The Legend Of The Lone Ranger Is A Rare Reboot That’s Actually Worth Watching

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

The Lone Ranger is one of the most iconic figures in film and television history.  For decades the masked stranger has maintained a special place in the hearts and minds of children and adults alike.  Of course some incarnations of The Lone Ranger have been more memorable than others and vice versa.  One of his least memorable outings was Disney’s lackluster 2013 offering starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp.  That movie was a bitter disappointment.  Luckily it has proven to be one of very few takes on The Lone Ranger that have ever been turned out since the masked stranger first took to the radio waves way back in 1948.  One of the better installments to ever be released was the 1952 classic The Legend of the Lone Ranger.  It starred Clayton Moore as the masked stranger and was released, ironically, the same year that Moore was replaced by John Hart.  In 1981 that movie was rebooted with Klinton Spilsbury in the starring role.  The movie was re-issued on Blu-ray late in 2015 by Timeless Media Group.  While it largely follows the same premise as the movie’s 1952 installment it is still a rare reboot that is worth the watch, especially being a Lone Ranger flick.  The central reason for its success is its writing. That will be discussed shortly.  Another important element of this movie is the movie’s special effects.  This will be discussed later.  Last but hardly least of note in this movie is the work of the movie’s cast.  All things considered the 1981 reboot of The Legend of the Lone Ranger proves to be a reboot that is actually worth watching and a movie that any Western fan will enjoy.

Universal Pictures’ 1981 reboot of the 1952 film Legend of the Lone Ranger is a reboot that is actually worth watching.  That is in comparison to other rare reboots of the day and to all of the endless reboots being churned out by Hollywood’s “Big Six” today.  The main reason for that is the movie writing.  This includes both the movie’s central story and the story’s smaller elements such as its special effects and violence.  The movie’s central story sticks in large part to the plot presented in the 1952 original.  It is basically an origin story that starts at the Lone Ranger’s childhood and is taken from the first three episodes of the original Lone Ranger TV series.  The movie runs roughly an hour and forty minutes.  And the first half of that time is spent telling the Lone Ranger’s back story while the second half follows his search for the villainous Butch Cavendish.  What’s important about the whole of the story is that even with such clear separation, the movie’s writing team didn’t overdo either end of the story.  Just enough time is spent explaining what led John Reid to become the Lone Ranger in the first half of the movie.  The story’s progression in its second half is just as surprising.  Cavendish’s plot to kidnap the President and hold him hostage is laid right out rather than having a bunch of time wasted building up to its reveal.  In the same vein, the writers use just as little time sending Reid on his hunt for Cavendish.  In neither case does the story feel rushed either.  This means that the story is that much easier to follow.  Simply put both the first and second half are so expertly balanced in terms of their pacing and their general storytelling that the presentation in whole will keep viewers wholly entertained and engaged from beginning to end.  It is just one aspect of this movie that makes it well worth the watch.  The movie’s special effects are to be taken into consideration, too.

The Legend of The Lone Ranger’s writing team is to be applauded for their work on this takeoff of the 1952 original.  This is saying plenty considering the problems usually faced by scripts crafted by multiple writers.  The script is well balanced both in terms of its pacing and its general progression.  These two aspects alone are just part of what makes The Legend of the Lone Ranger a rare reboot worth watching.  The movie’s special effects are just as important to note here as the movie’s script.  This is especially in comparison to so many of today’s overly violent, special effects laden action flicks.  The gunfights are big in scale.  But they never feel overpowering unlike similar scenes churned out in today’s action flicks.  What’s more the amount of blood shed pales in comparison.  It is kept to an extreme minimum, again by comparison to today’s action flicks.  This is so important to note because it shows how much action movies have de-evolved since this movie’s release and even its predecessor.  It’s really a powerful statement.  The explosions that are used in the movie’s third act are just as notable.  They are only used in that act and nowhere else in the story.  To add to that, the explosions that are used are not the overly loud, speaker shaking explosions that are used way too much in Hollywood’s current era.  More simply put they are part of the story rather than the star of the story unlike with those used in movies by Michael Bay and Zack Snyder.  Because they are used so responsibly they make the movie in whole even more entertaining.  When they are set against the movie’s equally well-executed story the two elements combine to show even more why Universal’s reboot of The Legend of the Lone Ranger is a diamond in the rough in the world of reboots.

The writing behind Universal’s reboot of The Legend of the Lone Ranger and its special effects are both key elements in the movie’s success.  While both elements are important in their own right they are not the movie’s only key elements.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note.  Christopher Lloyd is surprisingly impressive as the devious Butch Cavendish.  It would have been easy for Lloyd to throw back to the days of the original Lone Ranger TV and radio series, going well over the top.  But he opted not to go that route.  Instead he portrayed Cavendish as something of a cerebral criminal, calm and collected but not overly proud of himself at the same time.  Klinton Spilsbury and Michael Horse are just as impressive as John Reid/The Lone Ranger and Tonto respectively.  They handled their roles with professionalism equal to that of Lloyd.  They balanced the serious nature of their characters with just enough charm and ham to make both characters fun to watch.  When Spilsbury and Lloyd face off in the story’s final minutes, Spilsbury delivers an applause worthy performance as he contemplates Cavendish’s fate.  It is a small moment, but an important moment nonetheless.  It was one of those scenes that made Spilsbury believable as the iconic character.  That is not to say that Lloyd and Horse were not believable in their respective roles; Quite the opposite in fact.  They are just as believable.  Their interpretation of their characters and the movie’s scripts rounds out the movie’s most important elements and shows once and for all why this movie, while a reboot, is still well worth the watch.

The 1981 reboot of The Legend of The Lone Ranger is a rarity of a work.  That is because while it is a reboot, it is a reboot worth watching.  This is thanks in part to the movie’s expertly balanced writing and pacing,  The movie holds a solid steady pace from beginning to end.  It balances just as well the story’s setup and its central story present in the script’s second act.  The special effects utilized in this movie were used sparingly and respectably in comparison to so many action flicks in today’s era of action flicks.  The work of the movie’s cast in interpreting their characters and the story’s script adds that much ore enjoyment to the movie.  It rounds out the movie’s most notable elements.  Their work couples with the work of the writers and that of the special effects department and makes this movie a rare reboot that is actually worth watching.  It is available now on Blu-ray in stores and online and can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/action-adventure/the-legend-of-the-lone-ranger.  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: https://www.facebook.com/Timeless-Media-Group-358391474233364/?fref=ts

 

 

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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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

 

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.

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

 

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 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.