MVD Entertainment Group Announces Release Date, Specs For ‘Double Dragon’ Re-Issue

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

MVD Entertainment has a special treat coming in the new year for gamers everywhere.

The company recently announced it will re-issue the 1994 cinematic adaptation of the classic video game Double Dragon on Jan. 22 on a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack.  The movie will be re-issued as part of MVD’s MVD Rewind Collection. Pre-orders are open now. A trailer for the movie is streaming online now here.

MVD’s forthcoming Double Dragon re-issue will feature a wide array of bonus content, such as the pilot episode of Double DragonThe Animated Series, a new “making of” documentary and new featurette on the movie’s producer, Don Murphy.

The full list of the movie’s bonus content is noted below.

Bonus Materials
* High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations of the main feature
* Audio: English 5.1 Stereo, English 2.0 Stereo, German 2.0 Stereo
* English, French and Spanish Subtitles
* NEW! “The Making of Double Dragon” (full length documentary featuring interviews with stars Scott Wolf and Marc Dacascos, writers Peter Gould & Michael Davis and producer Don Murphy)
* NEW! “Don Murphy: Portrait of a Producer” featurette
* Archival ”Making of” featurette
* Behind the Scenes featurette
* 1993 Double Dragon Animated Series Pilot Episode #101: “The Shadow Falls”
* Storyboard Gallery
* Press Photos, Marketing and Behind The Scenes Photo Galleries
* TV Spots
* VHS Home Video Trailer
* Original Theatrical Trailer
* Collectible Mini-Poster
* Reversible Sleeve Featuring Alternate Artwork

The story at the center of Double Dragon, follows two teenage brothers — Jimmy (Mark Dacascos — The Island of Dr. MoreauDriveOnly The Strong) and Billy Lee (Scott Wolf — Party of FiveNight ShiftPerception) as the pair works to protect their half of a magical amulet from the evil tycoon Koga Shuko (Richard Patrick — Terminator 2The X-FilesWayne’s World).  Shuko has the other half of the amulet, and wants the brothers’ half of the amulet so that he can have untold power.  Billy and Jimmy are aided in their efforts by Marian (Alyssa Milano — CharmedCommandoWho’s The Boss) and her vigilante group, The Power Corps.

MVD Entertainment Group Director of Acquisitions and Sales Eric D. Wilkinson spoke highly of the movie’s forthcoming re-issue.

Double Dragon was arguably one of my favorite projects for the Rewind Collection,” Wilkinson said.  “This release marks the first time Double Dragon will be available on Blu-ray and in HD in North America!  Special features producer Richard Schenkman and I worked tirelessly to create some amazing brand new bonus material that includes a feature-length “making of” documentary that I know collectors will love.  These new bonus features, along with some great archival bonus material, and the addition of the pilot of the Double Dragon animated television series (courtesy of Invincible Entertainment) MVD is proud to present the definitive edition of Double Dragon in a kick-ass (pun intended) Blu-ray + DVD combo pack collector’s set.”

Double Dragon was directed by James Yukich (Jeff BeckLive at the Hollywood Bowl, Def LeppardAnd There Will Be a Next TimeMegadethCountdown to Extinction Live), produced by Don Murphy (TransformersNatural Born KillersFrom Hell), Jane Hamsher (From HellNatural Born KillersThe War of the Roses) and Alan Schecter (Fair Gamethe Last Boy ScoutShowdown) and written by Michael Davis (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IIEight Days A Week100 Girls), Emmy Award-winner peter Gould (Breaking BadBetter Call SaulToo Big To Fail), Paul Dini (BatmanThe Animated SeriesBatman BeyondLost) and Neal Shusterman (GoosebumpsThe Haunting HourCry Victory).

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.commvdentgroup

 

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.

 

 

 

 

‘Prehysteria’ Re-issue Is An Enjoyable Offering For The Whole Family

Courtesy: Moonbeam Entertainment/Full Moon Features/MVD Entertainment Group

Dinosaurs are big business for Hollywood.  From the Jurassic Park franchise to Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur to Blue Sky Studios’ Ice Age franchise and more, dinosaurs have brought in big bucks for Hollywood throughout the years.  Now thanks to MVD Distribution, a slightly lesser-known dino-centric flick has been brought back to light in the form of Prehysteria for audiences to enjoy again for the first time.  Originally released as a direct-to-VHS flick more than 25 years ago from Moon Beam Pictures – an imprint of Full Moon Features – it was re-issued on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack Oct. 9 via Full Moon Features, and is a welcome offering for most families even today.  That is proven in part through the nearly 90-minute movie’s story.  The story will be discussed shortly.  The movie’s bonus material adds to the movie’s presentation, and will be discussed a little later.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of Prehysteria.  All things considered, Prehysteria proves to be a work that while maybe not as well-known as other dino-centric flicks, is still a fun family flick.

Moon Beam Pictures’ newly re-issued indie dino flick Prehysteria is a welcome, fun family flick.  It is an underrated and underappreciated addition to Hollywood’s much hyped prehistoric realm (and yes, that awful pun was intended).  That is proven in part through the story at the center of the movie.  The story centers on the Taylor family — Jerry (Austin O’Brien — The Last Action HeroMy Girl 2The Lawnmower Man), his sister Monica (Samantha Mills — Step By StepCalifornia Dreams, The Family Man) and their father Frank (Brett Cullen — Ghost RiderThe Dark Knight RisesPerson of Interest) as they deal with a group of newborn dinosaurs brought home by their family dog, Ruby, who is clearly mourning the loss of her puppies.  As is explained through the movie, Frank gave away Ruby’s last litter of puppies, so she takes on the pigmy dinos as her own.  Plenty of hilarity ensues in the Taylor household after the dinosaurs — named after the family’s favorite musicians – are born.  From the little dinos making a mess of the Taylor family’s kitchen, to the adorable little creatures finding the beat as Elvis plays just outside their room and more, the smiles and “awwwws” are plentiful.  Meanwhile, an evil museum curator named Rico Sarno (Stephen Lee — War GamesThe NegotiatorBurlesque) is out to get the tiny dinos back, leading to even more laughs, and some action in the process.  What’s interesting here is that plot point involving Sarno trying to get the little dinosaurs is somewhat similar to one of the plot points of Jurassic Park, which actually came out after this movie.  So to that end, it makes that plot point even more interesting when added to the whole of the story.  Of course, the whole thing has a happy ending, though the ending is left somewhat up in the air.  Not too much will be given away here, but the story is left rather open-ended in its very last scene.  The result is that audiences will be left feeling uncomfortable because it does not leave viewers with that full sense of closure that a finale needs.  Director Charles Band and star Austin O’Brien talk about this and much more in the bonus audio commentary, which, as one of the movie’s bonus features, adds its own interest to the movie’s presentation.

Getting back to the movie’s story, there are some plot holes, not the least of which being the issue of how the dinos survived in the Taylor’s house for such a long time if they in fact needed a very hot, humid climate in order to survive – according to Vicki (Colleen Morris) late in the movie.  In retrospect, it leaves one scratching one’s head even more.  Even with that and other plot issues in mind, the movie is still a fun flick that the whole family will enjoy taking in every now and then.

While the story, even with its plot holes and other issues, does plenty to make this little-known family flick well worth at least one watch, it is only part of the movie’s success in its recent re-issue.  The bonus material included in the movie’s new home release adds even more interest to the presentation.  The bonus commentary, noted above, offers just as much entertainment as the story at the movie’s center.  Throughout the movie, director Charles Band and lead star Austin O’Brien share plenty of insight and entertainment.  O’Brien reveals that one of the scenes involving the family truck was so hot that ice had to be put into the truck bed for “Ruby” to sit on so that the dog could stay cool.  That was because the movie was shot largely in Los Angeles.  Another interesting tidbit to learn is that the very first appearance of the dinosaurs was shot on a stage placed five feet above the ground.  That was so as to allow all of the puppeteers to do their jobs controlling the dinosaurs from below.  Staying on that same note, Band also reveals during that noted sequence that he is – even in August, 2018 – against studios’ use of CG.  This is a rare view from film makers today, even despite the cost.  As noted above, the duo also takes on the movie’s rather odd, uncomfortable ending, actually pointing out how bad that final scene was.  Again, that final scene won’t be revealed here, but it really does ruin the otherwise happy closure offered just before that scene.  It’s just one more interesting note shared throughout the course of the movie’s 83-minute run time.  There is also a note from O’Brien himself that prior to the movie, he himself was unfamiliar with Elvis and Elvis’ career, so he had to do a lot of cramming in order to get familiar with Elvis for the movie.  Band also notes, surprisingly, that prior to watching the movie with O’Brien back in August of this year for the commentary, that he had not actually watched Prehysteria in full since its debut.  That is kind of odd, considering the movie’s cult following.  One would have thought he would have had more pride in the movie.  That aside, that revelation, the others noted here and so much more offers plenty for audiences to appreciate.  Keeping this in mind, the audio commentary is just one of the bonuses worth discussing here.  The bonus “Videozone” featurette offers its own interest to the movie’s presentation.

The “Videozone” featurette included in the movie’s re-issue is important to discuss because it is, for all intents and purposes, a “making of” featuerette.  Audiences get in this featurette a vintage look back in time at the original cast interviews that are in themselves eye-opening.  There are notes about which cast members did and did not have that much fun making the movie.  Band also offers his own thoughts in the vintage interviews alongside his father and Prehysteria co-director Albert Band that gives even more insight into the movie’s creation.  As if these interviews are not enough, audiences are also treated to a companion feature that shows how the dinosaurs were created, using wires and special modeling clay.  The whole of the features here shows even more, the importance of the movie’s bonus material.  Between everything offered throughout the “Videozone” featurette and the bonus feature-length commentary, the bonus material included in this re-issue makes the movie so much more entertaining and in turn worth the money spent.  Speaking of money, the movie’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.

The average price point for Prehysteria’s re-issue is $27.15.  That price is determined using prices from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and MVD Entertainment’s online store.  MVD is included as it is the company handling the movie’s distribution.  On the surface, some might say that this price is a little high.  However, taking into consideration everything noted in this review, and that the bonus commentary and “Videozone” featurette are included not just on Blu-ray, but also on DVD, that price actually becomes quite affordable.  It is actually on par with prices for movies that are far more well-known and released in their own BD/DVD combo packs.  In other words, audiences will not break the bank at such a cost.  Keeping this in mind, along with the entertainment and insight offered through the movie and its bonus material, and that dual availability through the packaging, this presentation proves to be one that proves well worth the money and being added to any family’s movie library.

Full Moon Features/Moon Beam Pictures’ recent re-issue of Prehysteria is an enjoyable presentation for families seeing it for the first time and for those seeing it for the first time again.  As has been discussed here, that is due in part to a story that even despite its plot holes, is still fun and endearing.  In turn, it is sure to keep the whole family entertained from start to finish.  The bonus material included in the movie’s new re-issue adds to that enjoyment.  When the main feature and secondary material is taken collectively into consideration, they make the average price point of just under $30 well-spent.  Keeping that in mind, the package in whole proves to be a positive presentation that the whole family will enjoy.  It is available now.  More information on this and other titles being distributed via MVD Entertainment Group is available online now at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://mvdentertainment.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/MVDEntertainmentGroup

Twitterhttp://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.

MVD Entertainment Going “Prehysteric” Next Month

Courtesy: Moonbeam Entertainment/Full Moon Features/MVD Entertainment Group

Dinosaurs are taking over this fall, but they’re not the dinosaurs one might think!

Full Moon Features announced this week that it will release the family-friendly 1993 live action/stop motion hybrid dino flick Prehysteria! on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack next month through MVD Entertainment.  The movie, released originally through its imprint Moonbeam Entertainment, is scheduled to be re-issued Oct. 9.

The story centers on the Taylor family — Jerry (Austin O’Brien — The Last Action HeroMy Girl 2The Lawnmower Man), his sister Monica (Samantha Mills — Step By StepCalifornia Dreams, The Family Man) and their father Frank (Brett Cullen — Ghost RiderThe Dark Knight RisesPerson of Interest) as they deal with a group of newborn dinosaurs brought home by their family dog.  Plenty of hilarity ensues in the Taylor household after the dinosaurs — named after the family’s favorite musicians — but that’s not all.  An evil museum curator named Rico Sarno (Stephen Lee — War GamesThe NegotiatorBurlesque) is out to get the tiny dinos back, leading to even more laughs.

The re-issue comes a little more than 25 years after it originally premiered on VHS on June 1, 1993.  A trailer for the movie is streaming online now herePre-orders for the movie are open now.

More information on this and other titles from MVD Entertainment 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.

 

 

‘Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes’ Re-Issue Proves Again The Importance Of Re-Issues In the Movie Industry

Courtesy: Four Square Productions/MVD Entertainment/MVD Visual

“The worst movie of all time.” That is the wording that has often been used to describe Four Square Productions’ 1978 camp cult classic Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Yes, the movie is bad, but the fact of the matter is that it is meant to be that bad. It’s too bad that so many people have missed that point over the years. Early this week, MVD Entertainment Group’s movie branch MVD Visual re-issued the so bad it’s great flick on a new DVD/Blu-ray combo pack with brand new bonuses, giving those who still hate the movie another chance to change their minds and see the light while also giving true fans (such as this critic), a brand new opportunity to finally add the movie to their home libraries. There is so much to like about this movie beginning with its story. This will be discussed shortly. While there is a lot to like about this brand new re-issue, there is one minor qualm that must addressed — the sound mixing between the movie’s main menu and the rest of the presentation. It’s minor, but cannot be ignored, and thus, will be discussed later. While the problems with the sound mixing cannot be ignored, they are luckily the movie’s only negative in its brand new re-issue. The bonus material included in this re-issue rounds out its most important elements. Each element is, in itself an important part of this reissue’s overall presentation. All things considered, this cult classic still proves once more why re-issues can be — and often are — just as important annually as the new theatrical releases that fill theaters.

MVD Entertainment/Visual’s brand new re-issue of Four Square Productions’ 1978 camp cult classic (say that five times fast) Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is one of the best movie re-issues that will be released this year. That statement is supported easily in no small part through the movie’s story. The story, in a nutshell, follows the events of an attack by a bunch of…well…killer tomatoes on an unidentified town and the attempts by a rag-tag group of people to stop the fruity (remember, tomatoes are fruits, not vegetables) attack. The only explanation of how the tomatoes came to be was an opening scene showing an experimental garden. Audiences are left to assume that it’s a government establishment. Even as little as it is, it’s still funny, considering that they decided to change the tomatoes’ origin in the movie’s sequel. If that isn’t enough proof of how wonderfully silly this movie’s story is, then the random musical numbers, tickers at the bottom of various scenes with nonsensical phrasing and completely outrageous, over the top acting definitely show why this movie is just a fun, turn-off-your brain ride. Ironically enough, as random and outrageous as this story is, one can say to its benefit even more that the story actually manages somehow to stay on track through it all. It never allows itself to get so sidetracked with its zany material that it gets bogged down. Those behind the story’s creation are to be commended for that, especially as much as is thrown into the mix. Keeping all of this in mind, it should be clear why the movie’s story is so important to its presentation. It’s just a dumb, fun movie that is a laugh riot because it is so dumb. Hopefully those who missed that in the movie’s previous release (and those who have never seen the movie) will see it this time around now that the story is seeing the light of day again. While it is obviously important, it is only one of the reissue’s key elements. One cannot ignore the one glaring issue presented in the movie, its sound mixing.

The sound mixing involved in the movie’s new home re-issue is problematic to say the very least, for the movie’s presentation. As soon as the movie’s main menu comes up, audiences are presented with a decidedly ear-piercing whistle that opens the movie’s main theme. The whole thing is so loud that it forces audiences to push down the volume on their televisions. From there, audiences are then forced to turn the volume back up once the movie starts in order to be able to hear. the same discrepancy happens when going back and forth between the main menu and the bonus material included in the new re-issue. The bonus material is presented at a very low volume while that main menu music was obviously recorded at a very high level. The only option that this critic has found to work is to keep the movie and bonus material at one level and then mute the TV while choosing either so as to not have to endure that overpowering sound of the music on the main menu. It should be noted that this critic has nothing against the movie’s theme. The problem here is the seeming lack of attention that was paid to the audio balance between the movie, menu music and bonus content. If more attention had been paid to balancing each piece’s audio, this new presentation of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes would be perfect. If the movie should ever get another re-issue, hopefully this will serve as a reminder to those re-issuing it next. Now, having discussed this one issue, it should be noted that it is the movie’s only negative. The bonus material is its other positive.

The bonus material included in the movie’s re-issue adds so much to its overall presentation. Audiences are treated to the original 8 mm take of the movie that would serve as the basis for the big screen feature that has gone on to become a cult favorite. They are also treated to the very first movie made by those behind this movie, called Gone With The Babusuland, which is supposed to be a spy movie, and is almost as outrageous as the original take of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. There’s even mention in the included commentary that it could be seen in watching this “movie” how the latter movie could be made. That speaks volumes about each movie’s entertainment value. The audio commentary included in the main feature adds its own depth to the movie’s presentation, too. Right off the top, audiences learn through the commentary that the tomatoes splat so well on the opening credits because they were boiled ahead of time. There’s even note of the meeting scene with the military officials being stolen from a Marx Brothers film. If that doesn’t add some appreciation to this movie, nothing will. Viewers also learn as Mason Dixon is first introduced that the cast did its own stunts and that for some of the shoots, the crew didn’t even get permits, but shot guerilla style. That was brave, and clearly paid off. This is all within the movie’s first 20 minutes or so. The insight and entertainment continue nonstop throughout the movie. As if all of the entertainment and insight offered through the already noted bonuses wasn’t enough, audiences are also treated in the bonus es to a faux doc following where the movie’s cast went after the movie was made including a hilarious short pseudo-conspiracy piece, a sing-a-long feature, in which audiences discover from Director John DeBello that it even gained fame on Dr. Demento’s radio show. Between this and all of the other bonus material included in the movie’s re-issue audiences get so much extra enjoyment, and the movie gets so much more depth to its presentation. It really is the finishing touch to the movie’s presentation in this case. When it is joined with the simply outrageous story at the center of the movie, the whole of those elements makes this presentation more than worth the watch and easily one of the year’s best DVD/BD re-issues. That is the case even despite the issue of the sound editing and mixing here.

MVD Entertainment/Visual’s brand new re-issue of Four Square Productions’ 1978 cult classic Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is one of this year’s top new DVD/BD re-issues hands down. Between its laugh riot story and its expansive list of bonuses, the entertainment factor is high here. There is also plenty of insight offered through the commentaries included with the movie and its bonuses. Even with the problems clearly raised through the movie’s lack of audio balance, those noted elements are more than enough to make the movie’s new re-issue worth the watch. It is available now in stores and online. 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 reviews and news, go online to http://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.

Lewis Black’s Fans Will Enjoy His Latest Live Recording Now And In The “Future”

Courtesy: MVDVisual/Comedy Central/MVD Entertainment Group

It goes without saying that Lewis Black is one of the most iconic figures in the history of stand-up comedy. Black’s sharp wit and delivery have made him stand out starkly from his counterpart and in turn made him a favorite among audiences the world over. This has led to a hugely successful career that continues to this day that has taken him all around the world. This past October, that was proven yet again when Comedy Central partnered with MVD Visual, the video branch of MVD Entertainment Group, for a new live recording from the veteran comedian in the form of Black To The Future. This single disc presentation is one that will appeal to Black’s most seasoned fans just as much as it will those who are less familiar with him and his body of work. That is proven in part through the recording’s main feature. It will be discussed shortly. The bonus set included with the recording strengthens the recording’s presentation even more and will be discussed later. Black’s delivery and overall stage presence rounds out the most important of the recording’s elements. Each element is important in its own way to the whole of Black to the Future. All things considered, the noted elements make Black to the Future a recording that proves the future is bright for Black regardless of how when he retires.

Lewis Black’s latest live recording Black to the Future is a work that the veteran comedian’s fans old and new alike will enjoy and appreciate. That is proven in part through the recording’s main set. While not an overly long set — it runs 50 minutes — it still leaves audiences feeling fulfilled at its end. That is due in part to the topics that Black covers in his set and also to the set’s pacing. It should be noted that this set was originally recorded ahead of the 2016 election first and foremost. He takes on both the Democrats and Republicans, skewering Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton AND Donald Trump, so no one can accuse him of being biased. He also presents a scathing indictment of America’s mental health care system, coming right out and saying that the system has failed — and had failed — because of so many administrations going all the way back to the Kennedy administration. There is also a wonderfully hilarious commentary about pet owners who go too far with their pets including a story about a man who held a celebration for his dog called a “bark mitzvah.” As if all of that is not enough, he even goes on a scathing commentary about how the media covers politics and other matters.

From one topic to the next, Black’s transitions are smooth and seamless, ensuring even more audiences’ maintained engagement and entertainment. That is the sign of a seasoned veteran. That is evident as he transitions from the hot button issue of gun control to the topic of mental health. Even as he ties mental health lightly to people who are too dedicated to their pets, his transitions are solid. The same can be said of all of the set’s other transitions. From start to end, Black never leaves any dead air, but also never moves too fast from one topic to the next, keeping everyone fully engaged. That engagement through transitions and relatable topics forms a solid foundation for this recording. They are, collectively, only part of what makes this recording so enjoyable. The recording’s bonus set is just as important to its whole as its main feature.

The bonus set included in Black to the Future strengthens its presentation even more because it is presented in a fashion unlike the program’s main set. Instead of Lewis presenting the topics, audience members generate the set list. The questions that they raise run the gamut from the impact and reach of social media to the current state of the country’s public school system, to legalization of marijuana and well beyond. Black’s reaction to the audience members’ questions in themselves give plenty for people to enjoy. His commentary on the topics in questions presents just as much entertainment. Audiences will laugh uproariously as Black discusses why he has not and would not run for office, saying his policy simply wouldn’t work. He also addresses plays that he has crafted throughout his career, a point about which many fans might not have known. The punchline, which involves a corked bottle (it won’t be given away here) makes the whole thing complete. Between these topics and so many others, engagement and entertainment is just as ensured here as in the program’s main set. The pacing is just as solid even as audiences wait for each person to come up to the mic. That could be due in part to Black’s interaction with co-host and fellow comedian Kathleen Madigan, who has made quite a name for herself throughout her career. Considering the once again solid transitions and the equally entertaining discussions on the presented topics, Black to the Future’s bonus set does just as much to solidify the program’s presentation as its main feature. Both sets together show thoroughly why this program is in fact so entertaining for any of Black’s audiences. Even with this in mind, there is still some left to discuss about the set’s presentation — Black’s stage presence.

Lewis Black’s reputation of screaming and ranting on stage is a big part of what has made him such a popular figure among his audiences and counterparts. The topics that he tackles of course are hot button, but the way in which he tackles them is what for so many years has drawn so many to him. For others though, that Sam Kinison-esque persona has driven people away from him. What’s interesting to note in these sets is that while he does do some ranting, it is not the full-on blast that he has done in years past. By and large, his stage presence in both of these sets is one of controlled chaos. His commentaries are as acerbic as ever, but the relatively controlled nature of his delivery makes the commentary all the harder-hitting. That is a big part of what makes watching these sets so enjoyable. It shows that he can be as impacting in a calm persona as in his more biting moments. Keeping that in mind, it becomes clear why Black’s stage presence is just as important in both of these sets as the sets themselves. When all these elements are set alongside each other, they show in full why this recording is a surprisingly enjoyable experience even watching it on DVD. Keeping that in mind, the recording in whole proves, again, to be one that fans new and old alone will appreciate and enjoy.

Lewis Black’s latest live recording Black to the Future, presented by Comedy Central and MVD Visual, is a presentation that Black’s more seasoned fans will appreciate and enjoy just as much as those who are less familiar with him and his body of work. As has been noted above, that is proven in part through each of the program’s sets — its main feature and bonus set. The topics and transitions presented in each make them engaging and entertaining from start to finish. Black’s stage presence — at times ranting and at times more reserved — ensures audiences’ engagement and entertainment just as much as the sets. Each element proves in its own right why this program is so surprisingly enjoyable. All things considered, they make the program in whole one that will appeal to Black’s more seasoned fans and his newer audiences alike. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Black to the Future is available online now along with all of Lewis Black’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.lewisblack.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheLewisBlack

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://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.

Les Paul 2006 Tribute Concert Comes Up Short In Its Attempt To Honor A Legend

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group/MVDVisual

Les Paul is an American Master. Period. For decades, Paul has been known as “one of the music industry’s greatest minds, having created one of the industry’s most well-known and respected guitar lines. He also was responsible for recording tech that has become the standard across the board. On June 18, 2006, a concert was held — fittingly — at the Gibson Amphitheatre to pay tribute to Les Paul and his legacy. Originally aired on AXS TV this past June, the concert was released on DVD early this past September via MVD Entertainment Group. While it is an enjoyable experience overall, it is not a perfect recording. The concert itself , which features some very well-known Les Paul devotees, sits at the center of the recording and is both a positive and a negative in the program’s overall presentation. Another notable negative to the presentation here is a total lack of a program guide. That will be discussed later. The segmentation of the concert and interview segments is its own positive to this presentation. Each element is, in its own right, important to the recording’s whole. All things considered, A Tribute To Les Paul: Live From Universal Studios Hollywood proves to be an unsuspectingly entertaining program.

MVD Entertainment’s recently released A Tribute To Les Paul: Live From Universal Studios Hollywood, is a program that, while entertaining, leaves something to be desired in the end. That is due in part to its set list. Coming in at 93 minutes, the concert’s lineup features performances from some very well-known and respected guitarists including Joe Satriani, Slash (Guns N’ Roses, Slash’s Snakepit), Steve Lukather (Toto) Neal Schonn (Journey), Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band), Buddy Guy and others. Even famed front man Edgar Winter (The Edgar Winter Group) came along for the ride along with Joe Perry (Aerosmith). Many of the songs performed throughout the concert are covers, though Satriani did perform a pair of his own works in the form of ‘Satch Boogie’ and ‘House Full of Bullets.’ The covers included takes on Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition,’ Willie Dixon’s ‘Hoochie Coochie Man,’ which was first made famous by Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter And’s ‘Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo’ among others. Between these and other songs featured throughout the concert, and the artists tapped to perform them, audiences get in the performance, a dual music history lesson for all intents and purpose. They see veteran performers taking on some equally well-known songs, some of which are their own and some of which are covers. Considering all of this, the very setup for the concert serves as a positive for this recording. At the same time, being that the concert is only 93 minutes long and considering Les Paul’s legacy, it is surprising that more stars were not tapped for the concert. That lack of more performers (and in turn songs) actually detracts from the recording to a certain point, leaving audiences wanting more, but not in a good way. This sadly is not the recording’s only negative. The lack of a program guide hurts the recording’s presentation to a point, too.

Audiences will note in examining the recording’s packaging that nowhere inside or outside the box is a program guide to be found. It is listed on the program’s main menu, but nowhere else. As has been noted so many times before about similar products, it would be nice to have that piece of the proverbial puzzle as it serves not only as a guide, but as a marketing tool that can serve to increase potential viewers’ chances of purchasing the program. By not having that guide included either in physical or printed form, MVD Entertainment Group has only hurt itself here. It really is a critical piece of the whole, even as much as it might not seem like it is. It is in reality, its own companion to the actual concert, which ties in a handful of interview segments with the featured artists. That segmentation, by the way, rounds out the recording’s most important elements.

Segmenting the concert footage in this recording with the companion interview footage was truly a smart move here considering how little actual performance footage was actually included in its presentation. Without the interview segments, the program’s run time might have only run about half of that 93-minute run time, ultimately making it a failure. Luckily, those behind the program knew well enough to add in the interview footage, which itself adds its own insight to the program while also breaking up the concert and keeping audiences engaged. Audiences will be interested to learn through the interview segments that Les Paul was the person responsible for initially developing the 8-track recording machine (I.E. multi-track recording). Audiences also learn through Slash’s interview segment how much his appreciation for Paul grew as he himself grew. Joe Satriani also offers a funny anecdotes about being pranked by Les Paul at one point in his segment. Theirs are not the only interesting interview segments. Edgar Winters adds his own interesting thoughts in his interview, too. All things considered here, the segmentation of the program’s concert and interview segment proves a critical part of its overall presentation. When it is coupled with the recording’s very concert footage, the two elements make A Tribute To Les Paul: Live From Universal Studios Hollywood worth at least one watch.

MVD Entertainment Group’s recent home release of AXS TV’s Les Paul tribute concert A Tribute To Les Paul: Live From Universal Studios Hollywood is an entertaining recording worth at least one watch. The lineup, which featured a number of well-known artists performing some equally well-known songs, played into this in a big way, both to the pro and con. The lack of any program guide hurt the program’s presentation in its home release, too, sadly. Luckily, the program’s overall presentation, which mixed the concert footage with interview footage, makes up at least to a point for the issues raised by the concert’s short run time and lack of program guide. It helps establish the program’s relatively short 93-minute run time. As noted already, each element is important in its own right to the recording’s whole. All things considered, they make A Tribute To Les Paul: Live From Universal Studios Hollywood a concert that while not necessarily one of the year’s most memorable recordings, worth at least one watch. It is available now and can be ordered online via MVD Entertainment Group’s online store. 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 reviews and news, go online to http://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.

MVD Entertainment Group Re-Issuing Sonny Rollins Live Concert Documentary

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

MVD Entertainment Group will re-issue another one of documentarian Robert Mugge’s music-based docs this summer.

The independent entertainment company will re-issue Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus Aug. 4 on DVD and Blu-ray.  The program, which has been released at least twice already on DVD since 1999 by two other independent companies, focuses on two key performances by Rollins – May 18, 1986 performance at Tokyo Koseinenken Hall and Aug. 24, 1986 at Opus 40 Sculpture Park in New York.

The first performance was actually the second performance by Rollins and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra at the famed Tokyo concert hall on the same day.  The first concert on the day was recorded by a local Japanese television station.  A local Japanese radio station recorded the second concert alongside Mugge and his limited film crew.

The second performance was recorded in a more laid back setting with Rollins joined by a much smaller group of musicians—Bob Crenshaw (bass), Clifton Anderson (saxophone), Mark Soskin (piano) and Marvin “Smitty” Smith (drums)—in the public park.  Mugge’s film crew for this concert was larger than that used to record his performance earlier in the year in Japan.

Four 16-mm cameras were used for Rollins’ New York performance along with a 24-track recording truck.  The sound recorded at the Tokyo performance was taken from the Japanese radio station that recorded that concert alongside Mugge and company, while the show was captured on film by only two camera operators.

Along with the primary concert footage, Saxophone Colossus also features in-depth discussions by Rollins himself on a variety of topics including his own development as an artist and his wife Lucille’s role as his manager, producer and wife among many other topics.

Audiences can view a trailer for the upcoming re-issue online now here and can pre-order the program online via the MVD Shop and Amazon.  Both the DVD and Blu-ray are listed as retailing for MSRP of $19.95 on both sites.

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.