Shout! Factory Announces Release Date For Hill Street Blues’ Fifth Season Set

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/NBC

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/NBC

Crime dramas today seem to be a dime a dozen. Turn on the television, run through the standard rundown of channels (both on cable and satellite), and it becomes painfully obvious just how many crime dramas are out there. The problem with them is that they are all so run-of-the-mill. Turn back the clock and one will see that the crime dramas of yesteryear offer so much more for audiences. One great example of what once made crime dramas great lies in the classic series Hill Street Blues. And next month audiences will see once again what made Hill Street Blues one of the genre’s groundbreaking series when it releases the series’ fifth season in its entirety.

Hill Street Blues: Season Five will be released on DVD on Tuesday, May 26th. All twenty-three episodes from the series’ fifth season are spread across five discs in this box set. Season Five continues exhibiting writing that remains unparalleled by any crime drama on television today. Though, its influence remains fully visible in shows that came after such as NYPD Blue, The Shield, and many others. Veteran cast members Daniel J. Travanti, Veronica Hamel, Bruce Weitz, Barbara Bosson, Joe Spano, and Betty Thomas all return for Season Five’s run along with newcomers Robert Prosky and Mimi Kuzyk. Hill Street Blues: Season Five will be available on DVD Tuesday, May 26th and will retail for MSRP of $34.93. It can be pre-ordered online now at a discounted price of $29.93 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/crime/hill-street-blues-season-five. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactoryofficial.com

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

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Quincy, M.E. Is As Solid In Its Final Season As In Its First

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Television today is not what it once was. In its golden era, television offered program on three networks—NBC, CBS, and ABC. Thanks to the advances of cable, satellite, and even streaming video, audiences have more options than ever when it comes to what to watch. The problem with having so many options is that considering all of the said options, there really aren’t many options. The comedies and dramas are overly laden with sex and violence. And their scripts are largely cookie cutter across the board. The reality series that are just as prevalent are just as soulless. Thankfully those that yearn for something better will receive just that next week when Shout! Factory, the leading name in home entertainment, releases the eighth and final season of the classic series Quincy, M.E. Filled out by a total of twenty-four episodes, this final collection from one of television’s greatest classic series will impress audiences regardless of their familiarity with the show. The most obvious reason that reason the viewers will enjoy this season so much is the work of the show’s writers. The level of sex and violence that has become so commonplace among today’s TV shows is not there in any of these episodes just as with the episodes that made up the series’ previous seven seasons. The social issues that were often put at the center of the show’s episodes in its previous seasons are here, too. There is even an interesting development in Quincy’s own life as he develops a new romantic relationship that leads to a wedding near the season’s end. There’s much more that could be noted including the writers possibly poking fun at themselves early on in this season’s run, and some semi –fantastical stories to balance things out along the way. In the same vein, the cast’s interpretation of the scripts (its acting) is just as solid eight seasons in as in the series’ debut season. Unlike the acting on the part of casts from so many other shows of the time, this cast shows no sign of over-the-top hamming it up or over acting. Considering the show’s long run, that says a lot. Rounding out the reasons that Quincy, M.E.’s eighth season is a success is the look and sound of the footage. A little more than thirty years has passed since Quincy, M.E. ended its run. Considering that, the footage presented in the show’s looks and sounds just as impressive as that presented in the series’ previous season sets. It is the last factor to consider in examining what makes Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season one more welcome addition to the library of anyone looking for an escape from the heartless, soulless shows that currently dominate television’s ranks today. They also show collectively why this set is an early candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences.

Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season is, as noted, an early candidate for any critic’s list of this year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences. That is because the standards that were established within the show throughout the course of its previous seven seasons are carried on throughout the course of this season’s twenty-four total episodes. One of those standards is the series’ solid writing. Unlike so many of today’s crime dramas and medical procedurals, Quincy, M.E. maintained itself as more than just another one of those shows right from its debut season. Now in its final season, that standard was held as strong as ever. The show’s writers continued to tackle important social issues that are just as relevant today as they were so long ago in the show’s original run. They do also incorporate some slightly more fantastical story lines to balance out that social awareness that is so obvious throughout the series now in its final run. Right from the season’s premiere, the writers show that they haven’t let up by tackling the issues of gang violence and racial bias all in one without letting either topic step on the other. The writers also take on the issues of alcoholism, medical malpractice, and government influence on the drug industry. These are some pretty heavy topics for a show such as Quincy, M.E. to tackle. but the show’s writers handle each topic with the utmost professionalism and believeability. Even more intriguing is that all of these topics are raised in the first of the set’s six discs. Throughout the rest of the season’s runs, the issues of teen suicide, problems within the foster care system and much more. Those wanting something a little less provocative are given the growing romance and eventual marriage (yes, marriage) between Dr. Quincy and the newly introduced psychiatrist Dr. Emily Hanover (Anita Gillette) throughout Season 8. Her introduction serves to show a different side of Quincy than audiences familiar with the series are used to seeing. Audiences get to see more of his more emotionally vulnerable side instead of the strong, steadfast resolve shown throughout the series’ previous seasons. It’s just one more welcome addition to this season’s run that along with the other, deeper episodes, makes Season 8 truly enjoyable and a valid candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences.

The writing that went into Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season goes a long way toward making it another welcome addition to the library of any fan of this hit series. The same can be said of the acting on the part of the series’ cast. While shows from the 1970s and 1980s weren’t overly laden with sex and violence, far too many of them were marred by acting that was awful to say the least. The acting on the part of Quincy, M.E.’s cast eight seasons in is the polar opposite of that from those series. As a matter of fact, star Jack Klugman and his co-stars show the utmost professionalism and seriousness from season premiere to series finale. It would have been so easy for the cast to just dial it in especially as long as the show had been on television by the time this season aired. But not one member of the cast let up. the end result is acting that makes suspension of disbelief so easy. And coupled with the solid work of the show’s writers, both elements will keep audiences new and old alike enthralled in every episode. Yet again, it proves to be another way in which Quincy, M.E. shows itself a valid, early candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences by year’s end.

The work of Quincy, M.E.’s writers and cast members collectively shows without a doubt why Quincy, M.E. was such a popular season for so long. And it is no doubt with the upcoming release of its eighth season it will regain even more that popularity that it boasted in its original broadcast. Much the same can be said once more of the look and sound of each episode’s footage. Considering that over three decades have passed since Quincy, M.E. went off the air and almost forty years have passed since it first premiered on NBC in 1976, the look and sound of the show’s footage is surprisingly impressive. Yet again, it is a tribute to the work of those charged with bringing the series back to life for both its original audiences and a whole ew generation of fans. And it is one more tribute to Shout! Factory’s dedication to excellence for audiences, proving yet again why Shout! Factory remains today the leading name in home entertainment. It is also more reason for any critic to include Quincy, M.E.:The Final Season on his or her list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences come December.

Whether for the work of the show’s writers, its cast members, or the overall production values presented here, Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season boasts plenty of positives. By themselves, each of the noted positives plays its own important role in the enjoyment and success of this final season of Quincy, M.E. Collectively, they make Season 8 a must have for any fan of Quincy, M.E. and any fan of classic television in general. Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season will be available on DVD next Tuesday, March 10th in stores and online for retail price of $39.97. It can be pre-ordered online now for a reduced price of $34.98 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/crime/quincy-m-e-the-final-season. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Website: https://www.shoutfactory.com

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

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Say Hey For Hey Dude: The Complete Series

Courtesy:  Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Nickelodeon/Shout! Factory

It has been nearly twenty-five years since the classic live action, teen-centric series Hey Dude wrapped up its five-season run on Nickelodeon. One of a small handful of live-action series on Nickelodeon during its time on the air, it was Nickelodeon’s answer to NBC’s Saturday morning kids’ series Saved By The Bell. In 2011, Shout! Factory resurrected Hey Dude, releasing the first of the series’ five seasons on its own stand-alone box set. Shout! Factory didn’t waste any time getting the series to its now grown up fans after acquiring its distribution rights, either. From 2011 to 2013, all five seasons were released in their own stand-alone box sets. Now as a final hurrah, Shout! Factory will release all five seasons in one complete series box set on Tuesday, March 10th. It is not the first of Nickelodeon’s classic series that Shout! Factory has released in full nor will it be the last. There is still at least one more set to be released in the form of The Wild Thornberrys: The Complete Series. And hopefully that box set will make its way out before the year lets out. That’s an issue for another time. For now, the fact that all five seasons of Hey Dude have been compiled into one box set is in itself a huge positive for fans. It’s not just about ergonomics, either. There is even more to it than that. And that will be noted shortly. Also worth noting is the writing that went into the series’ sixty-five total episodes. The show’s then younger audiences could just as easily relate to the stories behind each episode as those presented in Saved By The Bell or any other teen-centric series on television at the time. This is the case even though its setting was supposed to be a dude ranch. The writers were still able to craft a whole series of stories from the show’s premiere to its finale that were just as entertaining as they were accessible to audiences. While both the show’s writing and the box set’s full collection of seasons are equally important, just as important to note is that each of the discs that make up the show’s five seasons have been specifically marked within their respective seasons. This reduces any confusion for audiences. And together with the inclusion of a complete episode list inside the box’s cover (specifically on the front and rear cover), it rounds out all of the set’s positives. By itself the separation of the seasons (and the companion episode list) within the box is one of the strongest reasons for fans to pick up this Hey Dude: The Complete Series. Together with its full complement of episodes and the writing behind said episodes, all three elements together make Hey Dude: The Complete Series a must have for any fan of this modern classic series. They also collectively make it one of the year’s best new box sets for children and families.

When it was announced four years ago that Shout! Factory would release the first of Hey Dude’s five seasons, the show’s now grown up fans were understandably rather excited. That is because Shout! Factory had already released the first season of both The Wild Thornberrys and Rocko’s Modern Life with quite the positive results. And the first season of Hey Arnold!, CatDog, and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters were all on the way, along with the first and second season of The Angry Beavers and the first season of Danny Phantom all within a matter of months. So it was obviously just one part of a virtual tidal wave of releases thanks to a deal struck between Nickelodeon and Shout! Factory. It was a deal that has since gone on to see the full series sets of almost all of those other shows see the light of day in stores and online. The only shows involved in that deal that still have yet to see full releases are The Wild Thornberrys and Hey Dude. But on Tuesday, March 10th, audiences will finally be able to strike Hey Dude from that list as it will finally see the light of day. Hey Dude: The Complete Series is just as impressive as the previous full-series box sets released by the partnership between Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon. The most obvious reason being that it is indeed the show’s full series run. All sixty-five episodes of Hey Dude are spread across ten discs in this box set. This is important for two reasons. The first reason that it is important is simply for the purpose of ergonomics. Instead of having to fill space with five separate stand-alone DVD box sets, all five seasons have been placed into one box. The one box saves space versus the five stand-alone sets. The reason that it saves space is the smart packaging of the series’ discs, which has for a long time been the standard for Shout! Factory’s multi-disc sets. The discs are placed one on the inside front of the box, another on the inside rear, and the rest on either side of a set of plastic “plates.” It saves space and protects the discs from scratching one another. On another level, the stand-alone season sets are not exactly easy to find unless fans order them online. With the upcoming release of Hey Dude: The Complete Series exclusively in Wal-Mart stores nationwide, fans won’t have to worry about hunting for this season or that one. They are all presented in the one box. As if the ergonomically sound box and the inclusion of all five seasons within the one box isn’t enough, fans are being given quite the price break with Hey Dude: The Complete Series. Each stand-alone season set prices at roughly $20 plus tax versus the approximately $30 price tag for the complete series set. It’s yet another huge positive for the set that is sure to make quite a few of the show’s fans very happy. It is hardly the last of the positives to the set, either. The writing behind the series is just as worth noting in its enjoyment and success.

The physical and financial elements of Hey Dude: The Complete Series by themselves make this new box west well worth the purchase. They aren’t the only reasons that fans of the classic Nickelodeon series will want to add the set to their DVD libraries. The work of the show’s writers makes it even more worth the purchase. Hey Dude’s writers keep their audiences fully engaged with a wide range of stories throughout the show’s five-season run. From a comical battle of the sexes early on in the series’ run to Mr. Ernst getting amnesia with comical results in the series’ final season to Danny having to make an important choice regarding his roots in Season Four’s “Do The Right Thing,” the writers showed time and again throughout Hey Dude’s five seasons that they knew how to move their audiences and make them laugh, too. They show that talent just as much when the ranch hands have to take care of a baby they think has been abandoned in “Baby” and in the comical Season Two finale “Take Me To Your Leader” in which everyone thinks that aliens have invaded the ranch. That episode is sure to have any viewer laughing with its old school comic elements. The episodes noted here are just some of the examples of why the writing behind Hey Dude makes the series’ upcoming box set so enjoyable. Every season of Hey Dude exhibits the talent of the show’s writers. And audiences will see that for themselves when they purchase Hey Dude: The Complete Series. They will see throughout the show’s five seasons just how many laughs and moving moments it offered then and still offer today. They will also see just how important the set’s physical and financial elements are to the whole package. In seeing all of that, audiences will agree even more so why Hey Dude: The Complete Series is indeed one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families.

The physical and financial elements of Hey Dude: The Complete Series coupled with the work of the show’s writers makes fully evident why every fan of Hey Dude should add the series’ full series set to their personal libraries. They show, too why Hey Dude: The Complete Series is one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families. For all of the value and importance of those elements, there is still one more element worth noting that makes this box set such a joy for audiences. That last element of this set that makes it so enjoyable and such a success is the fact that the discs from each season’s set are clearly marked. It would have been easy for the people at Shout! Factory to just toss all ten discs into the box and called it with the set’s companion episode list printed on the inside of the box’s cover art. But being that Shout! Factory is the leading name in the world of home entertainment, that didn’t happen. The discs from each season are clearly marked. That combined with the companion episode list wholly eliminates any chance of confusion for viewers trying to find specific episodes. The partnering of those two elements makes for one final, solid part of the whole that makes Hey Dude: The Complete Series a welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library. Combined with all of the other noted elements, they show in whole once again why Hey Dude: The Complete Series is so deserving of being called one of this year’s best new box sets for the whole family and why Shout! Factory remains today the leading name in home entertainment.

Hey Dude: The Complete Series is the perfect final statement from Shout! Factory for this modern classic live-action, teen centric series from Nickelodeon. Smart packaging, equally smart writing and a complete episode prove that argument. With any luck it won’t be the last of Nickelodeon’s classic series to be released by Shout! Factory. God forbid it is. But if it is, then it is a great way to go out as it shows once again what once made Nickelodeon so great and what still makes Shout! Factory the greatest name in home entertainment. Hey Dude: The Complete Series will be available on Tuesday, March 10th exclusively in Wal-Mart stores across the country. More information on this box set and others from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: https://www.shoutfactory.com

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

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

Lionsgate Announces Release Date For Manhattan: Season One

Courtesy:  Lionsgate/WGN America

Courtesy: Lionsgate/WGN America

Manhattan is coming home this spring.

Lionsgate will release the first season of its hit drama Manhattan on Blu-ray+Digital, DVD+Digital, and Digital HD on Tuesday, April 7th. The serial, which currently airs on WGN, is a historically-based fiction that follows the events leading up to the creation of the world’s first atomic bomb. It focuses on the scientists that developed the bomb and their struggles to balance their secretive operations with their own personal lives. The series stars Rachel Brosnahan (House of Cards, The Blacklist, Beautiful Creatures) and Michael Chernus (Orange Is The New Black, The Bourne Legacy, Love & Other Drugs).

Season One’s Blu-ray+Digital release will be a three-disc set and its DVD+Digital release a four-disc set. Both sets will feature the same bonus material. That material includes a making of featurette—“Ground Zero: Bringing The Bomb To Screen”—episode specific commentaries, a featurette on J. Robert Oppenheimer, and more. The full list of the box sets’ bonus material is noted below. The Blu-ray+Digital box set will retails for $49.97 and the DVD box set $49.98.

BLU-RAY/DVD SPECIAL FEATURES*

  • “Ground Zero: Bringing the Bomb to Screen” featurette
  • “P.O. Box 1663: Creating a City that Didn’t Exist” featurette
  • “‘Now I Am Become Death': J. Robert Oppenheimer” featurette
  • “Recreating an Era: ‘Manhattan’Costume Design” featurette
  • Select episode audio commentaries with Cast and Crew

*Subject to change.

 

All the latest updates on Manhattan are available online at:

 

Website: http://wgnamerica.com/shows/manhattan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ManhattanWGNA/timeline

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ManhattanWGNA

 

All of the latest information on this and other titles from Lionsgate is available online at:

 

Website: https://www.lionsgate.com

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

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

 

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.

Transformers Fans Of All Ages Will Enjoy Shout! Factory Kids’ Latest Rescue Bots DVD

Courtesy:  Shout! Kids/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Kids/Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory Kids will release the latest addition to its kid friendly Transformers series Transformers Rescue Bots this Tuesday, February 10th. Transformers Rescue Bots: Jurassic Adventure is the sixth of the series’ collections released by Shout! Factory Kids and Hasbro Studios. Five previous collections having already been released, it is common sense that this DVD is just as worth the watch as the series’ previously released compilations. The central reason that it proves to be just as worth the watch as its predecessors is the collection of episodes chosen for the single-disc presentation. Six more episodes have been culled for the set starting with the series premiere “Family of Heroes.” The set also pulls in a second episode from Season One in the form of “Return of the Dinobot” that presents a Dinobot unlike anything most audiences know of from the Transformers’ previous incarnations. There is also a two-part episode from Season 2 and a pair of stand-alone episodes also from Season 2 to complement. All six episodes together make for plenty of enjoyment for Transformers fans of all ages. The same can be said of the writing behind each episode. Whether in the series premiere, the included two-part episode from Season 2, or for the remaining pair of episode, the writing in these episodes is to thank for their enjoyment. And last but hardly least worth noting of these episodes is work of the series’ all-star cast. Veteran actors LeVar Burton (Star Trek The Next Generation, Reading Rainbow, Captain Planet and the Planeteers), Jason Marsden (The Fairly Oddparents, The Garfield Show, Batman: The Brave and the Bold), and Mauriche LeMarche (The Simpsons, Futurama, Animaniacs) are joined by the likes of Parvesh Cheena (Outsourced, Sean Saves the World, A To Z), Steve Blum (Digimon: Digital Monsters, The Boxtrolls, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie), and Elan Garfias (Handy Manny, Chowder, Ni Hao Kai-Lam) among other names. And the interpretation of the episodes’ scripts rounds out the reasons that these episodes are so enjoyable. Regardless of the cast members’ level of experience, nothing but professionalism was shown in each episode, making easier suspension of disbelief and in turn the overall enjoyment of the episodes. By itself, the work of the cast in each of these episodes makes for its own level of enjoyment among audiences. Together with the work of the series’ writers and those charged with assembling the episodes, all three elements make Transformers Rescue Bots: Jurassic Adventure a great adventure for Transformers fans of all ages.

Transformers Rescue Bots: Jurassic Adventure is not the first collection of episodes that Shout! Factory Kids has released from Discovery Family’s family friendly update on Hasbro’s classic franchise following everyone’s favorite robots in disguise. It is however a fully enjoyable collection of episodes. It is a fully enjoyable collection both for those that are and those that are not so familiar with the series. The central reason for that enjoyment is the collection of episodes pulled for the DVD. Regardless of audiences’ familiarity with the series, every one of the series’ fans finally gets to see how the series started thanks to the inclusion of its premiere episode to open the whole thing. Audiences also get to see the writers’ vision of at least one of the legendary Dinobots as well as other early adventures of the Rescue Bots. The collection in whole offer loads of action and laughs for Transformers fans of all ages. The episodes by themselves offer loads of action and laughs for the whole family. That is thanks to the adventures that make up each episode. Keeping in that vein, the writing behind each of the episodes is to thank for making each episode so enjoyable.

The writing that went into each of the episodes on this DVD is just as noteworthy as the episodes themselves in considering what makes it so enjoyable. One way in which the writing proves so important is in the series’ premiere episode “Family of Heroes.” Audiences will note in this episode that at least one of the Rescue Bots—Heatwave—is not instantly fond of being on Earth. As a matter of fact, he would much rather take a mission on another planet than deal with humans who want to control them. Obviously they aren’t really trying to control the Rescue Bots. And eventually, Heatwave overcomes his mistrust as Cody and his family prove that they can be trusted. Yes, it’s a tried and true story element used in so many other series and movies. But especially in the case of this series, it’s interesting to see that things don’t start out with a full-on “happy-happy-joy-joy” vibe for the Rescue Bots or for the humans in terms of their relationship. It is just one example of why the writing in these episodes makes them so enjoyable. The writing in the two-part episode “What Lies Below”/”What Rises Above” is another good example of why the writing behind the episodes makes them so enjoyable. It could even be argued to be the best example of the disc’s episodes in terms of its writing. That is because of the amount of material that went into the episode in whole. Chief Burns and his brother Woodrow (voiced here by Mark Hamill—Star Wars, Batman: The Animated Series, Codename: Kids Next Door) have to come to terms with the tensions built between them ever since their childhood. At the same time, Heatwave exhibits his own personal growth as the leader of the Rescue Bots as he and Optimus Prime work to get back to the others and get out of the volcano. At the same time, the writers pay tribute to Jules Verne in this episode as a hidden prehistoric world is discovered along the way. Through the whole story, none of the noted elements overpowers the other. The end result is a story that easily keeps viewers fully engaged, wondering what will happen next. The writers’ tackling of myths in “In Search of the Griffin’s Nest” and the classic theme of AI becoming sentient (and dangerously so at that) in “Movers and Shakers” is as enjoyable as any sci-fi story. Whether for the solid work on the DVD’s included two-part episode, the series’ premiere, or even that in “In Search of the Griffin’s Nest,” the writing behind the episodes included on Transformers Rescue Bots: Jurassic Adventure shows time and again why it is so pivotal to the overall enjoyment of the DVD. Together with the episodes selected for the compilation, both elements strengthen even more the argument in favor of this latest addition to the series’ already-released compilations.

The episodes tapped for inclusion on Transformers Rescue Bots: Jurassic Adventure and the writing behind each episode make a strong argument in favor of this new DVD. The work of the series’ voice cast is just as worth mentioning in the overall enjoyment of these episodes. From the series premiere to the episodes that followed, the chemistry and professionalism between the cast is obvious. Considering the cast’s collective years of experience, that should come as no surprise. That’s especially the case with lead stars Jason Marsden and Mauriche LeMarche. Marsden, who voices lead character Kade Burns, and LeMarche, who voices Kade’s father Chief Charlie Burns, breeze through their roles. The same can be said of fellow veteran LeVar Burton as he voices supporting character Doc Greene. Even young Elan Garfias (Cody Burns) impresses in his own right. While Garfias might not have the years of experience as Burton, LaMarche, and Marsden, he still shines as the voice of Cody. He handles his role in every episode with the ease and professionalism of a seasoned veteran. And together with his older, more experienced co-stars–including those not noted here–the group as a whole proves to be the perfect choice for each role. The choices paid off in spades, too with each cast member alone and together keeping viewers just as fully engaged with its work as the stories behind each episode. It is the last part of the DVD’s whole that makes it so enjoyable for Transformers fans of all ages. Together with the work of the show’s writers and those tapped to select the DVD’s episodes, all three elements together show in full why Transformers Rescue Bots: Jurassic Adventure is yet another great collection of episodes from what is one of the greatest incarnations of the Transformers.

Transformers Rescue Bots: Jurassic Adventure will be available tomorrow, February 10th in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from Shout! Factory Kids’ online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/transformers-rescue-bots-jurassic-adventure. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory and Shout! Factory Kids is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

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.

Adkins, Eagle Rock A Perfect Pairing On Live Country

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Eagle Rock Entertainment released country music star Trace Adkins’ new live recording Live Country this week. Being that Adkins is one of the leading names in the world of country music and that Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leading name in live recordings, it only made sense for the pair to partner for Adkins’ new live recording. Live Country is one more notch in Eagle Rock Entertainment’s proverbial belt, showing yet again why it maintains the mantle of the leading name in live recordings. It also exhibits why Adkins is one of the leading names in country music today. The main reason for this is the concert’s extensive set list. The twenty-song, ninety-minute concert covers a relatively large swath of Adkins’ career at least up to this point. The band’s stage presence adds even more enjoyment to the concert. There is a certain unassuming nature about Adkins and his band mates throughout the concert that actually makes the show all the more enjoyable. They let the music do the talking for them, thus adding more substance to the show interestingly enough. Last of note that makes Live Country so enjoyable for Adkins’ fans is Adkins’ interview added as a bonus. It goes without saying that this recording being an Eagle Rock release, the audio and video are of the best possible quality. So there is no reason to bring that up again and again. That is just an understood constant. Thus the focus on the bonus interview. The interview runs just under the half hour mark. Adkins discusses his rise to fame in his interview, hearing himself for the first time on the radio, his uneasiness at performing a certain song in his hometown in front of his mother, and much more during the course of that time. Long-time fans will find plenty of enlightening discussion and even some entertaining moments, too. Whether it be for those discussions or discussions on other topics, the collective body of Adkins’ interview fully lives up to its title of a bonus. And together with the noted elements of the concert recording itself, all three elements together make Live Country a recording that any of Trace Adkins’ fans will enjoy.

Typically when one thinks of Louisiana, one doesn’t normally associate the boot-shaped Gulf Coast state with country music. More often, it is associated with zydeco and the blues. It is associated with the NFL’s Saints. And most of all, it is associated with one of America’s biggest annual parties, Mardi Gras. So when Louisiana native Trace Adkins first broke out in 1996 with his debut album Dreamin’ Out Loud, it came as a bit of a surprise to a lot of people. Fast forward nearly two decades and more than a dozen albums later, and Trace Adkins has more than proven that his rise from the tiny town of Serepta was anything but a fluke. Audiences will see and hear that for themselves when they pick up Live Country for themselves thanks to the show’s set list. The show’s set list is in fact the center point of the recording’s enjoyment. Adkins takes audiences all the way back to his debut album in this recording as he included ‘I Left Something Turned on at Home,’ ‘There’s a Girl in Texas,’ and ‘This Ain’t No Love Song.’ He also included in the concert’s set list ‘This Ain’t Not Thinkin’ Thing’ as the concert’s opening number. His 1997 album Big Time is represented with its title track. All of his albums from the early 2000s are represented throughout the concert as is his 2010 album Cowboy’s Back in Town. Obviously Adkins wasn’t able to pull music from every one of his albums. Otherwise the concert would have been much longer. Maybe those albums not represented here will be saved for Adkins’ next live recording. Regardless, the fact that so much of Adkins’ body of work is represented here justifies the use of the term career-defining for the performance. Far too often that term is tossed around for performers’ concerts and far too little do said performances live up to said mantle. In this case, the concert’s set list definitely does live up to the term, proving without a shadow of a doubt why its set list sits solidly as the center of Live Country’s enjoyment.

The set list that makes up Live Country more than lives up to the mantle of being career-defining. That is because it covers nearly every one of the albums that comprise Adkins’ body of work. Those songs are collectively more than enough reason for Adkins’ fans to add Live Country to their personal collections regardles of whether or not they already have his previously released live recordings in their libraries. As important as the show’s set list proves to be to this recording’s enjoyment, the band’s stage presence proves to be just as important. There are no over the top antics, no big showy moves or anything else. Rather, Adkins and his band mates–John Coleman (keyboards, vocals), Brian Wooten (guitar), Mark Gillespie (guitar, vocals), Wayne Addleman (steel, dobro, guitar, vocals), Mike Brignardello (bass, vocals), and Johnny Richardson (drums)–maintain a certain almost unassuming demeanor throughout the concert. They make the music the star of the show instead of themselves. The same can be said of backing vocalists Kate Rapier and Jill Pickering. That unassuming demeanor and focus on the music actually adds a certain depth and substance to the concert. It shows that a concert can be enjoyable with little more than a bare bones approach. That simplistic yet so smart approach coupled with the show’s set list makes for even more reason for Adkins’ fans to add Live Country to their personal collection. What’s more it proves even more so both why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains the leader in live recordings and Trace Adkins one of the leading names in country music.

Both the songs that make up Live Country’s set list and the stage presence of Adkins and his band mates through the course of the concert play important roles in the enjoyment of this recording. They are in fact the most important aspects of the concert that make it so watchable and enjoyable. It goes without saying that being an Eagle Rock Entertainment release, the concert’s audio and video mix are of the highest quality. So making note of those high quality production values yet again would be redundant from this critic. That being the case, the reasons for Live Country’s enjoyment are rounded out by the bonus interview with Trace Adkins himself. Adkins sat down with a member of the media before the concert to discuss a number of topics for the interview. Those topics included hearing himself on the radio for the first time early in his career, performing in front of his mother, his rise to fame, and much more throughout the course of the interview. His rather matter-of-fact demeanor throughout the interview is interesting to say the least. When he talks about hearing himself on the radio for the first time, there is no feeling of shock. It’s obvious he is recalling the memory. But he is just as unassuming here as on stage. He maintains that approach throughout the rest of the interview, too. It shows someone that obviously hasn’t let celebrity go to his head, even being the first ever winner of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice. It’s just one more reason that any Trace Adkins fan will want to add this recording to their personal collection now that it is available in stores and online. It is also another way in which both Eagle Rock Entertainment and Trace Adkins prove again to be leaders in their respective fields.

Live Country is not Trace Adkins’ first ever live recording. However, it is a fine example of why he is one of the leading names in country music. It is just as fine an example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leader in live recordings. The show’s extensive set list and the band’s on-stage presence collectively make this concert just as enjoyable as any of Adkins’ previously released recordings. The companion interview with Adkins that is included with the concert adds even more enjoyment for fans. That is thanks both to the interview itself and his humble approach to the interview. All three aspects by themselves make for plenty of enjoyment in Live Country. Collectively, they make Live Country another big win both for Eagle Rock Entertainment and for Adkins himself. Together, they show why both parties remain today leaders in their respective fields. Live Country is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

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