available now.

More information on this DVD set and all of the latest Berenstain Bears news is available online now at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.berenstainbears.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/berenstainbears

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/TheBerenstains

 

 

 

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

IFC Films Announces Domestic Release Date For ‘How To Build A Girl’

Courtesy: IFC Films

IFC Films has a new coming-of-age story on the way next month.

How To Build A Girl is scheduled for release Aug. 11 on DVD.  Starring Beanie Feldstein (Neighbors 2Sorority Rising, American Crime Story, What We Do In The Shadows) as 16 year-old Johanna Morrigan, the movie — based on the book by the same name by author Caitlin Moran — follows the young teen as she uses her imagination to escape her reality in Wolverhampton and live out her fantasies.

Things take a turn for the surprising when Johanna sends a music review to a group of self-important, hipster rock critics at a weekly music magazine.  She ends up reinventing herself as Dolly Wilde, who is apparently self-important in her own right, and who has a lust for fame, life and men.

The result of her change leads her to her own existential crisis.  She starts asking herself is the persona she has created the person she wants to be or does she need to start over again?

The movie also stars Emma Thompson (Nanny McPheeNanny McPhee ReturnsStranger Than Fiction), Alfie Allen (John WickGame of ThronesThe Other Boleyn Girl), Paddy Consindine (Hot FuzzDead Man’s ShoesIn America), and Chris O’Dowd (BridesmaidsThe Sapphires, Moone Boy).

How To Build A Girl will retail for MSRP of $24.98 (DVD) and $29.98 (Blu-ray).  Its run time is listed at 104 minutes (one hour, 44 minutes).  the movie is rated “R.”

More information on this and other titles from IFC Films is available at:

 

Website: http://www.ifcfilms.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ifcfilms

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks 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.

PBS Distribution To Release New ‘Berenstain Bears’ Collection Next Week

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution will release another collection of episodes from The Berenstain Bears to audiences next week.

The Berenstain BearsTree House Tales Volume 3 is scheduled for release May 19.  The latest collection features 28 more episodes from the animated series and will retail for MSRP of $14.99.  Among the most notable episodes is “Car Trip,” in which brother and sister learn that the family’s vacation will not take it to Grizzyland, but somewhere else.

Another notable addition to this latest collection comes in the form of “The Giddy Grandma.”  Sister is writing about a bear that she admires in this episode, and learns Grizzly Gran had a lot of accolades during her life.

“Moving Day’ tackles an issue that so many children (and families) face when brother and sister’s friends are moving away.The  siblings learn that people moving is not entirely bad.

More information on The Berenstain BearsTree House Tales Volume 3 is available along with all of the latest Berenstain Bears news at:

 

Website: http://www.berenstainbears.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheBerenstains

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks 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.