Shout! Factory Announces Release Date For The Shadow Re-Issue

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Universal Pictures

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Universal Pictures

The Shadow is one of the most famed crime fighters of all time.  He is the original caped crusader.  His adventures amazed radio audiences long before Batman came along.  Sadly, after Batman and his fellow comic book superhero friends came along, The Shadow seemed to be pushed aside.  But in 1994, the world was re-introduced to The Shadow thanks to Universal Pictures.  Two decades after The Shadow was introduced to a new generation of audiences, he is bring introduced to yet another new generation of fans thanks to a partnership between Universal Pictures and Shout! Factory.

The Shadow (Collector’s Edition) will be released on Blu-ray Tuesday, February 25th.  The movie, starring Alec Baldwin (The Hunt for Red October, 30 Rock) in the starring role, tells the story of how The Shadow came to be.  It co-stars Penelope Ann Miller (The Artist, Awakenings, Kindergarten Cop), Peter Boyle (Young Frankenstein, The Santa Clause, Everybody Loves Raymond), Sir Ian McKellan (XMen, X2 XMen United, X3 The Last Stand), and many others.

More information on this and other upcoming releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial.  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.

Disney Nature’s Chimpanzee A Heartwarming And Enlightening Documentary

Courtesy: Disney/Disney Nature

Good morning, everyone.  In the second of today’s mega blast of new reviews, I’ve got a look at one of the many new blu-ray/dvd combo packs from Disney.  The first of that new group of releases is the brand new home release of Disney nature’s hit documentary, Chimpanzee.  There is a lot to say about this documentary.  So rather than try to take lots of time setting it up, I’ll let you see for yourselves everything that went into it.  Needless to say, it’s a documentary worth watching.  It definitely will go into the reviewer’s list of the year’s best DVD/Blu-ray releases.  From the footage itself to the narration to the bonus documentary, it has so many positives.  So without further ado, I offer for your consideration dear readers, Disney Nature’s brand new home release of Chimpanzee.

Disney and Disney Nature have a hit on their hands with the latest release in the Disney Nature series, Chimpanzee.  This nature documentary is touching and heartwarming for the entire family.  At the same time, it is also quite eye opening, considering the most commonly known social roles of the primate community.  Generally, males in this community are not known for taking on the caretaking role.  Yet here, audiences see something that can only be described as miraculous.  Add in equally spectacular footage of the jungles of West Africa and the subtle narration of veteran actor Tim Allen, and audiences get a truly memorable work.

Chimpanzee has so many positives going for it.  But if there is one factor that stands out more than any other as the key, it is that young Oscar is fostered by the head of his group of Chimpanzees, “Freddy.”  This generally goes against common logic of this group of primates’ behavior patterns.  Yes it is wonderfully touching for audiences.  But on a more scientific level, it makes for quite the interesting display.  Disney and Disney Nature included on the home release of Chimpanzee a behind the scenes look at the work that went into filming the documentary. Almost everyone involved in the filming who was interview, noted how “human” the behavior was.  Even the most casual of viewers can’t help but be equally amazed at this behavior.  Take into note that this isn’t just another animated Disney feature, either.  This is the real world that audiences are seeing.

The fatherly behavior of “Freddy” is extremely enlightening and surprising as well as touching.  Just as interesting to note is the chimpanzees’ use of “tools” to crack open the notes in their grove.  Add in that the younger chimps were being “taught” so to speak how to use them was even more incredible to see.  The chimps both young and old “learned” what they needed to use in order to crack open the tough shells of the nuts.  This real life vision of adaptation is another extremely interesting portion of the documentary.

The material shown in Chimpanzee is enlightening and interesting to say the very least.  It alone makes for a documentary that every family and even teacher should watch at least once.  It is the meat and potatoes of the documentary.  That being the case, then the narration of veteran actor Tim Allen (Home Improvement, The Santa Clause 1 – 3) is the garnish that makes the whole display that much more appealing to the viewer.  His narration is subtle enough to not overpower the sheer beauty and intellectual value of the film.  If anything, the narration adds a nice light hearted humor throughout the work.  And hearing him pull out his classic Tim Allen Tool Time grunt at one point was a nice additional touch. 

So much work went into bringing Chimpanzee to life.  As noted already, from the stunning visuals, to the very behaviors of the chimpanzees to Tim Allen’s narration, Chimpanzee has so much going for it.  Whether or not viewers had the opportunity to see the film in theaters, the home release of the documentary has one more touch that makes it a memorable work.  That one extra touch was the extensive behind the scenes documentary that followed the film crew over the course of its filming.  Seeing that the crew was actually worried when it turned out Oscar was orphaned showed how much the film meant to them.  And that the crew endured bee stings, bug bites and so much more adds to the appreciation of the work turned in to bring this piece to life.

Chimpanzee is not a simple piece.  The footage presented in the blu-ray presentation is crystal clear on an HD TV.  The story of Oscar’s journey and Tim Allen’s narration make everything that much more enjoyable.  And the bonus documentary is more proof of the importance of bonus features on a home release of a feature.  Assembled all together in one double disc Blu-ray/DVD package, they combine to make a feature that any family will enjoy watching time and again.  It gives that much more hope for Disney Nature’s next release.

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