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Shout Factory is one of my favorite DVD/Blu-ray distributors. They’re great about getting the word out, they’re really nice to work with, and their titles are always fun and/or thoughtful. Here’s a look at a few recent and upcoming releases from Shout Factory:

The Unknown War on DVD‘THE UNKNOWN WAR: WWII AND THE EPIC BATTLES OF THE RUSSIAN FRONT’ – My Memorial Day column over at TV Worth Watching talked about how my son and husband are really, really into war shows, but me not so much. Then I watched ‘The Pacific’ last year and ‘Gettysburg’ on the History Channel, and I’m starting to come around.

‘The Unknown War’ is an excellent 20-part TV series hosted by Burt Lancaster that chronicles the Soviet’s struggle against – and ultimate victory over – the Nazi war machine.  From the Nazi’s invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 to the Russians’ victorious march into Berlin in 1945, the series delves into the strategies, suffering, heroism and courage of the Soviet experience, with footage retrieved from the vaults of the Kremlin. Released on DVD May 24, 2011; [amazon_link id=”B004NJC0I4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]buy ‘The Unknown War’ on Amazon[/amazon_link].

DVD Bonus Content:

  • Interview with Rod McKuen: The celebrated writer, performer and composer who adapted the screenplay and composed the musical score for ‘The Unknown War’ discusses the unusual genesis of this Cold War Soviet-American co-production.
  • Analysis by Willard Sunderland, Associate Professor of Russian history at the University of Cincinnati.

fighting mad, moving violation dvd‘FIGHTING MAD / MOVING VIOLATION’ Double Feature DVD. Peter Fonda stars as an Arkansas farmer in 1976’s ‘Fighting Mad,’ waging a one-man war against corrupt land developers who want to evict him and his neighbors to create real estate developments and conduct illegal strip mining (some things never change!). Written and directed by Jonathan Demme, it also stars Lynn Lowry and Scott Glenn.

Special Features: Audio commentary with producer Roger Corman, director Jonathan Demme and actors Peter Fonda and Lynn Lowry; theatrical trailer and TV spots.

‘Moving Violation’ stars Stephen McHattie as drifter Eddie Moore, who while passing through a small town gets harassed by Sheriff Leroy Rankin (Lonny Chapman) and his deputy. When Eddie meets local waitress Camille Johnson (Kay Lenz), that’s when the trouble really starts. They witness something they weren’t supposed to see and are set up by the sheriff for a murder they didn’t commit. Also stars Eddie Albert, Will Geer and Dick Miller.

‘Moving Violation’ Special Features: Audio commentary with director Charles S. Dubin, producer Julie Corman, executive producer Roger Corman and actor Stephen McHattie; theatrical trailers and TV spots.

[amazon_link id=”B004IN21VQ” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Buy ‘Fighting Mad / Moving Violation’ on Amazon[/amazon_link]; released May 24, 2011.

Transformers Beast Wars, Season 1‘TRANSFORMERS BEAST WARS: SEASON ONE’ (4-DVD SET). ‘Transformers’ fan? Relive some of the most epic battles and adventures through the 15th Anniversary release of ‘Beast Wars.’

In 1996, ‘Transformers’ fans were introduced to the saga between the heroic Maximals and the evil Predacons where these powerful Transformers disguised themselves as some of the fiercest and most ferocious animals on Earth. In a flash, these beasts turned into battle-tested robot warriors ready for combat. Released on June 7, 2011; [amazon_link id=”B004RBC5RY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]buy ‘Transformers Beast Wars: Season One’ on Amazon[/amazon_link].

Also look for ‘Transformers: Beast Wars: The Complete Series’ on June 7, 2011.

‘MARVEL KNIGHTS ANIMATION: SPIDER-WOMAN Agent of S.W.O.R.D’ – Developed by the legendary Eisner Award- winning team of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev, Spider-Woman is brought to life as Jessica Drew rediscovers her life in a world she did not make.

Seeking revenge against those who destroyed her life, she rises to become Spider-Woman again, even if it means her ultimate demise. Features guest appearances by Spider-Man, the Avengers, Wolverine, Black Widow, Captain America and Ms. Marvel. Available on June 14; [amazon_link id=”B004RBC5LA” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Buy ‘Spider-Woman Agent of S.W.O.R.D.’ on Amazon[/amazon_link].

DVD Bonus Content: Visual History of Spider-Woman; Exclusive Music Video; Trailers.

    gordon's war, off limits dvd‘GORDON’S WAR / OFF LIMITS’ Double Feature DVD – Paul Winfield stars in ‘Gordon’s War’ as a Green Beret who spent four years in Vietnam fighting someone else’s battle. He returns home to a Harlem that’s changed and takes on the Mob to wipe out the corruption that’s taken over the city. Also stars Carl Lee, Tony King, and singer Grace Jones; directed by Ossie Davis.

    ‘Gordon’s War’ Special Features: Audio  commentary by cinematographer Victor J. Kemper and actor Tony King; theatrical trailer and TV spots.

    ‘Off Limits’ takes place in 1968 war-torn Saigon, where someone is brutally murdering Vietnamese prostitutes with children by American fathers. Plain clothes military cops Sgt. Buck McGriff (Willem Dafoe ) and Sgt. Albaby Perkins (Gregory Hines ) are put on the case that no one wants solved. Also stars Amanda Pays, Scott Glenn, Fred Ward, Keith David and David Alan Grier.

    ‘Off Limits’ Special Features: Audio commentary with writer/director Christopher Crowe and Willem Dafoe.

    Buy ‘Gordon’s War / Off Limits’ on Amazon; available on June 14, 2011.

    ‘ROCKO’S MODERN LIFE: SEASON ONE’ DVD – Features all 26 wacky adventures of an Australian wallaby and his pals in 13 original episodes (two segments per episode).

    This cute Nickelodeon animated series was created by Joe Murray and features an all-star voice cast that includes Carlos Alazraqui, Tom Kenny (‘Sponge Bob’!), Charlie Adler and Doug Lawrence. Available on June 21, 2011; buy ‘Rocko’s Modern Life: Season One’ on Amazon.

    Visit Shout Factory; also on Twitter, Facebook., and YouTube.

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