Audiences Of All Ages Will “Dig” ‘Alpha & Omega: Dino Digs’

Courtesy: Lionsgate/Splash Entertainment

Courtesy: Lionsgate/Splash Entertainment

Lionsgate has officially released the latest installment in its long-running Alpha & Omega series, Alpha & Omega: Dino Digs.  The series’ sixth installment, it is another enjoyable addition to the family friendly animated franchise.  The movie’s writing is the most important of its elements.  This applies to the movie’s main story and to its underlying eco-friendly message.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note as its writing.  Last but hardly last of note in this movie is its collective run time and pacing.  Each element is important in its own right to the movie’s presentation.  Altogether they make this movie another enjoyable installment in Lionsgate’s Alpha & Omega franchise and worth at least one watch.

The latest addition to Lionsgate’s Alpha & Omega franchise, Alpha & Omega Dino Digs is another enjoyable installment in the studio’s ongoing series of adventures from the wolfpack.  Its ranking from the series best to worst is up to each given viewer.  But it can be said in watching this forty-seven minute movie that it is worth at least one watch regardless of where viewers feel it fits into the franchise’s overall picture.  The main reason for this is the movie’s writing, courtesy of Tom Kane.  This applies both to the movie’s story and its underlying eco-friendly message.  Kate and Humphrey’s pups –Stinky, Claudette, and Runt—are once again at the fore of the franchise in this story. This time the trio discovers a prehistoric pal named Amy (voiced by Erin Fitzgerald – Ed, Edd, and Eddy, Sabrina: The Animated Series, Bleach) who has magically come to life when the site of her burial is dug up by an unscrupulous Native American and his henchman.  The group aims to turn sacred Native lands into a golf resort.  It’s up to the pups to get Amy back to the site of her burial so that her spirit can be returned to its rightful place.  It’s a pretty simplistic story.  Kane even goes so far at one point to poke fun at himself for its seemingly contrived nature, beating the critics to the punch instead of allowing them to throw their verbal and written punches.  It plays right into another element of the story’s writing that should be noted.  The element in question is the story’s underlying eco-friendly message.

The story at the heart of Alpha & Omega: Dino Digs is a very simple piece to follow.  It received quite a bit of criticism when the movie was accidentally streamed online in whole via Splash Entertainment’s website.  But the reality is that far more outrageous and unbelievable stories have been turned out by much bigger studios throughout Hollywood’s history.  To that extent, the story at the heart of this Alpha & Omega flick is actually worth at least one watch.  It is just one important part of what makes the movie’s writing so important to its presentation in whole.  The eco-friendly message that is embedded within the movie’s story is just as important to the movie’s presentation as the story itself.  The message in question is presented as the sacred land in which Kate and Humphrey plan to settle is being plundered by the previously noted (and unnamed) businessman.  His brother notes that what is happening should not be happening as nature will react in the same way that it is treated.  This sentiment is echoed at random points throughout the movie. But luckily it isn’t inserted so much as to be considered preachy.  Keeping that in mind, the eco-friendly message that essentially serves as the movie’s foundation proves to be just as important in the movie’s overall writing and presentation as its story.  As important as both elements are collectively to the movie, the writing in whole is not the only important part of the movie’s presentation.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note in the movie’s presentation as its overall writing.

Tom Kane’s work behind Alpha & Omega: Dino Digs is unquestionably important to the movie’s presentation.  The plot might seem somewhat outrageous on the surface.  But in reality it is no more outrageous than the plot of so many other movies (both for kids and adults).  The eco-friendly message that serves as the movie’s foundation strengthens the writing even more.  That is because it doesn’t come across as being preachy (again unlike so many other movies).  As important as the movie’s writing proves to be to its presentation it is just one part of the movie’s presentation that should be noted.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note as the movie’s writing.  Once again, Kate and Humphrey’s pups Stinky, Claudette, and Runt are at the center of the story as with so many of the franchise’s recent installments.  Those behind the pups are to b commended for their work, too.  They are Kate Higgins, Hunter Swan, and Lindsay Torrance.  Higgins is the voice of not only Stinky but also the pups’ mom Kate.  Hunter Swan handles voice duties for Runt. And Lindsay Torrance brings voice to Claudette.  The trio’s initial reaction in discovering Amy is one example of what makes their work notable.  They do a good job of capturing the pups’ innocence in their curiosity.  Their reaction to discovering Amy is just as fun for the whole family as is their initial reaction to the new “cave” home.  Between these moments and others throughout the movie, it can be said of the trio’s work that it stands out in this otherwise standard offering from Lionsgate and Splash Entertainment.  Chris Smith is notable in his own right as the voice of the pups’ godfathers Marcel and Paddy.  Viewers will be entertained by the snooty, comical personality that Smith gives the pair.  Even with Smith being a supporting actor he still adds his own touch to the movie as the pair’s voice.  His work and that of his cast mates, when set against the work of the movie’s cast, to show even more why this movie is another Alpha & Omega story that the whole family will *ahem* dig.  The cast’s work is still not the only element that makes this movie worth at least one watch.  The story’s pacing is just as important to its presentation as its writing and the work of its voice cast.

The work of both writer Tom Kane and the voice cast behind Lionsgate’s latest Alpha & Omega installment are clearly important in their own way to the movie’s overall presentation.  Collectively they are even more important to the movie’s presentation as they are alone.  As important as they are to the movie’s presentation they are not the movie’s only important elements.  The movie’s collective run time and pacing is just as important to note in its overall presentation as the work of its writers and cast.  The movie clocks in at only forty-seven minutes.  That is about average for each of this franchise’s installments.  Thanks to the work, again, of the movie’s writer that time passes right by before audiences even realize it has ended.  It never lags or moves too fast at any one point throughout the movie.  Thanks to Kane’s concerted efforts, it keeps the action moving just enough from the movie’s opening setup to the pups’ first meeting with Amy all the way up to their bittersweet final farewell to the friendly female dino.  Thanks to that balance of energy audiences will never feel left behind or lost to any extent. It is because of this that the story’s pacing is deserving of being noted as one of its positives.  When it is set alongside the work of the movie’s cast and its writer, the movie proves to be a work that that the whole family will “dig.”

Alpha & Omega: Dino Digs has been received to quite the mixed reception by audiences and critics ever since its release in stores earlier this month.  It is not a perfect production.  That is clear through its computer-based animation.  The problems posed by the animation in question are not enough to overpower the positives presented by the movie.  Its eco-friendly story is simple enough for audiences of any age to follow.  And in all honesty it is no more outrageous than the fare presented by the likes of Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks or Lionsgate’s other counterparts.  What’s more the eco-friendly message that serves as the story’s foundation avoids becoming preachy at any point.  The work of the movie’s cast adds its own interest to the movie.  The story’s pacing never wavers from beginning to end.  Each of its three acts maintains receives the same energy and attention.  The end result is a story that will certainly keep audiences entertained and engaged if for that reason alone.  The acting and writing add to that mix to make the movie a whole that audiences of all ages will “dig” with just on watch or more.  Alpha & Omega: Dino Digs is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct via Lionsgate’s online store at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/search_results.asp?Search=dino%20digs.  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/lionsgatemovies

 

 

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The Wolf Pack Is Back In Another Alpha And Omega Adventure

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

Lionsgate has another installment in its Alpha & Omega franchise on the way.

Alpha & Omega: Dino Digs will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, May 10th.  This time out Humphrey, Kate, and their pups have to find a new den.  In their search for a new home, the group uncovers a friendly female raptor named Amy who was magically brought back to life during a big dig.  The group shows Amy all of the great things about her new world.  Along the way though, it turns out the Amy is not the only dinosaur that was uncovered during that big dig.  There is also a giant T-Rex that could be brought back to life, too.  So it’s up to the wolf pack to keep that from happening.  Families can find out for themselves what happens when they purchase Alpha & Omega: Dino Digs exclusively on DVD + Digital combo pack in stores and online.  It will retail for MSRP of $14.98 and can be pre-ordered online now via Lionsgate’s online store at a discounted price of $11.98.  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/lionsgatemovies

 

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.

Dramaphiles Shoud Make Room For Room In Their Movie Collections

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

Lionsgate’s new dramatic thriller Room is one of the most powerful movies of 2015’s crop of new releases.  It should be said right off that bat that for those that haven’t yet seen this movie it is not an easy movie to watch.  That is because it is that powerful.  That being noted those that can steel themselves ahead of watching this gripping drama will find it to be a completely engaging piece that is both gripping and moving all at the same time.  The main reason for this is the movie’s script.  This includes both the movie’s central story and its more minute details. The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note especially considering the story and its setting.  That will be discussed later.  Last but not least to note is the bonus material included in the movie’s new home release.  Each element is important in its own right to note in the overall presentation of Room.  Collectively they make this presentation one of the biggest surprises of 2015 and just as big of a surprise now that it has been released on Blu-ray and DVD.

Room proved in its initial theatrical run to be one of 2015’s biggest surprises.  That is because it was the polar opposite of all of the prequels, sequels, and remakes churned out by Hollywood ’s major studios.  In other words it proved to be an original story even having been adapted from a book published by author Emma Donoghue roughly five years ago.  The story follows mother and son Joy(Brie Larson) and Jack (Jacob Tremblay) as they try to survive and escape their captivity.  All the while their captor “Old Nick” (Sean Bridgers) maintains his control over them by providing for them.  It sounds eerily like the case of the Ariel Castro kidnappings.  However, one must keep in mind that said case didn’t break until 2013 when Amanda Berry escaped Castro’s house and notified authorities of her captivity and that of Michelle Knight and Georgina DeJesus.  Donoghue’s book was published two years ahead of the case breaking.  So any connection between the two is purely coincidental.  That maintains the originality of Donoghue’s story.  What’s more Donoghue largely controlled the adaptation of her story from book to big screen.  This is perhaps why the story was so enthralling in its presentation here.  It’s not the first time that an author has had direct say in how his/her work was adapted from book to big screen.  However those scenarios are rarer than people might think.  Considering this Donoghue’s direct hand in the movie’s translation is important to note in the final product.  It’s just one aspect of the writing that makes this movie’s script so powerful.  The script’s more minute details are just as important to the script as the story.

The story at the center of Room’s script is an undeniably important part of the movie’s success.  That is because of the simple fact that while it was a literary adaptation, it wasn’t just another prequel, sequel, or remake.  What’s more there’s no chance of the story producing any of those movies, either.  And considering the fact that a story very similar to that of room proved to be reality two years after it was published proved to be reality, it makes Room’s story that much more believable.  It’s scary but true.  Even with this in mind the story at the center of the script is just one part of what makes the script so important to the movie’s success.  The script’s more minute details are just as important to the story as the story itself.  The fact that the story can stand on its own two feet with Joy not even being formally named until more than halfway through the movie is a powerful statement in itself.  More than likely Donaghue did this intentionally as a sort of way to illustrate Joy’s lack of identity during her captivity versus her new-found freedom later in the movie.  It shows the importance that something as simple as a name can have in a movie’s story.  On another level, the relationship between Jack and his mother is worth noting in regards to Room’s script, too.  As difficult as the pair’s situation is in their time in the shed, the emotional connection that is exhibited between mother and son is both moving and beautiful even.  It is moving when Joy finally tells Jack about the reality of their situation and he doesn’t believe it.  It is sort of that end of innocence situation in a manner of speaking and will really tug at viewers’ heartstrings.  The other moments are just as moving in a number of ways.  The happier moments are beautiful while the more difficult moments are moving in a painful way.  It makes seeing their situation in whole all the more painful for viewers to see yet just as gripping.  Believe it or not this is actually a good thing.  It is a good thing because it makes suspension of disbelief all the easier for audiences and in turn makes maintaining engagement in the story just as easy.  It also shows that as with the 1957 classic 12 Angry Men it is still possible to write a good story even with the story’s characters confined to a given space for most of the movie.  Staying on that note, Donoghue is to be commended just as much for the manner in which she explained how long Jack and his mother had been there.  At one point Joy tells Jack that she had been kidnapped by “Old Nick” seven years prior to being in the shed.  Keeping this in mind and that the story opens with Jack telling Joy that he is now five years old, one is led to believe that “Old Nick” got Joy pregnant and she in turn gave birth to Jack.  The fact that “Old Nick” bought a toy truck for Jack for his birthday solidifies that even more.  It’s a small plot element.  But it is so important.  And the way in which Donoghue executed this element is just as impressive as the script’s overall story.  It’s just one more way in which the script’s smaller elements prove to be just as important to the movie as the story at the heart of the script.  There are plenty of other ways in which the script’s smaller elements prove just as important to the movie’s overall presentation as the central story.  Audiences will find plenty of those other ways when they watch the movie for themselves.  Moving on, Room’s script is just one part of the movie that makes it stand tall amidst all of its prequel, sequel, and reboot counterparts from 2015.  The cast’s work in front of the camera is just as important as that of Donoghue and director Lenny Abrahamson.

The combined efforts of Emma Donoghue and director Lenny Abrahamson to bring Donoghue’s book to the big screen is a big part of what makes Room one of 2015’s biggest surprise theatrical releases.  It also helps to make the movie just as surprisingly enjoyable for first time audiences now that it is available on DVD and Blu-ray.  The cast’s work in front of the camera is just as important to the movie’s success as its script.  Brie Larson shows throughout the course of the movie’s nearly two-hour run time why she received the Golden Globe® and Oscar® for her role in the movie.  Viewers’ hearts will hurt terribly for Joy as she struggles to raise Jack essentially on her own in the confines of that shed.  And the emotional pain that she exhibits as she comes up with her plans to get Jack out of the shed is just as difficult to take in.  The seriousness with which Larson approached these moments is what makes them so difficult to watch, but not in a bad way.  When she places the hot cloth on Jack’s head and face to feign him being sick, it is clear that Joy did not want to take that route especially as Jack expressed the pain at feeling its heat.  When she gagged herself and wiped the result on his hair to make him appear even sicker his momentary disbelief is just as painful to see.  This applies both in the case of Joy and of Jack.  Speaking of Jack, Jacob Tremblay is just as impressive as the five-year old boy.  The innocence and naivety exhibited on the part of the boy, especially when he yells at his mother in disbelief about their situation, is just as spot on.  This is especially important to note considering that Tremblay is, in real life, almost twice the age of his character.  Audiences know that the shed is all that Jack has ever known.  So he doesn’t believe that there is anything else in the world, just like any small child.  He doesn’t overplay the moment either.  Being that he doesn’t he makes viewers’ hearts go out just as much to him as to his mother.  Regardless of that moment or any other, both Larson and Tremblay handle their roles perfectly, never once allowing themselves to go over the top.  It makes both mother and so fully believable and sympathetic characters.  They make viewers want the pair to get out and see “Old Nick” punished for what he had done to them.  That is a powerful statement about Larson and Tremblay’s work.  On the same note, what happens in their attempt to adjust to “normal” life after having for both escaped the shed is just as powerful.  It is obvious just how difficult that adjustment was for both Jack and Joy.  Jack doesn’t want to play with his new toys or talk to his grandmother’s new boyfriend at first.  And Joy sadly attempts suicide at one point.  She does survive the attempt, though not to give away too much.  Yet again neither actor overdoes it at any point.  Rather they make viewers’ hearts hurt for Joy and Jack that much more but fill with so much joy in the story’s finale. There are so many other moments that could be cited which exemplify the outstanding work of both Larson and Tremblay.  Regardless of which moment(s) viewers find for themselves, viewers will agree that from beginning to end the pair is outstanding together.  The duo proves from beginning to end why their work is just as important to the movie as the movie’s story and its associated elements.  Even as important as both elements are to the movie they are not the only important elements to note of the movie’s presentation.  Now that it has been released on DVD and Blu-ray the movie’s bonus material can be noted, too.

The writing behind Lionsgate’s adaptation of Room and the work of the movie’s cast that brought the movie’s cast to life are both key elements in the movie’s presentation.  As important as both elements are to the movie’s presentation they are not the only important elements that should be noted.  The bonus material that has been included with the movie in its small screen release is just as important to note as the movie’s script and acting.  The behind-the-scenes featurettes are enjoyable enough.  There is the standard “Making of” featurette and a pair of featurettes that examine “Old Nick’s” shed and the importance of the shed in the story.  As much as they might add to the movie’s presentation, the movie’s bonus feature-length commentary proves to be the most important of the movie’s bonuses.  Audiences get to hear from director Lenny Abrahamson and Emma Donoghue throughout the course of the movie as well as other members of the movie’s crew.  And they cover a number of topics throughout.  There are discussions on the movie’s shooting angles, the importance of making the shed look dark yet not overly foreboding (this will be discussed shortly), the movie’s pacing, and so much more.  The discussion on the setup of the shed is important because as is noted in the discussion, it was meant to look and feel like a place that ironically enough Jack felt safe even despite what it really was.  It really plays into the discussion on Jack’s innocence and Tremblay’s handling of that innocence and naivety.  The note of the movie’s pacing is just as important.  That is because it serves to drive home how easily Donoghue and Abrahamson were able to keep the story moving even as Joy and Jack try to readjust to something similar to normalcy.  Those that are interested in movie production will appreciate the discussions throughout the movie on its various angles and how they are used to evoke certain emotions from both the movie’s viewers and its cast.  These are just some of the discussions raised throughout the course of Room’s bonus commentary.  There is much more in-depth commentary provided over the course of the movie’s nearly two-hour run time that audiences will appreciate.  Collectively it shows clearly why the movie’s commentary is such an important bonus addition to the movie in its new home release if not the movie’s most important bonus.  Most important or not it can be said that the commentary, along with the movie’s bonus featurettes, complete the movie’s viewing experience and show once and for all why Room is just as surprisingly powerful now in its home release as it was in its theatrical release last year.

Room was one of the biggest surprise movies of 2015’s new theatrical releases.  That is because the movie, based on Emma Donoghue’s book by the same name wasn’t just another heartless, soulless prequel, sequel, or remake.  It was a movie that exhibited real heart, depth, and originally.  What’s more there’s no way that it could lead to a prequel or sequel.  It is a movie that, thanks to its power, absolutely demands viewers steel themselves going into the movie.  It is that deep and powerful; especially for those viewers with children.  The work of lead stars Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay in bringing Joy and Jack to life adds its own share of heart to the movie.  Their work expertly illustrates the mother and son’s close relationship and how it manages to survive amazingly even the most difficult situations.  That clear bond will bring even the strongest viewer to tears at times.  Their relationship is just one of a number of interesting topics discussed in the movie’s bonus commentary, the most important of the movie’s bonuses in its new home release.  It isn’t the movie’s only bonus.  But it is the movie’s most important bonus.  Together with the extra featurettes included in the movie’s home release, the bonus material completes the movie’s viewing experience.  After watching all of the movie’s bonuses and taking in the movie’s story and acting, viewers that can make themselves watch this movie all the way through will agree that they should make *ahem* room for Room on their DVD and Blu-ray racks and in their digital collections.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct via the movie’s official website at http://roomthemovie.com/#/.  More information on Room is available online now at:

 

 

Websitehttp://www.roomthemovie.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/RoomTheMovie

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/roomthemovie

 

More information on Room and other titles from Lionsgate is available online now at:

 

Websitehttp://www.lionsgate.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/lionsgate

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/lionsgatemovies

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online tohttp://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 athttps://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Lionsgate, Hulu Partner To Release Casual: Season One Next Month

Courtesy: Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

Lionsgate announced this week that it will release the first season of Hulu’s original dramedy Casual in physical form.

Casual: Season One will be released on Tuesday, April 5th in stores and online. It will be available exclusively on DVD + Digital combo pack. The original series from Hulu focuses on brother and sister team Alex (Tommy Dewey—17 Again, The Mindy Project, Step Up: Revolution) and Valerie (Michaela Watkins—The New Adventures of Old Christine, Trophy Wife, Enough Said) as the pair tries to balance living together along with Valerie’s teenage daughter Laura (Tara Lynne Barr—Aquarius, God Bless America, Dawn). The pair has to navigate the difficult waters of the dating world, fraught with one-night stands strange encounters and much more all while raising Laura and the ups and downs of family life that is anything but that of Full House, The Brady Bunch or any of those other idealized family sitcoms. The series was nominated for a Golden Globe for “Best Comedy: TV Series” in its debut season. It also stars Nyasha Hatendi (Narcopolis, The Ghost Writer, Silent Witness) and Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under, American Horror Story, The Aviator).

Along with its ten full-length episodes, Casual: Season One will also include a bonus behind the scenes featurette that outlines the series’ birth and everything that went into its episodes. The two-disc set is currently expected to retail at MSRP of $29.98 and can be pre-ordered online now direct via Lionsgate’s online store at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/product.asp?Id=34013&TitleParentId=10326. Fans can view a trailer for Casual: Season One online now at http://www.lionsgate.com/tv/casual/.

 

Courtesy: Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

 

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

 

Website: http://www.lionsgate.com

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

 

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.

Academy Award-Winner “Room” Available Now In Stores And Online

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

The envelopes have all been opened, the statues handed out, and the champagne poured.  Now that Hollywood’s biggest night has come and gone yet again audiences will be waiting for all of the winning movies to come home.  One of those movies, Room, is available now.

Lionsgate has announced that its Academy Award ®–winning movie is available now on DVD + Digital combo pack and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack.  Lead actress Brie Larson won the Oscar for Actress In A Lead Role for her portrayal of the movie’s lead character Ma at this year’s Oscars.  She also took home the Golden Globe in the same category for her role in the drama.  The movie follows Larson and her young co-star Jacob Tremblay (The Smurfs 2) as they attempt to escape their captivity in a 10-by-10 foot room.  This comes only as Jack (Tremblay) becomes more aware of the situation in which he and his mother are stuck.  The outcome of the pair’s efforts reveals its own gripping story.

Along with its central presentation Room’s home release also features a number of bonus features including but not limited to: commentary, making of featurette, and behind the scenes featurette.  The complete list of the movie’s bonus features is noted below.

 

BLU-RAY/DVD SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Audio Commentary with Director Lenny Abrahamson, Cinematographer Danny Cohen, Editor Nathan Nugent, and Production Designer Ethan Tobman
  • “Making Room” Featurette
  • “11×11” Featurette
  • “RecreatingRoom” Featurette

 

Room is available now on DVD + Digital combo pack and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack.  Audiences can view a trailer for the movie online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACPt_8RYp4s&feature=youtu.be.

 

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

 

More information on Room is available now online at:

 

Website: http://www.roomthemovie.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/roomthemovie

 

More information on Room 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/lionsgatemovies

 

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.

Little House On The Prairie Closes Its Doors For The Last Time This Spring

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

The Little House on the Prairie will finally close its doors for the last time this spring when Lionsgate releases the series’ ninth and final season.

Lionsgate will release Little House on the Prairie: Season Nine Deluxe Remastered Editionon Tuesday, April 19th. It will be released on digital combo pack and will include the bonus episode “Bless All The Dear Children” alongside the season’s twenty-one total original episodes. Big changes are in store this season for the Ingalls family. The family takes in Michael and Karen’s niece Jenny. Laura wins a book-writing contest in another episode. And in another interesting turn of events Nancy runs away. If that isn’t enough to interest audiences, Willie surprises the family with his engagement. It is just one more story that will keep audiences engaged from the season premiere to its finale (and that of the series).

As an added bonus for fans of this classic family-friendly series, Little House on the Prairie: Season 8 Deluxe Remastered Edition and l are both currently available for pre-order on Blu-ray exclusively via Amazon. Each is available for MSRP of $29.99. More information on each set is available via Amazon. More information on this and other titles from Lionsgate is available online now at:

Website: http://www.lionsgate.com

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

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.

Mr. Holmes Is An Intriguing Portrayal Of Sherlock Holmes

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

On November 20th, 1886 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle brought to the world one of the greatest figures in literary history when he published his novel A Study in Scarlet. The book was the debut of none other than Sherlock Holmes. In the nearly one hundred and thirty years that have passed since that novel was first published, Holmes has become one of the greatest detectives in the realm of fictional crime and in the literary world in whole. Holmes’ many adventures have been published and republished countless times over that time. Just as many movies and even TV series have been spawned from Doyle’s “best man” so to speak. There has even been a number of new, original stories crafted by modern authors in the past fifty years or so that have been influenced by Holmes’ adventures. In 2015 Lionsgate Studios released a new Sherlock Holmes story unlike any out there. The story, Mr. Holmes, is based on one of those new, original literary tales that goes by the title of A Slight Trick of the Mind. The book was authored by Mitch Cullin. Despite being marketed as a suspense/thriller piece, it is in fact neither one. In reality it is more drama than anything else as its story reveals. That story is this movie’s central element. The work of veteran actor Ian McKellan is just as important as the movie’s story. Last but hardly least of note in this movie is its cinematography. The various shots of the British countryside in which McKellan’s Holmes resides are stunning to say the very least. Each element is in its own right important to the whole of Mr. Holmes. Altogether they make Mr. Holmes a story that any Sherlock Homes fan should see at least once both because of its differences from Doyle’s original Holmes stories and despite those differences.

When Lionsgate brought author Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of The Mind to the big screen last year in the form of Mr. Holmes it is safe to say that up to that point, few if any stories like it had been crafted about the world’s most famous detective. That central-most element of Mr. Holmes makes it worth the watch if not more. The movie was originally marketed as a thriller/suspense tale. But in reality it is neither. It is in fact a drama that follows Sherlock Holmes in the twilight of his life as he struggles to remember the events of his final case so as to put them to paper. That, essentially, is the movie’s plot. As audiences soon learn in watching the story unfold, McKellan’s Holmes is battling the growing effects of dementia as he tries to recall the events of the case in question. At the same time Holmes is also having flashbacks to a meeting with a man in Japan whose father the man claims met Holmes years before and left his family as a result. It doesn’t initially make any sense but does eventually tie back in to Holmes’ attempts to recall the events of that final case. At first the story jumps around with few clear transition points, forcing audiences to give the movie their full attention. And it does move slowly at first, too. But as the story unfolds it becomes somewhat easier to follow. And perhaps it could be argued that this was intentionally done so as to accent Holmes’ growing mental struggles. If that is the case then kudos to writer Jeffrey Hatcher for taking such an approach. Regardless it must be mentioned. Even with all of this in mind Mr. Holmes still proves to be a story that is worth at least one watch especially among true fans of Holmes’ many adventures. It is not the only reason that Mr. Holmes is worth a watch either. Lead star Ian McKellan’s work on camera is the movie’s real shining bright spot.

The story behind Mr. Holmes is unlike almost any story that has ever been crafted about Holmes since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first introduced Holmes to the world nearly one hundred and thirty years ago. It presents a story of a Holmes at his worst so to speak rather than his best as he battles the onset of dementia. It is a story that is worth at least one watch. While its separation from so many other Holmes stories makes it well worth at least one watch, lead actor Sir Ian McKellan’s work on camera makes the movie even more worth the watch. He fully embraces the portrayal from beginning to end, creating a character whose struggles make viewers’ hearts hurt for him. It is clear that this Holmes is so quickly slipping away and trying to pass on his love of deduction to a younger generation in his friendship with the young Roger (Milo Parker — Robot Overlords, Ghosthunters on Icy Trails, The Durrells). It would have been so easy for McKellan to go over the top with his portrayal. But being the consummate professional that he is, he avoids that trapping and in turn puts in an Oscar-worthy performance. Even with the Academy voters not giving that credit where it is due, audiences that watch his performance will agree that McKellan has once again put in an award-worthy performance here and single-handedly saved the movie.

Sir Ian McKellan’s portrayal of the aging Sherlock Holmes in Mr. Holmes is the movie’s single brightest element. His performance is one that was just as deserving of an award as any of the others throughout his career. That is not to take anything away from the movie’s central story. As a matter of fact McKellan’s performance and the movie’s original story are both reasons in themselves for audiences to see this movie at least once. While both elements give audiences reason enough to watch this movie at least once, they are not the movie’s only notable elements. Its cinematography rounds out its presentation. Audiences will be blown away by the shots of the famed White Cliffs as McKellan and Parker go for a swim in the ocean. The shots of the British countryside where Holmes lives are just as powerful. This is especially to note considering just how few sets were actually used in the grand scheme of the movie. And the footage of the train traversing that countryside is especially powerful. Who cares that the engine and its cars might not have been exactly from 1947. That is beside the point. Watching the engine as it steamed along the countryside is still something that will leave any viewer in awe. There’s something about the contrast of its power against the calm, gentle countryside that just makes it stand out. It’s something that must be seen to be fully understood and appreciated. The same applies with the other noted shots and so many others. Considering this, the cinematography is one more saving grace for Mr. Holmes. together with McKellan’s expert work on camera and the intriguing new portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in this story, the movie in whole proves to be worth at least one watch.

Lionsgate’s new Sherlock Holmes story Mr. Holmes is a take on the world-famous detective that is definitely brave to say the very least. It isn’t just another Sherlock Holmes crime story. It is in its own right a tribute to the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as audiences will note in watching the story. But even more so it is a story of the world-famous detective at his weakest. It shows a man whose mental greatness has all but fled him. He is a pale shadow of his former self. Yet even in the twilight of his life he still has just enough left in the tank to finish off his final case and correct at least one of the stories that he claimed Mr. Watson improperly recalled. That story in itself makes the movie worth at least one watch. The work of Sir Ian McKellan adds even more interest to the story. As a matter of fact his portrayal of the aging Holmes is the brightest of spots in this movie. It is just as award-worthy as his work in his other films. The movie’s cinematography is just as impressive as McKellan’s work. It really accents the emotion established by the story’s script. It rounds out the movie’s most notable elements. Together with McKellan’s work and that of scriptwriter Jeffrey Hatcher, all three elements combine to make this intriguing portrayal of Sherlock Holmes one that is worth at least one watch. It is available now in stores and online on DVD + Digital combo pack and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack.

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