CMG’s ‘Lured’ Re-Issue Leads Phil’s Picks’ 2016 Top 10 New DVD/BD Re-Issues List

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

It’s hard to believe but there are now only two weeks left in the year.  There’s still so much ground to cover before the year ends, too in terms of year-ender lists. This morning we move on again, staying still in the DVD and BD category, though.  On tap today we have the list of the year’s top new DVD/BD Re-Issues.

Included in this list are box sets and standalone DVDs/BDs.  So it’s a mix.  But it’s a solid mix.  Topping this year’s list of top new re-issues is Cohen Media Group’s re-issue of the 1947 thriller Lured.  The movie was one of star Lucille Ball’s very rare non-comedic roles, and she shines brightly in this movie.  The bonus commentary included in the movie adds even more to its viewing experience.

Speaking of bonus material, this critic took into account the re-issues’ bonus material as well as their packaging in assembling this list. It wasn’t easy.  But it is what this critic feels is a solid list nonetheless.  As a reminder, the list includes not only the Top 10 New DVD/BD re-issues but five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  That being said, here for you is Phil’s Picks’ 2016 Top 10 New DVD/BD Re-Issues.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2016 TOP 10 NEW DVD/BD RE-ISSUES

 

  1. Lured

 

  1. Sudden Fear

 

  1. Return of the Killer Tomatoes

 

  1. Charlie Brown’s All-Stars

 

  1. A Boy Named Charlie Brown

 

  1. Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home

 

  1. A Scandal in Paris

 

  1. The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series

 

  1. Transformers: The Movie

 

  1. Bump in the Night

 

  1. Kingdom of Zydeco

 

  1. Hogan’s Heroes: The Complete Series

 

  1. The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Series

 

  1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

 

  1. Beauty and the Beast

 

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‘Twilight Zone: TCS’ Re-Issue Is A Good Holiday Gift For Series’ Fans

Courtesy: CBS Blu-ray/Paramount

Courtesy: CBS Blu-ray/Paramount

The Twilight Zone is one of the most revered television series of the 20th century. The sci-fi series has inspired TV writers across the board ever since it first aired almost 60 years ago. It has enjoyed its own continued life both on television and on various home video platforms in that time, too.  That continued life on home video includes a new pair of re-issues this fall.  The series’ was re-issued on DVD early this past October.  That re-issue was followed up by a Blu-ray re-issue of the series last week.  The series’ latest Blu-ray re-issue is a welcome addition to the home library of any of the show’s fans who might not already own any of the series’ previous releases.  That is due in part to the presentation of the episodes themselves.  While the episodes’ presentation is key to the set’s overall presentation, it is just one of the set’s key elements.  The set’s episode listing is just as important to note as the episodes themselves.  The bonus material presented in this collection rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is clearly important in its own right to the collection’s presentation.  All things considered The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series proves to be a re-issue that any of the series’ fans will welcome to their home DVD/BD libraries.  That is especially the case for fans who might not already own any of the series’ previous releases.

CBS Blu-ray’s brand new Blu-ray re-issue of The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series is a set that the show’s fans will openly welcome in their own home libraries.  That applies primarily to those fans who might not already own any of the show’s previous full-series incarnations.  That is due in part to the episodes’ presentation.  The episodes are presented here exactly as they were presented in their original broadcast on CBS so many decades ago complete with commercial breaks and original 1.33:1 aspect ratio.  In other words, it looks exactly as it did in its original broadcast.  The black bars are there on either side.  Of course, what with modern technological advances, audiences can handle that by setting their TVs to “cinema” mode (or whatever related mode each different brand might use) if they want a full-screen viewing experience.  The commercial breaks are perfectly clean both going to and coming back, too.  This could be chalked up to the fact that the episodes were taken directly from the transfers presented in Image Entertainment’s (now RLJ Entertainment) Blu-ray series presentation.  That set was released in 2010 along with the series’ separate standalone season sets.  Speaking of those releases, each disc even opens with the Image Entertainment slate, letting audiences know this collection was a direct transfer from that collection.  This plays directly into the bonus material included in this collection and will be discussed later.  Getting back on topic, the episodes’ presentation in this collection proves in the end to be key in its own right to the collection’s overall presentation.  It is just one shining piece of the set’s overall presentation.  The set’s episode listing is just as important to note as the episodes’ presentation to the set’s overall presentation.

The presentation of The Twilight Zone’s episodes in this latest re-issue is a key piece of the set’s overall presentation.  That is because the episodes are presented here just as they were in their original broadcast on CBS nearly six decades ago.  The commercial breaks are there and are perfectly edited both going and coming.  Each episode is also presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio.  In other words, nothing has been lost in this latest transfer from Image Entertainment’s previous Blu-ray re-issue of the classic series.  While the episodes’ presentation are key to this set’s overall presentation, they are only part of what makes this latest re-issue stand out.  The episode listing is just as important to note as the episodes themselves.  Audiences will note that each season’s episodes are listed clearly and chronologically not just once but twice.  Each season is listed separate from the others inside the box’s front cover with the episodes in the exact order in which they originally aired.  This instantly eliminates confusion for audiences.  Even more impressive is that the episodes are linked with their respective discs, too.  As if that isn’t enough, the people at CBS Blu-ray and Paramount even went so far as to include episode listings on each disc, too.  This completely eliminates any guessing when audiences are looking for specific episodes.  That makes the set’s overall presentation and viewing experience all the more enjoyable and entertaining.  It isn’t the last important element to note in examining the set’s overall presentation.  The set’s bonus material rounds out its most important elements.

The presentation of the episodes in CBS Blu-ray and Paramount’s new Blu-ray re-issue of The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series and their listing are both key pieces of the set’s overall presentation.  They are not its only key elements.  The bonus material included in the set is just as important to note as the episodes’ presentation and their listing.  As noted earlier, the set presented here is the exact same set presented to audiences back in 2010 by Image Entertainment (now RLJ Entertainment) right down to the Image Entertainment slate that opens each disc.  What this means is that audiences not lucky enough to get that set will still get to see exactly what audiences with that set get/got to enjoy in terms of its bonus material.  Not every episode comes with bonus material.  But there is still plenty of bonus material to go around.  Audiences will enjoy taking in Burgess Meredith’s interview with Marc Scott Zicree in “Time Enough At Last” in which Meredith reveals he didn’t know series creator Rod Serling before acting in that episode.  He also revealed that he had a dislike for doing series that required constant appearances in that interview.  “Night of The Meek” offers its own enlightening audio commentary track in which viewers learn about star Art Carney’s reason for taking on his role.  Audiences will find just as entertaining the revelation that this episode was filmed at CBS’ studios in Los Angeles, so the snow had to be created for the episode since the episode was filmed on a sound stage and the very fact that it never snows in Los Angeles.  As if all of this isn’t enough, many of the episodes even offer audiences the option of experiencing the episode in a radio-drama format.  This and so much more makes the bonus material included in this latest Twilight Zone full series re-issue just as important to examine as the episodes’ presentation and their listing.  Not every episode comes with bonus material, and the bonus material isn’t listed inside the box, either.  That is a little problematic.  At the same time though, it makes the discovery process enjoyable in its own right.  To that end, the bonus material still proves to be important in its own right to this set’s presentation.  When it is set alongside the presentation of the set’s episodes and their listing, all three elements make this set’s overall presentation hugely enjoyable and in turn, make the set in whole a collection that will be welcome in the home collection of any of the show’s fans.  That applies primarily to those fans who might not already own the show in any of its previous full-series sets.

CBS Blu-ray and Paramount’s new Blu-ray presentation of The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series is a set that will be welcome in the library of any of the show’s fans.  That applies especially to fans who might not already own the show in its previous full-series releases.  That is due in no small part to the fact that the episodes are presented here exactly as they were in the show’s original run.  The commercial breaks are there and are edited expertly both going to and coming back.  The episodes are shown in their original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, adding a certain element of nostalgia to the viewing experience.  The episodes’ dual listing adds even more to the set’s presentation.  It completely eliminates any confusion in looking for specific episodes.  The bonus material included in this set is the same material included in Image Entertainment’s (now RLJ Entertainment) Blu-ray set released in 2010.  While not every episode comes with bonus material, there is still a large amount of material for audiences to enjoy.  It includes interviews and audio commentaries along with standalone radio drama presentations of specific episodes just to name a few items.  The bonus material isn’t listed inside the set’s box.  But that actually makes discovering the bonus material all the more enjoyable for audiences. Viewers need just select “Episodes” instead of “Play All Episodes” in order to discover each episode’s bonus material.

This new full-series re-issue of The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series boast plenty of positives even with one of those positives having a tiny negative that ultimately proves a positive, too.  Keeping that in mind, the set’s only other real negative is its packaging.  The packaging of the discs is touchy at best.  When trying to take out or replace discs, other discs might slip out, leading to an increased chance of discs being damaged via scratching.  This is an issue from which every one of CBS and Paramount’s recent series re-issues (I Love Lucy, The Andy Griffith Show, Hogan’s Heroes, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., Star Trek) has suffered.  It is a troubling matter.  But comparably speaking, it does make the packaging more ergonomic than so many of the show’s other full-series sets.  To that end, CBS and Paramount can be forgiven.  Hopefully it will be taken into consideration with any of the companies’ upcoming re-issues of other CBS series.  All things considered, The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series proves, again, to be a collection that fans of the timeless series will welcome in their own home libraries if they don’t own any of the series’ previous full-series sets.  It is available now in stores and online.

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‘Peanuts’ Movies Are New Again…Sort Of

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount

Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang are coming to Blu-ray for the first time ever next week with the re-issue of two classic Peanuts movies—Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home and Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown.  The two new re-issues will be released Tuesday, September 6th in stores and online. While not the first time ever that the specials have been released to the masses (they were released on their own standalone platforms and in a pair of multi-movie sets just last year along with the full-length Peanuts movies Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown and Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back) ) these latest re-issues are a good fit for anyone that might not have been lucky enough to get their hands on the specials’ DVD re-issues.  That is due at least in part to each movie’s general presentation. That will be discussed shortly.  The story behind each movie is just as important to note as each movie’s presentation.  That will be discussed later.  The movies’ pricing rounds out each presentation’s most important elements.  It brings everything full circle in the movies’ overall presentation. As important as they are to note, audiences should also keep in mind that CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount will be re-issuing them again later this fall in a new Blu-ray dual movie presentation just as they were last year in DVD format.  Keeping that in mind, while these re-issues are enjoyable in their own right, audiences might be better served to wait for that upcoming re-issue and hold off on these.

CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount’s new Blu-ray presentations of Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home and Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown are enjoyable new re-issues for anyone that might not already own the movies’ DVD presentation.  That is due at least in part to the movies’ general presentations.  The movies’ new Blu-ray presentations are exactly the same as that of their DVD counterparts.  Audiences get in each movie just the movies, nothing more, nothing less.  In other words they are bare bones releases just like their DVD counterparts.  This is important to note because there are so many studios out there who make each of their titles’ re-issues different from one another in one way or another.  That isn’t the case here.  The movies’ Blu-ray presentations are mirror images of their DVD counterparts except for their platforms.  Keeping that in mind, the stories behind the movies are just as important to note as the movies’ presentations.

Courtesy:  CBS DVD/Paramount

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount

The general presentation of Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home and Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown are key to note for each.  That is because each movie’s presentation is a mirror image of its DVD counterpart save for the fact that they are now on Blu-ray platform.  That means audiences both with and without the movies’ previous DVD re-issues will be on the same level in terms of what each title offers for entertainment.  Keeping that in mind, the movie’s stories are just as important to note as the presentations themselves.  Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home follows Snoopy as he suddenly packs up and leaves Charlie Brown one day without any explanation whatsoever.  At first everyone is left wondering why Snoopy left.  The final revelation as to Snoopy’s disappearance is one that will move audiences of all ages to both smiles and tears.  Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown is the first of the Peanuts movies to ever be created.  The movie follows Charlie Brown as he wins his school’s spelling bee and is sent to New York City to compete at a national level.  Meanwhile Charlie’s best friend Linus is in search of his beloved blanket after it “mysteriously” disappears.  Things seem to be going well for Charlie Brown at first.  But when the big day arrives, things don’t turn out quite as he (and his friends) had hoped.  The story still has a happy ending of sorts when it’s all said and done.  That being the case, its story is just as enjoyable as that of Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home. When the movies’ stories are set against their general presentation, the two elements join together to show even more why these new Peanuts Blu-ray re-issues are just as enjoyable as their recently released DVD counterparts.  The stories are general presentations of each movie are not the movies’ only key elements to consider.  Each movie’s pricing rounds out their most important elements.

The general presentation of Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home and Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown and the movies’ stories are both key elements of the movies’ new Blu-ray re-issues.  While each element plays its own important part in the movies’ collective presentation they are not the movies’ only important elements.  The movies’ pricing in their new Blu-ray re-issues are just as important to note as the other, previously noted elements.  Each movie’s retail MSRP is a little more than $17 each in its new Blu-ray platform.  That is according to Amazon.com, where audiences can order each movie online.  Wal-Mart lists each movie at the same price online. Best Buy has each movie listed at $17.99 in its new Blu-ray platform while Target doesn’t have either one listed.  Odds are when and if Target opts to include the movies in its online listings, that price will likely be close to the same if not the same as those listed here.  One can only hope that those prices will be lower in store.  Considering that each movie is presented in exactly the same fashion as their DVD counterparts, those prices far too high.  Given the price will be high simply because they are presented in Blu-ray.  But by comparison the movies’ pricing on DVD is only about eight dollars each.  That should make the movies’ Blu-ray platforms no more than $10 or $11 at the most…maybe $15, but no more than that.  Keeping this in mind, the movies’ pricing is perhaps their only downfall.  That is especially the case being that CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount are going to re-issue them again later this fall on a double-movie Blu-ray combo set; a set that will likely be an equal price for the two together as for just one movie on Blu-ray.  All things considered, CBS Home Entertainment’s Blu-ray re-issues of Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home and Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown are both enjoyable in their own right.  But any true Peanuts fan that doesn’t already own either movie on DVD will be better served to wait for the movies’ upcoming double-movie BD re-issue or to just pick up the movies’ DVD re-issues since they are the same as these re-issues and cheaper.

CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount’s new Blu-ray re-issues of Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home and Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown are both enjoyable in their own right.  Any true Peanuts fan will agree with that.  At the same time, true Peanuts fans will also question-along with this critic—if they were even needed.  That is because the general presentation of each movie is the same here as in their 2015 DVD re-issues.  There is no more or less in these re-issues as was presented in the movie’s 2015 DVD re-issues.  And the story presented in each movie is exactly the same as before, too.  The movies’ MSRP across the board in their new Blu-ray re-issues puts the final nail in their proverbial coffin.  While the movies are enjoyable thanks to their stories and their hand-drawn animation, that pricing—and the other  previously noted elements–proves that true Peanuts fans would be better served to purchase the movies in their DVD platforms if they don’t already own them.  Those that do already own the movies have no reason to purchase them again in these latest re-issues.  All things considered, even those that don’t already own these movies on DVD would be better served to purchase them on DVD (especially in their four-movie set) unless they can’t find them on DVD.  That is about the only reason that audiences should even consider purchasing them in their new Blu-ray platforms.

More information on these and other Peanuts releases is available online now along with all of the latest Peanuts news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.PEANUTS.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/snoopy

 

 

 

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Paramount, CBS DVD To Re-Issue Two Classic Peanuts Specials

CBS DVD and Paramount will re-issue two classic Peanuts TV specials this summer.

Courtesy:  CBS DVD/Paramount

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount

On Tuesday, September 6th, CBS DVD and Paramount will re-issue the classic Peanuts specials Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home on Blu-ray.  It marks the first time that either special has ever been released on Blu-ray.  Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown is the first of the Peanuts specials to ever be aired.  It follows Charlie Brown as he unwittingly becomes his school’s representative in the national spelling bee.  It all begins as Charlie sets out to disprove his fellow students who believe that he can’t even win the school spelling bee.  Along the way Charlie Brown’s best friend Linus deals with the disappearance of his beloved blanket as he tries to help Charlie Brown prepare for the spelling bee.  And back home scheming Lucy plans to take advantage of Charlie Brown’s potential success by naming herself his agent.  Of course things don’t turn out quite as she, Charlie Brown, or anyone else expect.  But the special still leaves audiences with smiles on their faces and feeling such support for everybody’s favorite underdog.

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount

Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home presents a completely different story.  When Snoopy receives a letter in the mail, he suddenly leaves his doghouse and embarks on a cross-country journey.  The reason for Snoopy’s journey is a mystery to everybody including Charlie Brown.  That is until the contents of the letter are revealed.  What comes next is a deeply moving story that will move audiences of all ages to tears of joy.

Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home will both be available on Blu-ray on Tuesday, September 6th.  Both titles are expected to retail for MSRP of $24.99.

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Paramount, CBS DVD’s New Hogan’s Heroes Series Set Is Enjoyable Even Being A Re-Issue

Courtesy:  Paramount Studios Home Entertainment/CBS DVD

Courtesy: Paramount Studios Home Entertainment/CBS DVD

CBS DVD and Paramount have been on quite the roll in the past year or so.  Between April and November of 2015 the two companies partnered to turn out no fewer than nine of CBS’ classic series in their full-series sets.  A small handful of those releases were first time releases while a number of others were re-issues including: JAG: The Complete Series, I Love Lucy: The Complete Series, Walker Texas Ranger: The Complete Series, and Star Trek The Original Series just to name a handful of those titles.  There were even re-issues of all eight seasons of The Andy Griffith Show in their own standalone sets courtesy of Paramount.  As busy as Paramount and CBS DVD proved to be in 2015, one would think that the companies would pull back a little bit this year.  That apparently has not been the case.  The Andy Griffith Show was re-issued in whole this past February on DVD.  And earlier this month another classic CBS series—Hogan’s Heroes—was re-issued (again) on DVD.  It marked the third time since 2007 that the series had been released in whole on DVD.  Even despite this it is still another welcome addition to any classic TV buff’s home DVD library.

Paramount and CBS DVD’s latest re-issue of Hogan’s Heroes: The Complete Series is not the first release of the classic sitcom.  It is the third time since 2007 that the series has been released in full on DVD.  Despite this it is still a welcome addition to any classic TV buff’s home DVD library.  It is just as welcome in the library of any of the series’ fans that might perhaps not already own the series in its entirety.  For those that perhaps have never had the pleasure of enjoying Hogan’s Heroes the series’ writing behind the series is the central point of this box set’s presentation.  This applies both to the show’s premise and the stories within its episodes.  The premise presents a group of Allied POWs (led by Col. Robert Hogan), in a Nazi concentration camp that is helping the Allies defeat the Nazis.  They also help other Allied forces escape the Nazis along the way.  All the while Hogan and his band of misfits generate plenty of laughs as they outsmart Col. Klink and his bumbling head of security Sgt. Schultz in order to accomplish their missions.  All of this is important to note because over the course of its nearly six years on the air (It aired from September 17th, 1965 – April 4th, 1971.  That is just short of six years) there was nothing like it on the air.  This includes both the huge variety of sitcoms that populated television’s then limited channels and its dramas, as well.  Even more interesting is that the series, thanks to its premise, caused its own share of controversy because of its playful, lighthearted approach to the life of POWs in WWII-era Germany.  Thankfully though, that controversy has turned to appreciation over the years since the series presented Klink, Schultz, and the rest of the Germans as being rather dumb and gullible.  It is the American equivalent of the propaganda films used by the Axis forces during the war.  Sure, it came along two decades after the end of the war.  But one could argue that since it came along during the Vietnam War, it actually could have served, in its own right, to be a way for people to get escape the tragedies of one war with a comical approach to another war.  That’s probably a stretch on the part of this critic.  Regardless it was—and is—still an original premise.  For that reason alone, the premise behind the series makes it an important part of the series’ writing.  It is just one part of the writing that makes this element so important in the series’ presentation.

The premise behind Hogan’s Heroes is in itself hugely important to the series’ presentation.  That is because in comparison to other series of the time, it was just one more series that made television so great in what has become known as television’s golden age.  That is because it was unlike its counterparts at the time much in the same way that those series were unlike other series at the time.  It’s just one part of what makes the series’ writing so important to its presentation.  The stories that were crafted for each of the series’ one hundred sixty-eight episodes are just as important to the series’ presentation as the series’ premise.  Over the course of its nearly two hundred episodes, the series’ writers came up time and again with totally original stories that kept the series fresh and entertaining.  “Kommandant Schultz” (Season 6) is just one example of what makes the series’ episodes so entertaining.  This episode puts Schultz in charge of Stalag 13 for a short period of time in order to train him how to be a commanding officer.  The reason for the training is that Hitler had requested all NCOs in every camp be trained.  The end result is a story line that while tried and true, is still just as entertaining her as in any other series.  Viewers will love watching as Schultz tries to overcome his bumbling personality and become a respectable officer, only to come up short.  He still gets the last laugh in the end, though.  Viewers really can’t help but root for him here even though he is supposed to be one of the bad guys.  Of course audiences can’t really help but root for Schultz throughout the series. And that is likely linked to John Banner’s (the actor who portrayed Schultz) real life personality.  This will be discussed later.

“The Great Brinksmeyer Robbery” (Season 2) is another example of how the stories crafted for Hogan’s Heroes prove so important to the series’ presentation.  This episode is so important to note because it was one of the many times throughout the series in which the series’ writers took Hogan and company out of the confines of Stalag 13 for its story.  The story itself is just as important to note.  Hogan’s morals are tested somewhat when he is forced with the realization that he and the other men will have to rob a bank in order to purchase a map that would help the Allies’ efforts in the war.  He obviously doesn’t want to have to rob a bank.  But he reminds himself that it would be a German bank.  That in turn sets up the funny story that follows.  The episode’s bank heist story is just part of what makes the episode so entertaining.  Schultz does catch Hogan and his men as they are planning their operation.  But they turn the tables, blackmailing Schultz because he is not supposed to be away on leave.  Schultz’s reaction is timeless, especially as calm and collected as Hogan is in the moment.  It is just one of the great moments presented in this episode that make it so fun and funny.  The others will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  The end result of the episode’s story is just as entertaining.  All things considered, the whole of this episode’s story—from the story itself to the story’s smaller elements—shows once again why it is one more example of the importance of the stories’ importance to the series’ overall presentation.  It is hardly the last example, too.  “Is There A Traitor In The House?” (Season 5) is another example of what makes the series’ stories so important to its presentation.

“Kommandant Schutlz” and “The Great Brinksmeyer Robbery” are both prime examples of what makes the stories behind Hogan’s Heroes’ episodes so important to the series’ presentation.  They are not the only episodes that can be cited in proving this argument.  ‘Is There A Traitor In The House?” This episode is a good example of the strength of the series’ writing because it shows that the series could be entertaining even when Hogan wasn’t at the center of the episodes.  This episode puts Newkirk (Richard Dawson) at the center of its story.  Newkirk has to convince Klink, Schultz, and Berlin Betty that he has turned in support of the Nazis in order to get bombing coordinates to the British.  This happens after a bombing at the camp knocks out the Allies’ radio connection to Britain.  Even more interesting is how the story is executed.  At first audiences are actually led to believe that Newkirk has turned.  Though, it is revealed soon after that he hadn’t.  At the same time Berlin Betty has her own secret (or secrets).  That will be left for audiences to discover for themselves, too.  It’s just one of the story’s elements that makes it so engaging and even somewhat moving.  Audiences will understand and appreciate this when they see this episode for themselves.  It’s just one more way in which the episodes’ stories prove so important to the series’ presentation.  And it is hardly the last story/episode combination that can be cited in making this argument, too.  There are plenty of other stories presented across the series’ six-season run that could be cited just as easily.  Those stories and the stories cited here combine to show why the episodes’ stories are just as important in the bigger picture of the series’ writing as the show’s premise.  While the show’s premise and all of its stories combine to show the importance of its writing in the series’ presentation, the writing is hardly the only element within this box set that makes the set such a welcome addition to any classic TV buff’s home DVD library.  The bonus material contained within the series’ new box set is just as important as its writing to its presentation.

The writing behind Hogan’s Heroes is hugely important to the series’ presentation in its latest full series box set.  The bonus material included in the set is important in its own right to the set’s presentation.  The bonus material featured in this re-issue includes: a pair of original promo spots for the series, Air Force recruitment spots starring series star Bob Crane, a vintage add for Jell-o and Dream Whip starring the series’ whole cast, and behind-the-scenes movies narrated by Crane’s wife Patricia among much more.  The vintage TV spots are fun little additions to the set’s bonus material offerings.  That is because they haven’t been touched up or spit-shined for their presentation here.  They will take viewers back to another age of television in so many ways.  From cast-involved ads to direct recruiting spots, such promotion is rarely to never seen on television today.  So for television historians and classic TV buffs alike the spots are hugely important if only for their historical value.  The behind-the-scenes footage is just as important to the set’s presentation as any of the other bonuses.  In fact it could be argued that this bonus is the set’s key bonus.  That is because of the information shared by Crane’s wife Patricia.  Over the course of the “movie” audiences learn that John Banner’s portrayal of Schultz may have been rather natural.  That is because, as Crane reveals, he was considered to be very much like Santa Claus.  That is because of how much Banner loved kids and just how personable he was off camera.  Comparing Banner to Schultz, one could see how the connection could be made.  On another level viewers also learn about the proximity of the Hogan’s Heroes soundstage to that of The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.  Sure it might not seem all that important on the surface.  But it shows just how busy Paramount’s lot was at the time of Hogan’s Heroes’ run.  It’s just one more way in which the bonus material included in this set proves to be an important part of the series’ presentation in this newly re-issued box set.  There are other bonuses not noted here that were also included in the set’s presentation.  Those extras along with the bonuses noted here make clear why the bonus material in whole is so pivotal to the set’s presentation in its own right.  They are collectively just one more part of the whole that makes this new re-issue of Hogan’s Heroes: The Complete Series so enjoyable for audiences.  The set’s packaging is just as noteworthy as its bonus material and its writing.

The writing incorporated into Hogan’s Heroes and the bonus material that accompanies the series writing are both important elements in the whole of the series’ newly re-issued DVD box set.  The writing, both in terms of the set’s premise and its stories, will keep audiences entertained and engaged from the series’ first season to its sixth.  The bonus material included in the set adds even more enjoyment to the set thanks to its historical value.  Even as entertaining and valuable as the series’ writing and bonus material prove to be in its presentation here, they are not the only important elements to examine in the set’s presentation.  The set’s packaging rounds out its overall presentation.  The set’s packaging is a little bit of a mixed bag.  The box set’s exterior packaging is much more ergonomic for audiences than owning each of the series’ standalone season sets.  However, a closer look at the packaging reveals a different picture.  The series’ first four seasons are spread across nineteen discs contained within one box.  Seasons Five and Six are presented in a separate box set.  Here’s where things get a little bit dicey.  The discs that make up the series’ first four seasons are placed one on top of the other top to bottom on either side of five connected leafs inside their box.  In other words they are packaged much in the older style of multi-disc DVD box sets.  This same method was used in Paramount and CBS DVD’s other recent DVD box set re-issues.  The problem with this style of packaging is that it greatly increases the chances of the discs becoming scratched and unusable over time.  On the other side of the proverbial coin, Seasons Five an Six are presented in the more modern style of packaging, with one disc on either side of the box’s leafs.  This is just as ergonomic if not more so.  It also serves to better protect the discs from scratching.  So while the packaging is in itself a good thing and somewhat better than that of the series’ previous DVD sets, it is also problematic in its own right.  Keeping this in mind, one can’t help but wonder what a Blu-ray box set of Hogan’s Heroes: The Complete Series would look like.  It definitely shows that a Blu-ray set would be a real positive for audiences if only for the set’s packaging.  A Blu-ray presentation could potentially even present even more bonus material.  Even if that shouldn’t happen anytime soon Paramount and CBS DVD’s new re-issue of Hogan’s Heroes: The Complete Series still proves itself to be a good addition to any classic TV buff’s home DVD library and that of any of the series’ fans.

Paramount and CBS DVD’s new re-issue of Hogan’s Heroes: The Complete Series is not the first time that this classic sitcom has been released on DVD.  Even despite that it is still a welcome addition to the home DVD library of any classic TV buff and that of the series’ fans.  That applies more so to those fans that don’t already own the series in its standalone season sets or its previous full series incarnations.  This is proven primarily through the set’s writing.  The original premise and equally original story lines will entertain audiences from beginning to end.  The bonus material included in this, the series’ most recent re-issue.  It adds even more enjoyment thanks to its overall historical value.  The set’s packaging, while at least somewhat problematic, is also more ergonomic than the series’ previous full series DVD box sets.  Though, it can be argued that the packaging alone necessitates a Blu-ray release for the series.  A blu-ray presentation would potentially be even more ergonomic than this DVD box set or any of the series’ previous full-series incarnations.  All things considered Paramount and CBS DVD’s new Hogan’s Heroes: The Complete Series re-issue is still a welcome addition to the home DVD library of any classic TV buff not already in possession of the series’ previous DVD sets and that of the show’s original fans in the same situation.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Hogans-Heroes-Complete-Richard-Dawson/dp/B017Q8QNJK/?tag=cbcoofsiofcb-20.

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Paramount Announces Upcoming Re-Issue Of Hogan’s Heroes: The Complete Series

Courtesy:  Paramount Studios Home Entertainment/CBS DVD

Courtesy: Paramount Studios Home Entertainment/CBS DVD

Paramount is reusrrecting one of CBS’ greatest sitcoms this spring.

Hogan’s Heroes: The Complete Series will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, March 8th. Its upcoming release marks the third time that it has been released and second time that it has been re-issued. It was originally released in an expansive six-box set on June 5th, 2007. Another release of the series followed on November 24th, 2009 in the form of Hogan’s Heroes: The Komplete Series –Kommandant’s Kollection. That release was more ergonomic than its predecessor and offered few bonuses for audiences. This set, while being perhaps less ergonomic than the series’ 2009 box set, is still far more ergonomic than its 2007 release. It also offers new box art and its own share of bonus material. It will present the series’ 168 total episodes spread across 27 discs in one complete box. Pricing information will be announced as the set’s release nears.

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

Website: http://www.ParamountMovies.com

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

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Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions Are Also Some Of The Original Series’ Greatest Episodes

Courtesy:  CBS DVD/Paramount

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount

When NBC first brought Star Trek to the airwaves in 1966, it was not the only sci-fi series to come to audiences at the time.  The Twilight Zone ran on CBS from 1959 – 1964.  ABC responded in 1963 with The Outer Limits.  From 1964 to 1968, ABC took audiences beneath the waves in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which itself stemmed from the 1961 big screen feature of the same name.  CBS also had Lost in Space from 1965 – ’68 and My Favorite Martian from 1963’66.  From 1967 – ’68, ABC also ran The Invaders.  Looking at all of this, it goes without saying that Gene Roddenberry’s series had its fair share of competition in its original run on television.  And interestingly enough, it actually ran for about the same amount of time—three seasons—as those other series.  In some cases, it ran longer than its competition.  Yet having only run three seasons it has gone on to become the most successful of all of the franchises that came before and after.  From the time of its original broadcast on NBC, Star Trek has gone on to spawn no fewer than six big screen features, five more series, four more movies linked to one of those series, and countless video games, books and box sets.  The latest of those box sets—Star Trek: The Original SeriesCaptain Kirk’s Boldest Missions—was just released this past March.  More specifically, it was released March 17th.  Regardless of audiences’ familiarity or loyalty to Star Trek: TOS, this latest collection of episodes proves itself a worthwhile addition to any fan’s Star Trek collection.  The main way in which it proves itself a worthwhile addition to any fan’s collection is through the episodes culled for the collection.  From playing a game of cat and mouse in “The Corbomite Maneuver” and “Balance of Terror” to facing off against a device that could destroy entire worlds, Kirk and company face some huge odds in the episodes collected for the set.  And these are just a few examples of what fans have to expect from this set.  There is much more for audiences to enjoy from these and the set’s other episodes in whole, proving why the episodes collected for the set are the foundation of its enjoyment.  The bonus commentary included with the set adds even more enjoyment to the set even as limited as it proves to be.  It is one more reason that audiences should check out Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions.  Last but not least worth noting of this collection is its collective production values.  The episodes presented here look and sound just as impressive as in their previous DVD and Blu-ray releases with the other episodes from the series’ full season sets.  That means that all eight episodes prove just as enjoyable to watch here as in the series’ full-season sets.  And it solidifies Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions as quite the bold outing itself.  It is a collection that Star Trek fans of all ages should have in their collection regardless of whether they already own the previously released stand-alone full season sets or not.

Star Trek: The Original SeriesCaptain Kirk’s Boldest Missions is obviously not the first collection of classic Star Trek episodes to have been released since the series first hit the airwaves in 1966.  It is however a great addition to any Star Trek fan’s personal collection regardless of their familiarity or loyalty to the series.  It holds its own quite well against all of the other TOS collections that have come before (including the stand-alone full-season sets).  The main way in which it holds its own so well is through its featured episodes.  It features eight total episodes spread across two discs.  The episodes culled for this set are not just some of Captain Kirk’s boldest missions but also some of the most memorable episodes of the series’ overall.  Disc one sees Kirk and company playing a high stakes game of cat and mouse in “The Corbomite Maneuver” and “Balance of Terror.”  They also come face to face with Khan for the first time in “Space Seed.”  “The Conscience of the King” features an interstellar murder mystery of sorts.  Disc Two presents just as much entertainment for audiences.  It offers up two alternate timeline/universe stories in the form of “The City on the Edge of Forever” and “Mirror.”  Both stories are classic alternate universe stories in their own right, too.  “Mirror Mirror’s” alternate story sees Kirk thrust into a universe in which the crew of the Enterprise is anything but honorable.  “The City on the Edge of Forever” sends Kirk and company back in time to an Earth that is ruled by the Nazi party.  And it’s up to them to change that.  “The Doomsday Machine” is just as gripping and thought provoking.  That is because the machine in question was a humanly created machine meant solely for warfare.  And it has gone rogue so to speak.  Now it’s yet again up to Kirk to lead his crew and stop the machine before it destroys the Enterprise.  “Return To Tomorrow” offers its own interest as it raises the question of whether or not beings from other worlds visited Earth eons ago. The manner in which the show’s writers raised this discussion is itself short. But it definitely opens up the door for that discussion. And it’s just another way in which the episodes featured in Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions prove themselves the most important part of the set’s enjoyment.

The episodes collected for Kirk’s Boldest Missions each offer audiences their own share of enjoyment, showing from one to the next why they sit at the center of this set’s enjoyment. As enjoyable as each episode proves itself to be, the episodes can only go so far on their own merits. Luckily for fans, there is additional commentary included with the set, too. Of course it is limited. There is no commentary within the episodes per se. But there is still commentary included on both discs. The most extensive commentary precedes “The City on The Edge of Forever.” William Shatner and co-star Joan Collins (who guest stars on the episode in question) discuss the importance of the episode and the implications of World War II’s outcome. It drives home the importance of what the Allied Forces accomplished in stopping Hitler’s Nazi regime. Didn’t think that sci-fi could be so deep? It most certainly can be. And as in this episode, it most certainly is deeper than many people think. Speaking of that depth, Shatner offers even more depth in the bonus commentary included in the set’s first disc as he discusses the importance of the captain keeping a log on Star Trek and how that mirrors a person keeping a personal journal in real life. He also relates the characteristics of a good captain to a good leader in real life, and the legacy left behind by Captain Kirk. Yet again, he makes a real world comparison to the legacy that people leave in their own lives. These discussions continue the depth presented in the one episodic commentary included in the set’s second disc. All of the commentaries combined, they offer their own insight and entertainment for audiences. Those commentaries added to the episodes prove even stronger why Kirk’s Boldest Missions is a great addition to any Star Trek fan’s collection even if said fan(s) already own the series’ stand-alone season sets.

The bonus commentary and episodes featured at the center of Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions collectively give Star Trek fans plenty of reason to add the compilation to their own DVD libraries. Having noted both elements, there is still one more element to note to its positive. That last element is the look and sound of the episodes, or its overall production values. The episodes culled for Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions look and sound just as good as they do alongside the series’ other episodes in its previously released stand-alone season sets. As lacking as this seems in terms of importance to the whole, it is actually rather important. There are some companies out there that try to churn out compilations such as this one for other series without trying at all to make them look or sound even presentable. Those companies will remain nameless here. But they do exist. Luckily for fans, those at Paramount and CBS Video have made certain to make these episodes look and sound their best once more for fans regardless of whether or not fans already own the series’ standalone sets. Because the episodes sound and look as good as they do, they make for all the reason for fans to watch the episodes and commentary and add this set to their personal Star Trek collections.

Star Trek: The Original SeriesCaptain Kirk’s Boldest Missions offers the series’ fans plenty of reason to add this collection to their own personal DVD libraries. It offers audiences eight episodes that are not only some of Captain Kirk’s greatest (and boldest) missions, but eight episodes that are also fan favorites. On top of that, it also includes some rather in-depth commentary form Captain Kirk himself. Topping of the ways in which this set proves itself worthy of Star Trek fans around the world is its collective production values. The episodes presented here look and sound just as good as in their previous presentations. All three elements combined together prove this double-disc set one that every Star Trek fan of every age will appreciate with every watch and should have in their own home DVD collection. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from CBS Home Entertainment at http://cbshe.com/STKirk. More information on this and other titles available from CBS Home Entertainment is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.cbshomeentertainment.com

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

 

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