Yanks, BoSox Close Out Weekend Series Tonight On SNB

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The Yankees and Red Sox go under the lights live on ESPN once again tonight as they wrap their latest series.

The Red Sox look to finish off the Yankees tonight as they close out their latest series against their long-time rivals live on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell.  The Red Sox already already took the first two games in the teams’ weekend series 4 – 2, 8 – 0 Friday and Saturday respectively.  Nathan Eovaldi is expected to get the start for the Yankees tonight.  Eovaldi’s last time on the mound was April 25th against the Rangers.  He was impressive in that game, facing 24 batters and striking out 6 over the course of 7.2 innings.  He also kept the Rangers’ bats relatively quiet over that time, allowing only 2 hits but not one run, no home runs, and only 2 walks.

On the other side of the ball David Price is expected to take the mound for the Red Sox.  Price has been perfect for Boston so far this season going 3 – 0 in his starts so far.  His last time on the mound was April 26th against Atlanta.  Price struck out 14 of 33 batters over 8 innings allowing only 2 runs and 2 earned runs on 6 hits.  He walked only 2 of those 33 batters and kept the ball well inside the park, allowing 0 home runs.

Dan Shulman will be in the booth for tonight’s game.  He will be joined by analysts Aaron Boone and Jessica Mendoza for additional commentary.  Reporter Buster Olney will be on the field with all of the latest in-game news, interviews and more throughout the game.  The game will be simulcast live on ESPN Deportes for ESPN and the MLB’s Spanish-speaking audiences.  And those that won’t be near a TV during the game can also still catch it live as it will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio and online via WatchESPN.

Before the first pitch is thrown, Karl Ravech, Dallas Braden, and Tim Kurkjian will preview the night’s game while analyzing the weekend’s previous games live on Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown.  The trio will be live on site in Boston with all of the latest on tonight’s game and a recap of the weekend’s games.  Broadcast begins at 7pm ET on ESPN.

More information on tonight’s game is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBTN

 

 

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Yankees, Rangers Close Out 3-Game Series Tonight On ESPN

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s MLB broadcast schedule for this week has official been released.  And it’s going to be another busy one.  It all begins tonight on ESPN and ESPN Deportes with an American League showdown between two teams that are struggling to get some footing right now early in the season.

Tonight on ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball presented by Hankook Tire the Texas play host to the New York Yankees live at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.  The game is the rubber match in the teams’ three-game series, which began Monday.  The Yankees took Game 1 3 – 1.  But the Rangers didn’t stay down after that loss.  They stormed back Tuesday night, routing the Yankees 10 – 1.  CC Sabathia is expected to start for the “Pinstripers” in tonight’s game.  He is currently 1 – 1 so far on the season with his last start being on April 16th against Seattle.  Sabathia took the loss in that game.  He pitched a little more than four innings in the game, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and 3 earned runs.  He struck out five of the 22 batters that he faced in that time, though walking only 1 batter and allowing only 1 home run.  The rest of the Yankees’ dugout picked up the slack, keeping the Mariners’ bats relatively silent, allowing only 3 hits and striking out 8 total batters.  Along the way they allowed no walks, home runs, earned runs, or runs.

Martin Perez will get the start for the Rangers in tonight’s game.  Perez has struggled just as much as Sabathia this season, going winless in two starts.  His last time on the mound was last Friday, April 22nd against the Chicago White Sox.  Perez pitched 5.2 innings in the game, allowing 5 runs on 5 hits, and 5 earned runs.  He walked two and struck out just as many.  To the positive, of the 24 batters that he faced in the game, he prevented any of them from knocking one out of the park.  Needless to say he will be looking to bounce back just as much as Sabathia when New York and Texas round out their series.

In the bigger picture, both teams will have plenty more to play for tonight than just the series win.  The Yankees sit at the bottom of the AL East standing at 8 – 11.  On the other hand, Texas is 11- 10 so far on the season, only one game over .500.  The Rangers are 7 – 4 at home so far this season while the Yankees are 3 – 4 on the road.  New York is 4 – 6 in its last 10 games while Texas is 5 – 5.  So the odds would seem to be more in the Rangers’ favor for tonight’s game.

Jon Sciambi will be in the booth for tonight’s game.  He will be joined by analysts Rick Sutcliffe and Eduardo Perez for additional commentary.  The game will be blacked out in the New York market.  Coverage of the game is scheduled to begin at 8pm ET on ESPN.  Ahead of tonight’s broadcast, Karl Ravech, Alex Cora, and Jim Bowden will preview the game at 7pm ET on Baseball Tonight.  More information on tonight’s game is available online along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/bbtn

 

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PBS Distribution Releasing Another New Kate & Mim-Mim DVD Next Month

Courtesy:  Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution

Disney Junior’s hit series Kate & Mim-Mim will get its second home release of the year next month.

PBS Distribution will release Kate & Mim-Mim: Balloon Buddies on Tuesday, May 24th.  The DVD, which will feature three more episodes from the hit Disney Junior series, will be available in stores and online.  In the first of the disc’s featured episodes—the disc’s title episode—Kate wants to make a balloon buddy for Mim-Mim.  This is tied in to a big balloon parade in Mimiloo.  When Kate goes to Mimiloo she and her friends find a balloon tree, but all of the tree’s balloons are deflated.  So they have to figure out how to re-inflate them for the parade.

“Cloud Castle” is the disc’s second episode.  Kate’s head is in the clouds both figuratively and literally in this episode.  As she cloud gazes with her parents, Kate tells them that one of the clouds looks like Mim-Mim to her.  But her dad doesn’t see it.  Meanwhile when Kate goes to Mimiloo, she, Mim-Mim, and their friends pull clouds from the sky to make their own bouncy castle.  But their fun is short-lived  as the castle starts to float away

“Clean Sweep” rounds out this collection.  This episode is all about the importance of keeping things clean.  Kate is trying to clean up her room.  But it feels to her like it is taking forever to get it done.  Over in Mimiloo Kate and her friends want to have a picnic.  But their picnic basket is lost in a pile of Tack’s inventions.  Tack tries to clean up his mess, but he takes the quick way, which doesn’t end so well for him.  So unless they can get everything cleaned up it looks like the picnic might get canceled.

Kate & Mim-Mim: Balloon Buddies will be available in stores Tuesday, May 24th.  It will be available exclusively on DVD and will retail for MSRP of $6.99.  It can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=93347026&cp=&sr=1&kw=kate++mim-mim&origkw=kate+%26amp%3B+Mim-Mim&parentPage=search.  More information on Kate & Mim-Mim is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.kateandmimmim.com

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

 

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

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pbs

 

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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

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

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.

Nature: Raising The Dinosaur Giant Will Be A Giant Hit With Dinosaur Lovers Of All Ages

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

A few years ago, a farmer in Argentina was hunting for one of his sheep when he stumbled upon one of quite the surprising find. What the farmer found was the tip of a giant fossil bone sticking out of the ground. It was just the first of what became a massive excavation that unearthed some 200 other bones. The bones in question belonged to a group of plant-eating dinosaurs, or herbivores, that had previously been unknown. Now thanks to PBS and PBS Distribution audiences will get to learn about the find and the dinosaurs, which have yet to be named in a special new episode of its hit wildlife series Nature titled Raising The Giant Dinosaur.  The program is presented in partnership with BBC Earth.  It will be available Tuesday, April 26th.  This latest episode of Nature is a wonderful watch for audiences of all ages and interests, in both the living room and the classroom.  The central reason for this is the story at the center of the episode.  It presents the story of the dinosaur’s discovery and the process undertaken to remove its bones and reconstruct its skeleton so as to better visualize just how enormous it was.  The special effects that are used to help resurrect the creature so to speak are just as notable in the program’s overall presentation.  Audiences actually get to see the titanosaur come to life one element after another before their eyes as well as see how the dinosaur’s bones (and possibly those of other titanosurs) got to their final resting place.  Simply put, the CG is used in the utmost moderation here.  Because of this it actually adds to the program’s positives.  It is not the program’s last notable element either.  Its collective editing and pacing rounds out its presentation.  Together with the program’s central story and its minimalist use of computer graphics all three elements come together to make NatureRaising The Dinosaur Giant another impressive episode of PBS’ hit wildlife series.  They also combine to once more show why PBS remains today the very last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.

NatureRaising The Dinosaur Giant is yet another impressive episode of PBS’ hit wildlife series.  Yes, one would think that being about a dinosaur discovery this episode would be better suited as an episode of NOVA.  But it technically is about an animal, thus making it a fit albeit an intriguing one, for this series.  That is evident in part due to its story.  The story follows researchers’ efforts to uncover the skeleton of what is now known to be the biggest dinosaur species ever discovered to date.  Along the way host and narrator Sir David Attenborough reveals that the remains found were not just of one of the species but of at least seven separate dinosaurs, all of that same species.  He also takes viewers to a massive breeding ground for the dinosaurs, even showing respect for the creatures as he replaces a piece of egg shell that he discusses with one of the researchers studying the new species of titanosaur.  There is even a discussion during the course of the story’s presentation on how the bones ended up where they did.  It is presented in fully scientific fashion eventually coming to one final conclusion that will leave viewers just as surprised as the very revelation of the dinosaur’s size.  There is much more that could be discussed in terms of what makes the program’s story so interesting.  Viewers will be left to discover all of that remaining material for themselves when they order the DVD from PBS’ online store.  Of course it is just one part of the program that makes it well worth the watch. The program’s use of CG is just as important to note as its central story.

The story at the center of NatureRaising The Dinosaur Giant is an important part of the program’s whole.  However it isn’t the only important part of the program’s presentation.  The elements used to tell the story are just as important as the story itself.  In the case of this episode the CG elements that are used are the most notable.  The CG is used very minimally throughout the course of the episode’s roughly hour-long run time.  It is used to illustrate the theories of how the dinosaurs’ bones reached their final resting place and the sheer immensity of their nesting grounds, and most importantly to bring the dinosaur to life beyond just its skeleton.  As Attenborough discusses each aspect of the dinosaur’s makeup, a different part of it is revealed.  It starts with the dinosaur’s skeleton.  From there, Attenborough discusses the connection between the its size and its ability to pump enough blood throughout its body.  So its circulatory system is then added to the dinosaur’s skeleton.  Eventually audiences get to see the dinosaur in its full glory even to the point of seeing it with its skin, completely in tact.  Simply put those behind this episode of Nature kept its CG limited to only the important parts of the program whereas it would have been so easy to go full-on CG.  So it is nice to see that they didn’t.  That extreme moderation, when set alongside the episode’s central story, double the reason for educators and audiences in general to see this episode of Nature.  Even with the importance displayed by each element they still are not the episode’s only important elements.  The program’s collective pacing and editing combine to present the last of the program’s most important elements.

The story at the heart of Nature: Raising The Dinosaur Giant and its minimalist use of CG are both key elements in the program’s overall presentation.  While both elements are undeniably important to its presentation they are not its only important elements.  Its collective pacing and editing are just as important to the program as its story and special effects.  The program’s pacing is so important to note because the program covers so much ground (or uncovers in this case.  And, yes that bad pun as fully intended).  From figuring out how the dinosaur and its fellow titanosaurs ended up at their final resting place, to figuring out how the bones go together to figuring out the dinosaur’s diet and more there is a lot that is presented over the course of the program’s near hour-long presentation.  Thankfully the program offers just enough time to each element of the story; so much so that viewers will never feel lost.  In regards to the program’s editing, it is obvious that Attenborough covered a number of topics in each area of the program’s presentation both figuratively and literally.  Over the course of the program, it is clear in his attire that he didn’t just visit the place and record one little part.  He did a lot in terms of narration and more.  The end result, thanks to those that assembled the final product, is a presentation that moves seamlessly and fluidly from beginning to end even as each different topic is tackled.  The fashion in which the shots of Attenborough next to the dinosaur’s skeleton were edited together is just as impressive.  They fully capture the creature’s size versus that of humans.  Although, in comparison to the likes of say the diplodocus, which lived in the end of the Jurassic era, there might be some discussion there.  The largest ever found Diplodocus, which is a sauropod, just like the unnamed titanosaur was found to be roughly 171 feet long (longer than a football field) and a little more than 26 feet high.  The titanosaur found in 2014 however, was about 130 feet long and 66 feet tall.  Though, it did weigh quite a bit more—77 metric tons—than the noted biggest diplodocus ever found.  Even with this in mind, it could be argued that this titanosaur was the biggest dinosaur on earth at the time of its existence (the Cretaceous Period) but not of all time.  But that is a discussion for another time.  Getting back on the subject, just seeing its size, thanks to the work of those that edited the final project, serves to drive home just how massive the unnamed dinosaur was.  It’s just one of so many in ways in which the editing behind this episode of Nature proves to be such an enjoyable watch.  Together with the program’s pacing, its story, and its minimal use of special effects (which far too few shows across the board do) it rounds out the program’s noted positives and shows one last time just what makes it a program that is sure to impress dinosaur lovers of all ages and types.

Nature: Raising The Dinosaur Giant is a program that will impress dinosaur lovers of all ages and types.  The central story presented in this episode is one that uncovers an introduces one of the biggest dinosaurs to ever walk the earth.  And it does so in a fashion that is accessible to a wide range of viewers thanks to its topic and the approach to said topic.  The program’s minimal use of CGin comparison to the over-the-top amount used by certain other networks (which will remain unnamed here)—is just as important to the presentation.  That is because it shows the ability of those behind the program to tell an enthralling story without having to overdo it so to speak.  The collective pacing and editing incorporated into the program rounds out its positives.  Even with so much material to discuss, the pacing never leaves viewers feeling lost.  The editing does much the same.  It seamlessly ties everything together and solidifies the program’s place as one of this year’s top new documentaries.  That is the case even with the discussions that may well be raised in comparing the newly found titanosaur to other sauropods.  Nature: Raising The Dinosaur Giant will be available Tuesday, April 26th and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=88167686&cp=&kw=nature+raising+the+dinosaur+giant&origkw=nature+raising+the+dinosaur+giant&sr=1.  More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online now at:

 

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PBSNature

 

 

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.

Time Life’s New Bob Hope DVD Will Entertain Audiences Of Almost All Ages

Courtesy:  Time Life

Courtesy: Time Life

Bob Hope is one of the most legendary of American entertainers.  From television to movies to much more Hope entertained thousands if not millions of Americans over the course of his life and career.  And while Hope is no longer with us his legacy anything but died.  That is thanks to the advent of DVD and Blu-ray technology.  His classic films and TV appearances have been released any number of times over the years on both platforms.  And next month three of those TV performances will be available on DVD when Time Life Entertainment releases the new DVD Bob HopeEntertaining The Troops.  The single-disc DVD compilation presents three of Hope’s classic military Christmas shows.  Given, there are only three shows presented here.  Regardless they are still a collectively important part of the DVD’s presentation if not the core element of its presentation.  The specials’ look and sound in their presentation here is just as important to note as the specials themselves.  That will be discussed later.  The set’s companion booklet rounds out its presentation.  It presents a short but concise outline for each special.  This plays its own role in the DVD’s presentation and will be discussed later, too.  Each element noted here is important in its own way to the DVD’s presentation. Altogether they make the DVD one that should be in every comedy lover’s home DVD library.

Time Life’s new Bob Hope collection Bob HopeEntertaining The Troops is hardly the largest collection of Bob Hope specials to ever be released.  It only boasts three of his Christmas specials—one from 1970, another from 1971, and one more from 1951—but all three are entertaining in their own right.  Collectively they still do more good than harm to the DVD’s presentation.  That is because they are presented in whole just as they were in their original broadcasts.  This includes all of the jokes (some of which might be somewhat over younger viewers’ heads and in other cases too grown up for said viewers) and without any retouching, re-mastering or anything else.  There is even a question and answer session between famed astronaut Neil Armstrong and the troops that becomes quite tense at one moment in one of the specials.  How and why won’t be given away here.  But needless to say Armstrong lived up to his reputation of staying calm and cool even in said situation.  One of the really funny jokes that Hope pulls is presented more than once.  He jokes with a pair of beauty pageant queens (one in the 1970 special and another in the 1971 special), asking them where they were born.  The women both answer, to which Hope responds, asking “what part?”  The women then respond saying, “all of me.”  It’s a time-honored joke that’s been pulled plenty of times by other acts.  But it is no less funny in these cases.  There are also some warmer moments in which Hope connects with his military audiences, joking about the situations in which they are set.  For example in one special he jokes about the quality of the food at a mess hall, telling the troops to let him finish the joke so that they could get the punchline.  That was because his opening line got a big “boo” from the soldiers; not to his line but about the mess hall’s food.  The soldiers’ response to the punchline is classic.  Again, it won’t be revealed here.  But those that watch the moment for themselves will fully appreciate it.  Whether for that joke, the jokes with his fellow female performers, or for any of the other jokes shared throughout the specials, it can be said that the entertainment factor of this new collection is more than enough reason for audiences to check it out even if they weren’t even born at the time that they were recorded.

The entertainment factor presented in Time Life’s new Bob Hope compilation DVD is plenty of reason for audiences to check it out. It shows Bob’s ability to bring much-needed laughs to so many audiences in the most difficult situations.  They leave at least this critic wishing that there was a comic like him alive today.  Sadly none come to mind.  Audiences looking for real laughs will agree with that sentiment after watching these specials.  Of course the disc’s entertainment factor is just one part of its presentation that is worth noting.  Their look and sound in their presentation here is just as important to note.  Viewers will note in watching each special that none of the presented footage has been touched in its transfer from its masters to DVD.  There are some questionable camera movements and other slight issues here and there.  There is even a disclaimer at the front end of each special making note of the specials’ production values.  Believe it or not it is actually a good thing that the footage wasn’t cleaned up, re-worked, re-mastered, or whatever term one wants to use here.  That is because as it is, those imperfections add a certain warmth to the viewing experience so to speak.  They remind audiences not just of how far television has come.  It may sound like a stretch but even something as simple as video imperfection may trigger a sense of nostalgia for older audiences much like the static of a vinyl LP versus the crisp, clean sound of music on CD.  The sound quality of the specials is surprisingly impressive especially considering the recording tech available all those years ago.  That there was no re-mastering done in the specials’ transfer from their masters to DVD makes this even more impressive.  Audiences won’t find themselves adjusting the volume at any point to make up for any audio issues.  That in itself speaks volumes about the specials’ sound quality, no pun intended.  Both elements taken collectively into consideration, they show even more alongside the general presentation of the specials why this small collection should be in any family’s home DVD library.  These elements are not all to note of the DVD’s presentation either.  The companion booklet that is included with the DVD rounds out its positives.

The general presentation of the specials in Time Life’s new Bob Hope holiday special collection are a big part of the collection’s presentation especially being that the collection only boasts three of his many Christmas military tribute shows.  The specials’ production values are just as important to note.  That is because even without any re-mastering they still look and sound surprisingly good.  That is especially important to note considering the age of each special’s footage.  While both elements are key to the DVD’s presentation they are not the only important elements to note.  Believe it nor not the collection’s companion booklet plays its own important part in the collection’s presentation.  Much like the companion booklets that come with so many other Time Life DVDs and Blu-rays this DVD’s companion booklet serve as complete guides for audiences.  Each special is broken down with its own segment guide, and a detailed, concise outline of the special.  That’s just the beginning for each guide.  Each special’s guide also includes a full listing of its featured performers an exact air date.  All things considered the companion booklet that comes with this DVD is more than just a companion to the collection.  It is its own standout portion of the collection’s viewing experience.  Together with the presentation of its specials and their production values, all three elements join together to make Bob Hope: Entertaining The Troops a collection that while small, will still entertain audiences of almost all ages, proving once again why it deserves a spot in any family’s home DVD library.

Bob Hope: Entertaining The Troops is a collection that while relatively small, will still entertain audiences of almost all ages today.  Younger children obviously are perhaps the only exception to that rule.  Other than that it is, again a collection that will entertain audiences of almost all ages.  That is due in large part to its featured specials.  It features three of Hope’s classic Christmas tributes to the military.  All three specials are presented in their entirety.  All three are also presented as they were in their original broadcasts in terms of their video and audio.  The video might not be HD or perfect in other technical senses.  But those imperfections make the video perfect in each special.  The audio is just as surprisingly impressive in each special, too.  Rounding out the DVD’s presentation is its companion booklet.  The booklet is not just another booklet.  Its detailed, concise summaries of the specials and equally detailed segment guides, air date, and performer lists within each special proves the booklet to be its own important part of the DVD’s presentation.  This is nothing new for Time Life.  Each one of its previous DVD and Blu-ray releases include their own equally in depth companion booklets.  All things considered Bob Hope: Entertaining The Troops proves in the end to be a collection that while small, will be a big hit with audiences of almost all ages.  It will be available Tuesday, May 10th and can be ordered online direct via Amazon.  More information on this and other titles from Time Life is available online now along with all of the latest news from Time Life Entertainment at:

 

 

Website: http://timelife.com

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

 

 

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Shout! Factory To Re-Issue Classic Adaptation Of The Merchant Of Venice

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

William Shakespeare is one of the greatest playwrights of all time if not the greatest.  His plays have been adapted more times than any one person can count both on stage and screen throughout the ages.  And next month Shout! Factory will re-issue just one of those many adaptations when it releases a made-for-TV take of Shakespeare’s comedy The Merchant of Venice.

Shout! Factory will release The Merchant of Venice on Friday, May 17th.  The 1973 take on the timeless play stars Sir Laurence Olivier (Spartacus, Rebecca, Clash of the Titans) opposite then wife Joan Plowright (101 Dalmatians, Dennis The Menace, Bringing Down The House) as Slylock.  Plowright plays the part of Portia, love interest to leading man Bassanio (Jeremy Brett – My Fair Lady, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of Four, The Hound of the Baskervilles).  Bassanio is in love with Portia.  But in order to win her hand and her heart he needs money.  So he takes a loan from Shylock.  The problem is that it turns out Bassanio can’t pay back Shylock’s loan.  So it’s up to Portia to save Bassanio from a very bad fate.  Anthony Nicholls (Othello, A Man for All Seasons, The Omen) stars as Bassanio’s friend Antonio.  The movie is taken from the 1970 National Theatre stage production. Which also starred the same cast as is present here.

The Merchant of Venice will be released Tuesday, May 17th in stores and online.  It will be available exclusively on DVD and will retail for MSRP of $19.97.  It can be pre-ordered online now at a discounted price of $16.97 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-drama/the-merchant-of-venice.  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

 

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.