Thunder Road Is As Good As Any Action Flick Out There Today If Not Better

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Robert Mitchum spent somewhere in the range of fifty-five years of his life in front of the camera.  During that time, he made what have since gone on to become some of the most beloved and iconic movies and roles over the curse of that time.  In 1962, he starred in one of his most famous roles as Max Cady in the original take of Cape Fear.  Seventeen years prior, he starred alongside fellow acting legend Burgess Meredith in 1945’s The Story of G.I. Joe.  And in 1958, he starred in what would go on to be one of his most beloved films of all time in the form of Thunder Road.  Now nearly six decades after that movie’s original debut, it has finally been unearthed for a whole new generation of movie buffs to experience thanks to the people at MGM and Timeless Media Group.  It is a great movie that every classic movie buff should see at least once if not more.  The main reason any classic movie lover should see this movie is its script.  The movie’s original script was written by Mitchum before being adapted by the writing team of James Atlee Phillips and Walter Wise.  It is a story that while simple is enjoyable because of its simplicity.  Mitchum’s acting throughout the movie is just as key to its enjoyment.  Maybe it is just this critic’s own view but one can’t help but compare Mitchum’s acting alongside his look in this story to that of James Dean.  Had Dean lived, one can’t help but imagine Mitchum’s portrayal of Lucas Doolin would have been exactly what Dean would have looked and sounded like.  But being Mitchum was so much older than Dean, his acting and look still helped make the story believable.  Last and definitely not least of all worth noting in this movie is the fact that it was not only written by Mitchum but produced by him, too.  Some of the movie’s music was even written and performed by him.  Simply put, Mitchum had his hand in nearly every aspect of this work.  Because he had so much creative control, the end product proved to be a story that while it may be more a cult favorite today, is still one of the best works of Mitchum’s extensive career.  Now that it has been re-issued on a dual-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo set, it can also be said that it is one of the best new re-issues of 2015.

Thunder Road is one of the best works from Robert Mitchum’s extensive fifty-five year-long career in front of the camera.  It may not be one of his most well-known.  But there is still has so much going for it that it is still deserving of being considered one of his best whether among its cult following or among audiences and critics in general.  Whether or not they are familiar with the movie, audiences and critics alike will agree with that sentiment when they pick up the classic film’s new re-issue.  The main reason that audiences and critics alike will agree that this movie is one of Mitchum’s best is its script.  Originally penned by Mitchum himself, it would go on to be adapted by the writing team of James Atlee Phillips and Walter Wise.  It is a story that while simple is enjoyable because of its simplicity.  It follows Mitchum’s character Lucas Doolin as he runs moonshine in the hills of Kentucky all the while trying to outrun government tax agents and keep his little brother Robin (interestingly enough played by his real life son James) from following in his footsteps.  This movie is a guy movie, what with its mix of moonshine running, motors, and G-men.  Of course Lucas’ relationship with Francie (Keely Smith—Casino, Raging Bull, We Own The Night) will interest its female audiences.  The story runs at a pace that keeps audiences engaged with ease through its little more than hour and a half run time.  Because of its ability to keep audiences engaged through its simplicity, it could actually be argued that set against today’s action flicks, the script behind Thunder Road makes it even better than those largely forgettable special effects-laden flicks.  It’s just one reason that action flick fans and classic movie buffs should give this movie a chance.  Mitchum’s work on camera is another reason audiences will enjoy this movie.

Robert Mitchum played a big part in the success of Thunder Road because of the fact that he actually wrote the original story on which it is based.  It’s just one reason that audiences will appreciate it.  His influence on the movie reached much farther than just its script.  He was also the movie’s lead actor.  Being that he wrote the movie’s original story and produced the movie, too (which will be discussed later), it would be easy to assume that having so much role in the movie, it would go to his head and affect his acting.  Watching the movie though, the exact opposite is the case.  At no one point does he ever try to overdo it with his character.  Lucas’ reserved demeanor throughout the movie actually makes him a stronger character.  That is especially clear when Lucas is originally busted by the tax agents and even later when Lucas explains to Cark Kogan (Jacques Aubuchon—McHale’s Navy, The Shaggy Dog, Perry Mason) that he would not let his brother end up on the same path as him.  Watching Mitchum, moments such as those noted make clear why Mitchum played the lead role.  Interestingly enough though, one can’t help but watch Mitchum and wonder what if James Dean had lived longer.  Maybe it’s just this critic’s own view, but watching Mitchum, one can’t help but imagine James Dean playing Lucas.  That might have actually worked just as well considering Dean’s body of work before his untimely death.  That aside, Mitchum still impresses with his unassuming yet strong portrayal.  It’s yet another reason that audiences will enjoy this recently re-issued classic action flick.  It still is not the last reason that audiences will enjoy the movie, either. The fact that Mitchum also produced the movie is just as important to its success believe it or not.

Between the fact that he both wrote the original story for Thunder Road and that he carried the lead role, Robert Mitchum showed in this movie that he wasn’t just some actor throwing something out for the sake of it. He showed through both his acting and his writing that he meant business with this movie. Even more interesting to note is that he also produced the movie and even wrote some of the movie’s music. That means that he had quite the hand in the movie’s making. Yet it’s also obvious that despite having so much control, he never let that control go to his head at any one point in the movie’s little more than hour and a half run time. That is obvious in the work of his cast mates and those behind the cameras. Their work felt natural from beginning to end. It made that much easier the ability to remain engaged throughout the movie. Being able to so easily remain engaged means more enjoyment and ability to see the other noted reasons that Thunder Road is such an enjoyable classic. All noted elements taken fully into consideration, audiences will agree that they collectively make Thunder Road a must see for any action film fan and for any classic movie buff regardless of their familiarity with this classic story.

Thunder Road is available now on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack in stores and online. It can also be ordered direct online via Time Media Group’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-crime/thunder-road. Audiences that order the movie via TMG’s online store can get it at a reduced price of $16.97 versus the retail price of $19.97. More information on this and other titles from TMG is available online at:

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Thunderbirds Are Go This June!

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

It’s official. Thunderbirds are go!

Timeless Media Group has announced that it will release Thunderbirds: The Complete Series next month. Perhaps the most well-known and beloved of Gerry Anderson’s “supermarionation” series, the complete thirty-two episode series will be released on Tuesday, June 9th. It will be released both on an eight-disc DVD box set and six-disc Blu-ray box set. Along with its complete complement of re-mastered episodes, Thunderbirds: The Complete Series will also include the documentary “Launching Thunderbirds,” which includes yet another never-before-seen interview with Gerry Anderson, and a vintage publicity brochure.

Thunderbirds is set in the year 2065. It follows the operations of the top secret organization known as International Rescue. The island-based organization is led by Jeff Tracy. He is joined by his sons Scott, John, Virgil, Gordon, and Adam. The group travels the world in its specialized vehicles in a variety of humanitarian missions. The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $49.97 and the Blu-ray for $69.97. Both can be pre-ordered now online via TMG’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/thunderbirds-the-complete-series. The DVD can be pre-ordered online at a discounted price of $42.97 and the Blu-ray for $55.97. More information on this and other titles from TMG is available online now at:

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

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Joe 90: The Complete Series Is One Of Gerry Anderson’s Classic Supermarionation Series

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Timeless Media and Shout! Factory have done it yet again. The two companies have proven once again today why they are collectively the absolute leader in home entertainment. How have they done this? They have done so by re-issuing yet another of Gerry Anderson’s classic supermarionation series, this time in the form of Joe 90. This release, much as with the companies’ other re-issued series, was originally released on DVD by A&E Home Video some twelve years ago in 2003. While Anderson’s series Thunderbirds leads the way among his many works, Joe 90 is deserving of its own credit, too. One could actually argue that among the many series that Anderson created throughout his life, this series actually stands right on par with Thunderbirds. Perhaps part of the reason for its success is its writing. One could argue that unlike Anderson’s other series, Joe 90 follows more purely the classic action model. Those other series were more sci-fi and fantasy-based by comparison. It is more akin to Thunderbirds than those series when placing them side by side. On a related note, there is something about the overall look of the series, too. There is something about the detail of the marionettes and the way that they move, coupled with the acting of those pulling the marionettes’ strings that makes this series look more realistic than any of Anderson’s other series. Simply put, seeing is believing. The bonus material included in this set rounds out the reasons that it performs so well. There is another archived interview with Gerry Anderson in which he discusses the roots of his work in even more depth, and commentary with specific episodes just as with Timeless Media Group’s other Gerry Anderson sets. The bonus features, the look of the series, and the writing are each important to the enjoyment and success of Joe 90 in their own right. When all three elements are assembled together, they show clearly why Joe 90: The Complete Series is another welcome addition to any classic TV buff’s collection. They also show collectively why Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory together are the single leading entity in the world of home entertainment.

TMG and Shout! Factory’s brand new re-issue of Joe 90: The Complete Series is another big win for both companies and for classic TV buffs alike. It is not the first of Gerry Anderson’s classic supermarionation series that the companies have released so far. But it is one of Anderson’s best by comparison. One of the reasons that this series stands out among Anderson’s many series is its writing. Unlike Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons, Stingray, and Fireball XL5–or even Supercar, which is due out next month–Joe 90 is that one series that is perhaps most closely akin to Anderson’s biggest hit, Thunderbirds. The sci-fi elements of those other series are present here. But this series is more characterized by its pure action elements more so than the sci-fi elements. The sci-fi elements incorporate here are more tools to help the episodes advance than the star of the show again unlike those aforementioned series. Audiences that might not be so familiar with Joe 90 will appreciate in this series that as with Anderson’s other series, the main character–Joe 90–goes on all kinds of adventures. But in the case of this series those adventures are all centered on Earth. They don’t take Joe into the depths of space or the sea or any other outrageous backdrops. This makes the stories a little more believable and in turn even more interesting. Speaking of that ability to suspend disbelief, two of the series’ episodes pit Joe 90 against two of the West’s biggest Cold War foes in Russia and China. Presenting two real foes from the time the series ran helped to make the series that much more believable and in turn enjoyable. It made it that much easier for audiences to root for Joe 90. On another note, Joe 90 also boasts its own share of pure action stories. One example comes late in the series’ run in the episode “Trial At Sea.” This episode sees Joe 90 having to stop a madman that wants to sink a ship. Only Joe can stop the bomb from going off and sinking the ship on which he and his father are riding. Even when Joe and his dad try to go on vacation, they can’t get a break as they are pulled into an international incident in which a military organization has taken over one of W.I.N.’s outposts. It’s yet another example of how the stories crafted for Joe 90 make this series stand out from Gerry Anderson’s other series and in turn, what makes it so enjoyable. Whether for the noted episodes or for those not noted, Joe 90 proves itself a fun watch for the whole family. Its stories are more reality based despite their sometimes outrageous settings. One can’t help but think about James Bond at least to some extent in watching this series. And maybe at its heart, this is why the show works. Not only is it similar to Thunderbirds, but it also bears a similarity to James Bond. Regardless, the episodes crafted for Joe 90 are collectively one clear reason why Joe 90 is so enjoyable for audiences of all ages and why it is one of the best of Gerry Anderson’s series.

The writing that went into Joe 90 is one of the most important parts of the series’ enjoyment and success in its new re-issue. That is hopefully made clear with the basic outline of the writing noted above. As important as it is to the whole, the look of the series coupled with the work of the people pulling the strings is just as important. The look of Joe 90 is noticeably different from that of Gerry Anderson’s other supermarionation series. The detail on the marionettes makes them look even more human than in any of Anderson’s other series. The work of those pulling the strings adds to that feeling of realism as audiences will see. Maybe it is just the interpretation of this critic. But the motions of the marionettes seems more fluid and real than in any of Anderson’s other series. Those fluid motions from the marionettes and their seemingly more detailed look overall makes them as close as marionettes could come to being human without being human. It makes the ability of viewers to suspend their disbelief all the easier. In turn, it makes the series in whole that much more enjoyable and all the more worth adding to any classic TV buff’s home library.

The surprisingly impressive look of Joe 90 by itself makes for plenty of reason for classic TV buffs to check out this blast from the past. The series’ solid writing taken into consideration along with its look shows just as much why it is so enjoyable for audiences of all ages. They are not the only factors to note in the set’s success, either. The bonus material included with this box set rounds out the package. Audiences are treated to episode-specific commentaries and another archived interview with Gerry Anderson. The commentaries in question add their own insight into the given episodes, just as with TMG’s other Gerry Anderson series. Together with the archived Anderson interview, in which Anderson discusses another star of his series (not just Joe 90), the interview and companion commentaries offer plenty of insight into Joe 90 and the other series that made Gerry Anderson so famous in his day. They also collectively show why this series and his others remain family favorites to this day.

The insight offered via the bonus commentaries and archived interview are few. Even as few commentaries as there are, the amount of insight offered via said commentaries–and the bonus interview with Gerry Anderson–makes for plenty of enjoyment for every classic TV buff. The same can be said of the series’ writing and its equally surprisingly impressive look. All three elements considered together, they show without a doubt that Joe 90 is one of the best of Gerry Anderson’s supermarionation series. It also proves itself to be, again, a piece that any classic TV fan will love to have in his or her own home collection. Joe 90 is available now on DVD in stores and online and can be ordered direct online at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/joe-90-the-complete-series. More information on this and other titles from TMG is available online at:

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

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TMG Releasing Another Classic Gerry Anderson Series Next Month

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group/Shout! Factory

Timeless Media Group will release the latest installment of its classic Gerry Anderson series next month when it releases Supercar: The Complete Series on DVD.

Timeless Media Group will release Supercar: The Complete Series on DVD box set on Tuesday, May 12th. The series, another of Gerry Anderson’s hit supermarionation series, follows the adventures of one Mike Mercury, his sidekick Jimmy and geniuses Dr. Horatio Beaker and Professor Rudolph Popkiss. The group travels all over the world in Supercar fighting the forces of evil including Mike Mercury’s arch-nemesis Masterspy.

Supercar: The Complete Series features all thirty-nine episodes of the classic series spread across five discs. It also includes one more previously unseen interview with series creator Gerry Anderson, audio commentaries on select episodes, and the bonus featurette “Derek Meddings: The Man and His Miniatures.” Supercar: The Complete Series will retail for MSRP of $34.93 but can be pre-ordered online now for a discounted price of $29.93 at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/supercar-the-complete-series. 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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TMG Releasing Another Classic Gerry Anderson Series Next Month

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Timeless Media Group will release yet another piece of legendary television figure Gerry Anderson’s collection next month when it releases Joe 90: The Complete Series.

Timeless Media Group will release Joe 90: The Complete Series on Tuesday, April 14th. The thirty-episode series follows the adventures of genius scientist Professor Ian McClaine and his adoptive son Joe who are recruited by the World Intelligence Network after McClaine creates a machine called a BIG RAT (Brain Impulse Galvanoscope Record and Transfer). The BIG RAT has the ability to transfer specific knowledge, skills, and abilities from one person to another in instants thus making its subjects capable of performing any number of tasks, stealing information and much more. When McClaine looks for a test subject for his machine, he turns to his adoptive son to help him. Having gained his new abilities, he and his adoptive father end up working for the W.I.N. stopping the world’s various crime lords, evildoers, and general bad guys. The duo’s adventures are spread across six discs and include both a previously unseen interview with Anderson and audio commentary with designer Mike Trim and director Ken Turner. It will retail for MSRP of $29.93 but can be pre-ordered online now for a reduced price of 24.93 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/joe-90-the-complete-series. More information on this and other titles from TMG is available online at:

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

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

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

TMG To Re-Issue Mitchum Classic Next Month

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Over the course of his professional acting career, famed actor Robert Mitchum starred in no fewer than sixty movies. From major blockbusters such as Midway (1976), The Longest Day (1962), and Cape Fear (1962) to smaller roles in movies such as Crossfire (1937), Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), The Locket (1946), and so many others, Mitchum starred in a variety of films throughout his career. Now another piece of Mitchum’s storied career will see the light of day once more next month when Timeless Media Group will release his 1958 action flick Thunder Road.

Timeless Media Group will re-issue Thunder Road on Tuesday, April 7th on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. The movie sees Mitchum starring as Korean War veteran Lucas Doolin in this movie opposite Gene Barry (The War of the Worlds, Bat Masterson, Burke’s Law) and Kelly Smith (Hey Boy! Hey Girl!). Having returned from the war, Doolin is now a moonshine runner with the law hot on his heels. Audiences can check out a clip from the movie online now via Shout! Factory’s website at http://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-crime/thunder-road and pre-order the movie there, too. It will retail for MSRP of $19.97. But audiences that pre-order the movie now can get it at a reduced price of $16.97. More information on this and other titles from TMG is available online at:

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

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

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.

TMG Takes Audiences From The Ocean’s Depths To The Depths Of Space This Spring With Another Classic Gerry Anderson Series

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group/Shout! Factory

Timeless Media Group will release another of Gerry Anderson’s classic “Super-Marionation” series this spring in the form of Fireball XL5: The Complete Series.

Fireball XL5: The Complete Series will be released on DVD Tuesday, March 10th. It follows TMG’s recent re-issue of another of Anderson’s classic series Stingray: The Complete Series. TMG’s upcoming re-issue of Fireball XL5: The Complete Series is the first time that this classic series has seen the light of day on DVD since A&E Home Video last released it on DVD twelve years ago. The upcoming box set takes that company’s release and slims it down into a much more ergonomically sound box all while retaining all thirty-nine original episodes from the classic series. It also boasts a handful of bonuses including episode specific commentary from director Alan Patillo and voice artist David Graham. There is also a bonus documentary short titled The Noble Art of Fireball XL5 with comic artist and illustrator Mike Noble.

Fireball XL5 takes audiences from the depths of the deep blue sea that were used as a backdrop for Stingray into the depths of outer space throughout the course of its thirty-nine episode run. The series follows the exploits of Captain Steve Zodiac and the crew of the Fireball XL5, which is the flagship of the World Space Patrol. Zodiac and his crew have been tasked with investigating the deepest corners of Galactic Sector 25 in search of any potentially inhabitable planets and alien life.

TMG will re-issue Fireball XL5 on DVD Tuesday, March 10th. It will retail for $29.93. It can be pre-ordered online now via TMG’s online store for a reduced price of $24.93 at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/fireball-xl5-the-complete-series. More information on this and other titles from Timeless Media Group is available online at:

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

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

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.