CMG’s ‘Lured’ Re-Issue Leads Phil’s Picks’ 2016 Top 10 New DVD/BD Re-Issues List

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

It’s hard to believe but there are now only two weeks left in the year.  There’s still so much ground to cover before the year ends, too in terms of year-ender lists. This morning we move on again, staying still in the DVD and BD category, though.  On tap today we have the list of the year’s top new DVD/BD Re-Issues.

Included in this list are box sets and standalone DVDs/BDs.  So it’s a mix.  But it’s a solid mix.  Topping this year’s list of top new re-issues is Cohen Media Group’s re-issue of the 1947 thriller Lured.  The movie was one of star Lucille Ball’s very rare non-comedic roles, and she shines brightly in this movie.  The bonus commentary included in the movie adds even more to its viewing experience.

Speaking of bonus material, this critic took into account the re-issues’ bonus material as well as their packaging in assembling this list. It wasn’t easy.  But it is what this critic feels is a solid list nonetheless.  As a reminder, the list includes not only the Top 10 New DVD/BD re-issues but five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  That being said, here for you is Phil’s Picks’ 2016 Top 10 New DVD/BD Re-Issues.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2016 TOP 10 NEW DVD/BD RE-ISSUES

 

  1. Lured

 

  1. Sudden Fear

 

  1. Return of the Killer Tomatoes

 

  1. Charlie Brown’s All-Stars

 

  1. A Boy Named Charlie Brown

 

  1. Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home

 

  1. A Scandal in Paris

 

  1. The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series

 

  1. Transformers: The Movie

 

  1. Bump in the Night

 

  1. Kingdom of Zydeco

 

  1. Hogan’s Heroes: The Complete Series

 

  1. The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Series

 

  1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

 

  1. Beauty and the Beast

 

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Time Life’s Latest Carol Burnett Show Collection Was Well Worth The Wait

Courtesy:  Time Life Entertainment

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment

Three years ago Time Life Entertainment resurrected one of the greatest series in television’s modern history when it brought to audiences the first of its now multiple box sets from The Carol Burnett Show.  Since the release of those early box sets by Time Life back in 2012, audiences have also seen those early sets released in an “Ultimate Collection” late in 2014, with said collection being followed by even more compilations.  The latest of those compilations, The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes, was released late last month.  The six-disc collection features a healthy offering of episodes from the hit variety series’ first five seasons.  As Burnett explains in the introduction to the collection’s liner notes, these episodes (which will likely be followed by more collections) were held up for years due simply to lengthy legal matters.  Those legal matters having been settled, audiences have finally gotten at least some of those early episodes in the form of this collection.  And that within itself is plenty of reason for any Carol Burnett Show fan to add this box set to their own home DVD library.  The writing and acting within each of the set’s episodes will put just as much of a smile on viewers’ faces.  Rounding out the presentation is its bonus episode guide.  The episode guide is, much as with previous Carol Burnett Show sets not just an episode guide, but yet another history lesson that enriches viewers’ overall experience in watching the featured episodes.  Each noted element makes the compilation enjoyable it in its own right.  All three elements together make this latest addition to Time Life’s ongoing series of Carol Burnett Show compilations yet another enjoyable addition to any fan’s home DVD library.

Time Life Entertainment’s latest installment in its ongoing series of releases from The Carol Burnett Show is yet another enjoyable addition to the home DVD library of any one of the show’s fans.  The main reason for that is the very availability of these episodes.  While it obviously is not the full run of the series’ first five seasons it still presents a healthy offering of episodes from that run.  Burnett herself notes in the collection’s liner notes that the episodes featured here have until now been unavailable to fans of the classic variety series due to certain legal issues.  Thankfully it looks like at least some (if not all) of those issues have been settled, thus resulting in the release of the episodes featured in this collection.  One can only hope that it is just the first of the episodes from the show’s early seasons to be released, too.  That is because in an age when there is so much sex and violence dominating television, every one of these largely family friendly episodes provides a much welcome and needed respite from those other shows.  Each episode is such a welcome break from today’s television thanks in large part to the work of the show’s writers, which is the next reason for its enjoyment.

The episodes featured in Time Life Entertainment’s latest Carol Burnett Show collection are in themselves plenty of reason for fans of the series to add the box set to their own home DVD libraries.  That is because until their release this year, they had been unavailable to audiences on any platform.  They are just part of what makes this new compilation well worth the watch, too.  The work of both the writers and actors within each of the presented episodes adds even more to this set’s enjoyment.  One of the prime examples of the writers’ ability to entertain audiences within this set comes early on in an episode that sees Burnett and guest star Nanette Fabray play a pair of pregnant women waiting to see their doctor.  The comedy contained within this episode is timeless.  The dialogue shared between the duo will have every woman out there laughing uproariously because of their ability to relate to said topics.  On a related note, the pair’s portrayal will have women laughing just as much regardless of whether or not they have been pregnant.  Later in the set’s run, viewers are treated to a handful of equally entertaining performances by the late, great Andy Griffith.  Griffith’s take on the tale of the mouse and the lion will have viewers just as entertained.  It stays largely true to Aesop’s original tale. Of course there are some changes and updates to the story that will put a smile on any viewer’s face.  The same can be said of Griffith’s portrayal of Joe in the skit “Mr. Law and Order” will entertain viewers just as much.  That’s because it is a full-on spoof of his former character in The Andy Griffith Show almost in the vein of Mad Magazine.  If that’s not enough for fans, Don Adams’ appearance in the collection is one more great example of how the writers’ efforts will entertain viewers.  That is made clear in “The Donny Bishop Show,’ which openly throws jabs at The Late Show With Johnny Carson.  Adams fills in for Carson while Harvey Korman takes the place of Ed McMahon.  The whole presentation is intentionally terrible complete with the worst possible camera and mic operators.  Burnett is a laugh riot as the “show’s” special guest.  Seeing Adams constantly covering his face in his attempts to keep from completely breaking down in laughter will have viewers laughing just as much.  It’s just one more way in which the work of both the show’s writers and actors keeps audiences laughing nonstop throughout The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes.  There are plenty of other episodes that could serve as example of their ability to keep viewers entertained such as Harvey and Carol’s work in the show’s beloved “The Old Folks” skits, Carol’s work with famed singer Mel Torme in “The Tin Pan Alley Story” and Jim Nabors’ partnering with Carol in “The Ski Lodge” just to name a few more key episodes.  Whether one chooses one of those episodes, one of the ones more directly addressed, or any of the others, every viewer will agree that the collection in whole presents plenty of great examples of how the writers and actors make The Lost Episodes a laugh riot from beginning to end.

The work of The Carol Burnett Show’s writers in conjunction with that of the show’s cast and guest stars makes for plenty of enjoyment for viewers throughout every episode included in The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes. For all of the enjoyment that they bring viewers, they are not the only elements of this set that fans will appreciate. The companion booklet included with the set is just as important to the set’s presentation as the previously noted elements. That is because it is, as with previous Carol Burnett Show box set booklets, it isn’t just a companion booklet. Yes, it is an episode guide. But it is more than that. Throughout the course of the booklet, fans are presented with a rather rich history on not just the episodes themselves but of the series in whole. For example, audiences learn in the summary for Show #006 that this audience marked the debut of both Lucille Ball and Tim Conway on Burnett’s show. There is an additional tidbit noting Conway’s notoriety coming into his debut thanks to his work on McHale’s Navy. Burnett also reveals in the companion booklet that her love for “backstage movie musicals” was her inspiration behind the “Tin Pan Alley” sketch in Show #107. And in regards to Jim Nabors’ appearance in Show #003, it is revealed that he was the very first guest star to appear in The Carol Burnett Show in what would then become an eleven year-run on CBS. The discussion here goes on to note that his appearance was such a success that the show’s heads had him back on the season premiere of every season that followed. Interestingly enough, Nabors, as is explained in the show’s summary here, was not exactly an unknown upon his first appearance on The Carol Burnett Show. In fact, he was already enjoying his celebrity of his own hit sit-com, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., which itself was a spinoff of The Andy Griffith Show. So it should probably be no surprise that Andy Griffith himself would go on to appear on The Carol Burnett Show, too. The information on Nabors’ appearance on The Carol Burnett Show is just one more of so many examples of the depth of information provided by Time Life Entertainment in The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes. There is so much more interesting information shared throughout the set’s companion booklet that fans and audiences in general will enjoy learning. Together with the enjoyment brought by both the show’s writers and cast, the set in whole proves itself in the end to be yet another joy for any fan of The Carol Burnett Show and for lovers of classic television in general.

The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes is not the first collection of episodes to be released by Time Life Entertainment. And more than likely it will not be the last thanks to the efforts of certain parties to obtain the distribution rights for the show’s first five seasons. With any luck fans will hopefully one day see the release of this series in whole rather than just in a continued series of compilation sets since those matters have been settled. Until then though, this latest collection of episodes will more than please any Carol Burnett Show fan. That is thanks to the work of both the show’s writers and its cast. The attention to detail in the set’s companion booklet adds even more enjoyment as it helps provide even more interesting background information on the series. All in all, the combination of those elements combined with the very availability of these episodes makes The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes yet another collection one that any of the show’s fans and any lover of classic television will want to have in his or her own home DVD library. It is available now and can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Carol-Burnett-Show-Lost-Episodes/dp/B011QLAYCU/ref=pd_bxgy_74_img_y. More information on this and other titles from Time Life Entertainment is available online now at:

 

Website: http://timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

 

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Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show Keeps The Laughs Coming In Its Third Season

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show is one of the greatest sitcoms of the twentieth century. While it only ran for a total of four seasons from 1955 – 1959, it still has gone on to prove itself more original and entertaining than most of the series on television today trying to call themselves sitcoms. That is proven through the awards that it won throughout its original run on CBS and through its continued popularity in its ongoing series of releases from Shout! Factory and CBS DVD. In 2010, the two companies released the series’ first season in its own standalone season set. It was followed up last year with the release of the show’s full series set in 2014 and Season Two earlier this year. Late this summer Season Three was released to the masses, too. The latest, but not last release from this classic series, it is yet another wonderful addition to the collection of any Phil Silvers Show fan and of any classic TV fan. The main reason that it is such a welcome set of episodes is the writing behind every one of this season’s episodes. This includes not just the stories penned for each episode but also the dialogue and jokes. They are collectively even more example of everything that once made television so great for audiences of all ages. The work of the show’s cast is once again of note, too. From Silvers himself to his fellow cast mates and the show’s guest stars, there are plenty of laughs to be had thanks to the work of the show’s cast. Last but not least of note is the bonus material included with this season’s set. The commentary from veteran actor Dick Van Dyke in “Hillbilly Whiz” makes for its own enjoyment. The bonus interviews with his daughters Nancey and Tracey add even more interest to the overall viewing experience as does Silvers’ interview on The Paul Ryan Show. Each element within itself makes the third season of Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show enjoyable in its own right. All three elements combined, they make this latest installment of one of television’s greatest sitcoms another fully welcome addition to the collection of any of the show’s fans and of any classic TV lover.

The third season of Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show is another fully welcome addition to the collection of any of the show’s fans and of any classic TV lover. The main reason for this is the work of the show’s writers. The stories that were penned for each of the season’s thirty-seven (yes, thirty-seven) episodes are each well worth the watch and laughs that are generated in and of themselves. The dialogue, which includes the countless jokes, should also be noted as part of the writing. One of the best examples of how the episodes themselves serve to make this season so enjoyable is “Bilko and the Flying Saucers.” It’s one of the series’ rare moments in which the writers didn’t have Bilko trying one of his usual get rich quick schemes. Rather he just decides to pull a prank on some of his fellow officers by getting them to believe that aiens have landed . The end result of the whole thing is just as funny as the rest of the story. And thsoe that know their movie history will love the direct homage paid to the classic 1951 sci-fi/political drama The Day The Earth Stood Still. It’s a minor homage but still a great addition to the episode’s writing regardless. It is just one of so many examples of how the writing succeeds so well this season not just in terms of the episodes but their overall content, too. “Hillbilly Whiz” is another great example of why the writing behind each of this season’s episodes is so strong. It is in this episode that a then very young Dick Van Dyke is transferred to Sgt. Bilko’s unit and just happens to have quite the throwing arm. Biko takes notice and decides to try and sell the talented young solider to the New York Yankees. The catch is that he [the soldier] is from the south and wholeheartedly refuses to play for the Yankees as a result of his heritage. What Van Dyke’s explanation behind why he can’t sign with the Yankees is in itself just one of so many examples in this episode of why its writing is so great in considering the episode’s content. The way in which Bilko gets the Yankees’ scout interested in the young pitcher is just as funny. It’s yet another way that the writing shines within the episode. Even when the young man tells Biko early on about the ease of hitting a target a one hundred fifty feet away, there’s something so funny about it. That is tied more in to the work of the show’s cast and will be discussed at more length later. “The Colonel’s Inheritance” is one more example of how important the writing is within this season. The very concept of Bilko investing the Colonel’s (his superior officer) money in the stock market only to lose it makes for plenty of laughs. His attempts to recoup the lost money are just as hilarious, again showing the skill of the show’s writers not only in developing entertaining stories but in executing said stories, too. All three episodes noted here are prime examples of why the writing behind this season’s episodes is so important to the season’s success. They are only a glimpse into that, too. Any one of this season’s episodes could just as easily be used to exemplify the importance of the show’s writing. That having been noted, the work of the series’ writers this season is only one part of what makes it so enjoyable. The work of the show’s cast (including the guest stars) is just as noteworthy.

The work of the writers behind Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show in its third season lies at the heart of the season’s enjoyment and overall success. The stories that make up Season Three’s episodes and their content therein make for more than their share of laughs no matter how many times audiences watch them. It–the writing–is just one part of what makes this season so enjoyable, though. The work of the series’ cast (including its guest stars) lies right next to the writing at the center of this season’s enjoyment and success. From the season’s premiere to its finale Silvers’ comic timing is spot on in every episode. Every time that he comes up with a new hair-brained scheme to make some quick money, there is a certain look on his face that is difficult to put into words. But audiences that are familiar with the series know that look. There is something so funny about that simple look. His reactions when his schemes ultimately fail for one reason or another are just as entertaining. In regards to the show’s guest stars, Dick Van Dyke was spot on hilarious in “Hillbilly Whiz.” The look on his face when he originally showed Bilko and company his pitching talent and his motions are riotously entertaining. He looks like a circus clown without the makeup as he makes his throws. It is such a classic moment both for the show and for Van Dyke. This and the other examples noted here are their own small glimpse of why the work of the show’s cast is just as important to the show’s enjoyment and success as the work of the show’s writers. Both elements set alongside one another paint a rich picture as to why the third season of Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show is so enjoyable. They still are not the only reasons that this season is so enjoyable, either. The bonus material featured in this season’s standalone set round out the reasons that Season Three is so enjoyable.

The work of Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show’s writers and cast collectively makes for plenty of laughs and entertainment from one episode to the next in this classic series’ third season. They are of course only two thirds of the whole of this season’s positives. The bonus material included in this season’s set rounds out the reasons that Season Three proves so enjoyable. Included in this season’s set is another pair of interviews with Phil Silvers’ daughters Nancey and Tracey as well as commentary from Dick Van Dyke on the episode “Hillbilly Whiz.” The interviews with Silvers’ daughters offers its own insightful look behind the scnes at Phil Silvers the man and Phil Silvers the actor. That insight in itself adds even more interest to this season’s set. Van Dyke’s commentary adds its own share of interest and insight, too. Audiences that watch “Hillbilly Whiz” will be interested to learn that Van Dyke was actually just starting out when he came on board for this episode. The days of The Dick Van Dyke Show were still some time away at the tim of this episode’s broadcast. On another note, viewers will be just as interested to learn that it was actually thanks to one of the people behind The Andy Griffith Show that he even got the chance to appear in this episode. Van Dyke even jokingly says that considering his character’s profile in “Hillbilly Whiz,” he could have been Gomer Pyle before Gomer Pyle existed. That little moment will have any classic TV buff laughing along with him. He offers plenty more insight throughout the episode than is mentioned here. And in hearing said inight, audiences will agree that his commentary in whole makes this episode even funnier than it is without said commentary. What’s more it makes one wonder just how much more enjoyable the season’s other episodes would be if they had featured their own commentary. Regardless, every one of the episodes featured throughout Season Three is funny in its own right. Getting back on track, the combination of that commentary and the interviews with Silvers’ daughters make for their own share of enjoyment that together with the work of the series’ writers and cast will have viewers laughing nonstop from the season premiere to its finale.

The third season of CBS’ classic sitcom Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show offers fans of the series and classic TV fans in whole plenty of entertainment from its season premiere to its finale. That is thanks in large part to the work of both its writers and its cast. The addition of the interviews with Silvers’ daughters Nancey and Tracey, and the bonus commentary from Dick Van Dyke in “Hillbilly Whiz” makes this season all the more enjoyable. All three elements together make Season Three clearly one more fully welcome addition to the collection of any of the series’ fans as well as any lover of classic TV in general. Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show: The Third Season is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/comedy/sgt-bilko-the-phil-silvers-show-season-three. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

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Fans Of The “Western World” Will Enjoy TMG’s The Rebel: The Collector’s Edition

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Next Tuesday, Timeless Media Group will resurrect another piece of television’s golden era when it releases The Rebel: The Collector’s Edition. While not the first time that any of the classic Western series’ episodes have ever seen the light of day, the release of the box set will mark the first time ever that the series will have been released in its entirety. That very fact is one reason, if not the most important reason, that fans of this and other classic Westerns will want to add this box set to their home libraries. The series’ production values in its re-issue are just as important to note. Thanks to the efforts of those charged with restoring the footage, it still retains its classic vintage look and sound without looking any worse or even spit-shined. This includes it being presented in its original 4:3 format. Last but hardly least worth noting of the series that makes it worth any Western fan’s time is its writing. The series’ premise and various storylines set this series apart from the glut of other Westerns that dominated the airwaves from the late 1950s up until roughly the early 1970s. Thanks to the “rural purge,” all of those shows eventually met their demise along with the likes of Green Acres, The Andy Griffith Show, The Beverly Hillbillies and other series of that ilk. All three elements combined, they show clearly why TMG’s upcoming release of The Rebel: The Collector’s Edition a collection that every Western fan will want to have in his or her home DVD library.

Timeless Media Group’s upcoming release of The Rebel: The Collector’s Edition is not the first time that this classic Western has ever seen the light of day in any form. It is however, the first time ever that the series will have been released in its entirety in one complete collection. For fans of the classic Western series, this is the core reason that its release will be quite welcome. Nearly six decades have passed since The Rebel first aired on ABC. And more than half a century has passed since it ended its two-season run. In that time, it has never seen a complete series release either on VHS or DVD. That means the only other set to which this box set can be compared is the thirty-episode set The Rebel Volume 1: Collector’s Edition. That set doesn’t even present half of the classic Western’s episodes. More specifically, it only presents thirty of the series’ seventy-six total episodes. It also comes complete with a number of extras that more than live up to the title of bonus features. Among those extras is a retrospective on the series presented by series writer/producer A.J. Fenady, an interview with star Nick Adams’ children Allyson and Jeb, and even the pilot episode for The Rebel’s proposed spinoff series The Yank. The standard production stills gallery are there as are a number of commercials featuring Adams. All things considered, the end result here is material (bonus and main) that totals in the range of forty-hours. Now that is a true binge-worthy offering. And it is just one part of what makes this first ever full release of The Rebel worth the addition to the library of any of the series’ fans and to those of any fan of the Western world (and yes, that pun was fully intentional).

TMG’s presentation of The Rebel in its entirety for the first time is plenty of reason for fans of the series to add this new box set to his or her own home library. The additional material that is included to complement the series adds even more motivation for fans of both the series and of classic Westerns. Collectively, they give fans plenty of reason to pick up this box set. They are only part of the whole reason that the set proves so impressive. The look and sound of the footage in its restoration (I.E. its production values) play into its end result, too. Considering that a little more than half a century has passed since The Rebel ended its original run on ABC and that its episodes have barely even seen the light of day since then, the quality of the footage in regards to its video and audio mix is surprisingly impressive. Those charged with restoring the footage are to be highly commended for their efforts to bring this classic series back to life. It is thanks to their work that the footage retains the grainy look from its original run on television so many decades ago. Yet it is obvious that it has been cleaned up without being completely spit-shined. It even retains its original 4:3 aspect ratio from its original run. The result of that work is a sense of nostalgia that the show’s original fans will appreciate wholeheartedly and a whole new appreciation for the series by its younger audiences. In regards to the sound quality, it still retains some of the show’s original audio imperfections. But those imperfections are not so overpowering that they ruin the set by any means. Rather, the fact that it retains said imperfections actually adds to that sense of nostalgia established via the quality of the video. It has obviously been re-mastered as best as possible by those same people who restored the show’s footage for its presentation here. Thanks to their efforts here, that sense of nostalgia is heightened even more with the end result being seventy-six episodes that look and sound almost exactly as they did in their original run if not a little better at the same time. It’s yet another reason that this new release will impress fans of the series just as much as those audiences that are fans of the Western genre in whole.

Both the presentation of The Rebel in its entirety here and the equally impressive work of those that restored the footage play their own important part in the enjoyment and success of this classic series. For all of their importance to the presentation in whole, they are hardly all that make the set worth the purchase. The work of the show’s writers is just as important as those elements to the overall enjoyment and success of this set. The work of the show’s writers is to be noted because it is thanks to their work that the show set itself so clearly apart from its counterparts on NBC, CBS, and ABC alike all beginning with the show’s premise. Looking at the series’ premise, it could be argued that Johnny Yuma was one of television’s earliest crime fighters. In Johnny, viewers get a man who is essentially an anti-hero figure of sorts. He is trying to make up for the things that he did in the Civil War. In turn, he becomes a roaming, crime fighter, righting wrongs wherever he goes. In the process, he avoids the use of violence whenever possible. That aspect of Johnny sets him apart from so many other classic western figures. This is so interesting in that while he is an anti-hero figure of sorts, it shows that he has a conscience at least to a point. He isn’t just another stereotypical shoot first-ask questions later type that is so common among western figures. That very basis provides more than enough reason for audiences to watch each of Johnny’s adventures. And audiences will be happy to know that thanks to the inclusion of an episode guide printed on the inside front and back of both cases, they will be able to choose which adventure(s) they enjoy with each watch. Regardless of which episode(s) audiences choose, they will agree that in watching each one, the writing proves to be some of the most underappreciated of television’s “Western era.” And combined with the previously noted elements, rounds out the reasons that Western aficionados will enjoy and appreciate this new set.

TMG’s upcoming release of The Rebel: The Collector’s Edition marks the first time that the series has ever been released in its entirety in any setting. That being the case, TMG and those charged with restoring the classic yet short-lived series are to be collectively applauded for the product that is presented in this upcoming box set. From the very fact that the box set includes the series in its entirety and does so with quality video and audio, to writing (both in regards to Johnny’s own back story and in regards to the episodes themselves), everything that has already been noted shows clearly why this new box set is one that any fan of The Rebel and that any fan of the “Western World” (is that term copyrighted yet?) will appreciate. The Rebel: The Collector’s Edition will be available next Tuesday, August 18th in stores and online. It will retail for MSRP of $59.97 but can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store at a discounted price of $53.97 at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/western/the-rebel-the-complete-series-the-collector-s-edition. More information on this and other titles from Timeless Media Group is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/timeless-media-group

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364

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Paramount, CBS DVD’s Gomer Pyle Full Series Re-Issue Is One Of 2015’s Best New Box Sets For Families

Courtesy:  CBS DVD/Paramount Studios Home Entertainment

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount Studios Home Entertainment

Well surprise, surprise, surprise! Gomer Pyle is back! This past March, CBS DVD resurrected the classic sitcom Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. in its entirety for a whole new generation of audiences and for the show’s original viewers. Last month’s re-issue is only the first time since its original release in 2008 that entire series has been released in one collection. And regardless of one’s familiarity with the series, audiences will instantly be impressed by the set’s packaging. By comparison to the series’ 2008 release, this box set is far more ergonomic than that 2008 release. In other words, the packaging, while slightly bulky, is far less bulky than the series’ 2008 box set. The writing behind the series’ five-season run is just as entertaining today, too as it was in the series’ original run from 1964 – 1969. The material included as bonuses in this set rounds it out. That is not to discount the still impressive look and sound of the series’ footage, either. Even that should be noted. Whether for that element or for any of the others noted here, audiences will agree in watching CBS DVD’s newly re-issued full series set of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. that there is plenty to like in this box set. Audiences will also agree that because there is so much to like, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.: The Complete Series is more than deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s Best New Box Set For Families come December.

Paramount and CBS DVD’s newly re-issued full series set of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. is one of this year’s best new box sets for the whole family hands down. Considering that this classic sitcom’s full series set has already seen release in 2008, the instant question that is likely raised by many is with such a short span of time having passed between its (so far) two releases, what sets this set apart from the sitcom’s previous release? For that matter, what sets it apart from all of the other TV sets released so far this year, too? One answer is the new set’s packaging. In comparison to the packaging of the series’ 2008 release, the packaging is far more ergonomic than that of the 2008 box set. Rather than just placing five stand-alone box sets in a larger box, Paramount and CBS DVD have taken all twenty-four discs that make up the series and placed them into one large box set. Each of the discs is placed on one side or another of twelve separate “plates” inside the box. While the end result is still slightly bulky, it saves far more space on any fan’s DVD rack than the series’ previously released full series set. While many people take packaging for granted, this is one of those times in which packaging shows to be just as important as any other element in a box set. It leaves one wondering how much space could be saved with a Blu-ray release since so much more information can be stored on a BD than on a DVD. Time will tell. But maybe Paramount and CBS DVD will take that subtle suggestion into consideration and perhaps re-issue the full series on Blu-ray in the not too distant future. In the meantime, this set will definitely do if only for its packaging.

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C: The Full Series’ packaging in its new re-issue is a subtle element in considering what makes it such a welcome re-issue. But when compared to the series’ 2008 release, it proves to be far more important than one might think. It’s a rarity for packaging to play such an important role in a box set. But it truly does play an integral role in this case. It’s only one element of this box set that makes it so enjoyable. The work of the show’s writers is just as important to the whole as the packaging if not more important. And so much could be said of the writing, too, beginning with Gomer’s relationship with Sgt. Carter. The relationship in question comes across as almost that of a surrogate father and son with Gomer filling out the role of the son and Sgt. Carter the father. Considering this, one can’t help but root for Gomer as he constantly tries to do the right thing and impress Sgt. Carter just as a son would a father yet stumbling and learning the whole way along. As audiences will see throughout the series, right up to its finale, even Sgt. Carter himself finds himself truly appreciating Gomer in his surrogate father role. It is a really entertaining and at times touching aspect of the series writing that despite its subtlety plays one of the most important roles of all in regards to the series’ writing. On a larger scale, the work of the writers in regards to the episodes should be noted, too. Of the series’ 150 episodes there is not one bad episode. That is evident right from the series’ premiere in which Gomer first arrives at the base and begins his training as a Marine. The gags and jokes that are written for Nabors are just as funny today as they were in the show’s original broadcast on CBS so long ago. Audiences know this especially from that episode’s closing scene just what’s in store for Gomer and Sgt. Carter from that point on. It goes without saying that the show more than lives up to those expectations from there on out. Audiences will love seeing Gomer capture a submarine without even trying during his platoon’s training with its Navy counterparts. This even after he caused so much havoc for Sgt. Carter and the others along the way. Gomer’s trip back home to Mayberry late in the series is one of the series’ best. He discovers that all of his old friends and his cousin are all gone on vacation. His sadness is something to which so many viewers can relate even today whether they are military or just someone coming home from college or even from visiting their old home town after having lived elsewhere for an extended time. Making this episode even more enjoyable is that while all of his old friends are away, Gomer helps Andy’s replacement catch a pair of crooks. If this great episode isn’t enough example of why the series’ writing is so important, there is another episode that sees Gomer encounter “men from Mars” that are actually actors in a movie being filmed near the marine base. Gomer’s reaction to the actors is hilarious as is Sgt. Carter’s reaction to Gomer’s continued assertions. The series’ finale is one more wonderful example of the importance of the series’ writing in the success of this re-issued box set. This episode is that rare moment when both Gomer and Sgt. Carter show the bond formed between them but of which they have never spoken. It is such a moving moment and one of the best of the best from this classic series. And it is one more way that the writing proves to be so important to the enjoyment and success of the set.

The episodes noted here are each great examples of what makes Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. such a hit for audiences of any age. The notation of those episodes is not to take away from any of the series’ other episodes either. Every one of the series’ 150 total episodes could just as easily be used as examples of what makes the series’ writing so impressive. It would take far too long to go into detail about each one, obviously. So moving on, there is one more element of this box set that makes it so enjoyable. That last element is the set’s collective bonus material. Included as bonus material in the set are audio introductions for every one of Season One’s episodes as well as commentaries on specific episodes. Also included is the complete pilot that led to the birth of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. As if that isn’t enough, Paramount and CBS DVD have also included clips of Jim Nabors on The David Frost Show and on his own show, Jim Nabors Hour. Paramount and CBS DVD even went as far as to include a clip from the classic series The Lucy Show. The bonus clips are themselves enjoyable in their own right. But the bonus audio introductions in Season One are the real highlight of the bonus material. The select audio commentaries live up to the title of bonus material, too. It would just have been nice to have even more. In the same vein it would have been wonderful to have the audio introductions throughout all five seasons. Beggars can’t be chooser, though. Perhaps if Paramount and CBS DVD should re-issue the series on Blu-ray in the not too distant future then perhaps that would be a possibility. Even if not, the intros and commentary provided here still does plenty to make the overall viewing experience of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. so much more enjoyable. They help to prove once again exactly why Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. is one of this year’s best new box sets for the whole family.

Whether for the material included in the set, the work of the series’ writers or for the much more ergonomic packaging, it is obvious to see that there is a lot to say to the positive of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.: The Complete Series. One could even note the set’s quality production values (I.E. audio and video). The series looks and sounds just as impressive as it did in its previous full series release. It could even be argued that it looks and sounds as good as it did in its original broadcast on CBS so long ago. Regardless of what element(s) viewers choose to note, every one of the elements that can be noted all lead to the revelation that this set is a great addition to any family’s home DVD collection. It is available in stores and online and can be ordered direct via CBS DVD’s online store at http://cbshe.com/PyleCS. 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, StarVista Announce Release Date, Specs For New Carol Burnett Show Compilation

Courtesy:  StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment

StarVista Entertainment and Time Life Entertainment will release another new set of episodes from the beloved Carol Burnett Show next month.

The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again will be released Tuesday, February 24th on DVD. The single-disc release will boast three more episodes from the classic variety/sketch comedy series. All three episodes are presented exactly as their aired in their original broadcasts on CBS in 1973 and 1978. This means that all three episodes will be completely uncut. The included episodes in question are Episode #705 (Original airdate: September 29, 2973), Episode #712 (Original Airdate: December 15, 1973), and Episode #1115 (Original Airdate: January 8, 1978). The episodes included in the upcoming DVD feature some of the greatest names from television’s golden era. Those stars include: Roddy McDowell (Cleopatra, Planet of the Apes Series, Fright Night), Ruth Buzzi (Laugh-In, The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts), Gloria Swanson (Sunset Boulevard, The Gloria Swanson Hour), Richard Crenna (Judging Amy, JAG, Rambo series), and Ken Berry (Mama’s Family, F Troop, The Andy Griffith Show).

The Carol Burnett Show: Together Again will be available in stores and online Tuesday, February 24th. It will retail for MSRP of $12.95. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Carol-Burnett-Show-Together-Again/dp/B00NUSWZ9I/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1421421317&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Carol+Burnett+Show+Together+Again. More information on this and other releases from StarVista Entertainment and Time Life Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

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.

CBS, Paramount Surprise With New Andy Griffith Show Season One BD Re-Issue

Courtesy:  CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount Home Entertainment

Courtesy: CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount Home Entertainment

The Andy Griffith Show is one of the single greatest sitcoms to ever grace television sets across the nation. There is not a sliver of doubt about that. It first made its debut on CBS nearly fifty-four years ago on CBS. It aired its final episode on April 1, 1968. That was over forty-six years ago. In the years since it ended its initial run on CBS, The Andy Griffith Show has remained a family favorite regardless of the network that has carried the series. All eight of its seasons have been released on separate DVD box sets, too. And last month, the series was given a new beginning once again thanks to the release of the series’ first season on blu-ray. The newly re-issued first season is a joy for viewers of any age, especially for those that have yet to start adding the series’ seasons to their own library. The main reason for this is that this re-issue contains every episode from the first season in its entirety. This actually is something important believe it or not. Just as important to the re-issue of the series’ first season is the clarity of the picture. The bonus material included in The Andy Griffith Show Season One is the final piece of the puzzle so to speak. Included among the bonus material in this newly re-issued season set are: An episode of The Danny Thomas Show, a vintage interview between Andy Griffith and Edward R. Murrow from his famed series Person to Person, and the hard to find movie Return To Mayberry among even more bonuses. The bonus material alone makes this set well worth the addition to any fan’s home library. The bonus features in conjunction with the re-mastered picture and the inclusion of every episode from Season One collectively make The Andy Griffith Show: Season One a wonderful re-birth for one of the greatest sitcoms in the history of television.

The Andy Griffith Show: Season One is a joy for every family first and foremost because it includes every episode of the series’ first season in a single box. From helping local Mayberry guitarist Jim Lindsey get his shot at stardom in “Guitar Player” to helping out his deputy and best friend Barney Fife in “Andy Saves Barney’s Morale” to the special holiday episode “Christmas Story” and more, there is so much to enjoy throughout the first season of The Andy Griffith Show. It just goes to show once more that television can be entertaining and family friendly at the same time. It’s too bad that such quality programming doesn’t exist anymore in any of the sitcoms that currently run on both broadcast and cable networks. Thankfully, audiences have this latest re-issue to make up for that. And especially being that TV Land either runs The Andy Griffith Show late at night now or doesn’t even run it at all—and apparently, neither do Me-TV, Antenna TV or the other retro networks—it becomes all the more important and valuable for any fan of truly worthwhile programming.

The people at Paramount and CBS Blu-ray have scored in a big way by including every original episode from the first season of The Andy Griffith Show on this newly re-issued box set. The inclusion of so many fun episodes is in itself a just the tip of the iceberg in the set’s success. On a deeper level, the very fact that every episode from Season One was included in a single set instead of split into multiple sets makes the set even more of a success. Far too often, people take such a factor for granted in purchasing box sets of their favorite television series. As many have seen though, there are some studios that have made a habit over the years of splitting certain shows up into multiple box sets. This causes viewers to have to spend more money over time. And such practice is anything but ergonomic. So to have every single episode of the series’ first season in one Blu-ray box set is a huge positive. Making it even more of a positive is the fact that each disc is placed on its own plastic “insert” within the box. This protects the discs from scratching one another and in turn allows for them to be enjoyed for many years as long as they are properly cared for. On another level, the new Blu-ray re-issue of Season One takes up far less space on DVD racks than its DVD counterpart.

Having examined the inclusion of the complete first season of the Andy Griffith Show, the next logical step is to examine the presentation of the episodes themselves. The automatic assumption of presenting a classic black and white television show in HD wouldn’t make that much difference in the look of the show. The surprise reality of the episodes in Season One is that there is a noticeable difference in the quality of the picture. While the original grainy quality of the show is still there, it is quite obvious that those charged with re-mastering these episodes did quite the job of cleaning them up. And they did so without losing any of the charm of the show’s original look. In short, it could be compared to transferring a classic vinyl record to CD. It is much cleaner, but it still maintains that vintage presentation at the same time. That that balance is present here only serves to make The Andy Griffith Show Season One all the more impressive of a re-introduction for audiences.

The inclusion of The Andy Griffith Show’s entire first season in a single box set and the laughs provided are both central to the success of this recently released Blu-ray box set. That those charged with re-mastering the episodes were able to enhance the picture without losing too much of the series’ original vintage look makes the set all the more of a success. Looking at these positives, there is only one positive left to examine in this set. That last remaining factor is the collective bonus features included with the episodes. Paramount and CBS Blu-ray have given audiences quite the impressive list of bonus features to finish off the viewing experience. The bonus material starts off small with the inclusion of a full episode of The Danny Thomas Show. Audiences will find the episode in question interesting as there are some slight changes to Mayberry here. Aunt Bea goes by a different name. And Otis the town drunk has been replaced. What’s more, Barney isn’t there, either. However, it is still Mayberry interestingly enough. Things step up a little bit more from here with the inclusion of an interview between legendary broadcaster Edward R. Murrow and Andy Griffith on Murrow’s famed interview series Person to Person. The pair discusses Griffith’s sitcom and more. And finishing off the whole presentation is the inclusion of the hard to find Andy Griffith Show spinoff movie, Return To Mayberry. This movie came nearly two decades after the original series ended. According to the movie, Sheriff Taylor was no longer the head lawman in Mayberry. His former deputy, the beloved bumbling Barney Fife was making a run for the town’s head officer. And Andy’s son Opie is now all grown up and about to become a father himself. Needless to say, it’s a happy reunion for all involved. Of course it isn’t without some bumps along the way. It is the final piece to the puzzle that is The Andy Griffith Show Season One a surprisingly impressive and welcome re-issue.

The Andy Griffith Show Season One is available now in stores and online. More information on this and upcoming seasons of The Andy Griffith Show on Blu-ray is available online at http://www.facebook.com/TheAndyGriffithShowTV and http://www.facebook.com/cbshomeentertainment. 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.