Dramaphiles Shoud Make Room For Room In Their Movie Collections

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

Lionsgate’s new dramatic thriller Room is one of the most powerful movies of 2015’s crop of new releases.  It should be said right off that bat that for those that haven’t yet seen this movie it is not an easy movie to watch.  That is because it is that powerful.  That being noted those that can steel themselves ahead of watching this gripping drama will find it to be a completely engaging piece that is both gripping and moving all at the same time.  The main reason for this is the movie’s script.  This includes both the movie’s central story and its more minute details. The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note especially considering the story and its setting.  That will be discussed later.  Last but not least to note is the bonus material included in the movie’s new home release.  Each element is important in its own right to note in the overall presentation of Room.  Collectively they make this presentation one of the biggest surprises of 2015 and just as big of a surprise now that it has been released on Blu-ray and DVD.

Room proved in its initial theatrical run to be one of 2015’s biggest surprises.  That is because it was the polar opposite of all of the prequels, sequels, and remakes churned out by Hollywood ’s major studios.  In other words it proved to be an original story even having been adapted from a book published by author Emma Donoghue roughly five years ago.  The story follows mother and son Joy(Brie Larson) and Jack (Jacob Tremblay) as they try to survive and escape their captivity.  All the while their captor “Old Nick” (Sean Bridgers) maintains his control over them by providing for them.  It sounds eerily like the case of the Ariel Castro kidnappings.  However, one must keep in mind that said case didn’t break until 2013 when Amanda Berry escaped Castro’s house and notified authorities of her captivity and that of Michelle Knight and Georgina DeJesus.  Donoghue’s book was published two years ahead of the case breaking.  So any connection between the two is purely coincidental.  That maintains the originality of Donoghue’s story.  What’s more Donoghue largely controlled the adaptation of her story from book to big screen.  This is perhaps why the story was so enthralling in its presentation here.  It’s not the first time that an author has had direct say in how his/her work was adapted from book to big screen.  However those scenarios are rarer than people might think.  Considering this Donoghue’s direct hand in the movie’s translation is important to note in the final product.  It’s just one aspect of the writing that makes this movie’s script so powerful.  The script’s more minute details are just as important to the script as the story.

The story at the center of Room’s script is an undeniably important part of the movie’s success.  That is because of the simple fact that while it was a literary adaptation, it wasn’t just another prequel, sequel, or remake.  What’s more there’s no chance of the story producing any of those movies, either.  And considering the fact that a story very similar to that of room proved to be reality two years after it was published proved to be reality, it makes Room’s story that much more believable.  It’s scary but true.  Even with this in mind the story at the center of the script is just one part of what makes the script so important to the movie’s success.  The script’s more minute details are just as important to the story as the story itself.  The fact that the story can stand on its own two feet with Joy not even being formally named until more than halfway through the movie is a powerful statement in itself.  More than likely Donaghue did this intentionally as a sort of way to illustrate Joy’s lack of identity during her captivity versus her new-found freedom later in the movie.  It shows the importance that something as simple as a name can have in a movie’s story.  On another level, the relationship between Jack and his mother is worth noting in regards to Room’s script, too.  As difficult as the pair’s situation is in their time in the shed, the emotional connection that is exhibited between mother and son is both moving and beautiful even.  It is moving when Joy finally tells Jack about the reality of their situation and he doesn’t believe it.  It is sort of that end of innocence situation in a manner of speaking and will really tug at viewers’ heartstrings.  The other moments are just as moving in a number of ways.  The happier moments are beautiful while the more difficult moments are moving in a painful way.  It makes seeing their situation in whole all the more painful for viewers to see yet just as gripping.  Believe it or not this is actually a good thing.  It is a good thing because it makes suspension of disbelief all the easier for audiences and in turn makes maintaining engagement in the story just as easy.  It also shows that as with the 1957 classic 12 Angry Men it is still possible to write a good story even with the story’s characters confined to a given space for most of the movie.  Staying on that note, Donoghue is to be commended just as much for the manner in which she explained how long Jack and his mother had been there.  At one point Joy tells Jack that she had been kidnapped by “Old Nick” seven years prior to being in the shed.  Keeping this in mind and that the story opens with Jack telling Joy that he is now five years old, one is led to believe that “Old Nick” got Joy pregnant and she in turn gave birth to Jack.  The fact that “Old Nick” bought a toy truck for Jack for his birthday solidifies that even more.  It’s a small plot element.  But it is so important.  And the way in which Donoghue executed this element is just as impressive as the script’s overall story.  It’s just one more way in which the script’s smaller elements prove to be just as important to the movie as the story at the heart of the script.  There are plenty of other ways in which the script’s smaller elements prove just as important to the movie’s overall presentation as the central story.  Audiences will find plenty of those other ways when they watch the movie for themselves.  Moving on, Room’s script is just one part of the movie that makes it stand tall amidst all of its prequel, sequel, and reboot counterparts from 2015.  The cast’s work in front of the camera is just as important as that of Donoghue and director Lenny Abrahamson.

The combined efforts of Emma Donoghue and director Lenny Abrahamson to bring Donoghue’s book to the big screen is a big part of what makes Room one of 2015’s biggest surprise theatrical releases.  It also helps to make the movie just as surprisingly enjoyable for first time audiences now that it is available on DVD and Blu-ray.  The cast’s work in front of the camera is just as important to the movie’s success as its script.  Brie Larson shows throughout the course of the movie’s nearly two-hour run time why she received the Golden Globe® and Oscar® for her role in the movie.  Viewers’ hearts will hurt terribly for Joy as she struggles to raise Jack essentially on her own in the confines of that shed.  And the emotional pain that she exhibits as she comes up with her plans to get Jack out of the shed is just as difficult to take in.  The seriousness with which Larson approached these moments is what makes them so difficult to watch, but not in a bad way.  When she places the hot cloth on Jack’s head and face to feign him being sick, it is clear that Joy did not want to take that route especially as Jack expressed the pain at feeling its heat.  When she gagged herself and wiped the result on his hair to make him appear even sicker his momentary disbelief is just as painful to see.  This applies both in the case of Joy and of Jack.  Speaking of Jack, Jacob Tremblay is just as impressive as the five-year old boy.  The innocence and naivety exhibited on the part of the boy, especially when he yells at his mother in disbelief about their situation, is just as spot on.  This is especially important to note considering that Tremblay is, in real life, almost twice the age of his character.  Audiences know that the shed is all that Jack has ever known.  So he doesn’t believe that there is anything else in the world, just like any small child.  He doesn’t overplay the moment either.  Being that he doesn’t he makes viewers’ hearts go out just as much to him as to his mother.  Regardless of that moment or any other, both Larson and Tremblay handle their roles perfectly, never once allowing themselves to go over the top.  It makes both mother and so fully believable and sympathetic characters.  They make viewers want the pair to get out and see “Old Nick” punished for what he had done to them.  That is a powerful statement about Larson and Tremblay’s work.  On the same note, what happens in their attempt to adjust to “normal” life after having for both escaped the shed is just as powerful.  It is obvious just how difficult that adjustment was for both Jack and Joy.  Jack doesn’t want to play with his new toys or talk to his grandmother’s new boyfriend at first.  And Joy sadly attempts suicide at one point.  She does survive the attempt, though not to give away too much.  Yet again neither actor overdoes it at any point.  Rather they make viewers’ hearts hurt for Joy and Jack that much more but fill with so much joy in the story’s finale. There are so many other moments that could be cited which exemplify the outstanding work of both Larson and Tremblay.  Regardless of which moment(s) viewers find for themselves, viewers will agree that from beginning to end the pair is outstanding together.  The duo proves from beginning to end why their work is just as important to the movie as the movie’s story and its associated elements.  Even as important as both elements are to the movie they are not the only important elements to note of the movie’s presentation.  Now that it has been released on DVD and Blu-ray the movie’s bonus material can be noted, too.

The writing behind Lionsgate’s adaptation of Room and the work of the movie’s cast that brought the movie’s cast to life are both key elements in the movie’s presentation.  As important as both elements are to the movie’s presentation they are not the only important elements that should be noted.  The bonus material that has been included with the movie in its small screen release is just as important to note as the movie’s script and acting.  The behind-the-scenes featurettes are enjoyable enough.  There is the standard “Making of” featurette and a pair of featurettes that examine “Old Nick’s” shed and the importance of the shed in the story.  As much as they might add to the movie’s presentation, the movie’s bonus feature-length commentary proves to be the most important of the movie’s bonuses.  Audiences get to hear from director Lenny Abrahamson and Emma Donoghue throughout the course of the movie as well as other members of the movie’s crew.  And they cover a number of topics throughout.  There are discussions on the movie’s shooting angles, the importance of making the shed look dark yet not overly foreboding (this will be discussed shortly), the movie’s pacing, and so much more.  The discussion on the setup of the shed is important because as is noted in the discussion, it was meant to look and feel like a place that ironically enough Jack felt safe even despite what it really was.  It really plays into the discussion on Jack’s innocence and Tremblay’s handling of that innocence and naivety.  The note of the movie’s pacing is just as important.  That is because it serves to drive home how easily Donoghue and Abrahamson were able to keep the story moving even as Joy and Jack try to readjust to something similar to normalcy.  Those that are interested in movie production will appreciate the discussions throughout the movie on its various angles and how they are used to evoke certain emotions from both the movie’s viewers and its cast.  These are just some of the discussions raised throughout the course of Room’s bonus commentary.  There is much more in-depth commentary provided over the course of the movie’s nearly two-hour run time that audiences will appreciate.  Collectively it shows clearly why the movie’s commentary is such an important bonus addition to the movie in its new home release if not the movie’s most important bonus.  Most important or not it can be said that the commentary, along with the movie’s bonus featurettes, complete the movie’s viewing experience and show once and for all why Room is just as surprisingly powerful now in its home release as it was in its theatrical release last year.

Room was one of the biggest surprise movies of 2015’s new theatrical releases.  That is because the movie, based on Emma Donoghue’s book by the same name wasn’t just another heartless, soulless prequel, sequel, or remake.  It was a movie that exhibited real heart, depth, and originally.  What’s more there’s no way that it could lead to a prequel or sequel.  It is a movie that, thanks to its power, absolutely demands viewers steel themselves going into the movie.  It is that deep and powerful; especially for those viewers with children.  The work of lead stars Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay in bringing Joy and Jack to life adds its own share of heart to the movie.  Their work expertly illustrates the mother and son’s close relationship and how it manages to survive amazingly even the most difficult situations.  That clear bond will bring even the strongest viewer to tears at times.  Their relationship is just one of a number of interesting topics discussed in the movie’s bonus commentary, the most important of the movie’s bonuses in its new home release.  It isn’t the movie’s only bonus.  But it is the movie’s most important bonus.  Together with the extra featurettes included in the movie’s home release, the bonus material completes the movie’s viewing experience.  After watching all of the movie’s bonuses and taking in the movie’s story and acting, viewers that can make themselves watch this movie all the way through will agree that they should make *ahem* room for Room on their DVD and Blu-ray racks and in their digital collections.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct via the movie’s official website at http://roomthemovie.com/#/.  More information on Room is available online now at:

 

 

Websitehttp://www.roomthemovie.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/RoomTheMovie

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/roomthemovie

 

More information on Room and other titles from Lionsgate is available online now at:

 

Websitehttp://www.lionsgate.com

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Twitterhttp://twitter.com/lionsgatemovies

 

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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:

 

Website: http://www.abkco.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/abkco

 

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.

Olive Films To Release Cagney, Marx Brothers Classics May 6th

Courtesy: Olive Films

Courtesy: Olive Films

Olive Films has announced that it will release two Hollywood classics on DVD and Blu-ray next month.

Olive Films will release Jimmy Cagney’s 1943 film Johnny Come Lately and The Marx Brothers’ 1949 film Love Happy on May 6th. Cagney stars as ex-newspaperman Tom Richards opposite Grace George’s Vinnie McLeod in Johnny Come Lately. After McLeod–who is himself the editor of a failing newspaper–saves Richards from serving a jail sentence for vagrancy, the pair teams up to expose political corruption in a small town. Richards and McLeod have to face their evil rival, corrupt newspaper owner Big Boss Dougherty (Edward McNamara) as they attempt to uncover all of the corruption going on in the town. The role was the first for Cagney since his Academy Award ® winning role the previous year in the beloved film Yankee Doodle Dandy. Cagney won the Oscar for Best Actor thanks to the movie.

Marjorie Main (Ma and P Kettle), Marjorie Lord (Make Room For Daddy), and Hattie McDaniel (Gone With The Wind) serve as supporting cast in Johnny Come Lately. William K. Howard directed and composer Leigh Harline (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio) handled the movie’s score. Harline would go on to receive an Oscar ® nomination for this movie’s score. Johnny Come Lately will be available on DVD and Blu-ray May6th for SRP of $24.95(DVD) and $29.95 (Blu-ray).

Also on May 6th, Olive Films will release the Marx Brothers’ classic film Love Happy on DVD and Blu-ray. This movie was the last for the famed brothers. Harpo leads his brothers in this movie in which he plays a Robin Hood type of character.   He is trying to help a group of struggling actors that are trying to open a new musical without any financial backing. When he accidentally takes some smuggled diamonds in a shoplifting heist, Harpo and his friends come face to face with Madame Egelichi (Ilona Massey). Unbeknownst to them, Madame Egelichi has tracked her smuggled diamonds back to the theater where the acting troupe is trying to put on its musical. She hatches a plan to be the sole financial backer for the theater and for the musical so that she can get her diamonds back. The result is plenty of laughs for audiences. Harpo’s brothers Groucho and Chico are along for the ride in Love Happy as are fellow co-stars Vera-Ellen, Raymond Burr, and Marilyn Monroe.

Love Actually will be available in stores and online May 6th on DVD and Blu-ray. It will retail for $24.95 (DVD) and $29.95 (Blu-ray). More information on these and other releases from Olive Films is available online at http://www.olivefilms.com, http://www.facebook.com/olivefilms, and http://twitter.com/olivefilms. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Anchor Bay Announces Home Release Date, Details For ‘At Middleton’

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Anchor Bay Entertainment will release its new romantic comedy At Middleton this Spring.

At Middleton will be released on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, April 1st.  It features an all-star cast headed by Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel, Up in the Air) and Andy Garcia (Ocean’s Eleven, City Island).  It also stars Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story), Spencer Lofranco (Jamesy Boy), Peter Riegert (Dads), and Tom Skerritt (Picket Fences).  The story follows George (Andy Garcia) and Edith (Vera Farmiga) as they meet while joining their children on a tour of the campus of Middleton College.  The pair meet thanks to a divide between themselves and their children.  Their meeting leads to a reminiscing of their own college years.  That reminiscing leads to personal revelations for both figures.

At Middleton has been praised by both audiences and critics alike.  New York Times writer Neil Genzlinger wrote of the movie, that it is “delicate and restrained” and “a surprise of a film.”  Rex Reed writes for The New York Observer.  He wrote of Farmiga’s performance that it was her “best role since she tamed George Clooney in Up in the Air.  Kudos have come in from other major media outlets including: NPR, The Huffington Post and many others; each one as complimentary as the last.

Audiences are treated to a number of bonus features in the home release of At Middleton.  There is an audio commentary with director/co-writer Adam Rogers, producer/co-Glenn German, and producer/actor Andy Garcia.  Also included as bonuses are: a gag reel and bonus music track of ‘There Was A Day.’  Andy Garcia wrote the song’s lyrics and sang the song and partnered with Arturo Sandoval to write the song’s music.  Sandoval arranged the song.

The DVD presentation of At Middleton will be available Tuesday April 1st for SRP of $22.98 and on Blu-ray for SRP of $26.98.  More information on this and other releases from Anchor Bay is available online at http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com and http://www.facebook.com/AnchorBay.  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.

Starz Announces Release Date For The White Queen Home Release

Courtesy:  Starz Entertainment

Courtesy: Starz Entertainment

Starz Entertainment has officially announced the release date for the home release of its hit mini-series, The White Queen.  The ten-episode mini-series will be released Tuesday, February 4th.  The story re-tells the infamous “War of the Roses” from the standpoint of the women involved in the feud.  Those women were Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort, and Anne Neville.  They were part of the feud between the House of York and the House of Lancaster that took place in 1464.  The feud in question was centered on who was the rightful King of England.  After Edward IV is crowned king and falls in love with Lancastrian commoner Elizabeth Woodville, a conflict arises between her and her rivals, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville.  Each one will do whatever it takes to gain the power of the crown.

The White Queen will be released on DVD and Blu-ray/UV combo pack on Tuesday, February 4th, 2014, just in time for Valentines Day.  Both sets will come with plenty of bonus features.  The features in question are listed below.

Bonus Features:

  • The Making Of THE WHITE QUEEN
  • Series Overview
  • Book To Series
  • The History Behind THE WHITE QUEEN
  • THE WHITE QUEEN: Set Tour
  • Queen Elizabeth
  • The King
  • The Heir Apparent
  • Woman In A Man’s World
  • Conjuring Up The Queen/Magic
  • Dressing The Queen/Wardrobe

 

MSRP for the DVD and Blu-ray/UV sets are $49.98 and $59.98 respectively.  More information on these and other releases from Starz Entertainment is available online at http://www.starz.com, http://www.facebook.com/Starz, and http://twitter.com/starz_channel.  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.

Win “Life of Pi” On BD/DVD/Vudu Combo Pack

Courtesy:  20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Life of Pi is one of the biggest movies from 2012.  Now it has finally been released to multiple formats.  Thanks to 20th Century Fox and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, the Phil’s Picks blog has three copies of the movie to give away on Blu-ray/DVD/Vudu combo pack. 

Next Monday – Wednesday, I’ll be giving away one copy each day on the Phil’s Picks Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/philspicks.  But I’m not just going to do any drawing.  Those of you who have already “Liked” my FB page have to recruit more people to “Like” it in order to win.  It will start Monday, March 18th.   Here’s how it’ll go down.  The first person to get just five (5) people to “Like” my page each day will win that day’s copy of “Life of Pi” on Blu-ray/DVD/Vudu.  The people that you get to “Like” my page have to post to my timeline noting that you got them to “Like” my page.  That way I can count each person’s recruits under your name.  Make sense?  Let me know if it doesn’t and I’ll try to explain it in simpler terms.  I’ll announce the winner of each copy each afternoon at 4pm.  Again, that’s the first person Monday – Wednesday to get 5 people to “Like” my page.  And it doesn’t start until Monday.  So that means that you need to get out there and spread the word about the Phil’s Picks FB page if you really want to win!  I’m going to run the contest for these copies of “Hitchcock” the same way the following week

And if you’re not one of the people to enter, you can pick up your copy in store or online now.  It can be ordered online at http://www.foxconnect.com.

To keep up with all the latest sports and entertainment news and the latest giveaways, 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, as well as giveaways at the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.