Paramount’s New ‘Star Trek: TNG’ Movie Collection Is A Welcome Set For The Most Devoted ‘Star Trek’ Fans

Courtesy: Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment/Viacom/CBS DVD

Make it so!  Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment is beaming down a new Star Trek box set for fans of the franchise’s Next Generation era Tuesday.  Star Trek: Picard Movie & TV Collection is scheduled for release Tuesday on Blu-ray.  The six-disc collection is oddly titled, considering that it is more the Next Generation era movies than TV episodes.  This, the set’s presentation, will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content featured with the ser is a positive in its own way, in examining the set in whole.  It will be addressed a little later.  Keeping in mind the set’s primary and secondary content, its average price point becomes a key discussion topic in its own right.  It will be discussed a little later, too.  Keeping in mind the importance of all of these elements, this latest collection of Star Trek movies and television episodes is one that will appeal largely to the most diehard Star Trek fans.

Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment’s new Star Trek box set is a collection that is certain to divide fans of the long-running franchise’s Next Generation era.  It is a set that will appeal mostly to the most devoted fans of the franchise and the era thereof.  That is due in part to the set’s overall presentation.  The box set is titled Picard Movies & TV Collection.  The catch is that the set only features two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation along with all four of the movies.  The two episodes featured in the collection are the famed two-part episode “The Best of Both Worlds,” which finds Captain Picard being captured by the Borg and turned into one of them.  The other episode, “Chain of Command” also finds Picard being captured, this time as a prisoner of war, so to speak.  One can’t help but wonder why those two episodes were chosen, considering that each was already previously released on DVD and Blu-ray.  There are other, equally entertaining episodes that could have been presented here, which were previously released only on the series’ full season and series box sets.  One of those episodes is the timeless “Darmok.”  The episode, featured in the series’ fifth season.  It was yet another episode that found Picard being captured and stuck on alien turf, having to get out of a tough situation.  What makes it stand out is that no conflict ever happened because Capt. Picard and his counterpart see past their differences and learn to communicate instead.  It is one of the series’ most beloved stories among fans and audiences in general.  “The Inner Light” is another powerful episode that focuses mainly on Capt. Picard in a completely different fashion.  It finds the beloved leader in a “what if” scenario that shows him what his life could have been like.  “Yesterday’s Enterprise” is yet another powerful episode of the series.  It finds Picard and the crew of the Enterprise D working with the crew of the Enterprise C to make sure history runs the way that it was meant to run in what was one of a handful of time travel episodes from the series.  Keeping all of this in mind, one can’t help but wonder why the two episodes featured here were chosen considering they’ve already seen the light of day.

The episodes chosen for this set are just part of what will divide audiences.  The set also features all four of the movies from the Next Generation era.  This is where things get even dicier.  On the surface, it would seem that having all four movies in one, slim package is a good thing.  It definitely is for the most devoted fans of that era from the Star Trek universe (no pun intended).  On the bigger scale though, only one of those movies ever proved truly successful in the long run – First ContactInsurrection, which premiered in 1998, was the second of the four movies.  According to information from Rotten Tomatoes, it was soundly panned by critics and viewers in general, receiving a 54% tomato meter score and 44% audience score.  It was panned by both parties as being little more than an extension of the series.  As a matter of fact, considering the story line, it is a story that had been done prior very early in the series’ run when a hidden federation outpost is accidentally revealed to a group of Romulans.  The Romulans in question end up thinking Capt. Picard is God.  Going back to the featured episodes in this set, that is yet another key episode featuring Picard.

Nemesis, the last of the Next Generation era movies, fared even worse,  receiving a tomato meter score of only 39% and an audience score of 49%.  Written by Brent Spiner, this movie is essentially a double evil twin story, with Data meeting his twin and Picard meeting his “twin,” who turns out to be quite the bad guy with a giant ship. In the end, the bad guy with the bigger ship (big gun) loses to the David character in Picard, of course.

Generations, while the first of the Next Generation movies, comes across as another very familiar story.  The crew of the Enterprise-D already encountered the crew of the Enterprise-C during the course of the series.  Now, here is some of the crew from the first Enterprise bridging the gap with the latest Enterprise crew.  Given, there is an intriguing story about us having to come to terms with our mortalities with the villain wanting to get to the Nexus, but the plot elements written into Picard and Kirk’s own experiences inside the Nexus echo previous episodes of The Next Generation, too.  There are lots of good special effects, but other than that, this movie felt more like a cash grab by Paramount to get fans of both Star Trek eras to open their wallets.  Is that bad?  No.  It makes sense.  At the same time though, the effort did not ultimately feel genuine. It felt more like those involved just wanted to make something that they knew said audiences would buy into even though there is nothing to buy into here.

First Contact is the best of the franchise’s big screen features.  That is because it finally answers the long-unanswered question of who and what was at the heart of the Borg collective.  Never once throughout the course of the series was this question ever answered, even though audiences knew there had to be a starting point, and finally that is what they got here.  Given, the movie’s story is familiar with its time traveling plot line and the attempt to keep history from being altered.  Even with that in mind, the story’s writing staff manages to do something here that makes the story stand out from the time travel stories that were featured in the series.  The set and costume design is also stepped up, adding to the movie’s draw.  To that end, it truly shows itself as something special.

The movies that were spawned during Star Trek’s Next Generation era have themselves become extremely divisive among audiences and fans, as has been noted.  Even with that in mind, there are those fans who are still truly devoted to the series and its cinematic counterparts.  For those audiences, the featuring of all of these movies will certainly be appealing.  In the same breath, the fact that each of the movies featured in the set also themselves feature the same bonus content as was featured in their previous releases will appeal to those noted audiences as well as other audiences.  Simply put, regardless of viewers’ devotion to the Star Trek franchise, everyone will be on the same level, including regardless of whether audiences have seen all four or none of the set’s featured movies.  To that end, love the movies or hate them, at least everyone will get to take in all of the same bonuses thanks to this set.

The carrying over of the bonus content in each movie from this set is a key positive for this set.  The inclusion of all four TNG movies is a boon for the most devoted fans of the franchise, while for those who might be more particular might find it not as interesting a draw.  Keeping that in mind, the set’s average price range of $31.72 is actually not a bad thing.  That price was obtained by averaging prices from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Book Sellers and Books-A-Million. It was not listed at Target at the time of this review’s posting. Considering the prices of the stand-alone episodes’ Blu-ray releases and the prices of the movies’ releases, that price for this set is actually affordable.  Consumers would have to spend more than $100 for each of the titles by themselves, so paying a little more than $30 for all of them together is its own positive, again, regardless of that noted devotion to the franchise.  Having all of the movies, and at least two episodes (which were clearly chosen subjectively) gives audiences of all devotion something to look forward to here.  To that end, it is money well spent both for the most devoted fans and for even the most casual Star Trek fans who want to still be able to check out all of the TNG movies in one collection, rather than having to hunt them down one by one.  When this is considered along with the featured content – both primary and secondary – the whole of the et proves a positive  for Star Trek fans even despite the division that it will certainly create.

Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment’s new Star Trek: The Next Generation set is an interesting new presentation for audiences.  The most devoted audiences will certainly appreciate having all of the TNG movies in one set complete with all of their original bonus content, and at an affordable price.  The franchise’s more casual fans will appreciate the fans, but might find themselves better off with the movies that they enjoy the most.  What’s  more, those same audiences will find the set’s featured television episodes, which have already seen release in their own standalone Blu-rays, questionable as so many other episodes could have been featured.  To that end, those audiences might not find the set’s average price point enough to encourage them to purchase the set.  Keeping all of this in mind, this latest TNG set is an interesting journey, but not one that every Star Trek fan will want to take.  The set is scheduled for release Tuesday on Blu-ray.  More information on this and other titles from Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.ParamountMovies.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/paramountmovies

 

 

 

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Dreamworks To Debut New ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ Holiday Special

Courtesy: Dreamworks Animation

Dreamworks is bringing its hit How To Drain Your Dragon franchise back to television this holiday season with a new half-hour special.

How To Train Your Dragon Homecoming is scheduled to air at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT Dec. 3 on NBC.  The story reunites stars Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Gerard Butler and Craig Ferguson for a story that picks up 10 years after the end of the property’s movie trilogy.  It bridges the span where the trilogy’s finale ended and the reunion of Hiccup and Toothless at that movie’s very end.

Hiccup and Toothless open the 30-minute special, sharing stories of their adventures with their families.There is just one problem.  With so much time having elapsed between the end of the trilogy’s climactic battle and the friends’ reunion, the vikings had forgotten about the bond between the dragons and vikings.  This leads Hiccup to come up with the idea to develop a grand holiday pageant celebrating that once unbreakable bond.

Tim Johnson (HomeAntz) directed the new special.  Jonathan Groff (blackish) and Jon Pollack (Modern Family) co-wrote the script for the brand new holiday special. Craig Rittenbaum (Dreamworks Dragons) associate produced the special.

How To Train Your Dragon Homecoming is scheduled for release on DVD Dec. 3, the same day it airs on NBC.  It will premiere on digital on Dec. 4 and on Hulu on Dec. 5.

The new special is just the latest appearance that the hugely popular franchise has had on television.  It has also spawned the animated series Dragons: Riders of Berk and Dragons: Race To The Edge as well as the previously released holiday special, Dragons Holiday: Gift of the Night Fury.

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

 

Website: http://dreamworks.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DreamWorks

 

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Shout! Factory Re-Issuing Abbott & Costello’s Complete Universal Pictures Collection

Courtesy: Universal Pictures/Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is resurrecting a series of movies from one of the greatest acts in entertainment history.

The company is going to release Abbott & Costello’s complete Universal Pictures collection on Blu-ray Nov. 19.  Abbot & CostelloThe Complete Universal Pictures Collection features all 28 movies in which the comedic duo starred while working for Universal.  Among those movies are the famed movies The Naughty NinetiesAbbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein and Buck Privates.

Along with the full movie collection, the set also features a variety of new extras, such as feature-length audio commentaries and interviews.  The bonuses and full movie listing is noted below.

Complete List of Films
·        Abbott and Costello Go to Mars
·        Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion
·        Abbott and Costello Lost in Alaska
·        Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
·        Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
·        Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops
·        Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff
·        Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy
·        Buck Privates
·        Buck Privates Come Home
·        Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet the Invisible Man
·        Comin’ Round the Mountain
·        Here Come the Co-Eds
·        Hit the Ice
·        Hold that Ghost
·        In Society
·        In the Navy
·        It Ain’t Hay
·        Keep ‘Em Flying
·        Little Giant
·        Mexican Hayride
·        One Night in the Tropics
·        Pardon My Sarong
·        Ride ‘Em Cowboy
·        The Naughty Nineties
·        The Time of Their Lives
·        The Wistful Widow
·        Who Done It?
Complete List of Bonus Features
Disc 1:
ONE NIGHT IN THE TROPICS
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
BUCK PRIVATES
·        Audio Commentary by authors/film historians Bob Furmanek and Ron Palumbo (Abbott and Costello in Hollywood)
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
Disc 2:
IN THE NAVY
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
HOLD THAT GHOST
·        Audio Commentary by film historian Jeff Miller
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
Disc 3:
KEEP ‘EM FLYING
·        NEW Audio Commentary by author/film historian Scott Allen Nollen
·        Recruitment Short/Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
RIDE ‘EM COWBOY
·        NEW Audio Commentary by author/film historian Scott Allen Nollen
·        NEW Audio Commentary by author/film historian James L. Neibaur
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
PARDON MY SARONG
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
WHO DONE IT?
·        Audio Commentary with film historian Frank Coniff
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
Disc 5:
IT AIN’T HAY
·        NEW Audio Commentary by author/film historian Scott Allen Nollen
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
HIT THE ICE
·        NEW Audio Commentary by author/film historian Scott Allen Nollen
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
Disc 6:
IN SOCIETY
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
HERE COME THE CO-EDS
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
Disc 7:
THE NAUGHTY NINETIES
·        NEW Audio Commentary by author/film historian Scott Allen Nollen
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
LITTLE GIANT
·        NEW Audio Commentary by author/film historian Scott Allen Nollen
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
Disc 8:
THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES
·        Audio Commentary with film historian Frank Thompson
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
BUCK PRIVATES COME HOME
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
Disc 9:
THE WISTFUL WIDOW OF WAGON GAP
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN
·        Audio Commentary by film historian Gregory William Mank
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
Disc 10:
MEXICAN HAYRIDE
·        NEW Audio Commentary by author/film historian Scott Allen Nollen
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KILLER, BORIS KARLOFF
·        NEW Audio Commentary by author/film historian Troy Howarth
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
Disc 11:
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO IN THE FOREIGN LEGION
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE INVISIBLE MAN
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
Disc 12:
COMIN ROUND THE MOUNTAIN
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
LOST IN ALASKA
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
Disc 13:
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO GO TO MARS
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
·        Audio Commentary by film historians Tom Weaver and Richard Serivani
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
Disc 14:
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KEYSTONE KOPS
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY
·        NEW Audio Commentary by author/film historian Troy Howarth
·        Theatrical Trailer
·        Still Gallery
·        Production Notes
Disc 15:
THE WORLD OF ABBOTT AND COSTELLO
ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET JERRY SEINFELD
ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET THE MONSTERS
Bonus Features:
·        NEWAbbott and Costello: Their Lives and Legacy – featuring interviews with Chris Costello (daughter of Lou Costello) and Ron Palumbo (co-author of Abbott and Costello In Hollywood)
·        NEWAbbott and Costello: Film Stories – featuring an interview with author/film historian James L. Neibaur (The Monster Movies of Universal Studios)
·        NEW Abbott and Costello: Behind the Scenes – Ron Palumbo talks about the various writers and directors
·        NEW Abbott & Costello Meet Castle Films – 8 of Abbott and Costello’s best Castle Films 8mm/16mm films
·        Outtakes from Pardon My Sarong, It Ain’t Hay, Hit the Ice, Little Giant and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
·        The Abbott and Costello Trailer Reel

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

 

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.

 

 

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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Ice Nine Kills Debuts ‘Savages’ Video; Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Fearless Records

Ice Nine Kills debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Savages‘ Tuesday.  The song is taken from the band’s latest album The Silver Scream (2018).

The video features footage of the band performing its new single and crosses that footage with footage of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as the song was inspired by the movie.  It is just one of the movies that inspired the album’s works.  The album in whole is composed of songs inspired by famous horror movies, such as The ShiningJaws and It.

Courtesy: Fearless Records/SRO

‘Savages’ is just the latest single from The Silver Scream to receive the video treatment. The album has also produced the singles ‘The American Nightmare,’ ‘Thank God It’s Friday,’ ‘Stabbing in the Dark,’ ‘A Grave Mistake‘ ‘Enjoy Your Slay‘ and ‘Merry Axe-mas.’

While the band debuted the video for its new single this week, it also recently launched a new campaign to promote the next single from its album, the It-inspired ‘IT Is The End.’  The campaign sent fans on a scavenger hunt to find a red balloon.  The first five people to reach each location in the hunt received special prizes and a sneak peek of the video, which is planned for its debut soon.

 

Courtesy: Fearless Records/SRO

Ice Nine Kills is in the midst of the European leg of its tour in support of The Silver Scream.  The band will return to North America for another stretch of dates across America beginning Oct. 29 in Cleveland, OH.  The upcoming North American tour is scheduled to run through Dec. 1 in New York, NY and to feature performances in cities, such as Charlotte, NC; Los Angeles, CA and Salt Lake City, UT.

Fit For A King will join the tour as a special guest.  Awake At Last, Make Them Suffer and Light The Torch will serve as support throughout the tour.

More information on the band’s upcoming North American tour, its new singles and videos and all of its latest news is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.iceninekills.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/iceninekills

 

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.

 

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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Arrow Video, MVD Entertainment Group Partnering To Re-Issue Billy Wilder’s Directorial Debut

Courtesy: Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment Group/Paramount Pictures

Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group will re-issue one of director Billy Wilder’s beloved classic movies later this month.

The Major and the Minor is scheduled for release Sept. 24 on Blu-ray.  The movie, which originally debuted Dec. 24, 1942 through Paramount Pictures (and was Wilder’s American debut), stars Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland in its lead roles. Its story, co-written by Wilder and Charles Brackett, finds Rogers portraying a financially struggling woman named Susan Applegate, who pretends to be 11 years-old in order to buy a half-price train ticket.

When she is found out, Susan runs from her accusers, only to end up running into the train compartment of one Major Philip Kirby, a military instructor who at first believes the woman is indeed a girl.  He takes Susan under his wing, but when his fiance — played by Rita Johnson — meets her, she becomes very suspicious of Susan.

While the story itself is a rom-com, it actually boasts a deeper concept — that of exploring themes of identity and deception.

The movie’s upcoming re-issue will feature a handful of bonuses, such as an archived interview with Ray Milland, a rare hour-long radio adaptation of the movie, which debuted in 1943, and collector’s booklet with essay by Ronald Reagan.  The booklet will only come in the movie’s first pressing.

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

 

Website: http://www.arrowfilms.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

 

More information on this and other titles from MVD Entertainment Group is available online now at:

 

Website: http://mvdentertainment.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mvdentgroup

 

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.