The meat to Jamie Oliver’s success? Great food, great fun, great new book, “Ultimate Veg”

The meat of Jamie Oliver’s success? He’s friendly, fastidious and one helluva nice guy.

And a hot damn! chef.

Oliver—one of the bestselling cookbook authors of all time—is back with his first-ever all vegetable, plant-powered cookbook. With inspiration from all over the world, Ultimate Veg: Easy & Delicious Meals for Everyone (Flatiron Books, $35) shows how easy and delicious it is to add more vegetables into your cooking whether
you’re looking to embrace a meat-free day or two each week or live a vegetarian lifestyle. From simple suppers to dinner-party worthy stunners, Oliver packs the book with flavor combinations that will inspire everyone to get cooking.

From chapters from One-Pan Wonders, Traybakes and Curries & Stews to Pasta, Salads, Burgers & Fritters and everything in between, Jamie includes recipes that everyone will want to cook and eat, plus tips for easy weeknight meals.

Our Top Three faves:

♥ GREENS MAC ‘N’ CHEESE with leek, broccoli & spinach and a toasted almond topping
VEGGIE PAD THAI, crispy fried eggs, special tamarind & tofu sauce and peanut sprinkle
♥ SUPER SPINACH PANCAKES with avocado, tomato and cottage cheese

As Oliver says: “It’s all about celebrating really good, tasty food that just happens to be meat-free.”

Find Oliver recipes and videos on jamieoliver.com

Bela Lugosi + Edgar Allan Poe + creepy pre-Code condition + Arlene Francis =”Murders In The Rue Morgue”

What’s her line?
Arlene Francis may be most famous for her years-long stint on What’s My Line?, but she has a teeny (and uncredited) part as a “streetwalker” in the creepy 1932 American pre-Code horror flick. Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe, Murders In The Rue Morgue is a haunting atmospheric thriller heavily influenced by the German Expressionist classic, The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, and features Bela Lugosi in one of his most sinister roles.

Bela and Arlene

A deranged scientist, Dr. Mirakle (Lugosi), searches Paris for a “prospective bride” for his pet gorilla. Inviting young ladies to his laboratory, he injects his victims with gorilla blood and then disposes of their ravaged bodies through a trapdoor. Mirakle finally settles on a beautiful woman to be the mate of the gorilla, kidnapping her from her fiancé, Pierre Dupin.

Murders In The Rue Morgue

But just as the young lady is about to be sacrificed in the name of unholy science, a frantic Dupin locates his betrothed and tries to rescue her from Mirakle’s unspeakable evolutionary experiments.

Scream Factory, the deranged sister of Shout factory!, has released a crisp, remastered Blu-ray of the film. Great cover art, too!

Bonuses include new audio commentary by authors/film historians Gregory William Mank and Gary D. Rhodes; the flick’s theatrical trailer and a stills gallery.

February is a month of love, and what better than binge watching PBS programs with Russell Stover?

February is a month of love, and what better to love than binge watching PBS programs with an armful of chocolates?

Enjoy!

MASTERPIECE: Sanditon
Andrew Davies, Britain’s national treasure, has given Jane Austen fans what they have been waiting over a century for: the completion of Austen’s last piece of work, unfinished due to her death in 1817. Now Davies takes the first 11 beautifully crafted chapters of the final Austen masterpiece and creates an epic drama for all to enjoy. The lavish adaptation stars Rose Williams as Austen’s lively, but levelheaded heroine Charlotte Heywood and Theo James as the humorous, charming (and slightly wild) Sidney Parker.

Charlotte observes hypochondria, avarice and attempted seduction run amok. Lady Denham is playing matchmaker for her destitute nephew, Sir Edward, who is determined to seduce Lady Denham’s ward, Clara and become the primary heir to his aunt’s estate. Then, the arrival of wealthy, mixed-race heiress Miss Lambe, under the guardianship of Tom’s upright brother Sidney, adds another interesting complication.


MASTERPIECE: Howards End
Written by Kenneth Lonergan, comes the four episode adaptation of E.M. Forster’s, Howards End. Starring Matthew Macfadyen as Henry Wilcox, Philippa Coulthard as Helen Schlegel, Julia Ormond as Mrs. Wilcox, Hayley Atwell as Margaret Schlegel and Tracey Ullman as Aunt Juley,

this is a fresh take on the story of two independent and unconventional sisters and the men in their lives seeking love and meaning as they navigate an ever-changing world. Also starring Joseph Quinn, Rosalind Eleazar and Alex Lawther.


American Experience: McCarthy
The legacy of Joseph McCarthy’s relentless search for anyone he deemed a communist or enemy of the state will forever be shrouded in infamy. The Wisconsin Senator’s crusade is now the centerpiece of any conversation involving the government’s role in decency, democracy and ethical conduct. This witch hunt, completely free of restraint or oversight, led to the trials and imprisonment of many celebrities, Americans and immigrants.

This program details the rise of McCarthy’s political life which led to his belief that there was a great conspiracy threatening America, culminating in a chilling campaign full of groundless accusations, bullying intimidation, grandiose showmanship, cruel victimization and a web of lies to keep public opinion on their side.


NOVA: Decoding da Vinci
On the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, with guidance from historian Walter Isaacson, NOVA pulls back the curtain to investigate what led to da Vinci’s ahead of his time, legendary successes.

The program examines how Leonardo’s scientific studies, from dissecting humans to studying optics, led to a host of brilliant inventions, like hang gliders, armored tanks, parachutes and many others. Decoding da Vinci further explains how this deep scientific curiosity was behind the most captivating work of art in history, The Mona Lisa. Viewers now have the chance to delve deep into Leonardo da Vinci’s Renaissance genius.


NOVA: The Violence Paradox
Violence is ubiquitous in our every day lives. We see it in the news, in movies, on TV and video games so why do some experts say that violence is decreasing and that we’re living in the most peaceful time in history? Can this actually be true?

The Violence Paradox addresses these questions and explores the intricacies of how violence permeates our life, psychology and every day thoughts and actions. The program takes us through time and the human mind to investigate what impacts the violence rates and what people are doing now to reduce violence in the world.


NOVA: Animal Espionage
Studying animals that are incredibly hard to approach or observe without them being aware has always been a constant struggle for wildlife experts. Though now, with the technological advancements of the camera industry, experts and viewers are able to get an intimate view of these species behind closed doors during their everyday lives. Camera traps and drones, completely hidden from the animal’s view, are allowing for revolutionary findings in wildlife biology, allowing viewers to get closer than ever before to animals like whales, tigers and elusive giant armadillos.

NOVA: Animal Espionage DVDThe recordings featured on this program capture everything from the unexpected to the comical, and these technologies are giving wildlife analysts insights that could ultimately help them fight extinction and habitat loss.

Mill Creek Entertainment offers exceptional box sets of favorite and funny TV series

Curious people may meander down to the old mill stream, but whenever we want something special to do, we head to Mill Creek. Here is where we (and you) will find with Entertainment with a capital E.

We stumbled upon two nifty complete series box sets whose content Mill Creek licensed (legally, of course).  Great picture quality and sound. And a hell of a lot cheaper than the same sets issued by the original studio.

Once upon a time… there were three girls who went to work for Charles Townsend, a mysterious man they never got to see, at his Beverly Hills detective agency. And they became the sexiest private eyes to ever grace TV.

Welcome to Charlie’s Angels: The Complete Series, a 20-disc Blu-ray gem. Enjoy every episode of high-kicking action, glamour, guns, bikinis and hair. Each is packed with dangerous intrigue in the Angels’ world of money, mystery and murder. And the guest stars?

Then there’s, the 12-time Emmy winning Mad About You that explores the romantic ups and downs of an endearingly neurotic couple, Paul and Jamie Buchman, as they cope with marriage, mood swings, love and life. Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser still make us laugh . . . again and again.

Celebrity guests include such familiar faces as Lisa Kudrow, Carl Reiner, Sid Caesar, Estelle Getty, Bruce Willis, Hank Azaria and Cyndi Lauper. The 14-disc set includes a host of bonus features including commentaries, featurettes and a blooper reel.

Suzanne Somers offers “A New Way to Age”

We have always loved Suzanne Somers.

Every time we chat with her, she has something profound to say.
Witness: “Gay men love me. And why not?  I get what that experience is. I think children of alcoholics are wounded birds, and I think the gay experience is very wounding. I have always had great relationships with my gay friends, and I think that’s because we’re simpatico. We get one another. I know the wounding; I know how to find my way through. So do they. I don’t know what it is, but lesbians don’t make passes at me. Maybe I’m too femme?”

With her new book, A New Way to Age: The Most Cutting-Edge Advances in Antiaging (Gallery Books, $28), Somers cuts right to the heart of how most of us are far too comfortable with the present paradigm of aging, which normalizes pills, nursing homes and “the big three”: heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

But you don’t have to accept this.

She presents a “new” way to grow older—with vibrancy, freedom, confidence and a rockin’ libido.  The book is a health bible that explains how to stop aging like your parents and embrace cutting edge techniques such as:
♥ Balancing nutritional and mineral deficiencies
♥ Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy
♥ Detoxifying your gut for weight loss
♥ Pain management with non-THC CBD instead of harmful opioids
♥ Cell rejuvenation with senolytics and NAD supplementation
♥ Natural, nondrug intimacy enhancers
♥ Stem cell treatments for healing and revitalizing more body parts

In A New Way to Age, Somers interviews some of the foremost doctors in the field of antiaging medicine. Reading these interviews makes you feel like you are in the office of a top doctor. Suzanne
asks the questions you may be afraid to ask or not have the opportunity to. They discuss topics including stress, hormone enhancement, yoga, statins, toxins and the gut, EECP treatment, the heart and how to keep it from breaking, stem cell treatment, natural pain treatment, energy medicine and the healing power of touch.

As Suzanne writes, “The information throughout this book is meant
to be provocative in order to stimulate interest in the newest possibilities. These amazing professionals gave me their best so I could pass it along to you.”

At the end of the book, Suzanne includes appendices which include a comprehensive list of tests you may want to do and how to obtain them; doctor contact information for all the doctors interviewed or
referenced in the book; and information about supplements and supplementation.

With this nook, the 73-year-old takes things a step further to present a revolutionary philosophy for a longer and better-quality
life—in the form of easy-to-understand lessons and doctor interviews that will make you feel like you’ve
just had the best checkup of your life.

“The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert-The Blu-Ray Collection” is the biggest and best video music collection. Ever.

Sex, drugs and rock and roll. We’ll focus on the last of life’s lessons.
For more than 30 years, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has honored rock music’s greats during annual prestigious black-tie ceremonies which have become nearly as epic as the artists they celebrate. Featuring the biggest names in classic rock from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, as well as once-in-a-lifetime collaborations that can only happen at these very special events, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert-The Blu-Ray Collection is the biggest and best video music collection Time Life has ever produced.
Giving home audiences front row seats to the greatest performances from the historic Rock & Roll Hall of Fame concerts, this Blu-ray collector’s set, never before available at retail in one comprehensive collection, features nearly 30 hours of entertainment and more than 150 unforgettable performances from 2009-2017, as well as historic, irreverent and emotional induction speeches across six discs. Among the iconic acts featured are Alice Cooper, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Cheap Trick, Chicago, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Electric Light Orchestra, Heart, James Taylor, Journey, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Ringo Starr, Simon and Garfunkel, Sting, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, Stevie Nicks, Glenn Frey, Green Day, Yes, Bill Withers, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Beastie Boys, Genesis, N.W.A., Randy Newman, Public Enemy and U2. Simply put, if you’re a fan of live classic rock, this is the collection to own.

Housed in one handsome collector’s case are three distinct Blu-ray collections: Rock Hall In Concert-EncoreRock Hall in Concert and The 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concerts.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert-Encore features 44 iconic performances from the 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 induction ceremonies. Among the highlights:
  • The legendary Canadian power trio Rush performing fiery classics Tom Sawyer and The Spirit of Radio for their fervent fans.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers leading a searing all-star jam session of Higher Ground anchored by Slash and Ron Wood.
  • Heart going Crazy on You before being joined onstage by fellow members of Seattle rock royalty from Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.
  • Alice Cooper ripping into ferocious versions of Eighteen and Under My Wheels before closing the set with Rob Zombie on School’s Out.
  • The Hurdy Gurdy Man Donovan is joined onstage by John Mellencamp for a chilling performance of Season of the Witch.
  • Hall of Fame induction speeches including Don Henley inducting Randy Newman and Neil Young inducting Tom Waits.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert features 53 iconic performances from the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 induction ceremonies. Among the highlights:
  • Bruce Springsteen joining inductees the E Street Band for the deep-cut classic The E Street Shuffle from the Boss’s second album, from 1973.
  • Legendary grunge-rock group Pearl Jam delivering thundering performances of AliveGiven to Fly and Better Man.
  • The two surviving members of Nirvana joined on stage by Lorde, Annie Clark, Kim Gordon and Joan Jett for emotional renderings of the group’s biggest hits.
  • Cat Stevens performing a spine-tingling version of Father & Son that rendered the massive Barclays Center quiet as a church.
  • Journey performing three classic cuts: Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)Lights and Don’t Stop Believin’.
  • Hall of Fame induction speeches including Coldplay’s Chris Martin inducting Peter Gabriel and Metallica’s Lars Ulrich inducting Deep Purple
The 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concerts  On October 29th and 30th, 2009, rock n’ roll royalty held court at Madison Square Garden for what has been called “the mother of all concerts.” Featuring a who’s who of rock from the ’50s to the ’90s, the concerts, as always, included artists performing together in unprecedented combinations that will most likely never be witnessed again. Highlights include:
  • Mick Jagger and Fergie in a blistering version of the Stones’ classic Gimme Shelter, with U2
  • Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel on-stage for a rollicking rendition of Born to Run.
    Sting joins Jeff Beck for the Curtis Mayfeld classic People Get Ready.
  • Paul Simon, David Crosby and Graham Nash join together for a spine-tingling Here Comes the Sun.
  • Ozzy Osbourne sings with Metallica on the Black Sabbath classics Iron Man and Paranoid.
  • John Fogerty & Bruce Springsteen share vocals on Roy Orbison’s Oh, Pretty Woman.

Arrow Academy/Arrow Video drops a triumvirate of great flicks on February 25

February always makes us think of arrows . . . after all, that is the cherubic Cupid’s weapon of choise.

We also think of Arrow, that continues to offer up a diverse lineup for home video collectors with a trio of must- see, must-have releases.

The triumvirate drops on February 25, starting with Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Manon via Arrow Academy. Loosely adapted from Antoine François Prévost’s 1731 novel, this stunning French drama is the story of a French Resistance fighter that rescues and falls in love with a woman from accused of working with the Nazis. The couple moves to Paris where their life begins to spiral out of control as they get caught up in prostitution and murder.

How good is it? The film took home the Golden Lion award at the 1949 Venice Film Festival. This new high definition release includes a brand-new video appreciation by critic Geoff Andrew and an archival documentary that features Clouzot discussing his love for literature.
First up from Arrow Video is the multi-disc set One Missed Call Trilogy. This legendary trio of J-horror films launched with Takashi Miike’s2003 film about people who receive strange voicemails from their future selves predicting their deaths. Yumi Nakamura, a young psychology student, begins to investigate the calls and discovers this terrifying circumstance has been plaguing Japan for centuries. The original series was followed by two more films, One Missed Called 2 and One Missed Call: The Final Call.

While the franchise never quite reached the popularity of contemporaries like the Ring and Ju-on: The Grudge, it’s certainly not without its own devoted fan base thanks to its visual flare and the nightmare scenario catered towards a generation that grew up with cell phones. The complete trilogy comes to Blu-ray with a full voicemail of special features that include interviews, documentaries, a TV special and a short film.

Rounding out February is José Ramón Larraz’s bonkers late-era slasher, Deadly Manor. Also known as Savage Lust, this final genre effort from Larraz follows a pretty standard template as teens stay the night in an abandoned mansion that happens to be home to a lunatic killer.

Unlike the trailer above, the film has been restored in 2K using the original elements. Deadly Manor will be making its Blu-ray debut. This release will include a multitude of special features, including a new interview with actress Jennifer Delora and the original VHS trailer.

Already ready for your eyes and ears:

José Ramón Larraz’s Edge of the Axe. This Spanish-American slasher follows a masked killer picking off people in a small California village with, that’s right, an ax!

Overlooked for years, this new 2K restoration (from the original camera negative) looks to introduce this cult classic to a new audience. The release includes English and Spanish versions of the film, two new audio commentaries, and more.
Black Angel is a stunning black-and-white film noir that marked the final time behind the camera by prolific director Roy William Neill. After a man is convicted for murder, his wife and victim’s ex-husband fight to prove his innocence. Lost in the shuffle of ’40s noir, and hated by author Cornell Woolrich whose novel served as the source material, Black Angel is a sleek and stylish film that genre fans will surely appreciate.

This new Arrow release contains a brand-new restoration of the film, starring Dan Duryea, June Vincent and Peter Lorre,  and a number of bonus features, including a video appreciation by film historian Neil Sinyard.

“Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote” is the authoritative account of one of the great episodes in the history of American democracy.

A new year that will bring change. We will kick out the scumbag misleading the country.

And we  will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.

Leading the parade is Ellen Carol DuBois’s Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote (Simon & Schuster, $28), a wonderful book that explores the full scope of the dramatic and inspiring suffrage movement—which brought half of the American population into the voting body, gave them fundamental political rights, and recognized their existence as individuals beyond the scope of family roles.

book coverRenowned historian  DuBois, a distinguished Professor Emeritus at UCLA, takes us through the very heart of American history with vivid portraits of the suffrage movement’s bold leaders and devoted activists. Profiled in the book are well-known foremothers like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, as well as lesser known figures like Carrie Chapman Catt and Alice Paul.

Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote is sure to become the authoritative account of one of the great episodes in the history of American democracy.

Joshua Hammer hatches a brilliant new book chronicling a globe-trotting smuggler

On May 3, 2010, an Irish national named Jeffrey Lendrum was apprehended at Britain’s Birmingham International Airport with a suspicious parcel strapped to his stomach. Inside were fourteen rare peregrine falcon eggs snatched from a remote cliffside in Wales.

So begins a tale almost too bizarre to believe, following the parallel lives of a globe-trotting smuggler who spent two decades capturing endangered raptors worth millions of dollars as race champions—and Detective Andy McWilliam of the United Kingdom’s National Wildlife Crime Unit, who’s hell bent on protecting the world’s birds of prey.book cover

From the volcanoes of Patagonia to Zimbabwe’s Matobo National Park, and from the frigid tundra near the Arctic Circle to luxurious aviaries in the deserts of Dubai, The Falcon Thief: A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery, and the Hunt for the Perfect Bird (Simon & Schuster, $26), tails a man who is reckless, arrogant, and gripped by a destructive compulsion to make the most beautiful creatures in nature his own.

It’s a story that’s part true-crime narrative, part epic adventure—and wholly unputdownable until the very last page. Another great book  that’s been hatched by Joshua Hammer, the best-selling author of The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu. 

Master storyteller Jerry Mitchell’s new book reopens the unsolved murder cases of the Civil Rights era

The book is so important that John Grisham states: “For almost two decades, investigative journalist Jerry Mitchell doggedly pursued the Klansmen responsible for some of the most notorious murders of the civil rights movement. This book is his amazing story. Thanks to him, and to courageous prosecutors, witnesses, and FBI agents, justice finally prevailed.”

Indeed.

Jerry Mitchell has been called “a loose cannon,” “a pain in the ass” and a “white traitor.” He’s also one of the most decorated investigative journalists in the nation, having won more than 30 national awards—including a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” Columbia’s John Chancellor Award, the Sidney Hillman Prize and the George Polk Award as well as a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Whatever he’s been called, he has never given up in his quest to bring unpunished killers to justice.

book cover

Since 1989, the investigative journalist for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, has unearthed documents, cajoled suspects and witnesses, and quietly pursued evidence in some of the nation’s most notorious killings. Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era (Simon & Schuster, $28) documents the work that led to the re-openings and re-prosecutions of some of the nation’s most notorious murders, including the 1963 assassination of NAACP leader Medgar Evers; the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist church in Birmingham that killed four girls; the 1966 firebombing of Vernon Dahmer; and the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers (commonly known as the “Mississippi Burning” case). These four cases were landmarks in the civil rights movement, and since then, we’ve seen an all-time high of hate crimes in America. As Mitchell writes: “We must remember, to point our compass toward justice. We must remember, and then act.”

With Race Against Time, readers get an unputdownable suspense story about a chapter in American history. It’s unbelievable that killers had been walking around in broad daylight, their crimes unpunished. Like reading a nonfiction version of a John Grisham novel, the book is filled with courtroom twists and heart-pounding one-on-one confrontations with killers. Mitchell’s investigations of unpunished killings by the KKK have hardly been popular. Some readers of his stories complained bitterly in letters to the editor. Others cancelled their subscriptions. Klansmen have repeatedly threatened him. In addition to his reporting on these cases, he has exposed injustices, incompetence and corruption, helping lead to investigations, exonerations, firings and reforms of state agencies. The book also reveals the courage of those involved in the civil rights movement.  And this book shows the power of the press in a nation that desperately needs accountability

Petrucelli Picks the best in books, music and film . . . and then some