Product Review “Cloud V Phantom Dry Herb Vaporizer”

I have tested out many different Vaporizers over the last year and I haven’t really been 100% satisfied….that is until I found the Cloud V Phantom Premium Herbal Vaporizer. The Cloud V Phantom is easily the best and easiest product that I have used to date. It features an optimized heating chamber and really sleek thin durable design. I simply love the look of it. Ease of use is also what you are looking for with a vaporizer and this one is as easy as they can.

The Cloud V Phantom has three heating temperature settings. All you have to do is load your product, press it three times to turn it on and get it started and then up the temperature that you enjoy. It delivered a smooth even hit every time. The battery also lasted a decent time and did not require constant charging. The cleaning of the product was also very easy and make no mess.

When you are looking for a vaporizer, you also need to be concerned with the output smell. Even though with using a vaporizer, you don’t get the same intensity of smell, so of them do not handle the smell well. This device did a great job of heating up without combustion. It also has a very handy auto shutoff time. If you are looking for a perfect introduction to vaping, I would highly recommend this product.

Blu-ray Review “Cloud Atlas”

Actors: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess
Directors: Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Running Time: 172 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I had the privilege of having a friend that worked on this production, so I heard about this film quite a bit before it was released. I have been a fan of The Wachowski’s since “The Matrix” and the same goes for Tom Tykwer (“Run Lola Run”), who is a very talented director (and composer). “Cloud Atlas” is based on the best-selling novel of the same name written by David Mitchell. The book was sad to be quite unfilmable since it is so epic and contains numerous stories that are all connected together. But thanks to the persistence of these directors this film was brought to life and is absolutely stunning. In fact, “Cloud Atlas” was my favorite film of 2012, if not also for the last few years overall. It is thought provoking and has many deeper lying themes throughout that makes it sticks with you long after you have watched it. In fact, I have literally seen this film probably around 20 times now (obsessed much?) and I can honestly say that it gets better with each viewing.

Official Premise: Future. Present. Past. Everything is connected. An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.The story is a time-shifting weave of six interlinking narratives, with diverse settings from the savagery of a Pacific Island in the 1850s to a dystopian Korea of the near future.

This film packs one of the years best cast lead by Academy Award® winners Tom Hanks and Halle Berry.  There are also great performances from Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Xun Zhou, Keith David, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant. There are six narratives in the film, spanning from “The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing” (1849), “Letters from Zedelghem” (1936), “Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery” (1973), “The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish” (2012), “An Orison of Sonmi~451” (2144), “Sloosha’s Crossin’ an’ Ev’rythin’ After” (2321). Throughout these stories, each of the cast takes on various roles. Some of transformations even go as far as striking them completely unrecognizable. Click here for a great infographic for more details into which actor plays which roles.

The film running just shy of three hours but every minute is better than the next. I have trouble watching some films that are under 90 minutes and this one literally flies.  You become completely transported into this these various stories. It maybe seem confusing at first once you get to meet these characters it is impossible not to get intertwined along with these stories. They are also carried perfectly by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil mesmerizing score. I have been listening to this score for months and it has been stuck in my head. I even had the chance to chat with Reinhold Heil about the score, click here to check it out. Did I mention that this is one of the best scores that I have ever heard 😉

Warner Bros delivered a very impressive combo pack.  The release comes with a Blu-ray and DVD discs with the film. Also included is an UltraViolet digital copy, which allows you to download and instantly stream the film to devices including computers and compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles etc. The 1080p transfer on this Blu-ray looks stunning with its aspect ratio of 2.39:1. I would have loved to see this film when it was released in IMAX, I am sure it was stunning.  The video is matched with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track, which is quite flawless.  I would have loved to see them give this a 7.1 treatment but it is still amazing, especially with the film’s action and score.

The special features are great but I am a little disappointed that there is no commentary tracks included. First off we have “A Film Like No Other”, which looks into how this visual masterpiece came together with it’s three directors. “Everything is Connected” features the cast and crew as the dive into the connections that tie the various stories together. “Spaceships, Slaves & Sextets” looks into the deeper mysteries, themes and subtexts that are within the film. “The Bold Science Fiction of Cloud Atlas” looks into some of the futuristic science that is found in the film. “The Impossible Adaptation” looks into how this was taken from a novel to a feature film. “The Essence of Acting” looks into this wonderful cast and their various roles. Lastly we get “Eternal Recurrence: Love, Life, and Longing in Cloud Atlas”, which is another look in the film and its themes.

Own Cloud Atlas on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download 5/14

"Cloud Atlas" Hits Blu-ray Combo Pack on 5/14

“Daring. Visionary. One of the most ambitious films ever made.” Roger Ebert, Chicago Tribune

EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED

CLOUD ATLAS

ARRIVES ONTO BLU-RAY COMBO PACK, DVD and DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

ON MAY 14 FROM WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

All disc versions feature UltraViolet

Burbank, CA, February 20, 2013 – Explore how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another through the past, present and future when “Cloud Atlas” arrives onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download on May 14 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. Based on the celebrated best-selling novel by David Mitchell, “Cloud Atlas” is directed by acclaimed filmmakers Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, and Andy Wachowski and produced by two-time Oscar® nominee Grant Hill (“The Thin Red Line,” “The Tree of Life”) and three-time BAFTA Award nominee Stefan Arndt (“The White Ribbon,” “Goodbye Lenin!,” “Run Lola Run”).

Academy Award® winners Tom Hanks (“Philadelphia,” “Forrest Gump”) and Halle Berry (“Monster’s Ball”) lead a stellar international cast that also includes Oscar® winner Jim Broadbent (“Iris”), Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Xun Zhou, Keith David and David Gyasi, with Oscar® winner Susan Sarandon (“Dead Man Walking”) and Hugh Grant. Each member of the ensemble appears in multiple roles as the story moves through time.

“Cloud Atlas” will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99 and on single disc DVD for $28.98. The Blu-ray Combo Pack features the film in hi-definition on Blu-ray and in standard definition on DVD. Both the Blu-ray Combo Pack and the single disc DVD include UltraViolet which allows consumers to download and instantly stream the standard definition theatrical version of the film to a wide range of devices including computers and compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.*

SYNOPSIS

From acclaimed filmmakers Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, and Andy Wachowski, the powerful and inspiring epic drama “Cloud Atlas” explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future.

Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future.

BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS

“Cloud Atlas” Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special features:

· A Film Like No Other
· Everything is Connected
· The Impossible Adaptation
· The Essence of Acting
· Spaceships, Slaves and Sextets
· The Bold Science Fiction of Cloud Atlas
· Eternal Recurrence: Love, Life, and Longing in Cloud Atlas

“Cloud Atlas” Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:

· A Film Like No Other

Own Cloud Atlas on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download 5/14

About Warner Home Video

A division of Warner Bros. Entertainment Group with operations in 90 international territories, Warner Home Video, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, commands the largest distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace.  Warner Home Video’s film library is the largest of any studio, offering top quality new and vintage titles from the repertoires of Warner Bros. Pictures, Turner Entertainment, Castle Rock Entertainment, Village Roadshow, HBO Home Video, and New Line Home Entertainment.

About Warner Bros. Digital Distribution 

A Division of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD) oversees the electronic distribution of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group’s content through Video-On-Demand, Pay-Per-View, Electronic Sell-Through and Subscription Video-On-Demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels.   WBDD also distributes content through third party digital retailers and licensees.  A worldwide industry leader since its inception, WBDD also manages the Studio’s E-commerce sites that include WBShop.com and WarnerArchive.com.  Twitter: @WBDigitalDist

Reinhold Heil talks about co-composing the score for "Cloud Atlas"

Reinhold Heil is one of the three composers behind the stunning score for the film “Cloud Atlas”, along with Tom Tykwer and Johnny Klimek. They have worked together on numerous films including “Perfume”, “The International” and “Run Lola Run”. The trio of composer also got nominated recently for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score for “Cloud Atlas”. Media Mikes had a chance to pick Reinhold’s brain about this wonderful score and also what he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: You co-composed the “Cloud Atlas” score with Tom Tykwer and Johnny Klimek, tell us about that collaboration?
Reinhold Heil: We have been working together now for 16 years on many different films. The only major film that Tom Tykwer directed that we didn’t work on was “Heaven”, which he did in 2001. All the others starting with “Winter Sleepers” in 1996, we have all worked together. Tom isn’t necessarily amazing with the computer programs but he is an excellent musician. Composing is such an integral part of the filmmaking process. He starts thinking about the music in the screenwriting process. He sends the screenplays to us then and we get together and try and conceive what we think the sound would be like. Once the screenplay is done, the music is already starting to emerge and then gets nurtured all the way through post-production. We have this old tradition of setting up two work stations, one for Johnny and one for me and Tom alternates between the two. From conception of an idea it is instantly shared, so all three of us end up working on every aspect of what is being done. I have more of a classical background, so if it falls into that area I would take on more of a role. But what has established over this 16 year relationship is that all three of us have really grown and we developed this overlapping skill set. We each could score our own movies and we have in the past and will again in the future but we enjoy collaborating together.

MG: Some of my favorite tracks are “The Atlas March” and “The Cloud Atlas Sextet for Orchestra”; tell us about where you got the inspiration this score?
RH: With the “Sextet” it has this specific problem that is mentioned and even described in the novel. The way it is described it has this avant-gardist chamber piece from the first half of the 20th century. At the same time it continues, it gets forgotten for decades and then gets slowly unearthed towards the end of the century and then in the future it becomes this ubiquitous piece that everyone knows and has this quasi-religion aspect. There is even a holiday for the piece called “Sextet Week”, so if you read the book it is even crazier than in the film. So being confronted with this task of actually having to write this piece that has all these qualities is very daunting. We wanted to keep it true to the aspect that it is a 20th century chamber piece but it wasn’t as important as to give it this main theme sound that works and has this beauty to it. We just followed our inspiration and wrote this piano piece that could have been done during that period. With the arrangement, we tried all sorts of things. We tried chamber, choir, string orchestra and even full orchestra. That is where our crazy method comes through that we overwork something and only a fraction of it gets seen. The songs theme is really everywhere, almost in every cue somehow. The same goes for “The Atlas March”. The idea for that was that we needed something that was emotional, simple, uplifting and that it can build from almost nothing to this big orchestral piece. We worked all the cues in a way that these two melodies were reprised throughout the whole score. The opening titles, for instance, was a totally different piece originally. It had acoustic guitars and other melodic elements but it ended up just including the “Atlas March” melody and the “Sextet” melody. The same goes for the next track “Travel to Edinburgh”; you have all three main themes combined there. It is based on the “Sextet” but doesn’t have the “Sextet” melody instead it has “The Atlas March” melody. It also has the “Eternal Recurrence” melody built in together. The idea for that piece “Eternal Recurrence” is used to have something that gives the feeling of faith playing itself out and propelling the story forward. These are the main building blocks of the score.

MG: What was the timeline of the score from the moment you came on this project to completion?
RH: We were in Berlin for the first time in late March/early April of 2011. We knew the film was going to – or hoped it was going to happen – as far back as the summer of 2008. Of course we read the book back then and started thinking about what it would sound like in advance. We listened to a lot of John Adams. Though, I do not necessarily think that you will find that much inspiration from John Adams in the score but that was our first idea behind it. The real decision for the music always comes after the rough cut comes and you start slapping much on to see what works and what doesn’t. So during that time we worked for about two and half weeks and had already came up with ideas for “The Atlas March” and “Eternal Recurrence” themes. The “Sextet” was not there yet, but we were charging ahead with that and we still trying to give it a more “arty-fartsy” direction. We went back home to LA and then came back in June/July of 2011 and had a six week explosive creative session. At that time Tom was also struggling with the financing of the film. There was no studio behind it and it was the most expensive independently financed film ever, which made it more complicated. So I think for him personally coming back to the music studio in the late afternoon to spend a few hours with us was a therapeutic thing for him and taking a break. Tom was really explosive with ideas throughout the process though. With the orchestra session it was a challenge since the volume of music we generated was getting out of hand. Luckily one of our assistants, straight from USC, we brought along jumped it and we had two orchestras working their asses off. We did four day orchestra sessions and since the only way we could do that was since it wasn’t an experienced film orchestra otherwise the music budget would have been out of control. The people were though super motivated and tried very hard. We ended up recording unbelievable amounts of music. It was a giant post production since we had to play with various little snippets of music. Then we ended up having to go back and forth from LA to Germany in early 2012 while the film was being cut. I was also working on a TV show at the time and putting in about 14-16 hours at day. It was just an amazing amount of work. When you work with Tom, he doesn’t do anything half-assed. So in all, we are talking about 15-16 months from the first conception to the delivery. Even after delivery though, there is always still little tweaked here and there.

MG: How does that timeline compare to some of your other projects?
RH: The other project that we did together that took a very long time was “Perfume”, which started in 2004. We knew it had to have a full symphonic orchestra score, which we didn’t have a lot of experience with. We had to do a lot of experimenting since it was a new aspect for us. We then recorded choir in 2005 and then wrote a whole bunch more before the film was even shot. Then we pieced it all together and it was crazy work. I believe it also took longer than “Cloud Atlas” but it also included a lot of a learning curve for us. Looking back it was more of a two year process. We also did “The International”, where we did the same thing. It had a six week writing session before the film was shot then three months of developing that material and then five months of post-production. So those are some of our larger scale projects.

MG: You are working again with Johnny Klimek on “I, Frankenstein”; is that your next project?
RH: Yep that is next. It is also pretty much done. We started working on it in July of 2012. We might have some changes in the coming months but as of right now it has been written and recorded already. We recorded in Sydney, since it is an Australian production. It was really a very impressive experience. The scoring sessions were very professional with great staff that has done this before many times. It was quite different than “Cloud Atlas”, where it was all new for them. I hope that with the growing respect that we have received from “Cloud Atlas” – I know it is not a huge blockbuster, but it did just receive a Golden Globe nomination – hopefully we will get new projects were we can record here in Los Angeles. I would love nothing more than to record with Los Angeles musicians.

CD Review “Cloud Atlas: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”

Composer(s): Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Label: Water Tower Music
Tracks: 23
Running Time: 78 minutes

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I have been following this film since day 1 of its production. I had a buddy of mine that worked on the film, so I have been looking forward to this film very much. I am not surprised to say that this score is easily one of my favorite of the year. I am surprised though with the type of music that was used for this film but…wow does it work so well or what?! “Cloud Atlas” is a long film running just shy of three hours and this album is a nice companion, especially running at a nice 78 minutes.  The album starts off strong and ends even stronger, which is very rare.  This is a must listen!

I was a little nervous originally since there are a lot of hands in the pot with this score being composed by not one but three people including, Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil. Tom Tykwer is also one of the directors of this film and has composed most if not all of his films.  He knows music and really puts a unique touch on this score. This isn’t the first go around though for these composers together they have worked together on numerous films including “Run Lola Run”. So you know that they know how to make a killer score.  “Run Lola Run” was one of my favorite scores in the late 90’s. This is completely different score but really delivers a wonderful experience.

This whole album really works as a whole but some of my favorite tracks are the following: 1. Prelude: The Atlas March, 2. Cloud Atlas Opening Title, 21. Cloud Atlas Finale, 23. Cloud Atlas End Title. I can listen to this tracks on loops for hours and hours and never get tired of them.  I can guarantee you that this album will not be leaving my iPhone for a long time, especially those tracks.  I listen to many, many scores each year and this one is definitely such a pleasure and wonderful blend from this trio of composers.  If nothing else, this makes me want to run out and see this film ASAP!

Track Listings:
1. Prelude: The Atlas March
2. Cloud Atlas Opening Title
3. Travel to Edinburgh
4. Luisa’s Birthmark
5. Cavendish In Distres
6. Papa Song
7. Sloosha’s Hollow
8. Sonmi-451 Meets Chang
9. Won’t Let Go
10. Kesselring
11. The Escape
12. Temple Of Sacrifice
13. Catacombs
14. Adieu
15. New Direction
16. All Boundaries Are Conventions
17. The Message
18. Chasing Luisa Rey
19. Sonmi’s Discovery
20. Death Is Only A Door
21. Cloud Atlas Finale
22. The Cloud Atlas Sextet for Orchestra
23. Cloud Atlas End Title