Giants, Lions Close Out Week 2 In The NFL On ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The National Football League winds down the second week of its 2017 – ’18 season Monday night on ESPN with an NFC inter-divisional matchup.

The New York Giants (0 – 1 – 0) are scheduled to host the Detroit Lions (1 – 0 – 0) Monday night at Met Life Stadium in Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey as the NFL winds down the second week of its 2017 – ’18 season.  The Giants sit third in the NFC East coming into Monday night’s matchup against Detroit, while the Lions currently sit second in the NFC North right behind the Minnesota Vikings, also 1 – 0 – 0 on the season.

Monday night’s game between the NFC inter-divisional foes will be the Giants’ first home game after the season.  The team fell 19 – 3 to Dallas in Dallas in Week 1.  Detroit meanwhile opened its season with a hard-fought 35 – 23 home win against Arizona.

The Giants’ season-opening road loss and the Tiger’s season-opening home win means that both teams will be playing equally hard for a win – the Tigers for their second straight win on the season and the G-Men for their first win of the season in front of a home crowd.

Sean McDonough will have the call for Monday night’s game.  He will be joined in the booth by Jon Gruden for additional commentary. Lisa Salters will be on the sidelines with all of the game’s latest interviews and news.

Suzy Kolber will anchor ESPN’s weekly Monday night pre-game program Monday Night Countdown ahead of kickoff beginning at 6 p.m.  She will be joined by analysts Matt Hasselbeck, Randy Moss, Charles Woodson and Steve Young for additional commentary.

Monday’s game will be simulcast in Spanish on ESPN Deportes with Alvaro Martin on the call.  He will be joined by Raul Allegre and reporter John Sutcliffe for additional commentary.

Anyone not near a television Monday night can catch all of the night’s action online live via the ESPN app.

More information on ESPN’s NFL coverage is available online now along with all of the latest NFL headlines at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.espn.com/nfl

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

 

 

 

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.

Advertisements

Arrow Academy’s ‘Terror In A Texas Town’ Re-Issue Is Anything But A Terror

Courtesy: Arrow Academy/United Artists

Late this past July, independent movie company Arrow Academy re-issued the little-known classic Western flick Terror in a Texas Town on Blu-ray.  While perhaps not the most well-known offering from the “Western World,” it is in fact a movie that Western fans and cinephiles alike will appreciate.  That statement applies regardless of audiences’ familiarity with the movie.  This is due in part to the movie’s central story, which will be discussed shortly.  The work of the movie’s cast plays its own part in the movie’s enjoyability and will be discussed later.  The bonus material included in the movie’s recent re-issue rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the re-issue’s overall presentation.  All things considered, they make Arrow Academy’s re-issue of Terror in a Texas Town anything but a terror.

Arrow Academy’s recent re-issue of United Artists’ 1958 Western Terror in a Texas Town is a work that is anything but a terror.  Yes, that awful pun was fully intended.  That statement is supported in part through the movie’s story.  Written by Dalton Trumbo, the movie’s story follows a relatively familiar plot yet does so with a few alterations to that all too familiar plot.  Trumbo’s story follows protagonist George Hansen (Sterling Hayden—The Godfather, Dr. Strangelove, The Asphalt Jungle) as he sets out to avenge his father’s death.  In the way of that vengeance is the standard evil businessman/landowner McNeill (Sebastian Cabot—The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, The Jungle Book, The Sword in the Stone) and his henchman, Johnny Crale (Nedrick Young—Inherit The Wind, The Defiant Ones, Jailhouse Rock).  One of the most notable variations incorporated into this story is that Hansen comes in not as the incoming Sheriff who typically fights the bad guys, but a man from another land.  This element is discussed more in-depth in the bonus material and will be touched on later.  In other words, this story isn’t the standard man in white versus the man in black story.  It is just a man who wants justice and (not to give away too much here) gets it without going around the town shooting all the bad guys.  That in itself is another variant that can’t be ignored here.  Along with those variants, audiences will also notice that the underlying romance subplot that is all too common in so many other is absent from this story, too.  Its absence here makes the story all the more engaging for audiences, proving even more that a good story doesn’t necessarily need all of the clichés of a genre to be enjoyable.  The fact that Trumbo left so many Western clichés out of this story, opting instead for something more directed and focused also played positively into the movie’s roughly 80-minute run time, ensuring even more audiences’ maintained engagement.  What’s more, the lack of those clichés also is obviously what led to the movie’s 80-minute run time.  If all those unnecessary items had been added to the story, it likely would have been far longer in terms of its run time and even less well-known.  Keeping all of this in mind, it becomes clear why the story at the center of Terror in a Texas Town is such an important part of the movie’s whole.  It also becomes clear why the story is so entertaining and engaging from start to finish.  With this in mind, the movie’s story is only one of its most important elements.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to discuss as its story.

The work of the cast in Terror in a Texas Town is so critical to the movie’s overall presentation because the cast’s work is just as simple as the story.  This is not a bad thing, either.  From Hayden’s confidence as George Hansen to Cabot’s diabolical McNeill and even to Young’s work as Johnny Crale, and beyond, every cast member here does just enough to make their characters believable.  Audiences will be especially moved by the subtlety in Young’s portrayal of Crale as Crale clearly is struggling internally with who he is and was.  The way that Young handle’s Crale, there almost seems to be a hint that Crale doesn’t like being a hired gun anymore and has second thoughts about what he is doing despite convincing himself in the end of his place.  Even in the case of Cabot and Hayden, their performances are spot on.  Cabot, even in his few on-screen appearances still manages to make audiences know McNeill is the evil businessman without going over the top in doing so.  Hayden echoes hints of Gary Cooper (which is also discussed in the re-issue’s bonus material) in his simplistic approach.  Between all of this and the work of the rest of the movie’s cast, so much can be such of the cast’s work, all of it positive.  Audiences will see that for themselves when they check out this movie for themselves.  Keeping this in mind, it becomes clear why the work of this movie’s cast is just as important to its presentation as the movie’s story.  It still is not the last of the movie’s most important elements.  The bonus material included in its recent re-issue rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus material featured in Arrow Academy’s recent re-issue of Terror in a Texas Town includes an in-depth introduction to the movie and an analysis of its cinematography from author Peter Stanfield.  Stanfield, known best for his book Hollywood, Westerns and the 1930s—The Lost Trail and Horse Opera: The Strange History of the Singing Cowboy, explains what makes Terror in a Texas Town so many other Westerns and what also sets it apart from those flicks.  Audiences learn through Stanfield’s discussions that while Trumbo’s story was, on its outermost level a Western, it was on a deeper level, an allegory about personal freedoms.  This is key as he connects it to the impact of Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunt on Trumbo, Hayden and even Young.  This discussion alone adds so much more depth to the movie’s overall presentation.  Stanfield’s discussion on Trumbo’s balance of classic Western elements with his own writing style here adds yet more depth to the movie’s presentation as does his discussion on director Joseph H. Lewis’ stylistic approach to the movie behind the lens.  This is a discussion that any film production student and lover will appreciate.  When these and other discussions included in the re-issue’s bonus material is considered in whole, they prove collectively to be just as critical to the movie’s presentation as the movie’s story and the work of its actors.  Collectively, those bonus discussions, the movie’s story and the cast’s work show Terror in a Texas Town to be a work that Western fans and movie history buffs alike will appreciate.  That is even despite the movie being one of the lesser-known entries in the “Western world.”  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Arrow Academy is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://arrowfilms.co.uk

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

 

 

 

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.

‘Take A Good Look The Definitive Collection’ Is A Must See For Any Student, Lover Of The Broadcast Arts, History

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/ABC

ABC’s classic panel game show Take A Good Look is one of the most important yet underappreciated programs in broadcasting history.  Shout! Factory will prove that this fall when it releases the program’s most comprehensive collection to date in the form of Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection in stores and online.  The seven-disc collection presents 49 episodes from the short-lived late-night series.  The episodes presented here are collectively the set’s most important element, and for multiple reasons, too.  They will be discussed shortly.  The liner notes included with the set are just as important to the set’s presentation as its episodes and will be discussed later.  The set’s packaging rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is clearly important in its own right to the set’s overall presentation.  All things considered, Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection proves in the end to be an important watch for any lover and student of broadcast history.

Shout! Factory’s forthcoming Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection is an important collection for any lover and student of broadcast history to own.  It brings to light a program that is one of the industry’s most important yet underappreciated game shows as is evidenced through its episodes.  While the series ran for a total of 53 episodes over two seasons on ABC, only 49 of those episodes have ever been available, and Shout! Factory has made all 49 of those episodes available here, giving audiences here the fullest run of the show possible.  This is only one part of what makes the episodes so critical.  The show’s very format presented in these episodes is important to discuss, too.  That is because of the influence that it clearly has played on so many series since.  One part late night talk show and one part light-hearted panel show, one can easily see (and hear) the series’ influence on the likes of Whose Line Is It Anyway, National Public Radio’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and even so many of today’s late night talk shows.  Even CBS’ classic Saturday morning cartoon series Garfield & Friends paid tribute to Take A Good Look in one of its U.S. Acres shorts.

On yet another level, the episodes featured here are important to note because of their historical and cultural importance.  Audiences will see here that along with the fun games, the episodes also feature the original Dutch Masters cigar ads that ran with the show in its original run.  It reminds audiences on one level of a time when tobacco companies were allowed to advertise on a wider scale than they can today.  On another level, the ads will surprise audiences in the fact that they apparently even targeted children.  One of the ads encouraged children to buy Dutch Masters cigar boxes for their fathers as Father’s Day gifts.  That in itself is certain to generate plenty of discussion as will some of the other ads featured here.

While the ads included with the set’s featured episodes add their own depth to the episodes’ presentation, they are not the last important part of what makes the episodes so important.  The episodes’ production values are just as important to note as the ads and the episodes’ content.  The production values (its audio and video) make watching the episodes like opening a virtual time capsule of sorts.  That is because audiences get here, the episodes’ original audio and video playback.  In other words, no effort was taken to re-master the episodes in regards to the audio or video.  In this case, this is a great thing.  That is because it shows how far television production technology has come since television’s golden age.  In turn, it shows how much production values have improved as a result of those technological advances.  Considering this element, the ads that run with the episodes, the show’s clear influence as a result of its format and the full episode listing, it becomes clear why the episodes featured here are so important to the overall presentation of Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection.  The whole of those aspects leads the episodes collectively to form a solid foundation for the set; a foundation on which is strengthened even more through the bonus liner notes included with the set.

The liner notes included with this collection, composed by film & TV historian Ben Model, enhance the set’s presentation even more because of the depth of information provided therein.  Audiences learn through Model’s notes that apparently host Ernie Kovacs, who was known largely for other film and television work, that he apparently was not fond of Take A Good Look.  Just as interesting to learn is why exactly Kovacs even agreed to host the show and the possible reason that the show even managed two seasons.  These tidbits and so much more paint a vivid picture for the series even before audiences put in the first disc.  Keeping this in mind, it becomes clear why the set’s bonus liner notes prove to be just as important to this set’s presentation as its episodes.  The liner notes are not the last of the set’s most important elements either.  Its packaging rounds out its most important elements.

The packaging used for this set is everything that audiences have come to expect from Shout! Factory in regards to its box sets.  Each of the set’s six discs is placed on its own plate inside the set’s box, protecting the discs from each other and also minimizing the box’s size as much as possible.  The set’s episode listing is printed clearly on the inside of the box’s art, too and includes the episodes’ air date, guest name and the episodes’ specific discs.  That listing once again provides a clear guide for audiences as they select the episodes that they want to watch, proving once more why this set deserves such high praise.  When this is considered along with the set’s in-depth liner notes and just as deep episodes, it becomes perfectly clear why this set in whole is such an important collection for any lover and student of television history.  What’s more, it becomes just as clear why Take A Good Look is itself such an important part of not just television history but broadcast history in whole.  Keeping all of this in mind, one can’t help but agree that this set deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new DVD/BD box sets for grown ups.

Shout! Factory’s upcoming release of Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection is a must see for any lover and student of the broadcast arts and their associated history.  That is due to episodes that show their own depth and value along with liner notes and production values that are just as critical as the set’s episodes.  Keeping all of that in mind, the set in whole proves that it deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new DVD/BD box sets for grown-ups.  It will be released in stores and online Oct. 17 and can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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.

Shout! Factory, NBC Partner To Release ‘The Good Place: Season 1’

Courtesy: NBC/Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is taking audiences to a “Good Place” this fall.

Shout! Factory will release the first season of NBC’s hit sitcom The Good Place in stores and online on Oct. 17.  The series follows protagonist Eleanor Shellstrop  (Kristen Bell-Bad Moms, Veronica Mars, Frozen) as she navigates her unexpected afterlife following a clerical error  landed her upstairs instead of downstairs.

Bell is joined in Season One by veteran actor Ted Danson (Cheers¸ Becker, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) and by William Jackson Harper (The Electric Company, True Story, All Good Things) among others in this surprise hit comedy’s debut season.

Along with 13 full-length episodes, the series’ lead season also comes with a handful of bonuses including a pair of audio commentaries, a gag reel, table read and more.  The Good Place: Season 1 can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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.

ESPN Announces College Football Week 3 Broadcast Schedule

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN has announced its broadcast schedule for its networks’ coverage for the second week of the 2017 – ’18 college football season.

The second week of the 2017 – ’18 college football season launches Friday at 8 p.m. on ESPN with a matchup between New Mexico and Boise State.  The weekend’s schedule continues at 7 p.m. Friday as No. 22 South Florida plays host to Illinois on ESPN.

Saturday’s daylong schedule will be highlighted on television with a showdown between No. 3 Clemson and No. 14 Louisville on ABC’s Saturday Night Football presented by Wells Fargo.  Coverage is currently scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET.  Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Maria Taylor will cover Saturday night’s game live from Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

Along with Saturday night’s game between the Tigers and Cardinals, No. 9 Oklahoma is scheduled to take on Pittsburg at noon Saturday.  No. 10 Wisconsin will face BYU at 3:30 p.m. College GameDay Built by The Home Depot will precede Saturday’s games beginning at 9 a.m. live on site in Louisville, KY.

Saturday night’s game between the Cardinals and Tigers is the weekend’s feature game due to the effects of Hurricane Irma.  The game was originally scheduled to air at 3:30 p.m., with Miami and Florida State originally scheduled for the 8 p.m. slot.  That game was postponed and re-scheduled for Oct. 7, leading the Louisville – Clemson game to fill Saturday night’s headline matchup.

Also shifted as a result of Hurricane Irma was a matchup between Notre Dame and Boston College.  That game was originally scheduled for noon, but was moved to a 3:30 p.m. start time on ESPN.

Hurricane Irma’s impact also led Saturday’s matchup between Georgia Tech and USF (scheduled for 7:30 p.m on ESPNNEWS) to be canceled.  Other games have also been moved to other networks and times due to the far-reaching effects of Hurricane Irma.  The ESPN networks’ full Week 3 college football broadcast schedule is noted below.

All Games are Saturday, Sept. 16 unless noted

Date

Time (ET)

Game

Network

Thu, Sept. 14

8 p.m.

New Mexico at Boise State
Dave Flemming, Brock Huard, Laura Rutledge

ESPN

Fri, Sept. 15

7 p.m.

Illinois at No. 22 South Florida
Dave Lamont, Mack Brown, Jen Lada

ESPN

Massachusetts at Temple
Mike Corey, Rene Ingoglia

ESPNU

10:15 p.m.

Arizona at UTEP
Adam Amin, Dusty Dvoracek, Molly McGrath

ESPN

Sat, Sept. 16

Noon

No. 25 UCLA at Memphis

Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Rocky Boiman

ABC

No. 9 Oklahoma State at Pittsburgh
Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbilll

ESPN

UConn at Virginia
Jason Benetti, Kelly Stouffer, Kris Budden

ESPN2

Kansas at Ohio
Clay Matvick, Kirk Morrison

ESPNU

Louisiana at Texas A&M
Dave Neal, Matt Stinchcomb, Dawn Davenport

SEC Network

Edinboro at West Chester

ESPN3

Peru State at Missouri Valley

ESPN3

12:20 p.m.

Furman at NC State

ACC Network Extra

12:30 p.m.

Baylor at Duke

ACC Network Extra

1:00 p.m.

Grand Valley State at Michigan Tech

ESPN3

Walsh at Jacksonville

ESPN3

The Citadel at East Tennessee State

ESPN3

2:00 p.m.

Central Connecticut State and Youngstown State

ESPN3

3:00 p.m.

North Dakota at South Dakota

ESPN3

Tennessee Tech at Ball State

Jim Barbar, Mark Herrmann

ESPN3

Utah State at Wake Forest

Bill Roth, Christian Ponder

ACC Network Extra

3:30 p.m.

No. 10 Wisconsin at BYU
Mike Patrick, Tommy Tuberville, Paul Carceterra

ABC

Notre Dame at Boston College
Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay

ESPN

North Texas at Iowa
Anish Shroff, Ahmad Brooks, Roddy Jones

ESPN2

SMU at No. 20 TCU
Roy Philpott, Tom Ramsey

ESPNU

Central Michigan at Syracuse

Doug Sherman, Matt Chatham 

ACC Network Extra

4:00 p.m.

Purdue at Missouri
Taylor Zarzour, Andre Ware, Olivia Harlan

SEC Network

Mercer at No. 15 Auburn
Joel Meyers, Brian Kinchen, Gabe Gross

SEC Network Alternate

6:00 p.m.

Colgate at Buffalo
Greg Mescall, Marcus Ray

ESPN3

Carson-Newman at Wingate

ESPN3

Dartmouth at Stetson

ESPN3

Villanova at Lafayette

ESPN3

Indian State at Liberty

ESPN3

Tennessee-Martin at Chattanooga

ESPN3

7:00 p.m.

No. 12 LSU at Mississippi State
Joe Tessitore, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe

ESPN

Colorado State at No. 1 Alabama
Mark Jones, Rod Gilmore, Quint Kessenich

ESPN2

Idaho at Western Michigan
Dan Gutowsky, Tyoka Jackson

ESPN3

Tulsa at Toledo

ESPN3

Appalachian State at Texas State
Tyler Denning, Stan Lewter

ESPN3

Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Arkansas State
Drew Fellios, Forrest Conoly

ESPN3

Southern Miss at Louisiana-Monroe
David Saltzman, Watson Brown

ESPN3

Alabama A&M at South Alabama
Matt Stewart, Doug Graber

ESPN3

North Alabama at Valdosta State

ESPN3

Houston Baptist at Abilene Christian

ESPN3

Incarnate World at Stephen F. Austin

ESPN3

Lamar at Northwestern State

ESPN3

Tusculum at Limestone

ESPN3

Monmouth at Albany

ESPN3

Drake at South Dakota State

ESPN3

Jackson State at Grambling State*
Eric Clemons, Jay Walker

ESPN3

7:30 p.m.

No. 18 Kansas State at Vanderbilt
Mike Couzens, John Congemi

ESPNU

Kentucky at South Carolina
Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic

SEC Network

Samford at No. 13 Georgia
Mike Morgan, Barrett Jones, Desmond Purnell

SEC Network Alternate

8:00 p.m.

No. 3 Clemson at No. 14 Louisville
Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor

ABC

Rice at Houston
Robert Lee, Stanford Routt

ESPN3

Troy at New Mexico State

ESPN3

Cincinnati at Miami (Ohio)

ESPN3

8:30 p.m.

Texas at No. 4 USC
Bill Rosinski, Dusty Dvoracek, Ian Fitzsimmons

ESPN Radio

10:00 p.m.

San Jose State at Utah
Mark Neely, Ray Bentley, Alex Corddry

ESPN2

10:30 p.m.

Ole Miss at California
Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard, Allison WIlliams

ESPN

*Airing on-delay at 10 p.m. on ESPNU
Not all ESPN3 and ACC Network Extra games are exclusive

More information on the ESPN networks’ college football coverage is available online now along with all of the latest college football headlines at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.espn.com/college-football

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espncfb

 

 

 

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.

Cohen Media Group Announces ‘Churchill’ Home Release Date

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Cohen Media Group is bringing the hard-hitting World War II historical drama Churchill home next month.

Churchill will be released Oct. 3 on DVD and Blu-ray through the independent movie studio.  The movie stars actor Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Identity, Braveheart) as Britain’s beloved Prime Minister Winston Churchill as he led the nation through the war.

In the case of this movie, audiences watch as Churchill wrestles with himself over whether or not to take part in the invasion of Normandy, considering the result of the World War I Battle of Gallipoli.  That battle saw more than 500,000 soldiers die in the line of duty.

In considering whether or not to join the operation, Churchill also finds himself at odds with U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower (played here by John Slattery—Mad Men, Captain America: Civil War, Iron Man 2) and British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery (played here by Julian Wadham—The English Patient, War Horse, Exorcist: The Beginning).  Churchill’s wife Clementine (played here by Miranda Richardson—Dance With a Stranger, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Sleepy Hollow) ultimately helps Churchill as he comes to terms with his decision after the intervention of King George VI in discussions between the leaders.

Churchill is rated PG.  It will retail for MSRP of $30.99 on Blu-ray and $25.99 on DVD.  The 105-minute main feature will be accompanied by a selection of bonus features.

More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.cohenmedia.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

 

 

 

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.

‘The Vietnam War’ Is A Powerful New Look At One Of The World’s Most Talked About Conflicts

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

So much over the years has been written and created about the Vietnam War.  From books to feature-length movies to documentaries, the conflict in Vietnam has remained a hot button topic for generations.  Next Tuesday, Sept. 19, PBS will add its own new addition to the topic when it releases The Vietnam War: A Film By Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.  This in-depth documentary is easily one of the most comprehensive pieces ever presented on the conflict and just as easily one of the year’s top new documentaries.  That is due in no small part to the information presented over the course of the documentary’s 18-hour run time.  This will be discussed shortly.  The set’s packaging, which includes the doc’s episode listing, is just as important to the set’s presentation as its information.  It will be discussed later. The set’s bonus material rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own way to the set’s overall presentation, as will be made clear through this review.  All things considered, they make The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick a must have for military history buffs and history buffs in general, and one of the year’s top new documentaries.

The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick is easily one of PBS’ top docs so far this year and one of the year’s top new docs, too.  In the same vein, it is also a must have for military history buffs and history buffs alike.  That is due in no small part to the information presented throughout the course of this 18-hour run time.  Right from the program’s outset, the program reveals the true roots of the Vietnam War—French occupation of Vietnam during the late 1800s.  This is a piece of information that is rarely, if ever, taught in and out of any classroom.  The program reveals that the French, who had colonized Vietnam since the late 19th Century, treated the Vietnamese quite poorly.  It further adds that between their mistreatment at the hands of the French–and at the hands of the Japanese during World War II–led to the fight for Vietnamese independence.  Just as interesting to learn is that the conflict that happened following the nation earning its independence is what eventually led to the war between the North and South.  Understanding this much deeper history behind the war puts it (and other items) into a whole new perspective; a perspective that definitely needs to be more widely taught than it already is being taught.

The rarely taught roots of the Vietnam conflict are collectively just the tip of the iceberg in the information that makes this presentation so engaging.  Much later in the program’s run, audiences learn that the American military was not the only side that was impacted by the war.  Interviews with former North and South Vietnamese soldiers lead to some very powerful revelations including that the conflict likely could have been averted in the first place and that—as one former soldier noted—there are no winners in war.  There is also plenty of information about the conflict that boiled over here in the United States as a result of beliefs about the war including hindsight from some protesters that will surprise audiences as much as any other featured information.  When audiences consider this and so much more information shared throughout the program’s 18-hour run time, they will see clearly why that information is so important to the program’s overall presentation.  Staying on that same thought, the episode summaries presented as part of the set’s packaging is another key part of its presentation.

The episode listing included as part of this set’s packaging is integral to its packaging because it creates a solid first piece of information for each episode.  Case in point is the episode summary for the set’s second disc.  That summary notes that Diem’s increasing autocratic rule in South Vietnam increased the conflict in the peninsula while President Kennedy had to figure, as America’s leader, how intensely America should have gotten involved in the conflict.  In other words, this lone summary not only sets the stage for the episode but also tells in short yet another piece of the war’s history.  The documentary’s other nine episode summaries work much in the same fashion, showing clearly why they are so important to the set’s packaging.

On another note, the discs’ actual packaging solidifies the set’s packaging even more.  The set’s 10 total discs are split into two separate five-disc cases.  Each of the discs within the cases is placed on its own plate inside the case, including inside the rear of the case.  Not only does this help save space with on DVD (and Blu-ray) racks, but it also protects the discs from one another.  This, in turn, increases the discs’ life span and in turn shows even more clearly the importance of the set’s overall packaging.  Keeping this in mind, the set’s packaging is just one more of its key elements.  The bonus material included in this set rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus material included with The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick is an important part of the documentary’s whole because of the additional information that it reveals.  Audiences will be surprised to learn through the bonus material, the painstaking efforts taken to show not only the American side of the war but the Asian side, too.  That meant taking years to find former soldiers from North and South Vietnam willing to share their stories.

Just as interesting to learn through the bonus material is the psychological impact that war has on those involved.  That revelation is made through a discussion among a large group of veterans from various wars.  The deeply rooted emotions displayed by each veteran are so powerful even being experienced just on screen.  Hearing the pain expressed by the veterans is enough to bring tears to even those who have never experienced the horrors and the traumas of war.

The frank, honest discussion from Jack Todd on why he left the Vietnam War—with a group of young military cadets no less—is just as powerful as that discussion on war’s psychological impact among the veterans.  Todd’s thoughts on the draft, reconciling his own thoughts about war with what to teach his children and other items are certain to create plenty of discussion among audiences.  Those certain discussions show the importance of this segment and even more in whole, the importance of the set’s bonus material.  Whether through Todd’s discussions, the veterans’ discussions, the discussions on how the documentary came to life or other discussions, audiences will see time and again the importance of this documentary’s bonus material time and again throughout each discussion.  Every discussion will keep audiences fully engaged long after the doc’s main feature–and bonus material–ends.  Keeping this in mind, it becomes wholly clear why the bonus material included in this set is so pivotal to its presentation.  It is its own powerful look at the war that is not shown in the documentary’s main feature, and makes the overall program all the more engaging.  When this is considered along with the engagement generated through the main feature’s information and the aesthetic value of the set’s packaging, the whole presentation proves to be an impressive work that is a must have for history buffs and military history buffs alike.  It proves to be one of the year’s best new documentaries and one of PBS’ best documentaries so far this year.

The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick will be available next Tuesday, Sept. 19.  It can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pbs

 

 

 

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.