PBS Announces Release Date, Specs For Grantchester Home Release

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS’ hit series Masterpiece brings to audiences another gripping murder mystery this spring when it releases Grantchester on DVD and Blu-ray.

Grantchester will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, April 7th. The story is based on author James Runcie’s novel Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death. It picks up just after the end of World War II. Elizabeth II had just become queen. And Grantchester’s local priest was one of the town’s most respected figures. A lawyer in nearby Cambridge is found dead. A suicide note, a gun, and alcohol point directly to an open and shut case. But confessions to local priest Sidney Chambers reveals much more than Inspector Geordie Keating had thought. The confessions lead the pair to team up solve what turns out to be a murder. Audiences can check out a trailer for Grantchester online now via YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3tzFp5CeAU.

Grantchester stars James Norton (Rush, Death Comes to Pemberly, Mr. Turner) as Sidney Chambers. He is joined by Robson Green (Being Human, Mount Pleasant, Strike Back) as Inspector Geordie Keating. Also on board for this mystery are: Morven Christie (The Young Victoria, Death in Paradise, Sirens) as Amanda Kendall, Tessa Peake-Jones (Only Fools and Horses, Casualty, Doctors) as Mrs. Maguire, Al Weaver (Sherlock, Me and Orson Welles, Doom) as Leonard Finch, and Pheline Roggan (Soul Kitchen, Chiko, Kebab Connection) as the widow of lawyer Stephen Staunton, the series’ first victim.

Grantchester will be available Tuesday, April 7th on DVD and Blu-ray. The series is spread across six episodes for a total run time of 360 minutes. It is spread across two discs on both its DVD and Blu-ray release. The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $34.99 and the Blu-ray set for $39.99. Both can be ordered online along with a DVD/Book combo and Blu-ray book combo via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=grantchester&origkw=grantchester&sr=1.

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

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

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PBS Bringing British Murder Mystery To American Audiences This Spring

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS/Starz/BBC/BBC Two

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/Starz/BBC/BBC Two

This spring, PBS distribution will release a gripping new miniseries for all the mystery lovers out there.

Dancing on the Edge will be release on DVD an Blu-ray on Tuesday, May 5th. The story focuses on a group of black jazz musicians living and performing in London in the 1930s. The group, known as The Louis Lester Band is becoming increasingly popular all around London, even being asked to perform for the royal family. Along the way, American businessman Walter Masterson and his employee Julian catch the group and become very interested in it. It seems that everything is coming up roses for The Louis Lester Band. But then tragedy strikes. A series of challenges follows that threatens to end the group’s rise to stardom. The story was written by famed writer and director Stephen Poliakoff (The Lost Prince). It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, American Gangster, Children of Men), John Goodman (Monsters, Inc., Monsters U, Argo) Matthew Goode (The Imitation Game, Watchmen, The Good Wife), Jacqueline Bisset (Bullitt, Murder on the Orient Express, The Deep), Tom Hughes (Page Eight, About Time, Cemetery Junction), Angel Coulby (Merlin, Imagine Me and You, Magicians), Wummi Mosaku (Philomena, Citadel, I Am Slave) and many others.

The mini-series’ six episodes bring its total run-time to roughly seven hours. Those episodes are spread across three discs both in its DVD and Blu-ray presentation. Audiences can check out a trailer for the mini-series online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcqnCz5chXs. The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $34.99 and the Blu-ray for $39.99.
The Blu-ray can be ordered online at: http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=58647396&cp=&sr=1&kw=dancing+on+the+edge&origkw=dancing+on+the+edge&parentPage=search#AdditionalInfo.

The DVD can be ordered online at: http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=58647376&cp=&sr=1&kw=dancing+on+the+edge&origkw=dancing+on+the+edge&parentPage=search.

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

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

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.

Anchor Bay To Release New WWII Drama This Spring

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment/Amplify Releasing

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/Amplify Releasing

World War II is known today as one of the worst conflicts in human history. The destruction caused by the war and the war’s human cost was devastating to say the least. We have that knowledge thanks to those that survived and through extensive documentation both on paper and film. The combination of these elements has in many cases been translated into some of the most powerful and memorable stories of all time. Stories like that of Oskar Schindler, General George S. Patton, Jr., the battle of Midway, and the crew of the famed Memphis Belle are just some of those countless yet powerful stories that have come from one of the world’s worst conflicts. Now this spring, Anchor Bay Entertainment and Amplify Releasing will add another equally powerful story to those ranks when it releases the human drama Against The Sun.

Against The Sun will be released on DVD Tuesday, May 5th. The movie follows the story of three U.S. Navy airmen that crashed in the Pacific in the early days after America entered the war. After crashing in the middle of the Pacific without any food, water, or possible chance of help, pilot Harold Dixon (Garret Dillahunt—Deadwood, 12 Years a Slave, No Country For Old Men), bombardier Tony Pastula (Tom Felton—the Harry Potter franchise, Get Him to the Greek, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), and radioman Gene Aldrich (Jake Abel—Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, The Host, The Lovely Bones) must come together to survive. The trio faces not just the dangers of the open sea but its own emotional struggles, too as it floats thousands of miles from land. If this sounds familiar, it should. An equally well-known story is that of the crew of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, which was sunk by a Japanese sub, leading to the greatest loss of life at sea in U.S. Naval history. The 900 survivors of the sinking faced very similar challenges. Their story was turned into a made-for-TV movie in 1991 titled Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. There is also a major motion picture centered on the ship in the works that will star Nicholas Cage. Getting back to Against The Sun, it will include a handful of bonus material including a behind-the-scenes featurette, a piece on the movie’s costuming, the movie’s special effects and more. The full list on bonuses is noted below:

  • A Behind-The-Scenes Look
  • A Plane Takes Flight
  • Starving at Sea
  • Working on Water
  • F/X: On Set and Off
  • Blisters, Burns, and Bites
  • Dressing The Part

Against The Sun will be available on DVD Tuesday, May 5th. It will retail for MSRP of $22.98. Its run time is ninety-nine minutes. More information on Against The Sun and other titles from Anchor Bay Entertainment is available online now at:

Website: http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Anchor_Bay

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.

Lionsgate Announces Home Release Date For Mortdecai

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

The annual summer movie season is almost upon us. And everyone knows what that means. It means another summer full of prequels, sequels, and remakes. Thankfully for those looking for an alternative to that mass of movies, Lionsgate has just the thing.

Lionsgate announced Monday that its new action/comedy Mortdecai, released in theaters earlier this year, will make its way onto store shelves right at the start of the summer movie season. The movie, which stars Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean 1 – 4, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, Alice in Wonderland) Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man 1 – 3, The Avengers, Shakespeare in Love), Ewan McGregor (Star Wars Episode I – III, Trainspotting, Big Fish), Olivia Munn (Miles From Tomorrowland, The Newsroom, Attack of the Show!), Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, Independence Day) and Paul Bettany (Iron Man 1 – 3, The Avengers, A Beautiful Mind). The story follows Depp’s Mortdecai after he is enlisted to track down a priceless, painting that has been stolen. It just so happens that Mortdecai is enlisted by his former rival Inspector Martland (McGregor) for the investigation. While Mortdecai isn’t entirely trusting of the Inspector’s intentions, he needs to the money both for himself and to keep his wife Johanna (Paltrow) happy. With the help of his servant Jock (Bettany), Mortdecai travels the globe, facing terrorists, angry Russians and much more as he hunts down the stolen painting.

David Koepp directs the film, which is based on the novel Don’t Point That Thing at Me from The Mortdecai Trilogy. It will be released via Digital HD and On Demand on Tuesday, May 5th, and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack on May 12 alongside a DVD + Digital combo pack. The Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack and DVD + Digital combo pack will include a pair of bonuses. The included bonuses are:

  • Stolen Moments: On The Set Of Mortdecai

 

  • The Art of Noise: Making Music for Mortdecai

Audiences can check out a trailer for Mortdecai online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_01JbPZD3g&feature=youtu.be and via the movie’s official website at http://www.mortdecaimovie.com. Both the Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack and DVD + Digital combo pack can be purchased via the movie’s official website, too. Audiences can also get more information on the movie’s upcoming home release via its Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/MortdecaiTheFilm. 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.

Scream Factory Resurrecting Carrie Next Month

Courtesy:  Scream Factory

Courtesy: Scream Factory

Author Stephen King has spent the better part of his life creating some of the darkest stories and most frightful characters ever developed in literary history. Some of his scariest stories include the likes of The Stand, The shining, and Misery. Misery also featured what is to this day one of King’s most frightful characters in the form of Annie Wilkes. His novel Needful Things featured an equally scary villain in the form of Leland Gaunt. Gaunt is of course the devil in one of his infinite human guises in this story. Pennywise from King’s novel It and the evil, killer dog Cujo whose name is also the title of another of King’s scariest stories should both be added to that list. For all of the scares that each of these stories and characters have created among audiences over the years, perhaps none of King’s characters have generated as much fear as Carrie. In 1974, King’s teenage character made her literary debut. Two years later, she would be brought to the silver screen courtesy of United Artists. Roughly twenty-three years after that movie made its debut, United Artists would revisit Carrie when it debuted The Rage: Carrie 2. Only three years would pass between the release of that movie and MGM TV’s small screen reboot of the original 1976 movie. Now thanks to Shout! Factory’s horror division Scream Factory, audiences will get to own both The Rage: Carrie 2 and MGM TV’s small screen reboot of Carrie next month in one package.

Scream Factory, Shout! Factory’s horror division, will re-issue United Artists’ The Rage: Carrie 2 and MGM TV’s 2002 small screen reboot of the 1976 original on Tuesday, April 14th. The movies will be released together in a single Blu-ray package. Audiences will note in MGM TV’s small screen reboot that said movie follows Stephen King’s original literary work more so than the 1976 movie that was inspired by that book. It was written by Bryan Fuller (TV’s Hannibal, Pushing Daisies). It stars Emilie de Ravin (Lost, Once Upon A Time, Roswell), Katharine Isabelle (Being Human, Hannibal, Insomnia), Chelan Simmons (Kyle XY, Good Luck Chuck, Final Destination 3), and Patricia Clarkson (Shutter Island, The Green Mile, Easy A).

The Rage: Carrie 2 follows much the same story as that presented in its predecessor with a few minir changes to the story for this outing. It stars Emily Bergl (Blue Jasmine, Desperate Housewives, Men in Trees) in the lead role. She is joined by cast mates Jason London (Dazed and Confused, Jason and the Argonauts, The Man in the Moon), Rachel Blanchard (Snakes on a Plane, 7th Heaven, Are You Afraid of the Dark?), Mena Suvari (Six Feet Under, American Beauty, Chicago Fire), and Amy Irving (Carrie, Alias, Yentl). Irving returns in The Rage: Carrie 2 to once again take on the role of Sue Snell from director Drian DePalma’s 1976 original take on Carrie.

Scream Factory’s upcoming Carrie double feature will be released on Blu-ray on Tuesday, April 14th. It will retail for MSRP of $24.97 but can be pre-ordered online at a reduced price of $19.97 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/carrie-the-rage-carrie-2-double-feature. More information on this and other releases from Scream Factory is available online at:

Website: http://www.ScreamFactoryDVD.com

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

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.

Dying Of The Light Is One Of Nicholas Cage’s Rare Hits

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

Nicholas Cage has never been known as one of Hollywood’s top names over the course of his career. Cage has some hits under his belt including the likes of the National Treasure franchise, Amos & Andy, and Face/Off just to name a handful. He has also had his share of misses throughout this career. Some of his lesser films include the likes of Bringing out the Dead, Family Man, and Marvel’s Ghost Rider franchise among so many others. Left Behind one of his most recent works was soundly panned by both members of the press and audiences. That movie was released just last year alongside his rather intriguing anti-action/thriller of sorts Dying of the Light. Dying of the Light, released via Lionsgate, is the polar opposite of so many thrillers currently in the market today. One could argue in watching Dying of the Light that it is in fact less an action/thriller and more an allegory of man’s own fight against his own mortality. That argument could be made through just one watch. Writer/director Paul Schrader just happened to use a typical action/thriller backdrop as a means to tell his allegory. Schrader balanced both elements relatively well in his script, proving why the script is the central reason audiences should watch Dying of the Light at least once. Adding to the reasons to check out Dying of the Light is the companion material included as bonuses. The interviews with Schrader, Cage, and his cast mates are the most important of the movie’s bonuses as they shed extra light on the movie and everyone’s reasoning for taking on the project. The deleted scenes are just as important to the whole, as audiences will see. They add their own interest to the story, too. Both of these elements strengthen the argument that a movie, which might not have done so well in theaters, could prove to be better than thought in its home release. Last but not least worth noting of the movie is its pacing. There are some that seem to feel the pacing was choppy at best. But that isn’t the case. The story’s pacing is at a rate that will leave no one feeling (pardon the pun) left behind. Being that no viewer will feel lost, audiences will in turn have an easier time following Schrader’s story and hopefully see for themselves that regardless of fondness for cage or his works, that Dying of the Light is still a movie worth at least one watch.

Dying of the Light is easily one of the most intriguing works in which Nicholas Cage has ever starred. That is saying quite a bit considering his decades-long body of work. Depending on who one asks, this could be good, bad, or a little bit of both. The very fact that responses are so varied proves that Dying of the Light is a movie worth at least one watch, regardless of one’s opinion of Nicholas Cage and his body of work. The central reason that opinions have proven to be so mixed is the movie’s script. A single glance at the story’s synopsis leads one to think that Dying of the Light is an action/thriller. But the reality of the movie is that it is in fact more a deeply introspective drama and an allegory about man’s fight against his own mortality. The script sees Cage’s Evan Lake in an Ahab-esque situation, hunting down a terrorist who years before had held him captive and tortured him all while Lake was fighting his own deteriorating mental state. More specifically, Lake is falling victim to dementia. On the other side, the terrorist, Muhammad Banir (Aleander Karim), is revealed to be fighting his own end as his health is also worsening. Because both men are suffering from their own debilitating conditions, it leads to a showdown that no one would have expected. That first encounter isn’t the pair’s last either, not to give away too much. Banir’s assertion as to why he had been so hard to find surprisingly makes one actually feel a certain amount of sympathy for him just as much as for Lake as he battles his own ailment. While it is central to the success of the movie’s script, it is only one part of what makes the script so important to the presentation in whole. There are other subtle elements of the script that should be noted, too such as the story’s overall low level of violence and its equally subtle filling of what could have been one major plot hole. Both of these elements should be noted, too in the whole of the movie’s script.

The story of Lake and Banir fighting their own internal battles all while facing off against one another is central to the success of Dying of the Light. While it is key to the script’s success, there are more subtle elements to the whole that makes the script work as well as it does. Schrader’s avoids in his script, the violence that is all too common to most action flicks. That isn’t to say that there is no violence in the script. But the nonstop shoot-em-up scenes and explosions that are standard in those movies are nearly nonexistent here. There is only one major gunfight scene. And then there is the movie’s final minutes, which again won’t be given away here. Even there, the script could have called for much more violence and bloodshed. But Schrader avoided that. To that end, it makes the movie that much more worth the watch. On a related note, there is a scene in which Evan and his protégé Milton Schulz (Anton Yelchin) are discussing how lake would get close enough to Banir. Lake points out that he knows he would be frisked so he can’t just go up into Banir’s place and shoot it up. In only a matter of lines, Schrader has managed to fill what would have otherwise been a major plot hole with the utmost ease. Schader’s handling of both elements combines with his handling of the script’s central story to prove unquestionably why the script is key to the success of Dying of the Light and in turn why the script makes the movie worth at least one watch.

The work that went into bringing to life Dying of the Light’s script proved worth it in the end. That is because the script behind this movie makes it well worth at least one watch. It is just one part of what makes the movie worth the watch, though. Now that it has come home on DVD and Blu-ray/DVD combo, it can be said that the bonus material included with the movie makes the movie even more worth the watch. The bonus deleted scenes and interviews with Schrader, Cage, and his cast mates are most worth noting. More often than not, deleted scenes included with movies in their home releases are more or less obligatory additions to said releases. In the case of Dying of the Light the movie’s deleted scenes actually make the movie all the more worth the watch. Those that watch the movie and then its deleted scenes will see a number of scenes that were justifiably cut from the final film and those that really should have been kept it. It’s rare to say such a thing about any movie’s deleted scenes. But it is true in this case. The bonus interviews give even more insight not just into the movie but what drew each individual involved in the film to said work. Also discussed are the thoughts of the cast members regarding one another. Given the remarks in question seem rehearsed at points. But at others, they actually seem genuine. So either way one looks at it, the bonus features included with Dying of the Light still prove in the long run to be collectively just as important to the movie’s success as its script. And as important as both elements prove to be to the movie in whole, there is still one more piece of the puzzle to analyze here. That last piece is the movie’s pacing.

The pacing of the story behind Dying of the Light has been noted by some viewers to be choppy. That is rather interesting considering that in this critic’s view, that is hardly the case. As a matter of fact, the story’s pacing is such that no viewer will be felt *ahem* left behind. As a mater of fact, the story moves at what feels like a rather standard pace, especially in comparison to other more well-known action/thrillers and dramas. The story’s clear scene transitions help with that, too. Because the scene transitions are so clear and the story’s pacing is in fact so stable it rounds back to the movie’s script again, making the movie overall more accessible for audiences. That accessibility makes easier the appreciation of the script for all of its minutia, from the minor details of the writing to the scene transitions themselves and more. The end result of that appreciation is the realization once again that Dying of the Light is indeed a movie well worth at least one watch.

Whether for its script, the bonus material included in its recent home release, or for its pacing, Dying of the Light proves in the end to be one of Nicholas Cage’s more surprisingly intriguing movies. It could be argued with a thorough watch to be one of his few hits albeit a subdued hit. That aside, it still proves to be not just one of his more intriguing starring vehicles, but also a movie surprisingly worth at least one watch. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from Lionsgate’s online store both on DVD and Blu-ray/Digital combo pack at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/search_results.asp?Search=dying%20of%20the%20light. More information on this and other titles from Lionsgate is available online at:

Website: http://www.lionsgate.com

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

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

TMG To Re-Issue Mitchum Classic Next Month

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Over the course of his professional acting career, famed actor Robert Mitchum starred in no fewer than sixty movies. From major blockbusters such as Midway (1976), The Longest Day (1962), and Cape Fear (1962) to smaller roles in movies such as Crossfire (1937), Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), The Locket (1946), and so many others, Mitchum starred in a variety of films throughout his career. Now another piece of Mitchum’s storied career will see the light of day once more next month when Timeless Media Group will release his 1958 action flick Thunder Road.

Timeless Media Group will re-issue Thunder Road on Tuesday, April 7th on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. The movie sees Mitchum starring as Korean War veteran Lucas Doolin in this movie opposite Gene Barry (The War of the Worlds, Bat Masterson, Burke’s Law) and Kelly Smith (Hey Boy! Hey Girl!). Having returned from the war, Doolin is now a moonshine runner with the law hot on his heels. Audiences can check out a clip from the movie online now via Shout! Factory’s website at http://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-crime/thunder-road and pre-order the movie there, too. It will retail for MSRP of $19.97. But audiences that pre-order the movie now can get it at a reduced price of $16.97. More information on this and other titles from TMG is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/timeless-media-group

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364

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.