Ultimate Tut A Good Addition To PBS’ Secrets of the Dead

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

The latest installment of PBS’ series, Secrets of the Dead is one of the series’ most interesting episodes.  That is because the episode’s subject is one that has intrigued people the world over for ages.  The subject of study in question in this episode is none other than the boy king, Tut.  This near two-hour episode is a fully immersive study of not just how he died, but of what happened to him after his death.  The theories presented here make this a wonderful companion piece to last year’s release by History Channel of the Ancient Egypt anthology.  The re-enactments on the part of the episode will both entertain and help enlighten audiences.  And the demonstrations and computer models presented with each theory make the episode complete.  They tie directly into the re-enactments to bring each theory into full view and make each one understandable by even the most casual of viewers.  All of this in turn makes this episode of Secrets of the Dead more proof of the importance and value of public broadcasting yet again.

The theories centered on how King Tut died seem to be as many as the stars in the sky.  The most commonly held belief of those masses of theories is that he was murdered by a jealous rival.  While this is seemingly debunked by the individuals in this episode, the concept of a jealous rival does come into play later in the segments surrounding Tut’s embalming and entombment.  That in itself is just as eye opening as the theory on how Tut died.  That’s because it plays out like something right out of a modern day movie.  Getting back to the theory on how Tut died, the theory in question presented here is that he wasn’t murdered, or the victim of malaria or even an infection from a hippo bite, but that he was in fact run over by a chariot on the field of battle.  The aforementioned re-enactments and computer models present a rather compelling argument in favor of this theory.  Though it’s interesting that if Tut was indeed run over by another chariot, the question remains to whom did the chariot belong?  While the theory is largely sound, it does have one hole.  That hole is the discussion of who exactly Tut and his forces would have been battling at the time.  This seems like a minor detail.  But in the grand scheme of things, to make the theory watertight, one would have to have solid evidence of the battle that would have led to his falling from his chariot and in turn run over by another chariot.  Without proof of the battle that is theorized, it is difficult to not question it at least to some length.  It would be interesting to have the experts in question re-visit this theory and see if this can be tied in to their theory.

The theory presented here on how Tut died is rather thought provoking, but not watertight.  It is definitely interesting to consider, though.  Just as interesting are the discussions centered on the theories of what happened to Tut in the moments and eons after his death.  Among the most interesting of the discussions is that of how Tut’s body ended up in the state in which it was found.  According to the scientists that examined Tut’s body, the theory is raised that his body was prepared very quickly and carelessly due to the personal ambitions of Tut’s personal Vizier.  This brings back the previously mentioned belief that Tut was murdered.  According to the experts interviewed for this program, the skull damage found on Tut was not from a blow to the head, but as a result of Tut’s body being moved when it was originally damaged.  It definitely will lead to even more thought provoking discussions among viewers at any level. 

The theories of how Tut came to be in the condition in which he was found are sure to create their own in-depth discussions among viewers.  They aren’t the end all do all though.  Other theories are sure to come up.  And as noted in the final minutes of this episode, another tomb very close to Tut’s has been discovered, but has yet to be unearthed.  Its discovery raises even more curiosities.  And it is sure to raise even more theories in the future; theories that are sure to make for more than enough fodder for another episode of Secrets of the Dead.  Until then, history buffs will have this episode to take in and share with one another.  It will be available Tuesday, July 23rd.  It can be ordered online direct from the PBS online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=21689776&cp=&sr=1&kw=secrets+of+the+dead&origkw=Secrets+of+the+Dead&parentPage=search

Audiences can find out even more about this episode and every episode of Secrets of the Dead on the show’s official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/SecretsofTheDead and its official website, http://www.pbs.org/secrets

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.

ABC, ESPN Networks Carrying Seven Playoff Games This Weekend

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

NBA fans have plenty of reason to be happy this weekend.  ABC and ESPN have seven games on tap this weekend.  Three of those games will air on ESPN Friday night beginning with a matchup between the Knicks and Celtics.  The Knicks will look to extend their two-game lead over Boston as the teams face off in game three of that series Friday night at 8pm.  It will air on ESPN and ESPN Radio affiliates across the country.  Fans can also catch the game online and via mobile access through WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app.  Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, and Heather Cox will have the call on ESPN.  Marc Kestecher and Dr. Jack Ramsey will call the game for ESPN Radio.  The game is scheduled to start at 8pm EST.      

The second of the night’s triple header sees the Spurs and Lakers face off in the third game of their series, too.  The Spurs are up two games to none in that best-of-seven series.  Injuries have plagued the Lakers, who are looking to get their footing again Friday night.  The game is scheduled to start at 10:30pm EST.  It will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.  Fans can also watch the game online and on mobile devices through WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app.  Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, and Chris Broussard will have the call on ESPN.  They will be joined by Alvaro Martin and Carlos Morales for ESPN Deportes.

Also at 10:30, the Warriors will look to break the one-game time with the Nuggets when the teams head back to Oakland.  The Warriors come into Friday’s game with some momentum.  The team as a whole shot nearly sixty-five percent and made 14 of 25 three-point shots.  Four of the team’s players scored twenty points in game two Tuesday night.  The Warriors have also outrebounded the Nuggets 91 to 71 over the course of the series’ first two games.  The Nuggets are looking to regain some footing Friday night when they are hoping to get Kenneth Faried back in the lineup after having lost him in Game 1 to a sprained ankle.  Friday’s matchup will air on ESPN2 and can be viewed online and on mobile devices through WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app.  Dave Pasch, Jon Barry, and Holly Rowe will have all the action and news throughout the game.

The weekend showcase closes out with a Sunday doubleheader pitting the Knicks and Celtics against each other again for Game Four in the teams’ best-of-seven series first.  The game will air at 1pm on ABC and on ESPN Radio affiliates across the nation.  Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Heather Cox will be back to call the action again for the game, while Marc Kestecher and Dr. Jack Ramsay will have the call for ESPN Radio. 

The day’s second game tips off at 3:30pm EST.  The Bucks are hoping to dig out of a two game hole right now with game three tonight at 7pm.  Game four will be Sunday afternoon on ABC and ESPN Deportes.  Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, and Chris Broussard will be on hand for ESPN.  Alvaro Martin and Carlos Morales will call all the action for ESPN Deportes.  It all starts with the Kia NBA Countdown at 12:30pm EST.  Hosts Magic Johnson, Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose, and Michael Wilbon will discuss the weekend’s previous games and their implications as the NBA post season rolls on, as well as Sunday’s games on tap.  Fans can catch the Countdown on ABC.

A full schedule of the weekend’s games is available below.

Date Time (ET) Game / Commentators Networks
Fri, Apr 26 8 p.m. New York Knicks at Boston Celtics (Gm. 3)

ESPN: Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Heather Cox

ESPN Radio: Marc Kestecher, Dr. Jack Ramsay

ESPN, ESPN Radio, WatchESPN
  10:30 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers (Gm. 3)

ESPN: Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Chris Broussard

ESPN Deportes: Alvaro Martin, Carlos Morales

ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes
  10:30 p.m. Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors (Gm. 3)

ESPN: Dave Pasch, Jon Barry, Holly Rowe

ESPN2, WatchESPN
Sat, Apr 27 7 p.m. Indiana Pacers at Atlanta Hawks (Gm. 3)

ESPN: Mark Jones, Doris Burke, Holly Rowe

ESPN, WatchESPN
  9:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets (Gm. 3)

ESPN: Dave Pasch, Jon Barry, Samantha Ponder

ESPN Radio: Kevin Calabro, Chris Mullin

ESPN Deportes: Alvaro Martin, Carlos Morales

ESPN, ESPN Radio, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes
Sun, Apr 28 12:30 p.m. KIA NBA Countdown

Magic Johnson, Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose, Michael Wilbon

ABC
  1 p.m. New York Knicks at Boston Celtics (Gm. 4)

ESPN: Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Heather Cox

ESPN Radio: Marc Kestecher, Dr. Jack Ramsay

ABC, ESPN Radio
  3:30 p.m. Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks (Gm. 4)

ESPN: Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Chris Broussard

ESPN Deportes: Alvaro Martin, Carlos Morales

ABC, ESPN Deportes

 

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.

Crystal, Midler As Funny As Ever In Parental Guidance

Courtesy:  20th Century Fox

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox

Billy Crystal’s latest starring vehicle is everything that many critics have already written and noted of it.  It is schmaltzy.  It is sappy.  And to say that one might feel uncomfortable throughout the course of this nearly two hour movie is an understatement.  But considering the writing that harkens back to Uncle Buck (1989), Cheaper By The Dozen (2003) and even Meet The Parents (2000), the movie still manages to succeed thanks to the chemistry of lead actors Billy Crystal and Bette Midler.  It’s the chemistry between the two that keeps the movie afloat.  The experience of the pair together helps to support the other, thus validating everything going on around them.  Had they been paired with another actor, things might not have gone as well as they did.  Thankfully, viewers don’t have to wonder how the movie would have turned out had the situation been any different.

Both Crystal and Midler show their veteran acting chops, bouncing their comic prowess off of the somewhat younger Marisa Tomei and Tom Everett Scott.  While some of the antics that happen between Diane (Midler), Artie (Crystal) and the kids are somewhat outrageous, there is at least a certain modicum of truth here as to what happens with so many families in similar circumstances.  As children become the adults, a rift of sorts develops between them and their parents because of philosophical differences on raising children and living life in general.  Every parent would love to think that their child(ren) would grow up to live life like them.  But the reality is that parents and their adult children are different from one another.  That doesn’t mean that they don’t both have something to learn from the other even as adults.  That’s the basis of the story.  Both Artie and Alice are stuck in their ways, and neither wants to budge, thus leading to the story that is both comical and heartwarming enough to keep viewers engaged from start to finish, despite the constant uncomfortable feeling some might have from watching the interaction of the movie’s lead cast.

Now that the movie has been release on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack, audiences get even more enjoyment out of it thanks in large part to its audio commentary.  Crystal–who both acted in and produced the movie–joins director Andy Fickman in discussing everything that went into bringing the movie to life.  The movie is more enjoyable in learning that it was lifted almost directly from a personal experience in Crystal’s own life.  There are also little tidbits such as why Crystal chose to have his character wear a certain kind of hat early on in the movie to the storms that would constantly delay the movie and more.  It’s yet more proof of the value of bonus features and audio commentary in a movie’s home release.  it’s one more reason to check out this family friendly comedy at least once.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.