CMG’s Latest ‘Sudden Fear’ Re-Issue Succeeds Just As Much As The Movie’s BD Re-Issue

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Cohen Media Group this week, re-issued Joseph Kaufman Productions’ 1951 noir thriller Sudden Fear on on DVD. It marks the second time in less than four years that the independent studio has re-issued the movie, having re-issued it on Blu-ray in December 2016. The movie, an adaptation of author Edna Sherry’s book by the same name, is a surprisingly enjoyable cinematic work just as much here in its latest re-issue as its previous Blu-ray re-issue.  That is due in part to its story.  This will be discussed shortly.  The work of the movie’s main stars—Joan Crawford, Jack Palance and Gloria Grahame—is just as important to note as the movie’s story to the overall presentation of the movie’s upcoming re-issue.  The bonus commentary included with the movie’s upcoming re-issue rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own way to the presentation of the movie’s upcoming re-issue.  All things considered, Cohen Media Group’s re-issue of Sudden Fear proves to be one of 2016’s top new re-issues.

Cohen Media Group’s upcoming re-issue of Joseph Kaufman Productions’ 1952 hit noir thriller Sudden Fear is one of this year’s top new DVD/BD re-issues.  This is proven in part through the movie’s story.  Sudden Fear’s story was adapted from a page turner by the same name written by author Edna Sherry.  It follows lead character Myra Hudson (Crawford) as she meets and falls in love with actor Lester Blaine (Palance).  As the story progresses, Myra marries Lester Blaine, but finds out later he hadn’t married her for love at all, but rather for money.  As she discovers by chance, he is plotting with another woman to murder her and take her money.  There’s a certain irony to the plot that audiences will appreciate in hindsight.  As it turns out because of his greed and short sightedness, he didn’t even know he could have had even more money.  It serves to show the old adage that crime never pays is very true, and is a great addition to the story, especially in its subtlety.  What’s even more interesting in dissecting the story is that being made in 1952, the story seemed pretty much run-of-the-mill back then.  But now in the 21st century, one need just watch an episode of 48 HoursDateline or 20/20 to see just how realistic such a story can be and is.  Add in relatively stable pacing over the course of the story’s near two-hour run time (the movie runs 110 minutes, just shy of the two-hour mark) and audiences get a story that forms a solid foundation for the movie’s presentation and that of its upcoming re-issue.  It is just one part of what makes the movie’s upcoming re-issue so enjoyable.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note here as the movie’s story.

The story at Sudden Fear’s base is a hugely important part of the movie’s presentation.  On one level, it does make some changes from author Edna Sherry’s original novel on which it is based.  But it still strives to stay at least somewhat true to its source material.  On another level, it is a simple story that audiences will have no trouble following, yet is still so gripping.  On its last level, its pacing makes its 110-minute run time pass by with relative ease, even in its somewhat slower moments. Keeping that in mind, the movie’s story, again, forms a solid foundation for its presentation.  While it is clearly an important piece of the movie’s presentation, it is just one of the movie’s key elements.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note here as that of its writers—Lenore J. Coffee, Robert Smith and Joan Crawford herself (this will be discussed later).  Crawford, as audiences will learn through the bonus commentary included in the movie’s upcoming re-issue, was hardly a rookie actor when she took on the role of Myra Hudson in this movie.  In fact, Turner Classic Movies writer and author Jeremy Arnold reveals that Crawford had starred in more than 70 (yes, 70 plus movies) at the time that she starred in Sudden Fear.  Her years of experience showed clearly in her performance here as she progressed from strong, confident, self-assured playwright to standard female romantic lead back to that strong, confident, self-assured figure in the end.  There were so many moments throughout where Crawford easily could have chewed some scenery such as when Myra first discovers by chance that Lester had only married her for her money or in the story’s final chase scene.  But she didn’t allow herself to do that, instead exhibiting clearly those years of experience.  That control made her acting so enjoyable to take in.  Her talent will make audiences across the board cheer her on as she defies Lester and makes her own plan to stop him.  Hers is just one example of what makes the cast’s wok so notable in this movie.  Palance is just as impressive in his portrayal of the evil, scheming Lester.

Joan Crawford’s portrayal of Myra in this movie is spot on from beginning to end.  Audiences will find themselves riveted by her performance as she journeys from a strong, confident woman to the standard female lead back to her strong, confident self.  Crawford’s years of experience help her shine throughout her performance here, as she remains the consummate professional even in scenes where it would have been so easy for her to ham it up and really chew the scenery so to speak.  This professionalism makes her portrayal of Myra completely believable.  Hers isn’t the only work that should be noted here.  Co-star Jack Palance’s work as Lester Blaine is just as notable.  Palance is likely known to most audiences as the hardened cowboy Curly from City Slickers (1991).  So his portrayal as the greedy Lester Blaine here is a surprising and entertaining change of pace.  He makes audiences love to hate Lester as Lester and Irene plot to kill Myra.  That’s not just because of his plotting but because of the personality that he gives Lester in his portrayal.  Audiences will note that as confident as Lester proves to be, he is also quite lacking in confidence and somewhat maniacal.  That is exhibited in the story’s final act as Lester and Irene’s plan (or technically Myra’s plan, not to give away too much) begins to unravel.  Lester’s reaction (including his emoting) as he chases Myra is the clearest example of that lack of confidence and maniacal nature.  Audiences will be enthralled as they watch Lester so determinedly chase her, to the point that he makes one fatal mistake (which won’t be given away here), leading up to the story’s finale.  Between his work on camera and that of Crawford, the pair shows with full clarity the importance of the cast’s work to the movie’s presentation.  The moments displayed here are just some of the moments in which their work shines.  Audiences will find plenty of other moments in which their work proves so important to the movie’s presentation when they purchase or order the movie’s re-issue for themselves.  Even when all of those moments are combined with the work of the movie’s writing team, they show themselves to be only two of the movie’s key elements.  The bonus commentary that is included in the movie’s upcoming re-issue rounds out the movie’s most important elements.

The work of Sudden Fear’s writers and cast members are both important in their own way to the movie’s presentation.  The writers’ work is so important because of the way in which they adapted author Edna Sherry’s novel for the big screen.  It changes some of the material in Sherry’s story, but still ends up presenting a gripping story that will keep viewers on the edge of their collective seats.  Lead stars Joan Crawford and Jack Palance are impressive, too as the movie’s leads.  Their cast mates as entertaining in their own right, too.  While the work of the movie’s cast and writers proves to be in key to the movie’s presentation in the end, they are only a couple of the elements that make the movie such a surprisingly entertaining work.  The bonus commentary that is included in the movie’s upcoming re-issue rounds out its most important elements.  Turner Classic Movies writer and author Jeremy Arnold provides the commentary for the movie in its upcoming re-issue.  It isn’t the first time that he has provided commentary for one of CMG’s classics re-issues.  He also provided commentary for the recent re-issues of Lured and A Scandal in Paris by CMG.  He offers plenty of important information in his commentary here, just as in the company’s previous re-issues.  Some of that important information includes the revelation that the idea to adapt Sherry’s novel to the big screen originally came from Crawford.  The problem with adapting it was that it couldn’t be done until Crawford could get out of her contract with Warner Brothers.  Arnold also reveals through his commentary the decision on the movie’s director even came from Crawford and that Sherry’s novel actually took place entirely in New York.  He explains Sherry’s story never involved San Francisco, a train ride or certain other elements incorporated into the story’s big screen adaptation.  He even gives viewers a little bit of a history lesson on Crawford’s early career in his commentary, revealing Crawford’s birth name and how she gained her screen name of Crawford.  That story in itself will give viewers a little bit of a laugh.  Between these revelations and so many others, Arnold provides viewers with lots of invaluable information throughout the movie.  That mass of material is one more example of the importance of audio commentary in any movie’s home release.  It can take a bad movie and potentially make it worth a second watch, or it can take a good movie (such as this work) and make it great.  Considering that along with the writing team’s adaptation of Sherry’s story and the cast’s work, the movie proves in whole to be a work that movie lovers and classic film buffs alike will enjoy.  It combines to make Sudden Fear one of this year’s top new re-issues.

Cohen Media Group’s upcoming re-issue of Joseph Kaufman Productions’ Sudden Fear is one of this year’s top new DVD/BD re-issues.  That is evidenced in its story, adapted from Edna Sherry’s original novel.  While the story presents a number of differences from Sherry’s literary work, it is still an entertaining work in its own right.  There are a lot of moviemakers out there today who could take a lesson from the writing team’s approach to this story considering that.  The work of the movie’s cast on camera is just as important to note here, especially that of lead stars Joan Crawford and Jack Palance.  Their work will keep viewers just as engaged and entertained as the story itself.  The bonus commentary included in the movie’s upcoming re-issue rounds out the most important of its elements.  Jeremy Arnold once again offers a great depth of knowledge about and appreciation for the movie, even as robotic as his delivery seems at times.  Each element is important in its own right to the movie’s presentation here.  All things considered, CMG’s upcoming re-issue of Sudden Fear proves itself to be one of this year’s top new DVD/BD re-issues.  It will be available Tuesday, December 13.  More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:

Websitehttp://cohenmedia.net

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/CohenMediaGroup

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

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

Vintage, Modern Offerings Gave Families Lots To Like This Year

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

Families spent a lot of time indoors together this year thanks to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Between parents working from home and students forced to take classes online, parents and their children have seen a lot of each other this year; Probably a lot more than usual.  That increased time together can often lead to tensions between families.  Thankfully, plenty of new DVD and Blu-ray box sets were released this year to help relieve that tension and give families plenty to enjoy together.  That has already been pointed out in part through Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New DVDs & Blu-rays list.  Single disc presentations are just a part of what families had to enjoy together this year.  There was also plenty of content thrown in this year in the form of new DVD and Blu-ray box sets for families.  Among some of the best of this year’s new family box sets are first time releases from the likes of Time Life, PBS, and Nickelodeon.

As with each list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the year’s Top 10 new titles and five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Family DVD & Blu-ray Box Sets.

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW FAMILY DVD & BLU-RAY BOX SETS

  1. Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations
  2. The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 4
  3. Dolly: The Ultimate Collection
  4. Arthur: The Complete Friendship Collection
  5. The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Vol. 2
  6. The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Vol. 3
  7. Molly of Denali: Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures
  8. The Jetsons: The Complete Series
  9. Sesame Street: Old School Volume 1
  10. Sesame Street: Old School Volume 2
  11. Spongebob Squarepants: Season 11
  12. Paw  Patrol: PUP-tastic 8-DVD Collection
  13. The Flintstones: 2 Movies & 5 Specials
  14. Garfield & Friends: Season Three
  15. Benji 4-Movie Collection

Next up from Phil’s Picks is the 2020 Top 10 New Grown-Up Box Sets and then the year’s top new re-issues to finish off this year’s lists.  Stay tuned for all of that this weekend.

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.  

CMG Announces ‘Sudden Fear’ DVD Re-issue Date

Courtesy: Joseph Kaufman Productions/Cohen Media Group

Cohen Media Group will re-issue Joseph Kaufman Productions’ 1951 noir thriller Sudden Fear again next month.

The company is scheduled to re-issue the movie on DVD on Jan. 12. The DVD re-issue will come more than four years after CMG re-issued the classic thriller on Blu-ray.

Sudden Fear’s story was adapted from a page turner by the same name written by author Edna Sherry.  It follows lead character Myra Hudson (Joan Crawford) as she meets and falls in love with actor Lester Blaine (Jack Palance).  As the story progresses, Myra marries Lester, but finds out later he hadn’t married her for love at all, but rather for money.  As Myra discovers by chance, Lester is plotting with another woman to murder her and take her money.

The movie received four Academy Award nominations in the 1953 Oscars for its presentation: Best Actress (Crawford), Best Supporting Actor (Palance), Best Black & White Cinematography (Charles Lang, Jr.) and Best Costume Design, Black & White (Sheila O’Brien).

More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:

Websitehttp://cohenmedia.net

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/CohenMediaGroup

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

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

CMG Announces Release Date, Specs For Fourth Buster Keaton Collection

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Cohen Media Group will release its fourth collection of Buster Keaton films next month.

The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 4 is scheduled for release Dec. 8 on Blu-ray and DVD. Its release will come more than a year after the release of the ongoing series’ first three volumes. This two-movie collection will feature Keaton’s 1925 movie Go West and its 1927 follow-up, the timeless movie College.

Keaton plays the role of “Friendless” in Go West. Feeling the desire to explore the country, Friendless heads west to find his destiny. The comedy finds Friendless having a hard time adjusting to the life of the cowboy/ranch hand, but he ends up becoming a hero when a bunch of steer is accidentally unleashed on Los Angeles.

College finds Keaton playing the part of Ronald. Ronald follows his romantic interest Mary to a university whose student body is made up largely of athletes, who Mary prefers more than bookworm types, such as Ronald. The story reaches a dramatic moment, leading Ronald to become a hero in another way while also winning Mary’s heart.

The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume Four will retail for MSRP of $29.95 (Blu-ray) and $19.95 (DVD).

More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.cohenmedia.net

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/CohenMediaGroup

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

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

CNN Films, Magnolia Pictures’ Gilda Radner Bio Is The Best Of 2019’s New Documentary Field

Courtesy: CNN Films/Magnolia Pictures

Movies based on actual events and biased news from both sides of the aisle have done so much damage to the world.  The movies based on actual events are over embellished forgettable works that tell half the story if even that.  The biased news on both sides of the aisle tells just as little as the noted movies, if not less.  To that end, one can’t help but be very thankful for all the new documentaries that are released each year.  The documentaries released this year went a long way toward making up for the problems caused by the noted news and movies, so many that there were more than enough to fit on any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries, but this critic tried to assemble a fitting list.

This year’s list features documentaries centered on topics, such as the history of Country Music, the Apollo 11 mission and a famed movie star.  Each documentary brings its own important and enjoyable presentation for audiences thanks to its unique content and story.  From one to the next, each proves itself fully deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new docs.  This critic’s list features, as with previous lists, the top 10 titles from the year as well as five honorable mention titles for a total  of 15 titles.  This list’s titles come from PBS, Cohen Media Group, Magnolia Pictures and even Shout! Factory, so they are not just from one company.  In other words, there is some diversity here.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration if Phil’s Picks 2019 Top 10 New Documentaries

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2019 TOP 10 NEW DOCUMENTARIES

  1. Love, Gilda
  2. Bad Reputation
  3. American ExperienceChasing The Moon
  4. Buster KeatonThe Great Buster
  5. Ken BurnsCountry Music
  6. 8 Daysto The Moon and Back
  7. American ExperienceSealab
  8. NeverEnding ManHayao Miyizaki
  9. NOVAApollo’s Daring Mission
  10. Sinatra in Palm SpringsThe Place He Called Home
  11. NOVALast B-24
  12. NOVAPluto & Beyond
  13. NOVAFirst Horse Warriors
  14. NatureDogs in the Land of Lions
  15. Nature: A Squirrel’s Guide To Success

 

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

CMG Bringing Swedish Dramedy Home To American Audiences Next Month

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Cohen Media Group is bringing a new overseas dramedy to American audiences in 2020.

The company recently announced it will release Britt-Marie Was Here Jan. 14 on DVD and Blu-ray.  The Swedish import made its domestic theatrical debut Sept. 20.  based on the best-selling novel by author Fredrik Backman, the story follows its titular character whose 40-year marriage to her husband has just ended after she discovered his infidelity.

In making a new start for herself, Britt-Marie finds herself having to coach a youth soccer team in her hometown of Borg, Sweden.  She has no experience in coaching and no knowledge of soccer, either.  Making things even more difficult is that the team is the pride and joy of Borg.  The result is a story that is both a journey of self-discovery for Britt-Marie and a familiar fish out of water tale in one.

Award Winner Pernilla August (Star Wars Episode I and II, the Best Intentions) stars in the movie’s lead role.

American audiences will be able to take in the movie thanks to English subtitles included in the Swedish-language movie.  the movie will retail for MSRP of $19.99 (DVD) and $25.99.

More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.cohenmedia.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

 

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.

CMG’s Third Buster Keaton Collection Impresses As Much As its Predecessors

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Buster Keaton is one of the greatest names in cinema history.  Keaton has influenced generations of comedians on the screen big and small with his unique brand of physical comedy, so it is only fitting that his movies have been released so many times by so many studios.  The problem with the movies’ past releases is that many of those home releases have been anything but fitting tributes.  Enter Cohen Media Group.  Early this year, the studio released a documentary titled The Great Buster that followed Keaton’s life and career warts and all.  It was even picked up by cable network Turner Classic Movies.  That in itself is a statement about the importance of that documentary.  It was followed up not long after with the release of two “collections” of classic Buster Keaton movies in the form of The Buster Keaton Collection Vol. 1 and The Buster Keaton Collection Vol. 2.  Both of those releases proved to be impressive in their own right and absolute must haves for not only Buster Keaton fans, but also for classic cinema buffs.  Those same audiences received yet another treat late this past August with a third “collection” of Keaton’s silent films, again courtesy of Cohen Media Group.  Released Aug. 27, the third (and hopefully not last) Keaton collection features two more of Keaton’s movies, both of which form the foundation for the collection’s presentation.  They will be addressed shortly.  The bonus content featured with the collection’s presentation adds more interest to the two-movie set.  The look and sound of the collection rounds out its most important elements and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this latest collection.  All things considered, they make The Buster Keaton Collection Vol. 3 another wonderful addition to the home libraries of the already noted audiences and another welcome resurrection of Buster Keaton’s work.

Cohen Media Group has been quite deserving of applause this year with its Buster Keaton documentary The Great Buster and its Buster Keaton cinematic offerings.  The laurels and applause are just as worthy with the recently released third collection in that series.  That is due in part to the movies featured in the collection.  The movies that make up the body of the collection are Seven Chances and Battling Butler.  Released in 1925 and 196 respectively, these two movies are well-written romantic comedies that are very easy to follow and entertaining thanks to their overall content.  Both films were also directed by Keaton, adding to their appeal.  Seven Chances finds Keaton playing young lawyer James Shannon who inherits a sum of $7 million.  The catch is that he cannot get the money unless he gets married by 7 pm on his birthday.  The catch is the day he receives notification of his inheritance is his birthday, so that tight time frame leads to plenty of hilarity as James tries to make his way back to his true love, Mary Jones (Ruth Dwyer) all while trying to avoid a mob of money hungry hopeful other brides-to-be.  The whole thing is set off when James doesn’t use his words too wisely in proposing to Mary.  Female audiences will love the story while male audiences will love all of the physical comedy that takes place throughout the story.

Battling Butler is based on a comedy of errors type of setup.  Keaton’s character in this case – Alfred Butler – ends up having to pretend to be a famous boxer thanks to a case of mistaken identity in a newspaper article.  Media errors is something that happens even in the highest ranks of television, print and even radio to this very day, so that element is relatable.  The result of that error is lots of comic timing and physical humor that men and women alike will find entertaining.  It is a story that has been done so many times since the debut of this classic, but has rarely been done as well as it was here.  Audiences will enjoy watching James have to face up to the lie that he played into in hopes that his lady love will not realize the truth.  Between this completely entertaining story and that in Seven Chances, audiences are presented with so many memorable moments that they will want to watch time and again.  For all the entertainment that the movies offer audiences of all ages, they are only one part of what makes this new collection enjoyable.  The bonus content adds its own value to the collection.

The bonus content featured in The Buster Keaton Collection Vol. 3 is brief, but still insightful in its own right.  It is another selection of comments from The Great Buster, this time focusing on Keaton’s stunt work during his career.  Audiences who have not yet watched that documentary will be interested to learn through this very brief, perhaps five-minute segment – that Keaton did all of his own stunts in each of his films.  Famed cinema figures, such as Leonard Maltin, Ben Mankiewicz, Bill Hader and Quentin Tarantino talk about the outstanding nature of his willingness to put his life on the line.  One of the noted figures goes so far as to indirectly call out Hollywood’s major studios because they so commonly use stunt doubles for actors in action movies, whereas Keaton was one of the very rare actors in Hollywood’s history who did all of his own work.  Looking back at some of the scenes in Seven Chances and even in Battling Butler, it gives even more appreciation for Keaton’s performances.  Again, the collective discussions make for a brief overall bonus, but even as brief as it is, it helps add its own share of interest to the whole of the collection.

The bonus discussion about Keaton’s stunt work and physical comedy is just one more of the positives to consider in the overall presentation of The Buster Keaton Collection Vol. 3.  The quality of the footage in the transfer is just as noteworthy as the overall content.  Viewers will note the sepia tone look of Seven Chances and despite that look, it is obvious that painstaking efforts were made to make the footage as clean as possible without losing that vintage look.  Those efforts were not without a payoff to say the very least.  The same applies to the work put into cleaning up the footage in Battling Butler.  There is even a moment as James and the boxers run by the house where Mary stands, where the actual imperfections in the footage are visible, but not overpowering.  As a matter of fact that it is still there and visible actually adds a certain positive sense of nostalgia to classic movie buffs, and in turn, makes for even more of a positive feeling to the overall viewing experience.

The sound quality for the movies is just as positive in examining the collection’s production quality.  The work put into re-recording the soundtrack paid off just as much as the work that went into cleaning up the footage.  Every note matches expertly with every scene and the balance of those notes is balanced just as expertly.  Not once will audiences have to adjust their volume to be able to hear.  Between that positive note (yes, that awful pun was intended) and the impressive look of the footage, the overall look and sound of these two movies adds just as much pleasure to the viewing experience in this set as its content.  Keeping that in mind, the whole of the content and the whole of the mixing, editing and production makes the package in whole yet another wonderful blast from the past for Buster Keaton fans and classic cinema fans alike, and one more of the year’s top new Family DVDs and Blu-rays.

Cohen Media group’s recent Blu-ray and DVD release of The Buster Keaton Collection Vol. 3 is another example of why the company is one of the elite of the independent movie studios out there today.  Just as with its previous collections, this latest addition to the (hopefully ongoing) series of compilations has so much to offer audiences.  From the family friendly stories that will entertain and engage audiences of all ages to the equally positive result of the production, mixing and editing to the bonus content, there is so much to like here.  Each item discussed here is important in its own right to the whole of the collection.  All things considered, they make The Buster Keaton Collection Vol. 3 another shining gem for anyone looking for an alternative to the wasteland that is mainstream Hollywood.  It is available now from Cohen Media Group on DVD and Blu-ray.  More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.cohenmedia.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

 

 

 

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

‘The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2’ Is Anything But A “Buster”

Buster Keaton Collection Volume 2 Bo Art

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Cohen Media Group recently announced it will release a third new pairing of Buster Keaton classics later this month in the form of The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 3.  the latest in the studio’s ongoing series of classic Keaton re-issues, it is scheduled for release Aug. 20 on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital.  While audiences await the collection’s release, they can enjoy the second collection of Buster Keaton classics, which was released July 9.  The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2 is another wonderful new offering from Cohen Media Group that every classic movie fan will appreciate.  That is due in part to the two movies that make up the body of the collection.  They will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content that is featured with the collection adds a little bit more to the collection’s presentation and will be addressed a little later.  The actual restoration of the two movies rounds out the collection’s most important elements and will be addressed later, too.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2.  All things considered, they make this latest collection another must have for Buster Keaton fans and classic movie buffs alike.

The second installment of Cohen Media Group’s Buster Keaton Collection series is another positive addition to that ongoing series of classic movie collections.  It is a collection that Keaton fans and classic movie buffs alike will enjoy.  That is due in part to the movies that make up the collection’s body.  This time out, Cohen Media Group presents Keaton’s 1924 movies Sherlock Jr. and The NavigatorSherlock Jr. finds Keaton’s character – who is unnamed in this movie – being framed for stealing a watch from his lady love’s father.  It turns out the crook responsible for taking the watch is a romantic rival to Keaton’s character.  Keaton ends up having a dream sequence in which he is the world famous detective Sherlock Jr. Sherlock Jr. sets out to find out who stole a pearl necklace, and in the process, ends up saving a young woman who has been kidnapped.  There are lots of great classic physical comedy bits throughout the movie, as well as an extended car chase sequence that involves an unmanned motorcycle.  Obviously it’s not actually unmanned, as it is clearly in front of a video screen as Keaton sits on its handles.  That aside, it is still believable enough that audiences will be kept on the edges of their collective seats as they enjoy that sequence.  The whole thing ends with a happy ending, reuniting Keaton’s character and  his lady love in the projection booth of the theater where the character worked.  That final act ends with a great laugh, but the reason for that laugh will be left for viewers to discover for themselves.

The collection’s second story finds Keaton playing rich heir Rollo Treadway pining for the love of Betsy O’Brien (Kathryn McGuire).  After O’Brien rejects Treadway’s marriage proposal, he accidentally ends up on a boat that will soon thereafter be set adrift as part of a military move.  The reason that Treadway ends up on the boat in question is a classic comedy bit that every viewer will love.  Of course by some chance of fate, Treadyway does not end up on the boat alone.  He ends up, yes, along with O’Brien.  At first the duo has no clue the other is aboard the ship, but after some funny hijinks, the duo eventually find one another and end up living together (ironically) almost as a married couple.  That likely is part of the story’s overall joke.  The ship eventually finds its own way to a tropical island inhabited by cannibals, who the pair have to fight off on their own.  This sequence is loaded with lots of wonderful physical comedy that the whole family will enjoy, including Treadyway coming up out of the ocean and scaring the cannibals in his diving suit.  Treadway and O’Brien are eventually saved from the cannibals and get back home safely (at least it is inferred that the duo returns home safely).  How that save happens will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  In essence, the movie is a romantic comedy with a touch of action thrown in for good measure.  In other words, this is a movie that men, women, boys and girls alike will enjoy together.  In the same vein, Sherlock Jr. is an action movie with a touch of romance, but it is an action movie that the whole family can enjoy together.  The very fact that these two stories are so simply written, yet so fully engaging and entertaining for audiences of all ages is a rather large statement.  It shows that there is still a place for movies, such as these, as well as a need for them, especially considering where action flicks and rom-coms have gone in Hollywood’s current era.

The stories that make up the main body of The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2 build a strong foundation for the collection.  They give audiences, by themselves, more than enough reason to add this collection to their home libraries.  They are just part of what makes the collection so appealing for viewers.  The collection’s bonus content adds its own share of interest to its whole, despite said content’s brief nature.  The bonus content in question is lifted from Cohen Media Group’s already released Buster Keaton documentary, The Great Buster.  It is not the first time that content from that presentation has been pulled for bonus content.  The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 1 also features bonus content pulled from the program.  This time out, audiences get commentary about Keaton’s approach to comedy in general and about his straight face portrayal.  The commentary comes from well-known figures, such as film critic Leonard Maltin, actor/comedian Bill Hader and Director Quentin Tarantino.  Maltin says in “Buster Keaton: The Great Stone Face” that Keaton’s approach was “post modern” and completely unlike the comedy of his counterpart Charlie Chaplin.  He additionally notes the conflict between Keaton and MGM.  This is another interesting anecdote that audiences will appreciate learning.  Director Jon Watts adds to Maltin’s comments, stating himself that unlike Chaplin and others, Keaton “never set out to get a laugh.”  In the second of the brief bonus features, “Buster Keaton: The Comedian,” Hader makes note of Keaton’s ability to fit his Vaudeville training and experience into his comic presentations, noting how that set his comedy apart even more from so many other counterparts.  While the bonus content featured in this collection is brief, it still adds its own appreciation to the collection.  What’s more, it proves even more why those who have not already viewed The Great Buster will benefit from watching that program.  When this is considered alongside the value of the collection’s primary content, the two elements together make for even more appreciation for this collection.  They are not the only important elements for audiences to consider in watching this collection, either.  The actual restoration of the movies is yet another important factor for audiences to consider.

Audiences will note in watching both of this collection’s featured movies, that each is preceded by a notice of the restoration work conducted in order to bring the movies back to life.  The notations make statements about pieces of the movies that were restored and that were added back.  In comparing the original films to the restorations, those responsible for that work are to be commended for their efforts.  Rather than the sepia tone look of the original films, these presentations – just as with the movies in the first collection – are quite clean and clear.  The grainy look is there with each movie, but neither has that aged look of the original film negatives.  It just goes to show how much painstaking effort was taken to restore the movies.  Those efforts are not lost on this critic and will not be lost on the collection’s target viewers.  They are deeply appreciated, and will be appreciated by viewers who love classic movies.  When the hard work put into restoring the collection’s movies is considered along with the stories themselves and their companion content, the whole of the collection proves to be another positive offering from Cohen Media Group that Buster Keaton fans and classic movie buffs alike will appreciate.

Cohen Media Group’s recently released second installment in its Buster Keaton Collection series is another win for the company as well as for classic movie fans and Buster Keaton fans.  That is due in part to the two stories featured in the collection.  One of the movies – Sherlock Jr. – is an action movie that audiences of all ages can enjoy.  The other – The Navigator – is a rom-com that the same wide range of viewers can watch together.  They prove just how far Hollywood has fallen from its peaks throughout its history.  The bonus content featured with the collection is brief, but still engaging and entertaining in its own right.  It serves as another reminder of just why those who have not yet watched The Great Buster should watch that documentary.  The restoration of both films adds its own enjoyment to the collection, too.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the collection.  All things considered, they make The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2 anything but a “Buster” for classic film buffs and Buster Keaton fans.  More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.cohenmedia.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

 

 

 

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.

CMG To Release Second Buster Keaton Collection Next Month

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Two more classic Buster Keaton movies are on their way.

Cohen Media Group will release The Buster Keaton CollectionVolume 2 July 9.  the two-movie collection will be available on DVD and Blu-ray.

CMG’s forthcoming collection will feature Keaton’s classic movies The Navigator and Sherlock Jr.  Both movies were released in 1924.

Sherlock Jr. finds Keaton playing the part of a movie projectionist who ends up daydreaming about the movies that he plays for audiences.  His daydreams, at one point, turn to a Sherlock Holmes story, leading him to believe he is Holmes.  It is possible this story could have been the influence for Danny Kaye’s 1947 movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and maybe even playright Arthur Miller’s famed story “Death of a Salesman” and its cinematic adaptations.

In The Navigator, Keaton and his lady love are stuck on a deserted ocean liner.  The liner ends up on a deserted island that is full of cannibals.

Along with the movies, audiences also get a pair of featurettes as bonuses.  “Buster Keaton: The Great Stone Face” runs 4 minutes, 25 seconds.  “Buster Keaton: The Comedian” runs 3 minutes, 51 seconds.  The bonuses focus on Keaton’s comedic approach in two separate ways.

The collection will retail for MSRP of $25.99 on DVD and $30.99 on Blu-ray.

More information on The Buster Keaton CollectionVolume 2 and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.cohenmedia.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

 

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.

 

CMG’s First Buster Keaton Collection Is A Must Have For Keaton Fans, Classic Cinema Lovers Alike

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Early next month, Cohen Media Group will release its second pairing of classic Buster Keaton movies.  The collection will feature Keaton’s 1924 movies Sherlock Jr. and The Navigator.  It will also feature a pair of mini-docs – “The Great Stone Face” and “The Comedian” – as bonuses.  The collection is scheduled for release on July 9 on Blu-ray.  While audiences await its release, they have the first collection of Keaton movies to enjoy in the meantime.  Released late last month, the first collection features Keaton’s 1926 movie The General and its 1928 follow-up, Steamboat Bill Jr.  Those two movies form the collection’s foundation and will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content that is featured alongside the movies builds on the collection’s foundation, strengthening it even more.  It will be discussed a little later.  The collection’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.  It will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 1.  All things considered, they make the collection a welcome addition to the library of Buster Keaton fans as well as lovers of Hollywood’s golden age.

Cohen Media Group’s recently released debut volume of Buster Keaton movies is a welcome addition to the library of Buster Keaton fans and lovers of Hollywood’s golden age alike.  That is due in part to the movies that are featured in this first film set from the famed actor.  The General, as noted in Cohen Media Group’s recently released Buster Keaton doc The Great Buster, is considered to be the last great movie of the silent era.  The movie’s story centers on Keaton’s character Johnnie Gray (the name is a connection to the movie’s Civil War backdrop), who has to chase down a group of Union soldiers who steal his engine, “The General” as part of their plans to invade an unidentified town in Tennessee.  Adding to the intrigue is that Johnnie has to save his girlfriend (played by Marion Mack), as she was kidnapped by the soldiers in the process of the engine’s highjacking.  The story has a happy ending that will not be given away here, though it will be said that along with lots of drama and action, Keaton’s timeless physical comedy is present throughout the story.  That alone offers its own share of interest and entertainment for viewers.

The collection’s second movie, Steamboat Bill Jr. presents another romance at its core.  The difference here from The General is that the story this time is more rom-com than romantic drama.  This time, Buster plays the role of a young man named Bill Jr. who is the son of a riverboat captain.  After spending much of his time life in Boston, Bill Jr. comes south to reunite with his father, leading to an entertaining odd couple style story within itself.  That is just one of the stories featured within the movie.  The movie’s overarching story is a Romeo and Juliet-inspired work that finds Bill’s father and the father of his love interest fighting one another.  The result is that the two dads refuse to let the two young star-crossed lovers from being together.  The difference between Shakespeare’s story and this story is that it doesn’t end with the lovers taking their own lives.  Rather it ends with a happy ending that comes after a hurricane causes lots of damage to the town where the two families are living.  The storm also creates lots of opportunities for Keaton to present even more, his physical comedy chops.  Between the entertainment offered through Keaton’s physical comedy and the entertainment and engagement offered in the story, the whole of this work is just as enjoyable as The General.  Both movies considered, they create a foundation for this collection that in itself gives viewers more than enough reason to own the collection.  They are collectively just one of the set’s positives.  The bonus content featured with the collection creates its own engagement and entertainment for viewers.

The bonus content that is featured in The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 1 offers insight from a variety of famed figures on The General and Keaton’s brand of comedy.  The commentary offered in both featurettes is taken from the previously noted doc, The Great Buster.  Famed director Quentin Tarntino offers one of the most interesting discussions in the retrospective of The General.  He notes that while the movie’s backdrop is that of the civil war, it is the only period piece of its kind that allows him to put behind him the whole North v. South element and instead just focus on the more central story of Johnnie’s quest to retrieve his engine and his girlfriend.  That is really interesting in hindsight, especially considering how many period pieces Hollywood has churned out since its golden age.  So many of those period pieces have forced their backdrops to become central to the stories, essentially taking the focus off of the stories themselves.  The General does the exact opposite.  That is why it is so enjoyable.

In regards to the commentary centered on Keaton’s physical comedy, this featurette offers just as much engagement and entertainment as the featurette centered on The General.  Comedian Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live, The Skeleton Twins, Inside Out) offers an anecdote about Keaton’s movies bringing him and his daughters together.  He notes his daughters are no older than teenagers.  That in itself is quite enlightening as it shows the reach of Keaton’s appeal.  Tarantino is also featured in this featurette.  He notes in his discussion this time, the influence that Keaton had on another famed actor, none other than Jackie Chan.  He notes Chan’s decision to do his own stunts came from watching Keaton’s work.  Yet another figure notes the power in the simplicity of Keaton’s brand of comedy.  That individual is right, too.  There is nothing overdone in any of Keaton’s acting.  That is obvious in watching both movies.  It proves the KISS method does work.  The items featured here are just some of the discussions included in The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 1’s bonus content.  Between these discussions and others included in the featurettes, the whole of the bonus content adds even more reason for viewers to check out this single-disc collection.  When it is collectively considered alongside the movies that form the collection’s foundation, the elements together, make this collection that much more appealing for Keaton’s fans and those of Hollywood’s golden age.  When all of that is considered together, the average price point of the set proves to be money well spent.

The average price-point of The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 1 is $23.53 on Blu-ray and $18.67 on DVD.  Those prices were reached using listings at Amazon, Wal-amrt, Target, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble Booksellers.  The title was not listed on either format at Books-A-Million.  The DVD platform was not listed at Walmart.  Considering that audiences will get all of the same primary and secondary content on DVD and Blu-ray, both prices are relatively affordable.  AT the time of this review’s posting, the listing of $22.99 at the stores of Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy is below the Blu-ray’s average price point while the $24.29 price listed at Target and Barnes & Noble Booksellers is more expensive.  Amazon, Target and Best Buy all list the collection’s DVD price  point at $17.99 while Barnes & Noble Booksellers lists the DVD at $20.70, well above the average price point of $18.67.  The other prices are just below, so simply put, consumers are given plenty of affordable options if they consider purchasing the collection on either platform.  Again, both platforms offer audiences all of the same primary and secondary content.  Keeping that in mind, the money paid (hopefully at the less expensive retailers) will be money well-spent for Keaton’s fans and fans of movies made during Hollywood’s golden age.  That is proven even more when this is considered alongside the already noted content.  All things considered, this new classic film collection featuring one of Hollywood’s greatest names, proves to be a must have for classic film buffs everywhere.

Cohen Media Group’s recently released Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 1 is a welcome addition to the libraries of Buster Keaton fans and classic film buffs in general.  That is due in no small part to the movies that are featured in the collection.  The bonus content featured with the movies adds even more for audiences to enjoy.  The single-disc collection’s average price point is affordable money well-spent on DVD and Blu-ray, considering the breadth and depth of the set’s collective primary and secondary content.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of the collection’s presentation.  All things considered, they make The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 1 one of this year’s best new DVDs/BDs for the family and a must have for Buster Keaton fans and classic movie buffs everywhere.  More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://cohenmedia.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

 

 

 

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