MOTÖRHEAD to Release “Under Cöver” Album on September 1

MOTÖRHEAD to Release “Under Cöver” Album on September 1, 2017
Covers Compilation to Include Unreleased Version of David Bowie’s “Heroes”

One thing Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee liked to do throughout their years together in MOTÖRHEAD was grab a favorite song by another artist and give it a good old fashioned ‘Motörheading’. To run them through the Motörizer, if you will. To rock them, roll them and even give them an extra twist and edge.

In celebration of some of those finest moments, the band will release Under Cöver, a collection of some of their best covers, and a collection which will include the previously unreleased version of David Bowie’s timeless classic “Heroes”. Recorded during the Bad Magic sessions in 2015 by Cameron Webb, and was one of the last songs the band recorded together.

Under Cöver will be available in 1CD (Digi pack), 1x 180 grams Black Vinyl in gatefold, Super Deluxe Boxset (1CD digipack, 1x 180 grams black vinyl and VIP guest pass), Digital Audio and MFiT Audio.

Pre-order links as follows:
CD: http://hyperurl.co/MHUnderCoverCD
Vinyl: http://hyperurl.co/MHUnderCoverLP
Boxset: http://hyperurl.co/MHUnderCoverBS
iTunes: http://hyperurl.co/MHUnderCoverIT

“It’s such a great Bowie song, one of his best, and I could only see great things coming out of it from us, and so it proved to be,” says Phil Campbell, “and Lemmy ended up loving our version.”

“He was very, very proud of it,” says Mikkey Dee, “not only because it turned out so well but because it was fun! Which is what projects like this should be – fun!”

To that ethic, the rest of the album contains loud and proud, raucous and raging rock ‘n’ roll takes on the likes of “God Save The Queen” (Sex Pistols), “Cat Scratch Fever” (Ted Nugent), “Rockaway Beach,” (The Ramones), Breaking The Law” (Judas Priest) and “Whiplash” (Metallica) which earned the band a Grammy in 2005 for Best Metal Performance.

“We were happy with them at the time and we’re happy with them now!” affirms Campbell, whilst Dee says, “We should remember that it’s about having some fun with songs that we all loved.”

If that doesn’t have you scrambling for your music delivery device, then check your pulse pronto. Or just start scrambling for a copy of Under Cöver immediately. You won’t be sorry.

Under Cöver Track listing
1. Breaking the Law (Produced by Cameron Webb) 2008
2. God Save the Queen (Produced by Bob Kulick and Bruce Bouillet) 2000
3. Heroes (Produced by Cameron Webb) 2015
4. Starstruck (Produced by Cameron Webb) 2014
5. Cat Scratch Fever (Produced by Peter Solley) 1992
6. Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Produced by Bob Kulick and Bruce Bouillet) 2001
7. Sympathy for the Devil (Produced by Cameron Webb) 2015
8. Hellraiser (Produced by Billy Sherwood) 1992
9. Rockaway Beach (Mixed by Cameron Webb) 2002
10.Shoot ‘Em Down (Produced by Bob Kulick and Bruce Bouillet) 2001
11. Whiplash (Produced by Bruce Bouillet and Bob Kulick) 2005

All songs performed by MOTÖRHEAD.

MOTÖRHEAD is:
Lemmy Kilmister – Bass/Vocals
Phil Campbell – Guitar
Mikkey Dee – Drums

Grateful Dead “Meet-Up at the Movies” Returns With Unreleased 1989 Concert in Movie Theaters Nationwide on August 1 Only

Fathom Events and Rhino Entertainment Commemorate Jerry Garcia’s 75thBirthday With Seventh Annual One-Night Event to Showcase Unreleased 1989 RFK Stadium Concert

DENVER – June 29, 2017 – For the seventh year in a row, beloved American rock group Grateful Dead returns to the big screen for its highly-anticipated annual event, “Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies 2017.” The Meet Up features the Grateful Dead (Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Brent Mydland, and Bob Weir) in concert, performing to a sell-out crowd of 40,000-plus fans in Washington D.C. The one-night-only event is scheduled for August 1, which would have been Garcia’s 75th birthday.

Presented by Fathom Events and Rhino Entertainment, “Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies 2017” will play in U.S. movie theaters on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. local time. This special one-night cinema event features the Dead’s previously unreleased July 12, 1989 concert from RFK Stadium.

Tickets for “Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies 2017” can be purchased online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 450 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). For a complete list of theater locations, visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

The Meet-Up provides an annual occasion for Dead Heads to reconnect with fellow fans, as well as a chance for new devotees to experience the excitement of what it would have been like to see one of the Dead’s legendary shows live. This year’s concert features a rare first set that contains at least one song sung by each of the four lead singers and a terrific show-opening rendition of the band’s biggest hit “Touch Of Grey.” The show’s second set begins with a very uncommon second-set opener, “Sugaree,” two songs with Bruce Hornsby sitting in (“Sugaree,” and “Man Smart [Woman Smarter]”), plus one of the only video recorded versions of “Black Muddy River.”

July 12, 1989 -RFK Stadium- Set List:

Touch of Grey

New Minglewood Blues

Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo

Tom Thumb’s Blues

Far From Me

Cassidy

Friend of the Devil

Promised Land

Sugaree

Man Smart [Woman Smarter]

Ship of Fools

Estimated Prophet

Eyes of the World

Drums

I Need a Miracle

Dear Mr. Fantasy

Black Peter

Turn on Your Love Light

Black Muddy River

“Earlier this spring, Dead Heads gathered in cinemas nationwide for ‘The Grateful Dead Movie 40th Anniversary,’” Fathom Events CEO John Rubey said. “We’re pleased to present them with another opportunity to ‘Meet-Up’ at the movie theater this year.”

Hart, Kreutzmann, Weir’s Dead & Company (also featuring John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti) is on tour now through July 1, 2017. For more information, visit www.DeadandCompany.com

About Fathom Events
Fathom Events is recognized as the leading domestic distributor of event cinema with participating affiliate theaters in all 100 of the top Designated Market Areas®, and ranks as one of the largest overall distributors of content to movie theaters. Owned by AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC), Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK) and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) (known collectively as AC JV, LLC), Fathom Events offers a variety of one-of-a-kind entertainment events such as live, high-definition performances of the Metropolitan Opera, dance and theatre productions like the Bolshoi Ballet and National Theatre Live, sporting events like “Canelo Álvarez vs. Julio César Chávez, Jr.,” concerts with artists like Michael Bublé, Rush and Mötley Crüe, the yearlong TCM Big Screen Classics film series, inspirational events such as To Joey With Love and Facing Darkness, and anime titles such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. Fathom Events takes audiences behind the scenes and offers unique extras including audience Q&As, backstage footage and interviews with cast and crew, creating the ultimate VIP experience. Fathom Events’ live digital broadcast network (“DBN”) is the largest cinema broadcast network in North America, bringing live and pre-recorded events to 897 locations and 1,387 screens in 181 DMAs. For more information, visitwww.fathomevents.com.

About Rhino Entertainment
Rhino Entertainment is the catalogue development and marketing division of Warner Music Group. Founded in 1978, Rhino continues to set the standard for excellence in the reissue business it pioneered in both the physical and digital worlds with an emphasis on flawless sound quality, bonus tracks, informative liner notes, award-winning creative packaging, and a strong social conscience. Rhino has also expanded the definition of what a catalogue music company is, as evidenced by the label’s name and likeness representation deal with Frank Sinatra, its multi-faceted relationship with the Grateful Dead, and releasing new albums by heritage artists such as Jeff Beck and Cyndi Lauper. The vast catalogue of more than 5,000 releases includes material by Led Zeppelin, Eagles, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin, The Doors, Chicago, Ray Charles, Black Sabbath, John Coltrane, Yes, Phil Collins, The Ramones, and The Monkees, among many others.

Guitarist Alex Grossi talks Maps to the Hollywood Scars and their new EP “Vol. 1”

Alex Grossi is one of the busiest guitarists in today’s music scene. Some of his projects include the bands Beautiful Creatures, Hookers and Blow, Hotel Diablo and most notably Quiet Riot which he joined in 2003. Alex’s newest project Maps to the Hollywood Scars” recently released a new EP titled “Vol. 1” featuring former American Idol contest James Durbin. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Alex recently about the new project and the recent addition of James to the Quiet Riot lineup.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the new project Maps to the Hollywood Scars and, how you and James Durbin came together?

Alex Grossi: I had met James back in 2011 through a mutual business acquaintance when he was doing American Idol. We became friends during that time but lost touch for a few years. It wasn’t until James was doing a residency in Las Vegas recently that we reconnected and I started sending him demos. He was recording some great melodies and lyrics and the more we worked the better things kept getting. Eventually we have almost a dozen songs done. We decided to put out an EP to see how things would go and that led to us doing a second one and so on. Things happened very organically and we are very happy where things are at.

AL: What was the process like for working on the new EP titled “Vol.1”?

AG: I had been working on songs as they came to me for about a year prior. When I sent them to James he immediately got it and was inspired. There was really no set plan for anything but I had been demoing songs for about a year and finally found the right outlet for them. Having James come in has been great and also working with our producer AJ St James and Dizzy Reed who played piano and strings.

AL: How did Dizzy Reed become involved with the project?

AG: I have been playing in a cover band we do called Hookers and Blow for the past twelve or thirteen years. When we wrote the song “Death” I could just hear the string parts and piano parts. I sent him the song and asked him what he could add and what he sent back is what you hear on the record. He did a great job and nailed it.

AL: Are there any plans to tour behind this release?

AG: There have been some offers that have come in but with the both of us now being in Quiet Riot we have to work around that schedule and we would have to put a band together. Right now we are only going to do what makes sense for everyone as it’s hard to schedule something for spring and summer when we already have commitments with Quiet Riot. There has been talk of doing some late night television appearance but as far as a full blown tour we will probably only do a show here or there. It’s a side project and something that we want to keep special. We have plans but we just have to wait for the right time when everyone’s calendars line up.

AL: Can you give us an update on the recent Quiet Riot line-up change?

AG: We just announced James as our new singer and we are currently recording the new album with him titled “Road Rage”. We have bunch of new tour dates that just went up on the Quiet Riot website which will taking us all over the country and also to Canada. More shows keep getting added to it hard to keep up with them all. (Laughs) We are very grateful for the support which keeps us going.

AL: How instrumental were you in bringing James into the Quiet Riot fold?

AG: I was demoing the songs with James and during that time I was sending the tracks over to Frankie to check out. He has been very supportive of the project since I started it so when it came time make a singer change I offered to call James up and see if he would be interested. I called him up; he said he was interested and about two weeks later things were on their way. We did rehearsals and a photo shoot and that was it. It all happened very quickly. James is such a pro in that he came in prepared knowing all the songs and was ready to go. I am very blessed to play with such a great group of guys. We all get along great and I am really excited to get out there with this new lineup.

AL: What other projects are you currently working on?

AG: Back in 2002 I joined Beautiful Creatures replacing DJ Ashba. We recorded an album called “Deuce” which we just got the rights back to. We remixed and re-mastered that album along with adding a few new things. That is going to be released March 31st. We are calling it “Deuce Deluxe” it’s going to have a bunch of new stuff on it and it sounds really great. I also do a fun cover band with Dizzy Reed called Hookers and Blow which we will be doing some shows here and there. I also am working still with Steven Adler. Getting to see him play with Gn’R this summer was amazing.

For more info on all of Alex’s projects visit: www.alexgrossimusic.com

Enter to Win a Digital HD Copy for Season 1 of “Vice Principals”

To celebrate the digital HD release of Season 1 of “Vice Principals”, Media Mikes would like to give two of our fans a chance to win a digital HD copy of the film. If you want to win this great prize, please leave a comment below your favorite role from star Danny McBride. This giveaway will remain open until November 25th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Looking for something “profanely hilarious” (TV Guide) to watch this fall? Season one of the “funny as hell” (Deadline) HBO comedy series Vice Principals is available now on Digital HD!

Created by Danny R. McBride and Jody Hill (creators of HBO’s Eastbound & Down, along with Ben Best), Vice Principals: Season 1 tells the story of North Jackson High School and the two people who almost run it, the vice principals. McBride and Walton Goggins star as the school administrators, who are in an epic power struggle, vying for the top spot: to be school principal. But when new rival Dr. Belinda Brown (Kimberly Hébert Gregory) enters the picture, these bitter antagonists must form an unholy alliance to bring down the outsider by any means necessary.

Also featuring Georgia King, Busy Phillips, Shea Whigham, Sheaun McKinney and guest stars Bill Murray and Susan Park, the new comedy series was a critical and audience hit this summer on HBO. Heralded by Rolling Stone as “the summer’s best new comedy,” Vice Principals is a “must watch” (Entertainment Weekly) series for Eastbound & Down fans and comedy lovers alike.

DVD Review “Feed the Beast: Season 1”

Actors: David Schimmer, Jim Sturgess, Michael Gladis, Lorenza Izzo, John Doman
Directors: Daniel Attias, Jon S. Baird, Dennie Gordon, Steve Shill
Number of discs: 3
Studio: Lionsgate
DVD Release Date: October 11, 2016
Run Time: 377 minutes

Season: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Feed the Beast” is yet another example of the post-“Friends” curse that has been haunting its star David Schwimmer (although he was good in “American Crime Story”). With a show coming from the minds of the people behind “Dexter” and “Nurse Jackie”, I expected much more. The series also co-starred one of my favorite actor Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe, Cloud Atlas). Alas, it was nixed after just the first season. Overall, I enjoyed it. Wasn’t the best thing that I have seen on TV but I also don’t think it deserved to get canceled so quickly especially when “Friends” co-star Matthew Perry still has his much harder to watch remake of “The Odd Couple” on the air. Feel like saving another show Netflix?

Official Premise: For Tommy (Schwimmer) and Dion (Sturgess), two friends on the brink of losing everything, a dusty pipe dream of opening an upscale restaurant in their hometown of the Bronx is all they have left to turn their lives around. Together, Tommy and Dion take on the insanity of the New York restaurant world, navigating its underbelly of petty criminals, corrupt officials, and violent gangsters.

This show is available on Blu-ray and DVD but I was only provided with a DVD for the source of this review. The DVD does come with a Digital HD copy of the season, which is a bonus for sure. There are three featurttes included, “Fate, Friendship and Food: Crafting Season 1”, “The Food Behind The Fancy” and “Building The Beast”, which features cast/crew reflecting on the season, their characters and how it was brought to life. Lastly there are also audio commentary track with the cast & crew on few select episodes, so at least we have a little repeat value here.

DVD Review “LEGO Nexo Knights: Season 1”

Actors: Alessandro Juliani, Ian Hanlin, Brian Drummond, Nicole Oliver, Vincent Tong
Rated: Not Rated
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: July 26, 2016

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

I have to admit, I have never heard of Nexo Knights. I am an avid fan of all things LEGO but this series never crossed my path. The episodes are pretty neat. Its a quirky cross between medieval and space theme. Not just for kids either, definitely stole my 34 year old attention with no trouble. I know there is a second season out there, so I hope that WB has plans to release that next.

Official Premise: The high tech Kingdom of Knighton is in trouble. The King’s Jester has gone rogue and stolen the strange talking Book of Monsters. Using its evil magic, he summons an army of dangerous Lava Monsters and attacks. It is up to the brave but inexperienced NEXO Knights to come to the rescue. In their amazing rolling castle and with the help of holographic Wizard Merlok 2.0, they have technology and NEXO powers, an incredible new digitized magic, on their side. But the Jester and the Book of Monsters have a sinister plot that may spell doom over the once peaceful kingdom.

On this 2 disc set there are 10 episodes from season 1 included: “The Book of Monsters – Part 1”, “The Book of Monsters – Part 2”, “The Power of Merlok”, “The Knight’s Code”, “Fright Knight”, “The Golden Castle”, “The Maze of Amazement”, “The Black Knight”, “The Book of Total Badness” and “The Might and the Magic”. No other special features are included on this DVD.

DVD Reviews “Kung Fu Panda 1 & 2: Ultimate Edition of Awesomeness”

In order to celebrate this week’s release of “Kung Fu Panda 3” (which is amazing BTW), Dreamworks Animation is re-releasing the first two “Kung Fu Panda” films with over 80 minutes of new bonus content including an all-new 22 minute animated adventure, “Secret of the Scroll,” and an exclusive sneak peek of DreamWorks Animation Kung Fu Panda 3 as well as Digital HD copies of each film.

Official Premises: In DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda, Jack Black is perfect as the voice of Po, a noodle-slurping dreamer who must embrace his true self – fuzzy flaws and all – in order to become the Dragon Warrior. Black reprises his role as Po in Kung Fu Panda 2, the fiercely funny Academy Award-nominated sequel. In his biggest challenge since becoming the Dragon Warrior, Po must lead his friends and fellow kung fu masters, The Furious Five, on a mission of epic proportions to defeat his most threatening rival yet!

This franchise features an all-star voice cast including Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Michelle Yeoh, Danny McBride and Jean-Claude Van Damme. There is ZERO shortage of amazing talent in these films!

The special features included are a Martial Arts Awesomeness Music Video which features the best fight sequences in the beat of “Kung Fu Fighting”. “Mash-Up of Awesomeness: Slo-Mo” focuses the franchises more intense action scenes in slow-motion. There is a “Mash-Up of Blunders” which is basically a gag reel of Po’s most embarrassing moments. Lastly there is an all-new Kung Fu Panda 3 sneak peek with introduction by Jack Black rounding out the extras. If you have never purchased these films, might be a good time to pick them up!

Blu-ray Review “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1”

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore
Director: Francis Lawrence
Number of discs: 2
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: March 6, 2015
Run Time: 122 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Unlike the rest of the world “The Hunger Games” franchise, hasn’t delivered for me at all. The first one was just one. I thought that “Catching Fire” was awful and “Mockingjay Part 1” is another long drawn out lead in for the final film. Personally, I love Jennifer Lawrence much more than I did after the first Hunger Games and her character is more likable but the film is not. I will definitely watch the second part of this film to finish the series but expectations are low. I think the whole “Part 1” and “Part 2” business of these epic films are really getting old.

Official Premise: The worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games continues to set the world on fire with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which finds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage.

Lionsgate is delivering this release as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD copy included. Even though, I am not crazy about the film, the Blu-ray merits are very impressive. The 1080p transfer is gorgeous. The CGI in the film is well-blended. I was most impressed with the audio tracks. First we get a Dolby TrueHD Atmos, which basically translates to Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for those units that are not compatible. It is an amazing track that delivers the epic feel that the film aims for. There is also an interesting track, which is a 2.0 Dolby Digital Optimized for Late-Night Listening, not very epic but still a neat option.

The special features are also quite impressive. “The Mockingjay Lives: The Making of Mockingjay – Part 1”: is an eight-part feature-length documentary. If you love these films, this is a must watch. There are two featurettes included. The first is “Straight From the Heart: A Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman” and the second is “Songs of Rebellion: Lorde on Curating the Soundtrack”. There is also a music video for “Yellow Flicker Beat” from Lorde. Lastly there is an Audio Commentary from Director Francis Lawrence and Producer Nina Jacobson and some deleted scenes.

Film Review “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Julianne Moore
Directed By: Francis Lawrence
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 123 minutes
Lionsgate

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The final piece of a series is no longer a bloated epic detailing the final time we’ll see our heroes, but now cut in half, with the first part generally being the weaker of the two. That makes it easier to scrutiny because of how much of an obvious cash grab it is by the Hollywood executives hoping to squeeze out those last remaining pennies before finding their next franchise to milk. “Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part – 1” isn’t about to break that stereotype, but it comes pretty close.

For a movie that seems to be advertised as an explosive and heart pounding action flick, it’s surprisingly thoughtful. “Mockingjay – Part 1” picks up moments after the events of “Catching Fire”. Katniss (Lawrence) is still nursing some mental scars and having to come to terms with the fact that District 12 no longer exists. It’s nothing but rubble and piles of charred bodies. The visuals of blackened skeletons is enough to paint a horrific picture and further imply the brutal extent the Capitol will go to strengthen it’s iron fist grip over the districts.

Katniss is taking refuge underground in District 13, long believed to have suffered the same fate that has recently befallen District 12. There she meets a military society headed by President Alma Coin (Moore). This is the first introduction of President Alma in the series and while it’s easy to trust the person supplying food and supplies, there’s something ominous about a character who never seems to view Katniss more than a puppet for political manipulation. On the other end, Peeta (Hutcherson) is being used to discredit the defiance that grows in the districts.

Katniss and Peeta are clearly being used as propaganda. While Katniss is used to inspire hope to those fighting, through her fiery eyes of anger and bitter words of revenge, it appears that Peeta is nervously regurgitating lines, but we never see or fully know what purpose the Capital is using him for. “Mockingjay” focuses more on President Alma’s use of Katniss to beat the drums of rebellion in the hopes of getting ubiquitous support for their uprising against the Capital. Luckily this disinformation chess match is interrupted by scenes of retaliation around Panem and a third act covert mission to rescue Peeta.

The theme doesn’t say anything new, but it’s refreshing to see a movie, that’s been coined as “young adult”, use such a mature idea in a very presentable and easy to understand fashion. It’s not difficult to see the positive and ill effects of spin that two warring factions can create. Personally, I was expecting CGI explosions and Jennifer Lawrence whipping her hair all about while firing off multiple arrows like Hawkeye in “The Avengers”, but for what we’re given, it is proficient with it’s message and it simply wets our appetites for an explosive finale come next year.

The big problem with the first part of this oversized first course of Mockingjay is that it feels too much like a prologue to something a lot more monumental. There’s a lot of moving pieces, but a lot of downtime that involves staring, sitting and inconsequential dialogue. The obvious payoff for our two hours of time won’t happen until Part 2, but it’d be nice to have some kind of reward for our investment into the lives of these characters. It doesn’t help that Jennifer Lawrence, who’s shown such a wide range of emotions throughout this series, is a bit limited to angry reactions and fear.

Regardless, if it wasn’t for Lawrence’s commanding presence, this movie wouldn’t have the drive and Katniss wouldn’t radiate bravery. All the regulars are back for this movie, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and the stupendously talented Philip Seymour Hoffman. Without this cast, this movie would have fizzled out like “Percy Jackson” or “The Mortal Instruments”. It’ll be easier to reflect on “Part 1” once the series completes next year. We’ll know if it’s a good enough primer for the grand ending we’re all expecting. For now though, it’s simply an appetizer to keep us content until the main course arrives.

Blu-ray Review “Sailor Moon: Season 1 Part 1”

Starring: Kotono Mitsuishi, Tōru Furuya, Aya Hisakawa, Michie Tomizawa, Emi Shinohara, Rica Fukami
Number of discs: 6
Rated: TV-PG
Studio: VIZ Media
Release Date: November 11, 2014
Run Time: 530 minutes

Season: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

“Sailor Moon: Season 1 Part 1” is first volume of the classic 1992-97 anime. This set includes episodes 1-23 as well as an 88-page full-color premium booklet. This is only the beginning of this series as there should be at least nine additional sets until the complete 200-episode series has been released. This show was one of my wife’s favorite, so she was excited to have it on Blu-ray…unfortunately the transfers are a quite a bit of a mess and it is during going to upset many fans.

Synopsis: Usagi Tsukino is a cheerful 14-year-old schoolgirl who often finds herself in unwanted trouble. One day, she saves a talking cat named Luna from some mean kids, and her life is changed forever. Luna gives Usagi a magic brooch that transforms her into Sailor Moon, defender of love and justice! Now Usagi must work with Luna to find the other Sailor Guardians and the Moon Princess, whose Legendary Silver Crystal is Earth’s only hope against the dark forces of the evil Queen Beryl.

According to Viz, in order create the Sailor Moon Blu-rays they used the masters that used to create the 2009 Japanese DVD sets. They are said to be original, uncropped 4:3 aspect ratio, uncut remastered episodes, which is all good but really wasn’t impressed at all. Hopefully they have better plans for the rest of the episodes otherwise after this fans are not going to buy this. There is ghosting throughout. The item is over-sharpened and there is a lot of lost detail, which is a shame.

There are several audio options, including a complete English dub with a new voice cast, as well as the Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio tracks with English subtitles. The special features aren’t anything special either besides the Behind the Scenes: Dub Recording featurette. Other than that there is the Announcement Panel & Fan Reactions, Official Announcement Trailer, Art Galleries and a Clean Opening and Ending included here.

Blu-ray Review “Beware the Batman: Season 1, Part 2 – Dark Justice”

Starring: Anthony Ruivivar, JB Blanc, Kurtwood Smith, Sumalee Montano
Director: Sam Liu
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Warner Archive Collection
DVD Release Date: September 30, 2014
Run Time: 286 minutes

Season: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: N/A

“Beware the Batman” is a great but short-lived show that was a unique take on the world of Batman because it didn’t feature classic villains like The Joker, Penguin, Riddler, etc. This series focuses on new villains and went bigger with the villains. It is quite risky but I really dug it.I loved the CGI animated approach. The design was cool and the tone of the show really intrigued. “Beware the Batman: Dark Justice – Season 1, Part 2″ includes the remaining 13 episodes in the series and if love a different take on Batman, check it out!

Official Premise: Another night falls in Gotham City and the ever-vigilant Dark Knight watches over his city and its citizens. With the help of his ex-secret agent butler, Alfred, and sword-wielding assassin Katana, the Batman wages a tireless war against Gotham’s twisted criminal underworld. Ride along as Batman battles the evil machinations of Professor Pyg, Magpie, Mister Toad and criminal mastermind Anarky. It’s a crime-fighting collection of hidden clues, cool tech and detective thrills as Batman prowls in the shadows, ready to deliver action-packed excitement and justice.

Episodes included are” 14. “Darkness”; 15. “Reckoning”; 16. “Nexus”; 17. “Monsters”; 18. “Games”; 19. “Animal”; 20. “Doppelganger”; 21. “Unique”; 22. “Hero”; 23. “Choices”; 24. “Epitaph”; 25. “Twist” and
26. “Alone”. This brings this series to an end because it never made it past the first season, which is sad because it was a great and quite dark adaptation of “Batman” in animated format.

Thanks to Warner Archive Collection, this series is making it’s way on Blu-ray and completing the series for the fans that did follow this show. The 1080p transfers work perfect with the animated style. The colors are sharp and makes this slick show look great. The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 surround tracks work great as well with the action and score. There are no additional special features included on this release.

Blu-ray Review “Ghost in the Shell: Arise – Borders 1 & 2”

Actors: Christopher R.Sabat, John Swasey, Elizabeth Maxwell
Directors: Zach Bolton
Number of discs: 4
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Funimation
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Run Time: 114 minutes

Series: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Ghost in the Shell: Arise” is a new four-part OVA series that serves as a re-imagining of Masamune Shirow’s “Ghost in the Shell”. The OVA series features new character designs and new music by Cornelius. The series of OVAs were split into separate episodes called “Borders”. This release includes the first two titled: “Ghost Pain” and “Ghost Whispers”. Being a fan of “Ghost in the Shell” for years, this is another great series in the franchise. I can’t wait to see the second half.

Official Premise: In this highly anticipated prequel set in the year after the fourth World War, cyborg and hacker Motoko Kusanagi finds herself wrapped up in the investigation of a devastating bombing. But she’s not the only one looking for answers—as she delves deeper into the mystery of who is behind the attack, a specialized team unlike any before begins to take shape.

“Ghost in the Shell: Arise” looks stunning on Blu-ray. The 1080p transfers presented in 1.78:1 is outstanding. The animation is breathtaking and even though the characters looks a little different the series still is so sharp. The colors are so sharp and there is a nice mix of CGI elements. Same goes for the language tracks. There are both Japanese and English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, it may upset some people that this does not include original cast but I see it as new character designs, new voices. A few new start.

I was really impressed that this release included some solid special features, which are are great like the series and spanned over two discs. “Ghost in the Shell: Arise at the Anime Expo 2013” features interviews with staff and attendees. There is a feature with the robotic quadrapeds in “Logicoma Beat”. There are also a bunch of promotional videos, New Flash(s) and trailers/teasers and textless openings included.

The second disc includes a U.S. Cast and Crew Audio Commentary. “Decode 501File” gives background on the mysterious group. “Border: 1 Ghost Pain Cyberbrain” includes two Q&A from 2013 with cast and I.G. There are also a bunch more of promotional videos, New Flash(s) and trailers/teasers.spots and textless openings/closings included. Overall a lot of promotional material but still great extras.

DVD Reviews “Afterlife: Series 1 & 2”

Starring: Andrew Lincoln, Lesley Sharp
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: May 13, 2014 / October 7, 2014
Run Time: 282 / 370 minutes

Series: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Hold on a sec…did BBC just release a series called “Afterlife” starring “The Walking Dead” star Andrew Lincoln?? Wait a sec, this aired back in 2005? This is honestly, the first time that I am hearing about this series. But BBC Home Entertainment is smart for cashing in on the ridiculous success of “The Walking Dead” and releasing the series 1 and series 2 of this psychological thriller. It also co-stars the brilliant Lesley Sharp (“The Full Monty”). This show didn’t last very long on TV and only aired in the United Kingdom when it did, so this is the first time it is crossing over the pond. If you dig Lincoln, this is a pretty solid show. I really enjoyed it and I wish I would have heard back it sooner. Luckily though, the complete series is available and I recommend it for any “The Walking Dead” fan.

Series 1 Official Premise: A medium who has been able to see spirits since she was a child, Alison appears to be the real deal- unable to avoid the dead who seek her aid, she is driven to resolve relationships torn apart by death. Science-minded Robert finds it hard to change his deeply rooted assumptions that such paranormal activity is impossible. When Alison’s readings provoke an adverse reaction in one of Robert’s own pupils, he begins to observe her with the intention of turning his study into a book. Choosing to believe that Alison is imagining her experiences, Robert finds himself caught up as Alison continuously puts herself at risk in order to comfort both the living and the dead… until she sets her sights on helping Robert come to terms with his son’s tragic death.

Series 2 Official Premise: A chilling psychological drama that enters the world of the dead to answer questions about the living. In the terrifying and emotional climax to the first series, Alison (Lesley Sharp, Scott & Bailey) collapsed and nearly died during a séance in which she was inhabited by the spirit of Robert’s (Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead) dead son. Now on the road to recovery, Alison has to accept that the spirits she has seen since she was a child will never leave her. Determined that her life should not be dictated by the dead, she wants to use her gift to help the living. Robert, meanwhile, is in turmoil – once a total skeptic, his beliefs have been shaken by what he witnessed at the séance. He struggles to make sense of his life and turns to Alison for answers… but she is jolted out of her own new-found security by a terrifying presence. For the first time in her life she is being haunted by a spirit from her own past, a ghost she must learn to confront if she is to hold onto her sanity.

The series is only being released on DVD from BBC Home Entertainment. I would have loved to see a Blu-ray release but this show barely looks good on DVD. It is quite grainy throughout. The first series has audio commentary tracks on episodes 1 and 6 with stars Andrew Lincoln and Lesley Sharp, the series creator, Stephen Volk and producer, Murray Ferguson. I like that Lincoln is actually involved here but I am not sure when it was recorded and if it was before his fandom from “The Walking Dead”. The second series only comes with a 45 minutes behind-the-scenes features, which is very thorough and dives into the series’ production.

Blu-ray Review “Rick and Morty: Season 1”

Starring: Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Sarah Chalke, Spencer Grammer, Kari Wahlgren, Brandon Johnson
Studio: Cartoon Network
Rating: TV-14
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Run Time: 242 minutes

Season: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

I firstly need to thank my sister in law for pushing me to watching this show but I missed it in its initial airing on Adult Swim. I have been taking a bit of a break from the station since I haven’t been thrilled with their product recently. “Rick and Morty” is a real trip and a very fun show. I love the animation and I was laughing till I was crying with some of the episodes in this season. This show is crazy messed up mix of “Back to the Future” and “Futurama”. Bring on season two!!

Official Premise: From comedic masterminds Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland comes Rick and Morty. Adult Swim’s newest series follows the adventures of mad scientist Rick Sanchez, who returns after 20 years to live with his daughter, her husband, and their children Morty and Summer.

Cartoon Network and Warner Bros are releasing this series on Blu-ray along with an Ultraviolet digital copy of the season. They are not huge when it comes to home releases for their Adult Swim shows, so this is a big deal. I have been waiting for a Blu-ray of the “Metalocalypse” movie but I have a feeling I shouldn’t hold my breath since it has been a year already.

The 1080p transfer are amazing. The colors are just so stunning, crisp and vibrant. I honestly think that is one of the main reasons I have come to now love this show is due to its visual aspect…of course besides the fact that it is funny as hell. Also this Blu-ray includes solid uncensored Dolby TrueHD tracks, which is a really a treat since even “Adventure Time” only get Dolby Digtal tracks for their Blu-rays.

Included on the Blu-ray are the season’s 11 episodes along with some solid special features. There is a behind-the-scenes featurette on the season. There are literally commentaries and animatics for every single episode, which is real fan dedication. Some of the special guests you will find on the tracks are Matt Groening, Robert Kirkman, Pen Ward, Al Jean and many more, so these are a must listen. Lastly there are also some deleted scenes included. If you are a fan of this show, you will not be left wanting more.

DVD Review “Ella the Elephant Season 1 Volume 1: The Magic of Friendship”

Voices of: Addison Holley, Annick Obonsawin, Avery Kadish, Devan Cohen, Helen Taylor
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Run Time: 188 Minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

“Ella the Elegant Elephant” premiered on Disney Junior this past February, which is based on the book series written by Carmela D’Amico and illustrated by Steven D’Amico. I would like to say that I absolutely love this series but my daughter never really latched on to the show. It is cute following Ella the Elephant and her magical red hat through stories about fun, friendship, love and laughs but the show just didn’t stand a chance about others like “Sofia the First”, “Doc McStuffins” and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”. It is still hard to say no to that cute face and who knows maybe this DVD will allow us to become bigger fans of this show.

Official Premise: Journey to an island of adventures where the magic of friendship has never been so much fun! Join Ella and her kindhearted friends in this all-new animated series featuring eight charming episodes. Elephant Island is home to many curiosities but Ella and her friends’ appetite for fun lands them in some tricky, often hilarious situations. It’s up to Ella’s imagination and her magic red hat to save the day! It’s a must-own collection of delightful stories centered on highlighting teamwork, lessons and adventure for the whole family to enjoy.

“Ella the Elephant Season 1 Volume 1: The Magic of Friendship” contains eight episodes from the seires including: “Ella’s Got Talent/Safety First”; “Trunk Trooper/Ella in Charge”; “Girls’ Club/Soapbox Squabble”; “Treasure Hunters/Ella Borrows Trouble”; “Ella Bakes a Cake/Camp Ella”; “Ella on the Ball/Up, Up and Away”; “Tea Party Trouble/Home Again” and “Ella’s Carnival/Monkey Business”. There are no other special features included on the DVD other than the episodes. With 26 episodes created for the first season, we can surely expect another two volumes of this show to complete the season.