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

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz Media

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz Media

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

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

New Bonus Features:

  • New Sets
  • Creating the World
  • A Closer Look

The Journey Begins: Season 1 Recap

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




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




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Life Lessons, Pop Culture Tribute Make Arthur’s Fountain Abbey Another Enjoyable Collection Of Arthur Episodes

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids

PBS has brought audiences some of the greatest series on television over the course of its roughly four decades or so that it has been on air. Series the likes of Mister Rodgers’ Neighborhood, Antiques Roadshow, Nature, and NOVA have proven time and again over the decades why PBS remains the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming. British imports such as Inspector Lewis, Endeavour, and Mr. Selfridge have served to solidify that reputation even more. Each of the noted programs has done its own part to solidify PBS’ place in television’s upper echelons. As important as they have proven to be to PBS’ success rate, one other series has proven perhaps even more important than any other in recent years as a cornerstone to PBS’ weekly schedule. The series in question is another British import that goes by the name of Downton Abbey. It has garnered itself numerous awards over the course of its now four years and five seasons on the air. It was also recently renewed for a sixth season, which will likely debut in the U.K. later this year. What’s more it has even been spoofed by PBS’ long-running series Sesame Street with a sketch titled “Upside Downton Abbey.” Much like with NBC’s Saturday Night Live audiences know that when Sesame Street spoofs a pop culture phenomenon, it has really made it big here in the United States. It may sound odd to some. But it is true. The same applies to another of PBS’ family and fan favorite series, Arthur. Fittingly, PBS and PBS Kids will release a brand new collection of episodes later this month (January 27th to be exact) that features its own tribute to Downton Abbey. It will do so in the upcoming release Arthur’s Fountain Abbey. This episode alone is makes the upcoming collection well worth the watch by viewers of any age. Of course the trio of episodes that accompany “Fountain Abbey” make it worth the watch, too. That is thanks in large part to their writing. And for those audiences that perhaps are purchasing an Arthur DVD for the first time ever, the bonus material included on this disc is exactly the same as that included on previous Arthur DVDs. Each of the three elements noted here plays its own important part in the success of Arthur’s Fountain Abbey. Taken collectively into consideration, they make Arthur: Fountain Abbey a great watch for the whole family.

PBS Kids’ upcoming release of Arthur’s Fountain Abbey is a great watch for the whole family. The four-episode DVD is anchored by a tribute to what has become one of PBS’ most surprising series in Downton Abbey. “Fountain Abbey” focuses on one Muffy Crosswire. Muffy makes a surprising discovery about her family’s ancestry in this episode when she discovers that everything she knew about her family’s history isn’t exactly as it seems. The end result is that Muffy learns to better appreciate her family’s roots. Anyone that is familiar with Downton Abbey will appreciate the Arthur’s writers stayed as true as possible to Downton Abbey as possible in writing this episode. From the social stratification that separated those within Highclaire Castle to the castle’s very look inside and out, this episode’s writers made sure to pay proper respect to Downton Abbey and its fans. Not only that but that it stayed so true to its source material makes for wonderful marketing for that series as it is currently airing its fifth season here in the United States. It’s not the first time that those behind Arthur have paid tribute to pop culture. There have also been references to the likes of Batman, Dr. Katz (yes, Dr. Katz), Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, Peanuts, and so many others throughout the series’ years on television. Being that it’s not the first time that the series has paid tribute to a pop culture hit, this latest is just one more notch in the series’ proverbial belt showing why Arthur remains today one of the absolute best series on television for the whole family.

Arthur’s full-on tribute to Downton Abbey on this disc is not the first time that the series has ever paid tribute to pop culture. And while it isn’t the first time it’s done so, it is the first time that it has taken on a show that has proven such a surprising hit among American audiences. The end result of that tribute is a presentation that pays full respect to both Downton Abbey and its fans. There is no denying its importance to the overall presentation on the series’ latest upcoming DVD compilation. It isn’t the only episode featured on the DVD, though. Also included on the disc are the episodes “Arthur Calls It,” “Whip. Mix. Blend.,” and “Staycation.” All three episodes provide their own importance and enjoyment to the whole that is Arthur’s Fountain Abbey. Each episode presents its own importance to the whole presentation thanks primarily to its writing. The first of the trio—“Arthur Calls It”—teaches a valuable lesson about acting on what one believes is right in life. The lesson is taught when Arthur’s friends force him to make a call on whether his best friend Buster was called out in a baseball game. If he calls Buster out, it could ruin his friendship with Buster. But if he calls Buster safe, it could put in jeopardy his friendship with his friends on the other side of the call. In essence, it teaches young viewers about the difficulties that come with doing what they personally believe is right, even with the potential consequences of said decisions. It is definitely its own important episode. Considering the story’s outcome, one could even argue that there’s a hint of the message that sometimes doing the right thing means doing nothing at all and letting others work out their disputes on their own. Again, more proof of the episode’s importance to the whole presentation. It makes for a great start to any discussion between parents and their children or even between teachers and students about ethics and doing the right thing.

Considering the lesson taught in “Arthur Calls It,” this episode proves to be as important to the whole of Arthur’s Fountain Abbey as the DVD’s title episode. The lesson in question is a basic lesson that centers on the topic of ethics. It is the most basic lesson possible but is just as solid a starting point for that lesson. It’s just one of the important topics covered in “Fountain Abbey’s” companion episodes that make the DVD worth the watch. “Whip.Mix.Blend.” teaches its own important lesson as it tackles the subject of blended families. In this episode, Arthur’s friend Rattles has to come to terms with potentially becoming part of a blended family when his mother starts dating Archie Vanderloo. Not only does he have to face the potential of his mother having a romantic connection to Archie Vanderloo but having to be around his children, too. Blended families have become increasingly common at least in America in the twenty-first century. And even as common as they have become, the very thought of two families coming together to form a whole new family is still not emotionally and psychologically easy for those involved in said situations. This episode will help any young viewer dealing with such situation deal with the situation in question and understand it when they feel like they have no one to talk to about it. And many times, young people in this situation do feel alone. So this episode makes for a good way to help young people cope with potentially having a whole new family when they otherwise might not have been able to. It’s just as much a good starting point for parents to talk to their children about the changes that come with becoming a blended family. Because it is just as valuable for children as for adults, it proves once again to be another reason that any family will want to add this DVD to their home DVD library when it is released later this month.

Both “Whip.Mix.Blend.” and “Arthur Calls It” present their own importance to the overall presentation that is Arthur’s Fountain Abbey. The lessons that are taught through both of those episodes are just as important for families as that taught in “Fountain Abbey.” The same can be said of the DVD’s closing episode “Staycation.” It is through this episode that Arthur teaches young viewers one of the most important lessons of all of those taught in the disc’s included episodes. It teaches young viewers about taking on too much and about responsibility. The lesson is taught when Arthur offers to babysit for his parents so that they can take a “staycation” in their own backyard. Taking on too much responsibility very rarely ever ends well. And Arthur learns this for himself when he tries to handle his little sister on his own. This is one of those lessons from which viewers of all ages can benefit as even adults have a tendency from time to time to try to take on too much responsibility. To that end, it serves as a good reminder for audiences about knowing their limits. In turn, it proves one more positive part of the whole that is Arthur’s Fountain Abbey. It sill is not all worth noting about the DVD either. The bonus material included with the DVD is the same as that included on previous Arthur compilations. It is a bonus primarily for those that are perhaps just beginning to build their collections of Arthur DVDs. It is the last element of this DVD worth noting. And when set alongside the collection’s episodes, it proves Arthur: Fountain Abbey an early pick for this year’s list of best new DVDs and Blu-rays for children and families.

The episodes that make up Arthur’s Fountain Abbey are on their own plenty of reason for families to add this new DVD to their home collection regardless of the number of Arthur compilations that they already have in said collections. That is not to take away anything from the activities and coloring pages included with the DVD as bonus material. The bonus material in question is the same as that included on previous Arthur DVDs. So those that might be at the beginning of their Arthur DVD collections will appreciate the inclusion of said coloring pages and activities. Parents and teachers alike will appreciate the self-confidence building “Definition of Cool” in which children have to tell things that make others “cool.” There is also a trading card game and even a board game of sorts for younger viewers. All of the activities and coloring pages can be printed out and saved. All audiences need is Adobe Reader in order to access each one. That’s the only catch to the whole thing. Most computers already have Adobe Reader installed on them, though. So it isn’t that much of a catch. Keeping that in mind, it is the last piece of the whole of Arthur: Fountain Abbey that makes the DVD so enjoyable. Together with the DVD’s included episodes, it rounds out the package in whole, proving once and for all why Arthur: Fountain Abbey is another welcome addition to the collection of any educator or family.

Whether it be for the episodes with their in-depth life lessons or the bonus material included on the DVD, Arthur: Fountain Abbey proves in the end to be another welcome addition to the collection of any educator or family. It will be available Tuesday, January 27th and will retail for MSRP of $6.99. It can be ordered online via PBS’ online store at More episodes of Arthur and games are available online at Viewers can get more information on this special episode of Arthur and all of the latest news on the series both there and through its official Facebook page, To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

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

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment/AMC

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/AMC

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

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

Bonus Features:

  • From Art To Image
  • Deleted Scenes

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

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



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PBS Kids Releasing New Arthur DVD This Month

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Kids

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arthur: Fountain Abbey will retail for MSRP of $6.99. It can be ordered online via PBS’ online store at More episodes of Arthur and games are available online at Viewers can get more information on this special episode of Arthur and all of the latest news on the series both there and through its official Facebook page, To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Mr. Selfridge Is Even Better Than Before In Its Second Season

Courtesy: PBS/ITV Studios

Courtesy: PBS/ITV Studios

PBS’ British import Mr. Selfridge came as quite the surprise hit in its first season. There were those that expressed some uncertainty about the show, arguing that it was just PBS and it capitalizing on the success of Downton Abbey. The reality is that Mr. Selfridge is absolutely nothing like that program. As a matter of fact, Mr. Selfridge showed throughout its first season that it actually surpasses Downton Abbey. That’s thanks to a combination of solid writing and acting along with equally impressive production values in front of and behind the cameras. Season Two has already wrapped overseas and work on Season Three is underway. In the meantime, PBS will release Season Two of Mr. Selfridge on DVD and Blu-ray April 29th. It goes without saying that the second season of Mr. Selfridge continues that high standard established in the series’ first season. The show’s writers step things up in Season Two, incorporating more drama and even a certain amount of comedy that audiences are certain to appreciate. The acting on the part of the show’s cast is just as solid as ever, too. This includes the new additions to the cast this season. And the period attire and settings are right on par with the changed times, too. Each factor alone is important to the success of this season of Mr. Selfridge. Together though, they make the series’ second season even more impressive than the first.

The writing behind the second season of Mr. Selfridge is the most important factor in this season’s success. The series’ first season was centered primarily on establishing the series’ cast and their relationships. This season offers far more in terms of story lines. Selfridge’s and Mr. Selfridge himself have been caught up in World War I. The result is scandal that takes viewers right up to the season’s finale. The result of the scandal is a much more focused figure in Henry. Henry’s relationship with his wife Rose seems to be better. In fact, she even takes a more active role in the operations of Selfridge’s. That increased role leads to some wonderfully entertaining moments that are certain to have audiences laughing. Some of those moments are linked to the ongoing battle of the sexes. They are both still quite relevant to viewers today, just in a different way. Things in the store have changed a bit, too. One romance blooms while another takes a dramatic turn. Some employees leave while another returns. The store has a new weasel by the name of Mr. Thackery (Cal Macaninch). He looks and acts the part, too. His was an excellent addition as his almost childish behavior will lead to just as much laughter as anger. That’s because everyone knows someone or has known someone in their daily lives just like Mr. Thackery. Lord Loxley (Aidan McArdle) creates his own havoc for Harry along the way, too. And a surprise health diagnosis for Rose makes things even more interesting. These are just some of the many storylines that take place in Season Two. There are far more that viewers will enjoy when they purchase Season Two for themselves. With all of this going on, one would think it would be easy for the writing to get caught up in itself and get muddied. But somehow, the series’ writers managed to balance everything and even make each storyline play into the other to create one whole. That balance creates a whole that will keep audiences watching with as much fervor as any drama out there today British or American.

Those charged with crafting the scripts for each episode of Mr. Selfridge’s second season handled their duties quite well. Their ability to interweave this season’s various storylines with so much ease is the primary reason that this season is even better than the show’s first. Just as important as the series’ writing is the acting on the part of the cast. This is a direct link to the writing. The cast from the series’ first season is back. And only minimal additions have been made to the show’s cast lineup. Whether new or more experienced, the show’s entire cast does an outstanding job of interpreting each script. The cast together manages to pull in audiences and make them feel like they are actually part of the story unlike certain other dramas wherein audiences know they are watching a story unfold. And because Harry has to take a business trip at one point in the season, it allows the rest of the cast to shine. They do that and more. The cast doesn’t present that stereotypical image that so many people have of characters in British dramas. Rather, they actually present an image of being everyday people just trying to make it through another day. So kudos are in high order for the cast this season. Having examined the writing and acting undertaken for the second season of Mr. Selfridge, the only remaining logical point to examine in this season is the collective attire and settings.

The attire and settings are right on par with the times in Season Two. Season Two takes place at the start of World War I. The women’s attire especially shows the coordination with the times. There are some flappers starting to show up among some women. Even the British military uniform matches the times. And there is even a discussion between certain characters regarding the boots used by the British troops. Audiences see one of those boots, rather than hear about them. It’s nice to see the painstaking efforts of those behind the scenes to make even such minutia work in conjunction with the changing times in the story. It’s one more element that makes this season so enjoyable. On the side of the settings, audiences will appreciate how the writers incorporated Selfridge’s and the war into each other. Audiences see the British union jack throughout the store as Britain enters the war. And while audiences never really see any of it, the writers include the removal of all German goods from the store shelves. Indirectly speaking, this is part of the setting, too. It’s just an indirect part of the setting. But it still counts. And because of that, it makes this aspect of Season Two even richer.

Whether one admires mostly the settings and attire, the acting, the writing, or all three together, every bit of what went into the second season of Mr. Selfridge made this season work. It all came together to make this season even better than the first. Even more so, it all went a long way toward making Mr. Selfridge even better than Downtown Abbey. And that is saying something. Anyone that has seen the series’ first season but not yet this season will agree that this season is an important turning point for this series and a must see for anyone wanting to see how a drama is done right. It will be available in stores and online on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday, April 29th. It can be ordered direct via the PBS online store at

More information on Mr. Selfridge is available online at To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Anchor Bay’s In Fear Is One Of 2014’s Top Indie Flicks

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Independent movie studio Anchor Bay has crafted some of the industry’s most surprising and underrated movies since the start of the twenty-first century. Most recently, Anchor Bay was behind the moving human drama that is Unfinished Song and the more lighthearted romantic comedy Shanghai Calling. It was also behind the release of the equally under appreciated 6 Souls and Dark Skies. Now in 2014, Anchor Bay has released yet another impressive yet under appreciated movie to its ever growing stable in the form of In Fear. While it is an indie flick, In Fear proves to be yet another piece from Anchor Bay that holds its own against any of the major horror flicks and thriller features out there today. The primary reason for that is the movie’s writing. This includes its plot. Another reason for its success is the acting on the part of Iain De Caestecker (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Alice Englert (Beautiful Creatures) and Allen Leech (Downton Abbey). And last but not least, In Fear works because of its cinematography and associated editing. All three of these factors together prove In Fear a work that will leave any open minded horror and thriller fan in happiness.

In Fear is not a major, big budget horror or thriller flick, obviously. What it is though, is a movie that any open-minded fan of both genres will enjoy. The main reason for this is the movie’s writing. The general plot starts out as one that has been done so many times before. Here, audiences see a young couple off on what is supposed to be a romantic weekend at a secluded hotel. But obviously, things eventually start to turn to the negative side of the needle for lack of better wording. This is where writer/director Jeremy Lovering takes the *ahem* high road (bad pun fully intended). It would have been so easy for Lovering to simply allow In Fear to descend to the dumbed down, overly violent level of so many major horror and thriller flicks from here. Instead, he kept the overt violence to a minimum by comparison. Where far too many major horror and thriller flicks fill their run times with unnecessary violence, blood and gore, Lovering has virtually eliminated those elements, using only what was absolutely necessary to help maintain the story’s grip on viewers. And the standard exploitative sexual content thrown in to those major motion pictures is totally nonexistent here. For that reason alone, Lovering deserves a lot of credit.

The minimized use of blood, gore and general violence and the complete lack of exploitive sexual content is just one part of what makes this movie’s writing work so well. Lovering keeps viewers wondering even after Tom and Lucy let Max into their car. Audiences have to admit that had they been in Tom and Lucy’s position, they too would be uncertain as to whether or not Max was good or bad. So any viewer that might like to claim the movie was predictable is proven wrong through this avenue alone. That unpredictability is heightened through the use of certain elements that also lead to some “a-ha” moments by the story’s end, too. Those “a-ha” moments illustrate even more the depth of Lovering’s writing in his script and in turn its enjoyment.

Jeremy Lovering’s script for In Fear is the cornerstone of the movie’s success. The acting on the part of Iain De Caestecker, Alice Englert, and Allen Leech serves to strengthen the movie even more. The trio is entirely believable in its acting. Caestecker and Englert expertly exhibit the growing tension and fear felt by any normal person lost in unknown territory. Given, the odds of being lost and hunted by an unseen predator of sorts are slim to nil in reality. But the fear caused simply by being lost in unknown territory is very real as is the general fear of the unknown. And Caestecker and Englert have made that fear all the more real through their acting. Any viewer will be able to relate to them as they watch the pair try to reach the Kilairney Hotel thanks to the seriousness with which the pair took its roles. Together with the script, this aspect of In Fear makes the movie all the more gripping and enjoyable for viewers.

The acting and writing behind In Fear both are pivotal to the success of the movie. There is still one more aspect of the movie that adds to its enjoyment. That factor is the movie’s collective cinematography and editing. Some of the best shots of the entire movie come as Lucy is looking out of the car, waiting for she and Tom to reach the hotel. Audiences see trees hanging ominously overhead as the sky slowly darkens. These are such subtle shots. But they are so powerful because they are so powerful. It adds to the feeling of tension and being trapped in an enclosed environment for extended periods of time. The way that editor Jonathan Amos (A.C.E.) transitioned the two shots adds so much by doing so little. Those behind the cameras are just as worthy of applause for the solid yet short shots of the figure that seems to be hunting Tom and Lucy. Audiences get just enough of a glimpse to know that there is something outside that car that doesn’t want the pair around. And the shots are just plentiful enough to add to the movie’s fear factor, too. Again, it shows the expert work of Amos and his co-workers behind the cameras. There are far more examples of how the cinematography and editing make In Fear a horror/thriller worth seeing. Audiences will find even more examples when they purchase or rent the movie for themselves on DVD and Blu-ray.

Whether for the cinematography, the editing, the acting or for the general writing, any open-minded fan of the thriller and horror genres will find plenty of reasons to check out this latest underrated and under appreciated release from Anchor Bay Entertainment. The movie is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct from Anchor Bay Entertainment’s website at More information on this and other releases from Anchor Bay Entertainment is available online at,, and To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Mr. Selfridge Season Two Coming To Blu-ray, DVD This Spring

Courtesy: PBS/ITV Studios

Courtesy: PBS/ITV Studios

ITV Studios’ hugely popular series Mr. Selfridge just wrapped its second season across the pond. And it just started here on Masterpiece yesterday. In coordination of the U.S. debut of Season 2, ITV Studios and Masterpiece have partnered to release Season Two on Blu-ray and DVD this Spring.

Mr. Selfridge Season Two will be released to the masses on Blu-ray and DVD April 29th. The series, starring Jeremy Piven (Entourage, PCU) follows the famed businessman that changed the face of business in London in the early twentieth century and his business, Selfridge & Co. Season Two of Mr. Selfridge runs a total of 7.5 hours over three discs and features the original U.K. edition of Season Two. Frances O’Conner (Madame Bovary) returns for Season Two in the role of Harry Selfridge’s wife Rose as does Aisling Loftus (Page Eight) as Agnes Towler. Also back for Season Two are: Amanda Abbington (Sherlock Season 3) as Miss Mardle, and Ron Cook (Little Dorrit) as Mr. Crabb.
There is sure to be more drama for Harry Selfridge in Season Two as Katherine Kelly (Coronation Street) returns once again as Lady Mae. Gregory Fitoussi (World War Z) is back, too as Henri LeClair. Samuel West (Any Human Heart) reprises his role as enterprising journalist Frank Edwards. Selfrdige’s personnel director Mr. Grove is once more played by Tom Goodman-Hill (Downton Abbey). And Trystan Gravelle (Anonymous) also returns again as the dashing manager of Selfridge’s Palm Court Restaurant, Victor Colleano.

Audiences will see plenty of familiar faces in Season Two of Mr. Selfridge. They will also see some new faces. Polly Walker (Miss Marple) joins the cast of Mr. Selfridge as Delphine Day, author of numerous steamy novels and proprietress of a new nightclub. Also joining the cast for the first time this season are Cal Macaninch (Downton Abbey) and Aiden McArdle (Jane Eyre) as new head of fashion at Selfridge & Co. Mr. Thackeray, and Lord Loxley, Lady Mae’s estranged husband.

Season Two of Mr. Selfridge opens in the Spring of 1914. The store is now celebrating its fifth anniversary. There have been lots of changes at Selfridge & Co. in terms of staff. Harry’s wife Rose has even inexplicably returned to London after having left Harry to return to America at the end of Season One. There are sure to be even more changes as the shadow of World War I looms over London.

More information on Mr. Selfridge Season Two and the series in general is available online at,, and It can be pre-ordered now via the PBS online store at

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Downton Abbey Even “Richer” In Its Fourth Season

Courtesy: PBS/itv

Courtesy: PBS/itv

The fourth season of Downton Abbey is another success for the hit imported drama.  Yes, it is one more serial.  But unlike so many of the serials that dominate American television, this serial has actually stepped it up once again.  The show’s writers have made the series’ progression feel natural. Just as important in the success of Season Four is the work of those in the show’s costume department.  Just as the writing has helped the show progress, the costume design department has progressed with the writing.  The acting on the part of the cast continues to shine, too.  There is far more to consider than just the work of the actors, writers, and costume department in the success of Downton Abbey Season Four.  That would take far too much time and space than is available.  Needless to say, the three factors noted here collectively are more than enough reason to purchase or order this latest season of PBS’ hit imported drama.

Serials are all the rage on American television.  So it leaves one wondering why the “Big 4” have ignored Downton Abbey leaving it instead to PBS for four seasons now.  It’s the loss of the “Big 4” and the gain of PBS, proving once again the need and importance of public broadcasting.  Now in its fourth season, Downton Abbey is still just as enjoyable as it was in its first season.  The primary reason for that is the series’ writing.  The show’s writers have continued to make the show’s progression feel entirely natural now in its fourth season.  Put simply, the writers don’t make viewers feel like they absolutely must watch from week to week to keep up with everything going on even now in the show’s fourth season.  That’s what separates this drama from all of the serials that dominate American television.  Viewers can tune in and miss a week here or there and still be able to have a relatively good idea of what is going on.  By direct connection, those charged with keeping the series believable in terms of its look have helped the show‘s progression, too.

Audiences that have watched Downton Abbey since its very first season will recall the time and place in which the series began.  Those audiences will notice that those charged with maintaining the cast’s attire have gone to great lengths to keep the cast’s attire proper for the times.  From the women’s flapper attire to the men’s dresswear, it’s obvious that the costume department’s heads wanted to maintain viewers’ suspension of disbelief.  And considering just how few studio execs and moviemakers today care about maintaining the accuracy of their period pieces, it’s wonderful to see that at least someone cares.  It serves so well to help pull viewers into the series and make them feel like they are actually there and not just watching it on television.  It’s just one more part of why DA’s fans will appreciate this latest season.

The work of the costume department and the writers behind Downton Abbey work in tandem to make the series just as enjoyable in its fourth season as it was in its debut season.  As impressive as the writing and costuming are in Season Four, one would be remiss to ignore the acting on the part of the cast.  The cast has once again expertly interpreted the writers’ scripts.  Michelle Dockery instantly pulls at viewers’ heartstrings as the now widowed Lady Mary.  Lady Mary is now faced in Season Four, with raising a child alone as her husband has been killed.  And Maggie Smith’s return as Dowager Countess of Grantham is one of the season’s highest points.  She continues to prove why she is one of the leading actresses in the industry today.  Even the servants show their acting prowess.  From romance plot lines to a maid that has a serious attitude problem, they pull in viewers just as much as the rest of the cast that fills Highclere Castle.  Viewers will each find their favorite moments from the cast throughout Season Four when they order and purchase this box set for themselves.  Audiences will also see for themselves just why the costume department and the series’ staff of writers deserve their share of credit, too this season.  It can be ordered online direct from the PBS online store at  Fans can follow Downton Abbey online at and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Anchor Bay To Release New Psychological Thriller

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Anchor Bay Entertainment will release the new indie-horror flick In Fear this Spring.  The movie, starring Iain de Caestecker (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Alice Englert (Beautiful Creatures), and Allen Leech (Downton Abbey), it is the feature film debut for writer/director Jeremy Lovering.  In Fear has already made waves at international film festivals in nine countries including: Toronto After Dark (Canada), the Rosebud Entertainment Fantasy Festival (Germany), Fancine – Festival de Cine Fantastico (Spain), and the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (South Korea).

In Fear follow’s the plight of a young couple being tracked in their car by an unseen predator.  The couple is trapped in its car as it travels a number of country roads in an attempt to escape its seemingly invisible assailant.  The couple’s car is its only protection.  The story combines the fear of the dark and of the unknown.  It will be available March 11th on Blu-ray, DVD and Video on Demand.  The Blu-ray presentation will be available for SRP of $29.99.  The DVD will be available for SRP of $24.98.

More information on In Fear and other films from Anchor Bay Entertainment is available online at and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

New Downton Abbey Set An Excellent Gift For Fans New And Old

Courtesy:  itv/PBS

Courtesy: itv/PBS

2014 is set to be a big year for Downton Abbey.  PBS’ British import has been nominated for a Golden Globe in the annual awards show.  The series’ fourth season is also set to premiere on PBS in just a matter of days.  The current date for its Season Four premiere is January 5th, 2014.  And Season Four is also currently scheduled to be released on DVD and Blu-ray January 28th, 2014.  So it goes without saying that the show’s fans have a lot to look forward to this Winter.  Before Season Four makes its U.S. premiere, the show’s fans can get caught up thanks to the new three-season gift set on Blu-ray and DVD.  This new set is a great gift for the most devoted of the show’s fans.  Not only does it include the series’ first three seasons together in their own entirety, but it also includes the companion DVD, The Secrets of Highclere Castle.  This is the central point of what this latest set offers audiences.  Those that might perhaps be new to Downton Abbey will appreciate in watching this box set the writing.  Most people don’t like the thought of watching a show about rich people.  But once said audiences allow themselves to get past that outer layer, they will be pulled in by the purely human drama that makes up the series’ plot.  The cast’s attire and the overall setting also play into the overall enjoyment of this series.  That together with the solid writing and the box’s bonus material makes this latest box set a wonderful addition to the library of any Downton Abbey fan.

Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey Season 1 2 & 3 is not the first of the Downton Abbey box sets released in 2013 by PBS and the BBC.  The show’s first two seasons have already been released in a special Blu-ray box set.  So what sets this latest box set apart from that set?  The first thing that audiences will notice is that the first three seasons are all included in this set.  Also included as an added bonus, is the companion documentary The Secrets of Highclere Castle.  This documentary had previously only been available as a stand-alone piece on DVD.  Now, it’s included in its proper place with this set for those that want the full show experience.  It’s not all that audiences get as a bonus, either.  There is also episode-specific commentary that adds even more to the overall experience.  It is all packaged in one relatively ergonomic set.  This is the case both with the DVD and Blu-ray box set.  And it’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg for this set, too.

The packaging and bonus features that comprise the Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey Season 1 2 & 3 box set are important parts of the set’s overall presentation.  One would be remiss though, to ignore the show’s writing and its effect on the series thus far.  Most audiences don’t seem too interested in watching a TV show about a rich family.  The last time that such show had an audience as devoted as this one was the original Dallas, starring the late Larry Hagman.  What sets this rich family apart from the stereotypical aristocratic family is that its members actually don’t feel above everyone else.  The show’s writers actually give the family members a certain heart despite the cultural divide between themselves and the servants that live and work in Highclere Castle.  The family actually does everything to not get rid of the servants even in somewhat difficult financial situations.  While it may not make the family more relatable to average viewers, it does make them more human and in turn, more worthy of praise.  It makes audiences want to find out what happens next within the confines of the story, which goes back to the overall writing.  It makes the stories all the (pardon the term) richer for viewers.  And in turn, it exhibits just why the show is such a favorite among audiences and critics alike.  It shows why this is the center of what makes this new set so worth checking out especially for those that might be new to the world of Downton Abbey.

The writing behind Downton Abbey is some of the purest writing for scripted television shows today.  By comparison, it outshines so much of the programming that pollutes American airwaves today.  In direct relation to the writing, audiences that are new to this hit drama will be impressed by the backdrops and attire used throughout the show’s first three seasons.  It’s obvious that the show’s heads wanted to be as accurate as possible to the series.  They wanted to be respectful both to the show’s history and its fans.  This is something else that audiences will learn about in the set’s bonus material.  It’s nice to see that just as in Mr. Selfridge painstaking efforts were undertaken to make the series as real as possible.  That’s something else that is rarely seen in most American television offerings today.  It makes the series stand out even more.  Along with its equally solid writing and bonus features, it becomes one more part of what is one 2013’s top box sets for adults.  It is available in stores and online now, and can be ordered direct from the PBS online store at  More information on Downton Abbey is available online at and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at