Have no fear of the dark with “Iron Maiden: Album By Album”

Required reading for all Iron Maiden fans, Album By Album is a compendium of in-depth, entertaining and profusely illustrated conversations about all sixteen of the legendary metal band’s studio albums.

Now ready: Iron Maiden: Album By Album (Voyageur Press, $30), from prolific rock journalist Martin Popoff, pays tribute to the Iron Maiden’s studio discography through a series of in-depth, frank, and entertaining conversations about all 16 of the legendary heavy metal band’s studio albums. Inside, the author gathers together metal journalists, authors, and musicians, who offer insights, opinions and anecdotes about every release.

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Maiden’s fan base is large, diverse and enduring, and that goes for the line-up Popoff assembled to break down each Maiden studio release. Among those weighing in are musicians Marty Friedman, Mike Portnoy, Matt Heafy, Nita Strauss, Ahmet Zappa and former Maiden singer Blaze Bayley. Rocker and pro wrestler Chris Jericho is here, along with journalists “Metal” Tim Henderson, Rich Davenport, Jimmy Kay and other metal and Iron Maiden experts.

Together, the conversations comprise a unique historical overview of the band, covering everything from early albums with original lead singer Paul Di’Anno; the songwriting of founder and bassist Steve Harris; the impeccable talents of drummer Nicko McBrain and guitarists Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, and Janick Gers; mega tours undertaken in support of the albumss; fights and drama within the band; and much more.

The resulting insights, opinions and anecdotes explore it all, starting with the band’s debut at the vanguard of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal to breakthrough iconic releases like The Number of the Beast and Powerslave. Popoff also includes loads of sidebars that provide complete track listings, details on album personnel, and information on where and when the albums were recorded. Every page is illustrated with thoughtfully curated performance and offstage photography, as well as rare memorabilia.

“Operation Finale” follows the astonishing true story of an Israeli intelligence agent

Follow the astonishing true story of an Israeli intelligence agent who brought Hitler’s deadliest lieutenant to justice in the intense and gripping film, Operation Finale, arrives on Digital on November 20, and on Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and On Demand on December 4 from Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Brimming with incredible performances from Golden Globe winner Oscar Isaac and Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley, Operation Finale is also backed by an amazing supporting cast including Mélanie Laurent, Lior Roz, Nick Kroll, Haley Lu Richardson, Joe Alwyn, Pepe Rapazote and Greta Scacchi .

The film follows the gripping true story of the 1960 covert mission of legendary Israeli intelligence agent Peter Malkin (portrayed by Isaac) as his secret mission leads him to infiltrate Argentina and capture Adolf Eichmann (Kingsley), the Nazi officer who masterminded the plans that sent millions of innocent Jews to their deaths in concentration camps during World War II, and bring him to justice. Oscar Isaac is also a producer, alongside Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Fred Berger under their Automatik company and Jason Spire’s Inspire Entertainment.

Operation Finale on Blu-ray and DVD also come with a special bonus featurette that takes viewers deep into the remarkable covert operation that rewrote history.

“Frontline: Left Behind in America” takes an in-depth look at Dayton, Ohio

In the decade since the Great Recession, many American cities and towns have bounced back. But for some small and mid-size cities that were once hubs for innovation and manufacturing, economic recovery has remained elusive. Frontline: Left Behind in America asks why and is an in-depth look at one such city, Dayton, Ohio, as its citizens continue to fight for economic revitalization ten years after the financial crisis.

The DVD will be available on DVD on November 20. The program is currently available for download from iTunes and Amazon.

Gripping and powerful, this documentary chronicles the lives and struggles of Dayton’s working poor as they chase the American dream in the new American economy. As director Shimon Dotan  and correspondent Alec MacGillis of ProPublica explore in the film, Dayton was once the epitome of industry and ingenuity in the American heartland—“the Silicon Valley of its age,” author Mark Bernstein tells the documentary team, a birthplace of aviation and a center of the automotive industry.

Although Dayton’s job market has recently seen a resurgence, the jobs coming back to the city aren’t the high-wage jobs that used to be there–and the poverty rate in Dayton has reached 34.5 percent, or nearly three times the poverty rate nationwide.

In addition to the economic downturn, the city has also been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. By early 2017, county coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger was seeing so many overdose deaths that he was worried Montgomery County, which includes Dayton, would end up leading the nation in fatal opioid overdoses per capita.

 But despite the obstacles, many Dayton citizens are taking matters into their own hands—and focusing not just on surviving, but thriving.

The program is the intimate story of one Rust Belt city’s struggle to recover in the post-recession economy—and an up-close look at how that struggle presents a challenge to us all.

“HELP!: The Beatles, Duke Ellington, and the Magic of Collaboration” is the fascinating story of how creative cooperation inspired two of the world’s most celebrated musical acts

The Beatles and Duke Ellington’s Orchestra stand as the two greatest examples of collaboration in music history. Now, Duke University musicologist Thomas Brothers delivers music to our ears (and eyes):  HELP!: The Beatles, Duke Ellington, and the Magic of Collaboration (W. W. Norton & Company, $27.95), the fascinating story of how creative cooperation inspired two of the world’s most celebrated musical acts. It’s a portrait of the creative process at work, demonstrating that the cooperative method at the foundation of these two artist-groups was the primary reason for their unmatched musical success.

While clarifying the historical record of who wrote what, with whom, and how, Brothers brings the past to life with photos, anecdotes, and more than thirty years of musical knowledge that reverberates through every page, and analysis of songs from Lennon and McCartney’s “Strawberry Fields Forever” to Billy Strayhorn’s “Chelsea Bridge.” HELP! describes in rich detail the music and master of two cultural leaders whose popularity has never dimmed, and the process of collaboration that allowed them to achieve an artistic vision greater than the sum of their parts.

” The Obama Years: The Power of Words” is a must-see documentary

Over eight years, President Obama delivered more than 3,500 speeches and statements–officially ending his era with a farewell address in Chicago. His speeches ranged from redefining patriotism, candidly addressing race relations, inspiring hope and healing, and turning divisive moments into an opportunity for national unification.

But which are the moments that history will remember?  The Obama Years: The Power of Words (Public Media Distribution), narrated by actor and producer Jesse Williams, tells the story of Barack Obama, “writer in chief,” and takes viewers inside the defining moments of his political career through the prism of his most memorable speeches.

The program examines how President Obama used “the bully pulpit” by looking at six benchmark speeches–as a brash young state senator and as a president grappling with turbulent times in the face of chaotic events.  Some were the result of careful planning and intensive writing; others were written under extraordinary pressure, often with Obama doing much of the writing, in the wake of unexpected events. When tragedy strikes, the President has a tremendous responsibility to comfort the nation.

For each highlighted speech, the program gives viewers behind-the-scenes stories of the President and his process, how he and his core group worked to develop the messages, expert commentary comparing the speeches to those of other presidents, and analysis of the power–and limits–of the bully pulpit to shape events. The program features insights from eminent historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Douglas Brinkley and key members of Obama’s inner circle, including senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, Chief Strategist David Axelrod, and speechwriters Jon Favreau and Cody Keenan. Smithsonian curator Harry Rubenstein of the National Museum of American History, Rep. John Lewis, and Clark Judge, speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, are also among the featured interviews.

What was really behind The Beatles’ “White Album”? Read “Maharishi & Me: Seeking Enlightenment with the Beatles’ Guru”

Susan Shumsky spent 20 years travelling the world with The Beatles’ spiritual guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (who inspired many of the songs) and lived in the Indian Ashram where The Beatles wrote theie White Album.

With The White Album’s 50thanniversary approaching, it’s also time to welcome Shumsky’s Maharishi & Me: Seeking Enlightenment with the Beatles’ Guru. The book not also reveals the unknown meanings and inspiration behind the album’s lyrics, but is bursting with new material on the scandals, rows and breakdowns that erupted during this dramatic episode.

Maharishi & Me is a strikingly candid memoir of a young girl’s journey to an Indian ashram, where she became part of the spiritual movement led by famous Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Shumsky exposes the fascinating, at times disturbing, truth behind the Transcendental Meditation movement–one of the most famous spiritual movements of the twentieth century–and its leader, spiritual guru to the stars, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Maharishi first set foot in America in 1959, kick starting the spiritual revolution that brought meditation to the West. By 1968, the world’s press were at the gates of his Indian ashram, hunting the ultimate scoop on the Beatles’ spiritual adventure there.

Shumsky reveals the inside truth behind the sex scandals, drug smuggling and mental breakdowns that were reported in one of the most dramatic episodes in the Beatles’ history.

From staying in spooky, abandoned Nazi hotels to dealing with fellow meditators’ suicidal episodes, rumors of the great “celibate” leader’s sex scandals, and accusations that Maharishi poisoned his own guru, Shumsky exposes the truth. She also offers a hard-hitting glimpse into the impact of the often bullying, intimidating and threatening behavior of the movement.

In a moving, highly insightful way, the book depicts how it feels to enter yourself into a master-disciple relationship–the ecstasy and the dangers–as well as what eventually made her decide to break away from this.

 

Donna VanLiere’s “The Christmas Star” is a warm, wonderful gift

Prolific New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Christmas Shoes, Donna VanLiere has another incredible story to wrench and warm reader’s hearts. Published to coincide with the Hallmark Channel production of VanLiere’s previous title, The Christmas TownThe Christmas Star (St. Martin’s Press, $17.99) is a moving and uplifting story about repairing the fragile pieces of a broken heart with the help of a child and a little Christmas magic.

Thirty-two-year-old Amy Denison volunteers at Glory’s Place, an after school program where she meets seven-year-old Maddie, a precocious young girl who has spent her childhood in foster care. Unbeknownst to Amy, Maddie is a mini-matchmaker, with her eye on just the right man for Amy at Grandon Elementary School where she is a student. Amy is hesitant–she’s been hurt before, and isn’t sure she’s ready to lose her heart again–but an unexpected surprise makes her reconsider her lonely lifestyle.

As Christmas nears and the town is blanketed in snow and beautiful decorations, Maddie and the charming staff at Glory’s Place help Amy to see that romance can be more than heartache and broken promises.

A wonderfully warm gift.

An early holiday gift comes from MPI Home Media: “Pat Boone and Family: Christmas & Thanksgiving Specials”

We love Pat Boone! he looks great (he’s 84) and an early holiday gift comes from MPI: Pat Boone and Family: Christmas & Thanksgiving Specials. Boone, one of the top 10 recording artists of all time, brings us into his home to be entertained by him, wife Shirley and his four singing daughters—Debby, Cherry, Lindy and Laurie– in these music and comedy specials that first aired on ABC in 1978 and 1979.

The Christmas show includes classic holiday songs and comedic moments with the hyper-charged Hudson Brothers plus stars from ABC’s Three’s Company, Happy Days and The Love Boat, as well as appearances by songbirds Dinah Shore and Rosemary Clooney. And Yogi Bear!

The Thanksgiving special features Bob Hope and the Hudson Brothers, who join the Boone girls for a disco dance floor showcase. Among the heart-warming songs performed by Pat, Debby and the sisters are “Can’t Smile Without You,” “You Needed Me” and “Bless This House.” The DVD is packed with bonus material, including The Pat Boone Family: Christmas in Bethlehem, Christmas carols and a Boone family photo album.

We lights up our life!

Vincent Cassel is stunning in Cohen Media Group’s “Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti”

In 1891, painter Paul Gauguin is already well-known in Parisian artistic circles, but he’s tired of the so-called civilized world and its political, moral and artistic conventions. Leaving his wife and children behind, he ventures alone to the other end of the world— Tahiti—consumed with a yearning for original purity, and ready to sacrifice everything for his quest.
Impoverished and alone, Gauguin pushes deep into the Tahitian jungle, where he meets the native Polynesians and, most importantly, the young Tehura, who will become his muse and inspire his most iconic works of art. During his two-year stay the artist will experience and health problems and existential crises – but with the beautiful girl to carry him through.

Welcome to Cohen Media Group’s Blu-ray and DVD Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti.

Vincent Cassel, one of modern world cinema’s leading stars,  gives a career performance as Gauguin, remarkably conveying the interior life of a great painter who has given up everything for his art. Co-starring with him are Tuheï Adams, in a striking cinema debut as Tehura, and multiple César Award nominee Malik Zidi(Water Drops on Burning Rocks).
Cohen Media Group’s Blu-ray and DVD of Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti include the featurettes Vincent Cassel is Gauguin and Life and Painting of Gauguin, among other extras.

“Bloodlines: The Art and Life of Vincent Castiglia” tells the tale of an artist who “paints” only in blood!

Some consider him the “offspring of Fu Manchu.” Margaret Cho commissioned him to paint her portrait in her blood.
Welcome Bloodlines: The Art and Life of Vincent Castiglia, a film focusing on artist Vincent Castiglia’s painful life of abuse, addiction and recovery while also exploring the reasons why the world renowned artist paints exclusively in human blood.

Castiglia paints surreal images exclusively in human blood. He began doing so as form of self-healing following a troubled childhood and painful existence. From darkness, however, came light, and Castiglia’s story is one of inspiration and hope, providing proof that art can heal and serve to inspire others.
 Cho is interviewed in the film as well as celebrities Gregg Allman, Damien Echols, Kerry King and Gary Holt of the heavy metal band Slayer, record executive Michael Alago and numerous others including filming in the studio and museum of legendary artist H.R. Giger, who designed the iconic creature for the Alien movies.

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