Thursday, November 13, 2014

Holiday Gift Ideas -- "WHITE CHRISTMAS" Diamond Anniversary Edition Now Available on Blu-ray and DVD (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Do you love watching holiday movies this time of year?  If so, which one is your all time favorite?  I absolutely love "It's a Wonderful Life," and make a point to watch it a few times, including Christmas Eve when it airs on television.  A close second is "White Christmas" starring Bing Crosby, with music by the amazing Irving Berlin. 

I first saw "White Christmas" when I was 10 years old and my grandmother came to stay with us for the holidays.  This was my grandmother's holiday tradition, and she loved this movie.  Back then we were watching it on a old VHS tape that had seen better days.  But, you could still why this movie is a classic, and why so many love this holiday movie.

Years later when I began working, I surprised my grandmother with a DVD player and DVD copy of this movie.  Her reaction was priceless, and for every Christmas Day from that point out when we came for Christmas dinner, this movie would follow our meal.  Like so many other classic Christmas movies, I can recite most of the famous lines from this movie, and can't help but sing along to the popular songs including "Winter Wonderland," " Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and "Home for the Holidays."

Did you know that this year marks the 60th anniversary of this classic holiday film?  And, in honor of this anniversary, on October 14th a Diamond Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray Combo Pack.  This 4-Disc set includes a Blu-ray disc, DVDs and even a music CD featuring 12 songs from the movie.  This set is also filled with new special features and even a fun sing-along.  

This past weekend while putting up the Christmas tree, I watched this movie, and found myself singing along to the holiday songs.  What a way to get excited about the upcoming holidays.  And, once the girls went to bed that night, I spent a few hours enjoying the bonus material on the discs, which included over an hour of previously released bonus featurettes and commentary by Rosemary Clooney, as well as a "White Christmas" photo gallery full of photos from rehearsals, filming and more.  I found myself getting lost in all the bonus material, and was loving every second of it. :-)

If you are a fan of "White Christmas" or know someone who is, why not consider celebrating the 60th anniversary of this release by picking up the Diamond Anniversary Edition Blu-ray combo pack.  This definitely one gift you will enjoy for years to come, and want to share with family and friends.  With the bonus 12-track holiday CD which is great to bring along for long car rides, or play at home, while you start to decorate and get ready for the holidays, you will  find yourself falling in love with this classic movie and wishing for a white Christmas, like I always do. :-)


More about this special Diamond Anniversary Edition --

"Celebrate 60 years of the treasured musical classic Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS with the spectacular new Diamond Anniversary Edition arriving on Blu-ray Combo Pack October 14, 2014 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.  Starring legendary performers Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen and featuring unforgettable music by Irving Berlin, the beloved holiday film offers timeless entertainment for all ages. 

In honor of the 60th anniversaries of WHITE CHRISTMAS and Danny Kaye’s appointment as UNICEF’s first Goodwill Ambassador, The Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation and Paramount Pictures are proud to make a combined $100,000 donation to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF* to support UNICEF’s lifesaving work for children around the world.  As UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador, Danny Kaye traveled to numerous countries in 1954 to see the work of the organization firsthand and appeared in and narrated a documentary entitled Assignment Children about his experience, which is included in the new Blu-rayCombo Pack along with a new introduction by Michael Bublé.  Danny Kaye received an Honorary Academy Award® in 1955 for his work on this extraordinary documentary, as well as for his unique talents, his service to the Academy, the motion picture industry, and the American people.

Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS Diamond Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack also includes new special features such as five classic Christmastelevision show appearances by Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, including a virtual duet between Crosby and Michael Bublé, an optional sing-along subtitle track that accompanies the film’s most popular songs, new photo galleries, and a Christmas CD with 12 songs featuring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Judy Garland, including EIGHT never-before-released tracks.  Additional previously released special features include commentary by Rosemary Clooney, backstage stories, featurettes on Crosby, Kaye and Clooney, and more."

Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS Blu-ray Combo Pack
Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS Blu-ray will be presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Restored Mono DTS-HD Master Audio, French Mono Dolby Digital, Spanish Mono Dolby Digital and Portuguese Mono Dolby Digital, as well as English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround, English Restored Mono, French Mono and Spanish Mono, as well as English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The Blu-ray Combo Pack includes the following:
Disc 1 (Blu-ray):
·        Feature film in high definition
·        Feature film with optional Sing-Along Subtitle Track—NEW!
·        Commentary by Rosemary Clooney
·        Classic Holiday Moments—NEW!
o   White Christmas” by Bing Crosby on December 1, 1976
o   White Christmas” by Bing Crosby featuring Michael Bublé on December 10, 2012
o   “Silent Night” by Bing Crosby on December 12, 1948
o   “Jingle Bells” by Danny Kaye and Nat King Cole on December 25, 1963
o   Danny Kaye reads from Christmas Carol on December 22, 1965
·        Assignment Children—NEW!
o   With introduction by Michael Bublé
·        Backstage Stories from White Christmas—The production boasted the #1 and #3 box office stars of its time and the director of Casablanca. It featured the most popular song in American history and became the highest-ranking film at the box office in 1954.  From little-known production details to behind-the-scenes trivia, this segment offers insights about the timeless holiday classic.
·        Bing Crosby: Christmas Crooner—Crosby’s family members offer personal memories of the film and discuss the crooner’s Yuletide connection.  The piece also includes film historians sharing rare stories about Crosby and White Christmas and a visit to Crosby’s hometown of Spokane, Washington.
·        Danny Kaye: Joy to the World—Some people only know him as the silver screen’s ‘court jester,’ but Danny Kaye was a true humanitarian who helped children around the world as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.  This moving tribute sheds light on the multi-talented actor, who won two honorary Academy Awards®, including the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, and spread joy beyond the Hollywood spotlight.
·        Irving Berlin’s White ChristmasMany people don’t know all of the lyrics to the most popular Christmas song of all time or that Irving Berlin wrote it while sitting poolside at an Arizona Resort.  This fascinating feature sheds light on the genesis and enduring popularity of the best-selling single in American history.
·        Rosemary’s Old Kentucky Home—Take a tour of Rosemary Clooney’s home in Augusta, Kentucky, which has become a historical landmark.   
·        White Christmas: From Page to Stage The legacy of White Christmas continues with a hit Broadway musical, nominated for two Tony awards. 
·        White ChristmasA Look Back with Rosemary Clooney
·        White Christmas Photo Galleries—NEW!
o   Rehearsals
o   Behind-the-Scenes
o   Filming
o   Publicity Shots
·        Two Theatrical Trailers
Disc 2 (DVD):
·        Feature Film in Standard Definition
·        Commentary by Rosemary Clooney
Disc 3 (DVD):
·        Same special features listed above in standard definition with the exception of the optional sing-along subtitle track

Bonus Music CD:

1.         Winter Wonderland – Rosemary Clooney
2.         Deck the Halls/Away in a Manger/O, 
Little Town of Bethlehem/The First Noel – Bing Crosby
3.         Waltz Around the Christmas Tree – Danny Kaye
4.         Marshmallow World – Bing Crosby & Ella Fitzgerald
5.         The Christmas Song – Rosemary Clooney
6.         Just What I Wanted For Christmas – Bing Crosby
7.         Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Rosemary Clooney
8.         Jingle Bells – Danny Kaye & Peggy Lee
9.         Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Bing Crosby & Judy Garland
10.       Home For The Holidays – Rosemary Clooney
11.       Some Children See Him – Danny Kaye
12.       The Night Before Christmas – Bing Crosby

            The film will also be available as a Diamond Anniversary Edition two-disc DVD set with Discs 2 & 3 above.

About Paramount Home Media Distribution
Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.  PPC is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands.  The PHMD division oversees PPC’s home entertainment, digital and television distribution activities worldwide. The division is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment content on behalf of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and CBS and for providing home entertainment fulfillment services for certain DreamWorks Animation Home Entertainment titles.  PHMD additionally manages global licensing of studio content and distribution across worldwide digital and television distribution platforms including online, mobile and portable devices and emerging technologies.

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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