Film Movement’s Domestic Presentation Of ‘Rose Plays Julie’ Is Imperfect, But Still Worth Watching At Least Once

Courtesy: Film Movement/Desperate Optimists/Samson Films

American audiences, for some reason, cannot get enough drama in their lives nowadays.  A quick run through the broadcast and cable ranks, and even the streaming options out there serves well to support that statement.  The same applies in looking at all the dramas that fill the cinematic realm, too.  To that end, Film Movement did its part this past July to give American audiences their drama fix when it brought the independent drama Rose Plays Julie to DVD.  Originally released in 2019 in Ireland and the United Kingdom through Desperate Optimists and Samson Films, the movie is an interesting though imperfect presentation that ultimately would be a good fit for Lifetime Movie Network’s lineup.  That is due in large part to its story, which will be discussed shortly.  While the story is interesting, its pacing proves extremely problematic.  This will be discussed a little later.  The background information provided by Film Movement and the movie’s co-directors in the DVD’s packaging works with the movie’s story to give it at least a little more interest.  It will also be examined later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the movie’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Rose Plays Julie worth watching at least once.

Desperate Optimists/Samson Films’ 2019 drama Rose Plays Julie is a good option for American audiences who just cannot seem to get enough drama in their lives.  It is an especially good selection for audiences who are loyal to Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network.  That is proven in large part through the movie’s story.  The story in question centers on young Rose (Ann Skelly – The Nevers, Red Rock, Kissing Candice) as she goes down the proverbial rabbit hole in search of her birth parents.  The story opens with Rose knowing the identity of her birth mother, but not that of her birth father, nor the circumstances under which she was conceived.  When her birth mother, Ellen (Orla Brady – Star Trek Picard, Fringe, Into The Badlands) reveals those circumstances, it sends Rose over the edge so to speak.  She learns the identity of her birth father – Peter (Aiden Gillen – The Dark Knight Rises, Game of Thrones, Maze Runner: The Death Cure) – and takes on a heavy plan.  As Rose and Peter get to know one another, Peter proves to be every bit the despicable figure that Rose imagined as he tries to rape her, not knowing she is his daughter.  He does not know because of the act that she takes on to find him.  One should digress here, Rose is so disgusted by Peter prior to his attempted rape of her that she had decided she was going to do something drastic (what she plans to do it pretty unsurprising, but at the same time, she cannot be blamed for wanting to do him in).  When she ends up not killing Peter, someone else does.  It does not take a genius to know who does.  To that end, how it happens will be left for audiences to learn for themselves.  Given, Peter deserved what he got.  At the same time though, it is all so formulaic.  It is, again, everything that audiences expect from a typical Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network presentation.  That is not to say that it is not worth watching.  Thanks to the actually believable work of the movie’s cast, audiences will actually find themselves remaining engaged and entertained, even though they know what is coming.  To that end, the story does make this movie worth watching at least once.

While the story featured in Rose Plays Julie makes the movie at least somewhat appealing, the story’s pacing detracts greatly from that appeal.  The movie’s run time is listed at one hour, 40 minutes.  The thing is that because of the pacing, which drags almost consistently throughout the movie, that run time feels so much longer.  What it is that makes the pacing move so slowly is difficult to pinpoint.  Maybe it is the general lack of any musical backing to help establish much emotional connection from scene to scene.  Maybe it is all of the exposition from scene to scene.  Maybe it is both of those items or something else altogether.  Regardless of what ultimately causes the pacing to drag so consistently, that problem ultimately makes watching the movie extremely difficult.  If not for the ability of the story and the cast to keep audiences engaged, that issue would be the proverbial last straw for the presentation.  Luckily, there is still one more aspect in this movie’s domestic presentation that keeps it from being a complete failure.  That aspect is the background provided about the movie in the DVD’s packaging.

Co-Directors Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor point out in their comments in the movie’s notes, that the movie was originally made with the intent to examine the impact of rape on victims beyond just the emotional and psychological.  Understanding this, it makes the story timely, especially what with the matter of abortion being in the headlines so much lately.  The duo adds that it just so happened that the MeToo movement just started to take hold in the U.K. as the movie’s production neared its end.  So in other words, this movie was not part of that movement.  That actually makes suspension of disbelief easier.  That ability of audiences to not feel preached at in turn leads to more insurance of viewers’ engagement and entertainment. 

The added note by Film Movement that the company chose to bring the movie to American audiences because of its psychological nature will resonate with audiences, too.  Again that avoidance of any promotion of preachy-ness even in these notes means that the attention was placed on the movie’s intrinsic value.  Once more, that audiences do not received any of that sense of being preached at means even more that they are likely to remain engaged and entertained.  Keeping that in mind along with the interest generated through the Co-Directors’ comments and through the story itself, the movie ultimately proves to be worth seeing at least once.  That is even with the issue of the movie’s pacing taken into account.

Film Movement’s domestic presentation of Desperate Optimisits/Samson Films’ Rose Plays Julie is an intriguing addition to this year’s field of new domestically-released independent movies.  Its intrigue comes in part through its story.  The story follows a young woman who is driven to the brink of committing a heinous act as she learns the circumstances surrounding her conception and birth.  The serious matter that is approached here is what makes it so engaging.  The work of the movie’s cast is even more so to credit to keeping viewers’ attention.  Without their work, the sad reality is that the movie is otherwise just another movie that would fit so well on Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network’s daily lineup.  The movie’s pacing hurts its presentation even more.  That is because it drags throughout the movie, not just at points.  Luckily its negative impact is not enough to make the movie a complete failure.  The background information shared in the DVD’s packaging helps establish at least some more appreciation for the movie.  Together with the serious nature of the movie’s story and the cast’s work, that information gives audiences just enough to make the movie worth seeing at least once.

Rose Plays Julie is available now on DVD through Film Movement. More information on this and other titles from Film Movement is available at:

Websitehttps://www.filmmovement.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/FilmMovement

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Film_Movement

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

ABKCO’s ‘Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia’ Soundtrack Is A Mostly Successful Presentation

Courtesy: ABKCO

Lifetime officially debuted its much anticipated biopic about Mahalia Jackson over the weekend.  In coordination with the made-for-TV movie’s premiere, ABKCO released the movie’s official soundtrack Friday, to all digital outlets.  The 20-song soundtrack is a presentation that many listeners will find interesting.  That is due in part to its general presentation.  This will be discussed shortly.  While the general presentation makes for plenty of interest, the limitation on the soundtrack’s availability detracts somewhat from its appeal.  It will be discussed a little later.  Taking into account the problem posed by the limitation on the soundtrack’s availability, it is not enough to make the presentation a failure.  There is still one more positive to note in the way of the performances. They will be discussed a little later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the soundtrack’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the soundtrack a presentation that is worth hearing at least once.

ABKCO’s newly released soundtrack to Lifetime network’s Mahalia Jackson biopic, Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia is a presentation that audiences will find mostly interesting.  Most of that interest comes from the soundtrack’s general presentation.  This soundtrack is presented more like a “cast recording” for a musical than that of some big screen presentation.  It features songs performed in the movie alongside instrumentals composed by the soundtrack’s producer, Matthew Head.  The full songs were performed primarily by lead star and Juliard graduate Danielle Brooks.  Her performances and the instrumentals will be discussed in more depth later.  Most of the songs are relatively short, with the longest clocking in at three minutes, 24 seconds.  The shortest of the songs is a mere 53 seconds in length.  So what audiences get here is a soundtrack whose pacing is solid, even despite the presentation featuring so many songs.  What’s more, the songs are works that were pulled directly from the movie, rather than just a bunch of commercially-produced works created by random acts for the purpose of pushing new singles.  That whole makes the soundtrack’s general presentation a solid, welcoming foundation for the soundtrack.

For all of the appeal that the soundtrack’s general presentation creates for its whole, the limitation on the soundtrack’s availability detracts from that appeal.  As noted already here, the soundtrack was released to all digital outlets Friday.  A check of all of the major retailers found no physical availability for the soundtrack.  Simply put, it makes this limited availability somewhat discriminatory against those who prefer the physical object over the digital.  That is not to say that ABKCO will not at some point, make the soundtrack available in physical format, but regardless, aiming it mainly at digital music consumers over those who buy physical even to start out does detract from the soundtrack’s appeal to a point.  Thankfully, that one issue is not enough to make the soundtrack a failure.  The actual performances featured in the recording work with the general presentation to make the soundtrack more appealing.

The performances that are presented in the soundtrack to Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia are of note because they are not lip synched.  Far too often, many studios that present musicals tend to use separate performers for speaking and singing parts in musicals.  That is not limited just to Disney, either.  Thankfully that is not the case here, Lead star Danielle Brooks puts her training from Juliard on full display throughout the recording.  Her performance in ‘Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child’ is a prime example of her talent.  The power and control that she exhibits in this fully a capella performance is incredible to say the very least.  It is the kind of performance that raises goose bumps on a person’s arms in the best way possible. On a separate note, Head’s composition, ‘Estelle’s Childhood’ evokes its own emotion through its simple piano line and what sounds like a subtle cello line.  The composition is the record’s shortest, but is so powerful even in that short space.  On yet another note, Head’s light hearted performance of ‘Sweetened Water Song,’ with its semi-ragtime feel presents its own identity and positive sense.  Whether through this brief arrangement, the others noted here and the rest of the soundtrack’s featured songs, the whole of that presentation makes unquestionable, the talent put on display throughout the soundtrack.  When the appeal generated by the soundtrack’s performances is considered along with that generated by the record’s general presentation, the whole makes the soundtrack well worth hearing at least once.  That is the case even considering the limitation in the recording’s availability.

ABKCO’s newly released soundtrack to Lifetime’s Mahalia Jackson biopic, Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia is a presentation that is a mostly successful work.  That is proven in part through its general presentation.  The general presentation here is that of a soundtrack that is more akin to that of a stage musical than so many of the commercially produced presentations out there that are used for acts to push new singles, etc.  That in itself makes for its own share of appeal.  While the soundtrack’s general presentation makes for its own share of appeal, the limitation in its availability to – at least right now – only digital detracts from the soundtrack’s appeal to a point.  Luckily that negative is not enough to make the soundtrack a failure, but it does still detract from the overall presentation here.  The performances presented by star Danielle Brooks and the compositions crafted by Matthew Head, the soundtrack’s producer, work with  the  general presentation to make for even more appeal.  When the two elements are considered along with the soundtrack’s one negative, the whole becomes a work that is mostly a successful offering.  The soundtrack to Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia is available now through all digital outlets.

More information on this and other titles from ABKCO is available along with the label’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.abkco.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/abkco

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ABKCO

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

ABKCO Releases ‘Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia Jackson’ Soundtrack

Courtesy: ABKCO

ABKCO is celebrating the forthcoming debut of Lifetime’s forthcoming Mahalia Jackson biopic Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia Jackson with the release of the movie’s soundtrack.

The label released the movie’s soundtrack Friday to all digital outlets. The 20-song soundtrack features multiple performances by lead star Danielle Brooks, who takes on the role of the iconic singer.

Brooks, a Juliard graduate and Grammy Award winner, discussed portraying Jackson and performing in the movie during a recent interview.

“Mahalia Jackson moved the masses with her sound,” said Brooks. “Her voice somehow encompassed the fullness of the black experience. It represented where we wanted to go, how we wanted to be seen. While recording her music I definitely felt a high level of responsibility to fulfill all that she was through spirit, sound, and feeling. I’m grateful for the opportunity to remind this generation of her legacy and all the goodness she left the world with.”

Matthew Head, who produced the movie’s soundtrack, also wrote the movie’s instrumental score. His work is, by connection, also featured as part of the overall soundtrack. The soundtrack’s track listing is noted below.

Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia (Music From The Motion Picture) tracklisting

  1. Worthy Of Your Gifts – Matthew Head  

  2. Hello Heartbreak – Jazmin Crumley 

  3. My God Is Real (Yes God Is Real) – Danielle Brooks 

  4. Elijah Rock – Danielle Brooks 

  5. Estelle’s Childhood – Matthew Head 

  6. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child – Danielle Brooks 

  7. Hallelujah, Praise God (Mildred’s Piano Audition) – Matthew Head 

  8. Come On Children, Let’s Sing – Danielle Brooks 

  9. Move On Up A Little Higher – Danielle Brooks 

  10. How I Got Over – Danielle Brooks 

  11. Mildred Soaks Her Hands – Matthew Head 

  12. Sweetened Water Song – Matthew Head 

  13. His Eye Is On The Sparrow – Danielle Brooks 

  14. Studs and Mahalia discuss Bus Boycott – Matthew Head 

  15. Discussion of Faith – Matthew Head 

  16. Didn’t It Rain – Danielle Brooks 

  17. I’ve Been Buked – Danielle Brooks 

  18. Mildred Storms Out – Matthew Head 

  19. Take My Hand, Precious Lord – Danielle Brooks 

  20. I’m Going to Live the Life I Sing About in My Song – Danielle Brooks

More information on this and other titles from ABKCO is available along with the label’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.abkco.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abkco

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ABKCO

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

Turkey Hollow Is 2015’s Best New Holiday Movie

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

Lionsgate’s new Thanksgiving movie Turkey Hollow is this year’s best new holiday offering. This movie, originally crafted by Jerry Juhl and the late, great Jim Henson, is a must have for every single family not just this year but every year. It proves this centrally through its writing. This includes not just the story presented within the script but the script’s dialogue and even the feeling of the story presented throughout. That will all be discussed shortly. It is just one way in which Turkey Hollow proves itself to be such an impressive movie. Being that Turkey Hollow is a TV movie instead of a big screen feature, its transitions are just as important to note in its presentation as its writing. That will be discussed at more length later. Last but hardly least of note here is the work of the movie’s cast. From veteran actress Mary Steenburgen’s ecclectic Aunt Cly to rapper Chris “Ludacris” Bridges’ own comic portrayal as the story’s on-screen narrator, to that of Cly’s nephew Ron and his kids Annie and Tim, the cast’s work in front of the camera rounds out the movie’s most important elements. Even Sheriff Grover (Reese Alexander) offers his own share of laughs. That is not to ignore the work of the movie’s makeup and costume department either. Thanks to their work, Cly looks somewhat akin to famed singer Cher. And Linden Banks, who portrays the vile Eldridge Slump, looks every part the evil old money-grubbing persona. Whether for the work that was put in to bring each actor’s character to life, for the cast’s work, the editors (in regards to the movie’s transitions) or for those responsible for the movie’s script, all of the noted elements play their own important part to the whole of this movie. Altogether, they make Turkey Hollow the single-best new holiday movie of 2015 hands down.

Turkey Hollow is the single-best new holiday movie of 2015. This movie, which originally aired on Lifetime over the weekend, will be available Tuesday, November 24th in stores and online. For those that were not lucky enough to see the movie in its original broadcast this past Saturday, there is so much to like about it beginning with its writing. This includes not only the movie’s script but its dialogue and the very feel of the story presented within that script. Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl’s script is so important to the movie’s overall writing thanks in large part to its simplicity. It sees a divorced father–Ron Emmerson (Jay Harrington–American Reunion, Better Off Ted, Benched) bringing his kids Annie (Genevieve Buechner–The Final Cut, Caprica, Jennifer’s Body) and Tim (Graham Verchere–A Girl’s Best Friend, Perfect Match, Impastor) to visit Ron’s ecclectic aunt–Cly (Mary Steenburgen–Back To The Future Part III, The Proposal, Step Brothers) after a family shakeup–a divorce. Anyone that saw the movie will get that joke. While there, Tim ends up getting into trouble and bringing to a head a years-long fued between Cly and her vile farmer neighbor Eldridge Slump (Linden Banks–Deep Rising, Antitrust, Wind Chill). Thanks to Tim’s curiosity, Slump is able to threaten Cly, telling her that he can take her farm. It is a variation of a classic story. But it is still original in that it isn’t just the standard old school story of a person/family trying to hold onto a farm. The story’s execution is what makes it so wonderfully enjoyable. There are some friendly little magical forest animals who lend a hand along the way and who also reveal to Tim and Annie the truth behind Turkey Hollow’s legendary Howling Hoodoo. Yes, that is really what it is called. And it is such a silly name that one can’t help but smile every time that one says its name. The occasional cutaways to narrator Chris “Ludacris” Bridges offers even more enjoyment to the script. It shows that neither Juhl nor Henson (may he rest in peace) took themselves seriously in crafting this script. Rather they had so much fun in creating it. In turn , audiences will have just as much fun in watching it. It is all just one part of what makes the writing behind Turkey Hollow such a strong point of the movie.

The script that lies at the center of Turkey Hollow’s writing is clearly among the most important aspects of the movie’s enjoyment. It is just one element of the writing that makes the writing (and the movie in whole) so enjoyable, too. The dialogue incorporated into the movie is just as important to the movie’s whole as the movie’s story. Being a Jim Henson story, there is not a single foul word to be heard anywhere in the movie. That being the case, one can only wonder why it received a TV-PG rating. Audiences will love hearing Annie complain, like the typical teenager that she is, about not having internet access while at Turkey Hollow or even television. Her complaints are even accompanied by the use of the term “hashtag.” On the opposite side, there is Tim and his wide-eyed optimism and interest in everything. Audiences will love the pair’s back and forth when they meet Squonk, Zorp, Burble, and Thring. And yes, those are in fact the names of the monsters. Again, much as with a Dr. Seuss story, the names are so silly that they will put just as much of a smile on audiences’ faces. Audiences will love hearing Annie ask Tim incredulously about his ability to suddenly speak the language of their new furry friends. His reaction to her questioning is just as classic. It won’t be given away. But it will have audiences laughing just as much as her question. There is also the dialogue between Cly and Sheriff Grover to note in regards to the dialogue. Sheriff Grover trying to hide his feelings for Cly are great. that’s just because he gets so tongue-tied as he tries to maintain his professionalism around her. And of course what great family movie would be complete without the hilarious lines from the evil villain’s bumbling henchmen? There are plenty of laughs from their lines as from any of the movie’s other dialogue. There are so many other examples that could be cited to show just how important the dialogue is to the movie’s writing. Of course there is nowhere near enough time to discuss every one of the movie’s lines. That being the case it can be said that the examples noted here show in their own way just how entertaining the script’s dialogue proves to be just as important to Turkey Hollow’s overall writing as the movie’s script and its presentation to the presentation of the movie in whole.

The script and dialogue presented throughout Turkey Hollow are both equally important to the whole of the movie’s writing as already noted in-depth. For all of the importance of said elements, the story’s look plays just as important of a role in the writing. Audiences will note in watching this movie a presentation that wasn’t written to look or even feel like so many other big screen holiday features or movies in general. It looks and feels just like Henson’s classic creature features (of sorts). From the backdrops to the shooting style, to the very fact that it used actual hand-made puppets instead of CG creatures, everything about the look and feel of this movie makes it one that every audience should see. It proves convincingly that there is still just as much of a place in the movie making business as there is for CG if not more so. It shows that a movie doesn’t need CG and other special effect or even big sets and other cosmetic elements in order to be enjoyable. It rounds out the ways in which the movie’s writing shows itself to be so important to its overall presentation. All three elements together show clearly why Turkey Hollow’s writing is so important to the movie’s presentation in whole. Of course even considering all three elements, there is even more that could be considered such as the themes of parenting’s trials and triumphs, family dynamics, and even possible hidden messages about nature versus business and so much more. There is nowhere near enough time to delve into all of that. So we will rest it all in saying that considering those additional topics and those more directly noted here, the writing that went into Turkey Hollow proves without a shadow of a doubt to be rock solid. it makes a solid foundation on which the rest of the movie’s elements rest comfortably.

Turkey Hollow’s writing is a hugely important piece of the movie’s overall presentation. Just watching this standout family friendly holiday movie, this is obvious. Even as important as the movie’s writing proves to be to the whole of the story’s presentation, the story’s transitions should not be ignored, either in their importance. It is a minor element to consider on the surface. But in the grand scheme of things it proves truly important to note. That is because the movie is a TV movie rather than a big screen feature. Audiences that were lucky enough to see the movie in its Lifetime premiere this past weekend will note that there were obviously commercial breaks which ended up making the movie a full two-hour presentation. Without those breaks, that run time is cut down by half an hour. So why is this important to note? It is important to note because the movie is presented in exactly the same fashion in its DVD presentation as it was on television. The breaks (the story’s transition points) in the DVD’s presentation are set in exactly the same spots as they were in the movie’s television presentation. What this means is that audiences get the piece of mind knowing that they got in the movie’s TV premiere the full, unabridged version of the movie. And they get the same presentation on DVD. Nothing has been changed in the transfer from Lifetime to DVD. That makes for even more enjoyment for audiences with each watch. It still is not the last of the movie’s key notable elements. The work of the movie’s cast is just as important as the movie’s writing and its transitions to the movie’s overall presentation.

The writing behind Turkey Hollow and its transitions in regards to its TV broadcast versus its DVD presentation collectively make for plenty of enjoyment among audiences of all ages. For all of the enjoyment that each element generates, they are not the only ways in which this movie proves itself to be such a great holiday movie. The work of the cast in terms of each member’s portrayal is just as important to the whole of Turkey Hollow’s presentation as the movie’s writing and its transitions. Veteran actress Mary Steenburgen leads the cast as the eccentric Aunt Cly. She is great in her handling of Cly’s modern-day hippie persona. At no point does Steenburgen ever try to ham it up in her role. She [Cly] is so reserved in her character. Yet there is still a certain fire inside her that alongside that reserved nature makes her so entertaining to watch. And that is thanks to Steenburgen’s professional take on the character. Genevieve Buechner and Graham Verchere are just as entertaining as Annie and Tim. The pair really comes across as a brother and sister. That speaks volumes in regards to . the duo’s on-screen chemistry. On a related note, rapper Chris “Ludacris” Bridges is just as enjoyable as the movie’s narrator. While he may not be on screen nearly as much as his cast mates he is still wholly entertaining in his role. It’s tough to put fully into words what makes his portrayal so entertaining. But it can be said that the attitude that he portrays in the studio and on stage plays a part in that entertainment. He uses that same attitude but in a different fashion. The end result is a character that has some edge but is still a great standard narrator at the same time. Linden Banks and his henchmen are just as entertaining on the other side of the story. They are classic villains that audiences will love to root against and at whom they will love to laugh just as much in their bumbling. Together with the work of Steenburgen and the others, the work of Turkey Hollow’s cast in whole makes the movie’s presentation even more fun for the whole family. Together with the movie’s writing and its transitions, Turkey Hollow proves in the end to be a movie that every family should see this and every holiday season. As a matter of fact, all things considered, Turkey Hollow shows in the end to be this year’s best new holiday movie.

Turkey Hollow is a simple movie. But there is so much that went into bringing this movie to life. Its writing is extremely in-depth. Its scene transitions on DVD are the same as they were on television. This means that audiences get the same presentation on DVD as they did on television. The work of the movie’s cast rounds out the movie’s most important elements. The work of the movie’s cast will put a smile on every audience’s face. Of course one shouldn’t ignore the work of the movie’s makeup and costume department or those charged with handling the movie’s look and feel. Thanks to all involved, Steenburgen looks somewhat like famed singer Cher. And Linden Banks looks every part the evil, old businessman. Thanks to the work of those charged with handling the movie’s overall look and feel, the movie looks and feels just like Jim Henson’s classic “creature features.” It really looks just like his classic movies and specials thanks to the reliance on actual puppets and sets instead of CG and special effects. It makes suspension of disbelief all the easier and in turn the movie’s enjoyment greater. The end result of that enjoyment is the agreement that Turkey Hollow is, in whole, the best new holiday movie of 2015. Turkey Hollow will be available in stores and online on Tuesday, November 24th. It can be ordered online direct via Turkey Hollow’s official website at http://www.shopturkeyhollow.com. It can also be ordered online direct via Lionsgate’s online store at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/search_results.asp?Search=Turkey%20Hollow and via Lifetime network’s online store at http://www.mylifetimestore.com/jim-henson-s-turkey-hollow-dvd/details/117624982. More information on this and other titles from Lionsgate is available online now at:

Website: http://www.lionsgate.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lionsgate

More information on this and other titles from Lifetime is available online now at:

Website: http://www.mylifetime.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lifetimetv

More information on this and other titles from The Jim Henson Company is available online now at:

Website: http://www.henson.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/hensoncompany

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.

Inspector Morse prequel is a successful “endeavour”

Courtesy: PBS

Courtesy: PBS

Crime procedurals are among the most popular shows on television today, next to “reality television.”  All four of the “Big Four” have their own share of crime dramas.  NBC has at least one show remaining in the Law & Order franchise.  CBS has NCIS and a handful of others.  Even ABC and Fox have their shows, as do the cable networks.  But what most audiences might not know is that PBS also has its own hit crime drama in the Inspector Morse series.  The Inspector Morse series is just as gripping as any of the shows that are all over cable and “The Big Four.”  And now, fans of Inspector Morse are getting a special new treat with a prequel to the series titled, “Endeavour.”

“Endeavour” will air on PBS this Saturday, July 1st.  And then it will be available on both dvd and blu-ray July 24th.  Whether one is new to the Inspector Morse franchise or a seasoned fan, “Endeavour” will pull audiences in and hold them through its entire ninety-minute run time.  The movie opens with a young Constable Morse writing his resignation letter from his police department.  He is going to turn it in until a young teenage girl goes missing.  That missing persons case turns into a murder investigation that would become the biulding block of Morse’s career. 

Morse starts investigating the girl’s murder.  And the more he invesitgates, the bigger the web of deceit grows.  Not only does Morse have to face off against suspects in the case, but also fellow members of the police force.  One member of the force in particular would seemingly do everything in his power to keep Morse from making any progress on the case.  And the reason why is later revealed.  It plays its own role in the ultimate outcome of this well written mystery.  The story has just enough twists, turns, and red herrings to keep even uninitiated audiences watching right up to the end without losing track of what’s going on along the way.  When the person behind everything is revealed, it’s so shocking that no one will have even suspected said person.  Even Morse himself didn’t suspect the criminal in question behind it all at first.

The Inspector Morse franchise may not be as popular as the crime dramas that populate network and cable television.  Chances are that’s only because it’s on PBS.  But if anything can be said of “Endeavour”, it’s that much more proof of the value of PBS.  It proves that PBS’ programming can be (and in many cases is) as powerful and entertaining as anything on standard network and cable. 

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