Product Review “Nike Air Max 2015”

 

The last time that I owned a pair of Nike Air Max sneakers, it was probably back in 2013. They were good shoes that latest me a very long time. Everyone knows the Nike brand. They are a trusted brand and very recognizable. The latest 2015 honestly to me aren’t a drastic update from what I remember in my last pair. I can say for sure that they have some really crazy color options this year.

I settled for typical black with the white swoosh but I was also quite found of the pair that blends “Black/Bright Crimson/Blue Lagoon/White”, which is quite the fashion statement for sure but look cool. Honestly for the price, I wouldn’t really think that these are the best shows on the market for running. I mean nearly $200 dollars seems a bit much for me.

Some of the specs for these sneakers are that they are come equipped with engineered mesh upper for light weight and breathability. One of the other features is the “Free-laying Dynamic Flywire”, which provides a very natural-motion feeling for the foot. I don’t have the best heel and these definitely assist in giving a bit of ease on both of that with the padded heel counters.

The rubber outsole with the BRS 1000 carbon rubber pods in the heel and forefoot work well for traction but honestly feel a little thin. I am wondering how long these are going to last. I walk over five miles a day and I will be revisiting these over time to see how they hold up. So for money, I will leave these up to your preference. I feel like if you have purchased Air Max before you should be happy with them.

World Air Guitar Champion Eric Melin talks about his title and the competition

We’ve all done it. I certainly know I have. I’ve done it in the shower. I’ve done it in the car. And more than once I’ve done it in front of 20,000 people at a concert. And so have you. The IT I’m referring to is playing air guitar. Guilty as charged, aren’t you. Well hang your heads, dear readers, because one person in the world does it better than anyone: World Air Guitar Champion Eric Melin.

I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to call Eric a friend and a colleague for over a decade. Like me, he’s a film critic for several outlets, including his own very popular site: www.scene-stealers.com.

I have to admit that it’s much easier for me to interview an Oscar winning filmmaker then it is a friend. Question four, below, came out of my mouth so mangled that we both laughed when I told him “that was a horrible question…I’m sorry. It will look better in print.”

Just back from Finland, “Mean” Melin took some time to speak with me about his title and the future of the competition.

Mike Smith: How long have you been playing air guitar competitively?
Eric Melin: Competitively? Five years. Ironically my work as a film critic led me to it. I saw the film “Air Guitar Nation,” which was a documentary that came out in 2006. I didn’t see it until 2009 when I caught it on Netflix. When I saw the movie I thought, “Oh, shit! I’ve been doing this pretty much all my life anyway. I should try to do it on stage in front of people.”

MS: I was going to say…everyone has at one time or another played air guitar but it’s really a lot more than just miming the pick moves, etc. What all goes into a performance?
EM: There are three things that are judged in air guitar, both in the US and the World Championships. There’s technical ability, which is what you just talked about. It’s not the most important thing but, believe it or not, you want to make it look like you’re actually somewhat playing a real guitar. The second thing is stage presence, which is what I call the “Wow” factor. You really have to come out in character…you have to get the people excited that you’re there. And the third thing they judge you on is air-ness.

MS: When and where did this…I hate to use the word craze…gain notoriety? Where did competitive air guitar start?
EM: The World Championships started in 1996. The event that I just won was the 18th Annual Air Guitar World Championships. It’s been going on for a very long time. As documented in the movie “Air Guitar Nation,” it really got started in America in 2003. What happened was two guys from America – Kriston Rucker and Cedrick Devitt, who are now the co-commissioners of US Air Guitar – found out that there was such a thing as a World Championship in Finland and they went there. They realized there was no U.S. representation! How could the country that invented rock and roll not have a representative at the World Air Guitar Championships? They set up a couple of shows in New York and Los Angeles that year to remedy that and find a champion. By the time I found out about it and signed up in 2009 there were already (28) cities sponsoring events. It expanded from two to twenty-eight cities in five years.

MS: In going through the list of this year’s finalists…they came from all over the world. Finland, of course. Germany, Belgium, France, England. Are the performances influenced by their home countries? You’re very dramatic on stage…a lot of big moves. A lot of Pete Townsend and heavy metal head banging. We’re all of the performances similar?
EM: This was my first year at the World Championships after five years of competing in the U.S. Air Guitar Championships. I learned a lot more about the international style this year.

MS: I know when we spoke earlier you had mentioned that you had planned on retiring from the competitive circuit, win or lose, after the World Championships. Is that still the plan?
EM: I did decide that this would be my last year. But, after winning, I changed my mind so I could fly back to Oulu again next year because I had so much fun! So I will actually compete to defend my title next year!

Blu-ray Review “Air Collision”

Directed by: Liz Adams
Actors: Reginald VelJohnson, Jordan Ladd, Gerald Webb
MPAA Raing: Unrated
Distributed by: The Asylum Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Running Time: 90 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1 out of 5 stars

There is no secrets here, you get exactly what you would expect from a Asylum released film. It is Syfy quality action and special effects. But that is not a bad thing, I actually enjoyed this film. It wasn’t trying to be much more than what you see. I mean first of all, how can you show no to Reginald VelJohnson. It seems like Asylum might be trying to recruit the cast of TV’s “Family Matters” since they got Jaleel White to do the fantastic “Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus” last year. The film also stars Jordan Ladd, though she is barely recognizable due to mega face work. Overall this is fun, includes decent special effects and a recognizable cast.

“Air Collision” takes the action the air in this new action film, which focuses on an mid-air collision between a passenger jet and Air Force One. After a freak solar storm destroys a bunch of satellites, air traffic control loses control of the sky and the two planes to go off course and on course to hit each other. It is up to Reginald VelJohnson to help save the day and avoid a catastrophic disaster.

Since this is an Asylum release, the Blu-ray presentation is quite impressive. The video looks good in its 1080p 1.78:1 transfer. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track also works well, with the music and action scenes in the film. The special features in the film are typical for an Asylum release only. They only consist of a brief “Making of Air Collision” behind-the-scenes look in the production with the cast/crew. Lastly there is a Gag Reel included as well.

Interview with Air Supply’s Russell Hitchcock

Russell Hitchcock is one of the two members of the band “Air Supply”, along with Graham Russell.  The band has been around since 1975 and show no signs of slowing down.  They are currently playing over 100 shows per year and still releasing new music.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Russell about Air Supply’s new album as well as his new solo album.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you tell us about the new album “Mumbo Jumbo” and its creative process?
Russell Hitchcock: As all of our CD’s recently have taken about 2 to 3 years to put together as we spend a lot of time on the road. Generally what we will do is we record for a few days then go on the road for 3 or 4 weeks then back to recording. The album was a long time coming but it’s the first conceptual album of ours. Graham integrated a great story in the songs. The album is about a young guy who is just trying to find himself in the world today. It was time for us to do an album like this. We are always getting asked how we have changed in the last 36 years. It’s obvious that we are a lot older now and we are a lot more mature about the music we play and how we think about life. I think the album is a very mature body of work. It’s nice to be back in the lime light for a little bit of time.

MG: Can you tell us what you felt being back on the billboard charts for the first time in 17 years?
RH: It’s just a great feeling as we had so much resistance from radio basically after 1987. “Mumbo Jumbo” is actually our 24th or 25th studio album. People were always thinking we broke up. The bottom line was in North America we couldn’t get played on the radio. It’s a really great feeling to be recognized again and to be able to say that we have had chart success spanning over four decades.

MG: Air Supply has been together for over 35 years now. What drives you guys to continue recording and touring?
RH: We have a great passion for performing live together. When we first started we made sort of an unofficial pact that as long as we enjoyed working together still and people wanted to see us we would keep going. None of those things have changed other than we know more about the business now and we are way more experienced on stage. We play around 130 shows a year all around the world, which runs us about 9 months out of the year.

MG: Do you see the band slowing down anytime soon?
RH: I hope it keeps going! Physically and mentally we are both in good shape and we are playing with some fantastic musicians. What it really comes down to is the audiences and their response. Our shows are selling out quite regularly and the response to the old songs is phenomenal and we always are playing new songs in the show as well and the responses to those have been great also. We don’t see any reason for us to slow down just yet.

MG: What do you like most about playing the new songs to the audiences?
RH: I think it’s exciting to play something new and something that you have put your heart into. Graham works very hard at writing quality material and we always want the best vocally we can get out of it. To play something new and getting to see the reactions is fantastic. People always seem really into it. We have a great core of material to build on and we also have a very distinctive way of singing together so we are in good shape from the start.

MG: What can you tell us about your new single which hasn’t been released on any album yet?
RH: We are going to do that and we have two songs in mind but we haven’t picked which one its definitely going to be so I don’t want to tell you too much just yet. We just finished the vocals last week and its going to be a nice surprise.

MG: What can you tell us about your new album “Tennessee: The Nashville Sessions”? How do you feel it differs from your work with Air Supply?
RH: It certainly has a Nashville feel to it and that’s obvious from the musicians playing on the album and the instrumentation that was used. I was offered the opportunity a few years a go by a friend to come to Nashville and record. Finding the time was the hardest part. We listened to around 100 songs before picking 24-28. Originally the producer wanted to release a double album and I told him he was out of his mind! I have had some critics ask why I’m in Nashville being I am not a country singer. I have responded by saying I am a singer and just want to sing all kinds of songs. I have had some good response to a few of the songs. We are currently in the early stages of promotion so we will see what happens. I hope to put some of the songs in our set starting next year.