Mets, Nats Announced For Sept. 4th Edition Of ESPN’s ‘SNB’

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has announced the matchup for the September 4th edition of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell.

The Washington Nationals and New York Mets go under the lights Sunday, September 4th on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell.  Being that the game is so far out on the schedule, no rosters or pitchers have been named for the game at this time.  The game is the closer in a three-game weekend series between the NL East opponents.  Dan Shulman will have the call for the game.  He will be joined in the booth by analysts Aaron Boone and Jessica Mendoza for additional commentary.  Reporter Buster Olney will also be on hand for all of the latest in-game news and interviews.  Coverage of the game is scheduled to begin at 8pm ET.  It will be preceded by Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet.  Karl Ravech will anchor the broadcast.  He will be joined at the desk by analyst Dallas Braden and ESPN MLB Insider Tim Kurkjian.

More information on the September 4th edition of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBTN

 

 

 

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Quor Joining Elisium On “The Blue Tour”

Courtesy: O'Donnell Media Group

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Quor is hitting the road with Elisium.

The San Diego, California-based metal trio has announced that it will join Elisium for what has been dubbed the “Blue Tour” beginning Sunday, August 7th in Costa Mesa, California at the Orange County Fairgrounds.  The tour wraps Wednesday, August 24th in Toledo Ohio at Realm.  The two-week tour features a total of 11 dates that run largely throughout the Midwest.  The complete schedule for the band’s tour is noted below.

 

 

QUOR “THE BLUE TOUR” SCHEDULE

8/7/2016
OC Fair Grounds
Costa Mesa, CA

8/9/2016
Metro Bar
Springville, UT

8/12/2016
Locofest
Algona, IA

8/13/2016
Hijinx
Fort Atkinson, WI

8/14/2016
The Venue
Dubuque, IA

8/17/2016
Kishwaukee Tap
Rockford, IL

8/18/2016
The Tree
Joliet, IL

8/19/2016
The Looney Bin
Bradley, IL

8/20/2016
Traveler’s Bar
Le Roy, MI

8/21/2016
Outpost
Kent, OH

8/24/2016
Realm
Toledo, OH

 

Courtesy: QUOR Music

Courtesy: QUOR Music

The band’s upcoming live dates are in support of its most recent recording, its 2-EP release Human Paradigm: The Deluxe Edition.  The nine-song recording was released September 10th, 2015 and features the song ‘Let’s Rise’ whose video is streaming online now via the bands official YouTube channel.  The video for the record’s title track is also available online now via the band’s official websiteHuman Paradigm: The Deluxe Edition can be ordered online now via Amazon, GooglePlay, Spotify, Pandora, iTunes and the band’s website. More information on Quor’s upcoming live schedule is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.quorbackstage.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/quormusic

 

 

 

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Alter Bridge Announces Title, Release Date For New LP

Courtesy: Caroline Records/Napalm Records

Courtesy: Caroline Records/Napalm Records

Alter Bridge has a new album on the way this fall.

The Last Hero will be released Friday, October 7th in stores and online.  Pre-orders for the album are open now via iTunes, Amazon, and GooglePlay.  The album can be ordered in a number of bundle packages online via Alter Bridge’s online store.  Those that pre-order the album now will get the album’s lead single ‘Show Me A Leader’ instantly.  For everyone else, the band has debuted the song’s lyric video, which can be viewed online now here.  The song is also streaming online via Spotify.  The song originally premiered Tuesday on Sirius/XMs Octane.  Front man Myles Kennedy discussed the song in a recent interview noting its socially conscious message.  “Lyrically, it reflects the frustrations that a lot of people are feeling with the current state of the world,” he said.  “The world is looking for trustworthy effective leadership and not this undignified dog and pony show that’s really made a mockery of our system.”  Guitarist Mark Tremonti expanded on the song, noting in short its creation.  “It’s indicative of our process,” he said.  “Myles had this guitar intro that I loved, and I had the chorus. We put them together. The words call out for a proper leader.”

The Last Hero is the band’s fifth full-length studio recording.  It will be released via Caroline Records in the United States and Canada and via Napalm Records throughout the rest of the world.  It was produced by Michael “Elvis” Baskette (Slash, Tremonti, Trivium, etc.).  Its full track-listing is noted below.

 

                   The Last Hero Track Listing

 

1)     Show Me A Leader

2)     The Writing On The Wall

3)     The Other Side

4)     My Champion

5)     Poison In Your Veins

6)     Cradle To The Grave

7)     Losing Patience

8)     This Side Of Fate

9)     You Will Be Remembered

10)   Crows On A Wire

11)   Twilight

12)   Island Of Fools

13)   The Last Hero

 

A tour in support of The Last Hero has been announced along with the premiere of the band’s new single.  The tour launches September 22n in Destin, Florida and includes performances in San Antonio, Texas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Lincoln, Nebraska, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee among others.  Those dates are in addition to the band’s current live schedule which includes a performance tonight in Detroit, Michigan.  The band’s full tour schedule is noted below.

 


2016 Tour Dates

 

DATE CITY, STATE VENUE
Jul 26th * Detroit, MI DTE Energy Amphitheater
Jul 27th * Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
Jul 29th * Scranton, PA The Pavilion at Montage Mountain
Jul 30th * Wantagh, NY Nikon at Jones Beach
Jul 31st * Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
Aug 2nd * Virginia Beach, VA Farm Bureau Live
Aug 4th * Gilford, NH Bank of NH Pavilion
Aug 6th Bangor, ME Rise Above Festival
Aug 7th Montreal, QC Heavy MTL Festival
Aug 8th * Toronto, ON Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
Aug 11th * Oklahoma City, OK Zoo Amphitheatre
Aug 12th * Dallas, TX Gexa Energy Amphitheater
Aug 13th * Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Aug 15th * Denver, CO Red Rocks Amphitheater
Aug 17th * Albuquerque, NM Isleta Amphitheater
Aug 19th * Concord, CA Concord Pavilion
Aug 21st Seattle, WA Pain In The Grass – White River Amphitheater
Aug 23rd # Portland, OR Roseland Theater
Aug 24th * Post Falls, ID Greyhound Park
Sep 22nd # Destin, FL Club LA
Sep 24th Houston, TX Houston Open Air Festival
Sep 25th # San Antonio, TX Aztec Theater
Sep 28th # Minneapolis, MN Skyway Theatre
Sep 29th # Lincoln, NE Bourbon Theatre
Oct 1st Janesville, WI Sonic Boom
Oct 2nd Louisville, KY Louder Than Life
Oct 4th # Charlotte, NC Fillmore
Oct 5th # Nashville, TN War Memorial Auditorium
Oct 8th Tulsa, OK Tulsa State Fair – Oklahoma Stage

 

 

* playing with Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, Saint Asonia

# Headline show

 

More information on Alter Bridge’s new album, tour and more is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.alterbridge.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alterbridge

 

 

 

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‘Endgame’ Makes Plenty Of Smart Moves

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

The underdog story is one of the most overly story types in the movie industry today.  From Rudy to Rocky to Remember The Titans and beyond Hollywood loves visiting the underdog arena.  In all honesty, it is the view of this critic that Hollywood loves the underdog arena way too much.  That is because of the genre’s overall lack of creativity and originality. It seems that nine out of every ten underdog stories offered to audiences today present roughly the same story just in a different setting.  While that is a somewhat disheartening number to consider, it does at least mean that every now and then there is one underdog story that makes up for the other nine that are otherwise forgettable.  Earlier this month Shout! Factory released one of those standout offerings in the form of the indie underdog story Endgame.  The movie, originally released nationwide on September 25th, 2015, was released earlier this month on DVD and Blu-ray by Shout! Factory.  While it might not be the most memorable movie of its kind to ever be released it is still a worthwhile alternative to all of the other run-of-the-mill stories within that arena.  That is especially true in considering the movie’s story, which is just one of its key elements.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note here.  That will be discussed later.  The bonus material that is included with the movie’s new home release rounds out the most important of its elements.  It completes the movie’s presentation in its new home release and shows once more why this indie underdog story is just as inspirational and moving as its more well-known counterparts and in turn, is worth at least one watch.

Endgame is hardly the first underdog story to ever be presented to audiences in cinematic history.  It is however, an underdog story that is just as inspirational as its more well-known counterparts.  In turn it is an underdog story that is worth at least one watch as is evidenced in the movie’s central story.  The story follows a young Latino boy named Jose (Rico Rodriguez—Modern Family, The Muppets, Epic Movie) who happens to be quite the talented chess player.  Growing up in the poor community of Brownsville, Texas, chess is the only thing that brings him any joy in life other than his grandmother (Ivonne Coll—Jane The Virgin, Lean on Me, The Godfather: Part II).  That is because he is living in the shadow of his older brother Miguel (Xavier Gonzalez—Between Us, Walk Away, Stories of the Paranormal).  Miguel is a rising soccer star and everybody knows and loves him.  They expect Jose to be just like Miguel.  But when Miguel is killed in a late night car crash, life changes for everyone, including Jose and his divorcee mother.  Chess becomes even more Jose’s escape and his source of strength.  The story eventually sees Jose and his team mates in his school’s chess team inspire each other and their entire community as they make their way to the state chess championships.  Even Jose’s mother and grandmother are inspired and moved in their own way.  What is most interesting of the whole story is that while the story does end at least somewhat as expected there is a surprise of sorts in the end, too.  That unexpected ending element is actually a pleasant surprise.  It won’t be revealed here for the sake of those who haven’t yet seen the movie.  But it is nice to see that writer/director Carmen Marron didn’t let the story remain formulaic even in its end.  Staying on that train of thought, Marron’s approach to her adaptation of the real life events on which this movie are based is to be just as commendable as the story itself.

The story at the center of Endgame is in itself worth at least one watch.  That is because it isn’t just another underdog story centered on a boxer, football player (or team), or sports team in whole.  Rather it focuses on one community’s banding together behind an unsuspecting middle school chess team in one of Americas most underprivileged school districts.  While the story’s “nothing to something” story line is ultimately not that original the story is still original in its own right since few if any underdog stories have ever centered on such subjects.  That is just part of what makes the story stand out.  Writer/director Carmen Marron’s approach to the story is just as important to note in considering the story as the story itself.  That is because unlike other screenwriters, Marron didn’t try to make Endgame into yet another run-of-the-mill, over-the-top epic underdog stories of which audiences are all too familiar.  Rather she made sure that the story maintained a certain sense of humility throughout instead of letting it become one of those almost pompous presentations that are so common among its more well-known counterparts.  At the same time, being a Dove Foundation approved movie it also didn’t have that overly cheesy vibe of so many other movies given the okay by the Christian-based film rating organization.  Rather it has more the feel of a general independent movie than one of its over-the-top big brothers or one of its cheesier indie counterparts.  In other words, it boasts its own approach, and in turn identity thanks to Marron’s approach.  When this is taken into consideration along with the story itself the two elements combine to show why Endgame’s story makes its worth at least one watch.

The story at the center of Endgame and the approach taken in creating the movie are both important pieces of the movie’s presentation.  Both by themselves and together, they make the movie worth at least one watch.  They are not the only important elements to note in examining the movie’s presentation.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note as that of Marron in developing the story.  Rodriguez, Coll, and Justina Machado are among the most notable of the cast members in considering the cast’s work.  Whether alone or together, each actor puts forth an admirable performance throughout the movie.  Thanks to Rodriguez’s performance, so many younger audiences will be able to relate to Jose regardless of nationality.  Even older audiences may find themselves being able to relate to Jose.  That is because so many people have faced the same sibling issues that Jose faced and the related frustrations.  It makes Jose’s frustrations completely understandable.  Rodriguez’s handling of those emotions is just as relatable to many viewers.  Given, probably not every has broken a sibling’s trophy out of anger, but they have likely broken something belonging to a sibling out of anger towards said figure.  In the same breath, likely fewer people have ever had to deal with the death of a sibling (or even a child) at such a young age.  But there sadly are those few that have dealt with it.  Being that there are those who have, they will appreciate the pure emotion exhibited by all three actors.  It would have been so easy for each to go over the top in their portrayal of their respective characters’ sadness of Miguel’s death.  In a much bigger budgeted film, that might have even happened.  That’s especially the case since this has in fact happened in said movies.  But none of the trio went to that length.  It makes each individual’s performance all the more believable and engaging.  On a different note, the relationship between Jose and his grandmother is just as enjoyable to see.  Coll and Rodriguez have such wonderful chemistry when they are on screen together.  It is clear in watching them that thy really enjoyed working together.  Because they had so much fun together audiences will enjoy their performances just as much.  There are so many other performances that could be cited here in explaining why the cast’s work is just as important to the movie’s presentation as its story.  They include that of Rodriguez’s cast mate Alina Herrera (Marrying God, The Little Samaritan, Caribe Road) as Jose’s frien Dani, Efran Ramirez’s (Crank, Napoleon Dynamite, Eastbound & Down) take on Jose’s teacher Mr. Alvarado, and Jon Gries’ (Napoleon Dynamite, Taken, Men in Black) take on Principal Thomas.  Each actor puts forth his (or her) impressive performance throughout the movie.  Their performances couple with those of Rodriguez, Coll, and Machado to show even more clearly why the work of the movie’s cast is just as important to its presentation as that of Marron in crafting the story.  They are not the movie’s only important elements, though.  The bonus material that is included in the movie’s home release is just as important to note as its story and the work of its cast.

Writer/director Carmen Marron’s work in developing Endgame’s story and the work of the movie’s cast in interpreting Marron’s scripts are both important in their own right to the movie’s presentation.  Each element makes the movie worth at least one watch.  They are not the movie’s only important elements, though.  The bonus material that is included with the movie in its new home release is just as important to the movie’s presentation as its writing and acting.  The most notable of those bonus materials is the movie’s bonus behind-the-scenes featurette.  This is important to note because it is rare for a behind-the-scenes featurette to add any real value to a movie’s presentation.  More often than not they are little more than space fillers regardless of the studio.  But in the case of this movie it actually adds quite a bit to the movie’s presentation.  Audiences learn in watching this featurette that lead star Rico Rodriguez actually came into the movie with at least some knowledge of chess.  He openly admitted that he was hardly a professional.  But he did have at least a certain amount of knowledge and understanding of the game.  So being involved in the movie, he states in his interviews that has in fact served to strengthen his interest in the centuries-old board game.  That is quite the statement.  On a related note, audiences will be just as interested to learn in this feature that the movie was recorded in just 19 days, many of which couldn’t even be full, eight-hour days.  That is due to labor laws preventing minors from working eight hours in a single day.  Most of the 19 days in question turned out to be about 6 hour days because of those labor laws.  All of this is so notable because of how the movie turned out in the long run.  Again, it boasts its very own identity both within the underdog arena and within the Dove-nominated field.  It stands out in both fields both in terms of its look and its feel.  This is the case even with the movie having been recorded in just 19 days.  That is truly extraordinary especially for an independent movie.  Just as interesting to note is the fact that the movie was filmed completely on-site in Brownsville, Texas.  That adds even more to the movie’s believability.  By direct connection the revelation of the community’s welcoming nature towards the movie’s cast and crew is just as interesting to learn.  It echoes the togetherness exhibited by the community in the movie.  This shows once more the importance of the movies bonus material in regards to the movie’s overall presentation.  Even Marron’s own audio commentary throughout the movie adds its own interest to the movie.  When that engaging bonus material is set alongside the movie’s story and the work of the movie’s cast, the presentation in whole proves why it is, again, worth at least one watch.

Endgame is not the first underdog story to ever be presented to audiences either independently or on a major scale.  It is however, just as inspiring and moving as its more well-known counterparts past and present.  That is due to its largely original story and the approach taken in presenting the story.  The work of the movie’s cast plays its own part in making the movie worth seeing.  The same can be said of the bonus material included in the movie’s recent home release.  Each element plays its own important part in the movie’s overall presentation.  All things considered they make the movie more than just another underdog story.  They make it an underdog story that is worth at least one watch.  It is available in stores and online now and can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-drama/endgame. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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Set It Free Announces First Live Show In Five Years

Courtesy:  Breathing Blue/Set It Free/Wicked Hollow/River Rock Restaurant and Marina Bar

Courtesy: Breathing Blue/Set It Free/Wicked Hollow/River Rock Restaurant and Marina Bar

Set It Free has announced a new live performance.

The band will perform next month at what is being dubbed the “Rock For Landon Cancer Benefit Concert.”  The concert will be held Thursday, August 18th at River Rock Restaurant and Marina Bar in Brick Township, New Jersey.  It will mark the first time in five years that the band has performed live together.  Admission is $15 at the door.  All proceeds will go to help pay the medical bills for 18 month-old Landon Moellman.  He is currently undergoing treatments for Retinoblastoma cancer at a hospital in Philadelphia.  In layman’s terms Retinoblastoma cancer is just one form of cancer that originates in the eyes.  If left untreated it can eventually lead to glaucoma and loss of sight.  In rarer and worse cases it can even potentially spread to other parts of the body, which can make a patients outlook even worse.  The problem with Landon’s case is that the hospital where he is receiving treatment is not accepting his parents’ insurance, making the situation more difficult both for him and his family, which is, again, the purpose of the concert.  Also on the bill are Breathing Blue and Wicked Hollow.

More information on the upcoming benefit show is available online now at Set It Free’s official Facebook page and that of Breathing Blue.  Audiences can also help contribute to Moellman’s treatments via his parents’ GoFundMe page.

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.

Mill Creek’s ‘Bump In The Night’ Re-Issue Is Imperfect But Still Enjoyable

Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment

Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment

In October 2014 one of the most important eras in television’s history came to an end.  The era in question was that of Saturday morning cartoons.  For so many decades, children across America would get up every Saturday at the crack of dawn and watch cartoons while eating countless bowls of sugar-laden cereal until noon.  But on the weekend of October 4th, 2014 the final nail was put into the proverbial coffin for Saturday morning cartoons when The CW ran its final “Vortexx” programming block.  Being that weekday morning (and afternoon) cartoons had already gone the way of the dinosaur many years before, it was also the true end of a whole generation’s innocence.  The 24-hour news cycle took over along with streaming media and FCC demands for more educational programming.  Thankfully though, many companies out there have made it their sole mission to keep that age of innocence alive with DVD and Blu-ray releases of those classic bygone cartoons.  They include the likes of Shout! Factory, Scholastic, 20th Century Fox, and the focus of today’s review, Mill Creek Entertainment, among so many others.  While Mill Creek Entertainment does not normally have the best reputation within the home entertainment arena there have been times when the independent outlet has been worthy of at least some praise.  Its  re-issue of ABC’s short-lived Saturday morning series Bump in the Night earlier this year is one of those examples of Mill Creek deserving at least some praise.  That is due in part to the set’s packaging. That will be discussed later.  While not perfect it does have at least some positives.  The presentation of the episodes themselves is also worth noting in this recently re-issued set.  It will be discussed later.  Last but hardly least of note in examining Mill Creek’s new re-issue of Bump in The Night: The Complete Series is the series’ writing and its affordable price.  It is one of a small handful of saving graces for the collection.  Each element plays its own important part in the whole of this set.  Collectively they make Mill Creek Entertainment’s re-issue of the series a welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library even despite its imperfections.

Mill Creek Entertainment’s recent re-issue of ABC’s short-lived Saturday morning series Bump in the Night is not a perfect presentation by any means.  However, considering how much worse it could have been (especially considering the company’s general reputation with re-issues) it is surprisingly worthy of praise.  That is due in large part to the company’s overall packaging of the series.  Each of the series’ two seasons is presented on its own disc on its very own spot inside the set’s case.  This is a major departure for Mill Creek.  More often than not, when it presents multi-disc sets, it places them one atop the other on one single or in ordinary CD sleeves that are then placed atop one another in the same format as its other multi-disc sets.  Neither practice is ergonomic nor safe for the sets’ discs.  Keeping that in mind, seeing Mill Creek take the proverbial road less traveled here makes the company and the set’s presentation deserving of praise.  Now having noted this one cannot ignore a point at which Mill Creek came up short in the set’s presentation.

The packaging that is used for Mill Creek Entertainment’s recent re-issue of Bump in the Night: The Complete Series is deserving of praise in its own right.  At the same time though, that packaging is not perfect.  Each of the series’ twenty-seven episodes is listed on the cover of each of the sets two discs.  Thy are placed clearly within their given season, too.  This is where the problems begin.  While Mill Creek is to be applauded for doing this, one cannot ignore the fact that they are not listed on the back of the set’s box.  There is also no companion booklet to help guide viewers along the way with either episode guide or even episode summary.  On a related note the only bonus feature included in the set is the series’ special holiday episode “Twas The Night Before Bumpy.”  Other than that there are no bonuses to make up for the lack of episode guides other than the episode listings on each disc.  To that end the set’s overall packaging is hardly perfect.  But it deserves at least some points for effort.  It is not the only element that should be noted here.  The presentation of the episodes themselves is just as important to note here as the set’s packaging.

The packaging method used in Mill Creek Entertainment’s recent re-issue of Bump in the Night is a mixed bag.  It has its positives.  But it also has its negatives.  Considering this the packaging is not a total loss.  But it still could have been better.  Moving on, the set’s packaging is not the only important element to note here.  The episodes’ actual presentation is just as important to note as the set’s packaging.  The episodes clearly have not been touched in their transfer to DVD in this latest re-issue.  Though, in defense of Mill Creek Entertainment here, they don’t look that bad.  Given, they could have benefited from at least a little bit of touching up, but in the bigger picture of their presentation they look just as they did in their original broadcast on ABCs Saturday morning broadcasts from 1994 – 1995.  The look of the series—for those not familiar with the series–was something completely unlike that of any of its counterparts and even any show that has since come along.  It mixed together live action elements with stop motion/claymation for a look that was all its own.  It didn’t have that spit-shined look that so many animated series had at the time nor even more experimental look of a show such as Reboot.  It was its own, look.  And luckily it actually does end up looking quite interesting in its own right.  In turn it makes the episodes presentation deserving of its own praise despite, again, being slightly imperfect, too.  It still is not the last of the sets most important elements.  Last but hardly least of note in examining the series is its writing.  The writing is the set’s primary saving grace.

Mill Creek Entertainment’s recent re-issue of Bump in the Night is not a perfect re-issue.  But it is still deserving of at least some praise in considering.  That is determined in considering the set’s packaging and the look of the series’ episodes.  Neither is perfect by any means.  But they could also have been much worse.  That’s especially considering Mill Creek Entertainment’s overwhelming reputation.  Having examined both of the noted elements there is just one more element to examine here.  That element is the series’ overall writing.  Just as the series’ look was completely unlike that of any other children’s series at the time so was its writing.  In regards to its writing it was a partly goth-style show that would have (perhaps) made even Tim Burton proud.  It follows Mr. Bumpy (Jim Cummings—The Lion King, CatDog, Transformers Rescue Bots) and his pals Squishington (Rob Paulsen—Animaniacs, Darkwing Duck, Danny Phantom) and Miss Molly Coddle (Gail Matthius—Bobby’s World, Tiny Toon Advenures, Animaniacs) as they have all kinds of nocturnal adventures in the room of Mr. Bumpy’s 10-year old boy.  One can’t help but wonder, in considering this what if any role it had to have played in influencing the development of Pixar’s Toy Story.  And there are plenty of laughs to be shared in each episode along with important life lessons, too.  “Better Homes and Garbage” is one of the best examples of what makes the writing so impressive.  It is a classic Odd Couple style story that will leave audiences of any age laughing.  In the end, Mr. Bumpy learns, just as Oscar did in The Odd Couple the value of his counterpart’s friendship.  Therein is the episode’s important life lesson—valuing one’s friends.  On a completely different note, “Danger: Unexploded Squishington” doesn’t really boast any life-altering lesson.  But it does offer plenty of laughs as Mr. Bumpy realizes that his friend might have unwittingly eaten a bomb.  Spongebob Squarepants has a similar episode in which Squidward gives Spongebob a pie laden with a bomb.  So one can’t help but wonder here if the prior might have been an influence for the latter.  “Party Pooper” is another example of what makes the series’ writing so important.  When Molly wants to go to a party being held by the Cute Dolls, she learns an important lesson about being true to herself rather than trying to be what the Cute Dolls think that she should be.  It is a timeless lesson from which audiences of all ages.  These episodes are all included in the series’ first season, meaning that there are plenty of other episodes that could be used to cite the importance of the series’ writing.  Altogether the writing behind this series (including all of the great pop culture references within each episode) proves to be one of just two shining, saving graces in its latest presentation.  The other would be its relatively affordable price.  The set is retailing on average for about eight dollars.  When that and the series writing are set against the set’s overall packaging and the look of the show’s episodes the whole of the set makes it an imperfect re-issue but one that is still a welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library.

Bump in the Night: The Complete Series is, in its most recent re-issue, an imperfect collection.  But even in considering its imperfections it is still a welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library.  That applies especially to families who have knowledge and respect for the cartoons that once made Saturday mornings so great.  There is no denying that its packaging in this new presentation leaves at least a little something to be desired.  Though, it could have been so much worse.  And while it would have been nice to see Mill Creek Entertainment do at least some re-touching in regards to the look of the series, it doesn’t look so bad that it makes the episodes unwatchable.  In fact one could argue that its original look still makes it stand out even today especially against television’s current sea of CG-based children’s series.  The writing behind the series and the sets pricing are the set’s saving graces.  The writing will entertain and educate (so to speak) audiences of all ages.  And the set’s relatively affordable price (averaging about eight dollars) will increase the odds that families will want to purchase the set and consider all of the previously noted elements for themselves.  Each element is important in its own right.  That goes without saying.  It has its pros and its cons.  But all things considered the combination of those pros and cons balances itself out and in turn makes this new re-issue one that its fans will want to add to their own home DVD libraries.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct via Mill Creek Entertainment’s online store at http://www.millcreekent.com/bump-in-the-night-the-complete-series.html.  More information on this and other titles from Mill Creek Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.millcreekent.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/millcreekent

 

 

 

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Time Life To Re-Issue ‘The Wonder Years: The Complete Series’ This Summer

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment/StarVista

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment/StarVista

There is good news for fans of ABC’s classic family drama The Wonder Years.

Time Life Entertainment has announced that it will re-issue the series in a complete series box set next month.  It is currently slated to be released Tuesday, August 23rd and will retail for MSRP of $119.95.  The new re-issue will feature all 115 episodes of the six-season series spread across 22 discs and 12 hours of new bonus material.  Those bonus features include: highlights from the cast’s first reunion in 16 years, a farewell set tour, Exclusive interviews and more.  It also features all of the songs originally used in the series’ 5 year, six season run including: Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, Joe Cocker, and many others.  The series’ soundtrack in total comes to 300 songs.

Over the course of its six seasons on the air, The Wonder Years was one of television’s most popular series.  It earned a spot on Neilsen’s Top 30 in four of those seasons.  It earned an Emmy® for “Best Comedy Series,” and at age 13 lead actor Fred Savage became the youngest actor ever nominated for “Outstanding Lead Actor For A Comedy Series.”  The series would eventually go on to earn a total of 24 awards and be nominate for 70 more.  Those nominations and wins included: Emmy® Awards, A Golden Globe®, and in 1989 a Peabody® Award for pushing the boundaries of the sitcom format and using what were then new methods of storytelling.  Even after the show ended its run, its impact was still being felt.  In 1997 “My Father’s Office” was ranked #29 on TV Guide’s 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.  The series’ pilot episode was ranked #43 on that same list.

The Wonder Years: The Complete Series will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, August 23rd via Time Life Entertainment.  It will retail for MSRP of $119.95.  More information on this and other titles from Time Life Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

 

 

 

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.