Al Capp’s Li’l Abner had the kind of success most comic strips only dream of. Running for 43 years, it captured the heart of pop culture long before the Marvel movies and big-screen blockbusters we have today. The strip introduced the idea of Sadie Hawkins Day into the lexicon, where in a role reversal, young ladies asked young men out for dates. Not a big deal now, but it was a major deal in the 1930s when Capp brought it into his strip. The strip turned Capp into a celebrity, with Capp presenting Kitty Pankey the title of “Sweetest Face
Recently by General Jabbo
Li'l Abner and Daisy Mae tie the knot in this latest volume of Li'l Abner comic strips.
Chris Claremont's X-Men Movie Review: A Look at the Man Who Single-handedly Reinvented the X-Men Franchise
Chris Claremont looks back at his remarkable career writing the X-Men.
The X-Men have been one of Marvel’s most successful franchises for some time, both in the comic pages and on the silver screen, but that was not always the case. Created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the famed team of mutants was a second-tier book at best and saw cancellation after just 66 issues, with the last new story published in 1970. In 1975, a young writer was given the opportunity to have carte blanche on the X-Men, publishing the team’s first new stories in five years. His name is Chris Claremont and he jumped at the
Book Review: Superman: The Atomic Age Sundays, Volume 3 (1956-1959): A Wonderful Time Capsule for Fans of the Man of Steel
Thirteen classic Superman tales, all collected in one volume.
When it comes to comic book heroes, Superman remains one of, if not the biggest pillars in the industry. With a remarkable history going back 80 years and with a graded copy of Action Comics #1 selling for $3 million plus, Superman is arguably the gold standard by which all other heroes are measured. Like many heroes, Superman has appeared in comic books, but also in Sunday newspaper strips. While this may not be as common now, it was very common in the 1950s. With comic values for older hero books becoming more and more out of reach and original
Well worth checking out for DC Comics fans.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided us with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions shared are the writer's own. At the end of Season Four, the heroes of Team Arrow had gone their separate ways, leaving Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) behind as the only members left. This is a comic-book series however and there are villains to be fought so, in spite of their efforts to bail on Queen, he ends up drawing them back in, albeit in somewhat different roles. Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season takes
Gotham: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray Review: A Look at the Dark Underbelly of One of the Comic World's Most Famous Cities
Gotham's characters get one step closer to their comic-book versions.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided us with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions shared are the writer's. The third season of FOX’s prequel drama Gotham offered a gritty take on Bruce Wayne’s city, while inching the characters closer to their eventual familiar roles. It brought in elements from the Batman comic books, while presenting fresh takes and incorporating some surprises in the process. Gotham is perhaps the best written of all the DC TV shows. It is now available on Blu-ray as Gotham: The Complete Third Season. At the start of Season Three,
Star Wars: Rebels: The Complete Season Three Blu-ray Review: An Excellent New Chapter in a Galaxy Far, Far Away
This season brings new characters to life while adding new dimensions to old favorites.
The Star Wars animated series have done a good job of bridging the gap between movies and telling stories the movies don’t get to explore. Rebels is no exception to this. Set about 14 years after the end of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Rebels tells the story of how the Empire grew in power and how the Rebellion came to be. The Complete Season Three further explores the relationship between Ezra and Kanan and saw the onscreen debut of fan-favorite Grand Admiral Thrawn. The season opener “Steps Into Shadow” finds Ezra Bridger (Taylor Gray) leading a mission to
With Great Power tells the story of Marvel Comics' biggest name.
When Stanley Martin Lieber took a job as an assistant at Timely Comics in 1939, little did he know that 78 years later, he’d arguably become the biggest name in comic-book history. Yet that is exactly what happened, with a little help from some equally legendary artists, of course. The documentary With Great Power…The Stan Lee Story takes a detailed view at Lee’s life, attempting (and generally succeeding) to tell his story in 80 minutes. Originally released in 2010, and winner of numerous awards such as “Best Directors Docufest” at Atlanta 2011 and the “Special Jury Prize” at the 2011
Arrow: The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray Review: Darkness Consumes Several Characters as Loyalties are Tested
Arrow's fourth season pushes several characters to their limits.
Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. With the popular CW show, Arrow, about to begin its fifth season, The Complete Fourth Season has been released on Blu-ray. The show picks up directly where Season Three left off. Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) has packed up and left Team Arrow with his girlfriend Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), opting for a life of domestic bliss. As the show is called Arrow, it does not last long before Queen is
DC's Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review: Brings the Fun Back to Comic Book-related Shows
It ties in well to the Arrowverse and may be the best comic-book show on TV right now.
While DC’s recent superhero movies have gotten mixed reviews for being too dark or brooding or not understanding the source material (particularly with Superman), they seem to be doing everything right with their television shows. Programs such as Arrow and, especially, The Flash remember that these shows are based on comic books and that comic books, at their heart, are supposed to be fun. Much like their competition at Marvel has built a shared universe with their movies and, to a lesser extent, their TV shows, DC has done the same. The Flash spun off of Arrow and the characters
The long-awaited sophomore release from Mudcrutch doesn't disappoint.
In 2007, Tom Petty decided to reform Mudcrutch, his pre-Heartbreakers band, to record their long-overdue self-titled debut. Mudcrutch of course is the band that eventually became the Heartbreakers, with Petty retaining keyboardist Benmont Tench and lead guitarist Mike Campbell. While the original Mudcrutch had other members come and go, the trio of Petty, Tench and Campbell, along with guitarist Tom Leadon (brother of Bernie) and drummer Randall Marsh round out the current incarnation of the band. The group played a handful of shows before Petty reconvened the Heartbreakers for a pair of albums, 2010’s Mojo and 2014’s Hypnotic Eye. Mudcrutch
A highly detailed look at the art of this superhero blockbuster.
Batman V Superman — Dawn Of Justice is a landmark event in the DC Extended Universe. It marks the first time the company’s big three — Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman — have shared the screen together in a major motion picture. With decades of visually stunning comic pages to pull material from, the film needed to be equally impressive, and it largely succeeds in this aspect. Batman V Superman — Dawn Of Justice: The Art Of The Film takes a look at what goes into making such a film, from concept to finished product, detailing these legendary characters’ worlds.
This new book details the technology in the film belonging to Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.
Through the years, the Batman character has been known for his gadgets and technology. These have ranged from the ridiculous (Bat Shark Repellent, anyone?) to the really cool (The Batmobile, the Batcave, and the Batsuit and cowl, itself). There is no shortage of this tech in the new movie, Batman V Superman — Dawn of Justice as, after all, Batman is just a man, and taking on the likes of Superman requires more than just fists. The Batman V Superman — Dawn Of Justice: Tech Manual takes an in-depth look at the many varied bits of technology used in the
A deeper look at the colorful characters of The Blacklist.
Now in its third season, The Blacklist, which stars James Spader as Raymond Reddington, a former Navy Officer turned super criminal turned FBI informant, is one of the more riveting dramas on television, network or otherwise. The premise of the show is that Reddington willingly hands over a list of the worst of the worst criminals — the blacklisters — in exchange for immunity from prosecution. The catch is that he will only work with Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), a young agent who may or may not be his daughter. Keen keeps a detailed dossier of all the blacklist members,
RIP to the Thin White Duke.
Being an only child, but having some hip uncles who were more like older brothers, I got exposed to a lot of great musical artists at a very early age. One of those musicians was David Bowie. Not unlike Prince after him, Bowie was one of those performers who were so diverse, it was nearly impossible to like everything he did (You can’t please all of the people all of the time), but when he hit the mark, he hit it hard. Being a Queen fan as well, I was intrigued when I saw that the new track on the
Arrow: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray Review: An Exciting Ride for Starling City's Most Famous Archer
Oliver Queen makes some tough choices in the excellent third season of Arrow.
The third season of the CW’s hit series, Arrow, found the title character (Stephen Amell), adding to his team of heroes to defend Starling City. Old relationships were rekindled and characters thought to be dead turned out to be very much alive. In addition, the show spawned a spinoff in The Flash. Season three begins with “The Calm,” and finds Arrow in a much better position with the Starling City police after defeating Deathstroke (Manu Bennett). Police Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne) has called off the anti-vigilante squad that had previously not taken too well to Arrow and the costumed types.
The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray Review: Still Funny After All These Years (and Changes)
Eight seasons in, The Big Bang Theory keeps the laughs while allowing for character growth.
The eighth season of the hit sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, included several changes to its main characters, all while staying true to the shows roots about a group of brainy, socially awkward scientists. It’s a testament to the show’s longevity that its creators have managed to continuously make changes, all while remaining wildly popular. Gone were Penny’s (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) job at the Cheesecake Factory as well as her long hair, the latter a source of much debate among online fans of the show, to be replaced by a job as a pharmaceutical sales rep and much shorter locks. Comic-book-store
The soundtrack reveals the good and bad in the life of Brian Wilson.
The word "genius" gets thrown around a lot when referring to various musicians, but in the case of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, it is genuinely appropriate. Of course, many musical geniuses tend to be troubled people and, in that regard, Wilson is no different. The movie Love & Mercy, which stars Paul Dano as the young Brian in his 1960s creative peak and John Cusack as the overmedicated, misdiagnosed “patient” of Dr. Eugene Landy, does an excellent job of showing both the highs and lows - and there are plenty of both - in Wilson’s life and career. Of
BBC Earth takes a look at the lives of monkeys forced to live in the city.
In Jodhpur, India, there’s a gang war going on. These aren’t gangs in the traditional sense, however. Hanuman Langur monkeys, displaced from their natural habitat, live on the rooftops among the people. Governed by one ruling male warlord, these monkeys often have brutal fights over territory and all-important mating rights. Their story is documented in BBC Earth’s Monkey Warriors. Narrated by Jerome Flynn, the documentary opens with scenes of the amazingly agile monkeys seemingly flying between trees and buildings. These monkeys are long-since used to human contact and coexist relatively peacefully with them, running along the rooftops even as the
The final season for the animated Clone Wars series makes its way to Blu-ray.
When the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars was cancelled after its fifth season, fans wondered what was to become of the episodes already in the can for season six. Thirteen episodes of the originally intended 22 were produced and were eventually made available on the German TV Network, Super RTL, and, later, Netflix in America and Canada. Now those episodes are available with bonus content on Blu-ray as Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions. The season leads off with “The Unknown” and finds Republic forces batting a battle droid army aboard a planet-circling space station. A
A brilliant performance of one of the band's best-loved pieces.
When The Who first toured for their classic rock opera Quadrophenia back in the 1970s, the technology of the day made it difficult to replicate the album with just the four original members on stage. In 1996, the band brought the album to the concert stage again, this time with additional musicians and singers, including Billy Idol and Gary Glitter. While that tour was a success, when the band — now comprised of just Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey — took the album on the road again in 2012, they tried a different approach, immersing the fans in not only
A fantastic view of the life of birds from their perspective.
Continuing their excellent series of nature documentaries, BBC Earth has taken a look at the lives of birds in Earth Flight. Filmed over a four-year period, Earth Flight follows migrating birds over six continents, using unique filming techniques to get the proverbial “bird’s-eye view” of life on the wing for these remarkable creatures. Never before have birds been filmed in this way and the results are astounding. Narrated by David Tennant, the series is broken down into six episodes, with five episodes focusing on a specific continent, save for one, which covers both Asia and Australia. The sixth episode, “Flying
Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) Review: A Classic Album Worthy of the Super Deluxe Treatment
A must-own collection for any Elton John fan.
In Elton John’s long and storied career, few, if any, of his albums have been as beloved as Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Originally released in late 1973, the album spawned several hit singles that remain staples on classic-rock radio to this day. Now to celebrate its 40th anniversary, the album has received the Super Deluxe treatment, in a new box set with four CDs, an interview DVD, and a 100-page hardcover book with rare photos. This review focuses on the four CDs, as that was what was made available. Disc one is the album proper, newly remastered in excellent sound.
Elvis Presley: Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis Legacy Edition Review: The King's Homecoming Concert in Its Entirety
The latest Elvis Presley Legacy Edition release includes two complete concerts from 1974.
When Elvis Presley played a concert in Memphis, TN, in 1961, few, if any in the audience probably suspected it would be his last concert appearance in his adopted hometown for more than a decade — but it was. After a decade in Hollywood, Presley returned to the live stage in 1969, never to return to movie making, but it took five years for him to return to Memphis. The show was recorded and released in truncated form as Elvis Presley — Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis. Now, 40 years after the original performance, the full show, along with
A loving look at this classic ballpark.
The Friendly Confines, three words that conjure up images of sold-out games, fans watching from rooftops, the ivy on the outfield wall, and visiting home runs being thrown back. The place is Wrigley Field, of course, now celebrating its 100th year of hosting baseball on Chicago’s north side. In honor of this historic occasion, Major League Baseball and Lionsgate have released a documentary, 100 Years Of Wrigley Field. While Wrigley Field has been the home of the Chicago Cubs since 1916, it was originally the home of the Chicago Whales of the long-defunct Federal League. The stadium was originally known
Pride And Perseverance: The Story Of The Negro Leagues DVD Review: The Story from the Players Who Lived It
The history of The Negro Leagues.
When Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, he broke an unwritten color rule in Major League Baseball, becoming the first African-American ballplayer to play professional baseball since the 1880s. Undeterred by the segregation prior to Robinson’s arrival, African-American players formed the Negro Leagues, which featured many great players, many of who were sadly never given the chance to shine on the Major League stage. While the Negro Leagues proved popular, with the teams often playing (or barnstorming as they called it) against Major League teams, it has never been very well documented. Pride And Perseverance:
The harsh reality of life for baby animals in some of the world's coldest climates.
Life is often difficult for baby animals in the wild. For babies born into the harsh, winter conditions of the Arctic and Antarctic regions, among others, survival is not always a sure thing. Narrated by Caroline Quentin, BBC Earth’s Snow Babies takes an in-depth look at the first year of life for a number of animals, including polar bears, arctic wolves, snow monkeys, reindeer and penguins. The story begins in Antarctica, the coldest place on earth. Its winters are extreme, with little daylight and temperatures reaching as low as -112° F. Few would expect anything to live here, let alone
A penguin's eye view of the lifecycle of these remarkable birds.
Penguins are remarkable creatures. Able to endure some of the most extreme climates on earth, they are also some of the most devoted parents in the animal kingdom. Through the use of spy cams, BBC Earth takes a closer look at the lives of emperor, rockhopper, and Humboldt penguins than ever before in Penguins — Spy In The Huddle. For the documentary, which is narrated by David Tennant, the filmmakers used 50 different “penguin cams” to infiltrate the various penguin communities. Designed to look like the penguins they were filming, the cams were quickly accepted as “one of the birds,”
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: Masterfully Acted and Presented
Martin Ritt's adaptation of this classic spy novel is a gritty view of Cold War-era spy life.
The 1960s Cold War era proved a fertile time for the spy movie genre. James Bond offered a glamorous, high-tech version of events, with exciting locales and beautiful women. The spy game is not always glamorous, however, and The Spy Who Came In From The Cold represents the seedy underbelly of this dangerous practice. Based on the John le Carré novel of the same name, Martin Ritt’s gritty movie adaptation is getting the Blu-ray treatment, courtesy of The Criterion Collection. The movie tells the tale of Alec Leamas (Richard Burton), an aging British spy in charge of British intelligence in
When a store such as Hudson’s Record & Tape Centre closes after 105 years of business, it is cause to take notice.
As music sales have declined over the last decade, the retailers hit hardest have been the independent record stores. In the UK alone, where there was once over 2,200 independent stores in the 1980s, that number has dwindled to 269 as of 2009. So what happened? Surely people still like music? Last Shop Standing: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the Independent Record Store aims to find out. Based on the book of the same name by record distributor Graham Jones, Last Shop Standing finds Jones exploring the history of the UK independent record shop. The film is divided into
Michael Nesmith: Live in Ferndale, Michigan 4/8/13: A Reluctant Live Performer Returns To An Adoring Crowd
Michael Nesmith returns for his first solo tour in 21 years
For years, Michael Nesmith famously avoided the concert stage, both as a solo artist and as a member of the Monkees. His last Monkees shows had been the European leg of the 1997 tour for Justus, while his last solo tour came in 1992. Fans clamoring for a live appearance by “The Wool Hat,” had learned to temper their expectations. Then, in late 2012, Nesmith decided to hit the concert trail again, beginning with some solo shows in England and later reuniting with the surviving Monkees (Davy Jones died last February) for a reunion tour. The shows with the Monkees
With The Blue Planet: Seas Of Life, The BBC takes viewers on an incredible journey to the farthest reaches of the Earth's oceans.
In 2001, the BBC took on the daunting task of doing a comprehensive documentary on one of the least-explored regions of the Earth — its oceans. Narrated by David Attenborough and five years in the making, the documentary, known as The Blue Planet, covered each aspect of the world’s oceans in a series of eight 50-minute episodes. The show was an astounding success, capturing images of seldom (and sometimes never) seen sea life in its natural habitat. Its breathtaking images did not go unnoticed, as The Blue Planet won an Emmy Award for Best Cinematography — Non-Fiction. Likewise, George Fenton’s
FCA! 35 Tour: An Evening With Peter Frampton DVD Review: Paying Tribute to the Album That Made Him a Household Name
The legendary live album gets the anniversary treatment on this new DVD.
The 1970s were a time of bloated excess, disco, and the live album. Bands from Cheap Trick to Kiss were catapulted to stardom thanks to their respective live releases, but the biggest live album might have come from Ex-Humble Pie guitarist, Peter Frampton. Like the aforementioned bands, Frampton built his reputation on tight live shows, but hadn’t sold tons of albums until he released a live album himself. Frampton Comes Alive! changed all that, turning Frampton into a household name. Thirty-five years later, Frampton is still going strong. To commemorate the anniversary of his most famous release, Frampton played the
A look at the life of one of music's most beloved producers.
Produced by George Martin. Those four words rightly conjure up images of The Beatles, as Martin was considered by many to be their fifth member, bringing to life the wild ideas they had in their endlessly creative minds. It’s also the name of a new documentary, originally shown on BBC television and now available on Blu-ray, that shows Martin was far more than just The Fab Four. Martin, who originally fancied himself as “Rachmaninoff the Second,” wanted to be a classical composer but World War II got in the way. Martin joined the Royal Air Arm, where he served as
Never Say Never Again Collector's Edition DVD Review: Sean Connery Plays His Most Famous Role One Last Time
The original was back in action as 007.
The year 1983 was strange, but interesting for James Bond fans. It saw the release of Octopussy, starring the then current EON Productions' James Bond, Roger Moore, but it also saw the release of Never Say Never Again, starring original Bond Sean Connery. The film is a loose remake of 1965's Thunderball, which producer Kevin McClory and screenwriter Jack Whittingham had successfully sued Ian Fleming over after he did not credit them for their contributions to the Thunderball novel. The title of the film came from Connery's wife, Micheline, after Connery vowed he'd never play the role again. While
Mods and rockers converge on mid-1960s England in this coming-of-age story.
Though much of the music listened to by the so-called mods and rockers in mid-1960s England gets played on the same oldies stations today, there was a real cultural divide back then. The mods favored sharp, colorful suits, the music of The Kinks and The Who, riding scooters and popping pills. Clad in black leather, the rockers rode motorcycles and preferred the likes of Gene Vincent and Elvis Presley. In reality, they were two sides of the same coin - young people searching for identity with like-minded youths. Pete Townshend brilliantly told their tale in The Who’s 1973 masterpiece, Quadrophenia,
The Beatles: Their Golden Age DVD Review: A Short, but Information-packed Documentary on the Fab Four
Les Krantz narrates this hour-long documentary on the most successful band of all time.
It’s not possible to thoroughly cover the Beatles’ unparalleled career in an hour, but The Beatles: Their Golden Age attempts to do just that. Narrated by Les Krantz - a publisher, author, and filmmaker - Their Golden Age combines still photos with newsreel footage and scenes from the Beatles’ movies. No Beatles music is included, though instrumental sound-alike tracks make up the film’s score. The documentary starts in the 1950s. Skiffle was all the rage in England and proved a major influence on budding songwriters John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The pair were introduced in 1957 and McCartney joined Lennon’s
The fourth film in the franchise finds Bond trekking to the Bahamas to save the world from nuclear destruction.
Beautiful women, exotic locations, and criminal masterminds threatening nuclear holocaust? These are business as usual for M16 agent 007, James Bond . The fourth entry in the franchise, Thunderball is based on the book of the same name, the ninth in Ian Fleming's successful series, which itself was based on an original screenplay Fleming collaborated on with screenwriters Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham. It was one of the most successful Bond films and, adjusted for inflation, is the highest-grossing Bond film of all time. Thunderball begins with Bond (Sean Connery) attending the funeral of SPECTRE operative Colonel Jacques Bouvar,
Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones: Live At The Checkerboard Lounge Chicago 1981 Review: The Students Join The Teacher On Stage
Blues and rock titans collide in a Chicago club.
In November 1981, fans attending the Muddy Waters show at Buddy Guy’s old club, the Checkerboard Lounge, were in for a treat. It’s not often one can catch one of the architects of the blues playing in an environment as intimate as the Checkerboard. What they may not have realized was, the Rolling Stones were in town that week, and several of them decided to check out the show. Not only that, all of them ended up on stage with Waters. Fortunately this historic event was captured on video, and is now available as the DVD/CD Muddy Waters & The
The story of Pink Floyd's classic album of absence and disillusionment
At the Live 8 concert in London, England, in 2005, Roger Waters joined his old mates in Pink Floyd for a show-stopping set. With the passing of keyboardist Richard Wright, it would be the last time the classic Dark Side Of The Moon lineup of the band would play together in public, making “Wish You Were Here,” a high point in their set, even more poignant. The scenes for this concert serve as the introduction to the Blu-ray about the album of the same name, Pink Floyd: The Story Of Wish You Were Here. Four notes from David Gilmour’s guitar
STP rock a packed Riviera Theatre.
While the members of Stone Temple Pilots have often made for a volatile mix off the stage, there is no denying their chemistry on the stage. In March 2010, the band took to the Riviera Theatre in Chicago, IL, for a rock solid, sold-out show that forms the basis of the band’s first-ever concert video release, Stone Temple Pilots: Alive In The Windy City. The concert opens with “Vaseline,” from the band’s 1994 album, Purple. Scott Weiland is in strong vocal form on this riff-oriented rocker and both band and audience seem into it. Things stay up-tempo with the driving
British indie rockers deliver their first Blu-ray
British indie rockers, Kasabian, took the UK and Ireland by storm with a sold-out arena tour at the end of 2011. Their energetic live performance was captured for the band's first-ever Blu-ray release, Kasabian: Live! - Live At The O2 London 15/12/11. Filmed in high definition, both the band and crowd seem amped up for the event, with the band offering spirited performances and the crowd returning the energy to the stage. The show opens with “Days Are Forgotten,” from the band’s most recent album, Velociraptor! The opening is dramatic, with a giant white arch on stage during the song’s
The '80s MTV poster boys are still going strong 30 years later.
Duran Duran has always been as much a visual experience as an audio one. During the 1980s, their songs dominated the airwaves and their videos — shot in exotic locales with exotic women — dominated MTV (back when they still played music). This aspect of the band translated into their live shows as well, so it is no surprise that for their first live release in nearly a decade, Duran Duran: Live 2011: A Diamond In The Mind, the band would release a Blu-ray. The stage show does not disappoint, either. The band wanted the stage to have arms that
Simply Red: Live At Montreux 2003 Blu-Ray Review: The Beginning of Their Rebirth and the End of the Line
Simply Red brings their version of American blue-eyed soul to the Montreux stage for two sizzling shows.
For 25 years, Simply Red offered their British take on American bluesy, blue-eyed soul. Driven by the powerhouse vocals of leader Mick Hucknall, the band was a popular visitor to the Montreux Jazz Festival stage. Their performance at the 2003 festival, along with selected tracks from a 2010 appearance on their farewell tour make up the Blu-ray Simply Red: Live At Montreux 2003. The show opens with “Sad Old Red,” from the band’s debut album, Picture Book. The track's jazzy, walking bassline and subtle piano provide stark contrast to Hucknall’s impressive vocals and help set the tone for the rest
A fine document of the singer's "First Farewell Tour."
As Phil Collins embarked on his “First Final Farewell Tour” in 2004 and 2005, it occurred to him that he should pay his old friend, Claude Nobs, a visit and perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Collins had played there before, including a stint in 1996 with the Phil Collins Big Band and both of these performances are included on Phil Collins - Live at Montreux 2004. The 2004 show opens with “Drums, Drums And More Drums,” which is, you guessed it, a drum solo. Actually it’s more of a trio, as Collins is joined onstage by longtime drummer (and
The legendary party band is still going strong.
For more than 30 years, the B-52’s have delivered their own quirky brand of retro-influenced new wave. From the bee-hive hairdos and surf guitar to the synthesizers and unique vocal interplay between Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, and Cindy Wilson, they have carved out a sound uniquely their own. In February 2011, they returned to their hometown of Athens, GA, for an enthusiastic performance covering their entire career, the results of which are captured on The B-52’s - With The Wild Crowd: Live in Athens, GA. The show opens with the driving “Pump,” a track from their 2008 release, Funplex. While
Forty years on, the musical giant is still pushing boundaries.
In 1970, Carlos Santana and his band, Santana, made their first appearance at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival. Nearly 42 years later, both Santana and the festival are still going strong, with Santana getting to organize his own "mini festivals" at the event for the past decade. His 2011 performance at Montreux is captured on the DVD, Santana: Greatest Hits Live At Montreux 2011. Packed over two DVDs, the show opens with an inspired "Spark Of The Devine," with its big drums and bongos intro. Santana ably solos over a layer of trumpets and keyboards before the song breaks down
The folk rock legend returns with his first-ever Blu-ray.
Richard Thompson's most recent studio album, Dream Attic, was recorded live in front of a series of American audiences before being taken out on the road. On the subsequent tour, a Glasgow, Scotland date at Celtic Connections was filmed, comprising The Richard Thompson Band's first-ever Blu-ray release, The Richard Thomson Band - Live At Celtic Connections. The former Fairport Convention guitarist is widely regarded as one of the best at his craft in the world, ranking among Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time," and he is in fine form throughout the disc, coaxing a multitude of sounds out
These classic rockers dust off two of their most successful albums live.
The trend for classic rock acts over the last decade or so is to revisit a classic album in its entirety live. Everyone from Cheap Trick to Aerosmith to Bruce Springsteen has done it, and the shows have usually been well received. Styx has joined their ranks, performing not one, but two of their most famous recordings, The Grand Illusion and Pieces Of Eight on the new Blu-ray, Styx: The Grand Illusion • Pieces Of Eight Live. Filmed in high definition with 11 cameras at Memphis' famed Orpheum Theater, the Blu-ray finds the band in fine form, delivering many of
The best documentary on the band to date.
Before Queen released their first album in 1973, the late Freddie Mercury already had lofty ambitions for his musical career, telling friends he wasn't going to be a pop star, he was going to be a legend. He was right, and more than 40 years later, we are still talking about Queen. To celebrate their 40th anniversary, the BBC ran a two-part documentary mixing old clips and recent interviews with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. Those make up the Blu-ray Queen: Days Of Our Lives. Borne from the ashes of Smile, May and Taylor's pre-Queen band, Queen built
Doors -- Mr. Mojo Risin': The Story of L.A. Woman DVD Review: A Look at One of Their Most Enduring Works
The story of the band's final album with Jim Morrison.
By the end of 1970, The Doors were done as a live act. Jim Morrison still had the legal ramifications of the Miami incident hanging over him and the band played what was to be their last concert with him that December in New Orleans. They weren't done as band, however, retreating to the studio to cut their legendary L.A. Woman album. The story of that record and the tumultuous times it was created in are documented in Doors -- Mr. Mojo Risin': The Story of L.A. Woman. When the band got to the studio, they had no energy and
A worthy addition to any fan of the genre's movie collection.
In 1954, Japan was still reeling from the effects of the World War II atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and, more recently, from the H-bomb testing being done in the Pacific Ocean. Director Ishiro Honda played upon the Japanese people's fears and created a monster that represented the evils of nuclear weapons. That monster was Godzilla -- or Gojira, as it was originally named. Godzilla has spawned nearly 30 sequels and become one of the most well-known characters in cinematic history. Now the original Japanese film and the 1956 American version, Godzilla, King of the Monsters, have been reissued
Behind the scenes at the Concert for New York City.
When the tragedy of 9/11 occurred, Paul McCartney was sitting in an airplane on the tarmac at JFK airport. He could see the smoke coming from the towers. As the day rolled on and it became clear these were no accidents, McCartney decided he needed to do something to give back to the city and country that had given him so much. McCartney called upon his celebrity friends and organized The Concert for New York City. The events leading up to the concert were captured on film by Bradley Kaplan and Albert Maysles (who, along with his brother, famously filmed
A fascinating look at the private side of the Prince of Darkness
Ozzy Osbourne has become something of a cartoon character in recent years. The reality show, The Osbournes, portrayed him as a lovable oaf and the term "Prince of Darkness," has become a marketing catchphrase, rather than the appropriate metal term is was in the 1970s and 1980s. The documentary God Bless Ozzy Osbourne, produced by his son, Jack, attempts to rectify all this and help Ozzy reclaim his rightful legacy on top of the metal world. The producers of the film spent two years on the road with Osbourne and the movie opens with scenes from his concert in Buenos
Rare footage of Ray Charles at work in 1961 makes its DVD debut.
In 1961, it's safe to say Ray Charles was at the peak of his powers. His albums and tours were smash hits and he had signed a deal with ABC-Paramount that granted him 75% of his record's profits and a minimum guarantee of $50,000 per record. In addition, his former label Atlantic, which was still stinging from the loss of its big star, released a number of unreleased Ray Charles songs which when combined with the material he was doing for ABC-Paramount, made for 10 albums of new material between 1960-1961. Life was good indeed. In 1961, he was invited
John Lennon appears in his only non-Beatles film.
After the success of A Hard Day's Night and Help!, director Richard Lester tried his hand at making an anti-war film. He enlisted the aid of John Lennon -- which was sure to attract viewers -- and a young, pre-Phantom Of The Opera Michael Crawford for his 1967 release, How I Won The War. Panned by critics and fans at the time that may have been expecting more madcap Beatles adventures with Lennon and oft misunderstood, the film lampoons the whole notion of war and the class divide between the British officers and enlisted men. Set in the northern Africa
The Stones at their absolute live zenith.
The year 1972 was a pivotal one for The Rolling Stones. They spent the summer as tax exiles in France, emerging from their drug-fueled haze to release arguably their greatest album, Exile on Main Street, and the resulting tour is considered one of their best. While on tour in America that year, the band filmed four nights in Texas for the theatrical release Ladies & Gentlemen...The Rolling Stones. Largely unseen since the mid 1970s, the film finally made its official DVD debut in 2010 and is essential viewing not only for fans of the band, but fans of the genre
The King's final film looks at life on the road in 1972.
In 1972, Elvis Presley was still riding high from the commercial and critical rebirth that started with the '68 Comeback Special and continued with his return to live performances the following year. His previous documentary, Elvis: That's The Way It Is was a success, showing the King at the height of his physical and vocal ability. Hoping to recapture some of that magic, directors Robert Abel and Pierre Adidge followed Presley on his 15 cities in 15 nights 1972 tour, the results of which became Presley's 33rd and final film, Elvis On Tour. Long out of print on VHS, it
The King reclaims his throne on the concert stage.
Elvis Presley was riding a major wave of success in 1970. Free of his movie obligations of the 1960s, Presley had delivered the '68 Comeback Special and subsequent return to live performances in 1969. He had also released his strongest album in years with From Elvis in Memphis and had what would be his last number-one single in the U.S. with "Suspicious Minds." It was good to be the King and the time was ripe for a documentary of this rebirth. Filmed over several shows in August 1970, Elvis: That's The Way It Is - Special Edition is a brilliant