Power Rangers Fans Will Get Lost In Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Saban/Saban Brands

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban/Saban Brands

Three years ago, Shout! Factory and Saban struck a deal that saw the first in a long line of releases from Saban’s now world-renowned Power Rangers franchise.  The release in question was Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Season 1 Volume 1.  It was the first but most definitely not the last of the Power Rangers franchise that fans would see finally get a proper release.  Nearly three years after the release of that initial box set, Shout! Factory has seemingly come to the end of the road with the Power Rangers.  That is because on March 10th, Shout! Factory will release what would be the first of the Power Rangers installments in the “post-Zordon era.”  The installment in question is Power Rangers Lost Galaxy.  Long-time fans of Saban’s Power Rangers franchise will especially appreciate this upcoming release primarily because it is the complete “series” set in one stand-alone box set.  That is quite the noticeable change of course for Shout! Factory being that its previous seasons of Power Rangers were split up into multiple box sets.  So, that Shout! Factory didn’t take that route this time is sure to impress any long-time Power Rangers fan.  Second to note of this collection is the writing within the episodes.  The most noticeable aspects of the “series’” writing are that while it serves as its own series separate from the original Power Rangers franchise, it also maintains at least the slightest of links to that franchise thanks to the inclusion of Bulk and Skull yet again, and of course the re-introduction of the Astro-Megaship from Power Rangers in Space.  It’s sort of the writers’ way of saying the past is gone but not totally forgotten.  Long-time fans will appreciate this just as much.  Also, worth noting of the writing is the fact that the writers were able to keep Leo’s personal drama in check throughout the series, opting instead to allow the series’ central stories maintain their place at the forefront of each episode.  Last but not least of all that makes this set so welcome is its continued use of both “live” footage and stock footage from its Japanese base series.  Just like the writing mantains a link to Saban’s original Power Rangers franchise, so does this balance of footage.  It rounds out the reasons that fans will want to add this set to their own collections. Together with the series’ writing and its complete complement of episodes, all three noted elements combine to make Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series a fitting final release from Shout! Factory’s series of releases from Saban’s original Power Rangers franchise.

Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series seems to be the last of Shout! Factory’s Power Rangers releases.  That is unless there is a deal in place that would allow Shout! Factory to release Seasons 8 – 17, which were previously released in two separate box sets containing Seasons 8 – 12 and 13 – 17.  Regardless, Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series is still a box set well worth the addition to any Power Rangers fan’s personal collection.  The most obvious reason that fans of Saban’s long-running property will appreciate this set is the very fact that it features the entire “series” in one stand-alone box set.  Shout! Factory didn’t split it up into two separate sets unlike with its previous Power Rangers sets.  This has been a point of contention among fans ever since Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Season 1 Volume 1 was released on DVD back in 2012.  Save for the mid-season filler “series” Mighty Morphin’ Alien Rangers every other season of Power Rangers released by Shout! Factory since has been split into no less than two boxes.  That being the case, having this potentially final season set released in one box is a breath of fresh air.  Should the seasons that followed actually be re-issued separate from their previously released five-season box sets, hopefully they will in fact be re-issued as their own complete stand-alone sets, too just like this one.  Regardless, this complete showing of episodes in one box is the cornerstone on which the rest of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series’ positives rest.  It is a solid cornerstone, too.

The fact that Shout! Factory has presented Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series is a solid starting point in examining what makes this box set a success.  It’s not all that makes the set a success.  The writing that went into the show’s episodes is just as worth noting.  Long-time audiences will appreciate the fact that the show’s writers didn’t just make a whole new series.  They actually maintained a pretty solid link to Saban’s original Power Rangers series with the inclusion once again of Bulk and Skull into various episodes including the two-part season opener.  The Rangers even utilize the Astro Megaship from Power Rangers in Space throughout this season.  These two elements of the show’s writing by themselves show that the writers wanted to do their best to not alienate fans that came on board way back in the days of MMPR.  The actual episodes though, are just as important to the presentation.  Within the episodes themselves, the show’s writers were able to balance just enough the personal drama of the Power Rangers (E.g. Leo’s coming to terms with Mike’s “death,” Archie’s dealing with Leo and the pair’s growing friendship, Cerina’s longing for her home world, etc.) with their battles against Scorpius and his evil forces.  The writers never let that personal drama step on the “series’” central story line, thus creating a whole that keeps audiences fully engaged from the “series’” premiere to its final, climactic battle.  The end result of that writing is yet another part of the whole of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series that shows just why long-time fans of the Power Rangers will enjoy this latest release.

The inclusion of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy’s complete forty-five episode run in one complete stand-alone box set and the writing that went into the show’s episodes complement each other quite well  in terms of elements that make this box set a success for fans.  The show’s look is just as important to the presentation as the writing and the fact that the “series” has been presented in whole here.  Both those that aren’t so familiar with the Power Rangers and the franchise’s long-time fans will appreciate that even this far into the Power Rangers’ run, will appreciate that the show’s heads once again combined new, live elements and CG along with the stock footage from its Japanese source series Seijuu Sentai Gingaman.  This would be the last of the Power Rangers series to make that balance so noticeable for audiences.  And it really added a certain something to the show, too.  It could be argued that the balance of both elements creates once again that certain sense of old meets new that somehow creates so much enjoyment.  It’s that familiar something that especially long-time fans will understand and that new fans will appreciate when they see that balance for themselves.  It’s something that sadly was lost in some of the seasons that followed.  The seasons in question had more of a spit-shined look about them.  That look took away that certain feeling established by the previous Power Rangers seasons.  Long-time fans will especially agree with that sentiment.  And in doing so, they will agree even more that the use of both the original Japanese and American footage for this season completes the season, making all the more reasons for fans to add this set to their collections.

The mix of Seijuu Sentai Gingaman’s original video with Saban’s live and CG elements is a standard that long-time Power Rangers fans will definitely like about this season.  The balance of the show’s writing elements adds even more reason for audiences to pick up this box set when it hits stores.  It’s nice to see that the writers didn’t alienate the Power Rangers’ original audiences even in creating a new branch of the Power Rangers legacy.  Rather they honored those fans and the legacy of the original series while bringing in a whole new generation of audiences with this season.  The very fact that Shout! Factory presented this season in its entirety solidifies the whole thing, proving without a doubt that this is a must have for any Power Rangers fan. Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series will be available in stores and online Tuesday, March 10th. It will retail for $24.95 but can be pre-ordered online now for a reduced price of $19.99 at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/power-rangers-lost-galaxy-the-complete-series. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online at:

 

Website: https://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: https://www.shoutfactoryofficial

 

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Anchor Bay, AMC Announce Release Date For Tech Drama’s First Season

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment/AMC

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/AMC

Anchor Bay Entertainment recently announced the upcoming home release of AMC’s hit period drama Turn–Washington’s Spies: Season 1 on DVD and Blu-ray this spring. Now not long after that announcement comes the announcement of another AMC series coming home.

Halt and Catch Fire: The Complete First Season will be released on DVD and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack Tuesday, May 5th. The series is a fictionalized take on the beginnings of the personal computer and those that were at the head of what would revolutionize the computer industry. It picks up one year after IBM took the world by storm with the first personal computer. It is here that former IBM exec Joe MacMillan had left the company the start his own company, Cardiff Electric. MacMillan gets friend Gordon Clark to come on board for his endeavour. It stars Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies, Guardians of the Galaxy), Scoot McNairy (Fargo), Mackenzie Davis (Smashed), Kerry Bishe (Argo, Red State), and Toby Huss (Cowboys & Aliens)

Season One is composed of ten episodes, which will be spread across three discs in both its DVD and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack presentation. Both sets will have a handful of bonus features including look at how those behind the cameras re-created the series’ 1980s backdrop, the rise of those at the forefront of the digital revolution in its early days, and more. the complete list of bonus features included on both sets is listed below.

Bonus Features:
· Inside Episodes
· Re-Making The 80s
· Rise Of The Digital Cowboys
· Setting The Fire: Research And Technology

Halt and Catch Fire: The Complete First Season will be available on DVD Tuesday, May 5th. The DVD box set will retail for MSRP of $49.98 and the Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack for $59.99. More information on this and other titles from Anchor Bay Entertainment is available online at:

Website: https://www.anchorbayentertainment.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnchorBay

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anchor_Bay

More information on Halt and Catch Fire including all of the latest updates on the series is available online at:

Website: https://www.amctv.com/shows/halt-and-catch-fire

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HaltAndCatchFireAMC

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HaltAMC

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Lucky Diaz & The Family Jam Band Looking To Its Fans For Its Next LP

Courtesy:  Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

Courtesy: Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band is looking to fans to help fund its next album.

The band has released six albums, all of which were released independently. It has its own show on PBS called Lishy Lou and Lucky Too. The show in question is produced by the band’s own production company, meaning it puts its own money into the show. It has even won a Latin Grammy for its 2013 album fantastico. That album was the band’s first US release to win a Latin Grammy. As if these accolades aren’t enough, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band has been featured by no less than NPR’s All Things Considered, USA Today, CNN, Sprout TV, American Airlines, Univision, and many more outlets.

For all of the success that Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band has had over the years, it should be noted again that said success has come from the pockets of the band members’ own pockets. Now Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band is looking to its fans to help fund its next album Adelante. The band is looking to its fans for help in part because while working on Adelante it suffered a heartbreaking setback. Someone broke into the band’s storage locker, stealing its instruments and destroying the set that it uses for its show on PBS. Sadly the band’s insurance apparently only covers a very minute portion of its damages and losses. So now it is asking its fans to be part of its new bi-lingual record’s creation. The money donated by fans will go toward purchasing new instruments and replace the set for its show. And what’s in it for fans that help make Adelante a reality? Fans can pick up autographed copies of the band’s albums, props from its show, private concerts, skype time with the band and pretty much anything else that fans could probably think up. Donation levels start as cheap as $15 and run as high as $15,000. Here’s how it breaks down:

For $15, fans will get an advance digital download of Adelante and monthly behind-the-scenes video journals. Also at this level, fans will get a digital download code for the album a month ahead of its release as well as monthly behind-the-scenes video journals from the band. Only forty of these offers are left.

At the $25 level, fans can get a physical autographed copy of Adelante from the band as well as a secret download code for the album and monthly behind-the-scenes video journals. Fans that donate at the $25 level will even get their name in the album’s liner notes along with that downloadable copy of the album. Supplies of both rewards at this level are limited.

From the $25, the level jumps to $40. At this level, fans can get a two-fer. Fans at this level can get one personalized copy of Adelante for a family member and a signed copy to give as a gift. The band will send out the gift copy personally with a card letting the recipient know who had it sent to them. Or both copies can be sent to donors for donors to send out themselves. Less than 20 of these are left.

The rewards increase at each donation level from here. Fans can find out what they can get for donating at each level at the band’s indiegogo website at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/new-album-adelante-lucky-diaz-the-fjb. And for all of the latest news on the album’s progress, fans can follow the band online at:

 

Website: https://www.luckydiazmusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lucky-Diaz-and-the-Family-Jam-Band/182600891967

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PBS’ Nature Will Keep Things Cool Next Month With A New Episode Of Nature On DVD

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

Typically when one thinks of Antarctica, one thinks of snow, ice, and penguins. Thoughts turn to what is one of the harshest environments on the planet. However, those harsh conditions exist during the continent’s coldest months. During its summer months, things change, allowing for tourists to make their way to the Antarctic. Along the way, said tourists make it a point to stop at the Antarctic peninsula at Port Lockroy. It is there that a colony of approximately 3,000 gentoo penguins find their mates, build nests, and raise the next generation of gentoo penguins. It just so happens that along with the penguins, there is also a British post office at Port Lockroy where tourists can purchase post cards to send back to their friends and family and visit the post office’s on-site museum. Now thanks to PBS, audiences can get a glimpse into the lives of the gentoo penguins and how they are being protected in the new DVD Nature: Penguin Post Office.

Nature: Penguin Post Office will be released Tuesday, March 17th. The DVD examines the lives of the gentoo penguins at Port Lockroy and the efforts to protect the penguins as visitors make their way to the port through each year. The hour-long program includes interviews with volunteers from the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust who run the post office and museum at Port Lockroy. The DVD will retail for $19.99 but can be pre-ordered online via PBS’ online store at a reduced price of $17.99 at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=57130986&cp=&kw=penguin+post+office&origkw=penguin+post+office&sr=1#Details. More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online along with the latest Nature news at:

Website: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PBSNature

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PBS Announces Release Date, Specs For New NOVA DVD

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider has been one of the world’s most polarizing points ever since it was first started up in 2008. While the concerns that so many people had have been allayed since then, the LHC still has not revealed the long-speculated Higgs-Boson Particle, or “God Particle” to researchers. Though, researchers have found a particle in their efforts that is a starkly close match to the Higgs-Boson Particle. Now this spring, scientists with CERN are set to restart the LHC and restart their research. As they prepare to start what is the world’s largest atom smasher, PBS will release NOVA: Big Bang Machine.

NOVA: Big Bang Machine will be released on DVD Tuesday, March 17th. The hour-long episode of PBS’ hit science-based series looks at the LHC, its history including what made it such a hot button topic, and expectations for its next startup. Audiences can check out a clip from this episode of NOVA online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfJBUJMywPs. The DVD will retail for $24.99. It can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store fora reduced price of $19.99 at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=nova%20big%20bang%20machine&origkw=NOVA+Big+Bang+Machine&sr=1. It can also be ordered in a combo pack that also includes a wristwatch for $49.99. The combo pack will retail in stores for $68.94.

More information on NOVA: Big Bang Machine and other episodes of NOVA is available online now along with all of the latest NOVA news at:

Website: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NOVAonline

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PBS Kids Celebrates WordWorld Next Month With New DVD

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Distribution announced this week that fans of the PBS Kids’ series WordWorld will see a brand new collection of episodes on DVD next month.

WordWorld: Birthday Party! will be released on DVD Tuesday, March 7th. The DVD will feature five episodes from the family favorite PBS Kids series, all of which focus in one way or another on birthdays. It all starts with a surprise birthday party for Dog in “Happy Birthday, Dog.” The WordWorld gang is planning a surprise party for Dog in this episode. But there is just one problem: There is no cake. It’s up to Frog to get the cake to the party in one piece without Dog finding out about the cake or the party.

“Pig’s Present” comes second on the disc. This is an especially important episode because not only does it teach the word “Jet,” but it also teaches an important lesson about patience. It teaches that lesson about patience as Pig can’t fight his curiosity after his nephews, The Three Little Pigs, make a secret present for him.

“The Rainbow Birthday Cake” is another important addition to the new PBS Kids DVD WordWorld: Birthday Party! This episode teaches an important lesson about recycling and conservation. This lesson is taught as Duck decides he wants to make a really big birthday cake for Frog. He wants to frost the cake in the colors of the rainbow. Duck learns that once he uses the cans of frosting, he can’t just toss them anywhere. He has to recycle them. And the result of that recycling ends up becoming part of Frog’s very special cake, proving the good that can come from recycling.

In the disc’s penultimate episode “Bit By Bit,” WordWorld’s writers teach young viewers a valuable lesson about handling big words when Duck and Bug have to take Frog’s present for Monkey–a banana–to Monkey’s birthday party. The duo is so excited about taking the banana to Monkey that they accidentally drop it and break it into lots of letters. So it’s up to Elephant to help Duck and Bug put the banana back together and get it to Monkey.

Ant has to enlist the aid of his buggy buddies in “Bugs to the Rescue,” the final episode featured in WordWorld: Birthday Party! He has to get the help of his friends after the balloon that he built for his friend Bear accidentally floats away with Bear in it.

WordWorld: Birthday Party! will be available on DVD Tuesday, March 7th. It can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=57493336&cp=&kw=wordworld&origkw=wordworld&sr=1. More information on this and other WordWorld DVDs is available online now along with all of the latest WordWorld news at:

Website: https://www.wordworld.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WordWorld

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ESPN’s College GameDay To Air Live From Wichita State For The First Time February 28th

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Next Saturday’s broadcast of ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm is another big one for the Worldwide Leader in Sports.

Next Saturday, ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm will broadcast live from the campus of Wichita State. The broadcast will marks the first time ever that College GameDay Covered by State Farm will have ever broadcast live from the university’s campus. Saturday morning’s edition of College GameDay Covered by State Farm will kick off live at 10am ET on ESPNU and will continue at 11am on ESPN. It will precede the matchup of No. 13 Wichita State ad No. 11 Northern Iowa. Tipoff for that game is scheduled for 2pm ET.

The eveing edition of College GameDay Covered by State Farm will come live at 4pm ET on ESPN. It will come live from Lawrence, Kansas ahead of No. 8 Kansas taking on Texas. Tipoff for that game is scheduled for 5pm ET. Saturday evening’s broadcast from Lawrence marks the sixth time since 2005 that College GameDay Covered by State Farm has broadcast live from the University of Kasas. The last time that it originated from Lawrence, Kansas was 2013.

Stephen A. Smith will appear alongside host Rece Davis and analysts Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg, and Jay Williams for the A.M. edition of College GameDay Covered by State Farm. Once they finish with the morning edition, Davis and company will pack up and head to Lawrence for the evening edition. Dan Shulman and Jay Bilas will have the call for the Jayhawks-Longhorns game while Rich Hollenberg, Seth Greenberg, and Mark Adams will have the mic for the matchup of the Shockers and Panthers. Shannon Spake will be on the sidelines for the Kansas-Texas game.

All customers with access to ESPN3 will be able to watch that game with ESPN3 Surround featuring in-arena natural sound and exclusive views from high above the rim at each end of the court.
More information on next Saturdays’ broadcasts of College GameDay Covered by State Farm and all of the ESPN networks’ college basketball coverage is available online at:

Website: https://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ESPNCBB

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.