Blu-ray Review “A Dog’s Purpose”

Actors: Britt Robertson, KJ Apa, John Ortiz, Dennis Quaid, Josh Gad
Directors: Lasse Hallstrom
Rated: PG
Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Run Time: 100 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love animals?! This movie looked really cute film about a dog through many lives to help its original owner. I enjoyed it overall. I don’t see myself raving about it though to anyone else, especially after the controversy came out about the production. But I do like the message over and how it was setup. Dennis Quaid pops in for a few minutes and does his confused look thing. Dog lover will probably love it if they if they don’t know about what happened during the production. Otherwise, this is a one-timer.

Official Premise: Based on the beloved bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose, from director Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules, Dear John, The Hundred-Foot Journey), shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog (voiced by Josh Gad) who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love.

Like all Universal releases, this one is no different impressive audio and video included, though nothing spectacular worth mentioned for this film. It comes as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital copy included. The special features are very light the are two production featurettes including “Lights, Camera, Woof!” and “A Writer’s Purpose”. There are also Deleted Scenes and Outtakes included.

Blu-ray Review “War Dogs”

Actors: Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, Ana de Armas
Directors: Todd Phillips
Studio: Warner Brothers
DVD Release Date: November 22, 2016
Run Time: 120 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

This film had such potential going in. The director of “The Hangover” mixed with great talent of Jonah Hill and Miles Teller, but it didn’t really all come together well. I enjoyed it but I don’t see myself remembering this film after a few months. I do love Jonah Hill and Miles Teller together though, they seem to work very well. Worth a rent if your bored and can’t find anything else to watch just for the cast.

Official Premise: With the war in Iraq raging on, Efraim Diveroli offers childhood friend David Packouz a chance to make big bucks by becoming an international arms dealer. Together, they exploit a government initiative that allows businesses to bid on U.S. military contracts. Starting small allows the duo to rake in money and live the high life. They soon find themselves in over their heads after landing a $300 million deal to supply Afghan forces, a deal that puts them in business with some very shady people.

The Blu-ray also includes a digital HD copy of the film. The special features are much more of a disappointment than the film. There are three short featurettes. The film “General Phillips: Boots on the Ground” is an extended EPK with cast/director. “Access Granted” includes interviews with actual people that the film was based on. Lastly “Pentagon Pie” is a super short animated look at the film…but with singing rats…a little lost with this one.

Launch Trailer for “Watch Dogs” Video Game Released

Only a few days left before the release of Watch_Dogs! Get ready to take control over a whole city, using hacking as your weapon to exact your own style of revenge. Available in stores on May 27th.

Visit the Official Website: http://watchdogsgame.com
Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/watchdogsgame
Preorder: http://shop.ubi.com/promo/94766900

Richie Kotzen talks about new band The Winery Dogs and debut album

Richie Kotzen is a singer/guitarist who along with an impressive solo career has played with bands such as Poison and Mr. Big. Kotzens newest endeavor is the trio known as The Winery Dogs which along with Kotzen consists of Billy Sheehan on bass and former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy. Together the trio is set to release their debut album titled “The Winery Dogs” and Media Mikes had the chance recently to talk with Richie about the album and the group’s formation.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the formation of the Winery Dogs?
Richie Kotzen: I had gotten a phone call from Eddie Trunk who I have been friends with for a few years now. He called to tell me that Mike Portnoy and Billy Sheehan were looking to start a power trio and that he mentioned my name. The guys were in to it so we got together and did some jamming. From jamming together we came up with ideas that would turn into songs that appear on the record.

AL: What was that first jam session like for everyone?
RK: I have known Billy for 20 years now so it was familiar territory with him. Mike and I hit it off right away when we met and we just started jamming in my studio. We started playing and creating these ideas that I recorded. From there we went our separate ways for awhile. I went back and listened to what we had done and sang on a couple and added a few other things. I sent them off to the guys to listen to and they liked them so we decided to see things through. We did this a few times and that developed into an album.

AL: What is your take on the power trio?
RK: This has been the standard for me since I started making solo records. For the most part I have always played in that type of format and I am very comfortable playing in that type of scenario.

AL: From a tonal stand point did you try anything different with this recording?
RK: I don’t think so. What your hearing on the record is the collaboration of what we sound like when we are together writing. No one’s identity got lost on this record which is something that I think is really cool. When you listen to it you know who’s who and it’s really great. Yes the record is a collaboration but it still sounds like us as individuals.

AL: The songs on the album are very accessible. Was this done on purpose or did it happen naturally?
RK: That’s kind of my nature being a singer/guitarist. Everything I am involved in revolves around the vocals. When you add the fact I am playing guitar while I’m singing I probably won’t be shredding at the same time. That’s not to say the record doesn’t have shredding elements to it. The crazier lines that you do hear came out of improvisation. A lot of times Billy and Mike would start improvising parts and I would go back and listen to the r ecordings and either double what Billy was doing or something along those lines. When it was all done we had this track that sounded like we spent a lot of time orchestrating it. Things were very much improvised and I like the spirit of that.

AL: Being both a singer and guitarist do you find your approach to songwriting favoring one or the other?
RK: The song always comes down to the vocals. It’s the lyric and the melody. Everything is built from that at least in the style of music I perform. When you strip everything down the melody is the song. Anything else you put in a song can be altered or changed be it by using different chords against the melody or what have you. In the end that melody is what it is.

AL: What are the group’s tour plans for the release?
RK: We are doing our first show in Osaka, Japan. Then we have two shows in Tokyo before heading to South America. After we play Brazil and Chile we will be playing in New York and a few other places on the east coast. After a little break we head over to Europe for about 3 weeks and then were back in the states to hit the west coast.

DVD Review “12 Dogs of Christmas: Great Puppy Rescue”

Directed by: Kieth Merrill
Actors: Danielle Chuchran, D.B. Sweeney, Sean Patrick Flanery
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: October 9, 2012
Run Time: 102 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

I saw the first “12 Dogs of Christmas” on TV a few years ago. I wouldn’t really call it a holiday classic but it was cute. I was assuming the same would happen with this sequel. This really has that ABC Family/Lifetime TV movie quality. It is cute but really doesn’t feel like much of a Christmas film until the end, which is a little too late for me. I wish they would have focused more time around the musical event and less on basketball games etc. This is also said to be “song-filled”, that isn’t really the case. To be honest this is best served a rental or just watch on cable TV.

Synopsis: The dogs of Doverville are in trouble again…but Emma O’Connor (Danielle Churchran) is back to save them in a song-filled, seasonal extravaganza. Mean-spirited mogul Finneas James (Sean Patrick Flaner) plots to shut down the local puppy orphanage, unless Emma can come up with the money to save it. With the help of some friends, she races against time to put together a musical holiday event that might just save the day.

The special features are not bad for a glorified TV movie. They include five featurettes which go behind-the-scenes and up close with the puppies. The first is ““What’s Your Favorite Dog?” with the cast and crew discuss their personal favorite. ““Behind 12 Dogs of Christmas” looks into the production. ““Working With Writer//Director Kieth Merrill” features the cast chatting about their experience on the film. “The Basketball Game Sequence” and ““The Christmas Finale” go in-depth into how those scenes were done.

Book Review “Vicious Dogs Attack Me In Sleepless Nights Of Summer”

Author: Scott Schiaffo
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Scott Schiaffo
Release Date: January 5, 2012

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

The subtitle really sets the mood for this book perfectly: “a collection of prose, tales, and streams of semi-consciousness”.  Actor and musician, Scott Schiaffo not only authored this book of poems he also self-published it.  Scott is known best for his role in “Clerks” as the “Chewlies Gum Guy”. Before reading this book I have never really took much interest into the world of poetry.  After reading this book I think my mind has been opened to this world new world that I never really took notice to.  Be warned before you read this book it is some heavy stuff and you should really prepare yourself before diving in.

In this book we delve into the mind Scott Schiaffo and his darkest times in his life.  We glimpse into his issues with existential angst, addiction, and even near death experiences. I really need to give Scott credit for revealing this very troubled time in his life. Two notable poems have to be “Naked” and “Stitch”.  I also really enjoyed the title poem “Vicious Dogs Attack Me In Sleepless Nights Of Summer”. To quote the closing line of “Elapse”…”I want to live, not exist”,  this pretty much sums its up.

The book itself extremely simple and is not too showy.  It really let’s the words do the talking and it is what it is and take it or leave it.  To accompany these deep and honest poems are some great illustrations from Scott Meaney, co-author of the great sci-fi graphic novel, “Constellation Park”. I feel that Scott really digs deep and really reveals to us his darkest secrets and you really get an appreciation for his story that you find being told throughout each poem.  I recommend this book very highly.