Shout! Factory’s ‘Legally Blonde Collection’ Will Get A Positive Verdict From The Franchise’s Most Devoted Fans

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Almost two decades ago, actress Reese Witherspoon made her mark on the movie industry when she starred in MGM’s female-fronted comedy Legally Blonde.  Two years later, it was followed by the sequel Legally Blonde: Red, White & Blonde.  Now early next year, the franchise is allegedly set to see another installment.  As audiences wait and see if that movie actually happens, Shout! Factory has a collection available now featuring the first two Legally Blonde movies on Blu-ray.  This latest collection is a work that the franchise’s most devoted fans will appreciate.  That is due in part to the set’s bonus content, which will be addressed shortly.  The set’s packaging plays its own part in the collection’s presentation.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this presentation.  All things considered, they make Shout! Factory’s Legally Blonde Collection appealing for the most devoted fans of this franchise and of Reese Witherspoon.

Shout! Factory’s recently released Legally Blonde Collection, released Feb. 26 on Blu-ray, is a presentation that the most devoted fans of this franchise and of Reese Witherspoon will appreciate.  That is due in part to the collection’s bonus content.  Much of the content featured in the collection was carried over from previous releases of the movies, including the audio commentaries  The feature-length commentary in the franchise’s first flick offers some of the most engaging and entertaining content.  Viewers learn through this commentary, items, such as its director, Robert Luketic was actually a lawyer and member of the New York State Bar before making a career change.  That might account for his interest in the movie, even though he was not one of the movie’s writing staff members.  Staying on that note, it is also revealed that the movie’s writing team of Karen McCullah and Kirsten Smith were on set throughout much of the movie’s principal photography to make sure every joke and every line worked.  It shows, too in watching the movie sans commentary.  That revelation comes late in the movie’s run along with the revelation that the jail scenes were shot in a real jail and that said facility was allegedly haunted and was where the infamous “Manson Girls” were detained.  Witherspoon herself even takes time to discuss how she developed her persona for Elle at various points in the commentary.  She talks about developing Elle’s walk, her body language and even the inflection in her voice.  That is interesting to learn.  This is just some of the information revealed in this one of two feature-length commentaries featured in this collection.  There are also mentions of the homage to the classic 1967 Dustin Hoffman movie The Graduate and the casting director’s tie to another female-fronted flick in Bring It On.

The audio commentary featured in Legally Blonde 2 offers its own share of interest for viewers thanks to cast members  Coolidge, Jessica Cauffiel and Alanna Ubach.  The trio reveals throughout the movie, items, such as Witherspoon was actually pregnant in reality during the filming of the movie.  The very first scene, the trio reveals, was intentionally set up to reveal her growing baby bump.  At another point, the group points out Elle’s endless kindness toward others despite their lack of kindness toward her.  That in itself makes for an interesting starting point for discussions about that personality trait in the real world.  The rest of the movie is a bit of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 type presentation from the women more than anything informational.  Of course considering that the movie’s story is essentially a rehashing of the first movie’s story, just in a different setting, it would be understandable that there is not much informational to offer.  That aside, it still offers its own entertainment by and large.

The bonus commentaries featured with the Legally Blonde Collection are just a portion of what makes the two-disc set appealing for the franchise’s most devoted audience base.  The set’s packaging plays its own part to its whole.  As noted, this set is a two-disc set.  Each disc is placed in its own spot inside the case, allowing the case to be a standard-size Blu-ray case.  This in turn, allows for space-saving on viewers’ DVD and/or BD racks.  It also protects the discs from each other in terms of scratching.  To that end, the packaging for the set was done right, another positive to the set.  It still is not the last of the most important elements to discuss in examining the set.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.

The average price point of the Legally Blonde Collection is $16.73.  That price is obtained by averaging prices at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million and Shout! Factory’s own store.  Best Buy was the only major retailer not listing the collection at the time of this review’s posting.  While Shout! Factory’s listing of $15.99 is not the least expensive of the set’s listings, it also is not the most expensive.  It is also below that average line.  The most expensive of the set’s listing is $19.99 (at Books-a-Million and Barnes & Noble Booksellers).  The least expensive of the set’s listing is $14.12 (at Amazon and Walmart).  For lack of better wording, whether consumers choose Shout! Factory’s store or those of Walmart and Amazon – or even Target, which lists the set at $16.19 – they can by and large purchase the set at less than $20.  Considering that the average price of so many Blu-rays today can be anywhere from $20-$25 (or more in some cases) that shows that this collection is affordable for the noted devotees of the Legally Blonde franchise and of Witherspoon.  That positive mark joins with the positives in the set’s full-length audio commentaries and the other bonuses, and the set’s basic packaging, to make the set in whole a welcome addition to the libraries of any of the noted viewers.

Shout! Factory’s recently released Legally Blonde Collection is a positive addition to the home libraries of the most devoted fans of the noted cinema franchise and of Reese Witherspoon.  That is proven in large part through the bonus content that is featured with the collection.  There are some new bonuses and some carry-overs that collectively offer the noted viewers plenty of engagement and entertainment.  The set’s basic packaging saves space and protects the set’s two discs from being scratched.  The average price point of less than $20 makes the set appealing for the noted viewers in its own way.  Each item does its own part to make this collection appealing for audiences.  All things considered, they make the set a presentation that will receive a positive verdict from the franchise’s most devoted fans.  It is available now.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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Panton’s New LP Is “A Cheerful Little Earful” For Listeners Of All Ages

Courtesy: Little Things

Diana Panton will release her latest album next month.  The album – A Cheerful Little Earful – is scheduled for release Oct. 18 through Little Things Records.  The 15-song, 53-minute album is Panton’s second family music album — coming four years after her debut family album 2015’s I Believe in Little Things — and her 12th overall album.  This latest offering from Panton is fittingly titled.  That is because it will leave listeners of all ages feeling cheerful after they get an earful of the record.  The album’s featured songs plays directly into that effect.  They will be addressed shortly.  The musical aspect of the album also plays into that positive impact, and will be addressed a little later.  The same can be said of the album’s sequencing by connection.  Each item noted is key in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make A Cheerful Little Earful a work that will leave every listener feeling cheerful.

Diana Panton’s latest full-length studio recording is a presentation that fits its title quite well.  That is because it does in fact prove itself A Cheerful Little Earful of music.  The record’s featured songs play their own part in that impact.  The record opens with Panton’s own take on the classic Rogers & Hammerstein song ‘Happy Talk,’ which is featured in the duo’s beloved musical ‘South Pacific.’  It is followed up by the song ‘It’s A Most Unusual Day,’ which was written and arranged by Harold Adamson and Jimmy McHughes, and made famous by Jane Powell in the 1948 MGM movie A Date With Judy.  Harry Woods’ 1926 hit song ‘Red, Red Robin’ – made famous by actress Lilian Roth – is also featured in the album, along with works from Perry Como (‘A, You’re Adorable’), Jimmy Van Huesen and Sammy Cahn (‘Pocket Full Of Miracles’ – taken from the 1961 movie of the same name), Sammy Fain, Bob Hilliard and Fr. Louis Sauvat (‘All In The Golden Afternoon’ – From Walt Disney’s 1951 classic animated movie Alice in Wonderland) just to name some more songs.  As if that isn’t enough, Panton once again offers at least one work for children in the form of the timeless Sesame Street tune ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon.’  Of course likely just as many grown-ups know that song as do children, so to that end, that song will appeal to lots of adults as well as children.  Along with all of this, there is a Cole Porter work featured in the album in the form of ‘Experiment’ and even a cover of the Michael Jackson hit ‘Music and Me.’  That song was written by Michael Cannon, Don Fenceton, Mel Larson and Jerry Marcellino.  Simply put, Panton once again runs the proverbial gamut with this album’s featured songs.  That is just as evident in the other songs not noted here.  What is truly interesting here is that while the variety of songs is plentiful, they defy the standard definition of “Family Music.”  Most of the music here is jazz, and jazz is music for everyone, like with bluegrass (E.g. The Okee Dokee Brothers).  So it is a family music album, but also an album of music for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.  To that end, the songs featured in this album gives it a strong foundation.

That foundation is strengthened even more thanks to the songs’ arrangements.  The arrangements will appeal just as much to Panton’s longtime fans as they will to those who might be less familiar with her work.  From the light, easygoing piano-driven arrangement at the center of the album’s opener, ‘Happy Talk,’ to the more gentle, reserved arrangement at the center of ‘I Don’t Want To Live on The Moon’ (which is also centered around Don Thompson’s gentle, flowing piano line), to the equally reserved, guitar-centered arrangement of ‘If You Feel Like Singing, Sing’ to the more light hearted (and also guitar-centered) ‘Aren’t You Glad You’re You’ – which was used in the soundtrack to the 1945 Bing Crosby classic The Bells of St. Mary’s – and beyond, the arrangements featured throughout the album are really what make the featured works so easy on the ears.  Thompson’s work on the vibes from  point to point conjures thoughts of the one and only Lionel Hampton while Panton’s own vocal delivery once again is comparable to that of Diana Krall.  The arrangements are easy on the ears not just because of the instrumentation, but also because of their simplicity.  There are no over-the-top performances and solos at any point.  Rather, each song is simple and straight forward from beginning to end.  That adds even more appeal to each composition.  All things considered here, the arrangements presented in each song do just as much to make this record appealing as the songs themselves.  They still are not the last of the album’s most important element.  When the arrangements and songs are considered along with the record’s sequencing, all three elements work together to make the record that much more enjoyable and entertaining.

The sequencing of Cheerful Little Earful is important to note because it ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment by keeping the record’s energy stable throughout its run.  As already notes, the album opens on a high, light hearted note in ‘Happy Talk.’  From there, the album’s energy gradually changes with the tempos gradually slowing until it reaches that famed Sesame Street classic tune.  Things pick back up a little after that in the album’s title track before pulling back again in ‘If You Feel Like Singing, Sing’ and ‘Music and Me.’  The change in the energies are subtle though the next few songs before picking up again more noticeably in ‘Aren’t You Glad You’re You.’  The album ends with two more gentle arrangements that take listeners out on a soft note.  Again, the album’s sequencing keeps the album’s energy just right from beginning to end, not changing too much from one song to the next.  That stability in the songs’ energies means listeners are more apt to remain engaged throughout as the variety in the arrangements and the songs.  When all of those elements are noted together, the end result is a record that truly is a cheerful little earful for listeners of all ages.

Diana Panton’s forthcoming album Cheerful Little Earful is a fittingly titled-album, especially for jazz and cinema fans.  That is because so many of the songs featured in this album are classic jazz tunes that are featured in some great classic major motion pictures.  They are not the album’s only songs, though.  As noted, there is at least one song taken from PBS’ long-running series Sesame Street and even a Michael Jackson cover.  That variety of songs and associated backgrounds means a wide ranging appeal in itself.  The songs’ arrangements add even more appeal to the record.  The album’s sequencing ensures the energies in those arrangements remains stable from the album’s opening to its end.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Cheerful Little Earful an earful that will leave every listener cheerful.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of Diana Panton’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.dianapanton.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pantonda5

 

 

 

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‘The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2’ Is Anything But A “Buster”

Buster Keaton Collection Volume 2 Bo Art

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Cohen Media Group recently announced it will release a third new pairing of Buster Keaton classics later this month in the form of The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 3.  the latest in the studio’s ongoing series of classic Keaton re-issues, it is scheduled for release Aug. 20 on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital.  While audiences await the collection’s release, they can enjoy the second collection of Buster Keaton classics, which was released July 9.  The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2 is another wonderful new offering from Cohen Media Group that every classic movie fan will appreciate.  That is due in part to the two movies that make up the body of the collection.  They will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content that is featured with the collection adds a little bit more to the collection’s presentation and will be addressed a little later.  The actual restoration of the two movies rounds out the collection’s most important elements and will be addressed later, too.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2.  All things considered, they make this latest collection another must have for Buster Keaton fans and classic movie buffs alike.

The second installment of Cohen Media Group’s Buster Keaton Collection series is another positive addition to that ongoing series of classic movie collections.  It is a collection that Keaton fans and classic movie buffs alike will enjoy.  That is due in part to the movies that make up the collection’s body.  This time out, Cohen Media Group presents Keaton’s 1924 movies Sherlock Jr. and The NavigatorSherlock Jr. finds Keaton’s character – who is unnamed in this movie – being framed for stealing a watch from his lady love’s father.  It turns out the crook responsible for taking the watch is a romantic rival to Keaton’s character.  Keaton ends up having a dream sequence in which he is the world famous detective Sherlock Jr. Sherlock Jr. sets out to find out who stole a pearl necklace, and in the process, ends up saving a young woman who has been kidnapped.  There are lots of great classic physical comedy bits throughout the movie, as well as an extended car chase sequence that involves an unmanned motorcycle.  Obviously it’s not actually unmanned, as it is clearly in front of a video screen as Keaton sits on its handles.  That aside, it is still believable enough that audiences will be kept on the edges of their collective seats as they enjoy that sequence.  The whole thing ends with a happy ending, reuniting Keaton’s character and  his lady love in the projection booth of the theater where the character worked.  That final act ends with a great laugh, but the reason for that laugh will be left for viewers to discover for themselves.

The collection’s second story finds Keaton playing rich heir Rollo Treadway pining for the love of Betsy O’Brien (Kathryn McGuire).  After O’Brien rejects Treadway’s marriage proposal, he accidentally ends up on a boat that will soon thereafter be set adrift as part of a military move.  The reason that Treadway ends up on the boat in question is a classic comedy bit that every viewer will love.  Of course by some chance of fate, Treadyway does not end up on the boat alone.  He ends up, yes, along with O’Brien.  At first the duo has no clue the other is aboard the ship, but after some funny hijinks, the duo eventually find one another and end up living together (ironically) almost as a married couple.  That likely is part of the story’s overall joke.  The ship eventually finds its own way to a tropical island inhabited by cannibals, who the pair have to fight off on their own.  This sequence is loaded with lots of wonderful physical comedy that the whole family will enjoy, including Treadyway coming up out of the ocean and scaring the cannibals in his diving suit.  Treadway and O’Brien are eventually saved from the cannibals and get back home safely (at least it is inferred that the duo returns home safely).  How that save happens will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  In essence, the movie is a romantic comedy with a touch of action thrown in for good measure.  In other words, this is a movie that men, women, boys and girls alike will enjoy together.  In the same vein, Sherlock Jr. is an action movie with a touch of romance, but it is an action movie that the whole family can enjoy together.  The very fact that these two stories are so simply written, yet so fully engaging and entertaining for audiences of all ages is a rather large statement.  It shows that there is still a place for movies, such as these, as well as a need for them, especially considering where action flicks and rom-coms have gone in Hollywood’s current era.

The stories that make up the main body of The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2 build a strong foundation for the collection.  They give audiences, by themselves, more than enough reason to add this collection to their home libraries.  They are just part of what makes the collection so appealing for viewers.  The collection’s bonus content adds its own share of interest to its whole, despite said content’s brief nature.  The bonus content in question is lifted from Cohen Media Group’s already released Buster Keaton documentary, The Great Buster.  It is not the first time that content from that presentation has been pulled for bonus content.  The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 1 also features bonus content pulled from the program.  This time out, audiences get commentary about Keaton’s approach to comedy in general and about his straight face portrayal.  The commentary comes from well-known figures, such as film critic Leonard Maltin, actor/comedian Bill Hader and Director Quentin Tarantino.  Maltin says in “Buster Keaton: The Great Stone Face” that Keaton’s approach was “post modern” and completely unlike the comedy of his counterpart Charlie Chaplin.  He additionally notes the conflict between Keaton and MGM.  This is another interesting anecdote that audiences will appreciate learning.  Director Jon Watts adds to Maltin’s comments, stating himself that unlike Chaplin and others, Keaton “never set out to get a laugh.”  In the second of the brief bonus features, “Buster Keaton: The Comedian,” Hader makes note of Keaton’s ability to fit his Vaudeville training and experience into his comic presentations, noting how that set his comedy apart even more from so many other counterparts.  While the bonus content featured in this collection is brief, it still adds its own appreciation to the collection.  What’s more, it proves even more why those who have not already viewed The Great Buster will benefit from watching that program.  When this is considered alongside the value of the collection’s primary content, the two elements together make for even more appreciation for this collection.  They are not the only important elements for audiences to consider in watching this collection, either.  The actual restoration of the movies is yet another important factor for audiences to consider.

Audiences will note in watching both of this collection’s featured movies, that each is preceded by a notice of the restoration work conducted in order to bring the movies back to life.  The notations make statements about pieces of the movies that were restored and that were added back.  In comparing the original films to the restorations, those responsible for that work are to be commended for their efforts.  Rather than the sepia tone look of the original films, these presentations – just as with the movies in the first collection – are quite clean and clear.  The grainy look is there with each movie, but neither has that aged look of the original film negatives.  It just goes to show how much painstaking effort was taken to restore the movies.  Those efforts are not lost on this critic and will not be lost on the collection’s target viewers.  They are deeply appreciated, and will be appreciated by viewers who love classic movies.  When the hard work put into restoring the collection’s movies is considered along with the stories themselves and their companion content, the whole of the collection proves to be another positive offering from Cohen Media Group that Buster Keaton fans and classic movie buffs alike will appreciate.

Cohen Media Group’s recently released second installment in its Buster Keaton Collection series is another win for the company as well as for classic movie fans and Buster Keaton fans.  That is due in part to the two stories featured in the collection.  One of the movies – Sherlock Jr. – is an action movie that audiences of all ages can enjoy.  The other – The Navigator – is a rom-com that the same wide range of viewers can watch together.  They prove just how far Hollywood has fallen from its peaks throughout its history.  The bonus content featured with the collection is brief, but still engaging and entertaining in its own right.  It serves as another reminder of just why those who have not yet watched The Great Buster should watch that documentary.  The restoration of both films adds its own enjoyment to the collection, too.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the collection.  All things considered, they make The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 2 anything but a “Buster” for classic film buffs and Buster Keaton fans.  More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.cohenmedia.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

 

 

 

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Devoted Movie Buffs Will Enjoy CMG’s New Buster Keaton Bio

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Buster Keaton is a legend among icons in the entertainment industry. His work early in his life on the Vaudeville circuit, along with his work in movies and television has gone on to be an unrivaled model for so many of today’s entertainers.  Late last year, independent movie studio Cohen Media Group paid tribute to Keaton and his timeless work with the debut of a new documentary titled The Great Buster.  The movie made its theatrical debut on October 5.  Early this month, Cohen Media Group released the doc on Blu-ray.  It goes without saying that the feature is a fitting tribute for Keaton.  That is at least in terms of its primary content.  Where the doc’s main content is an engaging and entertaining presentation, its bonus content is somewhat problematic.  It will be addressed a little bit later.  The single-disc presentation’s price point makes the item overall worth spending, especially for the most devoted cinephiles.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of The Great Buster.  All things considered, they make The Great Buster maybe not great, but still a very good offering for its noted target audiences.

Cohen Media Group’s new Buster Keaton profile The Great Buster is a fitting tribute for the legendary entertainer.  That is proven in large part through the documentary’s main feature, which outlines, in depth, Keaton’s career from his early days on stage with his parents in the Vaudeville circuit to his meteoric rise to fame in the cinematic world to his downfall and eventual resurrection (of sorts) following the noted decline.  The story  is told through the words of the doc’s narrator/director Peter Bogadnovich, anecdotes and thoughts from Keaton’s contemporaries and those who have called Keaton an influence in their own rise to fame. They include, but are not limited to Mel Brooks, Bill Hader, Ben Manckiewicz, Johnny Knoxville and Richard Lewis.  Knoxville talks in his interviews about the role that Keaton’s physical comedy played in the stunts performed on his famed MTV series Jackass while Hader discusses Keaton’s on-screen demeanor and how that played into his own performances.  Brooks offers his own praise for Keaton, going so far as to call Keaton a comic genius.

The celeb showcase featured in The Great Buster is a good addition to the doc’s presentation, and certainly is not the only important part of the story of Keaton’s life and career. Audiences will be surprised to learn of the struggle that Keaton faced during his years at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).  As Bogdanovich notes in his narration, Keaton lost all creative control when he signed on to work for MGM.  The result was a series of movies that ultimately flopped at the box office.  Bogdanovich discusses this a little more in depth in the doc’s bonus content, which will be addressed a little bit later on.  This is just one of the interesting items revealed in the rather fast-paced bio of Keaton.  The most devoted cinephiles will be just as interested to learn that Keaton allegedly did not stop a biopic of him from being made later in his life.  That was because the money that Keaton received paid for the home in which Keaton would live through the rest of his life.  Interestingly enough, it is revealed that the biopic – like so many of the biopics that Hollywood continues to churn out today – was anything but factual.  It’s more proof that audiences should not watch biopics, but rather learn about their favorite figures through presentations such as The Great Buster.  As if all that has been noted already is not enough, viewers also learn through this presentation that Keaton suffered multiple broken bones throughout his career – much like Johnny Knoxville – and that Keaton’s bits were even a central influence for much of what is seen in Warner Brothers’ equally timeless Looney Tunes shorts.  Watching the clips that are incorporated into the doc to help tell Keaton’s story, it is easy to see the similarities between Keaton’s work and so many Looney Tunes shorts.  The note that Keaton was honored late in life, not long before his death showed that while his star might have faded over the course of his career, it never fully burned out.  It’s just one more of so many elements that makes the main feature of The Great Buster fully engaging and entertaining.  Of course, as engaging and entertaining as the program’s main feature is, the bonus content that accompanies that content detracts from the doc’s presentation a little bit.

The bonus conversation with Peter Bogdanovich is slightly problematic because while it does add a little bit of extra to the doc’s foundation, it only adds a little bit at best.  Bogdanovich notes in his discussion, that MGM admittedly did not know what to do with Keaton once he had been signed.  That might account for why he was so unhappy making his movies with the studio, and why the end product allegedly did not do so well.  Bogdanovich also notes during his discussion why he decided to close out the profile with a focus on Keaton’s early works instead of the standard format of ending with Keaton’s passing.  That in itself is an interesting discussion, considering that he did not follow the standard bio format that so many outlets use for their profiles.  Other than these notes, not much else is added to the main story.  Making things a little bit more problematic is the audio mix on the presentation.  The discussion takes place in a live setting, complete with moderator and audience.  Because the audience members who ask questions don’t get to use a mic, they are not heard, even as the person behind the boards pumps up the volume. All that is heard as they ask their questions, is a very loud, unbearable buzzing sound.  Making matters worse, so much of Bogdanovich’s discussion is difficult to hear in itself because he seems to be holding his microphone right against his mouth throughout the discussion.  The result of that is a very garbled delivery that takes a few listens each time in order to at least mostly decipher.  Overall, the presentation here detracts quite noticeably from the overall presentation of The Great Buster.  Perhaps the only positive to the whole thing is the revelation by Cohen’s head, that the company has obtained the rights to many of Keaton’s shorts from the 20s.  It leaves movie buffs hoping that sooner rather than later, they will see those timeless shorts released for enjoyment once again.  Keeping all of this in mind, the bonus content that accompanies the main presentation of The Great Buster honestly does not do much to help the overall presentation.  It doesn’t necessarily make the program unwatchable either.  To that end, the collective primary and secondary content presented in this doc makes it maybe not great overall, but still good.

The collective primary and secondary content presented in The Great Buster makes the doc worth the addition to any cinephile’s home library for an occasional watch.  The doc’s price point strengthens that statement even more.  At the time of this review’s posting, its physical presentation is listed only at Amazon, with its Blu-ray price listed at $24.99 and its DVD price listed at $25.99.  A check of Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Amazon, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million showed no listing for the doc in physical form.  Walmart and Amazon both list it digitally.  Walmart’s digital listing is $12.99, the same as Amazon’s digital price.  Regardless of which platform viewers choose, neither price is a budget buster.  Given, the physical price maybe should be less expensive considering the good and bad noted of the primary and secondary content.  That aside, both prices are money well-spent, again, for any devoted movie buff.  Keeping this in mind, it is one more way in which this doc proves to be maybe not great, but still good.

Cohen Media Group’s newly release Buster Keaton documentary The Great Buster is a good addition to the home library of any devoted movie buff.  That is thanks in large part to the doc’s primary content, which takes audiences through the highs and lows of the legendary entertainer’s life and career, warts and all.  The companion secondary content that accompanies the doc’s main feature adds a little to the viewing experience, but detracts from the doc more than it adds to it.  Thankfully, the doc’s price is not a budget buster.  To that end, those who purchase the doc — either digitally or physically – will be glad to know they are not throwing away their money.  All things considered, The Great Buster might not be great, but it is still a relatively good watch for any devoted movie lover.  The Great Buster is available now.  More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.cohenmedia.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

 

 

 

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Shout! Factory’s ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ Re-Issue Is Anything But Rotten

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/MGM

Later this spring, MGM Studios is going to release a not-so-new movie to theaters titled The Hustle.  The movie, which stars the trio of Rebel Wilson, Anne Hathaway and Alex Sharp, is nothing more than a re-imagining of the same studio’s timeless 1988 comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which saw the great Michael Caine and Steve Martin joined by Glenne Headly in the lead roles.  The Hustle just puts women in the lead in place of the two male leads in the previous movie, and modernizes the story.  Ironically, Hollywood’s latest re-imagining will come only months after Shout! Factory re-issued Dirty Rotten Scoundrels on Blu-ray.  The movie was re-issued this week as part of Shout! Factory’s Shout! Select series.  In an age when the problem of scammers and con artists seems to be at an all-time high around the world, this movie, which pokes fun at those hated criminal types is a welcome presentation.  That is proven in part collectively through the movie’s story, and the work of its cast.  The movie’s bonus content adds to its appeal in its new re-issue.  This will be discussed a little later.  The movie’s average price point plays into its appeal just as much as its overall content, and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ new re-issue.  All things considered, they make the movie’s re-issue one that fans of the movie will agree is anything but rotten.

Shout! Factory’s new re-issue of MGM’s timeless 1988 comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is another welcome entry to the company’s Shout! Select movie series, which already boasts dozens of titles.  That statement is supported in part through the movie’s central story, which is for all intents and purposes, a buddy comedy that centers on the buddies – played by Steve Martin (Roxanne, The Jerk, L.A. Story) and Michael Caine (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises) – spending most of the movie as competitors, trying to extract $50,000 from a woman they think is an unsuspecting victim.  While it is not ultimately until the end that the competitors become cohorts of sorts – not to give away too much story info – it can be easily argued that the pair in fact are “buddies” of sorts throughout.  Director Frank Oz even makes an allusion to this element in the movie’s bonus feature-length commentary, which will be discussed later.  The constant back and forth between Freddy (Martin) and Lawrence (Caine) in their competition creates plenty of comedy, and a type of comedy at that, which is rarely seen even in today’s buddy comedies.  The twist in the story’s finale adds to the story’s comedy even more, giving audiences one last laugh.  The one problem with the story’s final act is that it drags on maybe longer than it really needed to, and writer Dale Launer (who was just one member of the movie’s three-member writing) discusses the movie’s finale in the movie’s new bonus interview.  His discussion, which will be discussed at more length later, explains why the finale was so long.  Even with that pacing issue (and some other minor pacing issues throughout) in mind, the story still manages to keep audiences engaged and entertained throughout.

In direct connection to the story, the work of Martin, Caine and fellow co-star Glenne Headly does plenty to keep audiences entertained and engaged in the story.  The constant back and forth between Caine and Martin creates a sense that the men must have gotten along well off-camera as well as in front of the lens.  The friendly competition between the men is that believable.  That is especially the case considering the certain reserved nature of each character as he responds to the other.  It leaves audiences wondering in the best way possible how each man will react to the other.  The simplest comparison that can perhaps be made is to the back and forth between Foghorn Leghorn and his canine companion in those famous Looney Tunes shorts.  Headley’s work as Janet is just as impressive, as she is fully believable as the standard love interest.  It leaves that ultimate revelation in the final act that much more enjoyable, again not to give away too much.  This is another item that Oz discusses in his commentary and will also be addressed later.  Between Headley’s performance and that of Martin and Caine, the trio puts on a performance in this movie that is something rarely seen in any buddy comedy before or after.  When it is coupled with the movie’s story, the result is a presentation whose primary content is more than enough reason for audiences to take in this movie.  It is just part of the proof of the movie’s success.  The bonus content featured in the movie’s new re-issue makes the re-issue in whole even more of a success.

The bonus content presented in Shout! Factory’s new re-issue of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels adds even more enjoyment to the movie because of the background information and extra tidbits that are offered through said content.  As previously noted, Dale Launer, one member of the movie’s three-person writing team — that also included Stanley Shapiro (who also wrote Bedtime Story, the inspiration for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and apparently The Hustle) and Paul Henning – is featured in an interview that is new to this re-issue.  He talks about a variety of topics related to the movie, not the least of which being the movie’s previously noted finale.  He mentions that a variety of ideas were developed for the story’s final act, including one that he notes raised concerns about potential racist portrayals by the cast.  Thankfully, that idea ended up on the proverbial cutting room floor.  He also discusses how issues of copyrights played into the movie’s birth, as well as its tie to the 1964 movie Bedtime Story.  Launer openly admits that Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a re-imagining of Bedtime Story, adding that the latter movie was birthed because there was a belief that there was room for improvement on the prior.  Interestingly enough, he makes no mention of the forthcoming movie The Hustle, showing that he likely conducted the interview before The Hustle (which is just a female fronted re-imagining of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) had been proposed.  Other interesting topics that he raises involve revelations of certain well-known figures who were considered for the movie before Caine and Martin.  Hint, two of those stars are famed rock stars.  Another is a very highly revered actor, who has starred in some of Hollywood’s biggest movies.  He also reveals that while Frank Oz helmed the movie, he was in fact not the first choice for its director.  Another figure was chosen first, and circumstances led to him helming the movie.  How he came to helm the movie will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.

Speaking of Frank Oz, the movie’s new re-issue features a full audio-commentary from Oz as another of the movie’s bonuses.  Oz discusses just as many items throughout the commentary as Launer in his interview.  One of the most interesting notes that Oz shares in his commentary is the revelation that Steve Martin did a bit of ad libbing throughout the movie, including in the jail cell scene.  He additionally notes that the scene in which Martin, playing Lawrence’s “brother” Ruprecht, ass to go to the bathroom was not originally part of the script.  He notes that this moment was part of Martin’s early comedy bits, and that it was added to the script after Martin suggested its inclusion in said scene.  In a similar note, Oz, who notes his joy at watching the movie again, also talks about the joy of creating the scene in which “Ruprecht” was first introduced.  He laughs as he recalls the riotously comedic scene and how it came to be.  On a side note, Launer also addresses the scene in his interview, adding even more insight into that moment.  As if these discussions are not enough, Oz also highlights the now famous scene in which Lawrence “whips” Freddy, stating prosthetic shins were used for Martin, so that he would not get hurt.  He adds Martin’s tears in that sequence’s finale were actually fake, and that the rest of the crew was actually laughing so hard behind the scenes, that they were crying.  He goes on to note in the final act, to note the ability of all involved to keep many audiences from realizing the reality about Janet, and how proud he and the rest of the cast and crew were for that.  It is another testament to the time and effort put into the movie’s story and even the acting.  Between these discussions and plenty of others presented by Oz throughout his commentary, audiences get plenty of insight and entertainment.  The same can be said of the commentary from Launer.  Between the two commentaries, the two bonuses more than prove themselves just as important to the movie’s presentation in its new re-issue as the movie’s primary content, proving even more, why this re-issue is another welcome addition to Shout! Factory’s Shout! Select series.  Keeping in mind the overall content and its proven value, it becomes clear that they collectively do plenty to the positive for this movie in its new re-issue.  They are just some of the movie’s positives.  The movie’s average price point in its new re-issue is another positive to note.

The average price point of Shout! Factory’s new Dirty Rotten Scoundrels re-issue – using prices from Shout! Factory’s store, Amazon, Walmart and Barnes & Noble Booksellers – the re-issue’s average price point comes to $27.48.  It was not listed at Target, Books-A-Million, Target or Best Buy.  Considering that the various outlets list the movie at roughly $26 to $27 (the prices are separated by a matter of just cents), that average price point is right about on par with the listed prices.  Add in the noted primary and secondary content presented throughout the Blu-ray and the equally unnoted content that is also there, the movie’s price is a little high, yes, but it is money well-spent.  Audiences are paying for roughly two-and-a-half hours of entertainment, if not more than that, between the movie’s primary content and its bonus material.  Audiences should take into account that the movie’s previous re-issues lack the new interview with Launer, and some do not even have the feature-length commentary with Frank Oz.  Keeping that in mind, while they might be less expensive than this release, but they also lack that noted entertaining and enlightening bonus content.  To that end, the price is – again – a little high, but it is money well-spent considering all of the content, and its comparison to the prices from stores where listed puts it right on par with those prices.  Keeping all of this in mind, Shout! Factory’s new re-issue of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels proves to be another successful entry to the company’s Shout! Select series.

Shout! Factory’s new re-issue of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a successful new addition to the company’s ever-growing Shout! Select series.  That is proven in part through the movie’s story, and by relation, the work of its lead cast.  The bonus content included with the movie’s presentation gives audiences even more to appreciate, as it adds plenty of entertainment value and insight into the movie.  The movie’s average price point, while not inexpensive, is still money well-spent considering everything noted here.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ new re-issue.  All things considered, they make this movie anything but rotten in its re-issue.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

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Shout! Factory Announces ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ Re-Issue Date

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/MGM

Steve Martin and Michael Caine’s classic comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is joining Shout! Factory’s Shout! Select series.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is scheduled for release on Blu-ray on Jan. 22.  Pre-orders are open now.

MGM’s 1989 riotous comedy finds Freddy Benson (Steve Martin — The JerkPlanes Trains & AutomobilesLittle Shop of Horrors) — and Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine — Secondhand Lions, Batman Begins, The Dark KnightThe Dark Knight Rises) — as a pair of con men who make a bet with one another:  The first to swindle a wealthy heiress out of $50,000 wins the bet while the other leaves town.  The deal comes from a sort of comedy of errors, which is set off by Lawrence believing Freddy is a nefarious con man called “The Jackal.”  When it is revealed that he is not “The Jackal,” the bet is set, and leads to plenty of comedy and laughs.

Shout! Factory’s upcoming re-issue of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels features the movie presented in a new 2K scan, a new bonus interview with script writer Dale Launer and feature-length audio commentary with director Frank Oz.

More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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‘Bill & Ted’ Sequel’s BD Steelbook Re-Issue Is Anything But Bogus

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Interscope Communications/Nelson Entertainment

Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan (a.k.a. Bill & Ted) are officially coming back for a new adventure.  This announcement was made official this past May.  Currently, little is known about the plot for the long-awaited second sequel to the now cult classic 1989 movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but audiences can keep up with the latest on the movie’s official Facebook page.  While audiences wait for the latest on the news the movie, Shout! Factory has a special treat for audiences in the form of its new re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.  The company re-issued the movie in a new Blu-ray steelbook presentation late last month.  Its release comes a little more than two years after Shout! Factory released both movies in a special Blu-ray combo pack titled Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection, and a little more than six months after the company re-issued Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure in its own Blu-ray steelbook presentation.  It may sound a bit odd, but the movie’s standalone presentation is actually one of its important elements, and will be discussed shortly.  The bonus material included in the movie is another important element to discuss, and will be touched on a little later.  The movie’s average price point rounds out its most important element and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.  All things considered, they make this latest re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey not too bogus.

Shout! Factory’s recently released re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is an interesting new offering for fans of the cult-favorite Bill & Ted franchise.  That is due in part to the movie’s very presentation.  Alex Winter (who played Bill S. Preston, Esquire) in the B&T movies, notes in one of the movie’s two bonus audio commentaries that there are those who prefer one movie to the other.  This will be discussed later in more depth.  What he was saying is that there are those who actually like this movie more than its predecessor.  Now being that the movie was previously available along with said predecessor on Blu-ray – that combo pack was also available via Shout! Factory —  this re-issue actually marks the first time since at least 2006 that Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey has been available as a standalone presentation.  That last standalone availability was through MGM.  In other words, more than 12 years have passed since it was last available by itself.  All of its other re-issues were as part of various combo packs.  Considering that such amount of time has passed between the two standalone re-issues, and that there are those who prefer this movie to its predecessor (again, according to star Alex Winter), then said audiences that prefer specifically this movie by itself can own it without having to pay the extra cost for both movies at a relatively affordable price; a price that will also be discussed later.  Of course those that want to own both movies together can do just that again thanks to Shout! Factory through the previously noted Blu-ray combo pack.  The availability of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey in a standalone presentation is just one of the items that should be noted in examining this new re-issue.  The movie’s bonus content is important to address, too.

The bonus material included in this iteration of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is important to note as it is exactly the same material included with the movie in its inclusion in Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection, which itself was released by Shout! Factory in 2016.  Two feature-length commentaries and an in-depth retrospective of the movie, which runs just shy of two hours, make up the movie’s bonus material.  Each feature offers its own share of entertainment and enlightenment for audiences who perhaps did not already take in said material in the noted combo pack.  The feature-length commentary featuring Winter and producer Scott Kroopf reveals quite a bit of interesting information.  As previously noted, Winter notes in this commentary, that there are in fact audiences who prefer this movie to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and vice versa.  Just as interesting is Winter and Kroopf’s discussion on the role that Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and the Saturday morning cartoon that followed soon after had in the creative process of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.  Just as interesting is the pair’s discussion early on in the movie’s roughly 90-minute run time about that creative process.  The duo talks about the thought put into the script, and how it eventually became a coming-of-age style story that sees Bill & Ted trying to figure out their place in the world.  Late in the story’s run, the pair also does finally address how the movie went from being titled Bill & Ted Go To Hell to Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.  Not to give away too much, but according to Winter, studio executives at Orion Films played a direct role in that aspect of the movie.  As if all of this is not enough, the guys’ discussions also turn to more light-hearted fare such as fellow cast member Joss Ackland’s alleged feelings about Winter and [Keanu] Reeves, as well as those of Warren Beatty.  Beatty is mentioned because according to Winter, he was working on the movie Bugsy in the same area in which Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey was being shot, so the actors ran into each other from time to time.  There are also plenty of fun talks about William Sadler, who played the infamous Grim Reaper in this movie.  Those talks will bring plenty of laughs for audiences, along with the revelation that the women cast to play the princesses were different from the women in the franchise’s first movie.

Speaking of Sadler, he offers his own comments throughout the course of the bonus retrospective, Bill & Ted Go To Hell.  Sadler offers some entertaining anecdotes about his ad-libing and having to wear his extremely heavy costume and makeup during the shooting.  He notes how hot the weather was during shooting, and its physical impact on him.  Audiences will laugh as he shares his recollection of the ad-libbing in the scene prior to Bill & Ted’s arrival at the Battle of the Bands, and smile just as much as he talks about how much fun he had overall throughout the movie’s shooting.  Sadler’s is not the only interesting interview featured in this bonus feature.  Those behind the scenes, responsible for the special effects, costumes and sets also get plenty of their own screen time to talk about the work that went into the movie’s creation.  Those talks add even more appreciation for the movie.  Perhaps the most intriguing discussion of all comes from writer Chris Matheson, one member of the writing team that also included Ed Solomon.  Matheson reveals late in the feature that the movie did in fact “go off the rails” as it neared its end.  He reveals that from the heaven scene to the movie’s end, there was a lot of grasping at straws to make the movie end.  He almost sounds ashamed as he reveals this piece of information.  In hindsight, it really does seem to make little sense, that whole third act, but somehow it still ends up working.  Between everything noted here, the rest of the discussions in the retrospective and those items addressed in the audio commentaries, audiences have plenty to appreciate in the movie’s bonus features.  Of course, it should be reiterated that these are the same bonuses included with the movie in its inclusion in the 2016 Blu-ray combo pack, Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection.  This means that the bonuses will appeal to those who do not already own the movie in either setting.  To that end, the bonus content and the very presentation of the movie by itself in this new steelbook presentation is that much more appealing especially for audiences who prefer this movie to its predecessor.  Even with all of that in mind, it still is not the last of the movie’s most important elements.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.

Research into the availability of the movie’s new steelbook presentation reveals that apparently, it is only listed at Shout! Factory’s online store and via Amazon.  Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million do not have it listed.  That makes the movie’s average price point approximately $26.97.  That is actually less expensive than the average price point of $34.46 for the Blu-ray combo pack of Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection, but a little more expensive than the average price point of $20.99 for the steelbook re-issue of Bill &Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  That price point was determined using pricing listed at Amazon and Best Buy.  It was not listed at Target, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million or even at Shout! Factory’s online store.  Keeping that in mind, that movie’s average price point might actually be higher if it was listed at the other retailers’ sites.  To that end, the average price point for Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey steelbook re-issue is actually quite affordable by itself.  Considering the bonus content provided in the movie’s presentation and the story presented as the movie’s center, it becomes a price point that is worth paying.  Again, noting the bonus content and the movie’s standalone presentation along with the story itself, all the noted elements join to make the movie’s steelbook presentation especially positive for its fans.

Shout! Factory’s new steelbook re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is a positive presentation for fans of this modern cult favorite flick.  That is proven in part through the movie’s physical presentation.  Its release late last month marks the first time in roughly 12 years that it has been released by itself.  The bonus material included in the movie adds even more for audiences to appreciate.  The steelbook’s average price point, when compared to that of Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection and the steelbook re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure couples with the bonus material (and its primary content) and the movie’s physical presentation to show even more clearly why fans specifically of this addition to the Bill & Ted franchise will appreciate this latest release.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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