Time Life’s Latest Carol Burnett Show Box Set Is A Treasure In Itself

Courtesy:  Time Life Entertainment

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment

Television today is not what it used to be. Between all of the drama, serials, and sex there really is not a lot worth watching anymore. That is not to say that there is nothing worth watching. But television’s true worthwhile commercial offerings are, at least in the eyes of this critic, few and far between. It goes without saying that in terms of current offerings on television, PBS is the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming. While it is the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television, there are other options available on DVD and Blu-ray thanks to the likes of Shout! Factory and Time Life Entertainment. Both companies have proven in the past ten years or so to be the leading names in the home entertainment market in terms of truly worthwhile television offerings. And next month Time Life Entertainment will show why it holds its title once again when it releases its latest collection of classic Carol Burnett Show episodes The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes – Treasures From The Vault. The six-disc set is a continuation of Time Life Entertainment’s previous Carol Burnett Show box set, The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes. That set was released this past September. Just as with that box set, the episodes collected for this set lie at the heart of its presentation. The collective work of the show’s writers and cast is another important element in its presentation. The set’s companion booklet rounds out its most important elements. Each element plays its own important part in the whole of Time Life Entertainment’s new Carol Burnett Show box set. Altogether, they make The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes – Treasures From The Vault one more treasure for fans of the classic variety show and of classic TV in general.

Time Life Entertainment’s latest collection of episodes from The Carol Burnett Show is one more treasure for fans of the classic variety show and for classic TV fans in general. This is especially true in an age when commercial networks’ offerings are largely anything but being worth the watch. The main element that makes it such a wonderful treasure is its episodes. As with Time Life’s previous Lost Episodes collection from The Carol Burnett Show this collection lifts its fifteen total episodes from the series’ first five seasons. This is important to note because none of the episodes from the show’s first five seasons had ever been released in any of Time Life’s previous Carol Burnett Show box sets up until the release of this box set and its predecessor. Considering that the series’ first five seasons’ episode count totals 134 episodes, and only 30 of those episodes will have seen the light of day upon this box set’s release, that still leaves 104 episodes to be released. That means that this latest installment will hardly be the last collection to feature episodes from the series’ first five seasons. Since it looks like Time Life won’t be releasing the series in its complete season sets or even full series run anytime soon, this is a very good thing for fans. It means that the laughs and guffaws will keep coming for some time to come. And that’s just the beginning of this box set’s positives. The work of the show’s writers and cast together makes for plenty of entertainment for audiences.

The episodes featured in Time Life Entertainment’s latest Carol Burnett Show collection are important in their own right to the set’s overall presentation. That is because they are just one more collection of previously unreleased episodes from the series’ first five episodes. Collectively speaking they are hardly the last episodes from The Carol Burnett Show’s early years to be released. Considering the total number of episodes that made up the show’s first five seasons, there are plenty more to come. It would have been nice to have these episodes in full standalone season sets. But beggars can’t be choosers. Now considering this, they are collectively just one part of what makes this collection its own treasure. Throughout the course of this collection’s featured episodes, the writers and cast work together to give audiences loads of laughs. One episode that clearly exhibits this comes late in the set’s run in the form of “Cheek to Cheek.” This skit, included in Disc Twelve (Yes, twelve. That will be discussed later) pokes fun at the dance numbers that filled so many classic movies from the 1930s and 40s. It compares those classic scenes (and numbers) to what a real life scenario would look like if everybody suddenly broke out in song and dance. The very concept was, for its time, original to say the least. And the very thought is in itself pretty funny. Watching Harvey suddenly breaking out in song and dance, taking Carol and having her dance around in the “restaurant” adds to that hilarity. Harvey’s almost Woody Allen style character is a laugh riot with his New York accent and glasses. It is something that audiences simply must see in order to appreciate. On another note “The Secretaries” offers just as much entertainment. Carol stars opposite Harvey Korman as Ms. Farnum, Mr. Bradley’s secretary. Ms. Farnum has to choose her temporary replacement so that she can go on vacation. She ends up coming face to face with some candidates that definitely outshine her with hilarious results. The ultimate outcome won’t be revealed here. But it will leave audiences in stitches, needless to say. As if that isn’t enough, “The Wonderful World of Hospitals” offers its own share of entertainment. Guest star Jonathan Winters stars opposite Harvey Korman in this sketch. Winters is hilarious as the doctor being interviewed here. His character is one part Jonathan Winters and one part Groucho Marx. It’s something that must be seen to be believed and appreciated. At one point he laughs at one of his jokes and ever so subtly uses his stethoscope to check his own heart rate after the fact. The subtlety of that movement is so funny. Again, it’s one of those moments that is so absurd that one can’t help but laugh at it. The very concept behind the skit makes the writers well deserving of their applause once again here. The same applies to Korman for his ability to maintain a certain seriousness throughout the sketch even with Winters’ laugh riot performance. It’s just one more way in which the combined efforts of the series’ writers and cast make this latest collection of episodes a true treasure. There are plenty of other moments that could be cited as examples, too. Ken Berry’s footwork as he dances to “Mr. Bojangles” is another example that could be cited in this argument. As Carol and her castmates pay tribute to Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes, audiences will find themselves laughing just as much. And Carol’s set closing performance as the famed Charwoman is perhaps the highest of the set highest moments. The moment in question sees the Charwoman closing down the set of The Carol Burnett Show at the end of a season. She imagines that she is in each of the sketches that were churned out in the season in question. It is a truly memorable and moving moment that is certain to leave at least some audiences shedding tears of joy thanks to its beauty and gentility. Whether for that moment, those directly noted here or even those not directly noted, it can be said of the cast and writers’ work here that both play integral parts in the overall presentation of Time Life Entertainment’s new Carol Burnett Show box set. Together with the episodes themselves, both elements combine to give audiences even more reason to purchase this box set. Even with their importance they are still not all that should be noted of the collection. The set’s companion booklet rounds out its presentation.

The episodes that are featured in Time Life Entertainment’s new Carol Burnett Show box set and the work put into each episode by the show’s writers and cast go a long way towards making the collection in whole enjoyable. as important as both elements are to the set’s presentation they are not the set’s only notable elements. The companion booklet that comes with the box set is just as important to the set as the previously noted elements. That is because it continues a tradition established by Time Life in the company’s previous Carol Burnett Show presentations. The tradition in question is making the booklet not just a booklet but a part of the set’s overall experience. It features a full episode guide that is specific to each of the set’s discs. Audiences will note of the listed discs that rather than simply labeling them as Disc 1 – 6, Time Life has instead labeled them as Disc 7 – 12. This is important to note because it tells audiences that Time Life didn’t just throw together a bunch of episodes and random discs. Instead it proves to audiences that the set is a direct connection to Time Life’s previous Lost Episodes collection. Time Life is to be applauded quite soundly for that. What’s more there are even little tidbits about different episodes throughout the guide that come from Carol herself and in general. All of this taken into consideration, it shows clearly why the companion booklet that comes with The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes — Treasures From The Vault is just as important to the set in whole as the set’s featured episodes and the content of each episode. It works together with those elements to show once and for all, without a doubt, that this set is indeed a treasure of its own both for Carol Burnett Show fans and for classic TV lovers in general.

The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes — Treasures From The Vault is a treasure of its own both for fans of The Carol Burnett Show and for classic television lovers in general. It shows this mainly through its collected episodes. The episodes are another sampling of previously unreleased episodes from the series’ first five seasons. The work put into each episode by the series’ writers and cast make each episode a laugh riot for any viewer. The companion booklet included in the six-disc sets completes audiences viewing experience as it not only offers a complete disc-by-disc episode guide but also bonus background information on specific episodes. Audiences even get to choose from the episodes within each disc, making the overall viewing experience all the more enjoyable. Each element plays its own important part in the overall presentation of The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes — Treasures From The Vault. Altogether they show clearly why the collection is a treasure in and of itself both for fans of The Carol Burnett Show and for classic TV fans in general. It will be available on Tuesday, February 9th and can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Carol-Burnett-Show-Treasures-Vault/dp/B018DQV44I/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1453840504&sr=1-1&keywords=the+carol+burnett+show+treasures+from+the+vault. More information on this and other titles from Time Life Entertainment is available online now at:

Website: http://timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

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WHV Finally Gets One Right With Its New Peanuts Collection

Courtesy: Warner Home Video

Courtesy: Warner Home Video

This Thanksgiving, Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox will team up to bring audiences the first-ever big screen Peanuts adventure that (go figure) is simply titled The Peanuts Movie. Personal opinions aside, it is interesting to note that as the movie’s debut nears, so is Warner Brothers’ home entertainment division–Warner Home Video (WHV)–stepping up its re-issues of the classic Peanuts TV specials. Already released this year WHV has re-issued Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown. Officials with WHV have also announced that the organization will also release Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back) and He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown along with the company’s new compilation set Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection. The latter of the trio is currently planne for a nationwide release on Tuesday, September 15th. Though, interestingly enough it has already been released through Target likely via a special deal between the retailer and the people at WHV. For those that were not lucky enough to pick up the dual-disc collection in its original release via Target will be pleased to add it to their personal collections. The main reason that audiences will be pleased to add it to their collections is its featured specials. It features eleven classic Peanuts TV specials that while previously released on one platform or another are now collected into this much more ergonomic collection. This will be discussed at more length shortly. Another reason that the collection proves so interesting and worth the purchase is the material presented within each special. Audiences actually get to hear an adult talk for the first time ever in one special (She’s A Good Skate, Charlie Brown). And while most audiences are familiar with the classic Peanuts holiday specials, some will be surprised that there is another holiday special of sorts that is just as deserving of attention in the form of What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown? This special is a deeply moving Memorial Day special that will impact viewers of all ages. Last of note in regards to this collection’s positives is that classic hand-drawn animation style. The old school style of artwork is yet another example of what once made animated features truly animated and in turn truly entertaining. Each noted element shows in its own way that Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection is a surprising new release from WHV. It would be nice to think that maybe it marks the beginning of WHV finally moving in the right direction after having slid in the wrong direction for the past couple of years or so. One can only hope. Even if it is just a random diamond in the rough from the once powerhouse studio, it proves through all three noted elements together, to be one that any Peanuts fan will happily welcome into his or her home DVD library.

Warner Home Video has been noticeably declining over the course of the past two years or more. That is evident through every one of its releases both for families and for select audiences. Said releases have shown that someone(s) at WHV apparently did not and does not care about providing audiences with quality home releases. For all of the problematic releases that WHV has put out in stores over the past couple of years or so, finally a random diamond in the rough from WHV will be released very soon in the form of the new Peanuts collection Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection. This collection of TV specials includes eleven classic Peanuts TV specials that some of which were nominated for Emmy Awards while certain others actually received the coveted trophy. It should be noted that all eleven of the specials featured in this new double-disc collection have each previously been released via one platform or another. Some have been released on VHS while others have previously been released on DVD. Others have even been issued and re-issued on one platform then another. Despite this, some viewers out there might not have been lucky enough to add one, another or more of the featured specials up until this point. That being the case, all eleven specials show collectively to be of the utmost importance for all viewers. That is because more than likely among the legions of Peanuts fans around the world few to any likely have all of the included specials.

The inclusion of each of its specials in one collection is good for Peanuts fans everywhere in large part because having them all in one place means just that. It means that for the first time ever each one of the specials has been finally released on one platform on which all audiences can watch them. No one is left behind. On another level, for those that had one or more of the specials in question from their previous releases can finally eliminate those platforms (or at least most of them if they own the original VHS copies of said specials). That will ultimately lead to saved space for many fans on their respective DVD racks. Again, this might not apply for every Peanuts fan. But it will definitely apply to many fans. And that being the case, it makes the collection’s ergonomic factor that much more important to the whole of its success and enjoyment.

The episodes presented in Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection show clearly why they are within themselves quite important to the whole of the collection. Examining the episodes on a closer level, ther writing shows to be just as important to the collection as the episodes themselves. In examining the specials’ writing it becomes clear why they were either nominated or in some cases even won an Emmy. That is most evident through the surprisingly moving special What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown. This sequel of sorts to Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back) follows Charlie Brown and company on their departure from France. Along the way, the Peanuts gang happens to arrive at Normandy and the site of the Allied landing on D-Day. The history lesson provided by Linus upon their arrival is unbiased and moving all at the same time. The writers don’t pull any punches here, revealing that the Allied attack on Normandy was in fact anything but perfect. Linus notes in his lesson that weather conditions had ruined the mission so much that Allied commanders even considered pulling back. That is a lesson that sadly very few history teachers and professors alike will teach in the classroom. So it is nice to have that historical truth noted in a special that is aimed at younger viewers.

In another of the collection’s episodes, She’s A Good Skate, Charlie Brown, audiences actually get to hear an adult speak for the first (and probably only)time in the history of the Peanuts TV specials. The adult in question is Peppermint Patty’s teacher. She continuously calls on Patty as Patty continues falling asleep in class thanks to her early morning skating practice. Yes, skating. That is another reason that the writing in this special proves so notable. Anyone that knows their Peanuts history knows that Peppermint Patty is more of a tomboy than a girly girl. Heck, she was even voiced by males in a number of the specials. So having Patty taking part in a sport that is traditionally more aimed at females than males shows a completely opposite side of Patty and to the Peanuts universe in whole.  It is a change that all audiences will agree now in the 21st century is a welcome change.  It shows that it’s okay for a girl to be girly and one of the boys.  Simply put, it really serves to defy those strict, standard gender roles established by society.  Whether or not that is the reason that it at least received an Emmy nomination, it is one more reason that the writing behind this special stands out so strongly as one more part of the whole of the collection’s writing.

Why, Charlie Brown, Why? is perhaps the strongest evidence of the importance of the writing behind the collection’s featured episodes. This episode tackles the issue of cancer. On a more specific level, it tackles the issue of childhood cancer and the impact of cancer on both the victim and his or her friends and family. Its story centers on a young girl named Janet who is diagnosed with leukemia. It just so happens that she is friends with Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Though, Linus is the main character of this story. That side element of the story’s writing will be discussed shortly. Sticking on the main topic, the manner in which the writers tackled the subject is hugely worthy of applause. It was handled with the utmost gentility and in a fashion that also made the topic accessible even for much younger viewers. That in itself makes this special more than just a special. It is special in every sense of the word. It’s just one aspect of the special’s writing that makes it so notable among the others included in this set. The fact that Linus was made the story’s central character makes it even more worth the watch. It’s not the first time that Charlie Brown took a back seat to his Peanuts pals. But it is one of the most successful episodes that featured someone other than Charlie Brown at the center of the story. That is especially the case as audiences see Linus actually lose his cool in a very rare instance. He loses it when another child makes fun of Janet for having lost her hair right in front of him. Audiences will find themselves cheering Linus on and even doing so with the slightest tear in their eyes. That rare moment really exemplifies the pent-up feelings that not only children feel in a situation such as that presented here, but grown-ups, too. So for that reason too, the writing behind Why, Charlie Brown, Why? shows even more the importance of the episodes’ writing in whole in examining the set in whole. It is just one more example of the importance of the writing within each of the set’s episodes. The writing within each of the remaining eight specials shows in its own way why the writing in whole is so important to the episodes’ enjoyment and the success of the set in whole. And together with the episodes themselves, both elements together make a strong argument why every Peanuts fan should have this new collection in his or her own home DVD library. They still are just part of the whole of the collection’s positives. Last of note is the animation style within each episode.

Both the episodes featured throughout the body of Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection and the writing within each special makes for plenty of reason for Peanuts fans to appreciate this latest collection of Peanuts classics. Of course what examination of such a classic collection would be complete without mention of the specials’ animation style. Every one of the specials featured as part of Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection was drawn by hand. That means that endless hours were spent bringing to leave each and every second of each special. Now being that each special runs roughly in the range of about twenty minutes (or just a little more in some cases), the math adds up to quite a bit of time spent on bringing each special to life for broadcast. That says a lot when these specials are compared to the largely CG presentations out there today that try to claim themselves as being animated. They are animated in name only. These specials show everything that was once great about true, animated features. Each one of the specials boasts a similar look. But there are also minute details within each special that set them apart. Audiences that have eagle eyes will catch that minutia. The same can’t be said of today’s CG creations. It really gives these classic specials a real soul and heart. Together with the episodes’ impressive writing and the episodes themselves all three elements come together to make Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection a clear must have for any real devoted Peanuts fan.

Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection is a must have for any real Peanuts fan. That is the case whether or not said fan already owns any of the specials presented here on their original release platforms. The collective writing presented within each of the collection’s makes the episodes and the collection in whole even more enjoyable. The standout animation style presented across each of the collection’s specials rounds out the presentation. It reminds audiences by comparison of what once made animation so great. The animation is original. Even the upcoming Peanuts Movie that is due out this Thanksgiving doesn’t entirely hold up to that style of animation despite the efforts of those behind the movie to make it look like the classics on which it is based. Each element in itself proves to be an important part of the collections’ whole. Altogether they make Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection a collection that any true-blooded Peanuts fan would himself or herself be honored to have in his or her home DVD library. Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection is available now exclusively in Target stores nationwide. It will allegedly be available nationwide in other stores beginning Tuesday, September 15th. More information on this and other upcoming Peanuts releases is available online now along with the latest Peanuts news at:

Website: http://www.peanuts.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/snoopy

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 Unearths Another Shining TV Gem In Pee-wee’s Playhouse Seasons 3, 4, & 5

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

When Pee-wee’s Playhouse first debuted on CBS’ Saturday morning children’s programming lineup way back in 1986, there was nothing like it on television at the time. Fast forward nearly three decades since its premiere and roughly twenty-five years since it ended its original run and still there has been nothing like it since. In the years since it ended its run the zany, one-of-a-kind children’s series has seen various VHS releases. But it had never received a proper DVD or even Blu-ray release. That is until 2014 when its complete five-season run was released on Blu-ray via Shout! Factory. Shout! Factory also released the series’ first two seasons in their own stand-alone DVD box set alongside the full series Blu-ray box set. And last Tuesday, Shout! Factory finished off it’s release of this modern classic when it released on a separate stand-alone box set, the series’ third through fifth season. Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Seasons 3, 4, & 5–Special Edition is another great addition to the collection of anyone that grew up with this series. Much as with the series’ first two seasons, the show’s writing continues here to make it stand out among other children’s offerings of the day. The writers continue here to exhibit such talent, crafting stories that both teach important lessons and concepts and entertain all at the same time. On a more subtle note, the continued inclusion of classic cartoons in various episodes adds to the enjoyment. the cartoons include more well-known pieces pulled from the Warner Brothers vaults and lesser known pieces, which is in itself important to the whole. that will be discussed later. Moving on for now, the bonus cast and crew interviews coupled with the audio commentary on the series’ special Christmas episode rounds out the reasons for audiences to pick up this box set. The interviews offer an extensive look behind the scenes of the show and its production. In its own right, the audio commentary included in the series’ Christmas episode offers its own insight into the show even if only on that one episode. But that commentary plays its own important role in the presentation’s whole when partnered with the set’s aforementioned positives. All three elements together show exactly why any kid and kid at heart will appreciate this final release from what is the most intriguing children’s series in television’s history. So many positives along with the fact that Shout! Factory would take on the series once more shows yet again, too why Shout! Factory remains the leading name in home entertainment to this day.

Shout! Factory has over the years gone slowly and quietly gone from being a little indie-home entertainment company that could to being the leading name in home entertainment. Partnerships with Nickelodeon, CBS, and other major companies have led to the release of some of the greatest movies and TV shows in the modern history of both mediums. Not only that but the releases themselves have proven far more worth the watch than releases from a bigger name such as Warner Home Video. Its latest release, Pee-wee’s Playhouse Seasons 3, 4, and 5–Special Edition is even more proof of both arguments. The arguments are supported mainly through the show’s writing. Just as with the show’s first two seasons, its writers have once again managed to balance its zany, one-of-a-kind look and feel with content that educates in its own original way. “Fire in the Playhouse” is just one example of the writers’ ability to balance both elements as it subtly teaches about fire safety when Ms. Yvonne brings over some bread to bake. “Front Page Pee-wee” teaches both a simplistic lesson about journalistic integrity and telling the truth alongside a subtle lesson about healthy eating. And “Playhouse For Sale” teaches its own lesson about spreading rumors and jumping to conclusions. The lessons and entertainment offered in these episodes each show in their own way the ability of the show’s writers to balance its educational and one-of-a-kind entertainment content. There are plenty of other episodes that exemplify that ability of the writers to craft such balanced stories. Audiences will see that for themselves when they add this box set to their own DVD library. It is not all that audiences will note that makes the set so entertaining, either. The classic cartoons that are used in various episodes actually play an important role of their own to Seasons 3, 4, and 5. That’s especially the case in an era when real cartoons are extinct for all intents and purposes.

The continued ability of the writers to balance the educational and entertainment content in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th season of Pee-wee’s Playhouse is its own important part of the whole that the show’s original audiences will all appreciate. Said audiences will appreciate that ability and talent in that in its own way, it manages to keep viewers fully engaged. It may even keep today’s younger viewers engaged. While it is obviously an important part of the whole, the cartoons incorporated into the show’s weekly broadcasts were also collectively just as important. The cartoons incorporated into the show’s last three seasons included both the more well-known Looney Tunes cartoons and a number of far more obscure pieces. The cartoons themselves serve as their own lesson on the history of both cartoons and television in general. When viewed as part of the whole of Seasons 3, 4, and 5, the cartoons included in each episode add to the series’ entertainment value, thus making it even more worth the watch. This is especially the case considering the fact that real cartoons have become extinct for all intents and purposes. Taking that into account, it makes the cartoons incorporated into each show all the more important an element of the whole and in turn shows once more why this box set is well worth the purchase by anyone that grew up with Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

The balance of educational and entertainment content within each episode of Pee-wee’s Playhouse in its final three seasons by itself makes for plenty of reason for the show’s now grown up original audiences to add this new set to their own DVD library. The entertainment and historical value of the cartoons incorporated into the show makes Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Seasons 3, 4, & 5–Special Edition all the more worth the addition to the library of any of the show’s now grown up audiences. Both noted elements play an integral part in the enjoyment of the set in whole. But they are not all that is worth noting in this set. The bonus interviews with the cast and crew along with the bonus commentary in “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special” collectively round out the reasons that audiences will appreciate the second and last set of episodes from the modern classic series. the bonus interviews with the cast and crew offer quite the insight into the show and its creation. Audiences learn how the show’s main characters were created and some of the cast and crew’s favorite moments in the interviews. The bonus commentary included in the series’ Christmas special is just as enlightening. Audiences will be surprised to learn right from the episode’s outset that the men’s chorus wearing the Marine outfits were not in fact Marines. The reasoning for the show’s heads to proceed with having a “Marine chorus” is just as intriguing to say the least. There is much more that could be noted. That would take far more time and space than is available to this critic. Along with the extensive amount of information shared through the episode’s commentary, audiences actually get two different commentaries. The first of the commentaries comes from Pee-Wee himself, Paul Reubens, and his . The other comes from those behind the cameras. And it is just as in-depth. Both commentaries coupled with the set’s bonus interviews shows just as much in its own right why these elements are just as important to the whole of Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Seasons 3, 4, & 5 as the work of the show’s writers and the cartoons included as part of each season’s episodes. Whether for those cartoons, the writing, or for the bonus material included in the set, all three elements prove key in their own way. Collectively, they show exactly why this final set of episodes from one of television’s most intriguing series is one that any of the series’ original fans should have in his or her own personal library.

Pee-wee’s Playhouse: Seasons 3, 4, & 5 is available in stores and online now at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-comedy/pee-wee-s-playhouse-seasons-three-four-five-special-edition via Shout! Factory’s online store. More information on this and other titles available from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

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

Anchor Bay Reveals Release Date, Specs For TURN The Complete First Season

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment/AMC

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/AMC

Anchor Bay Entertainment announced recently that it will release the first season of its hit AMC series TURN: Washington’s Spies this spring.

TURN: Washington’s SpiesThe Complete First Season will be released Tuesday, March 17th. That is just in time for audiences to catch up with the hit historically-based series before its second season debuts this spring. It will be released both on DVD and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack. The ten-episode season will be spread across three discs on both sets. It will also include a handful of extras, which are noted below.

Bonus Features:

  • The History Of TURN: WASHINGTON’S SPIES
  • From Art To Image
  • Deleted Scenes

Based on author Alexander Rose’s book Washington’s Spies, Turn: Washington’s Spies centers on patriot Abe Woodhull. Woodhull is a farmer living in British-occupied Long Island. He joins with a group of his childhood friends to form what would become known as the Culper Ring in an effort to help then General Washington and his forces defeat the Red Coats in the Revolutionary War. What resulted would go on to be considered the birth of espionage. The series stars Jamie Bell (The Adventures of Tin Tin, Billy Elliot, Flags of Our Fathers), Seth Numrich (Gravity, Private Romeo)m Daniel Henshall (Out of the Blue, These Final Hours, The Babadook), Heather Lind (Boardwalk Empire, Sleepy Hollow, Blue Bloods), Kevin R. McNally (Downton Abbey, Pirates of the Caribbean 1 – 4, Supernatural ), Meegan Warner (Portend, The Veil, A Place To Call Home), Burn Gorman (Torchwood, Pacific Rim, The Dark Knight Rises), Angus McFayden (Californication, Chuck, The Pinkertons), JJ Field (The Musketeers, Captain America: The First Avenger, To The Ends of the Earth), and Samuel Roukin (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, Bright Star, Happy-Go-Lucky).

TURN: Washington’s SpiesThe Complete First Season will retail for MSRP of $49.98 on DVD and $59.99 on Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack. More information on TURN: Washington’s Spies is available online at:

Website: http://www.amctv.com/shows/turn

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

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.

Starz Acquires Rights To Hawkins Brothers’ Directorial Debut

Courtesy:  Starz Media

Courtesy: Starz Media

Kevin Kasha, Head of Acquisitions for Starz, announced this week that the company has acquired the award-winning movie We Gotta Get Out Of This Place.  The movie, which was the directorial debut of the Hawkins Brothers, premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and won the Audience Award at AFI Fest.  The deal, signed this week, gives Starz Digital Media exclusive rights to the movie in both Canada and the United States.

Kasha was upbeat in discussing acquiring the film from the up-and-coming directing duo.  “I love when our team discovers films by talented new filmmakers,” he said.  “Set in a dead-end Texas town, Zeke and Simon Hawkins offer audiences a gritty thriller that presents a fresh, sometimes surreal take that will appeal to film fans everywhere. We’re excited they’ve partnered with Starz to share their debut film.”

We Gotta Get Out Of This Place is a gritty crime drama that centers on a trio of teens in Texas that gets pulled into the world of organized crime after the young men go partying with some stolen money.  The movie stars Jeremy Allen White (Shameless), Mackenzie Davis (That Awkward Moment, AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire), Mark Pellegrino (Being Human), and William Devane (The Dark Knight).  The story was written by Dutch Southern and produced by Rough & Tumble Films.

More information on new releases from Starz and Starz Digital Media is available online at http://www.starz.com, http://www.facebook.com/Starz, and http://twitter.com/starz_channel.  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.

Beetlejuice Compilation Is Loads Of Spooky Fun For The Whole Family

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Warner Home Video

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Warner Home Video

Everybody’s favorite “ghost with the most” is back once again.  That’s right! Beetlejuice is back again thanks to Shout! Factory and Warner Brothers Home Video.  This time, fans of the modern classic cartoon have gotten a special treat as Halloween gets closer, with the new compilation DVD, Beetlejuice: A Halloween Spooktacular.  This compilation is another great trip back in time for those that grew up watching this cartoon and for their own kids.  Its writing and animation were unlike anything else on TV in the show’s original broadcast.  And the same applies today.  That writing and animation help make it a good fit for any family Halloween party this year.  And for those that are true fans, it’s a good bridge for fans that are waiting to see if Shout! Factory and WHV will release any of the show’s other seasons, the first season and the complete series already having been released this year.  Suffice it to say that whether one is a kid or a kid at heart, Beetlejuice: A Halloween Spooktacular is great fun whether for that upcoming Halloween party or just to watch.

Beetlejuice: A Halloween Spooktacular is a great trip down memory lane for those audiences that grew up with the modern classic cartoon series, Beetlejuice.  It pulls eight episodes from the show’s original four-season run for a frightful yet fun time for both the kids that grew up with the series and today’s kids.  Audiences will love watching Beetlejuice go toe-to-toe with a Boris Karloff style character named Boris to Death in “Ghost to Ghost.”  Beetlejuice isn’t the only one that gets the spotlight in this collection of episodes.  BJ’s neighbor Jacques wants to become Mr. Neitherworld in “Raging Skull.”  But he doesn’t stand a chance without the help of Beetlejuice.  Any parent will appreciate the pop culture references both in the episode’s title and within the episode itself.  If this isn’t convincing enough, then maybe the inclusion of one of the series’ best episodes, “Laugh of the Party” will help convince fans to check out this compilation.  Lydia holds her own Halloween party in this episode as competition to her hated nemesis, Claire Brewster.  Being a Halloween party, Beetlejuice is actually able to come as himself.  There’s just one problem.  He brings some “party animals” to *ahem* liven up the party (ba-dump-bump-bump).These are just a few examples of what makes Beetlejuice: A Halloween Spooktacular so enjoyable for the show’s original audiences and their own kids.  There are five more episodes included loaded with family friendly jokes and more that remain unlike anything else on TV today for kids.

The scripts crafted for Beetlejuice made the show unlike anything else on TV in the series’ original run.  They continue to make the show unlike anything on television today for young viewers.  It’s even unlike the movie on which the series is based.  This is really a good thing.  It serves as a tribute to the series’ longevity.  It isn’t nearly as dark and creepy as its live action horror/comedy brother.  It’s been toned down to make it kid friendly.  And there is nothing wrong with this at all.  Just as the writing made this series more kid friendly, so did the animation.  To be more specific, the use of colors helped make it more kid friendly.  As subtle as it is, both the Neitherworld scenes and those scenes in Lydia’s home were animated using relatively bright colors.  This was a subtle element.  But it was an extremely important element at the same time.  It made the Neitherworld less scary to young viewers and more like just some funny fantasy world.  In the case of Lydia’s home, it helped to offset Lydia’s Goth personality and made her more relatable to viewers.

Keeping in account everything noted, Beetlejuice: A Halloween Spooktacular is a fun time both for today’s young viewers and for those that grew up with the series in its original run on TV.  It’s especially valuable for the show’s fans because the release of the entire series box set earlier this year was done strictly through Amazon as opposed to the release of the show’s first season.  So until or unless Shout! Factory and WHV release the series’ remaining three seasons, fans have in this compilation at least a taste of the entire series to enjoy.  It’s available now in stores and online.  Fans can order the single-disc compilation now online direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/node/218183.  More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online now at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial.  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.

MPI, Cohen Media Group Making Their Name With Their Latest Uncovered Classic

Courtesy:  Cohen Media Group/mpi media group

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group/mpi media group

The partnership between Turner Classic Movies and Warner Home Video has made the two companies leaders in re-issuing cinema classics.  Universal Studios is a close second thanks to the recent re-issues of Cape Fear, its Alfred Hitchcock Essentials collection, and it Universal Monsters collection. Now two more companies are staking their claim in the classic movie world.  Those companies are Virgil Films and Cohen Media Group.  Early in 2013, the two companies partnered for the release of what is one of the single greatest classics of all time in the Thief of Bagdad.  Now months later, they have released an even lesser known classic in Perfect Understanding.

The plot of Perfect Understanding rests in the agreement between Swanson’s Judy and Olivier’s Nicholas that could be equated to an open marriage.  Right off the top, it’s obvious just how original this is, considering social norms and values of America in the early 1930s.  The agreement between the couple is meant in order to break the trend that the couple sees among its friends.  Neither wants to end up like their friends.  Ironically enough, it is because of the agreement that the couple reaches the point of its friends.  The ensuing story is unlike anything that fans of the rom-com genre have seen since.  It’s obviously not just another typical boy meets girl-loses her-gets her back in the end story.  It’s almost Shakespearian in a way when one really goes back through the story a couple of times and analyzes it at a much deeper level.  It should also be noted here that despite a run time of an hour and half, the story actually moves along at a relatively easy pace.  This, along with the largely original story is another positive to this unearthed gem of a classic film.

For a film of its era and its style, Perfect Understanding could very well have been much longer and less able to relate to viewers, even today.  Luckily, it didn’t do that.  And roughly eight decades after it premiered it’s still as funny today as it was in its premiere.  Taking into account the film’s age, it’s incredible that it still sounds and looks as good as it does to this day.  What audiences see and hear is largely what audiences heard when the film first premiered so long ago.  It is a true testament to those charged with restoring the film to its original glory.  And now thanks to those individuals, a whole new generation of film buffs can enjoy this rare classic.

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, go online to https://philspicks.wordpress.com.