Queens of the Stone Age Announce New Album “Villians”

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE “VILLAINS”
OUT AUGUST 25 ON MATADOR RECORDS
Preorders Live Now Including Instant Grat First Single “The Way You Used To Do”
North American Tour Dates Announced—Including Headline
Stops At Madison Square Garden, Red Rocks & More
Tickets On Sale To The Public June 22
Face The Truth At http://www.qotsa.com

“The title Villains isn’t a political statement. It has nothing to do with Trump or any of that shit. It’s simply 1) a word that looks fantastic and 2) a comment on the three versions of every scenario: yours, mine and what actually happened… Everyone needs someone or something to rail against—their villain—same as it ever was. You can’t control that. The only thing you can really control is when you let go.”—Joshua Homme

Hundreds of epic shows, memory lapses, unexplained injuries, one yearlong detour with Iggy Pop and multiple Grammy nominations later, Queens Of The Stone Age reemerge from the desert newly scarred and somehow strangely prettier with lucky seventh album, Villains, out August 25 on Matador Records. Now available for preorder on deluxe vinyl, standard vinyl, CD and digital (all formats include an instant download of first single “The Way You Used To Do”), Villains consists of the following songs:

1. Feet Don’t Fail Me
2. The Way You Used To Do
3. Domesticated Animals
4. Fortress
5. Head Like A Haunted House
6. Un-Reborn Again
7. Hideaway
8. The Evil Has Landed
9. Villains Of Circumstance

Produced by Mark Ronson and co-produced by Mark Rankin and mixed by Alan Moulder, Villains is the first full album offering from Queens Of The Stone Age since 2013’s …Like Clockwork gave the band its first #1 album in the U.S. (and #1s in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Portugal, Scotland, #2s in the UK, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Finland… but really, who’s counting?). Like the stunning artwork of returning illustrator Boneface, the sonic signatures of the lineup that took …Like Clockwork around the world and back—Founder/guitarist/vocalist/lyricist Joshua Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar, keys), Michael Shuman (bass), Dean Fertita (keys, guitar), Jon Theodore (drums)—are as unmistakable as ever, though coexisting with sufficient new twists to induce recurring double takes. As Homme himself puts it, “The most important aspect of making this record was redefining our sound, asking and answering the question ‘what do we sound like now?’ If you can’t make a great first record, you should just stop—but if you can make a great record but you keep making records and your sound doesn’t evolve, you become a parody of that original sound.”

Of his role working within such a closed and confident ecosystem as Queens Of The Stone Age, Ronson says, “Queens are and have always been my favorite rock n roll band ever since I walked into Tower on Sunset and bought Rated R in the summer of 2000, so it was incredibly surreal to be welcomed into their secret, pirate clan—or the ‘jacuzzi’ as Josh likes to call it. I also knew that my super fandom alone would not keep me in the jacuzzi. There were moments during the making of the album in which i was aware i was watching my musical heroes craft something that was sure to become one of my favorite moments on any Queens album. And to have some part in that felt like being in a dream–a very heavy, dark, wonderful dream.”

Longtime Queens cohort co-producer Mark Rankin added, “After the baptism of fire that was …Like Clockwork, I was excited to get into the studio again with the challenge of pushing the sound for this record, especially with the the addition of Ronson into the creative mix. We wanted to evolve the production to be processed in a modern way yet be totally organic and still performed fully live, like lifting a veil and what you thought was electronic is actually live and things are not as they first appear… What we’ve made is forward looking yet unmistakably Queens.”

Queens Of The Stone Age have also confirmed a slew of North American dates filling in the space between and beyond their previously announced appearances at Outside Lands and Riot Fest. The new shows, which include Queens’ first ever Madison Square Garden headline, are detailed below. For tour dates and tickets, head over to http://smarturl.it/QOTSALive.

For further information, keep an eye on Queens Of The Stone Age sites and socials and just let go.

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
“VILLAINS” North American Tour
with Special Guests ROYAL BLOOD (Sept. 6 through Oct. 24 Headline Dates)

June 22 — Rapids Theater — Niagara Falls, NY
June 24 — Amnesia Rockfest 2017 — Montebello, QC
August 10 – Majestic Ventura Theater – Ventura, CA
August 12 – Outside Lands – San Francisco, CA
September 6 – Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY
September 7 – Festival Pier – Philadelphia, PA
September 9 – Budweiser Stage – Toronto, ON
September 10 – 20 Monroe Live – Grand Rapids, MI
September 12 – Express Live! Outdoor Pavilion – Columbus, OH
September 13 – Stage AE (Outdoors) – Pittsburgh, PA
September 15 – Agora Theater – Cleveland, OH
September 16 – Riot Fest – Chicago, IL
October 9 – The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT
October 10 – Red Rocks – Morrison, CO
October 12 – Peabody – St. Louis, MO
October 13 – Crossroads KC – Kansas City, MO
October 14 – Roy Wilkins Auditorium – Saint Paul, MN
October 15 – Eagles Ballroom – Milwaukee, WI
October 17 – Fox Theatre – Detroit, MI
October 18 – Old National Centre – Murat Theatre – Indianapolis, IN
October 20 – TBC – Washington, DC
October 21 – Agganis Arena – Boston, MA
October 22 – State Theatre – Portland, ME
October 24 – Madison Square Garden – New York, NY

Photo: Andreas Neumann

Members of White Zombie, Queens Of The Stone Age, Primus, Ministry and More Expose Truths in New Tell-All Documentary About 90’s Alternative Rock

UNDERGROUND INC.: The Unsung Story of Alternative Rock
 
Members of White Zombie, Queens Of The Stone Age, Primus, Ministry and More Expose Truths in New Tell-All Documentary About 90’s Alternative Rock
 
Watch the Official Film Trailer Here
 
Make UNDERGROUND INC. a Reality by Supporting via Kickstarter
It was the early 90’s – seemingly out of nowhere, a little grunge band called Nirvana began outselling massive commercial artists like Michael Jackson. This immediately caught the attention of the giant record companies. These small underground bands branded as ‘alternative’ or ‘post-punk’, went from being inconsequential to being potential behemoths in record sales – and the hunt began.
 
Hungrily sweeping for the next Nirvana, a buying frenzy ensued as small indie labels were bought out by the commercial labels on a never before seen scale. A&R execs would see random alt-rock bands perform in a bar and appear after their set offering unheard of financial offers and immediate global exposure. It seemed these band members were set for life – so what happened?
 
Verity is revealed in UNDERGROUND INC.: The Unsung Story of Alternative Rock, an upcoming documentary destined to be the ultimate look at the alternative punk and metal scene in the 90’s, and a must see for serious music lovers. Told by the artists who pioneered a sonic subculture, this feature-length documentary tells the real story of the 90’s – exposing viewers to an amazing catalog of the era’s rarities and buried treasures, while re-living the struggles, triumphs and tragedies, as well as the debauchery. UNDERGROUND INC. will dig beneath the manufactured truth to explore what really happened, exploring a time unlike any other in the music industry!
 
UNDERGROUND INC. features interviews with members of seminal 90’s rock, punk and metal groups such as White Zombie, Queens Of The Stone Age, Primus, Bad Religion, Stone Sour, Clutch, Red Fang, Failure, Ministry, Quicksand, Helmet, Steve Albini, Sepultura and dozens more. Viewers are getting an in-depth, raw look at the scene from musicians who were at the forefront.
 
 
UNDERGROUND INC.‘s original music is composed by Peter Mengede (Helmet), Grammy nominated record producer Alex Newport (The Mars Volta, Bloc Party, Death Cab For Cutie) and Mark Bradridge.
 
In order to get this documentary out of the creation stages and into the homes of music lovers, the creators of UNDERGROUND INC. have launched a Kickstarter campaign. The Kickstarter campaign will run for 32 days, and the project goal is $40,000.
 

David Bowie, “The Thin White Duke”, Dead at Age 69

David Bowie, who as a singer, arranger, songwriter, producer, actor and painter, influenced countless artists for more than four decades, died yesterday, January 10, two days after his birthday. He was 69.

Born David Robert Jones on January 8, 1947 in South London, Bowie always had a fascination with music and spent his earliest years hoping to achieve fame. At age 15 he joined a band called the Konrads, but left them soon to join the King Bees. His first single, titled “Liza Jane,” was released as being recorded by Davie Jones and the King Bees. It was not a hit. He later left the group and joined two other bands, Mannish Boys and Lower Third.

In 1966, to avoid being confused with Monkee’s singer Davy Jones, he changed his name to David Bowie, taking his last name from the great American 19th century pioneer Jim Bowie, who died during the battle of the Alamo. Jim Bowie pronounced his last name “Boo-ee” but David went with the harder pronunciation. In 1969 a friend and he put together a promotional film, which included snippets from many of his songs, including “Space Oddity,” which would eventually hit the top 5 in England. The film was not released until 1984.

On May 30, 1971, Bowie and his wife, Angie, welcomed a son into the world, Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones, who for the first 12 years of his life, was known as Zowie Bowie! Today Duncan is a highly respected filmmaker (“Moon”). In 1972 Bowie radically changed his image, becoming a “space man” and releasing the album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.” That same year, singer Ian Hunter told Bowie that he needed one more song for his groups, Mott the Hoople, upcoming album. Legend has it that Bowie sat down on the floor and, in twenty minutes, penned “All the Young Dudes.”

In 1974 he released the album “Diamond Dogs,” which produced two hit singles: the title track and “Rebel, Rebel.” The next year he exploded onto the charts, releasing the album “Young Americans.” The first single from the album, “FAME,” a song he co-wrote with John Lennon, hit number one on the US Charts. Lennon also sang back up on the song. Two other singles, “Golden Years” and the title tune, also charted well. To capitalize on the success, “Space Oddity” was reissued in England and went to number one on the British charts. In 1976 he released the album “Station to Station.” He also left Ziggy Stardust behind and adapted a new persona, taken from the first song on the new album: The Thin White Duke. He also starred opposite Candy Clark in the film, “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

As the 70’s ended, he moved to Germany, where he did a trio of albums that he would refer to as his “triptych,” : “Low,” “Heroes” and “Lodger.” In 1980 he spent three months on Broadway in the title role of “The Elephant Man,” earning great reviews. The following year he teamed up with Queen to produced the hit song, “Under Pressure.” In 1983 he reached the pinnacle of his success with the release of the album “Let’s Dance,” which produced the hits “Modern Love,” “China Girl” and the title song. He also continued his film career, appearing in 1983’s “The Hunger” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence.” Other film roles include the Goblin King in “Labyrinth,” Pontius Pilate in “The Last Temptation of Christ” and inventor Nicoli Tesla in “The Prestige.”

The next three decades were ones of experimentation. In 1989 he formed the group Tin Machine. Following that he began mixing electronic and classical music.

In 2001, he opened The Concert for New York, a benefit for the victims of the 9/11 tragedy, by performing Simon and Garfunkle’s “America” and his song, “Heroes.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and in 2006 received a Lifetime Grammy Award.

On January 8, 2016, his 69th birthday, he released his latest album, “Blackstar,” which is already being mentioned as a nominee for the best album of the year.

R.I.P. Motorhead’s Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister 1945-2015

It’s is with great sadness that Media Mikes reports the passing of a true Rock/Heavy metal icon. Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister passed away on December 28th at the age of 70. Lemmy was the in your face front man of the heavy metal band Motorhead which Kilmister formed in 1975. The group went on to release twenty two studio album as well as several live albums. The group is probably best known for their 1980 album release “Ace of Spades” which spawned the bands signature song of the same name. Lemmy worked with countless other acts and artists including Wendy O. Williams and Dave Grohl. He also appeared in a number of television shows and films including the 1995 comedy “Airheads” staring Brendan Fraser, Adam Sandler and Steve Buscemi. A statement on the bands Facebook page read:

“There is no easy way to say this…our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer. He had learnt of the disease on December 26th, and was at home, sitting in front of his favorite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made its way down the street, with his family.”

“We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren’t words.”

“We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please…play Motorhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy’s music LOUD.”

“Have a drink or few.”

“Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.”

“HE WOULD WANT EXACTLY THAT.”

Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister

1945-2015

Born to lose, lived to win.

The Media Mikes crew would like send our heartfelt condolences to all the friends, family and band members of Lemmy. He will truly be missed.

Blu-ray Review “The Age of Adaline”

Actors: Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Kathy Baker, Harrison Ford, Ellen Burstyn
Directors: Lee Toland Krieger
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: LIONSGATE
Release Date: September 8, 2015
Run Time: 112 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Blake Lively is definitely one of Hollywood most underrated actors. She is goregous firstly and secondly she can really act. “The Age of Adaline” was lost in the midst of a wave of summer blockbusters. It is a romantic film but it has this magical quality about it that really interested me throughout. I really though that the two leads also had good chemistry and really clicked. Other than  Blake Lively (“Gossip Girl”), she is joined by Michiel Huisman (“Game of Thrones”), Kathy Baker (“Edward Scissorhands”), Harrison Ford (“Star Wars”) and Ellen Burstyn (“Requiem for a Dream”)! Sick cast right? Definitely worth checking out.

Official Premise: After miraculously remaining 29 years old for almost eight decades, Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) has lived a solitary existence, never allowing herself to get close to anyone who might reveal her secret. But a chance encounter with charismatic philanthropist Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) reignites her passion for life and romance. When a weekend with his parents (Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker) threatens to uncover the truth, Adaline makes a decision that will change her life forever.

“The Age of Adaline” is released as a Blu-ray Combo Pack with a DVD and digital copy included.  The 1080p transfer looks amazing through all the different generations that Adaline experiences. The winner is definitely the Dolby TrueHD audio which features a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack, which really works with the period explored in the film. The special features are decent as well including deleted scenes, three features entitled “A Love Story for the Ages”, “Style Throughout the Ages” and “Discovering Young Harrison Ford: Anthony Ingruber, An Online Sensation”. Lastly there is  an audio commentary with the director giving some good behind-the-scenes insight.

Film Review “Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron”

Director: Joss Whedon
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, James Spader and Samuel L. Jackson
Running Time: 141 minutes
Marvel

Our Score: 4 out of 5 Stars

We’re already ten movies into the Marvel Cinematic Universe when we wade into the battlefield with Ultron this first Summer Movie weekend so I think it’s a pretty fair assumption that most people have taken a stance on whether or not they’ll be grabbing a ticket for this latest offering. I know I’m betraying the idea of a critic’s ‘power’ here, but honesty’s the best policy. And honestly, we’re seven years in here and I’m on board despite it not always being the smoothest of rides. That said when it comes to this, the culmination of Marvel’s “phase 2”,  I was a bit overwhelmed. Age of Ultron is more of everything. How could it not be on the heels of its predecessors? There’s more characters, more back stories, and inevitably more destruction.  The former two will always play better than the latter for me but I can’t deny that Whedon’s film is an often wow-inducing spectacle that leaves our heroes on intriguing and unstable grounds.

As we learned from Iron Man 3, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is capable of accidentally creating some demons. In that solo story, it just happened to be a slighted science colleague, but in Ultron he really steps up his screwup game. The Avengers have been tracking down the scattered physical remnants of their 2012 outing, Loki’s mind-controlling scepter included. With that ‘glowstick of destiny’ finally in the capable hands of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Stark’s vision of utilizing Artificial Intelligence in his technology to protect the Earth from off-world threats can be realized. But faced with the prospect of the scepter being returned with Thor to Asgard, he does a rushed job of instilling his AI, Ultron, with a peace-at-ALL-costs mentality. And after raiding the internet and all the digital files of humanity, Ultron notices that it’s really the humans who always are in the way of peace. Oops, our evil robot threat is born. When Ultron beams his programming across the globe to the HYDRA facility from whence the scepter came, he picks up two ‘enhanced’ twins (read: evilly experimented on to the point that they’re super. Or as Cobie Smulders’s Agent Hill sums them up, “he’s fast and she’s weird”) in the form of Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who have their own axe to grind with Mr. Stark, a former weapons dealer lest we forget.

Ultron himself is menacingly played by James Spader via motion capture that is really chilling, especially in his zombie-like entrance. I hadn’t bought into a CG villain like this since Davy Jones in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. As a character born of quip-master Stark, he has a wicked sense of humor that these films always benefit from, even if he’s not as clever or fun to watch as Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. Furthermore, it’s always a risk with comic book franchises to load their sequels with new characters but for me the twins were completely welcome additions. Olsen is particularly compelling as Scarlet Witch, whose powers to access the minds and darkest fears of her opponents induce some emotional, trippy visions for our core heroes. Later we’re introduced to the sublime Vision (played by Paul Bettany, on screen in the flesh, finally! Rejoice!) whose amazing origins are a bit too spoilery to divulge here but he is really a marvel (sorry) to behold. His introduction is one of the quietest sequences and winds up being the most entrancing. I suspect he, more than Ultron, will be what gets the most people talking in the category of new characters.

What’s interesting about Ultron as the chief villain is the gray area he thrusts the Avengers into. It’s all well and good when a mysterious army descends upon New York to be defended by the group, but when they are the creator of the threat, the onus to protect civilians is that much greater. Thus for better or worse, much of our battle sequence time is dedicated to getting the innocent populous out of range. A novel concern for a blockbuster really, though one wonders how much care they receive from the Stark Relief Fund in the aftermath what with their country destroyed…This responsibility is what causes the most strife amongst our original team. With the next Captain America film being Civil War—a comic book conflict that saw Cap and Stark fighting over a government registration of the super powered— it’s really exciting to see that seed of disagreement take root, evencoming to blows in a way they hadn’t since Thor was still a stranger to humans.

As you may have guessed with all my talk of hero in-fighting and quiet sequences being the best, I truly believe that the real power in these films ultimately comes from the scenes where things aren’t exploding. These actors have lived in these characters for years now and Whedon wisely gives them a couple extended sequences in which they just get to be human for a while. Of course they would all try and lift Thor’s hammer (side note: Thor in a red sports coat? Four for you wardrobe department), and hey, maybe some of them even have a family life, how crazy. There’s especially touching exchanges between Ruffalo’s Banner and Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanov, both damaged in their own ways, that remind you just what an amazing caliber of actors this cast contains. Not to mention it’s especially pertinent to highlight their humanity in the face of legions of evil robots. I came away wishing for more of this in fact, since as far as I counted the film had four major city-leveling sequences to the first film’s two. Still, the destruction-fatigue continues to be offset by the cleverness embedded in the action—Cap’s shield certainly is a team player, even if that Hammer isn’t—and the cool new players in the field.

Film Review “Age of Summerhood”

Starring: Lucien Maisel, Christopher McDonald and Joe Flaherty
Directed by: Jacob Medjuck and Tony Dean Smith
Not Rated
Running time: 1 hour 28 mins
Portara Pictures

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

For some people, the start of summer means school is out and you have the next 10 weeks to just do nothing. Unless you were sent to camp. This is where we meet Fetus (Maisel), a very wise-beyond-his-years boy who has once again been sent away for the summer. Staying in a cabin that time forgot, named the Monkey Bin, Fetus is reunited with three other returnees: Grandpa (Jesse Camacho), who spends all day in his bathrobe, puffs on a pipe and often complains about his arthritis; Reckless (Scott Beaudin), the rule breaker and Toast (David Gibson McLean) who is introduced, via the smooth narration of John Cusack, as one who “likes guns.” We also meet New Kid

(Keegan Hiltz), who is given the moniker even though he’s been to camp before. If this all sounds fairly familiar, it’s because I think all of us, whether we went to camp or not, can think back to those few friends we had as kids that we still associate with today.

A cross between “Meatballs” and “Stand by Me,” “Age of Summerhood” makes great use of its outdoor locations to show kids as they are rarely portrayed on screen: as kids. I was certainly reminded of a time when you would leave the house at 8:00 a.m. and not come home until dinner, having filled the time between with adventures you shared with your pals. Be it making new friends or discovering your first love, childhood is that rare part of your life where YOU decide your fate. You can be the troublemaker, the lovesick optimist or, unfortunately, the sleep-walking bed-wetter. The unfortunate part is that he walks in his sleep and then wets in your bed!

The cast is another rarity – actual kids. There’s not a twenty year old playing thirteen in the place! All of the young actors bring an extra sense of believability to their performances just by being themselves. On the adult side, both McDonald and Flaherty deliver the laughs constantly. Also spot on is the film’s musical soundtrack, ranging from the theme from “St. Elmo’s Fire” as the camp’s wake-up music to such good times oldies as “Sweet City Woman.” If I had one problem with the film, which is not rated, is that it features some scenes that might be a little mature for its target audience. Of course, so did “Meatballs,” so “Summerhood” is in good company.

“Age of Summerhood” is currently available on home video and at Amazon and is a fine feature film debut for filmmaker Jacob Medjuck. Keep it in mind when school is out and the kids are looking for something to do.

Blu-ray Review “The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown”

Actors: Jeff Bergman, Kevin Michael Richardson,
Tress MacNeille, Grey Griffin, Eric Bauza, John O’Hurley, Russi Taylor, Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Daniel Bryan, John Cena
Directors: Spike Brandt, Tony Cervone
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Run Time: 50 minutes

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

WWE and Warner Bros have been teamed up on there animated film, “Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery” last year, which was a fun time. There follow up to that film is “The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown”. This is exciting because there hasn’t been new “The Flintstones” content in 15 years and it is very welcome. This film includes various WWE Superstars including John Cena, Rey Mysterio, The Undertaker and even Vince McMahon himself. I only wish that this was longer than 50 minutes because I wanted so much more or at least lets hope that they have future installments of new “The Flintstones” very soon.

Official Premise: When Fred loses his family’s vacation money, he hatches one of his hair brained plans to get it back. It’s a sports entertainment spectacle that involves throwing his best bud, Barney into the wrestling ring with the likes of John Cenastone (John Cena), Rey Mysteriopal (Rey Mysterio) and even The Undertaker, with Fred himself as event promoter! The crowds roar, the “clams” are pouring in from ticket sales and even Mr. McMagma (Vince McMahon) is taking notice of all the hoopla. Including all-star appearances from The Boulder Twins (Brie and Nikki Bella) Marble Henry (Mark Henry) and Daniel Bry-Rock (Daniel Bryan), it’s time to get the whole family together for hard-hitting, side-splitting laughs from the most epic event in all of prehistory!

Warner Bros is releasing this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD copy included. The Blu-ray transfer is solid. The animation looks great and the colors are vibrant. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track also sounds great with the voice work and the rope slamming fun. There are also some great special features included as well. There  are two featurette included here. The first is “The Superstars of Fred Flintstone Entertainment (FFE)” and the second one is called “How to Be a Stone Age Superstar”. Both are worth checking out for sure. There are also two bonus cartoons included, which are fun to watch as well.

Own it on Blu-ray™ Combo, DVD & Digital HD March 10

Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek’s Iconic Mr. Spock, Dead at Age 83

For three television seasons, animated and guest appearances and in many feature films, actor Leonard Nimoy would often address others with the phrase “Live long and prosper.” It was a philosophy Mr. Nimoy himself followed until he passed away today at the age of 83.

Best known for his portrayal of the emotionless Vulcan, Mr. Spock, on “Star Trek,” Nimoy would eventually escape that persona (he famously wrote his autobiography, entitled “I Am Not Spock”) to become not only a versatile actor but an accomplished photographer and film director.

Born in Boston on March 26, 1931, Nimoy began his acting career as a young boy, performing in local productions. He headed west after high school and, after serving in the United States Army, began appearing in popular television shows of the era, among them “Luke and the Tenderfoot,” “Broken Arrow” and “Mackenzies Raiders.” His unusual features often found him cast as a Native American. He worked steadily through the early 1960s and then, in 1966, he took the role that he would forever be identified with. Described by creator Gene Roddenberry, “Star Trek” was supposed to be like “Wagon Train” to the stars. Nimoy was cast as First Officer Spock, a member of the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Nimoy was one of the few actors who remained with the show from the pilot until the final episode. Spock struck a nerve with the counter-culture of the times and quickly became the series’ most popular character. He was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actor all three seasons “Star Trek” ran, losing to Eli Wallach, Milburn Stone (Doc on “Gunsmoke”) and Werner Klemperer (Colonel Klink on “Hogan’s Heroes”). HE LOST TO COLONEL KLINK??? Back then, the Emmy’s didn’t divide the supporting categories into drama and comedy. They also only had three nominees in that category, not the customary five. Wow. COLONEL FRICKING KLINK!

When the series ended Nimoy headed to another long running show, playing disguise and magic master Paris in “Mission: Impossible.” He also reprised the role of Spock on the Saturday morning “Star Trek – the Animated Series.” He continued acting through the 70s, appearing in the popular remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and also began working behind the camera, helming an episode of Rod Serling’s “Night Gallery.” In 1979 he once again returned to Spock in “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.” In 1981 he adapted and directed the television version of his one man play, “Vincent,” based on the life of Theo Van Gogh, brother of the famed artist, Vincent. The next year he returned in “Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan,” coming back only after being assured that the character of Spock would be killed off. the success of the film, both commercially and critically, brought the offer to return. Nimoy agreed to come back if he could direct the feature film. In 1984, “Star Trek III – The Search for Spock” was released. The film featured the crew of the Enterprise trying to recover the body of Spock. Nimoy appears at the end of the film. He again directed “Star Trek IV – The Voyage Home,” probably the most fun of the “Original Series” films, which came out in 1986. The next year he went behind the camera for the very popular comedy “Three Men and a Baby.”

Nimoy also pursued a career in photography, with many of his photos being exhibited in museums across the country. In 1996 he published his 2nd Autobiography, “I AM SPOCK,” finally coming to terms with the character that had made him famous. He leaves behind his 2nd wife, Susan, and his children, Adam and Julie.

Snap Creative’s Bill Howard chats about “Transformers: Age of Extinction”

Bill Howard, CEO of Snap Creative, whose company has been creating “talk of the town” products for over 20 years, discusses how Snap has created innovative packaging concepts for all of the Transformers films, including the $1 billion global smash Transformers: Age of Extinction, which arrives on Blu-ray and DVD September 30, 2014.

Media Mikes: You have been creating collectible Transformers home entertainment packaging since the release of the first DVD. How did you get involved with the Transformers business
Bill Howard: Paramount challenged our team at Snap Creative to create a DVD package for the first Transformers film that could turn into OPTIMUS PRIME, but it had to be the height and width of a standard DVD to fit on a store shelf and it had to be no more than double the depth. Our solution required a design that had hidden parts that could reveal for conversion, and we used bas relief sculpture on the front so that we could have layered parts but stay within the depth. All the sculpt detail and deco was on the front side which let us maximize it. That DVD was a huge hit and we’ve continued designing for the Transformers releases ever since.

MM: How do you keep the designs fresh for each release?
BH: On each subsequent movie we have upped the ante creating 2.0, 3.0 and now 4.0 for the new Transformers: Age of Extinction Blu-ray and DVD slated for release in September 2014. They have all been awesome, but I am confident that this OPTIMUS PRIME is our best one yet. It has new features that make it cooler for sure, and we worked with Hasbro and digital assets directly from the movie that provided great sculptural marrow. I am already thinking about how we take it further for 5.0, and am glad the film is a few years off to give us enough time to really get creative.

MM: What makes your packaging designs so desirable to collectors?
BH: Our Transformers designs historically have been hugely successful because the fans appreciate our level of extreme detail and authenticity. We often design multiple packages that are available at different retailers, and real fans go out of their way to get them all because they each have something unique and collectible about them.

MM: You also did theater promotions for Transformers: Age of Extinction this year to coincide with the theatrical release. Tell us more about those.
BH: Our movie theater popcorn collectible packs are really brilliant— they have one piece of board cut once and glued in one place which provides a package that holds cup, popcorn and candy. It can be carried with one hand and the operations folks at cinemas love it because it goes from flat to built in just a few seconds.

Each year we run about 15 promotions in theater with these packs. We have partnered with many of the top Hollywood studios to do licensed versions for some of the biggest movies including Transformers: Age of Extinction. These packs (some geared towards kids, some toward adults), are usually paired with a small collectible toy which is a fun way for property owners to extend their brands to families in theaters and at home. The Transformers: Age of Extinction pack featured a transforming keychain and collectible cup. Exhibitors love it because they generally see about a 20% lift in sales with these branded collectible packs and we’ve grown the program from around 2 million pieces to 6 million pieces just in the last two years. We are also continuing to grow internationally with programs in Thailand, China, Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, Canada and more.

MM: You seem to have quite the collector following for your products. Many times it seems like your products double in value or more on the after-market. Why?
BH: One word: authentic. We work on every detail to get it right not just for Transformers, but for everything we do. Enthusiasts appreciate that we “get” them because we ourselves are collectors, so we understand just what they are looking for in a product. For powerhouse franchises like Transformers, we make a point of honoring the legacy of the franchise while also moving it forward in new and different ways.

3D Blu-ray Review “Transformers: Age of Extinction”

Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz
Directors: Michael Bay
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Run Time: 164 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 5 out of 5 stars
3D: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

When I saw “Transformers: Age of Extinction” in theaters, I was very optimistic that this was going to “reboot” the franchise. In a sense it did but it also fell right back into the same old thing while doing so. The story like the past “Transformers” films is just chaos. There is so much going on that you just need to dumb down and just watch the action the pretty colors on the screen. That is what I believe will make you enjoy this film. It is also extremely over long. But all that aside, it is still a fun ride. It is also the year’s only $1 billion worldwide blockbuster. So expect a “Transformers 5” real soon.

“Transformers: Age of Extinction” picks up four years after the battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons left Chicago in ruins. Due to this there is an all our war and hunt against the Transformers. The humans are hunting them down under the command of Harold Attinger (Grammer). All Transformers have gone into hiding. We meet Cade Yeager (Wahlberg), a struggling investor, who comes across an old truck while looking for a way to make some money to help save his house and send his daughter (Peltz) to college. What he finds is a very injured Optimus Prime. After fixing him, the race is on to reunite with the remaining Autobots and find out the truth behind the hunt on them.

This review will focus on the Blu-ray features of this release, so if you want more about the film read our film review here. Paramount is releasing this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet digital copy. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” may not be the year’s best film but it is definitely one of the best Blu-rays. The film simply delivers a stunning 3D presentation. I loved this aspect in the theaters and I love it more at home. It is also mixed with a ton of 1.78:1 IMAX footage, which makes it even more cool, last Blu-ray to this was “The Dark Knight”. This is definitely a film that needs to be viewed in 3D and on a nice big screen. This is a very visual film and it is a marvel to watch in this format.

This Blu-ray for “Transformers: Age of Extinction” also comes stocked with the first EVER brand new Dolby Atmos surround track for ultimate presentation. The track is describes with the following “This audio presentation is mixed specifically for Dolby Atmos® enabled receivers and speaker configurations to produce full, multidimensional sound without channel restrictions in the home — even overhead. Dolby Atmos is compatible with current generation Blu-ray players. Also select this option for Dolby 7.1 TrueHD speaker configurations. For Dolby Atmos playback, set your Blu-ray player to bitstream out and disable secondary audio”. All I have to say is WOW just WOW! I spoke with a composer named Steven Price, who just won the Oscar for “Gravity” and he spoke nothing but amazing things for Dolby Atmos and it’s future.

“Transformers: Age of Extinction” also comes stocked with a nothing short of mind-blowing 7.1 TrueHD track. It is just extremely amazing. When I was watching this film, I couldn’t help but say out loud how much I loved this score. Steve Jablonsky did an amazing job of delivering a really epic score for this film. What I loved is that it is seriously go from soft to freaking insane and still blend so very well. Everything from the constant explosions (we all know how well Bay likes to blow shit up) to the transforming. This track is just plain and simple perfect. Make sure that your picture frames are secured cause this one will give those nails a run for their money.

The special features are almost just as awesome as the audio/video presentation. There are over three hours of bonus content here. First up is “Bay on Action”, which is easy enough the director talking about his craft. There is a super epic, eight-part making-of feature called “Evolution with Extinction”. It dives into everything from casting to filming locations to digital effects. It is runs cumulatively around two hours all by itself. “Just Another Giant Effin’ Movie” shows the lighter side of the production. “A Spark of Design” looks into the creation of Grimlock. “T.J. Miller: Farm Hippie” is a funny set visit with the actor. Lastly there are some trailers and fun spoofs with “Kre-O” and “Angry Birds” included.

Here is a clip from the “Rise of the Dinobots” featurette:

Lauren Bacall, Star of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Dead at 89

Lauren Bacall, whose seven-decade career made her one of the greatest stars in Hollywood history, died this evening in her New York home a month shy of her 90th birthday.

Born Betty Joan Perske on September 16 (a birthday we both shared) 1924, she set out to become a dancer before turning her sights to acting and attending the American Academy of the Dramatic Arts after her graduation from high school. While appearing in the occasional off-Broadway production she began modeling and, at age 19, caught the eye of film director Howard Hawks’ wife, who saw her on the cover of a magazine and suggested she be given a screen test. So impressive was her test that she was cast opposite Humphrey Bogart in the film “To Have and Have Not.” It was in this film that she introduced one of the most quoted lines in film history when she said “You know how to whistle, don’t you? You just put your lips together and…blow.” Despite their 25 year age difference, the two fell in love and were married a year later. The marriage would last until Bogart’s death in 1957.

She continued to co-star with Bogart in such classic films as “The Big Sleep,” “Dark Passage” and “Key Largo.” In 1953 she tried her hand at comedy, co-starring with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable in “How to Marry a Millionaire.” She spent the next decade or so alternating between film and television before heading to Broadway, appearing in the musical “Applause,” for which she won the Tony Award as Best Actress.

In 1973 she reprised her role in the television production of “Applause” and then returned to the big screen as part of the all-star cast of “Murder on the Orient Express.” She also starred opposite John Wayne in his last film, 1976’s “The Shootist.” In 1980 she appeared in the Robert Altman film “HealtH.” This movie was filmed in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida and I can remember some friends and I trying to sneak our way into the Don Cesar Hotel, where the film was shot, in the hopes of meeting Ms. Bacall, who my friend Scott Gilbert had a major school boy crush on. We were not successful.

She continued to work at her leisure, appearing in such films as “The Fan,” “Misery,” “Pret-a-Porter” and “The Mirror Has Two Faces,” for which she received her first and only Academy Award nomination, as Best Supporting Actress. Though she did receive the Golden Globe for her performance, the Oscar went instead to Juliette Binoche. . As the 21st Century loomed she began contributing her voice to various animated projects, including “Madeline: Lost in Paris,” “Howl’s Moving Castle” and was actually heard earlier this year in an episode of “Family Guy.”

In 2010 she received an honorary Academy Award in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures.

Film Review “Transformers: Age of Extinction”

Directed by: Michael Bay
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Sophia Myles,
Li Bingbing, Titus Welliver, T. J. Miller, Melanie Specht, Victoria Summer, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Running time: 165 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

It is that time people…more “Transformers”. Watching this film, I just couldn’t help but think how much Michael Bay like to blow shit up. The film definitely better “Dark of the Moon” but it is just too wicked long. Running in at a very mean 2 hours and 45 minutes, the beginning of this was great, the middle was kind of terrible and the ending saved it for me. I mean who can say no to freaking Dinobots! They only pop up in the end as an accessory to battle but they are still mad cool. Whether you love “Transformers” films are not, I know most critics don’t, but for Bay knows how to give audiences what they want. This film is like I said too long but it is still entertaining and an overall fun time. Either way gear up since this is only the first film in a new trilogy, the fifth and sixth installments are on their way.

The film is a sort of sequel to the last “Transformers”, it picks up four years after the battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons left Chicago in ruins. Due to this there is an all our war and hunt against the Transformers. The humans are hunting them down under the command of Harold Attinger (Grammer). All Transformers have gone into hiding. We meet Cade Yeager (Wahlberg), a struggling investor, who comes across an old truck while looking for a way to make some money to help save his house and send his daughter (Peltz) to college. What he finds is a very injured Optimus Prime. After fixing him, the race is on to reunite with the remaining Autobots and find out the truth behind the hunt on them.

If you are familiar with Michael Bay’s films you should know the story doesn’t always get the most attention. Nonetheless, this is “Transformers” and I just want to see giant aliens fighting other giant aliens. In fact, the fourth time around the Transformers have never looked better. With “Dark of the Moon”, they moved so fast you couldn’t even tell what was going on and who was fighting who half the time. This is much cleaner and they are just bad ass…did I mention already dinobots!? They easily steal the show. Optimus Prime is quite dark in this film much different than the last but never been better. Bumblebee got a clapping applaud when he first hit the screen, definitely a fan favorite. But personally in terms of Transformers, Hound takes the prize for me. John Goodman voiced him and really stole the show and was funny as hell.

With “Age of Extinction”, we get an all-new cast. Mark Wahlberg takes the lead and does a great job. His acting sometimes feels a little iffy but I have to remind you it is a “Transformers” movie. Nicola Peltz plays his daughter, she is definitely a better actress than Megan Fox but I couldn’t get over her spray tan look. Jack Reynor plays her boyfriend and he was a solid newcomer, I can see him getting very big…very quick. We got the chance to interview the Irish actor actually, read here, so keep an eye out for him. Stanley Tucci is a riot as Joshua Joyce and gets a ton of laughs. No question the best new addition to the cast. Kelsey Grammer is also quite the surprise and absolutely bad ass as Harold Attinger.

Besides the action and the dinobots (eek!), there is some other great parts in the film. The band Imagine Dragons have a fantastic song “Battle Cry”, which I immediately downloaded after seeing this film. Michael Bay did a great job of inserting that song into various parts of the film. Steve Jablonsky also delivered an amazing score for this film. In fact, I think it is easily one of my favorite recent action films. It also reminded me a bit of the “TRON Legacy” score as well. So “Age of Extinction” is far from perfect. It is drags major ass in the middle but it is a still a great popcorn flick and will no question take the crown for summer box office.

Enter to Win a Transformers MIMOBOT Designer USB Flash Drives [ENDED]

To celebrate the release of “Transformers: Age of Extinction” in theaters, Media Mikes is teaming up with Mimoco for an exciting giveaway of three . If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Transformers character that you want to see made into a MIMOBOT! Who knows Mimoco might just listen!! This giveaway will remain open until July 4th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada 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.

For 9 million years, Megatron has battled for control over Cybertron and the Universe’s energy supplies. Now he has set his evil mind on seizing control of your data! With steel-colored armor, menacing scowl and piercing eyes, Megatron MIMOBOT® boasts his classic Transformers style and will stop at nothing, least of all the feeble attempts of Optimus Prime, to gain the Universe’s data, and that means your documents, music, pictures and more!

For 9 million years, Optimus Prime has battled Megatron over the Universe’s energy supplies and control of Cybertron. Now Optimus Prime is battling to defend your data! The leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime MIMOBOT® stands heroic with his trademark red, white, and blue armor, and matching helmet. He’s travelled across the galaxy with a singular purpose: to protect your data from falling into the greedy clutches of the evil leader of the Decepticons, Megatron. Optimus Prime MIMOBOT, Transform and Roll-out! Learn more here!

Cover your ears! Megatron’s greatest rival for control of the Decepticons is now available in MIMO-form! With his F-15 wings folded behind him, STARSCREAM MIMOBOT captures the Decepticon arrogance and power with a smirk all-knowing, and all-cruel. 64GBs of data storage capacity and AMAZING preloaded digital goodies like vintage 1980’s comic books and episodes of the animated series, make Starscream MIMOBOT ready to shriek his way into your world. Get him before he transforms and takes off!

Win Tickets to an Advance Orlando FL Screening of “Transformers: Age of Extinction” [ENDED]

This is not war, it’s extinction. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” hits theaters on 06.27.14 but you could be one of the first to see it!! Here is that you need to do if you would like to win some tickets to an advance screening in Orlando, FL.

In order to win tickets we need YOU submit a photo of your own homemade Transformer costume, or send proof of why your are the biggest fan. You can submit your to us on our Twitter or Facebook pages using the hashtag #TransformersFan. Only one entry per person, per household. The best ones will be chosen and will win one of the following prizes:

GRAND PRIZE (best entry) will get VIP/GUARANTEED seats for them and a guest
Ten (10) runners will be chosen to win regular tickets for them and a guest

This giveaway will remain open until June 20th

The screening will take place on June 25 at Regal Waterford Lakes – 7:30PM

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION is the fourth film in director Michael Bay’s global blockbuster franchise. Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Li Bingbing , Kelsey Grammer, Sophia Myles, T. J. Miller, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor and Titus Welliver star. The film begins after an epic battle that left a great city torn, but with the world saved. As humanity picks up the pieces, a shadowy group reveals itself in an attempt to control the direction of history… while an ancient, powerful new menace sets Earth in its crosshairs. With help from a new cast of humans, Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) and the Autobots rise to meet their most fearsome challenge yet. In an incredible adventure, they are swept up in a war of good and evil, ultimately leading to a climactic battle across the world.

Transformers: Age of Extinction is in theaters 06.27.14

Official site: TransformersMovie.com
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/transformersmovie
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/transformers