‘Car Wash’ BD Re-Issue Is A Must See For Any Classic Movie Fan

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

The summer movie season is officially in swing once again, but sadly, Hollywood’s “Big Six” studios haven’t really turned out much about which audiences can be excited.  That leaves one wondering what alternatives are available.  One answer comes in the form of Shout! Factory’s recent re-issue of the classic dramedy Car Wash.  Released June 20 on Blu-ray, this 1976 flick is the polar opposite of everything in theaters today and almost everything before with few exceptions.  That is due in part to the movie’s story, one of its key elements to examine.  It will be discussed shortly.  The movie’s soundtrack is just as important to note believe it or not.  It will be discussed later.  The soundtrack is discussed at more length in the movie’s bonus material, which in itself is important to note.  Each element noted here is important in its own right to the whole of Car Wash’s presentation in its recent re-issue.  All things considered, Shout! Factory’s recent re-issue of Car Wash is a solid alternative to Hollywood’s annual lack of summer entertainment.

Shout! Factory’s recent re-issue of Universal Pictures’ classic dramedy Car Wash is an enjoyable alternative to Hollywood’s annual lack of entertaining summer fare.  That is due in part to the story at the center of the movie.  The story is relatively simple.  It follows a group of car wash employees over the course of a single day on the job. It sounds simple, and it is.  But it’s that simplicity that makes the story so interesting even with all of the different story lines.  Far too often in today’s movies, multiple story lines are the norm, and far too often, those multiple story lines mess up said movies because said movies’ writers don’t know how to balance the stories.  That wasn’t the case here.  Script writer Joel Schumacher (yes, the same one responsible for those awful Batman movies) actually did an applause worthy job in balancing each character’s story within the bigger picture of the story’s script.  That ability to balance the stories ensures audiences engagement from beginning to end.

On another level, the story’s aesthetic elements add even more to its surprising enjoyment.  It balances just as well its dramatic elements and its more comedic moments, making the story even more entertaining.  Viewers will laugh as one of the guys stuffs his friend’s sandwich with hot peppers and as George Carlin’s taxi driver looks for a woman who tried to get a free ride in his cab, trying to get his money.  What’s interesting about his performance is that one can’t help but wonder if Bill Murray might have taken Carlin’s performance as inspiration for his performance in Caddyshack.  Putting the pair’s performances side by side, one can’t ignore the similarity in the characters’ portrayals.  Getting back on track, audiences will be just as entertained in the story’s more moving moments such as when T.C. tries to woo a certain young lady and when Duane tries to rob the car wash (not to give away too much).  Between these moments and so many more, the balance of the story’s humorous and heartfelt elements makes the story even more entertaining.  Doing a comparison to certain other movies, one can’t help but compare that balance to that presented in Friday.  Stylistically, the two stories are very similar in that aspect.  Keeping that in mind, it shows potentially the long reach that this story has had.  Considering that and the balance in the story’s multiple lines, it becomes clear why Car Wash’s story is central to its presentation in more ways than one.  It is of course just one of the movie’s important elements.  Its soundtrack is an important element to note, too.

The story at the center of Car Wash is central to its presentation not just because it is the story, but because of the balance in its multiple arcs and aesthetic elements.  That balance ensures audiences’ engagement throughout the course of the classic dramedy.  Even with this in mind, it is not the movie’s only important element.  The movie’s soundtrack is just as important to note.  That’s because it isn’t just a random soundtrack.  In fact, as is discussed in the bonus material, it is actually its own part of the movie.  As is noted, the movie is actually built around its soundtrack.  The songs are deliberately placed alongside each scene in order to heighten each scene’s appropriate emotion.  Such a practice is something rare nowadays in most films.  It shows, too, with so many soundtracks just overflowing with Top 40 and rock songs.  Given, the songs included in this movie are major radio hits to this day.  But they were strategically placed, and quite well at that.  Even more interesting to note is that the movie’s title song was released before the movie even hit theaters.  That, too is noted in the movie’s bonus material, which will be discussed shortly.  Considering the deliberate, well thought out placement of the movie’s soundtrack, it goes a long way toward adding to the movie’s entertainment especially taking into account the knowledge of that intentional placement.  Keeping this in mind, it becomes fully clear why the soundtrack around which Car Wash’s story is built is just as important as the movie’s story.  It is not the last of the movie’s important elements either.  Those previously noted bonus materials round out the movie’s most important elements in its recent re-issue.

The bonus material included in Car Wash’s recent Blu-ray re-issue via Shout! Factory are important to the movie’s presentation because they, surprisingly, create the movie’s backbone.  It is through Producer Gary Stromberg’s discussions that audiences learn about the movie’s story being created around its soundtrack rather than the other way around.  His discussion also reveals the tidbit about the movie’s title song being released to radio in order to build excitement about the movie.  Audiences will be surprised to learn just how much excitement that approach built.  For those unfamiliar with the song, the discussion on the song along provides an interesting history behind the composition.  As if that isn’t enough, Stromberg reveals he was still a struggling college student when the idea for Car Wash came about.  Audiences will be surprised to learn this piece of history, considering how popular the movie has gone on to become in the now almost 41 years since it debuted—on Oct. 22, 1976.  Stromberg’s discussions on the Soul train dancers being hired to dance at the movie’s premiere, how the story was scripted, and more are just as enlightening as his other discussions, too.  Considering all of this, Stromberg’s overall discussions form a solid foundation for Car Wash in its recent re-issue.  Looking back in hindsight, it is recommended that audiences watch this discussion before taking in the movie because of the groundwork that it lays.

Stromberg’s thoughts are not the only important input presented through the movie’s bonus material in its recent re-issue. Schumacher’s own commentary throughout the movie offers its own interest.  That will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  His commentary, when coupled with that of Stromberg, creates a solid foundation for Car Wash proving finally just how important the movie’s bonus material is to its whole.  Keeping this in mind, the movie’s bonus material proves to be just as important to its presentation as its soundtrack and story in making it entertaining in its recent re-issue. Keeping all of this in mind, the movie in whole proves to be, again, a solid alternative to anything that Hollywood’s current lack of worthwhile entertainment.

Shout! Factory’s recent Car Wash re-issue is a classic that was well-deserving of being unearthed.  In a time when Hollywood’s Big Six are struggling to turn out anything truly meaningful or even memorable, its balance of heart and humor couples with its equally well-balanced story lines to make it a movie that will resonate with any true classic movie buff and that shows how far Hollywood has fallen from its former glory.  With that in mind, it is – once again – a movie that will entertain any audience looking for an alternative to Hollywood’s current fare.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

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Universal Pictures Announces ‘Fate Of The Furious’ Home Release Date

Courtesy: Universal Pictures

The latest installment in the hit Fast & Furious franchise is racing to home release.

Fate of the Furious will be released Tuesday, July 11 on DVD, Blu-ray and 4KUltra HD Combo pack.  It will be preceded by a digital HD release on Tuesday, June 27. Audiences can see the movie’s trailer online now here.

Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Vin Diesel, Jason Staham, Michelle Rodriguez, and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, the movie follows Dom, Letty, Mia, Brian and the rest of their friends as they embark on one more globe-trotting, action-filled adventure.  This time, the threat that the elite driving corps faces comes from a deranged anarchist bent on bringing total chaos to the world.

The movie’s upcoming home release on DVD and Blu-ray includes a digital director’s cut and more than an hour of bonus content including a behind-the-scenes look at the stunts used throughout the movie, audio commentary with director F. Gary Gray and extended fight scenes.  The movie’s Blu-ray release will feature its own bonus material that will be exclusive to that platform.

The full listing of the movie’s bonuses is noted below.

BONUS FEATURES EXCLUSIVE TO BLU-RAY:

  • The Cuban Spirit –As the first major studio motion picture to shoot in Cuba in decades, the country’s effusive spirit permeates the making of the film.
  • In the Family –In The Fate of the Furious, family ties are put to the ultimate test. Get an inside look at the family divide.
  • Car Culture –It’s time to put yourself in the driver’s seat of the supercharged vehicles showcased in The Fate of the Furious.

BONUS FEATURES on BLU-RAY and DVD:

  • All About the Stunts –Go behind the scenes to witness how The Fate of the Furiousaccomplished the most epic stunts in franchise history.
  • Extended Fight Scenes
  • Feature Commentary with Director F. Gary Gray

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS  EXTENDED DIRECTOR’S CUT
Director F. Gary Gray’s never-before-seen extended cut and the Theatrical release are available on all physical products (4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD) that will include digital codes for both versions.  Also available on digital platforms.

More information on The Fate of the Furious is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://uni.pictures/FateFuriousExtended

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/FastFurious

 

 

 

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‘Tremors 6’ Begins Production

Courtesy: Universal 1440 Entertainment

Courtesy: Universal 1440 Entertainment

The Graboids are coming back again!

Universal 1440 Entertainment has announced the franchise’s sixth (yes, sixth) installment is currently in production in Capetown, South Africa.  This time out creature hunter Burt and his son Travis—Michael Gross (Family Ties, Anger Management, Dan Vs.) and Jamie Kennedy (Malibu’s Most Wanted, Three Kings, Son of the Mask)—are at a remote research station in Canada when they come under attack by the mutant man-eating worms once again.

The worms aren’t just the normal mutant man-eating worms in this movie either.

It turns out they might be weaponized worms.  Things get even more difficult when Burt is attacked by a Graboid and needs an antidote.

The only way to get the antidote is to milk one of the Graboids.  There’s just one problem—no one knows how to milk a graboid.

Glenn Ross, Universal 1440 Entertainment General Manager and Executive Vice President, said this installment of the long-running franchise is the series’ best yet.

“This is going to be the craziest, most over-the-top movie in the Tremors saga to date,” Ross said.  “It takes the franchise’s signature combination of suspense, action and humor to new explosive heights.”

Don Michael Paul (Sniper: Legacy) returns once again to helm the movie after helming the franchise’s fifth offering.  Mike Elliot (Kindergarten Cop 2, Halloween II) serves as producer.  Hein de Vos (District 9, Dominion, Homeland) is the movie’s director of photography.

New to the franchise this time are Tanya van Graan (Zulu, Starship Troopers 3: Marauder, Death Race 2 & 3) and Rob van Vuuren (Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Shark Attack 2, Footskating 101: The Movie) and Greg Kriek (Momentum, The Race, Infidel).

Tremors 6 is currently set to be released direct on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD in 2018.  More information on this and other titles from Universal 1440 Entertainment and its parent company, Universal Pictures, is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.universalpictures.com

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/universalpics

 

 

 

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Every Horror Movie Purist Should “See” ‘I Saw What You Did’

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Universal Pictures

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Universal Pictures

Hollywood’s horror genre has come a long way from what it once was and not for the better either.  It seems like every other horror flick churned out by Hollywood today is either an overly dark and violent movie centered on demons and the like or it is an equally violent (and gory) slasher flick.  That wasn’t so much the case in Hollywood’s golden age.  It was wholly possible for studios in that age to make horror flicks—regardless of their specific subgenre—without being so dark, bloody, and violent.  Alfred Hitchcock’s classic slasher flick Psycho is proof of this as is the 1963 nightmare-inducing ghost story The Haunting and Allied Artists’ 1959 fright fest House on Haunted Hill.  All three of these movies are examples of what once made horror such a great genre.  They are also examples, when set against their newer counterparts, of just how far the genre has fallen from its pedestal.  The comparison is stark to say the very least.  Earlier this year Scream Factory, Shout! Factory’s horror division released another example of what once made Hollywood’s horror realm so great when it released the classic slasher flick I Saw What You Did on Blu-ray.  This 1965 flick from William Castle Productions (which was also behind House on Haunted Hill) and Universal Pictures is a must have for any horror fan looking to escape the glut of cookie cutter slasher flicks and ghost stories currently being churned out by Hollywood’s Big Six studios.  That is due in no small part to the movie’s story.  That will be discussed shortly.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note in its presentation as its story.  Last but hardly least of note in the movie’s presentation is its general lack of blood, gore, and violence.  This element rounds out the movie’s most important elements and is no less important than the movie’s story or the work of the movie’s cast.  Keeping that in mind, each element does its own part to make this movie an entertaining work of horror.  Altogether they make this movie another must see for any horror purist.

Universal Pictures’ 1965 slasher flick I Saw What You Did is a must see for any horror movie purist.  That is because like so many horror flicks of its age it is the antithesis of everything that Hollywood’s horror genre has become.  That is clear in examining the story at the center of the movie.  The story centers on the antics of teenagers Libby Mannering (Andi Garrett—The Wild Wild West, Black Sheep Squadron) and Kit Austin (Sarah Lane—The Virginian, The Trial of Billy Jack, Billy Jack Goes To Washington) and the eventual terror that comes as a result of what they think are harmless phone pranks.  The pair’s prank calls end up having a rather far-reaching effect, causing (indirectly) the murder of Judith  Marek (Joyce Meadows—The Brain From Planet Arous, Two Faces West, The Girl in Lovers Lane) by her husband Steve (John Ireland—Spartacus, All The King’s Men, Red River).  Libby calls Steve’s number, pretending to be another woman, which leads Judith to confront Steve while he’s showering.  What’s interesting is that when Judith goes to confront Steve, she notices that their bathroom is a shambles.  It is clear that Steve’s intent was to murder Judith regardless and make it look like someone else did it.  But her confrontation leads Steve to murder her in the shower and then get rid of the body.  When Libby calls back later, she tells Steve, “I saw what you did and I know who you are,” he thinks that she is serious, which leads to even more tension.  What’s really interesting in all of that tension is that in adapting author Ursula Curtiss’ novel Out of the Dark to cinematic form, writer William P. McGivern unknowingly included a story element that is wholly relevant today.  The element in question involves the young, naïve Libby actually going to meet Steve because she thinks he actually wants to meet her, not knowing that he is a murderer.  This is an issue that the world faces even more today than ever before due to the advent of online messaging services, chat rooms, etc.  Who would have thought a story crafted more than fifty years ago would have such a relevant element within its script?  This revelation makes the movie’s story all the more believable, and in turn engaging.  Of course the movie becomes somewhat cheesy in its final act.  That aside, the rest of the story will still keep audiences on the edge of their seats.  That being the case, the story in whole shows just how important it is to the movie’s overall presentation.  It is just one of the elements that make the movie such an entertaining work of horror.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note as its story in examining what makes the movie a must see for horror purists.

William P. McGivern’s cinematic adaptation of Ursula Curtiss’ novel Out of the Dark is an important part of the presentation of I Saw What You Did.  That is because it is by and large, a thriller that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.  It manages to do so even without the use of any overt violence and bloodshed.  That is not to say that there is no violence or bloodshed.  It is there.  Don’t mistake that.  But it is kept to an extreme minimum since censors at the time didn’t allow but so much of said elements.  It shows that horror can be enjoyable even without blood, gore, or overt violence.  Of course the movie’s story is just one of the most important elements to examine in McGivern’s adaptation of Curtiss’ novel.  The work of the movie’s cast in interpreting McGivern’s script is just as important to examine here as his story.  Garrett and Lane are completely entertaining as lead stars Libby and Kit.  The pair makes audiences shake their heads in disbelief at Libby and Kit.  That is because the actresses fully embrace the girls’ lack of forethought in their actions.  While teens today might not make prank calls for their own fun that lack of foresight, teens today still act just as thoughtlessly even if in different ways.  And it gets them into their own share of trouble, too.  On the other end of the spectrum John Ireland is just as entertaining to watch as the villainous Steve Marak.  Steve’s actions might not seem all that believable on the surface.  But anyone that has ever watched an episode of 48 Hours or Dateline knows that what he did is in fact rather commonplace in real life crimes.  He does such an impressive job in presenting Steve’s paranoia about having been seen.  That is especially considering that only two people saw what he was doing over the course of the movie.  Each of the movie’s other cast members do their own part in adding to the movie’s enjoyment.  But it is really the trio noted here that most shines through.  Their work in interpreting their parts (and McGivern’s script) is just as important to the movie’s presentation as McGivern’s own work.  It still is not the last remaining element to note in examining what makes this classic slasher flick so surprisingly entertaining.  The general lack of overt violence and bloodshed, as slightly mentioned earlier, plays a part in the movie’s presentation that is just as important to note as the movie’s story and the work of the movie’s cast.

The story at the center of I Saw What You Did and the work of the movie’s cast are both important in examining what makes this classic slasher flick so entertaining.  Each element plays its own part in making it a movie that any horror purist should see as has already been noted.  They are not the only elements that make the movie so surprisingly enjoyable either.  The movie’s general lack of blood, gore, and overt violence is just as important to note in examining the movie’s presentation as its story and the work of its cast.  There is some blood and violence incorporated into the movie.  But most of it comes when Steve Marak murders his wife and his mistress.  Even when he does this, the bloodshed is virtually nothing when compared to most of the slasher flicks that are available to audiences today.  Rather it is more comparable to the bloodshed used in the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960).  Given that is the result of standards set by censors and the MPAA at that time.  But it is a good thing.  That is because it forced McGivern (as with every other writer at the time) to actually rely on story more so than on the violence factor (I.E. quality versus quantity).  It is a standard to which this critic personally wishes horror movies would return.  McGivern did an admirable job in focusing on the movie’s quality.  He showed that a story can stand on its own literary merits even in a horror setting without having to rely on blood, gore, and violence.  It really serves as a model for today’s horror screen writers.  It shows that a horror movie can be fun without being overly violent, bloody, gory or even nightmare-inducing.  Keeping this in mind, it rounds out the movie’s most important elements.  Together with McGivern’s work and that of the movie’s cast all three elements join together to make the movie in whole a surprisingly fun ride for any horror movie purist.

Scream Factory’s recent re-issue of I Saw What You Did is a surprisingly fun ride for any true horror movie purist.  That is because it shows that it is possible for horror flicks to be fun without being overly violent and sexualized.  That is evident most prominently in the movie’s story, written by William P. McGivern.  The story relies more on its literary elements than its actual visual content to keep audiences entertained and engaged.  The movie’s cast is just as notable in its work in front of the camera.  Garrett, Lane, and Ireland are completely believable in their respective roles and in turn envelope audiences in the story.  The story’s general lack of blood, gore, violence, and sexual content is Just as important to note here as the story itself and the work of the movie’s cast.  It brings everything full circle and shows together with the previously noted elements that it is possible for a horror flick to be entertaining without being questionable in its content.  All things considered the recent re-issue of this classic horror flick proves to be a surprisingly enjoyable ride for any true horror movie purist.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/i-saw-what-you-did.  More information on this and other titles from Scream Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/scream-factory

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Virgil Films To Release New ‘Back To The Future’ Documentary Next Month

Courtesy: Virgil Films

Courtesy: Virgil Films

Universal’s Back To The Future trilogy is one of the most famous and beloved franchises in Hollywood’s history.  More than thirty years after the trilogy’s first film debuted, the BTTF franchise is still beloved among audiences of all ages.  It has been released and re-issued on home video and digital platforms more than once, and even spawned a short-lived animated series, which itself finally received the home video treatment for the first time ever in 2015.  Some audiences have even tried to recreate the series’ iconic time traveling auto, a Delorean as part of their fandom.  One would think that with the popularity of the franchise, and the iconic car at the center of the series, that the car would always have its own special place in the halls of Hollywood’s auto history.  Sadly that wasn’t originally the case.  And in Virgil Films’ new documentary OUTATIME: Saving The Delorean Time Machine, audiences will discover the story of the “timeless” car and the efforts to save it for themselves.

OUTATIME: Saving The Delorean Time Machine will be released on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital platforms Tuesday, July 19th.  It follows the efforts by Universal Studios and Back To The Future co-creator and producer Bob Gale to bring Doc Brown’s (Christopher Lloyd) famed four-wheeled time machine back to its one-time glory.  Directed by Steve Concotelli, the documentary is presented in the vein of Top Gear, Counting Cars, and American Chopper.  It  includes full-length commentary by Concotelli and Joe Walser, who headed up the Delorean’s restoration as a special bonus feature along with deleted scenes, footage from the documentary’s world premiere, a restoration photo gallery, and much more.  Audiences can order OUTATIME: Saving The Delorean Time Machine now via Amazon.  More information on this and other titles from Virgil Films is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.virgilfilmsent.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/virgilfilms

 

 

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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:

 

 

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Children, Families Won Big In 2015 With So Many New DVD, BD Offerings For Families

Young audiences were given quite a number of new offerings this year on DVD and Blu-ray. Between the standalone discs and box sets, there was quite a bit of material from which children and their parents had to choose this year. Having already covered the best of the year’s box sets for kids, it is time now for Phil’s Picks to turn its attention to the best of this year’s new standalone DVDs and BDs for children and families. Kindie rock act Josh and the Jamtones released its long-awaited DVD Bear Hunt: The Movie early this year. And that DVD was well worth the wait, too. Its original presentation and story, and extra music videos made it an instand shoe-in for this year’s list of the year’s best new DVDs and Blu-rays for kids and families. Lionsgate’s new claymation movie Shaun The Sheep: The Movie is also on the list. That movie surprised with its largely family friendly story and the heart therein. PBS and Shout! Factory Kids each got in the act with new Reading Rainbow DVDs and DVDs from Discovery Family’s former series The Adventures of Chuck and Friends. Shout! Factory Kids’ Transformers Rescue Bots DVDs are each in this list, too along with other titles. That in mind, it’s time to stop rambling. Presented for your consideration dear readers, is Phil’s Picks list of 2015 Top 10 New Family DVDs/BDs. As always, the Top 10 titles make up the main body of the list while the bottom five each receive honorable mention.

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW FAMILY DVDs/BDs

1. TURKEY HOLLOW

2. SHAUN THE SHEEP: THE MOVIE

3. JOSH AND THE JAMTONES–BEAR HUNT: THE MOVIE

4. READING RAINBOW: IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE

5. READING RAINBOW: ANIMAL CAFE

6. THE ADVENTURES OF CHUCK & FRIENDS: REV YOUR ENGINE

7. THE ADVENTURES OF CHUCK & FRIENDS: DAY AT THE RACES

8. DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD: BIG BROTHER DANIEL

9. TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS: DINO BOTS

10. TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS: RETURN OF THE HEROES

11. TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS: JURASSIC ADVENTURE

12. CURIOUS GEORGE: SEASON 8

13. SUPER WHY: CINDERELLA AND OTHER FAIRYTALE ADVENTURES

14. WORDWORLD: BIRTHDAY PARTY

15. LETTER FACTORY ADVENTURES: AMAZING WORD EXPLORERS

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.