The Empire Will Rise This Winter

Courtesy: Rise Records/Velocity Records

Courtesy: Rise Records/Velocity Records

The empire will rise this winter.

Cosplay rock outfit Galactic Empire will release its debut album Friday, February 3, 2017.  The 11-song, self-titled record will be released via Rise Records.  It will feature the band’s own take on a number of songs featured in LucasFilms’s Star Wars movies.  Those movies are not limited to just the original trilogy of films.  The franchise’s latest installment, The Force Awakens gets a nod on this record in ‘Ben’s Death: Tie Fighter Attack.’

Also included in the band’s upcoming album are ‘Imperial March,’ ‘The Asteroid Field,’ and other re-imagined songs from the famed franchise.

The band recently released a joint statement announcing the album’s upcoming album in a manner only the Empire could.

“AT LONG LAST!  Our preparations are complete.  The mighty Galactic Empire will unleash our ultimate weapon in the battle to bring heavy metal to your galaxy,” the band said. “The puny humans at Velocity and Rise Records have succumbed to the crushing power of the Dark Side and will release out debut full-length album on which we pay tribute to Supreme Sith Overlord John Williams with 11 tracks of pure sonic devastation.  Join us, and together, we can rule the galaxy!”

The full track listing for the band’s upcoming album is noted below.

 

Track Listing:
01. Main Theme
02. Imperial March
03. Duel of the Fates
04. The Force Theme
05. The Asteroid Field
06. Battle of the Heroes
07. Cantina Band
08. Ben’s Death: Tie Fighter Attack
09. Across the Stars
10. The Forest Battle
11. The Throne Room: End Title

 

Velocity and Rise Records released videos for ‘The Imperial March’ and ‘Main Theme’ earlier this year.  The band has also been keeping audiences updated on the album through its own YouTube Channel.

Pre-orders are available for Galactic Empire now via iTunes and the band’s official website.

More information on Galactic Empire’s upcoming debut album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/GalacticEmpire8

 

 

 

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Panton’s 2015 Re-Issue Show Big Things Can And Do Come In “Little” Packages

Courtesy:  eOne

Courtesy: eOne

As each day passes this month, Phil’s Picks is presenting its annual “Best of” lists.  That mass of lists launched yesterday with the year’s top new EPs.  Today, we move from EPs to albums.  Today’s list doesn’t focus on new albums, but album re-issues.  Make no bones about it, every year, hundreds of albums are re-issued both on CD and vinyl (as well as digital platforms).  So they are just as valid as being considered in any critic’s year-end lists as anything else.  Keeping that in mind, today Phil’s Picks is offering its list of the year’s Top 10 New CD Re-Issues.  This year’s list is topped by Diana Panton’s 2015 album I Believe in Small Things.  Also included in this year’s list of top re-issues are titles from Rich Robinson, Black Sabbath, Pain of Salvation and others.

As always, the list includes both the Top 10 records and five extra honorable mention titles for a total of 15 records.  Keeping that in mind, here for your consideration are the Phil’s Picks 2016 Top 10 CD Re-Issues

 

1) Diana Panton – I Believe In Small Things

 

2) Rich Robinson – Woodstock Sessions Volume 3

 

3) Rich Robinson – Through A Crooked Sun

 

4) Rich Robinson – Llama Blues

 

5) Allen Stone – Radius

 

6) Junkstars – This Means War

 

7) Faith No More – Album of the Year

 

8) Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

 

9) Black Sabbath – Paranoid

 

10) Black Sabbath – Master of Reality

 

11) Pain of Salvation – Remedy Lane: Revisited, Re-Mixed and Re-Lived

 

12) American Hi-Fi – American Hi-Fi

 

13) Michael Jackson – Off The Wall

 

14) Pete Seeger – Pete

 

15) Shooter Jennings & Hierophant – Black Ribbons

 

 

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‘Star Paws’ Is A Stellar Miss For Ruthless Studios, MVD Visual

Courtesy: MVD Visual/Ruthless Studios

Courtesy: MVD Visual/Ruthless Studios

MVD Visual has a real knack for releasing impressive documentaries.  This year’s crop of new documentaries is proof of that.  It includes the likes of: Raiders: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, Zydeco Crossroads: A Tale of Two Cities and Back in Time just to name a few titles.  That’s just a few titles from this year.  It has released a number of enjoyable documentary titles in past years, too.  While MVD Visual has succeeded quite well in the documentary realm, its cinematic releases are another story.  Those releases have been hit and miss with its foreign import Men and Chicken being one of its rare hits most recently.  Later this month, MVD Visual will release a new children’s flick from indie studio Ruthless Studios called Star Paws that sadly is one of the company’s misses.  This CG/Live Action hybrid is a disappointment not just in the world of children’s movies but in general, too.  There is not a lot to say to the positive about this largely forgettable flick other than it is a good way to get young viewers interested in dinosaurs and paleontology.  Other than that, there is not much that can be said positive about this movie.

Star Paws, the new family flick from Ruthless Studios and MVD Visual is a real miss for MVD Visual in its lengthy list of cinematic features.  There is not a lot that can be said positive about this largely forgettable work.  While it does have at best one positive, that one positive isn’t enough to make up for its negatives, which begin with the very issues of its production values.  The movie’s production values (or lack thereof) make this work look like something that was crafted by a middle school student.  That is evident in an item such as the “time machine,” which is clearly just a box covered in tin foil.  This is only the tip of the massive iceberg that is the movie’s poor quality production values.  Even more troubling is the total imbalance in the movie’s CG elements and live action elements.  The dogs and chickens (yes, chickens) are the only actual animals that are used in the movie.  The dinosaurs and cats are all CG as are the space battle scenes and most of the backgrounds.  Sometimes, the backgrounds are little more than blue screens placed behind the dogs, which gives the movie an even cheaper, low-budget look.  That hurts the movie even more.  At other times, the movie’s crew just used random footage for scene shots.  It only gets worse from here, but that will be discussed later.  For all of the movie’s many negatives, it does have at least one positive.  That positive is the educational content centered on the dinosaurs.

Star Paws is marred by problems from the beginning to the end of its 78-minute run time.  From completely low-budget, amateurish production values to a total historical inaccuracy in its mention of the Civil War (audiences will have to see the movie to understand this) to the abhorrent voice acting, there is little to nothing that can be said to the positive about this movie.  Its one noticeable positive is its educational content centered on dinosaurs.  The movie is to be commended for teaching a very elementary level lesson about dinosaurs that will entertain 4 and 5-year-olds.  While those audiences likely won’t be able to properly pronounce the names of the dinosaurs presented, the information provided about them makes for a good starting point in lessons for teachers and parents about dinosaurs. Other than that one positive, there is nothing else that can be said about this movie, other than the fact that it at least doesn’t even come close to the 90-minute mark.

The educational dinosaur content that is presented in Star Paws is a good starting point both for teachers and parents in developing lessons about said creatures for 4 and 5-year-old audiences.  Other than that one element, there is honestly no other positive to this disappointing extremely low-budget family flick.  It has already been noted that the movie suffers greatly from its production values in so many ways.  The issues that it faces with its embarrassing production values are not the only issues from which it suffers.  It also suffers from poor writing; more specifically a poor story.  The story centers on the race between an evil cat called Adventure Cat and a group of dogs to get a magical prehistoric bone.  The bone in question gives its owner untold power.  Both parties have to travel back to prehistoric times to get the bone, all while dodging dinosaurs (CG dinosaurs for that matter who look like they came from a late 90s video game).  The story ties in the concept of a time loop as a means for Adventure Cat and the dogs to return to their own time.  Even that element’s use can be brought into question in the movie’s overall story.  So much more could be said here.  But the fact of the matter is that there is just not enough time or space to point out all of the problems with this movie’s story.  It is that problematic.  The same can be said of the voice cast’s work, which throughout feels so forced and cheesy to say the very least.  Between these issues, the issues associated with its cheap production values, and other issues, it can be determined that there is no saving Star Paws.  This is even with the one positive in its educational content.  It is a disappointing cinematic offering from MVD Visual and Ruthless Studios.

MVD Visual and Ruthless Studios’ new family flick Star Paws is a disappointing offering from the two independent organizations.  There is sadly little to nothing positive that can be said about this extremely low-budget, live action/CG hybrid story.  It suffers greatly from issues in its writing, its acting and its production values.  Between its writing, voice acting and production values, this movie feels like it is all over the place from start to finish.  Even the one positive—its educational dinosaur content—is not enough to save it, considering its overpowering negatives.  All things considered, Star Paws proves to be a disappointing offering from MVD Visual and Ruthless Studios.  It is more proof, considering MVD Visual’s record with cinematic release, that maybe it should stick with documentary films rather than cinematic works.  More information on this and other titles from Ruthless Studios is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.RuthlessStudios.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/RuthlessMovies

 

 

 

More information on this and other titles from MVD Visual is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.MVDvisual.com

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

 

 

 

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.

PBS Uncovers A Little Known Piece Of American History In A New Episode Of AmEx

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

On January 10, 2017, PBS Distribution will take viewers 36 years into the past to a date that while insignificant to most, is much more important to a select few in a new episode of American Experience.

PBS Distribution will release American Experience: Command and Control on Tuesday, January 10. The film follows the events of September 18, 1980, when America almost suffered one of the worst nuclear catastrophes in its history.

It was on that date that a Titan II ballistic missile housed at a complex in Damascus, Arkansas almost caused what would have been one of the nation’s worst nuclear disasters.  The events began when maintenance on the rocket by two men when horribly wrong after a socket from one of the men’s wrenches fell 70 feet down the silo and punctured the missile.

When the rocket was punctured, highly flammable rocket fuel leaked from the missile.  The fuel filled the silo, and over the next eight hours, officials worked to keep the missile, which had a warhead 600 times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, from exploding inside the silo and causing potentially unheard of damage.

The missile was powerful enough to destroy much of Arkansas and spread radioactive fallout across the East Coast.  Being that nothing of that caliber had ever happened before then, the Air Force had no procedures in place to handle the situation.

The two-hour program mixes into its central story the secondary story of America’s nuclear weapons program from WWII through the Cold War.  It is based largely on recently declassified documents.  In turns it asks some very powerful and important questions, making audiences really think about the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

American Experience: Command and Control will be released Tuesday, January 10.  It runs two hours and will retail for MSRP of $24.99, but can be pre-ordered now at a reduced price of $19.99 via PBS’ online store.  It is also available there in a combo pack that includes author Eric Schlosser’s book on which the program is based.

More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

 

 

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.

‘Late Nights And Heartbreak’ Is One Of 2016’s Most Surprising Albums

Courtesy: Record Kicks

Courtesy: Record Kicks

Hannah Williams is one of the music industry’s most well-kept secrets.  The UK-based singer first made a name for herself in 2012 with her debut album Hill of Feathers.  That album’s lead single ‘Work It Out’ earned her fame around the world.  Its companion video has more than one million views.  Four years and thousands of tour miles later—with a number of sold out shows along the way—the young soul powerhouse has released her follow-up to Hill of Feathers in the form of her sophomore album Late Nights and Heartbreak.  While her debut album set her on her path to fame, this latest offering could very well be the record that makes her a mainstream hit.  One song supporting that statement is the socio-politically charged ‘Ain’t Enough.’  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Woman Got Soul’ is another song that shows the strengths of Late Nights and Heartbreak.  It will be discussed later.  Williams’ cover of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Dazed and Confused’ is one more song showing the strengths of this album, and is hardly the last example of those strengths, too.  In fact, every one of the songs included in this album could be cited in exhibiting what makes this record stand so proud.  All things considered, Late Nights and Heartbreak proves to be one of this year’s top new independent albums if not one of the year’s top new albums overall.

Hannah Williams’ sophomore album Late Nights and Heartbreak is one of this year’s top new independent albums and potentially one of the year’s top new albums overall.  That is exhibited throughout the album’s 13-song body crafted by Williams and her new backing band, The Affirmations.  One of the songs that best serves to show the album’s strengths is ‘Ain’t Enough.’  In terms of its musical arrangement, it echoes the arrangement presented in Marvin Gaye’s hit song ‘What’s Going On?’ but does so without merely replicating that arrangement.  Adam Holgate’s guitar licks and Jai Widdowson-Jones’ infectious beats join with the group’s horn section—Nicholas Malcom (trumpet), Liam Treasure (trombone) and John Pratt (baritone saxophone)—to make a rich sound that echoes Gaye’s timeless work but still maintains its own identity separate from that of Gaye’s song.  What’s even more amazing here is the fact that the group’s presentation feels so effortless.  There are a lot of acts out there who try way too hard to resurrect the sound of a certain era only to end up failing miserably in their efforts.  The Affirmations make it clear that it is not one of those acts in this composition.  Instead it shows itself to be an act that has clearly spent a long time perfecting its collective abilities.  The end result here, again, is a work that sounds wholly genuine.  In turn it turns out to be just one of so many standout arrangements presented in this album.  The song’s musical arrangement is clearly important to displaying the album’s overall strengths.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s socio-politically charged lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.

The musical arrangement presented in ‘Ain’t Enough’ is clearly an important part of the song’s presentation.  It is one clear example of what makes LNAH such a strong new effort from Hannah Williams.  It is just one part of what makes the song (and album) stand out.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note here as its musical arrangement.  Williams takes on the country’s political leaders in the song’s lyrics, her vocal delivery sounding like a hybrid of Nina Simone and Janis Joplin, if one can even begin to fathom such a combination.  She sings here, “It’s hard to believe/All these things that you say/When so much of what we have is being taken away/This ain’t a nightmare/No, this is real life/Wake up to all these problems/Cause they ain’t solved overnight…If this is you doin’ all you can/It definitely ain’t enough.”  She goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Before you accuse/Take a look at yourself/Is peace what you want/Or is it more about wealth/Lining your pockets/Pulling wool over our eyes/Getting rich from selling weapons/Watching innocents die.”  There’s no doubt from here about the song’s topic.  Williams makes no bones about it here.  She is not happy about what the world’s political leaders are doing at the expense of the people. Yet she’s not screaming about it unlike so many acts out there today.  But it is definitely a concerted statement.  Again, it is a statement that would fit just as well with the protest songs of the 60s and 70s as it does with today’s socio-politically minded songs.  One could even argue that it outshines its modern counterparts.  When this is taken into consideration alongside the song’s infectious musical arrangement, the whole of the song shows clearly why it is one of the album’s strongest songs. In turn it shows in part why LNAH is a solid record in whole.  It is just one of the songs that supports the latter statement.  ‘Woman Got Soul’ is another example of what makes this record stand out.

‘Ain’t Enough’ is one of the strongest offerings from Hannah Williams’ new album Late Nights and Heartbreak.  It shows in part through its infectious musical arrangement an influence from the likes of Marvin Gaye, yet still maintains its own identity.  Even better is that The affirmations make what they do seem effortless and genuine.  When the song’s socio-politically minded lyrics are set against that arrangement, the end result is a song that will move people and transport them back to another era.  While both elements work to make this song clearly stand out, the song in whole is just one of this record’s most notable works.  ‘Woman Got Soul’ is another of the album’s most notable works.  Its musical arrangement is one reason that it stands out so clearly.  The song’s arrangement is led by Jones’ and keyboardist James Graham.  The pair forms the foundation for the song’s arrangement while Adam Holgate adds his own extra spice to the song through his guitar riff.  The trio’s arrangement is a mid-tempo groove that while laid back, is still infectious in its own right.  That’s especially the case as the group’s horns come in and help the song progress.  The arrangement presented in this song stands out clearly from that of ‘Ain’t Enough.’  It does a lot to make the song stand separate from LNAH’s other songs and still entertain audiences by itself.  As important as it is to the song’s presentation, it is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note here as its musical arrangement.

The musical arrangement presented in ‘Woman Got Soul’ is key to the song because it clearly establishes the song’s identity separate from the other arrangements presented throughout LNAH.  It is a laid back piece that is still just as infectious as the album’s other arrangements.  While it is obviously an important piece of the song’s overall presentation, it is only one part of what makes the song such a strong effort.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.  The song’s lyrical theme seems rather to the point as Williams sings, “There’s a lot in this world/That makes you do wrong/You see you got to think hard/If you wanna stay strong/There’s a lot of people/That can’t resist/Screwing up their whole lives…I was taught how to love, not how to fight/We don’t want no trouble/We don’t need no more/You’re so amusing/At a dance floor/All my women/Sing it with me/Show me how you do/Woman got soul.  The song evolves into a jam session of sorts from here with Williams and company eventually singing over and over again, “woman got soul/We don’t need no more.”  It has to be inferred through such simplistic lyrical content, that the song is one of female empowerment.  It seems like Williams and company are telling women to be proud of who they are and just get out there, not be one of those people who love drama and ruining their own lives.  If that is indeed the case, then in all honesty, it’s even better than Beyonce’s female empowerment anthem ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)’ and the Destiny’s Child song ‘Independent Women.’  That’s a bold statement, and audiences will agree with it after comparing all three works.  That is especially the case when the song’s musical arrangement is set alongside its lyrical content.  Even as strong as it is in its combined musical and lyrical simplicity it is just one more of the songs included in this album that shows the album’s strengths.  Williams’ cover of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Dazed and Confused is another one of this record’s strongest efforts.

‘Aint’ Enough’ and ‘Woman Got Soul’ are both clear examples of what makes LNAH a solid new effort from Hannah Williams.  That is evidenced through the songs’ musical arrangements and their lyrical content, both of which stand firmly on their own merits.  They create identities for the songs that are separate from both one another and from the rest of the album’s songs.  While both songs stand clearly as two examples of what makes this record such a strong effort, they are just two of the album’s high points.  Williams’ take on Led Zeppelin’s ‘Dazed and Confused’ is yet another of the album’s many high points.  In regards to the song’s musical arrangement, the song maintains the original composition’s sound.  However, it also gives the song a little bit of a kick so to speak.  Rather than being the slower, more bluesy piece that Led Zeppelin crafted so long ago, this take on the song is more of an up-tempo piece.  The funk elements incorporated into this take from Williams and her fellow musicians in The Affirmations adds even more enjoyment to the song.  Even with the song’s original arrangement being stepped up here, the fact that it still stayed true to its source material still makes it a completely enjoyable work.  It makes the group’s take on the classic a work that Zeppelin’s fans, Williams’ fans and rock fans alike will appreciate.

The lyrics presented here have been slightly altered from the original, since they are performed from a female vantage point.  That aside, they are still largely the same as the original save for that one alteration.  Keeping that in mind, Williams’ delivery packs a punch that hits just as hard as that of Robert Plant.  Even more impressive is that it does this all while, again, giving the song its own identity even in that right.  Considering the group’s ability to balance the original composition with its own take on the song, it shows once more why this song is another of the album’s strongest points.  When it is joined with ‘Ain’t Enough,’ ‘Woman Got Soul,’ and the rest of the album’s songs, it becomes wholly clear why this latest effort from Hannah Williams is one of this year’s biggest surprises.  They reveal the album to be one of the year’s top new independent albums and potentially even one of the year’s top new albums overall.

Hannah Williams’ sophomore album Late Nights and Heartbreak is one of this year’s biggest surprises.  The 13-song album proves through its diverse musical arrangements and its equally varied lyrical topics to be one of the year’s top new independent albums and potentially even one of the year’s top new albums overall.  ‘Ain’t Enough,’ ‘Woman Got Soul’ and the group’s take on Led Zeppelin’s ‘Dazed And Confused’ each fully support those statements.  They are just some of the songs included in this record that do so, too.  ‘In Your Arms’ with its bittersweet musical arrangement and equally painful lyrical story is yet another example of what makes this record stand out among its competitors.  ‘Callin’ Me Back’ stands out on its own merits, too and adds even more enjoyment to this album.  Much the same can be said of the album’s closer, ‘Your Luck Can Change.’  Between those songs, the pieces more directly noted here, and the album’s other offerings, the whole of this record proves to be a work that is one of this year’s biggest surprises.  It will grip fans of funk, soul, and even R&B across the board with its stunning arrangements and equally strong lyrical content.  All things considered, it proves to be once more, one of the year’s top new independent albums and potentially one of the year’s top new albums overall.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Late Nights and Heartbreak is available online now along with all of Hannah Williams’ latest news at:

Website: http://www.hannahsoulwilliams.bandcamp.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pg/hannahwilliamsandtheaffirmations

Twitter: http://twitter.com/hannahfwilliams

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.

Red Tide Rising Takes Top Honors In Phil’s Picks 2016 Top 10 New EPs List

Courtesy: Vanity Records

Courtesy: Vanity Records

2016 has been an outstanding year for new music.  New albums from every genre have flooded the market.  While albums take center stage for so many audiences and critics alike, they are not the only new recordings that are deserving of attention.  EPs deserve just as much attention as albums this year and every year.  Keeping that in mind, this critic has maintained a list of the year’s top new EPs throughout the year.

Now with the year’s final weeks winding down, Phil’s Picks begins its annual “Best Of” lists with a list of the year’s top new EPs as, again, they are deserving of as much attention as the mass of albums released across the board.  This year’s list is topped by hard rock outfit Red Tide Rising’s new EP Voices.  Also included in this year’s list are new EPs from Fenix TX, Silvertung, Orgy and many others.

As in previous years, the lists presented by Phil’s Picks are topped by the year’s top 10 new releases.  An extra five releases worthy of honorable mention are included, too.  That brings each list’s count to 15.  Having said all of that, here is the first of Phil’s Picks “Best Of” lists for 2016.  It is 2016’s Top 10 New EPs.

 

2016 TOP 10 NEW EPs

 

1) Red Tide Rising – Voices

 

2) Fenix TX – CRE.EP

 

3) Silvertung – Out of the Box

 

4) Tengger Cavalry – Mountainside

 

5) Aree and the Purehearts – Aree and the Purehearts

 

6) Into The Fire – Into The Fire

 

7) Essential End – Essential End

 

8) Not A Planet – Smokebombs and Cigarettes

 

9) Orgy – Talk Sick

 

10) KT Tunstall – Golden State

 

*11) Guttermouth – New Car Smell

 

*12) The Brevet – Embers Chapter 2

 

*13) Crystal Yates – The Other Side

 

*14) Death Valley Dreams – Death Valley Dreams

 

*15) Step Sisters – Thick

 

Tomorrow, Phil’s Picks will offer up 2016’s Top 10 New CD Re-Issues.  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 Shines Again With ‘Sudden Fear’ Re-Issue

Courtesy:  Cohen Media Group

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Later next month, Cohen Media Group will re-issue Joseph Kaufman Productions’ 1951 noir thriller Sudden Fear on Blu-ray. The movie, an adaptation of author Edna Sherry’s book by the same name, is a surprisingly enjoyable cinematic work.  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 Hours, Dateline 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:

 

 

 

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