The official soundtrack to the upcoming reboot of Godzilla vs.Kong will release later this month.
The soundtrack is scheduled for release March 26 through Watertower Music, a division of Warner Records. Its release will come less than a week ahead of the movie’s premiere on March 31. The reboot will come through Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers. The music featured in the soundtrack was composed by Tom Holkenborg (a.k.a. Junkie XL).
Holkenborg said taking part in the movie by composing its score was a special experience.
“I’m a huge fan of Godzilla and Kong!,” he said. “I’ve watched over 35 Godzilla movies over the years, so geeking out with Adam over this film came naturally. Kong is such an iconic character with over 90 years of scoring history behind him, and this was a perfect project for me to flex the retro monster orchestral scoring side of my brain, mixed with my very contemporary electronic side – in this case `80s sequences and basslines in the vein of John Carpenter. In this score I am trying to emphasize the insanity of Godzilla and the humanity of Kong. In the spirit of the film, it was fun to get my mad scientist coat on and make some monstrous sounds!”
Goo Goo Dolls debuted the official video for its single ‘This Is Christmas‘ Monday. The video’s debut comes more than a month after the band debuted the song’s “fireplace video.” The song and its video was followed by the premiere of its cover of the holiday standard ‘Let It Snow‘ Oct. 15 through USA Today.
The new video for ‘This Is Christmas’ finds front man John Rzeznik and longtime band mate Robby Takac in a car set against a blue screen making their way to someone’s home as Rzeznik sings to the song. The blue screen plays images of snow-covered trees and road to add to the song’s wintry/holiday sense.
‘Let It Snow’ and ‘This Is Christmas’ are featured in Goo Goo Dolls’ first-ever holiday album It’s Christmas All Over, which is available. The record’s track listing is noted below.
IT’S CHRISTMAS ALL OVER TRACK-LISTING
1. Christmas All Over Again 2. Shake Hands With Santa Claus 3. This Is Christmas 4. Christmas Don’t Be Late 5. Better Days 6. You Ain’t Getting Nothin’ 7. Let It Snow 8. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas 9. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 10. The Christmas Party (Feat. The Union Square 5)
In other Goo Goo Dolls concert news, the band is scheduled to launch a new string of live North American dates July 22, 2021 in Nampa, ID support of Miracle Pill‘s re-issue. The tour is scheduled to run through Aug. 18 in Boston, MA and to feature performances in cities, such as Holmdel, NJ; Morrison, CO and Huber Heights, OH. The full tour schedule, which takes the band throughout the Midwest, is available at the band’s official website.
More information on Goo Goo Dolls’ new single, album, tour and more is available online now at:
When Hanna Barbera debuted its animated series The Jetsons in 1962 on ABC, few if any people would have thought that the series would go on to be such a prophetic program and so beloved. So when the series’ first season was released on DVD in 2004 through Warner Home Video, it gave lots of people plenty of reason to be excited. It would take another five years before audiences would see another release, which came in the form of the first half of the series’ second season. That release was the last official release for the series, while the second half of the second season, the third full season and the whole season were released on DVD and Blu-ray respectively through an on-demand platform through a partnership between Amazon, Hanna-Barbera, and Warner Brothers. Those releases were not official releases, meaning that audiences were pretty much left waiting and wondering when and if the rest of the series would ever get an official release. Audiences got their answer Oct. 13 with the release of The Jetsons: The Complete Series on DVD. The eight-disc collection is a mostly enjoyable presentation, though also imperfect. Its main positive is it’s the fact that it does in fact contain all three of the series’ seasons in one set. The importance hereof will be discussed shortly. While the inclusion of all three of the series’ seasons is an undeniable positive, its overall lack of any bonus content hurts its presentation considerably. This will be discussed a little later. While the lack of any real bonus content hurts this collection’s presentation without argument, the set’s packaging actually helps that presentation. This will be discussed later, too. When it is considered with the very presentation of the full series, the two elements do just enough to make the set worth owning for the series’ most devoted fans, but just enough.
Warner Home Video’s recently released presentation of The Jetsons: The Complete Series is a presentation that while mostly enjoyable, falls somewhat short of expectations. It is not a complete failure, though. One thing about the collection that audiences will appreciate is that it is in fact the full three-season run of the timeless, beloved series. This is important because this release marks the first time ever that the series has ever received an official full series release. As already noted here, Warner Home Video and Hanna-Barbera partnered in the early 2000s to release the series’ first season in whole on DVD. That was followed five years later with the release of the first half of the series’ second season. After that though, the series never released any other official DVD releases. Amazon partnered with Hanna-Barbera and Warner Brothers to release the second half of Season Two and the whole of Season Three on an on-demand DVD platform, and the series’ full run on an on-demand Blu-ray platform. Those releases, in other words, are recorded to DVD-R/BD-R discs when audiences purchase the sets online. According to some reviews read by this critic, allegedly the Blu-ray series set may in fact not be the whole set, but only Season One. That is stated by multiple people who reviewed the set through Amazon. If in fact there is some credence to the allegation, then it makes this new DVD collection that much more appealing for the noted devotees of The Jetsons. Now, for all that the actual full physical presentation of the series’ run does for this collection’s presentation, the lack of secondary content detracts greatly from its presentation.
Secondary content is, in this case, bonus content. The only bonus content that is featured in this collection is the Jetsons movie The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones. On the surface, having the movie seems okay. However, it is a downfall because the movie in question is already featured in the much less expensive double disc set of The Flintstones movies and TV specials as one of the featured movies. That collection in question costs only about $14.87 (using listings at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellsers, and Books-A-Million). This eight-disc collection of The Jetsons averages $26.18 (sing price listings at Walmart, Target, Amazon, Best Buy, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers – it was not listed at Books-A-Million). Audiences will find themselves left scratching their heads and wondering why The Jetsons movie was not also featured as a bonus here. Additionally, the box sets for the series’ first season and the first half of its second season featured lots of bonus content, such as a history of The Jetsons, the series’ cultural importance and even a pair of feature-length audio commentaries. Those bonuses were not carried over to this collection. Considering that each set was released in partner between Warner Home Video (Warner Media Group) and Hanna-Barbera, it seems odd that the noted content was not carried over. As a result, audiences who (like this critic) enjoy that bonus content and already own the noted sets will basically have to keep them in order to enjoy them since they were not brought to this latest set. That is a disservice to the noted audiences and is collectively an undeniable detractor from the set’s presentation. Now for all that the lack of any real bonus content does to detract from the collection’s presentation, it does not make the set a complete failure. One other item – the set’s packaging – makes up for the problems posed by the lack of bonus content.
The packaging in question actually takes up less space than the two official season sets that Hanna-Barbera and Warner Home Video released in 2004 and 2009. In other words, it will take up slightly less space on audiences’ DVD/BD racks than those noted standalone sets. This is unquestionably positive. Even better is that the discs are themselves packaged well inside the case. Each disc sits on its own “plate” inside the case, separate from the other discs. There is no having to move the discs and risk damaging them in order to remove or replace them before and after watching them. It may come across as a surprise, but there are still some companies who take that old packaging approach for their multi-disc DVD and BD sets. To that end, this adds to the set’s appeal. It still is not the last of the most notable of the packaging positives.
The set also features an insert that clearly points out each episode’s title, on which discs the episodes are featured, and even which discs present which season. Again, there are a lot of home video companies even today that will not take that approach. So both companies are to be commended for taking this simple step, too. Putting the proverbial cherry on top of this presentation is the exterior packaging.
The exterior packaging for The Jetsons: The Complete Series is simple. The case is surrounded by a simple cardboard type outer “box” that slides simply on and off of the case that contains the discs. This protects the case and the discs while also saving audiences time in getting to the discs. This is important to note because in comparison, the Season One and Season Two, Volume One sets each essentially have to be shaken from their exterior packaging to even get to the cases. That is because the cases are packed so tightly in their respective exterior packaging. Having to shake the cases can lead the discs to potentially come undone from their spots inside the cases and get damaged. It is also time consuming to have to take that extra time trying to just get to the case, let alone the discs therein. To that end, this aspect of the packaging is definitely its own positive, even being more of an aesthetic aspect of the packaging. When this aspect is considered with the other noted packaging elements, the whole of the packaging really stands out and shows its importance just as much as the fact that the entire series is actually presented here. When these two elements are considered along with the concerns raised by the lack of any real substantive bonus content, the whole of those elements makes the collection enjoyable although imperfect.
Warner Home Video and Hanna-Barbera’s recently released The Jetsons: The Complete Series set is an enjoyable presentation, but is sadly not necessarily complete. Yes, it has the series’ full three-season run. Yes, its packaging definitely is complete. However, it lacks any real substantive bonus content. To that end, the series is complete in one aspect, but it still will leave some audiences wanting for more in the long run. Keeping that in mind, one can only hope that if the set is ever re-issued, it really will live up to its title of being complete. More information on this and other titles from Warner Home Video is available at:
Almost five decades have passed since Warner Brothers first teamed the Dynamic Duo with Mystery Inc. for the Scooby Doo Movie, Scooby Doo Meets Batman. The movie also went by the title The Dynamic Scooby-Doo Affair. That “movie” saw Mystery Inc. partner with Batman and Robin to stop a counterfitting ring set up by the Joker and the Pengin. September 16 will mark 46 years since that “movie” first debuted. Now all those years later, Scooby, Shaggy and the gang have teamed up with the Caped Crusader again, this time to face another of Gotham’s bad guys in Scooby-Doo and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. While the 75-minute “movie” does present an interesting story at its core, the writing therein proves ultimately to be the movie’s downfall. While the writing ruins any chance of this “movie” being one of the more memorable of WB’s so many Scooby Doo movies, it can at least be said that the voice cast deserves its own share of credit in the final presentation. When that work is considered along with the movie’s central story, the two elements together worth at least one watch, but sadly no more than that.
Scoob-Doo and Batman: The Brave and the Bold marks the first time in almost 46 years that Warner Brothers and Hanna Barbera have partnered Batman with Mystery Inc. The story at the center of the “movie,” which is essentially an extended episode of Cartoon Network’s short-lived series (it lasted only three seasons from 2008-2011) is one of the only saving graces for a presentation that is otherwise a sadly forgettable addition to both franchises. That is because of its simplicity. The story follows Mystery Inc. as “the gang” joins an “elite mystery solving group” made up of other well-known DC characters – Black Canary, The Question, Jon Jonzz (The Martian Manhunter) and Plastic Man – after being tested by Batman and Martian Manhunter. The catch is that the meddling kids didn’t know they were being tested until after the fact. This is one of the problems with the movie’s writing that will be discussed a little later. When the group decides on a case for the organization to solve, that quest turns into a journey to solve what is Batman’s only unsolved case. Making things difficult for everyone along the way is none other than one Det. Harvey Bullock, who fans of Batman The Animated Series will recognize. What audiences will appreciate about this story is that it shows that more human side of Batman even as he wears his “uniform.” It shows he can be (and does get) affected by trying to solve cases. It’s a rarely seen side of Batman that is nice to see. Obviously the case does get solved, with a surprise twist, which audiences will appreciate, too. While that twist is something that audiences will appreciate, it leads into a deeper discussion on the writing at the center of the story. The writing proves problematic throughout the “movie.”
The story’s writing proves so problematic because of the plot holes and pacing issues that arise throughout the movie. Right from the movie’s outset, one of those many plot holes appears as the gang is investigating a crime (or so they think) at an abandoned theater. Obviously things are not quite as they seem. This is only revealed after Batman just randomly appears on the theater’s rooftop to “help” the gang. Freddy asks Batman what he’s doing there, and in an attempt to explain things away, Batman simply responds that he goes where crime is. There’s no back story on how the gang came to investigate the “crime,” which obviously was just a test for the gang. It would have been nice to have had some back story there, considering the outcome. Had this been any other case, opening so abruptly might have worked, but not here. As the story progresses, Batman’s super detective friends side with Bullock, just agreeing that Batman appeared guilty in the original case, not even questioning him. Considering the connection between the group, one would have thought the group would have sided with Batman, not Bullock. This becomes problematic, too since they just outright believe Bullock. In the final act, audiences get a resolution as the real villain is revealed. That is perhaps one of the few positives of the writing because the writing team behind the “movie” does admittedly at least do a good job keeping viewers guessing about the identity of The Crimson Cloak.” The problem is that it would have made so much more sense to just wrap up the story where it was. Sadly though, the 13-member writing team couldn’t let go. They instead lead the story to go on well past where it should have ended, leaving viewers asking when it is going to end and why it didn’t end when it should have. In the same breath, that final scene that should have been the final scene leads to yet another pot hole involving The Question. Why did he disappear for such a long time after the bank heist, despite the explanation? Why did he not rejoin the group and tell them what happened? That was never explained. If he had just re-appeared earlier and that point been explained away, it would have created the standard evil twin plot, given. At the same time, though maybe it would have shortened up the movie, too, but the writers didn’t want to go that route. Instead they take a route that even in the end leaves more questions than answered. Even with all of the references to all of the classic Batman franchises (including the beloved series starring the late great Adam West thanks to the gang hanging out in the original Batcave and even an appearance by King Tut) these plot holes and the pacing problems leave so much to be desired here. To that end, the writing in this story does more damage to Scooby-Dooand Batman: The Brave and the Bold than any good. The damage is, in fact, so intense that it leaves this story largely forgettable among the endless stream of Scooby-Doo movies.
While the writing at the center of Scooby-Doo and Batman: The Brave and the Bold does significant damage to its presentation, the “movie” does have at least one more saving grace other than just its story. That other factor is the work of the voice cast. Matthew Lillard, who played Shaggy in every Scooby-Doo presentation since 2002’s live action/CG hybrid movie, once again returns to voice Shaggy this time out, and he shines again in his role, offering plenty of laughs, even as he don’s Nightwing’s old costume. Freddy, voiced once more by none other than Frank Welker could have phoned it in, having voiced Freddy for so many decades, yet he gave it his all once again throughout. The way he handled Freddy’s infatuation with Black Canary makes for plenty of laughs. His act as he dons Batman’s “Year One” costume makes for one of the best moments as Freddy really does try to take on the strong persona that is Batman. Freddy obviously fails to have that persona, yet is so endearing because of his effort to be so heroic. Again, this is an example of a voice actor who fully understands and appreciates his character. That makes his performance all the more entertaining. Kate Micuci (Lego Batman: The Movie, Big Bang Theory, Steven Universe) is entertaining in her own right, too as the voice of Velma. This is not her first time taking on the role, either. She voiced Velma in the short-lived Scooby-Doo series Be Cool, Scooby-Doo and in the Scooby-Doo movies Scooby-Doo! Shaggy’s Showdown, Scooby-Doo! And WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon and other Scooby-Doo properties. The way that Micucci handled Velma’s starstruck behavior toward Batman adds even more entertainment to the presentation. Her reaction to working with Batman is like a child getting to meet his or her favorite celebrity. That especially comes through as Velma learns that the gang is joining Batman at the Batcave. Her interactions with Detective Chimp (played by Kevin Michael Richardson – Lilo & Stitch, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, The Batman) make for even more entertainment as the two clearly talented sleuths try to outdo one another in their investigations. Those are some subtle yet fun moments that audiences will remember, too. Between those moments, the moments presented by Welker, Lillard and the rest of the main voice cast, that work offers its own collective enjoyment for audiences. When the voice cast’s otherwise memorable collective work is coupled with the story at the center of the “movie” the two elements do just enough to save the movie, but not enough to make it more than just one watch.
Scooby-Doo and Batman: The Brave and the Bold is a fun watch for the whole family, whether for everyone’s favorite K-9 case solver and his friends, for Batman and company or for both. That is thanks to the story at the center of the “movie” and the work of the voice cast. While those elements do plenty to make the movie an interesting watch, its writing creates its own share of problems thanks to its pacing problems and plot holes. When this is all considered together, the end result is a presentation that while maybe fun, is regrettably an otherwise forgettable addition to the ongoing Scooby-Doo movies series. It is available now in stores and online.
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:
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:
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.
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 Spies—The 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.
The History Of TURN: WASHINGTON’S SPIES
From Art To Image
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 Spies—The 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:
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.
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.