Dark Sky Bringing The Sheik To DVD Next Month

Courtesy:  Dark Sky Films

Courtesy: Dark Sky Films

Professional wrestling is one of the biggest “spectator sports” in America today if not the world. This is even with people knowing that it is scripted. And even though it is scripted the people behind the characters in the ring are very much real. Any number of documentaries have been done on the men and women who take to the ring throughout the years. However many of said presentations have been more about the characters than those behind them. Next month Dark Sky Films will bring to audiences one of the few presentations about a figure behind the character when it releases the documentary presentation The Sheik.

Dark Sky Films will release The Sheik on Tuesday, March 1st. It will be available exclusively on DVD in stores and online. It focuses on the life and career of Khosrow Ali Vaziri, known for decades in the squared circle as The Iron Sheik. Vaziri, as audiences will learn in the documentary, was born n Iran in 1942. Before coming to the United States in the early 1970’s Vaziri had quite the career in his homeland. He was a bodyguard for the Shah of Iran, an amateur wrestler, and even an Olympian competing in the 1968 summer olympics. But it would be the death of close friend and fellow oympian Gholamreza Takhti, who himself had earned olympic gold, that would change Vaziri’s life forever. After Takhti’s controversial death, Vaziri left his homeland for the U.S. and begin his career as a professional wrestler. He took on the persona of The Iron Sheik in the then WWF and would go on to become one of the company’s most famed villains. His character helped launch the worldwide sensation that came to be known as Hulkamania. Outside of the ring though, things were not all bright and shining. Vaziri battled alcoholism after the murder of one of his daughters. But now in his 70s, Vaziri has garnered new fame as an over-the-top social media figure thanks to his familiar funny outbursts and wild antics.

Originally having premiered in Canada on April 26th, 2014 the hour and thirty-five minute-long documentary tells Vaziri’s story through interviews with his family and friends including his fellow wrestling superstars and pro wrestling historians. The Sheik will be available on DVD in stores and online on Tuesday, March 1st. Pricing information will be announced soon. More information on this and other titles from Dark Sky Films is available online now at:

Website: http://www.darkskyfilms.com

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

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Mr. Holmes Is An Intriguing Portrayal Of Sherlock Holmes

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

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

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

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

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

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

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Lionsgate, WGN Announce Release Date For Manhattan: Season 2

Courtesy:  Lionsgate/WGN AMerica

Courtesy: Lionsgate/WGN America

WGN’s hit period drama Manhattan just wrapped its second season last month. Now fans of the hit serial won’t have to wait very long to own Season 2 for themselves.

Lionsgate announced Monday that Manhattan: Season 2 will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, March 8th. It will be released on DVD + Digital and Blu-ray + Digital HD. The 3-disc DVD + Digital box set will retail for MSRP of $34.97 and the Blu-ray + Digital HD box set for MSRP of $34.98. Season Two picks up right where Season One left As Season Two opens Charlie Isaacs (Ashley Zuckerman – Terra Nova, Rush, Childhood’s End) is forced into a lead role in the efforts to develop the bomb. As the project proceeds, tensions begin to rise between the military and scientists over who is actually running the project. And the chase is on to stop a Soviet spy who intends to throw a wrench into the project. Frank Winter (John Benjamin Hickey – Flags of Our Fathers, The Bone Collector, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) is on the spy’s trail. This and much more will keep audiences fully engaged over the course of Season 2’s ten total episodes.

Along with Hickey and Zuckerman Manhattan also stars Rachel Brosnahan (House of Cards, The Blacklist, Beautiful Creatures), Michael Chernus (Orange is the New Black, Captain Phillips, The Bourne Legacy), Christopher Denham (Argo, Shutter Island, The Following), Justin Kirk (Weeds, Modern Family, Angels in America), Harry Lloyd (The Theory of Everything, Game of Thrones, The Iron Lady), William Petersen (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Fear, To Live and Die in L.A.), and Olivia Williams (Dollhouse, The Sixth Sense, Rushmore).

Manhattan: Season 2 will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, March 8th. It will be released on DVD + Digital and Blu-ray + Digital HD. The 3-disc DVD + Digital box set will retail for MSRP of $34.97 and the Blu-ray + Digital HD box set for MSRP of $34.98. More information on this and other titles from Lionsgate is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.liosngate.com

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

More information on Manhattan is available online now along with all of the series’ latest news at:

 

Website: http://wgnamerica.com/manhattan

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ManhattanWGNA

 

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Shout! Factory Offers Audiences Lots More Furry Fun In Its Latest Pound Puppies Collection

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory Kids/Shout! Factory/Discovery Family

Courtesy: Shout! Factory Kids/Shout! Factory/Discovery Family

The Pound Puppies are back!  Everybody’s favorite canines have returned once again with another new DVD in Pound Puppies: A Rare Pair.  It is available now in stores and online.  And just as with every Pound Puppies DVD that has come before this latest collection of Pound Puppies episodes boasts plenty to appreciate beginning with the episodes themselves.  The episodes are lifted largely from the series’ first season.  Although there is one episode that is pulled from Season Two included in this set.  The writing behind each episode is another important element of the featured episodes.  Last but hardly least of note is the work of the series’ voice cast.  This includes the guest stars that make appearances in these episodes.  Each element is in its own right important to the whole of Pound Puppies: A Rare Pair.  Altogether they make the DVD one more welcome installment from the all too short-lived animated series.

Shout! Factory’s latest Pound Puppies DVD is another welcome collection of episodes from Discovery Family’s all too short-lived animated series.  The DVD features five more episodes lifted from the series.  The episodes in question here are lifted largely from the series’ first season.  Though, there is at least one episode–“Once a Ralph, Always A Ralph”–that is lifted from Season Three.  The reason that this is important to note of the collection is that while this DVD is not yet the series’ last (if one is going by the numbers), it does finish off another hunk of episodes from the series’ first season.  Considering the episodes featured here and those presented in the series’ previous DVDs, only six episodes remain to be released from the series’ first season.  And none of those episodes are slated for the next Pound Puppies DVD Show Stopping Pups, which is slated to be released April 12th.  The remaining unreleased Season One episodes are: “Nightmare on Pound Street,” “Rebound,” “Rebel Without A Collar,” “Olaf In Love,” “Lucky Gets Adopted.”  Keeping in mind that those episodes will not be included in the next DVD and that the episodes that are on the way come largely from the series’ third season, that DVD is one of four more that should be on the way.  In other words, the episodes presented in this DVD are not the only ones left for the series’ fans to enjoy.  That is the key element to this DVD.  Yes, it takes another chunk out of the series’ first season.  But it is also still not the last of the series’ Season One episodes on the way nor is it the last overall Pound Puppies DVD on the way.  It’s just one part of what makes this DVD a win for audiences.  The writing–more specifically the stories behind each episode–is just as important to the episodes as the episodes themselves..

The episodes that are featured in Shout! Factory’s new Pound Puppies DVD are in themselves an important element of the DVD’s enjoyment.  Even as important as they are to the whole of the DVD, they are not the only element that is to be noted of the DVD’s overall presentation.  The writing that is behind the episodes is just as important to the episodes as the episodes themselves.  More specifically the stories that serve as the episodes’ foundation are just as important to the episodes as the episodes themselves.  That is evident right off the top as Lucky and the Pound Puppies end up having to team up with the Kennel Kittens in order to get a kitten and a puppy adopted by a brother and sister.  Originally the two sides face off against one another.  But of course they end up having to team up when they realize the only hope for either side is to work together and keep the puppy and kitten together in one home.  It’s a tried and true plot–two opposing sides having to work together for a greater cause–but even despite that it still works here just as much in other stories that have used the plot.  “The Really Weird Dog” sees the Pound Puppies having to reunite an alligator named Rover (yes, Rover) with his boy before something bad happens to him.  The ultimate outcome is somewhat predictable.  But it is still a fun little story that teaches audiences an important lesson about accepting others regardless of what they look like on the outside.  Regardless of whether or not that lesson was intentionally incorporated into the episode, it still is an important aspect of the episode.  And in “Kennel Kittens Return” audiences get some action and adventure when Squirt has to go undercover as a cat in order to retrieve a glove that lets the Pound Puppies type just like a human.  The glove is part of the Pound Puppies’ ongoing efforts to help keep their operations secret.  It’s a good change of pace from the Pound Puppies’ usual adventures.  The same can be said of the flashback episode “Call of the Squirreldog.”  That episode tells the story of how Mr. Nut Nut became a member of the Pound Puppies despite being a squirrel.  Even Season Three’s “Once A Ralph, Always A Ralph” offers its own surprises as Ralph returns once again to Shelter 17.  It’s one more story that proves the importance of the writing behind this DVD’s featured episodes.  Together with the other featured episodes, all five episodes present stories that audiences of all ages will enjoy just as much as the episodes presented in the series’ previous DVDs.  That being the case they show even more why the presentation in whole is another welcome installment of episodes from the all too short-lived series.

Both the episodes featured in this new Pound Puppies DVD and the stories crafted for each are equally important to the DVD’s overall presentation.  The episodes take out another chunk of episodes from the series’ first season, and the stories behind each episode offer their own enjoyment as not one is like the other.  They are just part of the DVD’s overall presentation. The work of the show’s voice cast is just as important here as the work of the series’ writers. Eric McCormack (Will & Grace, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Perception) is spot on once again as the Pound Puppies lead mutt Lucky. Whether providing comfort and motivation to young puppies looking for their people or confidently leading the Pound Puppies in their mission to place every puppy with its proper person, McCormack handles every one of Lucky’s situations with expertise thus making him not only a believable character but one for whom audiences of all ages will again love to cheer. Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Benson, The Little Mermaid) is just as entertaining as McLeish even in his more rare appearances in these episodes. Audiences will love to hate McLeish thanks to Auberjonois’ take on the dog catching dolt as he tries to keep Ralph from being adopted in “Once A Ralph, Always A Ralph.” And in “Kennel Kittens Return” when McLeish falls for Strudel’s (voiced by Allana Ubach – Legally Blonde, See Dad Run, Meet The Fockers) trick and goes out into the pound’s parking lot in his underwear, Auberjonois is just as spot on. On a different note, guest star Jeff Corwin (The Jeff Corwin Experience, Corwin’s Quest, Ocean Mysteries With Jeff Corwin) is just as entertaining in his appearance as alligator hunter Cap Wilder in “The Really Weird Dog.” What’s really interesting about his portrayal of Wilder is that unlike other similar characters presented in other series, Corwin doesn’t allow Wilder to become that megalomaniacal figure that is all too familiar. He is determined to catch Rover. That goes without saying. But he isn’t overwhelmed by his determination. That is what sets him apart from his counterparts in other series. He makes Wilder an entertaining character. But he doesn’t go over the top with him. That is why he is so entertaining. Even in the episode’s final reveal Corwin doesn’t ham it up either. His ability to balance Wilder’s more obsessed side and his softer side without going too far in either direction makes Wilder that much more entertaining to watch. His is just one more portrayal that shows the importance of the voice cast’s work throughout each of this DVD’s episodes. Each of the series’ regular cast members could be noted in their work, too. But that would take some time. So for lack of time and space, it will be noted that whether for one member of the cast or for all involved, the work of the Pound Puppies voice cast rounds out the most important elements of the episodes presented in the series’ new DVD. That work in itself is an important part of the episodes’ whole. Together with the work of the series’ writers and the presentation of the episodes themselves all three elements present Pound Puppies: A Rare Pair as yet another welcome collection from Discovery Family’s all too short-lived series. They show it as a potential candidate for this year’s list of the year’s best new children’s DVDs and Blu-rays.

Shout! Factory’s latest collection of Pound Puppies episodes is yet another welcome installment from Discovery Family’s all too short-lived animated series. That is exhibited primarily through the episodes culled for the collection. They represent another chunk of the series’ first season. At the same time, they are not the last of the episodes that had yet to be pulled from Season One. In the bigger picture the episodes are also not the series’ last that had yet to be presented on DVD. There are still plenty more on the way. There are at least four more collections on the way, one of which will be released this spring. The writing behind the episodes is just as important to the episodes as the episodes themselves. That is evident in each of the episodes’ stories. From a fun little look back in time in “Call of the Squirreldog” to the standard but still fun story in “Catcalls” to the adventure in “Kennel Kittens Return” and inspiring message of “The Really Weird Dog,” the stories change style from one to the next, ensuring audiences’ maintained engagement. Last but hardly least of note is the work of the show’s voice cast. Once again the cast is spot on in its delivery and timing in each episode. Even guest star Jeff Corwin is entertaining in his own right as Cap Wilder. The entertainment offered by the voice cast shows the chemistry between each person even that early on in the show’s run. Each element proves by itself to be an invaluable element in the overall presentation of Pound Puppies: A Rare Pair. Altogether they make this DVD one more welcome collection of episodes from Discovery Family’s all too short-lived series and an early candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s top new children’s DVDs and Blu-rays. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factorys online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/pound-puppies-a-rare-pair. 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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“Joy” Soundtrack Is A Surprisingly Entertaining Collection Of Songs

Courtesy:  ABKCO Records

Courtesy: ABKCO Records

Actress Jennifer Lawrence’s new starring vehicle Joy has made quite the noise since its release late last month.  It was nominated for two Golden Globes, one of which–BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL OR COMEDY—was a win for Lawrence. It was also nominated for a Critic’s Choice Award for BEST COMEDY while Lawrence was nominated for BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY.  Lawrence has also been nominated for an Oscar in the BEST ACTRESS category.  Audiences will find out Sunday, February 28th if she brings home yet another big win.  While they wait to see if Lawrence can win yet another major acting award they can now enjoy the movie’s soundtrack for themselves.  Music From The Motion Picture Joy was released in stores just last week via ABKCO Records.  And it is just as applause-worthy as the movie, in which Lawrence stars as the woman that created the Miracle Mop and in turn a business empire.  The central reason for that is the list of songs and performers that make up the body of the soundtrack.  It isn’t just another forgettable run-of-the-mill compilation that throws out a bunch of Top 40 songs for the sake of marketing current charting acts.  Rather it takes audiences back in time with songs that fit the era in which the movie’s story is set.  It crosses those songs and couples them with original tunes crafted specially for Joy.  Even Lawrence and cast mate Edgar Ramirez get to stretch their proverbial wings and put their own vocal chops on display throughout the course of the disc.  Between those performances, the songs specific to the movie, and the classic original songs featured in the compilation, all twenty-one songs featured in this recording make it a surprisingly enjoyable soundtrack that is worth at least one listen.

Music From The Motion Picture Joy is 2016’s first truly surprisingly enjoyable soundtrack.  That is thanks in large part to the mix of material that is presented over the course of the compilation’s twenty songs.  It doesn’t just present a bunch of songs from the latest Top 40 pop and rock acts for the sake of marketing their big singles alongside the movie.  Rather it mixes original classics alongside songs crafted specifically for the movie and songs performed by Jennifer Lawrence and co-star Edgar Ramirez.  The classic songs that are featured throughout the soundtrack’s body are not necessarily standards.  And in some cases they are likely known only by very specific audience groups.  But they are still entertaining in their own right.  The Salzburg Bach Choir’s performance of Notre Pere Opus 14 and that of ‘In The Bleak Mid Winter’ by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge prove that argument.  The same can be said of Cream’s classic ‘Feel Free’, The Rolling Stones’ ‘Stray Cat Blues,’ and Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘I Want To Be Happy’ just to name a few other classics included here.  Whether through those songs or any of the other classics included in the body of this soundtrack, the whole of said songs makes for plenty of enjoyment for audiences in itself.  The classic songs featured as part of Joy’s soundtrack are doubly important to its overall presentation.  They are important primarily in that they aren’t just a bunch of popular top 40 hits thrown together to market said songs and acts.  They also don’t require audiences to have seen the movie to have any appreciation for them.  Audiences can simply appreciate them for the great works that they are.  Speaking of having seen the movie in accordance with the soundtrack, there is a small handful of compositions included in the soundtrack that was specific to the movie, which are just as important to the soundtrack as the more popular and well-known compositions. They are collectively yet another reason that audiences will want to hear this collection of songs.

The mainstream and semi-mainstream songs that are featured as part of Joy’s soundtrack are in their own right plenty of reason for audiences to pick up this collection of songs. They are just one part of what makes it an interesting collection of songs. There is a small handful of scene-specific compositions included in the soundtrack’s body, too. Considering that the soundtrack is composed of twenty one total tracks, six scene-specific songs really is not that many songs in the grand scheme of things.  And even with said songs being linked to specific scenes from the movie, the songs themselves are actually enjoyable.  ‘Joy Romantic Theme’ shows that clearly.  The song, crafted by David Campbell, harkens back to the days of George and Ira Gershwin with its gentle, flowing string arrangements.  Considering that, it’s too bad that it only runs a total of one minute and eight seconds.  ‘Mop Drawing’ is another example of how enjoyable the instrumental, scene-specific songs prove to be. This is one of those songs that audiences will enjoy even if they have not yet seen Joy. That is because of the urgency in the song’s tempo and its sound. Knowing at least the movie’s backstory one can deduce from that urgency what is going on here. ‘Joy Theme’ is one more example of how the soundtrack’s instrumental compositions are just as important to its whole as the more well-known pieces that have been included. The slow, gentle strains of the piano in the West Dylan Thordson composed piece generate an emotionally powerful impact for audiences. The combination of that composition and the others crafted specifically for Joy shows in whole why they are collectively just as important to this soundtrack as the more well-known pieces included in the soundtrack’s body. They are still not the soundtrack’s only remaining elements that make it an interesting listen. The pieces performed by Lawrence (yes, Lawrence actually gets to put her vocal chops on display) and cast mate Edgar Ramirez round out its most notable elements.

The more well-known songs that make up most of Joy’s soundtrack and its scene-specific instrumentals collectively give audiences plenty of reason to hear the compilation in whole. While both are important in their own right they are not all that should be noted of the soundtrack. Jennifer Lawrence and co-star Edgar Ramirez actually get to stretch their artistic wings in this movie, getting the chance to actually perform their own numbers. The songs in question are not necessarily their own. Lawrence and Ramirez tackle the classic tune ‘Something Stupid’ in quite the surprisingly enjoyable duet while Ramirez also takes on Antonion Carlos Jobim’s ‘Aguas De Marzo’ (March Water) and famed composer Randy Newman’s ‘Mama Told Me Not To Come.’ This song is a far cry from anything that audiences have come to know from Newman. It’s far more grown-up and almost Dr. John-esque for lack of better wording. He is joined in this song by The Pedrito Martinez Group. The combination of all involved leads to a song that will have any listener on his or her feet in no time.  Regardless of which song one picks, it can be said that the combination of all three songs makes for even more enjoyment for listeners. It rounds out the elements that make Music From The Motion Picture Joy such an interesting and overall enjoyable collection of songs. Each element is in its own right important to the soundtrack’s overall presentation. All things considered Music From The Motion Picture Joy shows in the end to be a surprisingly enjoyable new soundtrack that is worth at least one listen.

Music From The Motion Picture Joy is one of 2016’s early surprises in terms of movie soundtracks. That is thanks to its mix of music. It presents more than just one type of music over the course of its twenty-one songs. There are some familiar songs included in the record’s body. They are songs not just tossed in for the sake of being there. They are specific to the era in which the story took place. They also play a specific role in the movie thanks to their placement. The choral pieces that were incorporated into the record are just as important to the record as are the scene-specific instrumentals included in the record. The same can be said of lead stars Jennifer Lawrence and Edgar Ramirez’s outings. Even their performances make for their own share of interest. Together with each of the other noted elements, the whole of Joy’s soundtrack proves to make the record in whole one of the year’s early surprises. It is a record that is worth at least one listen if not more. Music From The Motion Picture Joy is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct via ABKCO Records’ online store now at http://www.abkco.com/index.php/store/release/316/. More information on this and other titles from ABKCO Records is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.abkco.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/abkco

 

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ABKCO Records To Release “Joy” Soundtrack In Stores This Week

Courtesy:  ABKCO Records

Courtesy: ABKCO Records

20th Century Fox’s new movie Joy has only been in theaters a little more than a week and already much has been said of the movie, which stars Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook, The Hunger Games, American Hustle). It has been received a Golden Globe nomination for the year’s Best Motion Picture. And Lawrence has received a Golden Globe nomination in the category of “BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY.” Now the soundtrack to Joy is being released in stores and online.

ABKCO Records will release Joy’s soundtrack in stores Friday, January 8th. It was previously released digitally on December 18th. Music from some of music’s greatest names is featured in this collection. Those names include the likes of: The Rolling Stones, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, The Ronettes, Bee Gees, Cream, and a number of others. The complete track listing for Joy’s soundtrack is noted below.

 

Music From the Motion Picture JOY track listing:

1)   “I Feel Free” – Cream

2)   “Joy Romantic Theme” (score)

3)   “Aguas de Marzo” – Edgar Ramirez

4)   “The Sidewinder” – Lee Morgan

5)   “I Want to Be Happy” – Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Webb and His Orchestra

6)   “In the Bleak Mid-Winter – Thomas Bullard, Choir of King’s College, Benjamin Bayl, and Stephen Cleobury

7)   “Notre Pere, Op. 14” – Salzburg Bach Choir/Alois Glasser

8)   “Mama Told Me Not to Come” – Edgar Ramirez, Ray de la Paz & The Peditro Martinez Band

9)   “Something Stupid” – Jennifer Lawrence & Edgar Ramirez

10)                  “To Love Somebody” – Bee Gees

11)                  “I Am in Love” (score)

12)                  “Mop Drawing” (score)

13)                  “Racing in the Street” (score

14)                   “Sleigh Ride” – The Ronettes

15)                  “Stray Cat Blues” – The Rolling Stones

16)                  “Texas” (score)

17)                  “Markham” (score)

18)                  “A House With Love In It” – Nat King Cole

19)                  “Joy Theme” (score)

20)                  “I Feel Free” – Brittany Howard

21)                  “I Feel Free” (Bonus Track) – Brittany Howard

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

 

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The Nanny’s Fifth Season Is Another “Fine” Installment Of CBS’ Classic Sitcom

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

CBS’ hit sitcom The Nanny was one of the network’s biggest in its initial run from 1993 to 1999. Over the course of its nearly six years on television, the updated take on ABC’s Who’s The Boss? earned the network high praise along with its cast and writers. And thanks to the people at Sony Pictures Entertainment and Shout! Factory, fans of the classic series have been able to relive all the series great moments once again. That is because beginning with its full series DVD release early last year, Shout! Factory has been giving the series proper DVD releases for the most part. Unluckily Shout! Factory was unable to obtain distribution rights for the series’ first three seasons despite being able to release the series in whole in one complete box set. That means its standalone season sets kicked off with Season Four. That set was released last September. It was followed up just last month with the release of Season Five. And Season Six is currently slated for release on Tuesday, March 15th. Since it has yet to be released the focus for now will remain on the series’ recently released fifth season. There is plenty for audiences to appreciate about The Nanny’s fifth season beginning with its most obvious element, its writing. This includes not just the stories that were crafted for Season Five, but also the humor incorporated into each episode and of course the writers’ ability to balance the serial element of Max and Fran’s impending nuptials with the series’ standalone elements. Just as important to the overall presentation of Season Five is the work of the show’s cast. Once again, Drescher and company deliver more than their fair share of laughs throughout each episode. Last but hardly least of note in this the penultimate season of The Nanny is the overall look and sound of the show’s footage. Once again, the show has been presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio. And it looks and sounds just as clean as it did in its original run so many years ago. The end result is twenty-three more episodes that will keep audiences watching thanks to that quality presentation and entertained thanks to the combined efforts of the show’s writers and cast. Altogether all three elements noted here show the fifth season of The Nanny to be another *ahem* “fine” installment of The Nanny.

The fifth season of The Nanny very easily could have been the end for this hit CBS sitcom. Why the network opted to try and keep things going after Max and Fran finally tied the knot at the season’s end is anyone’s guess. It’s probably the same reason that the network unwisely jumped the gun last year and re-upped The Big Bang Theory without thinking things through first. Regardless of the network’s motive for its movie, it can be said that the penultimate season of The Nanny is just as enjoyable for audiences today as it was in its original run. Considering so much of what is out there today, it could even be argued that the show, in its fifth season, was and is better than most comedy offerings out there today. It proves this first and foremost through the work of the show’s writers. The writers finally have Max and Fran tie the knot. And while that story line is obviously at the center of this season’s episodes, the writers never allow it to overshadow any of the standalone episodes that are also included throughout the season’s twenty-three episode run. “The Ex-Niles” is a good example of that balance. In the case of this episode, the writers have actually balanced both elements quite well with Niles’ very short departure from the Scheffield home taking most of the episode’s time. Audiences will find themselves laughing tears of joy as Niles ends up “working” for one of Fran’s relatives. Of course, the term “works” is used loosely as he becomes anything but a butler in said scenario, which leads to his return to the Scheffields’ home. That hilarious story line set against Fran and C.C.’s ongoing fight for Max’s affections makes for a great standalone episode that also doesn’t forget about the season’s main underlying plot line. “The Engagement” is another example of how the balance of the writing alongside the stories themselves makes this season so enjoyable for audiences. This episode focuses solely on Max and Fran’s relationship. And in comparison to so many other engagement story lines (both on the big screen and small screen) the writers have gone almost completely opposite of what so many other writers had done before in regards to the engagement. At the same time, the scenes leading up to the engagement offer their own share of laughs. And especially the show’s female audiences will find said scenes funny because of just how much truth there is to those scenes, which will not be revealed here. “Fransom” is yet another example of how the writers’ work and their balance makes this season as enjoyable as it proves to be. Instead of focusing on Fran’s relationship with Max, the writers opt this time to focus on Yetta. Fran hosts Yetta’s wedding shower here and decides to take a break by offering to walk C.C.’s dog Chester. Of course hilarity thy name is Fran. Fran ends up having to rescue Chester and bring him back. There’s just one problem. Fran ends up getting herself kidnapped in the process, leaving Maxwell to have to save the day. Even though the whole thing starts with a wedding shower, the writers still don’t let the wedding talk overpower the rest of the episode’s comic elements. This leads this episode to have its own share of enjoyment and to show once again the writers’ ability to solidly balance both the show’s serial elements with its standalone elements. Of course that ability to entertain audiences and balance the show’s separate elements is just one part of what makes the show’s writing so important to its enjoyment. The humor that is incorporated into each episode is just as important as the episodes themselves.

The episodes that were crafted for The Nanny: Season Five are in themselves clear examples of what makes the writing behind the show so important to its overall viewing experience. The ability of the writers to so expertly balance the show’s serial and standalone episodes from beginning to end is just as important in the overall picture of the show’s writing. While both are key elements to the writing they are just part of what makes the writing so important. The humor that is injected into each episode is equally important to each episode as the stories and their balance. “The Pre-Nup” is a prime example of the importance of the humor injected into the show’s writing. In her effort to get in to see Brighton after he accidentally skates into a brick wall, she convinces a nun to let her borrow her attire so as to slip in to Brighton’s room. This all happens because Fran is not immediate family, so the front desk nurse at the hospital won’t let her go in to see Brighton. The jokes that come after are just as great. Fran jokes about having missed her calling in life because nuns devote their lives to celibacy and not getting married. This ties back in to the episode’s main story line, which centers on Fran having to sign a pre-nup ahead of the wedding. What’s more, Drescher’s character being Jewish, this moment becomes even funnier. The plot will be left to viewers since it isn’t necessarily the center of interest here. But suffice it to say that it is entertaining in its own right. “The Ex-Niles” is another example of why the humor injected into The Nanny remains so important in the show’s fifth season. The whole episode develops after Niles discovers what Fran makes per month while doing some cleaning. This is so funny because of its reality in relation to people knowing one another’s salaries. At the same time, it also plays on Niles’ all too familiar snooping nature. It’s one more way that Niles causes and gets into trouble because of his snooping. In turn it makes for its own share of laughs, too. “The Engagement” was noted earlier because of its original story and for one of the comic elements that was inserted into the story line. That comic element sees Fran discovering (courtesy of Niles and his gossipy nature) about Maxwell’s plan to propose to her. She ends up telling one person about it on the phone, and then it just spreads like wildfire from there. This is so funny because there is so much truth to it. Women will especially appreciate this joke because of that truth. It doesn’t take much for rumors and gossip to spread in such situations. The very concept of having the multi-window presentation of everybody talking about the impending engagement adds even more to the moment. This is a classic setup. And it works just as well here as in any of its other uses in other TV shows and movies. Together with the other noted comic elements written into the episodes (and those not noted), every joke that is written into the show throughout this season adds plenty of great moments that will leave audiences laughing/ In laughing so much said audiences will agree that the humor within each episode is just as important to the show in its fifth season as the stories that make up the season’s twenty-three episode run.

The writing that went into the fifth season of The Nanny paid off in spades. That goes without saying. Everything noted here shows that with full clarity. As important as the writing proves to be to the whole of Season Five, the work of the show’s cast in interpreting each episode’s script can’t be denied. From the season premiere, which sets the season’s events into motion right to the big two-part season finale, the cast’s work is spot on. Daniel Davis’ work is the most notable yet again. His comic timing is perfect regardless of the scene. He shows his ability to adapt to every situation expertly. That is just as evident when he and Lauren Lane are throwing witty one-liners at each other as it is when he and Drescher playfully bounce bits off of each other. The same applies when he and Charles Shaughnessy are on camera together. Each pairing presents a different brand of comedy and in turn comic timing. He handles every one of those moments perfectly, leading to plenty of laughs. Of course there is also no denying Drescher’s comic talents. She is just as capable when teamed up with her cast mates as Davis and the rest of the cast. And just as with Davis, each situation allows her to show her ability to adapt to each situation. Shaughnessy’s straight man portrayal adds even more to the cast’s collective entertainment. He does a great job making audiences want to knock some sense into him at times—not violently, but rather with that sort of slapstick pop to the back of the head. The combination of the trio’s talents together makes for plenty of laughs in each episode. And in the grand scheme of things, it makes for even more reason that audiences will love this season just as much as The Nanny’s first four seasons.

The writing and acting behind the fifth season of The Nanny gives audiences plenty of laughs from one episode to the next. From pop culture references to cultural jokes and more the writers show themselves to be at the top of their game throughout this season. That is shown just as much as the writers were able to expertly balance the show’s serial elements with its standalone elements. The chemistry of the show’s cast throughout this season makes for even more enjoyment for audiences. While both elements are equally important in their own right to the whole of The Nanny’s fifth season, there is still one more element to examine in this season’s presentation. That element is the show’s overall presentation. It is presented here in its original 4:3 presentation just as in the previous seasons’ DVD releases. The look of the footage is surprisingly impressive whether played back on a DVD player or Blu-ray player. Though there’s no denying that up-converted on a Blu-ray player it looks especially impressive. The sound is just as impressive between the intro and outro music and the mic levels. Even when the writers take the show outside of the Scheffields’ house such as in “The Dinner Party” (which sees Fran and Maxwell shopping for a new engagement ring), the natural sound is quite well balanced with Shaughnessy and Drescher’s mics. The same applies as Fran goes to the hospital to find Brighton after his accident and in other moments. Regardless of the situation, the audio and video are handled just as expertly as the writing and acting. Both are just as impressive in this season’s DVD set as they were in the show’s original run. The end result of that attention to detail is twenty-three episodes that will keep audiences engaged just as much for their quality production values as for their entertaining writing and acting. All things considered here, The Nanny: Season Five shows in the end to be one more “fine” addition to the collection of any of the show’s fans.

The fifth season of The Nanny is not the last season of CBS’ hit sitcom. It easily could have been and probably should have been for that matter. That is not to discount the show’s sixth season by any means. But in looking at everything that went into this season—from its writing to its acting, and even to its production values—Season Five would have been a fitting finale for The Nanny. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory’s online store now at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/comedy/the-nanny-season-five. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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