Shout! Factory Shines Again In Phil’s Picks’ 2015 Top New DVD/BD Re-Issues List

Every year, dozens of albums get the re-issue treatment courtesy of record labels (and sometimes bands) that are either trying to fulfill contractual obligations or just trying to make a quick buck off of consumers gullible enough to blindly pick up copies of said albums. Sadly most of those albums are anything but worth the price. Though, there are some diamonds in the rough. The same applies in the realm of DVD and Blu-ray re-issues. Every year just as many DVDs and Blu-rays hit store shelves all over again. And just as with the noted albums, most are not worth the price. On the other hand there are some that surprise and show to actually be worth the purchase. This year is no different. Warner Home Video re-issued the classic Peanuts TV specials Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back) and Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown. Both are good specials. But considering the overall lack of bonus material (save for a bonus documentary included in the prior) neither are outstanding. Though, for real Peanuts fans that might not already own either one, they are both at least somewhat worth the purchase if not entirely. On the other end of the spectrum, Timeless Media Group (which is part of the Shout! Factory corporate family) re-issued Gerry Anderson’s classic Supermarionation series Thunderbirds both on DVD and Blu-ray. In comparison to the series’ previous release on DVD back in 2008, this one shines both in terms of its packaging and overall presentation. So it is definitely a great new re-issue. The same applies to CBS DVD’s re-issue of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.: The Complete Series and MPI’s re-issue of My Favorite Martian: The Complete Series. These are just some of the re-issues that made the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New DVD/BD Re-Issues. They explain how this critic went about deciding on this list. Packaging was taken into effect along with pricing, bonus material, and the presentations’ production values. Also on this year’s list is Shout! Factory’s re-issue of The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, 20th Century Fox’s new BD re-issue of Garfield: The Movie, and Cohen Media Group’s re-issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s little known thriller Jamaica Inn among others. These titles and others are all on this year’s list of the year’s top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues. As always the Top 10 titles make up the main body of the list while the bottom five were all worth mentioning for at least one reason. They each received honorable mention. So without any further ado I offer for your consideration dear readers the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New DVD and Blu-ray Re-Issues.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW DVD/BD RE-ISSUES

  1. THUNDERBIRDS: THE COMPLETE SERIES 

    2. GARFIELD: THE MOVIE

    3. JAMAICA INN

    4. STAR TREK THE ORIGINAL SERIES: THE COMPLETE SERIES

    5. MY FAVORITE MARTIAN: THE COMPLETE SERIES

    6. GOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C.: THE COMPLETE SERIES

    7. I LOVE LUCK: THE ULTIMATE SEASON TWO

    8. THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE

    9. THE LEGEND OF THE LONE RANGER

    10. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT

    11. I LOVE LUCY: THE COMPLETE SERIES

    12. ROBOT JOX

    13. ALADDIN

    14. BON VOYAGE, CHARLIE BROWN (AND DON’T COME BACK)

    15. RACE FOR YOUR LIFE, CHARLIE BROWN

 

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Grown-Ups Got Plenty Of Alternatives To Theaters’ Offerings In 2015

This year’s big screen offerings brought big numbers for theaters. The problem is that the majority of those big numbers were the result of Hollywood’s (and audiences’) seemingly insatiable appetite for prequels, sequels, and remakes. It’s a sad statement when one really sits down and thinks about it. And thankfully more audiences are coming to their senses about it each year and staying home instead, taking in the variety of alternatives being offered on television and online. Given, far too many of those alternatives were (and still are) serials, dramas, and some mixture thereof. But for all of the serials and dramas out there, they were just a drop in the bucket in terms of just how much was offered to audiences this year in the way of home entertainment. Shout! Factory released two more volumes of episodes from the cult classic series Mystery Science Theater 3000 this year. It also released the final two seasons of the classic sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, the complete series run of The Saint, and much more. PBS has released all three current seasons of its hit reality/cooking show A Chef’s Life, and partnered once again with itv to release the third season of Mr. Selfridge. Timeless Media Group even gave audiences a good scare this year with the release of A Haunting: Season Seven. And for all of the conspiracy theorists out there, Lionsgate and History channel offered up the seventh season of Ancient Aliens. These are just some of the alternatives offered to audiences this year from the home entertainment realm. And they are all on the Phil’s Picks list of 2015’s Best New Box Sets for Grown-Ups. That is in comparison to box sets for the whole family. That is a whole other list. That list will be presented tomorrow. In explaining the choices for the list of this year’s top new box sets for grown-ups, the overall packaging of each set was taken into consideration alongside each set’s bonus materials (or lack thereof) and the writing that went into each presentation. The combination of each element in each set went into coming up with this list. Not every set had bonus material such as with Welcome Back, Kotter’s third and fourth season. But the writing behind each season made each season entertaining enough that they each stand quite well on their own merits. The bonus material featured in both volumes of MST3K played a big role in their presentations deserving them their own spots as did the bonus material in Time Life’s new Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts box set and that of Hell on Wheels’ fourth season. That should hopefully give at least some background on why each title was listed where it was listed. Keeping that in mind every title listed here is fully deserving of its spot on this list. So enough rambling. Without any further ado, I offer for your reading pleasure dear readers, the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Box Sets for Grownups. As always, the Top 10 make up the main body of the list while the bottom five each receive special mention as they deserve to be on the list just as much. Here you go!

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW BOX SETS FOR GROWN-UPS

  1. A CHEF’S LIFE: SEASON 1

 

  1. A CHEF’S LIFE: SEASON 2

 

  1. A CHEF’S LIFE: SEASON 3

 

  1. WELCOME BACK, KOTTER: SEASON 3

 

  1. WELCOME BACK, KOTTER: SEASON 4

 

  1. MR. SELFRIDGE: SEASON 3

 

  1. THE DEAN MARTIN CELEBRITY ROASTS: STINGERS AND ZINGERS

 

  1. HELL ON WHEELS: SEASON 4

 

  1. MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: VOLUME XXXIII

 

  1. MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: VOLUME XXXIV

 

  1. THE SAINT: THE COMPLETE SERIES

 

  1. BROADCHURCH: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

 

  1. HALT AND CATCH FIRE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

 

  1. A HAUNTING: SEASON 7

 

  1. ANCIENT ALIENS: SEASON 7

 

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TMG To Release The Saint: Seasons One And Two Next Month

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Earlier this summer, Timeless Media Group, an imprint of Shout! Factory, resurrected the classic action/drama series The Saint in its entirety. Not everyone was lucky enough to get their hands on the thirty-three disc collection for one reason or another. Now fans that weren’t able to get their hands on that box set will be happy to know that Shout! Factory will start fresh next month with the release of The Saint: Seasons One & Two.

Timeless Media Group will release The Saint: Seasons One & Two on Tuesday, October 13th. The ten-disc collection will be available exclusively on DVD. It features such classic episodes as “The Benevolent Burglary,” “The Arrow of God,” and “The Sporting Chance” among so many other classics. The thirty-nine episode run also features guest appearances from the likes of Oliver Reed (Tommy, Gladiator, Oliver!), Academy Award® Julie Christie (Darling, Doctor Zhivago, Finding Neverland) and former Bond girls Honor Blackman (Goldfinger, The Avengers, Bridget Jones’s Diary) and Shirley Eaton (Goldfinger, Carry on Sergeant, Carry on Nurse). The complete episode listing for The Saint: Seasons One & Two is noted below.

Episodes

Episode Episode Title
1 The Saint: The Talented Husband
2 The Saint: The Latin Touch
3 The Saint: The Careful Terrorist
4 The Saint: The Covetous Headsman
5 The Saint: The Loaded Tourist
6 The Saint: The Pearls Of Peace
7 The Saint: The Arrow Of God
8 The Saint: The Element Of Doubt
9 The Saint: The Effete Angler
10 The Saint: The Golden Journey
11 The Saint: The Man Who Was Lucky
12 The Saint: The Charitable Countess
13 The Saint: The Fellow Traveller
14 The Saint: Starring The Saint
15 The Saint: Judith
16 The Saint: Teresa
17 The Saint: The Elusive Ellshaw
18 The Saint: Marcia
19 The Saint: The Work Of Art
20 The Saint: Iris
21 The Saint: The King Of The Beggars
22 The Saint: The Rough Diamonds
23 The Saint: The Saint Plays With Fire
24 The Saint: The Well Meaning Mayor
25 The Saint: The Sporting Chance
26 The Saint: The Bunco Artists
27 The Saint: The Benevolent Burglary
28 The Saint: The Wonderful War
29 The Saint: The Noble Sportsman
30 The Saint: The Romantic Matron
31 The Saint: Luella
32 The Saint: The Lawless Lady
33 The Saint: The Good Medicine
34 The Saint: The Invisible Millionaire
35 The Saint: The High Fence
36 The Saint: Sophia
37 The Saint: The Gentle Ladies
38 The Saint: The Ever-Loving Spouse
39 The Saint: The Saint Sees It Through

 

The Saint: Seasons One & Two will be available in stores and online Tuesday, October 13th. It will retail for MSRP of $44.99 but can be pre-ordered online now at a discounted price of $37.99 via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/tv-action-adventure/the-saint-seasons-one-two. 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/35839147423336

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.

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

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.

TMG Scores Big With The Debut Release Of The Saint: The Complete Series

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group/itv

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group/itv

Late this past May, Timeless Media Group, which is now officially part of the Shout! Factory corporate family, released the classic television series The Saint on DVD. The series’ release is significant because it marked the first time ever that the series had ever been released in its entirety in one complete set. It is safe to say of the recently released complete series set that with its release TMG has yet again lived up to its name and ever-growing reputation. Whether seeing the series and its new box set for the first time or seeing the series for the first time again, audiences will agree in purchasing it that it is a successful first time-release and potentially one of this year’s best new box sets for grown-ups. The center point of the set’s success and enjoyment is the series’ writing. This includes both the stories penned for each of the series’ one hundred eighteen episodes and the deeper elements of the stories (E.g. the minimal amount of violence and overt sexual content). The packaging of this first-time release is also of note in regards to its success and enjoyment. On the surface the packaging seems bulky. But considering the fact that TMG was able to fit all one hundred-eighteen of the series’ episodes on thirty-three discs actually minimizes the set’s packaging to a point. That will be discussed later. Last but not least worth noting of the series in its recent re-issue is its overall look and sound (its production values). Both the series’ black-and-white episodes and its colorized episodes look and sound just as good as in their original broadcasts and their previous DVD releases. They sound just as good, too. Such positive production values make every single episode fully worth the watch. Being so worth the watch, audiences will in turn see for themselves the positives of the episodes’ writing and that of the set’s packaging. In appreciating all noted elements, viewers that pick up the set will agree that it is in fact a candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-ups.

The Saint: The Complete Series is an easy candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-ups. This is especially telling considering the fact that its release this past May marked the first time that the series had ever been released in its entirety in one complete box. The main way in which it proves itself such an enjoyable set is the writing behind each of the series’ one hundred eighteen episodes. The writing behind The Saint is so impressive in that it is completely unlike that of its fellow UK-based action/drama Danger Man or even the likes of I Spy, which would come to American audiences only three years after the debut of The Saint. One of the best examples of what makes this series’ writing so entertaining comes in the form of the Season Two episode “The Benevolent Burglary.” Originally airing on December 26th, 1963, this episode sees Simon Templar having to defend his reputation and at the same time, stop the burglary of a museum. Simon makes a bet with an old acquaintance that the museum would be burglarized within forty-eight hours but that it wouldn’t be himself that burglarizes the museum. He has the police on his heels every step of the way because they don’t believe he has changed. Those that have any knowledge of film history will especially appreciate the writing in this episode because it actually throws back to Cary Grant’s 1955 hit big screen thriller To Catch A Thief. It’s a fitting inclusion to the series considering that star Roger Moore would go on to star in equally similar adventures in the role of the famed spy James Bond after this series’ end. Later in the series’ run the writers set Simon in some more serious scenarios such as having to handle human traffickers in Season Six’s “The People Importers.” For those wanting something more familiar, there is a classic style story in Season Five’s “The Escape Route.” It is in that episode that Simon gets himself arrested so as to infiltrate a group of inmates and find out who is heading up a series of recent escapes from Princetown Prison. Very similar plots have been developed for other TV series both before and after. It has even been used as a plot element in a number of action and drama flicks on the big screen. It’s just one more example of why the writing behind The Saint is so important to its enjoyment and success here in its full series set. Simply put, the writing behind The Saint is so pivotal to its enjoyment and success because it didn’t stick to one style of story. It presented both fun, action packed stories as well as more serious story lines, too. That the writers would present such a variety of stories from the series premiere to its finale will keep audiences watching nonstop.

Thanks to the work of the writers behind The Saint, audiences are presented in the series’ first-ever full series set nonstop action and adventure from one episode to the next. The series’ writers show from one episode to the next that they never stick to just one style of story. There are timeless, classic storylines and more serious ones, too. The combination of so many different story styles will keep audiences watching from the series’ premiere to its finale. As important as the writing proves to be to the set’s enjoyment and success, it is just one element of the set that makes it so enjoyable. Examining the set on another level, its packaging should be noted, too. On the surface, the packaging of The Saint: The Complete Series looks rather bulky. However one must consider that the series ran for a total of six seasons and one hundred eighteen episodes. Considering this, TMG has taken it fully into account and given audiences the best possible packaging. Rather than just tossing in a bunch of standalone season sets, TMG has made the set as ergonomic as possible, combining together the series’ first and second seasons into one box, its third and fourth into another, and then its fifth and sixth season into their own standalone sets. Here is where things get just a little dicey. It is understandable that TMG’s people wanted to minimize the amount of space taken up within each set. But because of the set’s packaging, no fewer than seven spindles are left empty over three of the set’s boxes. One of those empty spindles is in the Season 3/4 box. Two more are in Season 5’s standalone set and four more are in Season Six’s box. Considering this, it would have seemed more logical to either eliminate those empty spindles or utilize them by combining part of Season Five into the Season 3/4 set and part of Season Six into the Season Five set. That would have ultimately reduced the size of Season Six’s box and cut down at least a little bit more. But as is, there is empty, unused space in three of the series’ four boxes. That aside, TMG’s people are still to be commended for having made the efforts that they did to maximize the use of the set’s space so as to minimize its space taken up on consumers’ DVD racks.

TMG and its employees are to be commended by and large for the packaging of The Saint: The Complete Series. Even though it looks bulky on the surface, it is actually a relatively wise manner of packaging. It actually saves a certain amount of space on consumers’ DVD racks. On another note, the work of the series’ writers makes this collection enjoyable in its own right. The writers behind this series crafted over its six seasons one hundred eighteen episodes that ran the gamut from classic action fare to more serious episodes throughout. As enjoyable as every episode proves to be, they would not be worth mentioning if not for the work of those charged with restoring the series’ footage for its presentation here. Thanks to the efforts of those individuals every episode looks and sounds just as good as it did in its original broadcast. Each episode maintains its original look complete with that grainy feel. Yet it is obvious that the footage has been meticulously handled so that the grainy feel in question didn’t become overpowering at the same time. On a related note, the sound is just as impressive, too. The audio in each episode has been tweaked just enough to the point that any volume adjustments made from episode to episode and from scene to scene are minimal at best. Yet again, those charged with restoring the footage even in this arena are to be commended for their efforts. The end result of their efforts is one hundred eighteen episodes that look and sound just as wonderful as they did in their original broadcast. because they look and sound so good, audiences will in turn be able to appreciate the work of the series’ writers throughout. Both of these elements set alongside the series’ smart packaging prove together once and for all clearly why The Saint: The Complete Series is yet another hit from Timeless Media Group and why it is also a clear candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-ups.

The Saint: The Complete Series is yet another hit from Timeless Media Group. The recently released box set presents solid, entertaining writing from the series’ premiere to its finale. The packaging minimizes the amount of space used up on consumers’ DVD racks to the best of its ability. Those charged with handling its packaging are to be commended for their efforts here especially considering the fact that the series ran for six seasons and one hundred eighteen episodes. The work of those charged with restoring the footage for its presentation here are to be just as highly commended. It is thanks to their efforts that every one of those one hundred eighteen episodes looks and sounds just as good as they did in their original broadcasts, if not better. All things considered, The Saint: The Complete Series proves in the end to be yet another hit for Timeless Media Group and one more candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new box sets for grown-ups. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/tv-action-adventure/the-saint-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

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.

TMG Resurrecting The Rebel This Summer

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

This summer, fans of the classic western series The Rebel will finally get to see it for the first time again when Timeless Media Group releases the series in its entirety on DVD.

Timeless Media Group announced this week that it will release The Rebel: The Complete Series on DVD on Tuesday, August 18th.  All seventy-six episodes of the classic series will be spread across eleven discs in the soon to be released box set.  The collection will also feature a number of bonus features including the pilot for The Rebel’s companion series The Yank, the retrospective featurette “Looking Back at The Rebel” with the series’ writer and producer A.J. Fenady, and a retrospective interview with star Nick Adams’ children in which they discuss their father both on-screen and off as well as other bonuses.  The Rebel aired on ABC from 1959 – 1691.  Over the course of that short run it featured a slew of well-known guest stars including: Robert Blake (Baretta, In Cold Blood, Lost Highway), Jack Elam (Once Upon A Time In The West, The Cannonball Run, Rio Lobo), Agnes Moorehead (Bewitched, Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons), Dan Blocker (Bonanza, The Restless Gun, Cimarron City), Soupy Sales (Love, American Style, Saturday Supercade, Black Scorpion—TV series), Robert Vaughn (The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Bullitt, The Magnificent Seven), and Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek, Fringe, Mission Impossible—TV Series) among other equally well-known figures.

The Rebel: The Complete Series will be available in stores and online on Tuesday, August 18th.  It will retail for MSRP of $59.97.  Fans of the series can pre-order it for a discounted price of $53.97 online via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://shoutfactory.com/tv/western/the-rebel-the-complete-series-the-collector-s-edition.  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’s Thunderbirds Re-Issue Is One Of 2015’s Best New Box Sets For Kids, Famlies

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Gerry Anderson’s classic sci-fi/action series Thunderbirds is not the only series that he created during his life.  Though, it is safe to say that of the series that he created it is the best . That is both the personal opinion of this critic and apparently that of audiences in general.  The fact that Thunderbirds has been re-imagined so many times since its original run on television from 1964 – 1965 proves that true.  It has been made into a variety of TV series and even an absolutely horrid teen-centric big screen adaptation in 2004.  There is also a whole new reboot of the original series in the works set to air this year on British television.  It goes to show the longevity of the series.  Now thanks to Timeless Media Group, this classic series has finally been resurrected once more.  While not the first time that the series has been released in full—it was last released by A&E Home Video in 2008 in a twelve-disc DVD box set—it proves to be just as welcome in any classic TV lover’s library this time out as in its previous release if not even more welcome.  The very fact that it has been presented both on DVD and Blu-ray this time is one clear reason that it is such a welcome return.  The writing behind the series should be noted whether audiences are seeing the series for the first time or for the first time again.  The writing behind Thunderbirds makes it stand out from any of Anderson’s other series.  Last and hardly least worth noting of TMG’s newly re-issued full series Thunderbirds set is its look and sound.  It looks and sounds just as good as ever if not better.  That is especially the case for the series’ Blu-ray presentation.  That impressive look and sound in the series’ new re-issue rounds out the ways in which it shows itself to be a completely welcome return both for the series’ original fans and for a whole new generation of fans.  Considering all of this it can also be said that TMG’s new re-issue of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families.

TMG’s new re-issue of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is a completely welcome return both for the series’ original fans and for the current generation of fans.  Considering the amount of work that went in to resurrecting the series and doing it right for that matter, it is also one of the best new box sets for children and families.  It shows this to be true in a number of ways, the main way being its overall presentation.  TMG’s release of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is not the first time that the series has ever seen the light of day.  It was previously released in 2008 in a twelve-disc box set by A&E Home Video.  It was only available on DVD at the time, too.  TMG’s new re-issue offers the series on both DVD and Blu-ray.  Whereas A&E Home Video’s box set was composed of twelve discs and was quite bulky to say the least, TMG has presented audiences with a DVD and Blu-ray box set that are both much more streamlined.  The DVD box is composed of eight discs and the Blu-ray set six discs.  Even if either set had to add an extra disc to house the bonus features included in A&E Home Video’s box set, both sets released by TMG would still be more ergonomic than that of A&E Home Video.  To that extent the series’ packaging both on DVD and Blu-ray in its new release plays a big part in why fans of all ages will enjoy it.  The only down side to the packaging and overall presentation here is that it is lacking an episode guide of any sort.  Given it would be nice to have had that.  But even without it, neither set suffers so much that it isn’t worth the purchase.  It’s just a minor detail.  The fact that fans of the series are presented with two ways to watch the series and in cases that are much more ergonomic than that of its previous release more than makes up for that one negative aspect of the packaging.  That being the case, the overall presentation of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series in its new re-issue presents a sound foundation for both sets.

TMG’s presentation of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series on both DVD and Blu-ray is within itself a great positive for the series in its return.  The fact that both the DVD and Blu-ray set are more ergonomic than that of A&E Home Video’s previous twelve-disc DVD presentation makes both sets even more worth of a welcome return for fans of all ages.  Both elements together form a solid foundation for both the series’ new DVD and Blu-ray sets.  That means that there is still much more to be examined here including the series’ very concept and the related work of its writers.  The concept behind Thunderbirds is completely apart from anything that Gerry Anderson developed for any of his other series.  Instead of going out into space as in Fireball XL5, beneath the waves as in Stingray or even using super brain power to fight the forces of evil.  The closes that Thunderbirds comes to any of Gerry Anderson’s other series by comparison is to Supercar.  And even that comparison is loose at best.  It could actually be argued to a point that Thunderbirds is so enjoyable because it built on the concept behind Supercar and made it more relatable to young viewers than Supercar or even any of Anderson’s other series.  Here, in Thunderbirds, is a covert team of operatives that uses cool, high-tech gadgets and vehicles to save the world.  It just happens to be that they are all brothers and are led by their father.  That within itself is an entirely original concept that has seemingly gone on to be the model for a number of other action series that have come along since then.   The brothers don’t save the world from aliens from another world (Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons) or from other sources in their missions.  Rather the bad guys and situations in general are more real and in turn more believable.  The series’ premiere episode is proof of that as International Rescue has to save a jet that has been strapped with a bomb that would not only destroy the plane but would also lead to a massive spread of radioactive material in the jet’s explosion.    Another episode later in the series’ run sees the team having to save one of its own from a group of villains.  There’s even a point in the series’ run in which the Tracy brothers have to aid the U.S. Army in recovering a new vehicle not from villains but from a fiery pit once used by the army to dispose of its own old equipment.  Simply put, the concept and writing behind Thunderbirds presents concepts and adventures that are more tangible than those presented in Anderson’s other series for lack of better wording.  In being more believable the series also becomes more accessible and in turn enjoyable, which is why even some five decades since it first premiered it remains just as enjoyable as any children’s series on television today if not more so.  It’s one more reason that the series, now in its latest re-issue, is a completely welcome addition to any classic TV lover’s library.

The largely original concept behind Thunderbirds and its fun, entirely believable stories make it just as enjoyable as any children’s series on television today if not more so.  That within itself makes the series’ new re-issue a completely welcome return for audiences of all ages both on DVD and Blu-ray.  The fact that TMG has presented the series in separate, streamlined DVD and Blu-ray boxes makes its new release even more welcome in any classic TV lover’s library.  Both elements together give audiences more than enough reason for audiences of all ages to own Thunderbirds: The Complete Series in its new presentation whether on DVD or Blu-ray.  One would be remiss to ignore the overall quality of the episodes in their new re-issue, having noted the series’ packaging and writing.  The series looks and sounds just as impressive as it did in its original run five decades ago.  This is especially the case with the series’ Blu-ray presentation.  The video is crystal clear.  Yet at the same time, the static that was there in the show’s original run is there, too.  It has just been cleaned up to the point that the picture isn’t hindered.  So, retro TV fans won’t have to worry there.  It still maintains its original look.  That look has just been tweaked a little.  Just as impressive is that the Blu-ray presentation presents the video in its original 4:3 aspect ratio.  It hasn’t been stretched out or distorted to accommodate wide screen televisions.  It is a big statement that the people at TMG would make sure to maintain this aspect of the show.  Added to the fact that it still boasts its original static (albeit cleaned static), the look of the series proves to be its own huge bonus for audiences regardless of their familiarity with the series. The sound is just as interesting to note. Audiences will find themselves by and large holding their remotes, constantly adjusting the volume as they watch. That isn’t the fault of those that re-mastered the show. That is actually how the sound was presented in the show’s original run. While it is somewhat irritating, keeping in mind that this is exactly how the audio was originally presented makes the inconsistency bearable. It might even create even more of a sense of nostalgia among audiences. That sense of nostalgia will keep audiences fully engaged in every episode. Being fully engaged, audiences will in turn see for themselves the importance of the series’ concept and its writing. That appreciation coupled with an appreciation for TMG’s dual, ergonomic presentation of the series will lead finally to the agreement that TMG’s new re-issue of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is a completely welcome return. It is in fact one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families.

TMG’s new re-issue of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families. It shows this in so many ways including its packaging, its production values, and of course its concept and writing from one episode to the next. That is not to discount other factors such as the work of those that controlled the marionettes. They were the real stars of the show. The bonus material makes the set even more of a hit. That is because one of the bonus features allows audiences to print out classic brochures promoting the series. There is also an in-depth documentary that discusses how Thunderbirds came to be along with other topics. Whether for these elements, for those that were more directly cited, or for any other element not noted here, any classic TV fan will agree that TMG has impressed greatly with its newly released re-issue of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series. It is a series that was well worth the wait, especially for those that perhaps didn’t already own the series on DVD or even VHS. It is one that is one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families. Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct from TMG via Shout! Factory’s online store on either platform at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/thunderbirds-the-complete-series. More information on Thunderbirds: The Complete Series and other titles from TMG and Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

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