Live Nation Celebrates Beginning of Summer Concert Season with “National Concert Day” and Special Offer for Fans.

LIVE NATION CELEBRATES BEGINNING OF SUMMER CONCERT SEASON WITH ‘NATIONAL CONCERT DAY’ AND SPECIAL OFFER FOR FANS:

1,000,000 TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR ONLY $20
  – $20 Tickets Will Be Available for 1000+ Shows at LiveNation.com/20ticket for One Week Only May 2 – May 9, with Special AT&T Pre-sale Beginning May 1–

– Jason Aldean, Foreigner, The Roots, Daughtry, Prince Royce, Nickelback and More to Celebrate Live Nation’s ‘National Concert Day’ Presented by State Farm on May 1 in New York City –

LOS ANGELES (April 25, 2017) – From experiencing live music under the stars at an outdoor amphitheater, to rocking out at an arena, or taking a road trip to a music festival, there is something special about summer concerts, and Live Nation is celebrating the start of the season with National Concert Day on May 1, as well as the “Kickoff to Summer Ticket Promotion,” which offers over 1,000,000 tickets to some of Live Nation’s summer tours for just $20 (that’s all-in, no additional fees).

Presented by State Farm and produced by Live Nation, National Concert Day is a time for the artists and fan communities to unite around their love of live music. With most tours and festivals already announced, it’s also a great time for fans to plan out their summer concert schedule throughout May, June, July and August.

In celebration of National Concert Day, for one week only, Live Nation is launching their “Kickoff to Summer Ticket Promotion” by making over one million tickets available for just $20. There will be tickets for 50+ tours and 1000+ shows at venues across the nation. The general on-sale for the “Kickoff to Summer Ticket Promotion” begins Tuesday, May 2 at 8am local time, and continues for one week through Tuesday, May 9. See below for a highlight of performers offering $20 tickets, and visit livenation.com/20ticket for more information and to purchase tickets.

AT&T is bringing customers to the front of the line for the “Kickoff to Summer Ticket Promotion” with AT&T priority presale ticket access beginning Monday, May 1 at 10am local time through the AT&T THANKS program**. For complete presale details visit att.com/frontoftheline.

Additionally, on National Concert Day, Live Nation is producing a special concert in New York City at Irving Plaza presented by State Farm. This year’s celebration features performances by Jason Aldean, Foreigner, The Roots, Daughtry, Prince Royce, and Nickelback.

Prior to the performance, several of the artists will stop by to chat with media about their upcoming summer tour including, OneRepublic, Rob Thomas and Paul Doucette (Matchbox Twenty), Joan Jett, Adam Lambert (Queen + Adam Lambert), Phillip Phillips, Stephan Jenkins (Third Eye Blind), John Rzeznik (Goo Goo Dolls), Mike Einziger and Brandon Boyd (Incubus), Straight No Chaser, Scott Bradlee (Postmodern Jukebox), Adam Duritz (Counting Crows), Cheap Trick, Jason Bonham, The KIDZ BOP Kids, and more. The National Concert Day event will be hosted by NBC’s Lilliana Vazquez.

Continuing the celebration of National Concert day, and launching the on-sale for the “Kickoff to Summer Ticket Promotion,” OneRepublic will perform live on NBC’s TODAY Show on May 2.

Nationally Touring Artists Included in Live Nation’s $20 “Kickoff to Summer Ticket Promotion”

For a full list of artists, please visit LiveNation.com/20ticket.

Boston with Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
Brad Paisley with Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryant and Lindsay Ell
Brantley Gilbert with Tyler Farr and Luke Combs
Chicago and The Doobie Brothers
Chris Brown
Dead & Company
Deep Purple and Alice Cooper with special guest The Edgar Winter Band
Def Leppard with Poison and Tesla
Deftones & Rise Against
Depeche Mode
Dierks Bentley with Cole Swindell and Jon Pardi
Earth, Wind & Fire and CHIC ft. Nile Rodgers
Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull
Florida Georgia Line with Nelly and Chris Lane
Foreigner and Cheap Trick with special guest Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience
Future
Goo Goo Dolls with special guest Phillip Phillips
Hank Williams Jr and Lynyrd Skynyrd
Incubus with special guest Jimmy Eat World
Jason Aldean with Chris Young and Kane Brown
Jeff & Larry’s Backyard BBQ featuring Jeff Foxworthy & Larry the Cable Guy
Jermaine Dupri Presents SoSoSUMMER 17 Tour
John Mayer
Kings of Leon
Korn with Stone Sour
Lady Antebellum with Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young
Lifehouse and Switchfoot
Lionel Richie and very special guest Mariah Carey
Luke Bryan with Brett Eldredge
Matchbox Twenty and Counting Crows
Muse with special guest Thirty Seconds to Mars
New Kids on the Block with Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men
Nickelback with special guest Daughtry and Shaman’s Harvest
OneRepublic/The Honda Civic Tour featuring OneRepublic with special guests Fitz & The Tantrums and James Arthur
Prince Royce
Queen + Adam Lambert
Retra Futura
Rod Stewart with very special guest Cyndi Lauper
Sam Hunt with Maren Morris and Chris Janson
Straight No Chaser / Postmodern Jukebox
Styx and REO Speedwagon with special guest star Don Felder
Sublime with Rome and The Offspring
The KIDZ BOP Kids
Third Eye Blind with special guests Silversun Pickups
Train with special guests O.A.R. and Natasha Bedingfield
Young the Giant with special guest Cold War Kids & Joywave
Zac Brown Band

To see a complete list of Live Nation’s summer tours and festivals, please visit livenation.com.

**Priority presale: While supplies last. Eligibility, ticket limits, fees, charges and additional terms & restrictions apply.

Peppy Pup Fever On National Mutt Day – December 2nd

 

Peppy Pup Fever On National Mutt Day – December 2nd

A new puppy may be topping the kids wish list, but is the family not quite ready for the real thing? Young children and parents alike will love the irresistible personality of Peppy Pups from TPF Toys, the official plush dog of National Mutt Day, coming up this Friday, December 2nd.

Peppy Pups™ brings to life the authenticity of puppy friendship, complete with a pup that follows its owner everywhere.    The cuddly plush puppy has a spring in its step and when walked by its owner, can run, jump and wag its tail like a real dog.

Brimming with personality and no batteries needed, Peppy Pups have ultra-soft fur, distinct paw pads and springs in their feet that help these eager Peppy Pups move and prance, just like a real dog.  Peppy Pups bounce, jump and waddle as they go for “walks” with their kid owners, and turn heads as they go. Peppy Pups adore cuddling, snuggles and squeezes, showing characteristics of a real dog that all pet lovers embrace.

Peppy Pups from TPF Toys is available at retailers nationwide.   Ideal for children ages 4+, Peppy Pups are available in available in – soft brown, and black and white – and are available at Toys “R” Us nationwide and Amazon – priced at $19.99.

Socials for TPF Toys

Instagram – @Peppypups_official

https://www.facebook.com/Peppy-Pups-700547173444475/

#peppypups

 

National Mutt Day

National Mutt Day, founded by Pet Lifestyle Expert and Animal Welfare Advocate, Colleen Paige, is observed Dec. 2nd and July 31st to celebrate the many wonderful attributes of Mutts to promote adoption WORLDWIDE.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/NationalMuttDay/about/?ref=page_internal

@National Mutt Day

2016 New York Comic Con Review: Day 2

2016 New York Comic Con

Friday, October 7th 2016
Jacob K. Javits Center, New York, NY

Our Score: 3 out of 5 Stars

The Jacob K. Javits Center in the heart of New York City once again played host to the annual New York Comic Con on October 6th-9th where for four days the sprawling complex became the epicenter for all things comics and pop culture. The event which is now in its 10th year was once again put on by the Connecticut based company Reed Pop a company who puts on some of the largest pop culture events around the country. This year’s Con was no exception boasted appearances by some of the biggest names in comics, film and television.

For our coverage this year we chose to check out the events taking place on day two of the convention. Friday’s schedule included panels with the casts of “Steven Universe”, “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” and “Underworld: Blood Wars”. Autograph signings with “Game of Thrones” star Jack Gleeson, “Stanger Things” Millie Bobby Brown and David Harbour, comic creators Greg Capullo, former My Chemical Romance front man Gerard Way and making his final NY Comic Con appearance Stan Lee. Needless to say we were quite excited for the day’s events. Right off the bat the event seemed a bit different this year. Despite the entrances still being overly crowded causing extended wait times once you were inside the venue however, the normal wall to wall congestion seemed much lighter than in previous years. This could be related to the addition of several off site venues which were now hosting panels and screenings throughout the day and/or the newly introduced digitally monitored cue lines which were now required to attend a panel in hopes of alleviating chaotic line ups right before the start of an event. Though this alleviated some congestion it still created a number of new problems and a fair amount of confusion amongst attendees. The new offsite venues which included the Theater at Madison Square Garden and the Hammerstein Ballroom were welcome additions however they two weren’t without issue as once attendees left the main convention hall upon returning he or she would again need to wait in the entrance lines.

Despite the new changes and the fact that we probably weren’t going to be able to see as much as we had in years past we made our way to the main convention floor. As always it was like a bustling mini city packed to the rafters with everything from limited edition figures and books to unique clothing and tchachke’s. It also was the home to some of the pop industries biggest names including everyone from Marvel and DC to Funko and Lego. Displays ranged in sizes from the minute to the immense as each vendor uniquely showcased their latest and greatest products. The main floor is also a lot of fun because you never know who or what you are going to bump in to. This year we ran smack dab into WWE Hall of Famer Sting as he was shooting some segments for the WWE Network while showcasing some of the new WWE themed “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. An area garnering a good share of attention but tucked back along the wall in an area known as “The Block” was promotion for the recently released “Shin Godzilla” film. The display which featured several posters for the film and lush red carpeting also included a chance to get your picture with the real life Godzilla! Ok maybe it was just a guy in a Godzilla suit standing in front of a backdrop but, it was still cool!

As we continued walking the endless isles and floors of the center we quickly realized that the day was quickly coming to an end and that our comic con adventure for 2016 was about over. Though we weren’t able to take in nearly as many panels as we had in previous years the added space to move around in between events was a welcome addition. The new digital cue system still could use some work however over time I think it will help make for a much more enjoyable con experience and one we will definitely being looking forward to for 2017.

Film Review “Mother’s Day”

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Julia Roberts
Directed By: Garry Marshall
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 118 minutes
Open Road Films

Our Score: 1.5 out of 5 Stars

I typed out, “Are ensemble holiday-related movies doomed to be forever bad?” and realized that I answered my own question with the phrasing, ensemble holiday-related movies. Every time I watch them, I feel like I’m watching sitcom leftovers. So it only makes sense that Garry Marshall, who’s worked on dozens of sitcoms, would make “Mother’s Day”, a sappy, cornball movie. Of course this isn’t Marshall’s first rodeo, but I certainly hope it’s his last.

Like most of these movies, there are too many characters to go over, but they all have one thing in common, they’re dealing with some matriarchal problem. Sandy (Aniston) has to cope with her boys becoming attached to her ex-husband’s new squeeze. Jesse (Hudson) is dealing with avoiding telling her mom that she married an Indian man. Jesse’s sister, Gabi (Sarah Chalke) has the same problem, but instead it’s her inability to show off her life partner. The 81-year-old director surely must have thought a lesbian couple and a white woman marrying someone of a different race was groundbreaking material.

Then there’s Bradley (Jason Sudeikis), who’s dealing with the year anniversary of the loss of his wife. There’s also Kristin (Britt Robertson) who can’t handle that her boyfriend, and the father to her child, is proposing to her. Then Julia Roberts is kind of just floating around in the background as the “popular” HSN host. There are a lot more characters and a lot more actors looking for a paycheck that I’m sure I’m neglecting. Some of them connect and some of them don’t and live in their own personal bubble hell without having to bring anyone else into it.

The only thing this movie is missing is canned laughter or the gratuitous audience applause after someone stands up for themselves. The conflicts are forced, outdated, and their resolutions are equally as audacious to reality. I’ll go ahead and gloss over the fact that there’s obnoxious product placement. I mean, how many eight and 10-year-old siblings are going to get excited about going to IHOP? And don’t forget that any beverage must be drunk, has the label on the outside so that the camera can read it.

At times I did find it sentimental, oddly enough. Maybe it’s because I set my brain to cruise control or because there is a universal feeling that moms do go underappreciated. “Mother’s Day” does kind of touch on that, but it could be by accident. As for all you hard working moms in the world out there, you do deserve a movie that loves and supports you, but “Mother’s Day” is not that movie. Let’s spend Mother’s Day with our mom and stop attending these recycled holiday movies.

Celebrate National Cat Day on October 29th with Cat Paw – The Friendly Yet Feisty Toy

Cat Paws (#CatPaw) from Wicked Cool Toys are wildly fun and purrrfect for everyone! Creep out co-workers, amuse cat lovers and STUPEFY cats themselves with the amazing, bizarre, wonderful and super fun CAT PAW! Cat Paw features four different cat styles to choose from which includes a Orange Shorthair Cat Paw, a White Persian Cat Paw, a Maine Coon Cat Paw and a Black Cat Paw. Each Cat Paw includes two realistic sounds (friendly and feisty) and an awesome clawing action! Simply pull on the trigger to activate sound and movement – a light pull for the friendly sound and a firm grip and hold for the feisty sound!
Once you see one, you have to have them all!

Cat Paws are fur sure to be the life of any party, fill an ordinary with extraordinary moments, strike up conversations with just about anyone, and bring endless joy to everyone, even your beloved four-legged family members! Cat Paws are available at Kmart, Toys “R” Us and toysrus.com. Ages 2-100 Price: $9.99

Check out the Catchy Cat Paw Jingle – It’s Pawesome –

Last Day to Get 1 Week Free of Full Moon Streaming!

This week is the premiere of Episode 4 of Trophy Heads exclusively on FullMoonStreaming, which means anyone can watch episode 1, 2, 3, 4 with our limited free trial. And this episode is one of the best! With cameos by classic alumni Stuart Gordon, Robin Sydney, Jessica Morris, Amy Paffrath, Jean Louise O’Sullivan, and starring Denice Duff and Jacqueline Lovell playing themselves!

Film Review “Draft Day”

Starring: Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner and Chadwick Boseman
Directed by: Ivan Reitman
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1 hour 49 mins
Summit Entertainment

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

In 1994 the film “Major League II” had the hapless Cleveland Indians heading to the World Series. Sadly, because of a labor dispute the real World Series was cancelled that season. However, in 1995 the real Indians did, in fact play in the World Series.

It’s 2014, and the NFL player draft is about to begin. Holding the seventh pick in the draft is Cleveland Brown general manager Sonny Weaver, Jr. (Costner) Sonny’s first two years at the helm have not been the best, both for the Browns and him personally. Injuries hurt the club, causing losses to pile up. It got so bad that Sonny made a tough decision and fired the team’s beloved coach, who also happened to be Sonny’s father. Coach Weaver passed away during the off season and now Sonny must not only grieve for the man who taught him everything he knows about football but he must keep the Cleveland faithful happy

An incredible inside look into how NFL teams wheel and deal, “Draft Day” is an excellent film for anyone that ever rooted for the home team. It is a little “football nerd” centric so if you’re not a draft junkie or only have a passing interest in your team you may find it a little boring.

With the draft 12 hours away we find Sonny making phone calls. Should he take the defensive player he’s been scouting for years? The running back that’s the son of a former Brown. Or should he trade away the future by grabbing the number one pick from the Seahawks by offering future first round picks? It’s not an easy decision to make. Especially when the local fans are already calling for your head on the call in radio shows. Left with nothing to lose, by the end of the day Sonny will have considered all of the above.

Told with humor, and with the obvious support of the NFL, “Draft Day” is just the film to see before the real draft starts on May 8. Costner leads a great cast of characters, all with their own personalities. Denis Leary is the newly hired coach, intent on keeping the team’s quarterback. Garner is the team’s number cruncher, as well as Costner’s behind the scenes girlfriend. She started the day with an announcement of her own so to say Sonny is stressed out is an understatement. As the countdown to pick number one comes to a head the wheeling and dealing go into overdrive!

What’s funny about the film is that they present it as right before this year’s draft, with the Seahawks picking first. Ironically, the Seahawks won the Super Bowl last year so they’ll actually pick last! Which is why I mentioned “Major League II.” Who knows, maybe movie magic will return to the Forest City and we’ll see the Browns next February in Arizona. But I wouldn’t bet on it!

Brighid Fleming talks about role in “Labor Day”

Brighid Fleming is an up and coming teen actress who has appeared in television series and films ranging from “Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia” to “Gamer” with Gerard Butler. Brighid’s most recent film “Labor Day” stars Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet and was released to rave reviews. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Brighid recently about her work on the film as well as her work on the upcoming horror film “The Road Killer”.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us what first got you interested in acting?
Brighid Fleming: When I was younger we used to go to New York a lot to watch plays. Seeing all these made me fall in love with the idea of performing. My mom asked me after one time if I wanted to meet the characters after a performance and I told her no. I wanted to be the characters. She got me involved in Stage Theater and from there I just couldn’t stop.

AL: Can you tell us about your new film “Labor Day” and your character Eleanor?
BH: The film is about a convict that gets picked up by a mom and her son. The man ends up hiding out with a family and sort of takes care of them. It’s a love story that stars Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet. I play the role of Eleanor who is a very edgy and independent girl. She is very smart and knows what she wants. Things were pretty free with the character and I think I was able to add quite a bit to her. Eleanor is a pretty interesting character.

AL: What was it that interested you in the role?
BH: I was really drawn to how strong the character of Eleanor was. Finding a role this strong for someone my age is sort of rare. A friend suggested that I submit an audition tape so I did even though I thought no one would ever see it. A couple weeks later I got a call telling me about the call back. It was very surprising.

AL: What was it like working with such a diverse cast and what was your best memory from the shoot?
BH: All of my scenes were with Gattlin Griffith who plays Henry however; I was able to me Kate Winslet. She was so great. Kate was very nice and level headed. It was great experience. Probably my favorite memory from the shoot was the day we were filming out on these big white rocks. Our scene was shot as we were walking across them. This was also the same day I had my first on screen kiss. That day was a lot of fun.

AL: Can you tell us about some of your other upcoming projects?
BH: I have a role in Shakespeare’s “A Mid-Summers Night Dream” which is being put on by the Inter-City Shakespeare Company. This program is really great as you get attend workshops put on by the professional artists from the company. This is a great opportunity for young actors and actresses and you can find more out about the
program at www.innercityshakespearecompany.org. I also am working on a play written by Eric Ludnik titled “Day Trader” which runs through mid February. Besides those performances I am an associate producer on a horror film titled “The Road Killer” which stars Maria Olsen. I am a big horror film fan and while working with Maria on another project we became friends and are now working on this project together.

AL: Is producing something you see yourself doing more of as you get older?
BH: I have always been very interested in the production side of things. I have always been writing and actually wrote my first novel when I was 7 though, it may have not been very good. (Laughs) I like the idea of being behind the camera. I think there are a lot of interesting aspects to both being behind and in front of the camera. Producing and acting are things that I hope to be able to keep doing for a long time to come.

Film Review “Labor Day”

Starring: Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin
Directed by: Jason Reitman
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1 hour 51 mins
Paramount

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Thirteen year old Henry (Gattlin Griffith) is heading back to school. Summer is over and it’s time to do some shopping. Henry lives with his mother, Adele (Winslet) in a small New England town. Actually it’s the other way around. Since her husband divorced her and remarried Adele has withdrawn from the world. So much so that she only leaves the house once a month, when she drives Henry to the bank to cash a check then takes him around on a shopping run. Today she managed to actually get out of the car and join Henry as he shops for clothes. A pretty uneventful start for a holiday weekend.

Well intentioned but lacking in credibility, “Labor Day” is a bump in the so-far smooth cinematic road of director Jason Reitman. The director of such Oscar-nominated films as “Juno” and “Up in the Air,” Reitman has adapted Joyce Maynard’s novel into what can best be described as “Nicholas Sparks lite.” The story takes off when Henry is approached in the store by Frank (a never better Brolin), who has just escaped from the nearby prison. Injured, Frank strikes up a conversation with Henry and then “insists” that he and Adele give him a ride. Hoping to hide out until dark, Frank forces Adele to drive to her home, where he will be safe. He ties Adele up and warns Henry of the consequences of telling anyone what’s up. Then he makes dinner. Seriously. Digging through cupboards and the fridge he concocts what can only be described as the world’s best bowl of chilli. As Adele is still bound, he feeds it to her. Somewhere between “open up” and “thank you,” a connection is made. We know that because of the way Adele seductively blows on each spoonful to cool it off. When a neighbor comes by with a bucket of peaches Frank teaches the other two how to make a pie. I’ll assume the sight of all three of them putting their hands in the mixing bowl to squeeze the ripe peaches was supposed to evoke the pottery table scene in “Ghost,” but all I could think of was “is that really sanitary?” Of course, Frank doesn’t leave that night. He must really like pie!

If you can get past the plot (what there is of one) you’ll discover Winslet and Brolin at the top of their game. In scenes with Henry it is obvious that Adele has been hurt terribly by her divorce. She is a romantic and that romance has been taken from her. Which makes her take notice when Frank enters the picture. We’re told that Frank is a murderer but as the film progresses we learn things that go beyond black and white. Both actors give their all here and deserved a much better script. Young Griffith is equally good, giving a performance that belies his youth. Supporting turns by James Van der Beek as a local patrolman and Clark Gregg as Henry’s father keep the film interesting. But time and again, the story takes a weird turn that makes you say “huh?” I’m not an expert, but if I’d just escaped from prison and was hiding out in a small town with the law looking for me I wouldn’t be out in the driveway, fixing Adele’s car. Or fixing the porch. Or out in the yard having a catch with Henry. Of course, maybe that’s just me.

Author of “Labor Day”, Joyce Maynard talks about the new film

If you recognize the name Joyce Maynard then you obviously have a knowledge of literature. Casual readers may know her as the young impressionable writer who, at age 18, began a 10 month relationship with the reclusive author J.D. Salinger, 35 years her senior. More learned readers know her as the author of such diverse books as “To Die For,” “At Home in the World” and “Labor Day.” “To Die For,” adapted by Buck Henry, was made into a film by Gus Van Sant.

This week, the film version of “Labor Day,” adapted and directed by Jason Reitman and starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet, hits theatres. After a recent screening, Ms. Maynard sat down with me to talk about the film, teenage boys and the great state of New Hampshire.

Mike Smith: One thing that stood out to me was, even though there are very adult themes in the film, there was really no crude language. Was this deliberate on your part?
Joyce Maynard: I didn’t see the need. I’m not saying that I would never put “adult” language in a book…some people talk like that. And I’m certainly not an advocate of censorship. Some people don’t talk the way we’d like our children to talk. These are adults but nobody takes off their apron (laughs)…no one takes off their dress. I wanted the reader to “feel” the chemistry and the passion. I was raised by two people who loved language. And it’s way too easy to just have a character say “oh, shit!” It’s like pushing a button. I’d rather have the audience rediscover language.

MS: There were some things in the book, mostly dealing with Henry’s coming of age, that were left out of the film.
JM: (laughs) Well, there are some things that we can read in a book that maybe wouldn’t be good to see on a movie screen. Because the film is shot through his eyes we do see him gazing at a girls’ bra strap…see him at the store looking at magazines. You can feel what it’s like to be a thirteen year old boy. I’m the mother of sons. I grew up in a house where a lot was never discussed. I would never be on the side of silence or denial of the issues of a thirteen year old boy but that being said, it doesn’t really need to be spelled out. It’s not just about body parts and physical stuff…it’s about feelings. There’s a scene where Henry and his mother are laying in a hammock and she wants to have a talk about sex. But she’s not interested in talking about the physical activity…the secretions and what have you…she wants to talk about the feelings, which is what nobody ever talks about. I think we do a great disservice to young people when we assume that all they care about is physical acts. They’re also very concerned with feelings.

MS: What did telling the story through the eyes of the son, rather than the mother, allow you to explore in your storytelling?
JM: Well, it obviously would have been a lot more explicit . We would have been IN the bedroom instead of on the other side of the wall, imagining. I’ve been a single mother. I’ve been a person who has had to figure out what to do with her romantic yearnings and dreams at a moment when a lot of losses have been incurred. But I’ll tell you, with a former teenage boy sitting here, I think teenage boys are hugely romantic. In the book the girl he meets (Mandy) offers to have sex with him and he says “no.” Because he’s not in love.

MS: As someone whose job is to write, when you option a property for another medium do you inquire as to who is going to adapt your work?
JM: Totally! There have been people that have wanted to make films of books of mine that I’ve had to say “no” to. On “Labor Day,” Jason Reitman called me up very soon after the book was published and said he loved it and wanted to make this movie. I was a fan of his films so I said “yes.” Now, once you’ve entrusted it to the writer and director your control is over…you’ve let it go hopefully into good hands. Jason showed me his adaptation and told me why he may have changed some things from the book. I made a few suggestions. Not a lot (laughs). But I understand…I wouldn’t want someone looking over my shoulder…giving me suggestions. I wasn’t on the set a lot. I was actually there the first day and the last day. But I knew I had to let the book go.

MS: Was there one thing in the book you regretted losing. Like, if you had an “if only “ wish, Is there anything you wish had made it in the translation?
JM: The state. “If Only” they could have filmed In the state. I’m from New Hampshire. And I have a feeling that a few people here have a loyalty to Kansas City the way I do about New Hampshire. I love my state. My state is very beautiful and I really wanted to let the viewer know the film takes place in New Hampshire. To you, maybe if you see it you think, “ok…that’s Massachusetts or New Hampshire or Vermont.” Only people from New Hampshire can tell you when you’re looking at New Hampshire. To be fair, it wasn’t Jason’s fault. New Hampshire doesn’t give tax incentives to film there. So they spent all of this money making Massachusetts look like New Hampshire!

Michael Rosenbaum talks about his directorial debut “Back in the Day”

For nearly a decade, Superman fans came to love Michael Rosenbaum for his portrayal of Lex Luthor on “Smallville”. During that time Michael also found time to act in other TV shows and movies as well as voicing the Flash for DC’s animated universe. For the past two years though, Michael has been working on something near and dear to his heart. His first movie, “Back in the Day”, details a lot of his experiences growing up in a small town in Indiana. Some of those experiences are hilarious as well as very touching. Media Mikes was able to talk with Michael about his labor of love as well as the trials and tribulations with working on his first film.

Jeremy Werner: When watching “Back in the Day”, you really get this vibe that this is a love letter to the people and town that you spent your best years in.
Michael Rosenbaum: Oh yeah…I go back twice a year for whiffle ball. I really embrace the city. I really love where I grew up…cutting backyards, drinking out of firehoses, catching fireflies and playing baseball as a kid…It was a little bit of a love letter. I wanted it to be authentic and I wanted people to see how beautiful it can be instead of a stereotypical, ‘Oh I hate the small town and these people are rednecks’. It’s just the opposite of that. I’m very proud of where I grew up.

JW: I assume that every character in this movie is based off someone that you knew growing up.
MR: (laughs) Oh yeah, it is. Skunk is a real character played by Harland Williams…A lot of these things happened. I’ve known these guys for a long time, so it’s an exaggeration and loosely based on a lot of these guys, but definitely. There’s kind of a lot of characters all rolled up in one…I was kind of a nerd in high school and couldn’t get laid. So the girl in the movie is the one I had my first time with mixed in with the most beautiful girl in the world I could never get. They’re all based on the idea or of people that I knew.

JW: I’m almost afraid to ask, (laughs) but there’s a mom who drinks and smokes in the movie…did you know someone like that?
MR: (laughs)…You see some of those things every once and a while and you’ve seen it. That girl was a little bit of an exaggeration, but I hope that people find that funny…that was an exaggeration of someone I sort of knew, who when I go back home, I kind of still see every once and a while and it’s a big exaggeration…I thought she was just a larger than life character and people do that. They actually smoke light cigarettes and they’re smoking occasionally. They think it’s OK. They occasionally drink…an occasional shot of whiskey. So I think there are people out there.

JW: So have your friends watched this movie yet?
MR: They love it…they thought they were gonna see something shot on an iPhone and we had the budget to about do that (laughs). The laughs were loud, it’s great to see it with an audience…so far everyone has really enjoyed it. Obviously there’s some offensive moments and I’m sure somebody will say this isn’t for me, but it’s not for everybody. There is heart…so there’s a little bit of something for everybody. It’s what I wanted to make. I’m happy with that.

JW: How much of yourself did you put into the movie’s main character, Jim Owens?
MR: I obviously have a lot to be thankful for and I’ve done it all for myself and God bless, but there’s always a part of me that longs to be back home. I miss that side, that part of my life. Jim left someone behind, a girl he was in love with. I think that we all wanna find that, that love and he remembers that she was probably the best thing to ever happen to him and even though it happened years ago, he’s seeing what happens. I think there’s a big part of Jim in me or me in Jim because I think a lot of people long to go home and they miss home. Sometimes when they’re home, they realize: I do love home. But maybe I was destined to be an actor. I was destined to be a doctor somewhere or was destined to be…whatever it was. To each his own. I miss my friends back home. I miss the simplicity of being in a small town and living in a neighborhood and having seasons. I’m in Los Angeles and as beautiful as it is and you go to the beach and you have all these great things in life…everybody will sit there and go, “Oh my God. I’d love to have your life”. It’s funny because I’d like to have their life in a lot of ways too…It’s kind of mixing it. I think you can have the best of both worlds.

JW: So with so many memories, when did you start work on this script?
MR: Well, it’s one of those things where it was one of the first scripts I’d written and then I kind of let it go because it’s too small for a studio to buy and go, “Yes! It’s gonna be a big blockbuster comedy.” They consider it not high concept enough, I would say. I was trying to say, “I know these characters, wait until you see them.” It’s funny, I wrote it so long ago that I started working on all these other projects and then when another movie that I was suppose to make fell through…I was asked, “Do you have anything you wrote on growing up in Indiana?” I said, “Holy shit, I do.” I kind of switched gears and within three months I was prepping this movie and I pulled it out of the woodwork. I updated it a bit and I asked my friends to be in it. It’s a passion project. I can’t believe this movie is my first. Honestly, it was my first step in directing and it was the best first step. I hope people look at it and go, “Wow! For a million bucks, this is friggin’ funny. It looks great.”…You hope that people appreciate it and you hope you can get your second shot and that’s what I’m aiming towards.

JW: Was there a lot of pressure going into this?
MR: Yeah, I didn’t know how much work it was until I started doing it and then I realized…how am I gonna do this scene in one day? I don’t have enough money for this stunt, how am I gonna do that? How am I gonna get these actors from LA…and why would they do some independent movie in the middle of Indiana for no money in the dead of winter? So there’s a lot of obstacles. Then you finally make it happen and then you’re shooting and you start to have more problems. It’s raining…a snowstorm is coming in…whatever’s happening. Oh my God, it can’t be a Christmas movie anymore, it’s getting warm now. And then how do we finish the movie…and then post-production. How can we afford sound design? How can we afford a composer? How can we afford getting the songs that I really wanted to be in this movie? And then all of sudden we’re trying to screen the movie and we only have ‘x’ amount of weeks to edit it and now we’re trying to sell it. On a studio movie, once you’re done directing and cut, you’re done. Studio takes over and they have an infrastructure. With an independent movie there’s multitasking and I’ve been doing a ton of jobs with my amazing producer, Kim Waltrip and my post supervisor Aaron Peak, for no money. I haven’t taken a job for a year and a half because I’ve become so invested in this.

JW: Is there another script you have in mind after this?
MR: Yeah, I can’t really name it. There’s a camp movie that I’m considering directing that I wrote. I also wrote a TV show that we’re probably gonna shoot digitally for a studio. So that’s in negotiations…a lot of good stuff on the horizon.

JW: Now finally…as a nerd, I gotta ask…
MR: Do it!

JW: (laughs)…have you gotten any calls to be Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie?
MR: The fans have been unbelievable. They’ve tweeted me, I’ve tweeted back…I’ve been to conventions and they always ask me, “Would you do it?” And I’m not an idiot, of course I’d do it. I’d love to do it. But I think Joaquin Phoenix is probably gonna do it or somebody. I’m a big Zack Snyder fan. Obviously, I think I could play the role. I would do it in a heartbeat, but I don’t hold my breath because I know there’s the stigma, “He was the TV Smallville Lex Luthor.” I say that sarcastically, but I think it’s a shame. If people like the role and what I did with it, then they should consider it. But I’m not the director. I’m not the producer. Long story short, I’d do it in a fucking heartbeat.

Nick Swardson talks about film “Back in the Day” and FX new series “Chozen”

Nick Swardson is probably best known for his role in “Grandma’s Boy” and cameo appearances in numerous Happy Madison films, but a quick look at his career shows that he’s an incredibly busy guy. For people who aren’t familiar with Swardson’s work, he started doing stand-up at age 18 and since then has gone on to produce, write and act. Die hard fans have known this for years that he’s constantly writing, acting and working on fresh material for his stand-up. Media Mikes had the chance to catch up with Nick and ask him about the numerous TV and movie projects he’s been working on for 2014, as well as a new comedy special.

Jeremy Werner: It looks like you got a busy year ahead of you…especially this month. Let’s start off with “Back in the Day” which comes out on January 17th. How did you land the role of Ron?
Nick Swardson: Michael Rosenbaum, the director/writer, is a buddy of mine and he just called me up and he’s like, “Man I got this passion project I’m doing. It’s low budget. We have no money.” He goes, “It’s a great character. You’ll kill it. We’ll shoot in Indiana. It’d be fucking great to have you.” So he sent me the script and I thought it was a really funny character and it was something different than what I’ve done in the past. Ya know, it wasn’t a crazy character. It was a grounded, real dude. So I was pretty stoked. So as a favor to Michael too, I wanted to help him out. So I did it.

JW: Was there anything you had to differently than in past roles?
NS: It was just a lot more understated. I didn’t have to come in to the scene and be insane. This role is also based on a real guy so I was kind of interested to play a real dude…and I talked to Michael a lot about what this guy was like. So it was fun to play a real person.

JW: Was it a role that he had you in mind for the entire time he was writing it?
NS: He had the script for like 10 years. He had it for a long time. So I don’t know who he had initially envisioned, but he called me first.

JW: Now also this month, you have a big release on TV. “Chozen” premieres January 13th on FX and you play Troy. What can you tell us about that character?
NS: Troy plays Chozen’s nerdy, minion friend. He kind of saves him from bullies and so they become pals. Chozen shows him this whole world of sex and drugs. It’s pretty funny. The show’s pretty crazy..it’s one of the craziest things I’ve done and I’ve done a lot of crazy shit. Working with Danny McBride is awesome. His company is amazing. I love all the “Eastbound and Down” guys…it’s FX, so they really push the envelope.

JW: As a comedian, does voice acting provide you a lot of opportunities to improvise or are you restricted?
NS: No. I’m never restricted in anything I do. I only do projects where I can bring a lot to the table. I use to get fired just because I improvised a lot. It’s the main thing I do, I love improvising.

JW: I’ve read that usually in voice acting, you’re just kind of in a booth on your own. Who were you able to bounce jokes and ideas off of with your character?
NS: Usually you’re all alone…you’re just sitting in a booth and the producers are in the other room, so you just kind of run with it. They’ll give you a thumbs up if it’s good or they’ll do the heads up and tell you if it works. They’ll just feed you ideas…but it’s a great gig.

JW: Later this year you’ll also be voicing a character in the animated movie, “Hell & Back”. You actually voiced a character in the kid’s movie “Bolt”, but based on the premise I was reading…this is not a kid’s movie.
NS: (Laughs) Yeah, that’s pretty insane. It’s stop motion, so it looks like a kid’s movie. So if a kid saw it on TV he’d be like, “Oh! I wanna see this!” But it’s a hard, hard ‘R’. That’s another project that me and Danny McBride are both in with TJ Miller and Mila Kunis. It’s a great cast and that one’s gonna be really awesome. We’re finishing that up this week. I’ve got like one more record session…we’re really excited about that.

JW: Now with all these projects, are you working on any comedy specials this year?
NS: Yeah, I’ve been developing for the last two years, a new hour special and a new tour. So we’re looking to tour in the Spring…early Summer. Shoot the special maybe sometime in the Summer. It’s definitely in the works. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m really excited..it’s coming together really well.

JW: Anything you can tell us about it?
NS: It’s just more stories, drinking jokes and it’s nothing too out of the box. I’m not all of a sudden really political. If you’re a fan of mine, you’ll be happy with it. The new hour’s going really well. I think the title of it is gonna be, ‘Taste It’.

JW: I know last year you were talking about a show you were working on called “Bro-Sassin”. How is that coming along?
NS: Bro-Sassin’s done. It didn’t fly. The network just didn’t get it. They thought it was gonna be too expensive…so they kind of backed off it, which bums me out, man. I wrote the pilot and it was really funny. People loved it, I’m gonna save the idea for a movie. I sold a new show to FX. My own show with the director of “Grandma’s Boy” and Danny McBride’s producing it. It’s called “Game On”. It’s like the office of a video game company…so we’re developing the pilot right now.

JW: Does that have any connections to “Grandma’s Boy”?
NS: Not really.

JW: Looks like you got a lot of stuff going on, is there anything else you’re working on for later this year?
NS: A lot of it depends on the pilot with FX and shooting that, seeing if we get picked up. That’s the primary focus right now. I’m developing two other feature scripts. So if this FX pilot grows, I’m gonna jump into an idea I sold to Sandler and Happy Madison and I’ll hopefully write that next Fall and start developing that.

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “Labor Day” [ENDED]

Media Mikes has teamed up with Paramount Pictures to offer our Kansas City area readers a chance to attend the advance screening of the new film, “Labor Day,” starring Academy Award winner Kate Winslet and Academy Award nominee Josh Brolin.

The screening will be held on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Screenland Armour Theatre in North Kansas City. All you have to do is go to http://l.gofobo.us/CVgFSDpE and register for your chance to win two passes to the screening. Winners will be notified by GOFOBO on Sunday, January 26th.

Official Website: LaborDayMovie.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LaborDayMovie

Opening Date: Friday, January 31, 2014

Rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic material, brief violence and sexuality

Synopsis:
“Labor Day” centers on 13-year-old Henry Wheeler, who struggles to be the man of his house and care for his reclusive mother Adele while confronting all the pangs of adolescence. On a back-to-school shopping trip, Henry and his mother encounter Frank Chambers, a man both intimidating and clearly in need of help, who convinces them to take him into their home and later is revealed to be an escaped convict. The events of this long Labor Day weekend will shape them for the rest of their lives.

3D Blu-ray Review “Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (50th Anniversary Special)”

Starring: Matt Smith, David Tennant, Jenna-Louise Colemanm, Billie Piper, John Hurt
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: December 10, 2013
Run Time: 75 minutes

Special: 5 out of 5 stars
3D: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Just when you think that BBC’s “Doctor Who” cannot simple get any better, we get “The Day of the Doctor”, which is series’ 50th Anniversary special. The 75-minute 3D special stars Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt as various regenerations of the Doctor. It also brings back Billie Piper and another surprise guest from the “Doctor Who” history. This special is honestly not just a special it is a feature film. It is so well done and epic that it deserves to be treated like a theatrical feature, it fact it was actually in theaters, in 3D, broadcasted live at the same time the show aired on TV worldwide. Matt Smith has been such an amazing Doctor with his last episode around the corner this month with “The Time of the Doctor”. Tennant came back for the first time since season 4 and it felt like honestly he never left, so amazing. John Hurt was also such a blast playing the Doctor as well. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I literally cheered and also laughed out loud nervous time throughout.

Official Premise: Written by lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, Doctor Who: The Day of The Doctor sees the Doctors (Matt Smith and David Tennant) embark on their greatest adventure across space and time. In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion. All of reality is at stake as the Doctor’s own dangerous past comes back to haunt him. The special also stars Jenna Coleman (as Clara, the Doctor’s current Companion), Billie Piper (in a surprise role) and Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart, daughter of legendary Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.

This 50th Anniversary Special was given the real treatment from BBC with this release. It comes in a solid combo pack with Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD, that’s right the Doctor is in 3D for the first time. I have to admit, this was a really strong fit for the show. The first time we zoomed in the painting and it went 3D, I literally said “Wow” out loud.  I thought it was very well done and added a lot of character to this special. The 1080p transfer overall was very impressive and like I said the show feel like a movie, so everything is amped up. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track also works very well with the action and scale of the film.

In terms of special features, there is some decent content here. But to me the real draw of this Blu-ray has to be the 3D Blu-ray, no question.  There is a “Behind-the-Scenes Featurette”, which takes us on set and on location with interviews with Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman, David Tennant, Billie Piper, John Hurt and of course Steven Moffat. In “Doctor Who Explained”, we get the entire 50-year history in one 50-minute special. There are two mini-episodes including “The Night of The Doctor” and “The Last Day”. Lastly there are a trailer for San Diego Comic-Con and the tribute teaser for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary. I am curious if this special is going to be intergrated into future season releases and if so if they are planning to keep the 3D aspect, either way this would make a great holiday gift and a must watch and own for any Doctor Who fan!

CD Review: A Day To Remember “Common Courtesy”

A Day To Remember
“Common Courtesy”
Producer: Jeremy McKinnon, Andrew Wade, Chad Gilbert
Tracks: 16

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Ocala, FL natives A Day To Remember are back with their 5th studio album titled “Common Courtesy”. The album which is being self-released consists of 13 all new tracks which run the gambit of sounds and styles which have made the band popular across multiple genres. Produced by vocalist Jeremy McKinnon, Andrew Wade (Close To Home) and New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert “Common Courtesy” could be the bands strongest effort yet.

Though the album was initially slated for release back in October it has basically been in somewhat of a holding pattern due to the logistics of a messy split from the bands previous label Victory records. Well it is finally available and I am pretty confident in saying that it was well worth the wait. Not only does the album include some really great songs such as the explosive opening track “City of Ocala” and the emotional rollercoaster titled “End of Me” but it also include some great artwork created by Mike Cortada along with a bonus DVD containing the bands recent webisodes. Even though I could have done without some of the albums dialogue and the questionable cohesiveness of the albums tracks I found the music contained on “Common Courtesy” to be spot on and I think each piece is more than capable of standing on its own as prospective singles.

The latest from A Day To Remember is more than just another album. “Common Courtesy” is a testament to the DIY attitude which has been present since the early days of Rock and Roll and only further proves that you don’t need a big label to make a great sounding record. Whether you are a hardcore fan, a punk fan or just a music fan in general do yourself and your ears a favor by picking up a copy of this album.

Track Listing:
1.) City of Ocala
2.) Right Back at it Again
3.) Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail
4.) Dead and Buried
5.) Best of Me
6.) I’m Already Gone
7.) Violence
8.) Life @ 11
9.) I Surrender
10.) Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way
11.) End of Me
12.) The Document Speaks for Itself
13.) I Remember
Bonus Tracks:
14.) Leave All the Lights On
15.) Good Things
16.) Same Book But Never the Same Page