Category Archives: TV

Say hello to the “Little House on the Prairie” with a trio of warm and fuzzy films

It may be a little house on the prairie, but the love inside is bigger than what’s found in those huge, cold mega-mansions. Lionsgate is celebrating the hit series that stole America’s heart now that Little House on the Prairie: Legacy Movie Collection has arrived on DVD (plus Digital) and Digital HD.9e89e3d5-1fcb-45b6-87e4-e4720764a697_1-c10e5b0940d564ec804c38444c575942

We offer you to say hello to the family fave as you prepare to say farewell to this legendary western drama with three movie adventures: Look Back to Yesterday, Bless All the Dear Children and The Last Farewell. These restored and remastered movies will be available individually on Digital HD.

The story of the Ingalls family concludes with this trio of heartwarming movies—newly restored and remastered for optimal sound and picture quality. Rediscover the timeless adventure of Little House on the Prairie as Albert displays courage in the face of a serious illness; Laura and Almanzo race to find their missing baby daughter; and the community of Walnut Grove unites to defend its town in these inspiring and exciting moments that fans will treasure.

“Fear the Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season” makes Santa’s list chilling and thrilling

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The best way to make your Halloween happy? We treat you will the news that AMC’s fan favorite Fear the Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season arrives on Blu-ray + Digital HD and DVD on December 13 from Anchor Bay Entertainment.

Living in the same universe as The Walking Dead,  season one of Fear the Walking Dead explored a blended family who watched a burning, dead city as they traversed a devastated Los Angeles. In season two, the group aboard the Abigail is unaware of the true breadth and depth of the apocalypse that surrounds them; they assume there is still a chance that some city, state or nation might be unaffected . . . some place that the Infection has not reached.

But as Operation Cobalt goes into full effect, the military bombs the Southland to cleanse it of the Infected, driving the Dead toward the sea. As Madison, Travis, Daniel, and their grieving families head for ports unknown, they will discover that the water may be no safer than land.

  • In addition to show stars tarring Kim Dickens,  Cliff Curtis,  Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Rubén Blades, Mercedes Mason, Lorenzo James Henrie and Colman Domingo , Fear the Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season introduces new cast members including Dougray Scott, Arturo Del Puerto, Daniel Zovatto, Veronica Diaz, Danay Garcia, Carlos Segura and Alfredo Herrera.There. You have thrilling and chilling news to make your Halloween happy . . .  and a perfect guide to add to Santa’s list!

Rising to meet a truly Happy Halloween? Meet “Power Rangers Dino Charge: Rise”

Forget the candy, bags o’ pretzels and popcorn and those awful waxed lips. When we trick or treat this year, we want Power Rangers Dino Charge: Rise, the new Lionsgate DVD on which Saban’s Powers Rangers embark on all-new adventures.3d-power-rangers-dino-charge-rise-dvd-ocard In this spooktacular Halloween edition, the Power Rangers rise and take action-adventure to the next level as Tyler and Ivan put their differences aside to defuse a bomb; Chase races to free his friends from an underground tomb; Prince Phillip learns that he can’t buy his way into the Power Rangers; and Riley and Koda restore the team’s broken bonds of friendship. Now if we can only get them to melt all those waxed lips . . .

 

 

Claire Danes continues to prove she is a work of art

We always knew Claire Danes was a work of art. Now she paints broader strokes by narrating ART 21: Art in the Twenty-First Century: Season 8, coming out on DVD on October 18. Get inspired by today’s most compelling artists and discover the stories, ideas and methods behind their work in the ART21 documentary series Art in the Twenty-First Century. This Peabody Award-winning series takes viewers behind the scenes into artists’ studios, homes, and communities to provide intimate access to their lives, creative processes and sources of inspiration.

Season 8 reveals how artists today simultaneously draw inspiration from and influence their immediate surroundings, while engaging far-flung communities from all over the world—Amsterdam, Aspen, Basel, Bloomfield Hills, Bregenz, Brussels, Chiapas, Cuernavaca, Denver, Detroit, Istanbul, La Porte, Lisbon, London, Milan, New York City, Okanagan, Pasadena, Philadelphia, Puebla, San Francisco, Sinaloa, and Toronto. Through their work, artists participate in global conversations about the pressing issues of our time: from terrorism to environmental crises to the struggle for civil rights.

Artists and cities featured on the DVD are listed below.

Chicago: Nick Cave, Theaster Gates, Barbara Kasten, Chris Ware

Los Angeles: Edgar Arceneaux, Liz Larner, Tala Madani, Diana Thater

Mexico City: Natalia Almada, Minerva Cuevas, Damián Ortega, Pedro Reyes

Vancouver: Stan Douglas, Brian Jungen, Liz Magor, Jeff Wall

 

A new TV special guaranteed to build the cult: “Building Star Trek”

When Star Trek debuted on September 8, 1966, the world was introduced to a number of alien concepts: Think hand-held communication devices, desktop computers, space shuttles, touch screens. Star Trek’s visionary creator Gene Roddenberry conceived of a world so unique that the series would go on to have a profound legacy in television history.screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-7-22-21-pm-580x460

Smithsonian Channel offers a behind-the-scenes look with Building Star Trek, an original special coming to DVD by PBS Distribution on November 1. The show follows the conservation team from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, led by Dr. Margaret Weitekamp, as they attempt to restore and conserve the original 11-foot, 250-pound model of the U.S.S. Enterprise from the original series. The program also tracks the progress of Brooks Peck, the charismatic curator of Seattle’s EMP Museum, as he attempts to rebuild a model of the original U.S.S. Enterprise’s bridge by using authentic set pieces and props.

The program also profiles a new generation of engineers and scientists who are making Star Trek’s visionary technology real, pushing the boundaries of physics with inventions first conceived on the iconic series: Warp drives, medical tricorders, cloaking devices and tractor beams. Proving that one TV show has truly gone where no man has gone before, the program showcases clips from the original series that highlight each scientific innovation as well as recent technologies inspired by the series, such as flip phones and touch screens.

Hmmm, as Kirk once wondered: “Is there anyone on this ship, who even remotely, looks like Satan?”

Seventy years later, more proof why, still, “It’s a Wonderful Life”

James Stewart always thought it was a wonderful life. So did Donna Reed. And movie mavens worldwide. But the classic Yuletide film It’s a Wonderful Life almost didn’t make it onto the big screen and into our hearts.

The film is based on The Greatest Gift, a 1939 short story written by Philip Van Doren Stern.  He spent years trying to sell his story to publishers. No success, so in 1943, Stern self-published his work and sent it to 200 friends as a 21-page Christmas card. RKO Pictures wound up getting a hold of the “card” and bought the rights to the story. They had Cary Grant in mind to play suicidal do-gooder George Bailey.9511755_1

Time passed, and in 1945 Frank Capra was came on board and cast James Stewart as the star. Actresses such as Jean Arthur, Ann Dvorak , Olivia de Havilland and Ginger Rogers (who called the character “too bland” ) refused the co-starring role as George’s wife Mary. Donna Reed nabbed the role, and from here to eternity, is noted for her terrific performance.

When It’s a Wonderful Life opened in theaters in December 1946, the film received generally mixed reviews; it did, however, earn five Oscar nominations but won none. Gulp! it was somewhat of a box-office flop, failing to recoup its $3.7 million cost (it made $3.3 million during its initial run).its-a-wonderful-life-foto

No wonder George was suicidal! In the years following its release, It’s a Wonderful Life fell  into obscurity only to re-emerge during the ’70s and ’80s when it began appearing on television during the holiday season. In 1990, the nearly 45-year-old film was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress.

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Lionel Barrymore in a Sydney Greenstreet mode?

And who ever thought the baileys might think of a red Christ,as? In It’s a Wonderful Life received an official mark of disapproval from the FBI, which pegged the poignant film as Communist propaganda thanks to its populist themes and, more specifically, unflattering portrayal of big-city bankers.

Reads a section of a 1947 FBI memo titled “Communist Infiltration of the Motion Picture Industry”:

With regard to the picture “It’s a Wonderful Life”, [redacted] stated in substance that the film represented rather obvious attempts to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a “scrooge-type” so that he would be the most hated man in the picture. This, according to these sources, is a common trick used by Communists. In addition, [redacted] stated that, in his opinion, this picture deliberately maligned the upper class, attempting to show the people who had money were mean and despicable characters. [redacted] related that if he made this picture portraying the banker, he would have shown this individual to have been following the rules as laid down by the State Bank Examiner in connection with making loans. Further, [redacted] stated that the scene wouldn’t have “suffered at all” in portraying the banker as a man who was protecting funds put in his care by private individuals and adhering to the rules governing the loan of that money rather than portraying the part as it was shown. In summary, [redacted] stated that it was not necessary to make the banker such a mean character and “I would never have done it that way.”

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Why do we present such background? On October 11, Paramount Home Entertainment is releasing the 70th anniversary of one of the most beloved films of all time on Blu-ray and DVD. This 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition includes a beautifully colorized version of the film and the original black-and-white movie, as well as The Making of It’s A Wonderful Life, a documentary featurette hosted by Tom Bosley and the original trailer.  Plus, both the Blu-ray and DVD set include collectible, limited-edition art cards featuring images of original ads and lobby cards.

Sink your teeth into the seventh season of “The Vampire Diaries”

Once again, it’s time to give a fangs a lot to Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, who has released  The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Seventh Season on Blu-ray and DVD. Fans will devour all 22 one-hour episodes from season seven and feast on an hour of bloody good extras—including a brand-new featurette, the 2015 Comic-Con panel, deleted scenes and a gag reel.

For those too faint-hearted to recall every detail of season seven: An emotional goodbye is from Elena Gilbert; as Damon and Stefan’s mother, Lily (the gifted guest star Annie Wersching), tries to drive a wedge (stake?) between the Salvatore brothers; hope remains that Stefan and Caroline’s love story is tough enough to survive. Need more to quench your thirst for daring, demonic  drama? Damon does whatever it takes to take down his mother and her band of Heretics; when Bonnie and Enzo both try to decide where their loyalties lie, a surprising relationship will evolve. Plus, with Mystic Falls in disarray and the arrival of the Heretics—who are set on retaliation and mayhem—the suspense will be stronger than ever. Guest stars also include Todd Lasance, Elizabeth Blackmore, Scarlett Byrne, Teressa Liane and Leslie-Ann Huff.landscape-1469459749-the-vampire-diaries-desktop-wallpapers

It has long been rumored that the show was nearing its end after its lead star, Nina Dobrev, left the show after season six and its other stars, Ian Somerhalder and Kat Graham, hinted it is bye-byt time. But the cast and producers made the official announcement Saturday during their annual appearance at Comic-Con in San Diego.

 “We all have discussed it and we’ve made the decision that this is it,” TVD‘s producer, Julie Plec, told fans Saturday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “This is going to be the final season ofThe Vampire Diaries. It’s bittersweet and emotional and we’re all going to be crying in a minute. It’s been a beautiful run. Get ready, because it’s going to be an epic ride.”

A morsel of trivia only die-hard fans may know: Paul Wesley, who plays Stefan, directed “Woke Up with a Monster”, an episode last season. Did he have any favorite scenes that were really fun to do?

Says Wesley: “I loved directing the episode. It was interesting. I shot all interiors, and when you’re doing a TV series, you’re prone to weather changes, and you’re losing daylight, you’re losing nighttime. I just literally shot on stages, so I had all this play room, and it was so fun. I’m doing a couple more this year, and I can’t wait. It reinvigorated this sense of pleasure. Obviously I’m excited to be on the show, but I’d been doing it for so long that it can be a little bit like you sort of know what you’re getting yourself into, but with the directing you just discover something new every time. You’re always trying to get better, and it’s been great.”

“The Nazi Games: Berlin 1936” offers a riveting look at the Nazis and the International Olympic Committee

How did the Nazis and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) turn a small sports event into the modern Olympics? The answers can be found in the riveting PBS Distribution DVD The Nazi Games: Berlin 1936. (The program will also be available for digital download.) The grand themes and controversial issues from the 1936 Berlin Games have continued to this day: Monumentality, budget overruns, collusion with authoritarian regimes, corruption and sometimes even bribery.

Through archival footage and new research, The Nazi Games: Berlin 1936 reveals how the Olympics, as we have come to know them, were shaped by the collaboration of interests between Hitler and ambitious Olympic planners. After initial distrust, both the IOC and the Nazis found common ground in turning the 1936 Games into the biggest Olympic show the world had ever seen.

A good trip: The Blu-ray and DVD release of the first season of “Into the Badlands”

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Daniel Wu, Stephen Fung and Aramis Knight promoting “Into the Badlands”

Going Into the Badlands is a good thing. AMC’s goal for the series was simple: They wanted to produce a compelling character drama, and introduce the highest caliber of martial arts filmmaking to a weekly series. Success was struck, thanks to the creative minds of creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, whose six-part series stars Daniel Wu as ruthless, prodigiously skilled warrior Sunny. He mentors teen boy M.K. during a spiritual journey across a feudal civilization known as the Badlands.

Violence? Of course. With the help of trained assassins like Sunny, the area is ruled by rival barons, and for decades Quinn has consistently outflanked and outmaneuvered his fellow barons to keep the upper hand. His invincibility, however, begins to fade in light of brazen attacks by the newest baron, The Widow, who believes M.K. is the key to her success. As the battle for control of the Badlands heats up, the destinies of the stoic assassin and the impetuous teenager become intertwined.

Those who missed any of the compelling action or want a revisit should save the date of November 8, when Anchor Bay Entertainment releases Into the Badlands: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray and Digital HD and DVD. For those who wonder: The second season of Into the Badlands returns to AMC in 2017.

Set in a world centuries from now, Into the Badlands: The Complete First Season focused on the spiritual journey of Sunny (Wu) and M.K. (Aramis Knight), a teenage boy who harbors a unique ability, and their growing relationship as teacher and student. Both discover their true purpose and decide to explore what lies beyond the borders of the Badlands, but as their Baron Quinn continues to battle against his own family as well as his rival Baron the Widow, Sunny and M.K.’s journey to a more peaceful existence seems further out of reach.

Those who now wonder about bonus features on the Blu-ray and DVD release of season one:

 

  • Inside Into the Badlands
  • Anatomy of a Fight
  • Building the World of Into the Badlands
  • The Characters of Into the Badlands: The Barons
  • The Characters of Into the Badlands: The Clippers
  • The Master: Into the Badlands Fight Camp Episode 1
  • Creating Real Kung Fu: Into the Badlands Fight Camp Episode 2
  • Bringing It All Together: Into the Badlands Fight Camp Episode 3
  • Into the Badlands Digital Comic

PBS offers a gorgeous look at Colorado, the state Streisand once despised

John Denver had a Rocky Mountain High. Barbara Streisand had, back in early ’90s, a distaste for Colorado. Back in 1992, the Supreme Court considered arguments for and against the Defense of Marriage Act; a hearing that recalled the court’s part in tossing out 1992’s Amendment 2, which prevented bodies in Colorado from recognizing gays and lesbians as a protected class. The passage of Amendment 2 led to Colorado being branded the “hate state.”

A boycott against visiting the state was subsequently called for by numerous high-profile stars: Babs got the boycott ball rolling after suggesting in a post-election speech that Hollywood types steer clear of Colorado “if we’re asked to.” But days later, the Associated Press quoted her as saying, “There are many citizens in Colorado who did not vote for the amendment. I support the organizations and people who are challenging its validity.”

That was then. Things changed . . . but not the beauty and wonder of Colorado. Proof for those who never stepped foot there: PBS Distribution is releasing Heart of the World: Colorado’s National Parks on DVD. Narrated by Grammy-winning Kathy Mattea, Heart of the World delves into the true wonder and beauty of nature, taking us through the seasons and centuries of some of the most spectacular sights on earth—Colorado’s National Parks. Combining stunning photography of the parks filmed throughout the seasons—along with breathtaking helicopter aerials and outstanding wildlife shots that include bears, bighorn sheep, moose and elk.