Shout! Factory’ Adds ‘The Jerk’ To Its Shout! Select Series

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is re-issuing Steve Martin’s classic comedy, The Jerk.

The movie is scheduled to be released on Blu-ray Tuesday as part of the company’s ongoing Shout! Select series.  Originally released Dec. 14, 1979 via Universal Pictures, the movie is considered by many to be Martin’s breakout movie.

The story stars Martin as Navin Johnson, the adopted son of a poor, black sharecropping family in Mississippi.  Johnson heads out into the world on his own to find his “special purpose,” which leads to meetings with a would-be assassin, work with the circus and gas stations, an encounter with a service dog, a romance and a financial windfall.  Navi’s new-found fame and fortune leads to plenty of its own problems for the hapless man.

Shout! Factory’s new re-issue of the classic comedy features a handful of bonuses, including, but not limited to two new interviews with Martin and Reiner, and with the writing team of Michael Elias and Carl Gottlieb.  The full list of the movie’s bonus material is noted below.

Bonus Features:
·        NEW Remastered from a Brand-New 2K Transfer
·        NEW A Conversation with Steve Martin and Carl Reiner
·        NEW A Conversation with Writers Michael Elias and Carl Gottlieb
·        Learn How to Play “Tonight You Belong To Me”
·        The Lost Film Strips of Father Carols Las Vegas De Cordova
·        Trailers & Radio Spots

More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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Shout! Factory Announces ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ Re-Issue Date

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/MGM

Steve Martin and Michael Caine’s classic comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is joining Shout! Factory’s Shout! Select series.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is scheduled for release on Blu-ray on Jan. 22.  Pre-orders are open now.

MGM’s 1989 riotous comedy finds Freddy Benson (Steve Martin — The JerkPlanes Trains & AutomobilesLittle Shop of Horrors) — and Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine — Secondhand Lions, Batman Begins, The Dark KnightThe Dark Knight Rises) — as a pair of con men who make a bet with one another:  The first to swindle a wealthy heiress out of $50,000 wins the bet while the other leaves town.  The deal comes from a sort of comedy of errors, which is set off by Lawrence believing Freddy is a nefarious con man called “The Jackal.”  When it is revealed that he is not “The Jackal,” the bet is set, and leads to plenty of comedy and laughs.

Shout! Factory’s upcoming re-issue of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels features the movie presented in a new 2K scan, a new bonus interview with script writer Dale Launer and feature-length audio commentary with director Frank Oz.

More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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Shout! Factory Adding Rom-Com Classic To Its Shout! Select Series

Courtesy: Castle Rock Entertainment/Shout! Factory

Castle Rock Entertainment’s classic 1989 rom-com When Harry Met Sally is getting the Blu-ray re-issue treatment.

Shout! Factory will re-issue the modern classic as part of its ongoing Shout! Select series on Jan. 8. in a special 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition release with 4K scan and bonus material. Those bonuses include a new interview with Director Rob Reiner (MiseryStand By Me) and lead star Billy Crystal (Monsters Inc., Monsters UniversityCity Slickers) as well as two separate feature-length audio commentaries, deleted scenes, “making of” documentary and more.

The full listing of the movie’s bonus material is noted below.

Special Features:
  • NEW transfer restored from a 4K scan of the original camera negative
  • NEW Scenes from a Friendship – interview with Rob Reiner and Billy Crystal
  • Audio Commentary with Rob Reiner, Nora Ephron, And Billy Crystal
  • Audio Commentary with Rob Reiner
  • How Harry Met Sally Documentary
  • Vintage Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Music Video by Harry Connick Jr.

When Harry Met Sally centers on the love story between Harry (Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan — Sleepless in SeattleYou’ve Got MailCity of Angels) as the pair’s paths cross time and again following their graduation from The University of Chicago. Eventually, the pair reunites and is forced to come to terms with their situation and determine if a man and woman can just be friends, or if there is more to their friendship than they are admitting to themselves and one another.

When Harry Met Sally also co-stars the late, great Carrie Fisher (Star WarsA New HopeStar WarsThe Empire Strikes BackStar WarsReturn of the Jedi) and Bruno Kirby (City ClickersGood Morning, VietnamSleepers). Pre-orders are open now.

More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory are available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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Shout! Factory’s ‘Dragnet’ Re-Issue Is Another Welcome Addition To Company’s Shout! Select Series

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Universal Pictures

When Jack Webb’s timeless cop action drama series Dragnet first aired Dec. 16, 1951, likely no one at the time thought it would be a timeless franchise that would go on to transcend generations of audiences.  Now 67 years later, it has become one of the most beloved and important properties in the worlds of television and movies.  That is proven as the series would go on to have its own extensive life on television – a life which is still very vibrant through and even turned into a big screen adaptation in 1987 in the form of Universal Pictures’ Dragnet.  The movie, which flopped in its opening weekend – according to information from Internet Movie Database (IMDB), it grossed $10.5 million, just over half of its $20 million budget – did end up going on to success both domestically and globally, ultimately grossing $53 million nationwide and more than $66 million overseas before ending its theatrical run.  Now more than 31 years after it made its initial debut, the movie – which has since gone on to be a cult favorite – has seen the light of day once again thanks to Shout! Factory.  The home entertainment company re-issued the modern classic on Blu-ray Oct. 30 as part of its ongoing Shout! Select series.  This latest re-issue is an overall welcome new addition to that series, too.  This statement is supported in part through the story’s writing.  This will be discussed shortly.  The bonus material included with the movie’s new re-issue strengthens that foundation even more.  It will be discussed a little later.  The movie’s average price range rounds out its most important elements.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Dragnet’s re-issue.  All things considered, the whole of Dragnet makes this re-issue another welcome addition to Shout! Factory’s Shout! Select series and to the library of any classic movie buff.

Shout! Factory’s new Blu-ray re-issue of Universal Pictures’ 1987 cinematic adaptation of Jack Webb’s Dragnet franchise is another good addition to the Shout! Select series.  It is just as welcome in the libraries of any of the movie’s fans.  That is proven in part through the movie’s writing. The script finds Joe Friday’s nephew (played here by Dan Akroyd, and also named Joe) continuing in his uncle’s footsteps.  He is joined in this adventure by Pep Streebek (Tom Hanks – The Polar Express, Philadelphia, The Burbs).  This in itself is a tribute to the radio and television series that preceded this movie, as Friday notes his previous partners, and even includes a pack of Chesterfield cigarettes and a picture of Webb.  Where Webb’s original radio and TV series were serious, action-packed presentations, this incarnation has a much more light-hearted feel, yet does not sacrifice the action of those series.  The use of an evil cult that aims to take over the city throws back maybe not so much to the old Dragnet radio and TV series, but to old-time radio and TV in general.  To that it, it actually generates its own welcome sense of nostalgia.  The balance of the comedic elements to the action elements is a surprisingly welcome addition to the writing.  That is not to say that the serious side of Dragnet, which is more prevalent in the classic TV and movie series, is not welcome.  As a matter of fact, there is some of that seriousness here, but the more light-hearted approach set alongside that seriousness makes for a good balance of hard and soft at the same time.  The writing also is proven positive in the movie’s pacing.  From start to finish, the script never once loses focus or momentum, ensuring even more, viewers’ engagement and entertainment.  Between this factor, the balance of the script’s comedic and serious elements and the homage paid both to the original Dragnet series (and other classic radio and TV dramas), audiences get in the writing, an element that in whole, that forms a solid foundation for the movie’s new presentation.  While the combined writing elements go a long way toward making Dragnet engaging and enjoyable, that foundation is strengthened even more through the bonus content included with the movie’s presentation.

The bonus content featured with Dragnet’s new re-issue is important to note because of the insight and entertainment that it adds to the movie’s overall presentation.  The new audio commentary from famed pop culture historian Russell Dyball is one item that supports that statement. Dyball’s commentary is loaded with plenty of interesting tidbits throughout the story.  He shares discussions early on, of a former Los Angeles Police Chief.  He also offers commentary about Friday reciting LAPD dress code, noting that it is factual, as Friday and Streebek first meet, which is interesting in its own right.  As the story progresses, Dyball, who has provided commentary for various other movies’ home releases, also shares commentary about workings behind the camera connected to director Tom Mankiewicz and Akroyd, as well as notes of Akroyd’s refusal to use teleprompters, unlike that of Webb in the original series, the joke of Orange County residents’ conservative nature and that tie to Connie’s character and the subtlety of Friday’s transition from a grey suit to a brown suit.  That commentary is intriguing in its own right.  Between all of this and so much more that Dyball discusses over the course of the movie’s nearly two-hour run time (one hour, 46 minutes to be exact), audiences get so much to appreciate from that commentary.  It is yet another way in which bonus material proves to be just as important to a movie’s home release as the movie itself.  If any one thing can be said to the negative of Dyball’s commentary, it is that at times, Dyball comes across as he is reading from his own script than actually getting into the movie.  That is inferred through his delivery.  Of course at other times, he does seem to be involved in the movie, so maybe those other moments in which he seems disconnected are just misinterpretations.  Keeping this in mind, audiences will agree that Dyball’s commentary is, in the end, a crucial addition to the movie’s whole.

Dyball’s commentary is just one of the key bonuses included with Dragnet’s new re-issue.  The previously released bonus featurette “Just The Facts!: A Promotional Look At Dragnet With Dan Akroyd and Tom Hanks, adds even more for audiences to appreciate.  Given that this roughly 45-minute featurette (probably stretched to an hour for television at the time) was clearly released with the movie to help its ticket sales, many of today’s audiences likely have not seen it, or have not seen it in many years.  To that end, it is its own crucial addition to the presentation.  Audiences learn through the featurette, which is in fact hosted by Hanks and Akroyd, quite a bit of interesting information.  Viewers learn that Akroyd and Hanks were two very different types of actors off-screen for starters.  It is revealed that Akroyd apparently was very much the method actor, using old Jack Webb tapes between takes to get into the role of Friday’s nephew, while Hanks was more of an “act-as-you-go type of actor.  Additionally, viewers learn quite a bit about Webb the man, the director and the actor through this presentation.  It is revealed that Webb had a wonderful sense of humor as a person, but as a director, he was very strict.  According to the information in the featurette, Webb took very few takes and allowed for the use of very few suits by himself and his cast mates, thus cutting costs.  Another interesting note in this featurette is the respect that Webb had for the Los Angeles Police Department, and in turn the respect that the agency had for him.  There was so much respect in both directions, that the LAPD even held a very special memorial for Webb upon his untimely death in 1959 from a heart attack.  As if all  of this is not enough, the featurette also delves into the history of Dragnet’s music, adding even more interest for audiences.  Add in brief discussions comparing the original Dragnet series to the 1987 movie in terms of dialogue and action, talks on the shows created through Webb’s Mark VIII Productions Studio and more, and the whole of this featurette strengthens the overall presentation of Dragnet’s even more.

The interview with co-star Alexandra Paul adds a little bit more to the experience.  She notes fondly her interactions with Hanks and Akroyd on-set, noting that both men were very wonderful figures.  She laughs happily as she recalls Akroyd’s gentlemanly nature both on and off-screen, and Hanks’ more happy-go-lucky yet professional manner.  It shows even more the distinctly different personalities that the actors brought to the set, and how it played into their on-screen chemistry.  Paul also offers an interesting note about her own innocence coming into the movie, and how that played into her portrayal of Connie that viewers will appreciate learning.  That revelation indeed succeeds in making for more appreciation for Paul’s acting.  Additionally, Paul also laughs as she recalls that prior to her interview, which was recorded especially for the movie’s Blu-ray re-issue, she had seen the movie only once prior to her review, and that was in its debut way back in 1987.  She never says if that avoidance of the movie was intentional, which in itself creates plenty of discussion.  When all of these discussions are considered along with the information shared in Dyball’s commentary and the information shared in the vintage featurette, it becomes fully evident why the bonus content included with Dragnet’s new Blu-ray re-issue is so important to the movie’s overall presentation.  It strengthens the Blu-ray’s presentation quite a bit.  The bonus material is not the last of the Blu-ray’s most important elements.  The movie’s average price point rounds out those elements.

The average price point of Dragnet’s new Blu-ray re-issue is $24.99.  that price is found using prices from Shout! Factory’s store, Amazon and Walmart.  The movie’s new Blu-ray re-issue is not listed at the sites of Target, Best Buy, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble at the time of this review.  Considering just the amount of entertainment and insight that audiences get just through the bonus material included in Dragnet’s new Blu-ray re-issue, that price point is relatively affordable.  It gives audiences almost three hours – if not more – of entertainment and engagement when considered along with all of the entertainment and insight offered through the movie itself.  When all of this is considered together, audiences will agree that the Blu-ray’s affordable pricing and the entertainment and engagement offered throughout this Blu-ray makes the package in whole one that classic movie buffs and Dragnet fans alike will agree is a wonderful new addition to Shout! Factory’s Shout! Select series, and to any movie lover’s library.

Shout! Factory’s recent addition of Dragnet to its ongoing Shout! Select series is a wonderful new addition to that series.  Classic movie buffs and fans of the movie (and maybe even fans of the original TV and radio series) will agree to that, especially after watching the movie – some for the first time and others for the first time again.  The movie pays a great homage to its source material with its script and acting while the bonus content gives viewers even more to appreciate.  The average price point certainly will not break anyone’s bank, either.  Each item is important in its own right to the whole of Dragnet’s new Blu-ray presentation.  All things considered, they make this re-issue another welcome addition to Shout! Factory’s Shout! Select series and to any viewer’s home movie library.  It is available now.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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‘Bill & Ted’ Sequel’s BD Steelbook Re-Issue Is Anything But Bogus

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Interscope Communications/Nelson Entertainment

Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan (a.k.a. Bill & Ted) are officially coming back for a new adventure.  This announcement was made official this past May.  Currently, little is known about the plot for the long-awaited second sequel to the now cult classic 1989 movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but audiences can keep up with the latest on the movie’s official Facebook page.  While audiences wait for the latest on the news the movie, Shout! Factory has a special treat for audiences in the form of its new re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.  The company re-issued the movie in a new Blu-ray steelbook presentation late last month.  Its release comes a little more than two years after Shout! Factory released both movies in a special Blu-ray combo pack titled Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection, and a little more than six months after the company re-issued Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure in its own Blu-ray steelbook presentation.  It may sound a bit odd, but the movie’s standalone presentation is actually one of its important elements, and will be discussed shortly.  The bonus material included in the movie is another important element to discuss, and will be touched on a little later.  The movie’s average price point rounds out its most important element and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.  All things considered, they make this latest re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey not too bogus.

Shout! Factory’s recently released re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is an interesting new offering for fans of the cult-favorite Bill & Ted franchise.  That is due in part to the movie’s very presentation.  Alex Winter (who played Bill S. Preston, Esquire) in the B&T movies, notes in one of the movie’s two bonus audio commentaries that there are those who prefer one movie to the other.  This will be discussed later in more depth.  What he was saying is that there are those who actually like this movie more than its predecessor.  Now being that the movie was previously available along with said predecessor on Blu-ray – that combo pack was also available via Shout! Factory —  this re-issue actually marks the first time since at least 2006 that Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey has been available as a standalone presentation.  That last standalone availability was through MGM.  In other words, more than 12 years have passed since it was last available by itself.  All of its other re-issues were as part of various combo packs.  Considering that such amount of time has passed between the two standalone re-issues, and that there are those who prefer this movie to its predecessor (again, according to star Alex Winter), then said audiences that prefer specifically this movie by itself can own it without having to pay the extra cost for both movies at a relatively affordable price; a price that will also be discussed later.  Of course those that want to own both movies together can do just that again thanks to Shout! Factory through the previously noted Blu-ray combo pack.  The availability of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey in a standalone presentation is just one of the items that should be noted in examining this new re-issue.  The movie’s bonus content is important to address, too.

The bonus material included in this iteration of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is important to note as it is exactly the same material included with the movie in its inclusion in Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection, which itself was released by Shout! Factory in 2016.  Two feature-length commentaries and an in-depth retrospective of the movie, which runs just shy of two hours, make up the movie’s bonus material.  Each feature offers its own share of entertainment and enlightenment for audiences who perhaps did not already take in said material in the noted combo pack.  The feature-length commentary featuring Winter and producer Scott Kroopf reveals quite a bit of interesting information.  As previously noted, Winter notes in this commentary, that there are in fact audiences who prefer this movie to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and vice versa.  Just as interesting is Winter and Kroopf’s discussion on the role that Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and the Saturday morning cartoon that followed soon after had in the creative process of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.  Just as interesting is the pair’s discussion early on in the movie’s roughly 90-minute run time about that creative process.  The duo talks about the thought put into the script, and how it eventually became a coming-of-age style story that sees Bill & Ted trying to figure out their place in the world.  Late in the story’s run, the pair also does finally address how the movie went from being titled Bill & Ted Go To Hell to Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.  Not to give away too much, but according to Winter, studio executives at Orion Films played a direct role in that aspect of the movie.  As if all of this is not enough, the guys’ discussions also turn to more light-hearted fare such as fellow cast member Joss Ackland’s alleged feelings about Winter and [Keanu] Reeves, as well as those of Warren Beatty.  Beatty is mentioned because according to Winter, he was working on the movie Bugsy in the same area in which Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey was being shot, so the actors ran into each other from time to time.  There are also plenty of fun talks about William Sadler, who played the infamous Grim Reaper in this movie.  Those talks will bring plenty of laughs for audiences, along with the revelation that the women cast to play the princesses were different from the women in the franchise’s first movie.

Speaking of Sadler, he offers his own comments throughout the course of the bonus retrospective, Bill & Ted Go To Hell.  Sadler offers some entertaining anecdotes about his ad-libing and having to wear his extremely heavy costume and makeup during the shooting.  He notes how hot the weather was during shooting, and its physical impact on him.  Audiences will laugh as he shares his recollection of the ad-libbing in the scene prior to Bill & Ted’s arrival at the Battle of the Bands, and smile just as much as he talks about how much fun he had overall throughout the movie’s shooting.  Sadler’s is not the only interesting interview featured in this bonus feature.  Those behind the scenes, responsible for the special effects, costumes and sets also get plenty of their own screen time to talk about the work that went into the movie’s creation.  Those talks add even more appreciation for the movie.  Perhaps the most intriguing discussion of all comes from writer Chris Matheson, one member of the writing team that also included Ed Solomon.  Matheson reveals late in the feature that the movie did in fact “go off the rails” as it neared its end.  He reveals that from the heaven scene to the movie’s end, there was a lot of grasping at straws to make the movie end.  He almost sounds ashamed as he reveals this piece of information.  In hindsight, it really does seem to make little sense, that whole third act, but somehow it still ends up working.  Between everything noted here, the rest of the discussions in the retrospective and those items addressed in the audio commentaries, audiences have plenty to appreciate in the movie’s bonus features.  Of course, it should be reiterated that these are the same bonuses included with the movie in its inclusion in the 2016 Blu-ray combo pack, Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection.  This means that the bonuses will appeal to those who do not already own the movie in either setting.  To that end, the bonus content and the very presentation of the movie by itself in this new steelbook presentation is that much more appealing especially for audiences who prefer this movie to its predecessor.  Even with all of that in mind, it still is not the last of the movie’s most important elements.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.

Research into the availability of the movie’s new steelbook presentation reveals that apparently, it is only listed at Shout! Factory’s online store and via Amazon.  Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million do not have it listed.  That makes the movie’s average price point approximately $26.97.  That is actually less expensive than the average price point of $34.46 for the Blu-ray combo pack of Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection, but a little more expensive than the average price point of $20.99 for the steelbook re-issue of Bill &Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  That price point was determined using pricing listed at Amazon and Best Buy.  It was not listed at Target, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million or even at Shout! Factory’s online store.  Keeping that in mind, that movie’s average price point might actually be higher if it was listed at the other retailers’ sites.  To that end, the average price point for Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey steelbook re-issue is actually quite affordable by itself.  Considering the bonus content provided in the movie’s presentation and the story presented as the movie’s center, it becomes a price point that is worth paying.  Again, noting the bonus content and the movie’s standalone presentation along with the story itself, all the noted elements join to make the movie’s steelbook presentation especially positive for its fans.

Shout! Factory’s new steelbook re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is a positive presentation for fans of this modern cult favorite flick.  That is proven in part through the movie’s physical presentation.  Its release late last month marks the first time in roughly 12 years that it has been released by itself.  The bonus material included in the movie adds even more for audiences to appreciate.  The steelbook’s average price point, when compared to that of Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection and the steelbook re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure couples with the bonus material (and its primary content) and the movie’s physical presentation to show even more clearly why fans specifically of this addition to the Bill & Ted franchise will appreciate this latest release.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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‘Sesame Street: The Magical Wand’ Will Work Magic On Audiences Of All Ages

Courtesy: Sesame Workshop/Shout! Factory

PBS’ hit educational series Sesame Street has for decades, been a source of great educational and entertainment for audiences of all ages.  From teaching numbers and words to teaching equally invaluable lessons about cultural diversity and more, Sesame Street has proven time and again to be one of the most important series on television.  Even as the decades have passed and times changed, the series has changed along the way to stay up with the world, but has not changed to the point of losing any of what it has done.  The show’s latest DVD, Sesame Street: The Magic Wand Chase is proof of that, both in its primary and bonus content.  Each item will be discussed here, as each is equally important to the DVD’s overall presentation.  Those items make the DVD’s average price point, the last of its most important elements, money well-spent.  Each item is important in its own right to the DVD.  All things considered, they make Sesame Street: The Magic Wand Chase more proof of why Sesame Street remains today one of television’s most important programs.

Sesame Street: The Magic Wand Chase is an enjoyable new offering from Sesame Workshop and Shout! Factory that clearly proves the series remains today, one of the most important series on television.  That is even considering programs in other genres.  This statement is supported in part through the DVD’s primary content, the feature presentation that gives the DVD its name.  The primary content finds Abby Cadabby, Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Grover and Rosita chasing down a bird in order to recover Abby’s magic wand after Abby accidentally drops the wand during a balloon ride.  Abby and the others were taking a balloon ride in a trip of balloons, and when she tried to get herself and her friends back to Sesame Street, she dropped the wand, leading to the chase.  Looking at the “movie” from an analytical standpoint, this is actually a good way to set up the chase that follows.  As Abby and company chase down the bird, who uses Abby’s wand to hide her identity at points, the group encounters children with various ethnic backgrounds – Chinese, Mexican and African – leading to lessons about their people’s cultures and the value of those differences.  Of course there is plenty of hilarity along the way thanks to plenty of family friendly jokes (including a laugh riot tribute to Benny Hill), and Abby eventually gets her wand back.  Those lessons of cultural diversity, though, is the most important item to note.  As noted previously, this is nothing new for Sesame Street.  What is important here is the way in which the show’s writers executed the lessons.  They used a new, enjoyable way to present the lesson on cultural diversity.  To that end, the story and its familiar and welcome lessons promoting cultural diversity form a solid foundation for the DVD.  The bonus content included with the DVD strengthens that foundation even more.

The bonus content included with Sesame Street: The Magic Wand Chase strengthens the DVD’s foundation even more because it picks up right where the DVD’s primary content leaves off.  The full-length featurette “Elmo’s Alphabet Challenge” continues Sesame Street’s long-running focus on teaching the alphabet and words to young viewers.  As with the DVD’s primary content, it does that here once again, but in a fashion that is in line with the current age.  Telly, Elmo and Abby are pulled into the video game world while deciding on a game to play on Abby’s tablet.  Over the course of roughly an hour, Abby and her friends go through a variety of different video games, which are takeoffs of video games, such as Super Mario Brothers, Angry Birds and World of Warcraft in order to find letters that align with each letter of the alphabet.  The ultimate goal is to defeat a character named ABC-More in the process so that they can get back to their world.  Obviously it has a happy ending.  The video game spoofs will entertain grown-ups while the additional (yet possibly latent) lesson about pride – ABC-More constantly calls himself the greatest, leading to a starting point on that noted lesson about pride – and the primary lesson teaching about the alphabet and words join in to make this bonus feature in whole just as entertaining for the whole family as the DVD’s primary story.

“The Golden Triangle of Destiny,” the second of the DVD’s bonus features, is just as certain to entertain the whole family.  It is also the shortest of the DVD’s features, both primary and secondary.  It is a full-on spoof of the Indiana Jones movie franchise that finds Telly going on a search for the titular triangle around Sesame Street.  Along the way, he has to avoid a giant boulder (yes, a boulder), a bunch of “exploding” washing machines and determining the shape of each figure that he finds.  So what audiences get here is the basic geometry lesson as its educational content alongside a fun movie spoof that will entertain audiences of all ages and likely be a favorite watch for those audiences.  When it is coupled with the lead video game-based bonus, the two bonuses together succeed solidly in offering plenty of entertainment and education at the same time.  When the bonus content is considered alongside the DVD’s primary content, the whole of the content offers plenty for audiences of all ages to appreciate throughout the DVD’s two-hour-plus total run time.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s average price point proves to be another positive for the DVD.

The average price point for Sesame Street: The Magic Wand Chase is $11.75.  That price is attained by averaging prices from Shout! Factory’s online store, Walmart, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble.  The DVD is not listed – at the time of this post – at Amazon, Target and Books-A-Million.  Considering the breadth and depth of the content presented over a total run time of more than two hours (specifically, two hours, two minutes), that price is not overly expensive.  When one takes into consideration that the DVD also includes a downloadable .pdf file of The Magic Wand Chase for families to enjoy any time they want, that price becomes that much more affordable and welcome for every family.  Keeping this in consideration along with the primary and secondary content featured in the DVD, it is just one more positive for the DVD.  Keeping this in mind, all three elements come together to make the DVD overall another successful offering from Sesame Workshop, and an equally welcome new offering from the new partnership between Sesame Workshop and Shout! Factory.

Sesame Workshop and Shout! Factory’s recently launched partnership is proving to be a positive match for the organizations.  This was already recently proven with the new Elmo’s World DVD released through that partnership.  The new full-length feature The Magic Wand Chase supports that statement even more.  As has been discussed here, that is proven through the primary and secondary content collectively featured on the disc.  The affordable average price point supports that statement even more.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD.  All things considered, Sesame Street: The Magic Wand Chase is another successful offering from Sesame Workshop, and more proof of why Sesame Street remains today, one of the most important series on television, genres aside.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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

 

 

Website: http://www.sesameworkshop.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sesameworkshop

 

 

 

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.

Shout! Factory, MLB Productions Announce Release Date For 2018 World Series Sets

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Major League Baseball Productions

Boston Red Sox fans got an early Christmas present this year when their team took this season’s Major League Baseball Championship, and next month, fans can re-live the whole series.

Major League Baseball Productions and Shout! Factory have partnered once again to release two World Series presentations.  The 2018 World Series and 2018 World Series Collector’s EditionBoston Red Sox are scheduled to be released on Blu-ray on Dec. 4. The 2018 World Series will be presented in a two-disc BLu-ray/DVD combo pack with digital and DVD with Digital.  The 2018 World Series Collector’s EditionBoston Red Sox will be presented on an eight-disc Blu-ray presentation.

The 2018 World Series Collector’s EditionBoston Red Sox will feature all five games of the 2018 World Series Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, in which the team claimed this year’s American League Championship and Game 4 of the American League Divisional Series, which saw the Red Sox defeat the New York Yankees to advance to the ALCS.

The exclusive package also features SleeveStats inserts, which include official game stats, trivia and more.  Each game in the set features the option to listen to the games’ audio from the team’s own radio network, the opponents’ radio network, Spanish-language broadcasts and television audio.

The 2018 World Series documentary is a truncated presentation of this year’s Fall Classic, showcasing the major highlights of the series, as well as the Divisional and Championship series that paved the road to the World Series.  It also features bonus content, such as “How They Got There,” regular season highlights and season-clinching moments.

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Major League Baseball Productions

The 2018 World Series will retail for MSRP of $24.99 and the 2018 World Series Collector’s EditionBoston Red Sox for $59.99.  Both titles will also be available on DVD.  They can all be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s official store.  More information on these and more titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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