‘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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Peg + Cat’s New DVD Is Yet Another Great Treat For The Whole Family This Halloween

Courtesy:  PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS Kids/PBS Distribution

The countdown is officially on, everyone. September is finally in its final days. This Thursday, October will finally be here. And that means that it won’t be long before Halloween is finally here, too. And with it will be plenty of offerings for audiences of all ages to get into the festive mood. The problem is that it seems that most of those offerings are the same ones that are released every year. So what is a person to do in the search for something new? Well for those festive families out there, PBS Kids has an answer in the form of its latest collection of episodes from its math-based series Peg + Cat. Peg + Cat: A Totally Awesome Halloween is another fun new offering for any family this Halloween. That’s especially the case for those families looking for options for their kids’ Halloween parties. It only boasts four episodes. But even with those four episodes, there is plenty to like about it starting with the writing behind each episode. Obviously basic math skills lie at the heart of each episode. But there is far more to each episode’s script than just that such as the writers’ direct tribute to The Twilight Zone in “The Highlight Zone Problem” all the way down to the episode’s twist ending and the not so subtle pro-ecology lesson tied in to “The Parade Problem.” Those are just a couple of examples of how the writing behind each episode makes this collection a joy for every family. The work of the series’ cast is another positive to the set. Voice actors Hayley Faith Negrin and Dwayne Hill (Mean Girls, Jimmy 2 Shoes, Arthur) are just as enjoyable together in these episodes as ever. Last but hardly least worth noting of this set’s positives is its pairing of activities included inside the DVD’s case. While there are only two activities, both are great ways to keep kids and their parents busy together for quite a while. And to quote the one and only Martha Stewart, that’s a good thing. Yes, that bad joke was fully intended. Whether for those activities, for the work of the show’s voice cast, the work of the show’s writers or for all three elements together, viewers of all ages will agree in watching this collection, which is available now on DVD, that it is indeed another great fit for any family’s Halloween party this year and any year. It is also more proof as to why PBS Kids is the last bastion of truly worthwhile children’s programming on television today.

PBS Kids’s new collection of episodes from its math-centered series Peg + Cat is not the first of its kind to be released this year. Even with that being the case it is still its own great addition to any family’s Halloween party this year and any year. The central reason for its enjoyment is the work of the series’ writers. The basic math skills and their ability to reach the show’s target audience are all there as with every other one of the series’ episodes. That goes without saying. What really makes the writing in these episodes so enjoyable is that the writers have incorporated elements that will entertain viewers of all ages. That is made clear right in the collections’ lead episode “The Parade Problem.” This episode is aimed in general at younger viewers with its lessons about organizing things into groups and of recycling. “The Highlighter Zone on the other hand targets audiences of all ages. Younger viewers are targeted through the lesson teaching them about finding things that are different. Grown ups are targeted with the episode’s direct tribute to The Twilight Zone. The writers even pay tribute to series creator Rod Serling as they have Ramone (Thamela Mpumlwana–The Gabby Douglas Story, The Warrior and The Savior, Group Home) open the episode. The writers also go so far as to present the story in black and white (at least until Peg and Cat find things that are different, thus bringing everything back into full color) and tie in a double twist ending to the story. “The Bermuda Triangle” problem is another great example of how the writers target adults and children alike in these episodes. This episode sees Peg and her four-legged friend get caught in the Bermuda Triangle after trying to save Pig (Tommy Wazelle–Noah). Children will appreciate the basic geometry lesson taught as they try to escape. Adults will appreciate the presentation of one of so many theories about the infamous area of the Atlantic. There are those that believe there is actually something inside the Bermuda Triangle, including a whole other dimension of sorts. And that is somewhat presented here, just in its own original manner. In the case of this story, it is hypothesized–playfully–that the Bermuda Triangle is actually a solid, tangible thing and place. That in itself is worth its share of laughs. It is just another example of what makes the writing behind these episodes so great for the whole family. That is not to take away from the set’s fourth episode “The Halloween Problem.” This episode teaches its own equally important lessons about counting, organizing, and even sharing. Altogether, the writing presented in all four of this collection’s episodes shows in whole exactly why it is so important to the whole of the collection’s enjoyment. It is just one part of what makes this collection so enjoyable for the whole family, too. The work of the show’s voice cast is just as noteworthy.

The work of the writers behind Peg + Cat is one of the big reasons that this family friendly math-centered series has proven time and again to be such a welcome addition to PBS Kids’ daily lineup. That is evident in all four of the episodes featured in the show’s new Halloween-themed collection A Totally Awesome Halloween. It is just one part of what makes this collection so enjoyable. The work of the show’s voice cast is just as impressive as ever, too. Every one of the show’s young female viewers will love Hayley Faith Negrin once again as Peg. There s just something loveable about her that will put as much of a smile on parents’ faces as on those of their children. And Dwayne Hill proves once again to be just as entertaining as ever. Hill makes Cat such a comical character throughout each episode. From those moments in which Cat gets angry to his happier moments, Hill will leave audiences laughing together just as much as in the series’ other episodes. On another level, Thamela Mpumlwana is just as great taking the place of Rod Serling in The “Highlight Zone Problem.” It’s just one more example of how the work of the show’s voice cast adds to the collection’s enjoyment. Even with the enjoyment added to the episodes through the work of the show’s voice cast in each episode, there is still one more element to note to the set’s positive. That final element is the bonus material included inside the DVD’s case.

The work of both Peg + Cat’s writers and voice cast within each of the episodes in the series’ new Halloween-themed collection go a long way toward making it enjoyable for the whole family. While both elements together do plenty to make this collection so enjoyable for viewers of all ages, they are still not all that make it worth the watch. The bonus lessons included inside the DVD’s case round out the presentation. There are only two lessons. but both are Halloween-themed and are sure to have parents and children interacting together for quite a while. The first of the lessons uses pumpkin seeds to drive home those basic counting skills. It requires adults to cut open a pumpkin and get a little messy first and foremost. Of course they can encourage kids to get messy, too. From there, parents and kids can pull out the seeds inside the pumpkin. And kids can estimate just how many seeds they think are there after grouping the seeds. From there, kids can count for themselves just how many seeds were actually pulled from the pumpkin. The lesson is furthered with a push for author Margaret McNamara’s book How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? The second of the bonus lessons advances those sorting skills while also helping drive home the recycling lesson taught in “The Parade Problem.” It does so by showing parents and children how to make their own homemade recycling bins and sorting out anything that can be recycled. There is even a bonus within the bonus encouraging adults to take kids on a trip to a recycling center so that ids can learn even more about the recycling process and those that make the process happen. There is even a suggestion to find out about volunteering as a family at a recycling center. So not only is this a way to encourage recycling but a way for any family to do things together at the same time. It’s a win-win for all involved. And together with the lesson centered on sorting and counting pumpkin seeds, the two lessons together are the finishing touch on a set that every family will enjoy not just this Halloween but every Halloween.

PBS Kids’ new Peg + Cat DVD A Totally Awesome Halloween offers audiences of all ages so much to enjoy even with just four episodes and two bonus lessons. The writing will entertain grown ups just as much as it will their children within each episode. The voice cast’s work is just as entertaining here for viewers of all ages as it is in other episodes of the family favorite series. And the bonus lessons included inside the DVD’s case put the finishing touch on the presentation especially considering that they not only help drive home the episodes’ lessons but also encourage that all-too important family interaction once again. All three of the noted elements by themselves make this collection another great addition to any family’s Halloween party this and every year. Together, they show once again why this series is such a hit in general and why, again, PBS Kids is the last bastion of truly worthwhile children’s programming on television today. Peg + Cat: A Totally Awesome Halloween is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=66322766&cp=&sr=1&kw=peg++cat&origkw=Peg+%2B+Cat&parentPage=search. More information on this and other Peg + Cat collections is available online now along with lots of Peg + Cat games and activities at:

Website: http://pbskids.org/peg

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

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Lost And Found An Entertaining And Moving Story Of Friendship

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

The need for companionship is among the most basic of human needs.  Ironically enough, it is also among the most important of human needs.  Because of its importance, it has been the basis for countless movies and TV shows.  Even The Twilight Zone, one of television’s most beloved series, used this need as the basis for its very first ever episode in “Where Is Everybody?”  Now Entertainment One has teamed up with Studio AKA to release a story about companionship that will both entertain and move audiences of all ages.  The story, Lost and Found, is based on the children’s book by author Oliver Jeffers.  It follows the story of a young boy and a penguin that become friends.  The most interesting aspect of the story is the adaptation’s script.  Audiences that are not so familiar with Jeffers’ book will learn through the “Making of” featurette that the script for the small screen adaptation is different from the book.  But that’s forgiveable.  That’s because of the story behind the book itself.  Just as worthy of note is the adaptation’s animation.  Reference must be made to the story’s bonus “Making of” featurette again here.  It is obvious in watching the story itself that the near Claymation style animation was in fact CG.  But that the line was so blurred is just as impressive as the story itself.  And having noted the bonus “Making of” featurette twice already, it would be pointless to not note that feature as another reason to check out this new DVD.  All three of these factors taken into consideration, they combine to make Lost and Found a must see for any family.

Studio AKA’s adaptation of Lost and Found is not a direct translation of author Oliver Jeffers’ book.  This is noted in the DVD’s bonus “Making OF” featurette.  Just as interesting to note is that at first, Jeffers didn’t even want to have his book adapted to the small screen.  Ironically enough, the original story on which Jeffers’ own book is based came from a story that allegedly happened at a Scotland zoo according to Jeffers.  He explains the story in the DVD’s bonus “Making of” featurette in fell detail.  It’s so unbelievable that one can’t help but laugh.  What audiences get in this take on Jeffers’ book is a story that shows that friendships can begin in the most unexpected of ways.  It also displays the timeless message that one doesn’t know what one has until it’s gone.  How the boy comes to realize this will be left to viewers to find out for themselves.  But his moment of realization is one of the short story’s most moving of moments.  Anyone that is not left even slightly teary-eyed at this moment doesn’t have a heart.  It’s just part of what makes this story so wonderful for the whole family.

The primary story of Lost and Found is both moving and entertaining.  It is a wonderful piece for the entire family to watch together.  Just as noteworthy about this story is its animation.  At first its animation looks slightly similar to that of Room on the Broom, The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child.  But it doesn’t take long to realize that it was in fact done entirely via CG graphics.  What’s so interesting here is that while it doesn’t take long to realize this, those behind its creation should be commended for making it unlike all the other cookie cutter CG based children’s features currently on the market.  It actually does look like Claymation.  This proves how much work went into giving this story the maximum amount of originality.  It goes without saying that it definitely was original.  It was original both in terms of its animation and its story, making it even more enjoyable.

The animation and the story behind Lost and Found both make this small screen adaptation of Oliver Jeffers’ book a joy for viewers of all ages.  The DVD’s bonus “Making of” featurette plays its own role in the overall presentation, too.  As has already been noted, Jeffers explains in the “Making of” featurette how he came up with his literary take on the story.  Viewers will also learn what went into bringing the story to life as well as much more.  Those that have any experience and or interest in video production and graphics production will appreciate the discussions on how the world of Lost and Found was created.  There is much more discussed.  And again, audiences will discover everything that is discussed in this feature for themselves when they pick up the DVD in stores or order it online.  It can be ordered direct from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Found-Jim-Broadbent/dp/B00DP4AH5Q/ref=sr_1_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1384615898&sr=1-2&keywords=Lost+and+Found.  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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Haunting Hour Volume Six Offers Audiences Even More Scary Fun

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/The Hub Network

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/The Hub Network

The sixth and latest volume of episodes from R.L. Stine’s hugely popular series, The Haunting Hour offers four more frightful tales of terror for viewers off all ages.  And it’s not the end for fans of the hit series, either.  Volume Six brings home even more episodes from the series’ second season just in time for the start of the series’ fourth season.  Volume Six is another fright-filled joy for viewers not only because it continues the tradition of offering wonderfully fright-filled stories, but also because it carries on the traditions established throughout the series’ previous volumes.  From the disclaimer encouraging parents to be parents and watch the show with their kids to including young well-known guest stars, it’s all here once more, making Volume Six one more must have for any kid and kid at heart.

The Haunting Hour Volume Six brings to viewers four more episodes from the series’ second season.  And just as with Volume Five, the first of those episodes is split into two parts.  The episode in question, titled “Creature Feature” is also one of the best from this set.  This episode sees a young classic film buff named John (Joel Courtney—Super 8) discovering that sometimes it isn’t just a movie.  He discovers this after being accidentally pulled into one of his favorite classic B-flicks at a haunted drive-in.  The twist comes when he escapes the movie.  It turns out that the movie was much more real than he or even his friends could have imagined.  In another of the season’s best episodes, the show’s writers pay homage in their own way to Rod Serling’s classic series, The Twilight Zone in “Brush With Madness.”  This episode sees teen comic book aficionado Corey (Dylan Minnette–Awake) getting to meet his favorite comic book artist, Allan Miller (Mackenzie Gray) at a comic book convention.  After being blown off by Miller, Corey takes Miller’s brushes, which leads to an ever more tense fight to stay alive.  These two stories are just a couple of examples of the scary fun offered up by R.L. Stine in Volume Six of The Haunting Hour.  There is much more in the remaining episodes that audiences will enjoy.  And it’s not the only reason that parents and kids alike will enjoy this latest release.

Volume Six is just as impressive as the series’ previous releases because it continues the traditions established in said compilations.  One of those traditions is the inclusion of a straight forward disclaimer before each episode.  The disclaimer states in no uncertain terms that the show may not be suitable for children under the age of seven, and that young viewers should only watch the show with their parents.  This is a polite yet straightforward way of telling parents that they need to step up and be parents, rather than just leave their kids to watch anything.  They need to take an active role in their children’s lives and make their own decision on what they think their children should watch.  This is a standard established from early on by The Hub network.  And it is good to see that those behind the show have continued it six volumes in.

The inclusion of a polite yet straightforward disclaimer at the start of each episode is an important part of the whole presentation.  It’s not the only important part of the whole.  Also continued in Volume Six is the tradition of bringing in famous young celebrities in select episodes.  This time out, Super 8 stars Joel Courtney and Riley Griffiths guest star in two of the compilation’s best episodes.  Also on board this time out are Julia Benson (SGU: Stargate Universe) and Dylan Minnette (Awake).  While some younger viewers may not recognize all of these names, parents are more apt to know who they are, thus helping to encourage parents to take an active role in their kids’ lives and watch the show with them.  Along with the disclaimer before each episode, it’s one more ingenious way to get parents to get involved in what their kids are watching.  For that, those responsible for bringing the guest stars for these episodes are to be commended.  Those behind the show as a whole are to be commended.  Not just for these brilliant methods, but for crafting four more episodes full of fright-filled for the entire family.  Volume Six is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from the Shout! Factory store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/node/217799.  More information on this and other shows from Shout! Factory and The Hub Network is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com, http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial and http://www.hubworld.com.  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.

Twilight Zone Fans Will Appreciate Show’s New Re-Issue

Courtesy:  RLJ Entertainment/CBS Home Entertainment

Courtesy: RLJ Entertainment/CBS Home Entertainment

Rod Serling’s classic series The Twilight Zone is one of the most beloved series in modern television history.  Decades after the show first debuted on CBS, it is still watched by millions of audiences the world over.  It has become a pop phenomenon, being referenced by any number of movies and television shows since its initial run.  The series has already been released to audiences in full on DVD in 2006.  Before that, the show’s single season sets began being released in 2004.  And in 2010, it saw release on Blu-ray.  Now nearly a decade after it was first released on DVD by Image Entertainment, fans of this timeless classic have gotten the chance to own the series once more as all five of the show’s seasons have been re-issued on DVD.  So with the show having been re-issued three years ago on Blu-ray, why would one want to own the series on DVD?  The answers to that are simple.  First and foremost, fans of The Twilight Zone will appreciate its cost effectiveness.  Secondly, these new DVD re-issues are far more ergonomically designed than the original DVD sets.  And third, audiences will get largely the same video quality on these new DVD re-issues as they would on the Blu-ray re-issues.  Me-TV and on Syfy, both networks run The Twilight Zone.  The problem is that they run it at times at which most audiences are asleep or getting ready for work.  Keeping this in mind, it makes the new re-issues even more of a must have for any Twilight Zone fan that has yet to own any of the show’s seasons, beginning with its first season.

The first season of the new Twilight Zone re-issues is far more cost effective for fans of the show than the previous DVD release and the more recent Blu-ray re-issues.  The original DVD release of Season 1 is listed on Amazon for a cost of nearly thirty dollars.  The new DVD re-issue of Season One (and the season to follow) are listed at nearly half that price.  And a look at in-store prices reveals roughly the in-store price is roughly half of that original price, too.  The blu-ray re-issues by comparison are listed via Amazon at nearly fifty dollars with a comparable list price of roughly one hundred dollars just for one season.  So suffice it to say that audiences have in the series’ new DVD re-issues five season sets that are far more affordable than any of the previous re-issues.  The cost effectiveness of the new Season One (and Season Two through five) set is a big factor in the decision as to whether or not to buy this set.  Also to take into account with this set is its packaging.

The packaging of the new Twilight Zone Season One box set is far more ergonomic than that of the first season’s original DVD release.  All five discs that contain Season One’s thirty-six episodes are placed into a standard size DVD case in the new DVD re-issue.  By comparison, the original DVD box set was much more bulky.  The new Season One box set is packaged much more in the newer packaging method used by most companies.  That method places discs on their own spot on either side of a given number of inserts.  And if necessary, discs are placed on either the inside front or back of the case.  This not only saves space all the way around, but it also protects the discs from one another.  The discs are prevented from touching one another, thus greatly reducing the chance of the discs being scratched up.  It is increasingly becoming the standard for every company that releases multi-disc DVD and Blu-ray sets.  So it is a wonderful thing to see that RLJ Entertainment and CBS Home Entertainment have followed this same path.  It is one more positive to Season One’s new re-issue.  It isn’t the last, either.

There is one more factor to consider in whether or not to order or buy the new DVD re-issue of The Twilight Zone Season One.  That factor is the show’s footage.  One of the great things about owning any movie or TV show on Blu-ray is getting to see said show or movie in full clarity.  There’s just one problem.  Not every show re-issued on Blu-ray was originally recorded in High Definition.  Such is the case with The Twilight Zone.  Audiences watching the DVD played back on a Blu-ray player and HDTV will get the same result as those watching the Blu-ray re-issues.  The Blu-ray player and HDTV will upconvert the footage on the DVDs to HD quality.  This goes back to the set’s cost effectiveness.  It makes the new DVD re-issue of Season One all the more worth picking up or ordering.   And for those that still have CRT monitors, the new Season One DVD re-issue will still have that same classic quality that audiences get with its TV broadcast.  Simply put, it all adds up to the same end.  Keeping this factor and the previously mentioned factors in the new Twilight Zone Season One DVD re-issue in mind, one will see just why it is one of five DVD sets a must have for any true purist Twilight Zone fan.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and future Twilight Zone re-issues is available online at http://www.facebook.com/TheTwilightZoneTV.

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6 Souls Is An Underrated Indie Horror Flick

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz

Much has been said and written concerning the recently released supernatural horror/thriller, 6 Souls (Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz), most of it not so nice.  The reality of 6 Souls is that it isn’t as bad as so many critics and audiences would have others believe.  It clocks in at nearly two hours.  In that time, it manages to keep those looking for a good scare fully engaged.  It will leave those audiences wondering what’s going to happen right to the final climactic reveal.  That final reveal conjures thoughts of a certain episode of Rod Serling’s classic, The Twilight Zone. There are those that have also criticized this story for being allegedly somewhat preachy in its raising of theological beliefs.  Those that did so perhaps didn’t watch the story all the way through to realize the actual importance of this aspect of the story.  It is in reality just part of the writing that makes this a movie from which audiences won’t want to turn away.

Writer Michael Cooney has been lambasted by many audiences and critics alike for having used religion and theology as part of the story that is 6 Souls.  One can’t help but wonder if those that criticized the inclusion of these elements were able to see this story for what it was or if they even took the time to watch the entire near two-hour story.  The inclusion of religion and theology was not meant in the least to be preachy.  In fact, the use of these elements eventually led up to what was the twist in the story’s climax that few if any saw coming.  That twist won’t be revealed for the sake of those that haven’t yet seen this gripping supernatural and psychological horror/thriller.  However, those that actually did take the time to watch through to the climax and beyond would hopefully realize why the constant mentions of faith versus atheism come into play.  Cooney had absolutely no intention of shoving religion down anyone’s throat.  Maybe a second watch will do those critics some good in getting them to realize this.

Having responded to those that would criticize 6 Souls, the next obvious path to take would be to take note of the influences of so many other TV shows and movies.  Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ portrayal of Adam/David/Wesley is in itself proof of another famed movie villain.  Some might not see it.  But those that watch his performance closely will see hints of Sir Anthony Hopkins’ infamous killer, Hannibal Lecter, just in his general delivery.  There is something about his demeanor that shows an influence from Hopkins here.  In terms of the overall story, those that remember Rod Serling’s original baclk and white Twilight Zone, they might remember an episode by the name of “Queen of the Nile.”  For the sake of not spoiling anything, audiences can look up that episode for themselves.  But the story’s reveal here instantly harkens back to that episode.  The even deeper concept behind the reveal hints back to a more recent horror movie from the 1990s starring one John Goodman.  Again, audiences will have to look that up as this critic will not share that movie for the sake of not spoiling anything.  There are other influences tossed in here and there.  And as much as people would like to criticize the story for being “disrespectful” to its influences and audiences (as one critic stated of it), it does pay due respects by making those influences work together for a story that will keep viewers watching on the edge of their seats and guessing what will happen next.  And in the end, isn’t that what any thriller and/or horror movie is supposed to do?  Isn’t it supposed to make viewers surprised at how it can make them jump at the slightest sound and question what they thought they knew?  That’s exactly what this underrated horror story does.  For that, it deserves more than just a passing glance.  For an indie horror flick, it’s a movie that is more than just a “Saturday night scare” as another critic called it.  It’s a movie that audiences will find themselves surprised at how much they really enjoy it, given the chance.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct from the Anchor Bay Entertainment online store at http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com/detail.aspx?projectID=e56e9d05-d4c7-4471-a321-d9cf28e17061.  After ordering or buying 6 Souls, audiences can keep up with the latest news from Anchor Bay Entertainment on its official website, http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com and its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/anchorbay.

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Fan Favorites BD Re-Issue A Good Introduction To The Twilight Zone For New Fans

Courtesy:  Image Entertainment

Courtesy: Image Entertainment

Image Entertainment is preparing to re-issue the first three seasons of The Twilight Zone on DVD in May, June and July respectively.  Whether these new lower cost re-issues will be available in stores or exclusively via Amazon.com is still up in the air.  Even if they will be available exclusively online via Amazon, they are still sets that will be worth ordering considering that they will be far less expensive than their previously released DVD counterparts and will allegedly have much the same features as said sets.  In the meantime, audiences who are perhaps new to The Twilight Zone can check out last year’s Blu-ray release of The Twilight Zone Fan Favorites.

The Twilight Zone Fan Favorites is a good introduction for anyone that is new to the world of this classic series.  The recently released Blu-ray collection is a mirror image of its DVD counterpart.  It boasts all of the same episodes in the same order, only in high definition.  For this critic alone, this set is made enjoyable by no fewer than half of the included episodes.  The reason for that is the writing of said episodes.  Among the best of those episodes is: ‘The Monsters are Due on Maple Street ’,‘ The Lonely and what is in this critic’s eyes the series best episode hands down, ‘Night of the Meek.’  The writing on these episodes is just a small sample of what makes this classic show timeless.  In the case of ‘The Monsters are Due on Maple Street’, audiences get a commentary on human nature in dire circumstances that still stands true decades after it originally debuted.  ‘The Lonely’ offers viewers commentary on the basic human need for companionship and what it can do to a person.  And the most underrated of Twilight Zone episodes, ‘Night of The Meek’ is one of very few episodes from the series that has a happy ending.  It’s also the show’s only holiday themed episode.  Now, none of these episodes are the only ones from the series that offer such themes.  But they do offer a solid glimpse into everything that has made The Twilight Zone a hit to this day.

The writing behind The Twilight Zone goes a long way toward the show’s continued success for so many decades.  It’s just part of what makes this latest set of fan favorites a solid release.  Audiences get in this collection, a full set of episodes presented exactly as they had run in their original airings, complete with promo for the next week’s episode of The Twilight Zone and even for other shows on its home network, including The Andy Griffith Show and others.  That Image would strive to maintain the show’s episodes from their original airings in this set is a credit to this company and gives great hope for the upcoming DVD re-issues of the show’s first two seasons over the next two months.  The Twilight Zone Fan Favorites is available now and can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007FZ7LRI/ref=s9_psimh_gw_p74_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0X7DGQ8H39NK7G3P4Q4X&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846.

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