The Rescue Bots Roll To The Rescue Again Next Month

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Discovery Family/Hasbro Studios

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Discovery Family/Hasbro Studios

Shout! Factory is teaming up with Hasbro Studios once again this summer to release yet another installment of episodes from Discovery Family’s hit animated series Transformers Rescue Bots this summer.

Transformers Rescue Bots: Heroes of Tech will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, Jun 21st.  Levar Burton’s (Reading Rainbow, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Captain Planet and the Planeteers) character Doc Greene gets the spotlight in most of the collection’s episodes.  Case in point “One For The Ages.”  This Season 2 episode sees Cody turned into an adult by Doc Greene’s stasis machine while Kade has to take over Griffin Rock Emergency while Chief Burns falls ill.  In Season 3’s “Too Many Kades” Doc Greene’s Imaging Chamber stars making clones of Kade.  Each one has its own personality.  This leads to its own share of problems for Cody and the Rescue Bots.  Meanwhile Kade learns a valuable lesson about teamwork when gas leak at the Natural Gas Reserve.  And in another Season 3 episode, “I have Heard The Robots Singing,” Doc Greene’s inventions cause even more chaos.  This time Doc Greene’s Tone-O-Tuner is the culprit.  Priscilla Pynch originally got her hands on it in one of her devious plots.  But when Huxley Prescott accidentally runs into it with his van, it leads to everyone in Griffin Rock singing everything that they say instead of just speaking.  Of course Doc Greene’s tech isn’t the only cause of problems for the people of Griffin Rock.  In “The Island of Misfit Tech” (obviously an homage to Rudolph The Red-Nose Reindeer’s Island of Misfit Toys) an out of control mechanical bull sends Cody and the Rescue Bots to the mysterious Island via the “Beam Box.”  Even Doc Greene isn’t sure who built the box.  As they explore the island, Cody and company discover that it is populated by the world’s most dangerous technology is stored.  “Space Bots” is another episode proving that Doc Greene isn’t always at the heart of the Rescue Bots’ adventures.  Though, Doc Greene himself is at the center of the episode as he and Graham have to be saved when an experiment with a space elevator called the Asgard goes horribly wrong.  It’s up to Cody and the Rescue Bots to save them.

The five episodes that are featured in Transformers Rescue Bots: Heroes of Tech all feature the same theme.  They are lifted from the series’ second and third season.  The DVD will be available in stores and online Tuesday, January 21st.  It will retail for MSRP of $14.93 but can be pre-ordered online now at the discounted price of $13.93 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/transformers-rescue-bots-heroes-of-tech.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

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Shout! Factory Going Wild Again This Summer With New LPS Collection

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Hasbro Studios/Discovery Family

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Hasbro Studios/Discovery Family

Shout! Factory and Hasbro Studios have teamed up once again to release another new collection of episodes from the former Discovery Family series Littlest Pet Shop.

Littlest Pet Shop: Making Friends will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, June 14th.  This latest collection features five more episodes from the former Discovery Family series. In this collection’s episodes, Russell challenges Sunil and Vinnie in a contest to entertain a new raccoon named Mr. VonFuzzlebut in “Sleeper.”  Things don’t exactly turn out as any of them had planned, of course.  And in the same episode Blythe’s furry friends face a threat from the outside when Fisher Bizkit sends his daughters to find out why Littlest Pet Shop is so successful.  Blythe learns an important lesson about friendship in “Why Can’t We Be Friends” as she tosses away her old friends upon meeting a new friend.  Meanwhile in the same episode Vinnie learns his own lesson about friendship when he befriends a spider even though Sunil, his original friend, is afraid of spiders.  And in “Room Enough” Blythe has to deal with a very curious kitten while deciding on how to re-organize her room.  These are just some of the stories presented in this latest collection.  There is also a special two-part episode included in the collection that features a guest appearance from one Heidi Klum (America’s Got Talent).

All five episodes included in Littlest Pet Shop: Making Friends follow the general theme of friendship.  They are each also lifted from the series’ third season.  Littlest Pet Shop: Making Friends will be available in stores and online Tuesday, June 14th.  It will retail for MSRP of $14.93 but can be pre-ordered at a discounted price of $13.93 now via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/littlest-pet-shop-making-friends.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

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Shout! Factory Announces Release Date For Maude: The Complete Fifth Season

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Bea Arthur is returning to TVs again this summer.  No, she’s not a zombie.  She is returning thanks to the people at Shout! Factory.

Shout! Factory will release the fifth season of the late, great actresses’ series Maude this summer.  Maude: The Complete Fifth Season will be released Tuesday, June 14th in stores and online.  Season Five is loaded with just as much heart and sharp humor as the series’ previous four seasons.  This time out, there are some interesting discussions on gender roles in “Feminine Fulfillment,” “The Election,” and “Mrs. Naugatuck’s Wedding.”  Rue McClanahan is forced to face her issues with funerals (and death in the bigger picture) in the season premiere “Vivian’s First Funeral.”  The issue of race is tackled in the season finale when Maude gets anew housekeeper in the aptly titled “The New Maid.”  These are just some of the storylines that will keep audiences entertained and engaged throughout Season Five’s twenty-four total episodes.  There are plenty more laughs to be had throughout that span including Walter battling with his own sexuality in “Arthur’s Worry,” Maude getting on a TV game show in “The Game Show” and some extended family troubles for Maude in “Maude’s Aunt.”

The laughs that are offered this season are just part of the season’s enjoyment.  There are guest appearances by Michael Keaton (Birdman, Batman, Batman Returns), Nanette Fabray (One Day at a Time, The Hollywood Squares, The Bandwagon), Charles Lane (It’s A Wonderful Life, Arsenic and Old Lace, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington), Eugene Roche (Webster, Slaughterhouse-Five, When A Man Loves a Woman) and others.

Maude: The Complete Fifth Season will be available in stores and online Tuesday, June 14th.  It will retail for MSRP of $26.99 but can be pre-ordered online now at a discounted price of $22.99 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/comedy/maude-season-five.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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Shout! Factory To Take Audiences Into The Stars This Summer

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is taking audiences into the final frontier this summer.

Shout! Factory will launch audiences into space this summer in the brand new documentary IMAX: Journey To Space.  The program is the first of Shout! Factory’s Giant Screen films.  It will be released on Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 and will be available on separate Blu-ray and 4K UHD + 3D Blu-ray + Blu-ray 2-disc combo packs.  Both platforms will include trailers, a photo gallery, behind-the-scenes footage, and more.  It is narrated by veteran actor and thespian Sir Patrick Stewart.

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

The story presented in IMAX: Journey to Space follows NASA in its next ambitious era.  This includes the agency’s plans and preparations for a manned flight to Mars, capturing asteroids, and much more.  It puts the kibosh on the belief that NASA’s space program ended with the end of its shuttle program.  Throughout the course of the story there are interviews with astronauts Chris Ferguson (Commander of the final shuttle mission), Serena Aunon (an astronaut chosen for future flights), and others used to help tell the documentary’s story.  It also offers a historical context to the impact of the shuttle program in discussing NASA’s future.

IMAX: Journey To Space will be available in stores Tuesday, June 7th.  The standalone Blu-ray will retail for MSRP of $19.99.  The 4K UHD + 3D Blu-ray + Blu-ray combo pack will retail for MSRP of $39.93.  It can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store at the respective discounted prices of $16.99 (Blu-ray) and $34.93 (4K UHD + 3D Blu-ray + Blu-ray) via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/documentary/journey-to-space.  A trailer for the program is available there, too.

 

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

 

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

 

 

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‘Death Becomes Her’ Has Plenty Of Life And Laughs

Courtesy: Scream! Factory/Universal

Courtesy: Scream! Factory/Universal

Bruce Willis, Meryl Streep, and Goldie Hawn are about as far apart as three actors can get from one another in terms of their bodies of work.  Willis is largely known for his work on 20th Century Fox’s hugely popular Die Hard franchise.  Hawn largely made a name for herself in the 1980s and ‘90s in movies such as Overboard (1987), Private Benjamin (1980), and The First Wives Club (1996).  Streep on the other hand has remained one of Hollywood’s top draws to this day, exhibiting her broad range of talents in the likes of The Devil Wears Prada (2006), The River Wild (1994), and Julie and Julia (2009) just to name a few of her entries.  She also singlehandedly saved the otherwise lackluster biopic The Iron Lady in 2011 and spread her wings just as much (if not more) in the 2002 indie flick Adaptation.  So it goes without saying that when the trio teamed up in 1992 for Universal’s Death Becomes Her it was anybody’s guess how the movie would turn out.  The original reception to the movie was lukewarm at best.  And sadly it has remained a relatively forgotten and underappreciated title for all three actors.  Yet now thanks to Shout! Factory it has gotten a new lease on life in a new “Collector’s Edition” Blu-ray re-issue.  It proves in its new re-issue to be well-deserving of a second chance.  That is especially the case considering how little Hollywood has to offer in theaters today.  In shorter wording, its story alone makes it well worth that second chance.  That will be discussed shortly.  The special effects that were utilized in the movie are just as important to note as the movie’s story.  Last but hardly least of note in this movie’s presentation is the work of its cast.  Willis, Streep, and Hawn are surprisingly entertaining together.  Their work rounds out the movie’s most important features.  Of course one can’t ignore the new “Making Of” featurette included in this presentation of the movie.  It is not what would be considered one of the movie’s main elements.  But it is an interesting bonus in its own right.  Keeping this in mind, each of the elements noted here is important in its own right to the movie’s new re-issue.  Altogether they give a whole new life to this undervalued offering from Universal.

Shout! Factory’s new re-issue of Death Becomes Her breathes new life into what has been an otherwise forgotten flick from Universal.  It proves in the long run to be a movie that was then and is now an undervalued offering from the studio.  This is exhibited in large part to the movie’s writing.  More specifically it is exhibited in large part through the story at the heart of the movie.  The story is centered on a rather familiar plot—a love triangle leading to murder.  It’s the basis of so many movies (especially Lifetime movies) and episodes of Dateline and 48 Hours.  Yet in the case of this movie the writing team of Martin Donovan and David Koepp has given that familiar plot quite the paranormal twist of sorts here.  Rather than just letting Madeline (Streep) stay dead, Donovan and Koepp prove that indeed sometimes they come back again.  Yes, that was in itself a bad pun, for any other movie buffs out there that get it.  Thanks to a magical potion Madeline comes back to life after supposedly being killed by Ernest (Willis).  This leads to a confrontation with Ernest’s ex-wife Helen (Hawn) and the revelation that Helen had also taken the potion, leaving both women immortal.  After a brief conflict the pair reconciles and agrees that they both now need Ernest in order to remain in pristine condition due to his talents as a mortician.  The result will leave anyone with a real sense of humor laughing right to the story’s final scene.  The story itself is dark.  But it is still funny in its own right.  It also is just the surface of what makes the movie’s story so entertaining.  As is discussed in the new “Making Of” featurette included in the movie’s re-issue, the real story at the heart of the story is the story of Hollywood’s shallow, self-centered nature.  This will be explained in more depth later.  Getting back on track, the twist that Koepp and Donovan put on an otherwise all-too familiar plot line makes the movie’s central story a breath of fresh air especially when compared to the stories currently being churned out by Hollywood’s Big Six studios.  The movie’s story is just one element that makes it worth the watch.  The special effects that are incorporated into the movie are just as important to note as the movie’s allegorical story.

The story at the center of Death Becomes Her is in itself both funny and thought provoking.  That makes the movie well worth the watch in its new re-issue.  It is just one of the elements that makes the movie so entertaining.  The special effects that are incorporated into the movie are just as notable as its dual-pronged story.  This is another topic tackled in the new “Making Of” featurette included in the movie’s new Blu-ray re-issue.  The use of computer generated special effects was a relatively foreign concept at the time in which Death Becomes Her was filmed.  This is another topic tackled in the new “Making Of” featurette included in the movie’s new Blu-ray re-issue.  It will be discussed later, too.  Staying on the subject at hand, the special effects that were used to bring Madeline and Helen back to life are collectively a wonderful touch to the movie.  That is not just because of their use but because of their look, too.  There is almost a certain cartoonish look to the special effects in question that audiences will love.  One moment in which this is exhibited comes as Helen hits Madeline over the head with a shovel.  Madeline’s head is pushed into her shoulders, making her look like a turtle.  It is in fact a bit that has been used by quite a few cartoons.  Madeline pulling her head out of her shoulders and straightening it is just as familiar and funny.  In another equally entertaining scene, Madeline throws a pole through the hole that had only minutes earlier been blown in Helen’s body when Madeline shot her.  The action itself, and Madeline’s reaction are both priceless.  It’s one more way in which the special effects prove so important to the movie’s overall presentation.  It isn’t the last, either.  Audiences will be interested to learn that as Ernest hangs precariously from a gutter pipe late in the movie, he is not as high up as it seems.  There was obviously some move magic going on there.  But thanks to the work of those behind the scenes, it actually looks believable.  It isn’t just one of those scenes where a subject is splashed up against a blue (or green) screen with a random background haphazardly thrown in.  It really does look like Willis is hanging high atop the building so close to his own demise.  And even as he falls from the building (not to give away too much) the corridor of sorts through which he falls is clearly computer generated.  Yet it still doesn’t look anywhere as bad as similar sequences used in other movies both before and since.  That is a real tribute to the work put in by those responsible for handling the movie’s special effects.  It is yet another way in which the movie’s special effects show themselves to be so important to the overall presentation of Death Becomes Her.  There are plenty of other moments that could be cited, too.  When those moments are set alongside the moments noted here, the whole of said moments gives the movie just as much “life” as its story.  Keeping this in mind, the story at the center of Death Becomes Her and the movie’s special effects make this movie quite the entertaining horror/comedy hybrid.  They are not the movie’s only notable elements.  The cast’s work in front of the cameras is yet another notable part of the movie’s whole.

The story at the center of Death Becomes Her and the special effects that are incorporated in to the movie are both key to the movie’s overall presentation in their own way.  The story takes an all too familiar plot and gives it a funny albeit dark, almost Tim Burton-esque twist.  The cartoonish special effects that are used add even more enjoyment to the movie.  That is because they show neither the cast nor crew took themselves or the movie too seriously.  They will leave any viewer laughing at their look.  Both elements in themselves are hugely important to the movie’s presentation.  Collectively they show why this movie deserved to have been resurrected (bad pun fully intended).  As important as they are they are not the movie’s only important element.  The cast’s work in front of the cameras should be noted, too.  It was previously noted that Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, and Goldie Hawn each come from a very different background.  That is in reference to the films in which they have starred.  Considering this one can only imagine the uncertainty in bring the trio together on camera.  Yet surprisingly all three actors worked quite well together.  Bruce Willis, at that time, was known largely for his action roles.  Yet he actually pulls off quite well the role of Ernest.  Ernest’s alcoholic, somewhat neurotic persona comes through expertly thanks to Willis’ take on the character.  Again, considering that this was something of a departure for Willis, he is to be commended for his work here.  One of his best moments comes as Madeline and Helen are fighting in the background.  The camera focuses on him and he says something to the extent of, “If anyone needs me I’ll be upstairs.”  Willis’ deadpan delivery of the line is a great contradiction to the chaos behind him.  And his reaction early on when he discovers that Madeline is alive when she should be dead is just as funny.  For those who are familiar with the classic horror comedy Arsenic and Old Lace Willis channels a little bit of Cary Grant in this moment.  It is just one more of so many great moments from Willis in the movie and just one more way in which the movie’s cast proves so entertaining.  Meryl Streep is wonderful to watch in her own right as Madeline Ashton.  One can’t help but wonder in watching her take on the self-centered, egotistical woman, if perhaps she channeled a little bit of her for her role in The Devil Wears Prada.  That is inferred from early on as she pushes her assistant aside in her dressing room.  Her constant verbal abuse of Ernest hints at her character as an influence for Miranda Priestly, too.  Goldie Hawn is just as entertaining as Helen.  This is especially true early on as Helen resides in a mental ward.  The deadpan manner in which she says, “Yes, I want to talk about…..Madeline Ashton” is perfect.  Her timing of the line is just as expert.  The reaction of the other actresses in the scene makes the moment all the funnier.  They obviously did not want to hear about Madeline Ashton again.  Her reactions to her body falling offer just as much entertainment as do so many other moments.  Between those comical moments and those presented by her cast mates, the overall work of the movie’s cast offers plenty of laughs from the movie’s opening scene to its end.  They show in whole that the cast’s work is indeed just as important as that of the movie’s writing team and those behind the lens.  All things considered Death Becomes Her proves in the end to be an undervalued and underappreciated movie and one that more than deserved its new life.

Death Becomes Her is an undervalued and underappreciated cinematic work.  Looking at everything that it has to offer it is clear that it more than deserved its new life.  This is exhibited through the work of the movie’s writing team, its crew, and its cast.  As important as these elements are to the movie one would be remiss to ignore the bonus “Making Of” featurette that is included in Shout! Factory’s new BD re-issue of the movie.  It offers new interviews with both writers and the cast that offer a whole new insight into the movie and what makes it so undervalued.  The movie’s original “Making Of” featurette is also included alongside the new feature.  The two features together paint quite an interesting picture not just of the movie but of the cast and crew then and now.  It shows that little has changed in terms of the opinions held by the cast and crew.  With any luck, audiences that perhaps have seen the movie before will take that into account along with the movie’s story, its special effects, and the cast’s work on camera, and have their own change of opinion to the positive should their opinions previously have been more negative.  With any luck said viewers (and those new to the movie) will see in its new re-issue just how undervalued and underappreciated it is and that it indeed deserved the new life that it has received thanks to Shout! Factory.

It should be clear by now that while not a major hit Death Becomes Her is an undervalued and underappreciated movie.  It is a work that more than deserved a new life.  It is evident in the movie’s writing.  It is just as evident in the movie’s special effects and the work of the movie’s cast.  The new bonus “Making Of” featurette and the companion original “Making Of” featurette partner to enrich the movie’s viewing experience even more.  All things considered, Death Becomes Her shows in the end to be a movie with plenty of life and that deserved new life.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-comedy/death-becomes-her-collector-s-edition.  More information on this and other titles from Scream! Factory—Shout! Factory’s horror division—is available online now at:

 

 

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MST3K: Volume XXXV Is Another Must Have For Series’ Fans

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

This summer Shout! Factory will release the 36th (yes, 26th) volume of episodes from the cult classic series Mystery Science Theater 3000.  The four-disc collection is currently scheduled to be released in stores and online on Tuesday, July 26th.  While not too far off, it is still a little bit of a wait.  Luckily the series’ 35th volume was released late last month.  And it offers plenty of entertainment for fans of the series while they wait for the release of Volume XXXVI and the upcoming reissue of Volume II (yes, II!) beginning with its featured movies.  That will be discussed shortly.  The collective writing and acting presented throughout each episode is just as important to note as the movies themselves.  That will be discussed later.  The bonus material that is included with each movie is just as important as the movies and their collective writing and acting.  Each element is important in its own way to the whole of Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXXV.  Altogether they make this collection another must have for any of the series’ fans and one of the year’s top new box sets for grown-ups.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXXV is one of this year’s top new box sets for grown-ups.  It is also yet another welcome addition to the home library of any of the series’ fans.  One element that makes it yet another entertaining collection is its featured movies.  It features four more of Hollywood’s “best of the worst.”  Interestingly enough at least one of the movies—Teenage Cave Man (1958)—features a rather well-known figure before he become a megastar in Robert Vaughan (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.Bullitt,The Magnificent Seven).  That’s just part of what makes this movie so important to the collection.  That Roger Corman-helmed the project is just as important to note.  Audiences that are familiar with Corman’s work will notice a number of his trademarks throughout the movie.  Much the same can be said of Deathstalker and the Warriors From Hell, which is another of the movies included in this set.  Corman executive produced the movie.  And while he might not have been behind the lens for this installment of the Deathstalker franchise, his influence can be felt because of its over the top camp from beginning to end.  12 To The Moon and Being From Another Planet are important to note in the bigger picture of this collection as Teenage Caveman and Deathstalker III. The prior is important to note not just for its camp but for the message in its story and certain elements of the story in whole.  Those elements include the fact that audiences never actually see the “moon creatures” save for one fleeting moment early on when the astronauts first go exploring the lunar surface.  Being From Another Planet is an important inclusion in this set because it actually plays on a favorite theory of “ancient alien theorists.”  It presents a mummy in a museum’s Egypt exhibit as in fact not just being a mummy but the mummy of a being….well…from another planet.  There are in fact people that believe to this day that there is a link between Egyptians and beings from other planets, and that they even gave the Egyptians the technology needed to build the pyramids.  Given, that is a completely crackpot theory with no real substantial supportive evidence.  But for some, it is more than just a theory.  It is a belief.  And while the movie is just as terribly campy as this set’s other cinematic offerings, the movie’s plot still makes it an interesting story to see at least once.  The zingers tossed out by the crew of the Satellite of Love give their own reason for audiences to check out this movie.  Speaking of which, the zingers in question are, together with the cast’s acting, just as important to each episode as the movies themselves.

The movies that are featured in Shout! Factory’s latest collection of MST3K (as it will henceforth be known) episodes are important in their own right to the collection’s overall presentation.  While they are undeniably important they are not the only important part of the set’s presentation.  The cast’s work and that of the writers is just as important to each episode as the noted episodes.  Both the writing and acting prove to be razor sharp from one episode to the next in this set.  That should come as no surprise, either considering all of the laughs offered up in every one of the series’ previous installments.  The “Experiment Exchange” skit presented ahead of Teenage Caveman is proof of that.  The crew of the SOL (it just never gets old) is hilarious as they present a book of Rainy Day Ipecacs, a bowl of Lucky Charms with cherry Nyquil, a Snickers bar with honey mustard, and a pair of rather unappetizing other offerings.  There’s something about their presentations that is so hilarious.  Audiences actually believe, thanks to the cast’s work, that these outer space outcasts half believe in their “inventions” yet don’t really care one bit.  On the other end, Frank Conniff and Trace Beaulieu are just as wildly entertaining as TV’s Frank and Dr. Clayton Forrester.  The pair’s on-screen chemistry is wonderful to see as they fight over who is going to present Dr. Forrester’s (or is it Frank’s?) invention.  The dispute leads to an ongoing conflict between the pair that spans each of the episode’s laugh out loud skits between movie segments.  As if that isn’t enough, the zingers tossed out by the SOL’s crew (See?  It just doesn’t get old) are just as laugh out loud funny.  They include references to Bonanza, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, the Peanuts gang, Jenny Craig (yes, even Jenny Craig), Charlton Heston, and any number of cultural jokes.  There are so many references and jokes that not even a program could hold them all.  It’s a real tribute to the writers that they are still as funny today as they were in the episode’s original broadcast.  The cast’s timing in delivering each of those nonstop zingers shows yet again the importance of their work alongside that of the show’s writers.  Collectively speaking, the writing and acting presented in this episode is just one example of what makes both elements just as important in this collection as in the series’ previous collections.  The work put into 12 To The Moon’s skits and zingers also serves to show the importance of the noted elements.

The work that went into making Teenage Caveman such a laugh riot episode was definitely not for naught.  Yes, that bad joke was intentional.  The end result of the writers’ work and that of the cast is nonstop entertainment from beginning to end.  The same can be said of the work that went into 12 To The Moon’s skits and jokes.  The crew of the Satellite of Love encounters a time traveling woman in this episode who wants to take them back to her time.  This is a completely outrageous plot that is just as stupid as those in the movies that Joel, Mike, Crow, and Tom Servo are forced to watch.  Yet it’s strangely so stupid that it’s hilarious.  Considering that, the writers are once again to be lauded once again for their efforts.  Of course the cast’s handling of this so silly that it’s funny story is just as worthy of applause as that of the writers.  Back on Earth, TV’s Frank finally gets to roast Dr. Forrester.  It doesn’t turn out so well for Frank in the end.  On a more subtle level, Trace Beaulieu’s performance here seems to be homage to Groucho Marx, with the cigar and other elements.  Whether or not the comparison was intentional is anyone’s guess.  But if it was intentional, then Beaulieu is to be commended as he does an outstanding job of channeling the late, great comedic actor.  It’s just one way in which the writing and acting shines in this episode.  They both shine once again throughout the course of the movie as the guys throw out even more pop culture jokes and references.  That includes references to: Star Trek, The Muppet Show/Pigs in Space, Abba, Dr. Dolittle, PBS, and many others.  The pop culture jokes include a stab at all of the moon landing conspiracy theorists, and even some light-hearted biblical and other religious jokes.  Again, there are so many jokes and references that not even a program can contain them all.  It’s even more reason for audiences to pick up this collection of episodes.  The wonderful writing and acting presented here and in Teenage Caveman  clearly shows the importance of the show’s writing and acting.  That is not to discount the work put into the set’s other pairing of episodes.  Those two episodes, and the pair more directly noted here, combine to undeniably show why the work of the show’s writers and cast alike is just as important in these episodes as the set’s featured movies.  Together with said movies, the writing and acting proves once more in the bigger picture why this collection is another must have for the show’s fans, and why it is also one of the year’s best box sets for grown-ups.  It is still not the set’s last notable element.  The bonus material that was included with each episode is just as important to the set’s presentation as the movies and their primary content.

The movies that are featured in Shout! Factory’s latest MST3K collection and their primary content (I.E. writing and acting) are undeniably important to the set’s presentation.  While each element proves to be of the utmost importance to this collection’s presentation, they are not its only important elements.  The bonus material that is included in each episode is just as important as the movies and their overall content.  That is because of the insight that each bonus offers viewers into the creation and history of each movie.  Deathstalker III’s bonus feature Medieval Boogaloo: The Legend of Deathstalker III is proof of that.  Star Thom Christopher discusses the movie in this bonus feature.  Over the course of his interview he shares quite a bit of insight into the movie.  He discusses the work put in by the prop department to give himself and co-star John Allen Nelson two swords each for their big fight scene and how impressed he was by not just their efforts but the result of that work, too.  He also happily discusses his knowledge of the movie’s camp yet the fun that the cast and crew had in holding that knowledge.  He notes that all involved smiled and laugh throughout the course of the movie’s production because of the fact that it was so campy.  It is refreshing to learn that the cast didn’t take itself too seriously in making this otherwise forgettable flick.  That sentiment alone makes this movie worth more than just one watch.   On another note, Roger Corman discusses the casting of lead star  Robert Vaughan in Teenage Caveman’s bonus feature I Was A Teenage Caveman.  He also discusses the silliness of not being allowed by certain individuals to use I Was A Teenage Caveman’s  title for the movie because it was “too highbrow for audiences.”  That comment alone will leave audiences so shocked that all they can do is laugh.  And in 12 To The Moon’s bonus feature You Are There: Launching 12 To The Moon, audiences will be surprised to learn of the political message behind the movie’s script.  The message in question has to do with the need for unity among the Earth’s people.  It is explained that the world’s global political climate did in fact play a direct role in its script.  Keeping all of this in mind, the importance of the episodes’ bonus features become crystal clear.  They offer just as much insight and entertainment as the movies in this set and the collective writing and acting incorporated into each.  And together with the movies themselves, all of the noted elements combine to show once and for all why MST3K Volume XXXV is another must have for fans of this cult classic series.  It also serves collectively to show why this collection is one more of the year’s top new box sets for grown-ups.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXXV is unquestionably one of this year’s top new box sets for grown-ups.  It is also a piece that any of the show’s original audiences will want to have in his or her own home library if he or she doesn’t already own the four-disc set.  The central reason for this is the set’s featured episodes.  Each episode is another sampling of the best of the worst.  Because of that, each episode will keep true fans engaged and entertained from beginning to end.  The bonus material that is included in each episode is just as important to note as the set’s movies, acting, and writing.  It offers its own share of entertainment and insight in each episode.  Each element proves highly important in its own right in the big picture of this collection.  Collectively, they show in whole why this set is, again, another must have for fans that don’t already own the collection.  In the same vein, they also show collectively why it is one of the year’s top new box sets for grown-ups.  It is available in stores and online now and can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/action-adventure/mst3k-volume-xxxv.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

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Solid Stories, Acting Make Pound Puppies: Showstopping Pups Its Own Showstopper

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Hasbro Studios

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Shout! Factory Kids/Hasbro Studios

Ace, Cookie, Niblet, and the rest of the Pound Puppies are back again with yet another great collection of episodes.   Shout! Factory recently partnered with Hasbro Studios to release the latest Pound Puppies DVD Showstopping Pups.  The series’ ninth new collection–and hardly its last—it boasts five more episodes pulled from the series.  The episodes that are featured in this new collection boast five more stories that the whole family will enjoy.  They are the tip of the proverbial iceberg in examining the set’s positives.  The more minute details of the collection are just as important to in this compilation as the stories presented within the featured episodes.  Last but hardly least of note is the work of the series’ cast in each episode.  Once again it stands out just as much as in the episodes featured in previous collections.  Each element is important in its own manner.  Altogether they make this latest collection of episodes one more that not only proves Pound Puppies was cancelled way too early after only three seasons but this latest collection is another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library; especially families that are fans of the short-lived series.

Pound Puppies: Showstopping Pups, the ninth collection of episodes from Discovery Family’s (formerly Hub’s) short-lived series Pound Puppies.  One can only hope that being the series’ ninth collection of episodes, Shout! Factory and Hasbro Studios will release the series’ full season sets and/or full series set sooner rather than later.  While audiences wait for one or both of those sets to be released, this latest collection of episodes will most certainly help pass the time and entertain audiences.  The main element of the set that makes it so enjoyable and entertaining is its collection of stories.  The stories that are presented within each of the set’s five episodes will entertain audiences of all ages.  The story within the set’s lead episode “The Accidental Pup Star” is proof of this.  Rebound (voiced by Brooke Goldner—Littlest Pet Shop, Skatergirl) is accidentally caught on video singing about her adoration for her owner, Agatha (Betty White—Golden Girls, The Proposal, Hot In Cleveland).  When Agatha’s son Leonard, (Star Trek Deep Space Nine, The Little Mermaid, Benson) who also runs Shelter 17, discovers Rebound’s video he sets out to make himself famous rather than Rebound.  Of course the whole thing backfires on him thanks to Lucky an the rest of the Pound Puppies.  That’s just part of the story that makes it so interesting, too.  The story of why Rebound was caught on video is its own interesting secondary story that audiences will enjoy just as much.  That story will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  It’s just one example of how the stories featured in these episodes are so pivotal to this collection.  “The Watchdogs” is another episode presenting its own fun and funny story.

“The Accidental Pup Star” features a key example of how the stories featured in this set of episodes prove to be so important to its enjoyment.  It is just one example of how the set’s stories make it an overall enjoyable presentation.  The story at the center of “The Watchdogs” is another key example of how the set’s stories make the set so enjoyable in whole.  This time around Niblet and Strudel set out to be crime fighters by night after an incident with some not so nice dogs.  Of course things start out okay for the duo.  But of course that doesn’t last for long.  In the grand scheme of things Strudel (Alanna Ubach–Meet The Fockers, Legally Blonde, Rango) learns that it’s a lot harder to be a crime fighter than she realizes and that she is already making a big impact by helping place other pups in their homes.  It’s just one part of what makes this episode so enjoyable, too.  There are smaller elements incorporated into the story that ad even more enjoyment for audiences—especially comic book lovers.  They will be discussed later.  Getting back on the subject, the story presented in this episode is just one more example of how the episodes’ featured stories are so important to the episodes’ presentation.  The story presented within the set’s closer “Back In Action” is yet another great piece for the whole family.  It is especially one that older audiences will enjoy.

The stories presented within “The Accidental Pup Star” and “The Watchdogs” are both prime examples of how the episodes’ stories are so important to the set’s presentation.  As integral as they are in proving the set’s enjoyment they are not the only stories that can be cited.  The story in the set’s closer “Back In Action” is yet another example of how the episodes’ featured stories are so important to the set’s presentation.  The story at the center of this episode follows a one-time famous dog named Bert (Clancy Brown—The Shawshank Redemption, Sleepy Hollow, Spongebob Squarepants) who needs a morale boost.  And yes, the Pound Puppies are right there to help.  They help when it is revealed that a young boy is in need of a real life rescue.  Bert realizes in helping in the rescue that he may be older and retired, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t or can’t be a real life hero.  While the message here is likely not intentionally sent to audiences, its message that anyone can be a hero and do great thing is there.  It is a message from which audiences of all ages can and will benefit.  Yet again the story presented within the episode is only part of what makes it so enjoyable.  There are other, smaller elements presented within this episode, too that make it even more enjoyable.  As with the other episodes, those smaller elements will be discussed later.  Getting back on track once more, the story featured in this episode is just one more example of how the episodes’ featured stories are so important to the set’s presentation.  “It’s Elementary My Dear Pup Club” and “Hot Dawg!” both feature their own entertaining stories.  Those stories, together with the stories noted here, come together to show in whole why the stories featured in Pound Puppies: Showstopping Pups are indeed central to the DVD’s overall presentation.  The stories featured within this set are just one part of what makes the set’s featured episodes so enjoyable, too.  The smaller details of the stories are just as important to the episodes as the stories themselves.

The stories that are featured within each of the episodes in this set are undeniably important in their own right to the set’s presentation.  While they are obviously important to the set’s presentation they are not the set’s only important element.  The smaller details of the episodes’ stories are just as important of the stories themselves.  The smaller details of “The Accidental Pup Star’s” story are proof of this.  The writers directly related the story to its young viewers by having Rebound caught on a little girl’s smart phone camera and then posted to what is obviously supposed to be YouTube.  There is no mention of YouTube.  But in watching McLeash watch the video it is clear that he is watching the video on what is supposed to be YouTube.  There were likely legal reasons behind it not being directly named.  But that’s beside the point.  What’s important here is the fact that the writers incorporated modern technology and even tied it to a younger person shows a real attempt to reach viewers of the same age.  On another note, ‘The Watchdogs” is in itself a reference to the big screen adaptation of the graphic novel The Watchmen.  The episode obviously is nowhere near as dark or violent.  But seeing Strudel and Niblet dress up in their own home made costumes as their crime fighting alter egos will leave audiences laughing just as much.  What’s more seeing the duo struggle to stay awake is funny in its own right.  That’s because it seems like so many crime fighters do their “jobs” at night.  One can’t help but wonder in noting this how they stay awake during the daytime.  That in itself makes for its own share of laughs.  And again, it is just one more way in which the stories’ smaller elements prove to be just as important to this collection’s presentation as the stories themselves.  “Back In Action” provides its own smaller items that audiences—especially older audiences—will enjoy.  The story in itself is a spoof of the classic action series MacGyver.  To say that taking such an approach is original is an understatement.  The references to the series’ title character making huge creations (from bombs to scuba tanks and more—as fans of the series will recall) from the least number of objects is just as great to see.  It is a playful jab at MacGyver.  But it also pays real homage to the series.  Keeping that in mind, even this minute detail makes “Back in Action” all the more entertaining.  And it shows once more just how important the smaller details of this collection’s stories are to the set’s presentation.  They show that those smaller details are just as important to the episodes as the stories themselves.  And that is not to ignore the smaller elements of the collection’s remaining pair of episodes.  They boast their own great minutia that audiences will enjoy, too.  All things considered here the smaller details of this set’s episodes prove in the end to be undeniably as important to the episodes (and the set in whole) as the episodes themselves.  They still are not the only important part of this collection, either.  The work of the show’s cast is just as important as the episodes’ stories and the stories’ minor details.

The episodes that are presented within Shout! Factory and Hasbro Studios’ new collection of Pound Puppies DVD present plenty of reason for audiences to add this se to their on home DVD libraries.  That is evident both in each of the episodes’ stories and the smaller details of each story.  While the stories presented in each episode and their minutia do plenty to make the episodes entertaining they are only part of the episodes’ entertainment.  The work of the series’ cast once again proves to be just as important to the show as its other elements.  Case in point Ulanna Ubach’s work on “The Watchdogs.”  Ubach is completely entertaining as she voices Strudel in this episode.  Audiences will love seeing Ubach’s presentation of Strudel’s almost delusional belief that she needs to be out fighting crime is worth its own share of laughs.  On another note, guest voice actor Clancy Brown’s take on former dog star Bert is just as impressive in “Back In Action.”  Audiences will enjoy seeing just how grumpy he makes Bert before Bert finally realizes that he can indeed learn some new tricks.  On a different note, the voices behind the Super Secret Pup Club in “It’s Elementary My Dear Pup Club” are to be commended in their own right.  The pups’ confidence and determination as they look to clear Chucky’s name will keep viewers entertained and engaged.  Thanks to the actors’ work, viewers—especially younger viewers—will believe that even “young pups” can do great things.  It’s just one more way in which the work of the show’s cast proves to be just as important to this collection as its featured episodes, their stories, and the stories’ smaller elements.  Together with those elements, the work of the show’s voice cast rounds out the set’s positives and shows once an fort all why this latest collection is another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library.

Pound Puppies: Showstopping Pups, the ninth new collection of episodes from Discovery Family’s (formerly Hub) short-lived animated series, is yet another welcome addition to any family’s home DVD library.  It is another collection that will leave audiences *ahem* begging for more.  One can only hope that said begging will eventually lead Shout! Factory Kids and Hasbro Studios to release the series in its own standalone season sets and/or a full series run.  Regardless of if and/or that happens, it can be said of this set that it will still help families and fans pass the time and agree in the end that is one more of this year’s top new family DVDs.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/pound-puppies-showstopping-pups.  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

 

 

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.