Digital HD Review “How to Train Your Dragon 2”

Directed by: Dean DeBlois
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill
Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harington
Rated: PG
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Run Time: 102 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

We are trying something new here for the release of “How to Train Your Dragon 2”, we are reviewing the title Digital HD format. That means that we redeemed a code for the film and are able to watch it on your computer, compatible TV or Blu-ray player, smartphones, tablets etc. This is the future for films. I have quite the library of Digital HD films.

Official Premise: The thrilling second chapter of the epic HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON trilogy returns to the fantastical world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless. The inseparable duo must protect the peace and save the future of men and dragons from the power-hungry Drago.

The first “How to Train Your Dragon” really built up the story for this film. The TV series continued it on and this sequel really takes it to the next level. It is fast, colorful and really sharp looking. As much as I would have loved to reviewed this film on 3D Blu-ray, this Digital HD option wasn’t too bad, especially since I could watch it pretty much anywhere.

Plus with Digital HD, the film is released a few weeks ahead of the Blu-ray release. For instance, this film was released on Digital HD on October 21st where as the Blu-ray was just released on November 11th. Not my code but you can even purchase Digital HD copies including the special features, which is a real bonus and is a really nice feature to have.

Blu-ray Review “Dragon Ball: Season Eight”

Actors: Sean Schemmel, Christopher R. Sabat, Stephanie Nadolny
Directors: Mike McFarland
Number of discs: 4
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Funimation
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Run Time: 775 minutes

Season: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

We are getting close to the end folks, FUNimation Entertainment just released the Blu-ray for “Dragon Ball Z: Season Eight Uncut”, which features episodes 220-253 of the classic anime series, presented in remastered high definition. It has been a blast getting to re-watch this series totally uncut and delivered in this wonderful Blu-ray release. I know haters will always hate but I love Dragon Ball Z and this is easily the best that I have ever seen this show. Personally, I do not want December to come any faster since that brings the release of season nine and the completion of this series uncut on Blu-ray. Every way it has been an amazing run!

Official Synopsis: The forces of good and evil have converged upon the planet Earth, and the fate of the universe hangs in the balance! The evil wizard Babidi has traveled across the galaxy on a quest for revenge, hoping to fulfill his father’s thwarted dreams of universal domination. Meanwhile, the Supreme Kai has come to enlist the aid of the Z-Fighters in an effort to prevent Babidi from completing his plans and awakening a monster of unimaginable terror: Majin Buu.

These episodes have undergone a frame-by-frame restoration to remove any blemishes, tape marks and foreign bodies from the film. Funimation has been consistently delivering for the fans on this series and this season is no different. There are three audio tracks included, the Japanese audio and two English tracks: the U.S. English-language broadcast dub and a mix with English dialogue and Japanese music. These have also been re-mastered in the interest of noise reduction and superior sound quality. This series has also received a precise shot-by-shot reframing to create “a modern HD widescreen presentation.”

The special features are not too bad either. There is a “Inside Dragon Ball Z” with an interview with Kyle Hebert aka the voice of adult Gohan and the narrator. There is also a “Inside Dragon Ball Z” with an interview with Kara Edwards, who is known for voicing Videl, Goten, and Gotenks. “Dragon Ball Z: Coming to America” is a feature about how the series has become so popular in the U.S. There is a Textless Opening/Closing Song included. Lastly there is a U.S. Trailer for the Blu-ray and also additional trailers included.

Blu-ray Review “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods”

Actors: Sean Schemmel, Christopher R. Sabat, Stephanie Nadolny, Sonny Strait, Jason Douglas
Directors: Christopher R. Sabat
Rated: Unrated
Studio: FUNimation
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Run Time: 85 / 105 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

The first new “Dragon Ball” feature film in over seventeen years?! Yeah sign me up!! “”Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods” is a hell of a good time. I saw this film in theaters during its limited run and it was a real blast. The audience loved and we all really just loved seeing a new “Dragon Ball” feature. I think that diehard fans are going to love this as well (or loved it since it they are diehard fans they should have seen in theaters like me). I hope that the success of this film, still shows that there is plenty of demand for “Dragon Ball” content in the U.S., so I hope that they have future films planned as well. We are more FUNimation!! Bring it on!

Official Premise: Following the events of the Dragon Ball Z television series, after the defeat of Majin Buu, a new power awakens and threatens humanity. Beerus, an ancient and powerful God of Destruction, searches for Goku after hearing rumors of the Saiyan warrior who defeated Frieza. Realizing the threat Beerus poses to their home planet, the Z-fighters must find a way to stop him before it’s too late. Only Goku, humanity’s last hope, can ascend to the level of a legendary Super Saiyan God and stop Beerus’s from destroying Earth, and possibly the entire universe!

“Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods” delivered a solid Blu-ray presentation courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment The 1080p transfer in 1.78:1 looks amazing with this films colors and animation style. It keeps the original series look with not too much of an upgrade in terms of style but it just looks very polished and sharp. Same goes for the audio tracks. There are Dolby TrueHD 5.1 tracks for both Japanese and English on the Theatrical Version of the film and and an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 track for the Uncut Version. Either one really rules personally. I originall saw it in English but I love DBZ in Japanese as wel.

The Blu-ray contains as a mentioned, two cuts of the film the Theatrical cut runs about 85 minutes, while the Uncut version runs about 105 minutes. Obviously, I love DBZ so the longer the better for me. The film already had slight pacing issues at 85 minutes, so it runs a little long but I still can’t get enough personally. In terms of special features, we get a Behind the Scenes look into the film with “Battle of Voice Actors” and also similarly “The Voices of Dragon Ball Z Unveiled”, which touches on the cast. There is also a Textless Closing Song and U.S. Trailer included.

Blu-ray Review “Dragon Ball Z: Season Six”

Starring: Sean Schemmel, Stephanie Nadolny, Christopher Sabat, Daisuke Gōri, Mayumi Tanaka, Kenji Utsumi
Director: Daisuke Nishio, Mike McFarland
Number of discs: 4
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Funimation
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Run Time: 685 minutes

Seasons: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

As we are flying through the seasons this year, FUNimation Entertainment is continuing the love for Dragon Ball Z Uncut with the sixth season which features episodes 166-194 of the classic anime series. The season around the Cell Games Saga and originally aired from 1992–1993 in Japan and 2000 in the U.S. on Cartoon Network dubbed in English. This is a great season as Cell was always a kick-ass villain. Three more seasons to go after this Funimation is determined to finish the series before the end of 2014.

Official Premise: Having at last achieved his Perfect Form, the evil Cell’s powers have soared to terrible new heights, overshadowing even the greatest of the Z-Fighters. Eager to demonstrate these newfound abilities and prove his superiority, Cell proposes a tournament. He issues an ultimatum to the people of Earth: produce a worthy opponent or die! The day of reckoning upon them, Goku and the Z-Fighters line up to participate in Cell’s twisted game, the world’s best hope of defeating the monster.

But they are not the only ones brave enough to accept the challenge. The reigning World Martial Arts Champion, Mr. Satan, has also stepped into the ring! Now, with the fate of the human race hanging in the balance, one of these valiant fighters must come forward to defeat the seemingly invincible Perfect Cell. But who will it be?

Like the past seasons, this one has be given a frame-by-frame restoration to remove blemishes, tape marks and foreign bodies from the film. The 1080p transfer at a 16:9 aspect ratio looks amazing. The audio tracks including the Japanese audio and two English tracks: the U.S. English-language broadcast dub and a mix with English dialogue and Japanese music have been re-mastered in the interest of noise reduction and superior sound quality, and the colors are bolder and more vibrant.

The special features are decent including two Inside Dragon Ball Z features. The first is an interview with Eric Vale, voice of Trunks. The second is an interview with Cynthia Cranz, who voiced infant Broly. There is also some Dragon Ball Z trivia and a must for those hardcore fans. Lastly there are Textless Opening/Closing Songs and trailers included.

Blu-ray Review “Dragon Ball Z: Season Seven”

Starring: Sean Schemmel, Stephanie Nadolny, Christopher Sabat, Daisuke Gōri, Mayumi Tanaka, Kenji Utsumi
Director: Daisuke Nishio, Mike McFarland
Number of discs: 4
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Funimation
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Run Time: 600 minutes

Season: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

As we are flying through the seasons this year, FUNimation Entertainment is continuing the love for Dragon Ball Z Uncut with the sixth season which features episodes 195-219 of the classic anime series. The season around the Cell Games Saga and originally aired from 1992–1993 in Japan and 2000 in the U.S. on Cartoon Network dubbed in English. This season focuses around Great Saiyaman and World Tournament Sagas. Getting close now only two more seasons to go after this as Funimation is determined to finish the series before the end of 2014.

Official Premise: Seven years of peace have passed since the defeat of the monstrous Cell, and the Z-Fighters have enjoyed a return to normal life. Goku has eagerly continued his training in Other World, Krillin has gotten married, and Gohan has renewed his scholarly pursuits while attempting to navigate the pitfalls of high school. Two fresh new Saiyan faces have also appeared on the scene – Goku’s son Goten, and Vegeta’s son Trunks.

Now, the time has come for the Z-Fighters to reunite, as the new World Martial Arts Tournament is set to begin. The greatest warriors on Earth have come together for their chance to capture the title of the reigning champion, Mr. Satan – but behind the scenes, sinister forces are at work. An evil eye watches the competitors’ every move, waiting for the opportune moment to strike. The action grows fierce on the tournament floor, but for the Z-Fighters, the real fight is only just beginning

Like the past seasons, this one has be given a frame-by-frame restoration to remove blemishes, tape marks and foreign bodies from the film. The 1080p transfer at a 16:9 aspect ratio looks amazing. The audio tracks including the Japanese audio and two English tracks: the U.S. English-language broadcast dub and a mix with English dialogue and Japanese music have been re-mastered in the interest of noise reduction and superior sound quality, and the colors are bolder and more vibrant.

The special features are decent including two Inside Dragon Ball Z features. The first is an interview with Justin Cook, who voices of Dende, Evil Buu & Super Buu. The second is an interview with Nathanael Harrison, who is the audio mixing engineer for the Funimation dub. There is an extras on the “Dragon Ball Z Card Game” called “Past, Present and Future”. Lastly there are Textless Opening/Closing Songs and trailers included.

“How to Train Your Dragon 2” Arrives on Digital HD Oct. 21 and Blu-ray & DVD Nov. 11

Catch the all-new animated adventure, DreamWorks DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS, exclusively with the Blu-ray™ Combo, DVD Double Pack and Digital HD

LOS ANGELES, CA (August 29, 2014) – Soaring past the $500 million mark at the global box office, DreamWorks Animation’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 is not only one of the best reviewed films of the year, but also 2014’s highest grossing animated film to-date and one of the top ten grossing films of the year in any genre.The thrilling second chapter of the epic HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON trilogy returns to the fantastical world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless. The inseparable duo must protect the peace and save the future of men and dragons from the power-hungry Drago when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases DreamWorks Animation’s critically acclaimed HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 on Digital HD October 21 and on Blu-ray™ and DVD November 11.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, the next chapter to the Academy Award® nominated film released in 2010, is “sensational…an instant animated classic,” proclaims Access Hollywood. A hit with audiences and critics alike, the film received an outstanding audience reaction with a coveted “A” CinemaScore® and certified 92% fresh on RottenTomatoes.com. Variety’s Peter Debruge declares the film is “Braver than ‘Brave,’ more fun than ‘Frozen’…Dragon delivers.” It’s a must-own title for the whole family!

Fans will get even more excitement, adventure and, of course, more dragons when DreamWorks Animation releases DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS, an all-new animated adventure featuring the original voice cast. A hunt for lost sheep soon turns into a high-flying sprint in the all-new epic adventure as Hiccup and friends battle to become the first Dragon Racing Champion of Berk! DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS will be available exclusively on the Blu-ray™ combo pack, DVD double pack and Digital HD.

The all-star film talent features Jay Baruchel (This Is The End), two-time Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Gerard Butler (Olympus Has Fallen), Craig Ferguson (“The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”), America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”), Academy Award® nominee Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Neighbors), T.J. Miller (“Silicon Valley”) and Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids).  The film also adds the voice talent of Academy Award® nominee Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) and Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”).

The Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD feature hours of bonus materials that explore the world of dragons and more. Furthermore, the Blu-ray™ and Digital HD contain four exclusive featurettes, deleted scenes and a 60-minute behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of the film, shot and created by the film’s writer and director Dean DeBlois.

DreamWorks Animation How To Train Your Dragon 2 Blu-ray™ & Digital HD include:  
Feature film in high definition 
Special Features:

  • Fishleg’s Dragon Stats – How much do you know about your favorite dragons? Explore the Dragon 2 Guide and learn more about your favorite fire-breathing friends!
  • Drago’s War Machines – Gobber the Belch narrates this inside look at the fierce creatures and “high-tech” weapons used by Drago to expand his growing dragon army.
  • Berk’s Dragon World – Explore the massive stable created to house the dragons of Berk, along with other changes made on the island to promote harmonious living.
  • Hiccup’s Inventions in Flight – Learn the secrets of how Hiccup and Toothless work together to form the ultimate high-flying team in this fascinating interactive tour.
  • Deleted Scenes — The awesome adventure continues with telling deleted and extended scenes, including action-packed footage you couldn’t see in theaters!
  • Commentary by Simon Otto, Bonnie Arnold, Dean DeBlois, and Pierre-Olivier Vincent
  • Where No One Goes: The Making of How To Train Your Dragon 2 – Writer-Director Dean DeBlois and his team take you behind the scenes of creating the film’s eye-popping visual effects and epic story
  • Dragon Races – Catch the thrilling aerial action and exciting play-by-play commentary as you cheer on your favorite riders in a spectacular dragon race!
  • Image Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • World of DreamWorks Animation – Move to the music videos from your favorite  DreamWorks Animation feature films
DreamWorks Animation How To Train Your Dragon 2 DVD includes:
Feature film in standard definition 
Special Features:
  • Fishleg’s Dragon Stats – How much do you know about your favorite dragons? Explore the Dragon 2 Guide and learn more about your favorite fire-breathing friends!
  • Image Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • World of DreamWorks Animation – Music videos from your favorite  DreamWorks Animation feature films

Nintendo 3DS Video Game Review “How to Train Your Dragon 2: The Video Game”

Format: Nintendo 3DS
Developed by Torus Games
Published by Little Orbit
Rated: E
Release Date: June 10, 2014

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

How you think of the successful film and TV series “How to Train Your Dragon”, you can’t really go wrong. The first film is amazing, the second is even better and the TV series is a great companion.  Unlike all those, “How to Train Your Dragon 2: The Video Game” on Nintendo 3DS is quite underwhelming. In the game you basically choose a dragon and it’s rider from the series, then you fly around Berk racing other dragons, exploring for coins and playing mini-games. After the first hour, it gets quite repetitive. I would recommend sticking to the films and TV series and skip this game.

Official Premise: Take to the skies and return to the epic Viking Isle of Berk Five years later Dragon Racing has become the hot new sport for the Vikings. Hiccup Astrid Snoutlout Tuffnut & Ruffnut and their dragons are competing in fierce flying tournaments to determine the ultimate Dragon Rider. Soar through clouds and discover unmapped territories. Discover a secret ice cavern that is home a mysterious Dragon Rider and find yourself in an epic battle to protect their peaceful homeland.

I know I really should be shocked about this game, since usually all video game adaption of films never pan out. This was made on a tight budget and probably was just an updated version of the last “How to Train Your Dragon” handheld console game. The control are very weak when it comes to flying, which takes forever to figure out and master, but by the time that happens, I was just left wanting to turn this game off and play anything else. If you are a die-hard fan of this series, you could give the WiiU or XBOX 360 version a try…just don’t expect nothing spectacular their either.

Blu-ray Review “Dragon Ball Z: Season Five”

Starring: Sean Schemmel, Stephanie Nadolny, Christopher Sabat, Daisuke Gōri, Mayumi Tanaka, Kenji Utsumi
Director: Daisuke Nishio
Number of discs: 4
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Funimation
DVD Release Date: June 24, 2014
Run Time: 615 minutes

Season: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

I am currently in the process of moving and recently canceled my satellite TV service in preparation of the move. So only having a Blu-ray player, Season Five of “Dragon Ball Z” couldn’t have arrived at a better time. It is funny you can fly through over 600 minutes of something when you have nothing else to do. Season Five includes episodes 140-165 of the classic anime series, uncut and presented in remastered high definition for the first time ever! I can’t wait for Season Six since that will include the Complete Cell Games. Oh baby! Can’t wait!

Official Premise: As the battle with the Androids rages on, a fierce evil rises from the shadows: the monster known as Cell! Dr. Gero’s heinous creation is the ultimate weapon, a fighting machine built from the genetic material of the greatest warriors ever to walk the Earth!

These episodes have undergone a frame-by-frame restoration to remove any blemishes, tape marks and foreign bodies from the film. Funimation has been consistently delivering for the fans on this series and this season is just as impressive. There are three audio tracks included, the Japanese audio and two English tracks: the U.S. English-language broadcast dub and a mix with English dialogue and Japanese music. These have also been re-mastered in the interest of noise reduction and superior sound quality.

Episodes Include: Seized with Fear; The Reunion; Borrowed Powers; His Name is Cell; Piccolo’s Folly; Laboratory Basement; Our Hero Awakens; Time Chamber; The Monster is Coming; He’s Here; Up to Piccolo; Silent Warrior; Say Goodbye, 17; Sacrifice; Saiyans Emerge; Super Vegeta; Bow To The Prince; Hour of Temptation; Krillin’s Decision; Last Defense; Cell is Complete; Vegeta Must Pay; Trunks Ascends; Saving Throw; Ghosts From Tomorrow and The Cell Games.

There are some decent special features as well included for this release. There is a great behind-the-scenes look with “Dragon Ball Z Retrospective Part Five”. There are two featurettes under “Inside Dragon Ball Z”. The first is an “Interview with Sonny Strait”, the voice of Krillin. The second is an “Interview with Stephanie Nadolny”, the voice of Goku’s son, Gohan. Lastly there is a Textless Opening & Closing Song and a U.S. Trailer included.

Film Review “How to Train Your Dragon 2”

Starring the Voices Of: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler and Cate Blanchett
Directed By: Dean DeBlois
Rated: PG
Running Time: 102 Minutes
20th Century Fox

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

In a year void of anything new from the geniuses at Pixar, you’d think there would be an animated vacuum where the gap would be filled with shameless sequels and lazily written cash grabs (to be fair, there is the sequel to “Planes” coming out this summer). So it’s understandable if the average movie patron is worried that “How to Train Your Dragon 2” could wind up in that category. But I’m happy to say it defied my low expectations and soared to insanely creative heights with another superb story.

It’s been years since the hairy, broad shouldered Vikings of Berk have made peace with the dragons they once feared. They’ve successfully integrated everything in their society with their newly acquired winged friends. Hiccup (Baruchel) continues to break the Viking stereotype by using his brain more than his brawn. He also seems more in sync with his dragon, Toothless. Despite these recent successes, Hiccup is a bit apprehensive because his father, Stoick (Butler), appears to be grooming him as his successor so that he can be the next chieftain of Berk. Hiccup doesn’t believe he’s ready and he’s more focused on scoping out new dragons and new lands.

This constant thirst for more knowledge about the surrounding territory brings in a new threat. He comes across a dragon trapper, who tells him of Drago (Djimon Hounsou), a man who is amassing a dragon army. Drago views dragons as a scourge that he must eradicate by enslaving them. His quest for dominion over dragons sadly comes at the cost of human casualties along the way. Things are further complicated by a mysterious figure that seems to have a bigger attachment to dragons than Hiccup and appears to be at odds with Drago, but it’s uncertain if they’re a friend or foe.

I was worried that a lack of Chris Sanders, director and writer from the first movie, might actually defang what momentum a sequel would have, but Dean DeBlois gets to fly this one solo and doesn’t hit any turbulent air. He keeps the merriness of our dragons intact. While the story goes on, dragons are constantly acting like playful dogs or cats in the background, giving them a more relatable quality when they are consistently acting like our affectionate household pets. The voice acting is once again spot on and having Cate Blanchett on board adds another flavorful spice of adventure.

This movie continues the relationship building between Hiccup and Toothless, but creates a more substantial scenario for Hiccup to grow and better understand the relationships he experiences. There’s also some hefty emotional weight attached here, made heavier by some surprisingly mature content that shows DeBlois is not afraid of taking some risks to further enchant the audience. With so much plot to trudge through, other directors would have simply gotten lost or stuck to the ‘boy and his dragon’ cliché, but DeBlois gives the dragons just as much psychological depth than the humans.

Visually, Dreamworks is going toe to toe with some of the best in the industry once again and holding nothing back. Viewers are definitely going to be swept away in every battle sequence and get lost in the flying sequences that are nothing short of incredible. While the first “How to Train Your Dragon” feels like a fantastic stand-alone movie, the sequel showcases the ability to create a living, breathing franchise that may actually have the wings and power to push forth. I say that because a third is in the works and after seeing how daring and original they are, it’s a safe bet to get your expectations out of the gutter and put them near the top for “How to Train Your Dragon 3” in 2016.

Little Orbit’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2” Video Game Soars Into Stores Today

Dragon Riders Take Flight on the Xbox 360®, Nintendo Wii™, Wii U™, 3DS™ and PlayStation® 3

SANTA ANA, Calif., June 10, 2014 — Little Orbit, a worldwide video game publisher, unveils the   ultimate dragon racing experience with the release of How to Train Your Dragon 2 video games based on Friday’s highly anticipated 3-D animated film from DreamWorks Animation.   Developed by Torus Games, the game is now available on the Xbox 360®, Nintendo Wii™, Wii U™ and PlayStation® 3.

Dragon trainers will put their skills to the test in this high-flying adventure featuring Hiccup and Toothless and other fan favorite dragon and rider teams, high-energy tournaments and all the fire-breathing fun as they explore the dynamic Island of Berk.  Along the way, players will face multiple challenges in this heroic quest as they play their way through an epic world of Dragons and Vikings.

The How to Train Your Dragon 2  video game is one of the biggest and most exciting launches Little Orbit has ever had, and we are so excited for fans of this beloved franchise to take flight and experience the game,” said Matt Scott, President of Little Orbit.

Eager fans should keep their eye out for Dragon-wrapped Redbox kiosk as How to Train Your Dragon 2 video games “take over” Redbox locations across the country beginning this week!  Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Wii U and PlayStation 3 rentals will be available throughout the summer at most Redbox locations.

DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 is in theaters nationwide in just a few short days on June 13, 2014!

To get the latest news on the How To Train Your Dragon 2 video games and more, follow Little Orbit on Twitter (@littleorbit) or visit the official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LittleOrbitGames

The game is rated E-10 for Everyone 10+ by the ESRB.

Win a DVD of “Curse of the Dragon Slayer” [ENDED]


Media Mikes has teamed up with Phase 4 Films to offer (5) of our readers the opportunity to win a DVD copy of the new sword and sorcery film “Curse of the Dragon Slayer.” A film in the tradition of the popular HBO series “Game of Thrones,” “Curse of the Dragon Slayer” is directed by David Lyde and stars “Body of Proof” star Danielle Chuchran along with Richard McWilliams, Paul D. Hunt and James C. Morris.

All you have to do is let us know below you’re favorite Medieval-themed film. Is it a classic like “Excalibur” or “Braveheart?” Or maybe something funnier, like “Monty Python and the Holy Grail?” (also a classic). Five random entries will be chosen and those five will win a DVD copy of this new film.

This giveaway ends on Friday, June 6th.

Synopsis: Keltus, a knight of the ruling Order, is on the trail of the Shadow Cabal — a group of Orc cultists. When his leads run cold, he must team up with an elf bounty hunter, Nemyt, and an infamous orc raider, Kullimon, to infiltrate the Shadow and try to thwart their evil purpose — to unleash the God of the Undead.

Blu-ray Review “Dragon Ball Z: Season Four”

Starring: Sean Schemmel, Stephanie Nadolny, Christopher Sabat, Daisuke Gōri, Mayumi Tanaka, Kenji Utsumi
Director: Daisuke Nishio, Mike McFarland
Number of discs: 4
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Funimation
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Run Time: 755 minutes

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

FUNimation Entertainment is power housing through this series starting with the first at the beginning of the year and averaging about a season a month. Season Five is already set for release on June 24th as well. “Dragon Ball Z: Season Four” was personally never my all-time favorite. It follows the Garlic Jr., Trunks and Androids Sagas. This uncut collection features episodes 108-139 of the classic anime series, which are presented in remastered high definition for the first time ever.  These episodes have never looked better. If you are a fan of “Dragon Ball Z”, this is yet another impressive release! Keep them coming Funimation!

Official Synopsis: Having returned victorious from their battle with Frieza, the Z-fighters can at last breathe a collective sigh of relief. But they won’t have long to rest. A new host of villains has appeared, ready to wreak havoc on the Earth – and Goku, the Z-Fighters’ greatest hero, is still missing!

These episodes have undergone a frame-by-frame restoration to remove any blemishes, tape marks and foreign bodies from the film. Funimation has been consistently delivering for the fans on this series and this season is no different. There are three audio tracks included, the Japanese audio and two English tracks: the U.S. English-language broadcast dub and a mix with English dialogue and Japanese music. These have also been re-mastered in the interest of noise reduction and superior sound quality. This series has also received a precise shot-by-shot reframing to create “a modern HD widescreen presentation.” So quality is the key word here for sure.

Like the seasons two and three, Funimation has stepped up from the first season and delivered some decent special features with this season. There is a two part interview series with “Inside Dragon Ball Z” featuring chats with Matthew O’Hara and Daniel Mancilla. There is also a feeaturette called “From the Vault” with a look into Goku vs. Vegeta and “The World of Dragon Ball Z”. Lastly there is also Textless opening and closing songs and trailers included.  I am holding that that we will be getting some commentary tracks on this series before we get to season 9, fingers crossed!

Book Review “The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2”

Author: Linda Sunshine
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Newmarket Press
Release Date: May 6, 2014

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2” follows in the path of “The Art of How to Train Your Dragon” and gives us tons of great concept sketches, preliminary drawings, architectural plans and digital showcases artwork that just shows how much work goes into a film like this. This book features more than 650 paintings, drawings, sketches, models, film stills, lighting studies, color keys, story boards, and photographs. Along the way, this book is also packed with commentary from all the principal filmmakers. There is also a great introduction by the writer/director Dean DeBlois and a foreword by Gerard Butler, the voice of Stoick. If you are a fan of the original film, then this is a must own for sure and will hold you off till the sequel comes out on June 13th!

Official Premise: The official illustrated tie-in to the second chapter of DreamWorks Animation’s critically acclaimed, Academy Award® nominated How to Train Your Dragon trilogy is based on the characters in Cressida Cowell’s bestselling series. How does a movie of such imagination and magnitude come into creation? This celebratory edition leads Berkian aficionados through the journey: the story all begins with an incredibly talented team of artists, writers, engineers, animators, modelers, and tech wizards letting their creativity soar. Movie-goers will attest that the result is a stunning, original vision—bigger, better, and fiercer than ever—of an earth-shattering, fire-breathing sequel to the legendary story of Vikings and dragons in the frozen north.

Author Linda Sunshine had authored many making-of books for films ranging from “Schindler’s List”, “Monsters vs. Aliens”, “Catch Me If You Can”, “E.T.” and “Saving Private Ryan”. She really succeeded in deliver a book that makes you want to run out and see this film immediately. Newmarket Press brings us yet another fine release. The images are so crisp and the colors are literally jumping off the pages. I honestly don’t know what it is about “How to Train Your Dragon” but it has this certain magic to it. I can’t explain it but when you watch the film and admire the animation, you are just left speechless. Well, this book really gets inside the sequel and packs that same type of magic. June 13th cannot come any sooner!

Book Review “Smaug: Unleashing the Dragon”

Author: Weta Workshop
Series: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Hardcover: 104 pages
Publisher: Harper Design
Release Date: April 1, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” or his new trilogy “The Hobbit”, I simply cannot get enough. I absolutely love these films and I love any type of behind-the-scenes look into the world that he has created. In “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”, we got to catch a glimpse of the dragon Smaug. Fans were left wanted more. In “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”, we got to go face-to-face with this amazing character in the film and he no question stole the show. Benedit Cumberbatch’s motion capture performance of Smaug was outstanding and left me speechless. This latest book from Harper Design is dedicated only to marvel that is Smaug. We get to go behind-the-scenes and see how this wonderful character was brought to the big screen. If you are a fan of “The Hobbit” films, this is a must own.

Bringing Smaug to live was done by the amazingly talent artists at Weta Workshop. It includes some of the most advanced special effects and computer animation in a film today. I was so excited that Smaug received his own book, but at first clance I was disappointed since it is a rather small book in size but from the minute you open it, it is end to end packed with amazing content. There are brand new exclusive images, concept designs, artwork, photographs and painting for this amazing character. As a fan of the film, I literally could not put this down. You really get to dive into the world of Smaug and see how this amazing beast was created and brought to life.

The first section of the book focuses on how the dragon was imagined and designed. The second section dives deeper into how Weta Design created the character in a more “making of” fashion. There is everything from chapters on models, textures, shading, ADR, animation, lighting, sound design and visual effects. There is a nice focus on the film’s final moments as well with stills, so if you haven’t seen the film and don’t like spoilers I would avoid that section. Actually to me seeing Smaug himself is a big spoiler so I would recommend watching the film first. Also the man behind the beast, Benedit Cumberbatch gives a great foreward to the book as well talking about his performance for the dragon, a great way to kick off the book.

Harper Design has been a big supporter of the new “Hobbit” trilogy. They have released three books to date giving fans an outstanding behind-the-scenes look into these films. The first two books are for “The Hobbit: An Unxpected Journey” called “Chronicles – Art & Design” and “Chronicles – Creatures & Characters”. The third is “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles – Art & Design”. The next book from the second film will be “Chronicles – Cloaks & Daggers” coming July 8th. Then we can also expect two more books from the final film as well, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again”, so the fun is far from over! Stay tuned and keep them coming Harper Design, these books are amazing!

CD Review: Red Dragon Cartel “Red Dragon Cartel”

Red Dragon Cartel
“Red Dragon Cartel”
Frontier Records
Produced by: Ronnie Mancuso, Jake E. Lee
Tracks: 10

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Red Dragon Cartel is the newest rock/metal group formed by former Ozzy Osbourne/Badlands guitarist Jake E. Lee. Along with Lee the group features Ronnie Mancuso on bass, drummer Jonas Fairly and singer D.J. Smith. Together the group creates a sound that blurs the lines between progressive rock, heavy metal and industrial synth pop. The self-titled debut is being released via Frontier Records and features 10 original tracks produced by Mancuso and Lee and Executive Produced by Kevin Churko (Five Finger Death Punch, In This Moment, Ozzy Osbourne).

Having been a subscriber of Guitar World magazine for as long as I can remember I certainly wasn’t stranger to the work Jake E. Lee. From Ozzy’s “Bark at the Moon” and “Ultimate Sin” albums to his recent appearances on VH1’s “That Metal Show” he was a player that was always on my radar. When it was announced he was going to be coming out with a new project I was certainly down for checking it out. “Red Dragon Cartel” is a unique blend of styles that cover a wide spectrum of hard rock and metal. The albums opening track “Deceived” shares a striking resemblance to “Bark at the Moon” while forging new ground both musically and vocally.

The track “Feeder” is a catchy rocker that is the first of several tracks to feature guest appearances with this one featuring Robin Zander of Cheap Trick fame. Other guest performances on the album include Maria Brink of In This Moment, former Iron Maiden singer Paul Di’Anno and former Pantera/current Kill Devil Hill bassist Rex Brown to name just a few. Don’t let the long list of guest musicians fool you in to thinking that Red Dragon Cartel can’t stand on their own as singer D.J. Smith and the rest of the members of the band all can certainly hold their as the guest performances act more like the icing on the cake.

Though I found portions of the album sounding a bit dated there was nothing on the album that made me want to stop listening. I think the members of Red Dragon Cartel have made a solid record that showcases a number of different styles and talents and those things alone are makes this album worth checking out.

Track Listing:
1.) Deceived
2.) Shout It Out
3.) Feeder (feat. Robin Zander)
4.) Fall from the Sky
5.) Wasted
6.) Slave
7.) Big Mouth (feat. Maria Brink)
8.) War Machine
9.) Redeem Me
10.) Exquisite Tenderness