Anthrax and Killswitch Engage To Mount Epic Sequel With “KillThrax II”

Anthrax and Killswitch Engage To Mount Epic Sequel With “KillThrax II”

KsE Photo Credit: Tracy Ketcher Picture © Andy Buchanan 2017

SiriusXM Will Present All Dates

“‘Evil Dead II.’ ‘Dawn of the Dead.’ ‘The Godfather: Part 2.’ ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’ All sequels that are better than the original. Add ‘KillThrax II’ to that list. Back by popular demand, KillThrax is coming at ya again my friends.” — Scott Ian, Anthrax

What do you do when you’ve co-headlined one of the hottest metal touring packages of 2017? Well, like any rock band that cares about its fans, you do it again, but you take it to the places that missed out the first time. And that’s exactly what metalcore masterminds Killswitch Engage and legendary thrash/metal masters Anthrax are announcing today — “KillThrax II,” a 29-city tour of North America presented by SiriusXM that kicks off January 25 in Montreal, Canada and will zig-zag across the continent to wind up in Portland, ME on March 4.

Confirmed tour dates are below. Go here for all ticket and purchasing options.

Havok will serve as the opening act for the entire tour.

Said Anthrax’s Frank Bello, “After playing so many amazing shows last year with our friends Killswitch Engage, I’m psyched for round two of KillThrax, and we’re adding Havok to the heaviness!!” Added Charlie Benante, “The shows were great, the audiences were great, and we all felt great about the whole thing, so why not do it again?”

“We are looking forward to the next leg of the ‘KillThrax’ tour,” said KsE singer Jesse Leach. “We had a blast on the first one and we enjoyed sharing the stage with the humble legends Anthrax! There is such a synergy between the two bands and a certain unity that is infectious, so it was a no brainer to put this package back together and hit the road. It’s an honor and we are excited for these shows, the fans, and the good times! KillThrax is gearing up for round two, so let’s keep the party rolling!”

As with the inaugural KillThrax tour, Killswitch Engage and Anthrax will rotate the show’s closing slot on KillThrax II. Fans can also expect a night of high energy, musical ferocity and sheer intensity, and what one reviewer called “an incredible night of live music with heavy hitters that provided hours of escape into metal bliss.”

Confirmed dates for KillThrax II are below.

JANUARY
25 Metropolis, Montreal, QC
26 London Music Hall, London, TN
27 Sherman Theatre, Stoudsburg, PA
28 The National, Richmond, VA
30 Janus Landing, Tampa, FL
31 The Fillmore, Charlotte, NC

FEBRUARY
2 Club Stage @ Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
3 Egyptian Room, Indianapolis, IN
5 Marathon Music Works, Nashville, TN
6 Iron City Music Hall, Birmingham, AL
8 Concrete Street Music Hall, Corpus Christi, TX
9 Lonstar Pavillion, Lubbock, TX
10 Criterion, Oklahoma City, OK
11 El Rey Theater, Albuquerque, NM
13 House of Blues, San Diego, CA
14 House of Blues, Anaheim, CA
16 Revolution, Boise, ID
17 Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
19 The Ranch, Edmonton, AB
20 Revolution Place Casino, Grande Prairie, AB
21 Mac Hall, Calgary, AB
23 Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, MB
24 Skyway Theatrer, Minneapolis, MN
25 Anthem @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Sioux City, IA
27 The Forge, Joliet, IL

MARCH
1 Rams Head Live, Baltimore, MD
2 The Dome, Rochester, NY
3 Palladium, Worcester, MA
4 State Theater, Portland, ME

DUN DUN DAHHH! Dreamworks Animation’s Epic Comedy-Adventure, “The Croods”, Arrives on Blu-ray™ Deluxe Edition and DVD on October 1st

 

DUN DUN DAHHH! DREAMWORKS ANIMATION’S EPIC COMEDY-ADVENTURE, THE CROODS, ARRIVES ON BLU-RAY™ DELUXE EDITION AND DVD WITH A BELT PLUSH TOY – FOR A LIMITED TIME – ON OCTOBER 1ST
Over $582 Million at the Box Office Worldwide!
Blu-ray™ Deluxe Edition and DVD are Packed with Croodaceous Content!
Get THE CROODS on Digital HD™ Two Weeks Early!

 
 

LOS ANGELES, CA – Dun Dun Dahhh! Lauded by critics as “the first great animated film of 2013” (Pete Hammond, Movieline), Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment announces the blockbuster hit, DreamWorks Animation’s THE CROODS, will debut on Digital HD™ on September 15 and Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray™ and DVD on October 1. “An instant animated classic,” (Jake Hamilton, FOX-TV), THE CROODS promises to bring the whole family together “from 4 to 104” (Sam Rubin, KTLA), to delight in “stunning visuals, humor and heart,” (Jim Hill, Huffington Post) as the world’s first family embark on an unforgettable adventure. The Blu-ray™ and DVD are chock full of fun bonus material that will bring the vibrant, amazing world of THE CROODS home for the whole family to enjoy. The perfect treat for kids of all ages, THE CROODS Blu-ray™ and DVD comes with a lovable Belt plush toy for a limited time only.

 

Join the Croods on the journey of a lifetime in the epic comedy-adventure that “has the magical wonder of How To Train Your Dragon” – Jake Hamilton (Fox-TV). When their cave is destroyed, the Croods set out to explore a spectacular landscape filled with fantastic creatures, strange surprises…and a whole new world of adventure!

 

Written and directed by Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch) and Kirk DeMicco (Space Chimps),THE CROODS is “an Animated Avatar,” hails Bill Bregoli of CBS News and is the must-see animated film of the year! Fans of all ages will be cracking up for the adventure everyone loves. Led by an outstanding voice cast featuring Oscar®-winner* Nicholas Cage, Golden Globe®-nominee** Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and Oscar®-nominee*** Catherine Keener, the Croods invite your whole family to travel back in time and discover their world.

 

The purchase of the Blu-ray™ or DVD unlocks additional content on THE CROODSColoring App, which allows children to color their favorite characters and scenes from the film, add text and voice to the story, and then share their storybook on their TVs at home. Also on the Blu-ray™, families can join Guy, Eep and Belt as they introduce the crazy “Croodaceous Creatures” – the striking and unique animals from the film – and much more. And for a limited time only, any purchase of the Blu-ray™ or DVD comes with a lovable Belt toy! Dun Dun Dahhh! Pre-order today!

 

DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods Blu-ray™ Deluxe Edition
The Croods Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Deluxe Edition include a Belt plush toy for a limited time and more than an hour of bonus features:
     Feature film in high definition

 

     Blu-ray Exclusive Bonus Features:
The Croodaceous Creatures of Croods! – Find out more about your favorite Croods creatures!
Be An Artist! – Now you can draw Belt, Macawnivore and Mousephant
The Croods Coloring & Storybook Builder App

 

     Additional Bonus Features:
Belt’s Cave Journal – Take a journey with Belt and Guy as they rescue a Jackrobat
Belt’s Cave Journal – Take a journey with Belt and Guy as they rescue a Jackrobat
World of DreamWorks Animation – Music videos from your favorite DreamWorks Animation feature films

 

DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods Blu-ray™ 3D Deluxe Edition
The Croods Blu-ray™ 3D + Blu-ray™ + DVD + Digital Copy Deluxe Edition includes the following:
     Feature film in high definition and 3DAll the Blu-ray™ and DVD content listed above

DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods DVD
The single disc DVD includes a Belt plush toy for a limited time plus the following:
     Feature film in standard definition
     Bonus Features:
Belt’s Cave Journal
Croods Cuts (Lost Scenes)
World of DreamWorks Animation
Previews

 

ABOUT DREAMWORKS ANIMATION
DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series and live entertainment properties, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE® Magazine for five consecutive years. In 2013, DreamWorks Animation ranks #12 on the list.  All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 26 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Puss In Boots, and The Croods.

 

ABOUT TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programing. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™ and DigitalHD™. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

Ken “The Bug Guy” MacNeil talks about collaborating on the film “Epic”

Ken MacNeil, also know as “The Bug Guy” is the owner of the largest retail pet shop in the country that is devoted to insects and other arthropods. Ken was recently contacted to work on the film “Epic” as the bug expert. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Ken about his love for bugs and his work on the film.

Mike Gencarelli: I think the first obvious question has to be how have you developed this love for bugs?
Ken MacNeil: I have been into bugs my entire life. Going back, I had started with having some hissing roaches and mantises. I ended up breeding my mantises and got an egg sack. I was a programmer at the time, so I sold those to a local pet shop and made some money. I new a local buy guy at the time that was going out of business, so my wife and I drove out and ended up coming home with 130 tarantulas. We thought we were crazy but at the time we didn’t realize that that number was nothing (laughs). We ended up selling them over a month or so. So then I got a call from the same guy hearing that I sold the first 130 so fast and he asked me if I wanted to buy the other 2,000 tarantulas he had (laughs). Well once again I asked my wife and she told me to go for it, since I liked it so much. We thought we were really crazy when we drove home with a truck full of tarantulas (laughs).

MG: So you have no fear to those kind of bugs?
KM: No, not at all. At the very beginning when I was packing a tarantula that wasn’t docile, I was a little nervous. My wife was less nervous since she grew up having tarantulas. My mom was arachnophobic, so I didn’t have any type of spiders growing up but I have always been fascinated by them.

MG: How did you end up getting contacted to work on “Epic” as the bug expert?
KM: Truthfully, I am not 100% sure how they found me. Because I am an ex-programmer, I was able to get my name and website into the front of the search engines. So if you do a general search for a pet bug, I come up first. So I bet they just did a search and came across me.

MG: Tell us about “Bugs of Camouflage” available on the special features on the home release?
KM: They came into the shop and wanted to see a bunch of different bugs. They wanted to see a bunch of different things that could fit the movie. We tried to pull up some that the movie had, the same kind of ability or the actual bug itself. I got a hold of some walking sticks for them to film since there is an actual walking stick in the movie. They have a great demonstration of camouflage and how these insects use their defense in the wild.

MG: What other films or TV shows have you been asked to consult on?
KM: I have done a few different things over the years. We also had a TV show on the Science Channel called “Bugging Out”. I have also done a bunch of articles of newspapers and also NPR did some pieces on us as well.

MG: Tell us about your retail pet shop in Tucson, AZ that is the only one in the country devoted to insects and other arthropods?
KM: We are the largest bug business in the U.S. by a lot. The next guy down probably has about 1/10th of what we got. It is what we specialize in and the tarantula hobby is the biggest part of the business. So we have more tarantulas that anything but we also carry scorpions, centipedes, millipedes, roaches and many others. On top of that I have opened an exotic pet shop that carries others pets like reptiles etc. But it seems more like an after thought when you have 10,000 bugs to 40 animals (laughs).

3D Blu-ray Review “Epic”

Actors: Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Aziz Ansari, Beyoncé Knowles
Director: Chris Wedge
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Run Time: 103 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
3D: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I have to admit since “Ice Age”, Blue Sky Studios films always interest me no matter what the topic.  “Epic” is yet another impressive animated CGI film to come out of their studio. It packs a fantastic voice cast, great visuals and high energy action. My only concern was the title “Epic” is a terrible title for this film since it doesn’t mean anything to the actual film itself.  The 3D presentation Blu-ray of this film looks very impressive. There are tons of great scenes, especially the battles that benefit from this added feature. There are some cool in-your-face shots but nothing cheesy. But what is even cooler is that the 2D presentation is just as impressive. Chris Wedge, (director of “Ice Age”) is behind this film and he delivered again another fun and entertaining film. I can’t wait to see what he and Blue Sky are planning next! Great fun for the whole family!

Official Premise: From the creators of Ice Age comes the year’s funniest, most exhilarating animated adventure! Transported to a magical world, a teenager (Amanda Seyfried) is recruited by a nature spirit, Queen Tara (Beyoncé), to help the “Leafmen” save their forest from evil warriors. The whole family will love this fast-paced thrill-ride, with its astonishing animation and an all-star voice cast that includes Colin Farrell, Oscar® Winner Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd, Jason Sudeikis, Pitbull and Steven Tyler!

“Epic” comes in very impressive Deluxe Edition, which comes with a Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet. In addition this release also includes three Epic Seed cards, that you can actually plant and grow your own garden!  Also included is a “Epic Coloring & Storybook Builder App” for iOS and Android devices. You are able to color your own story with exclusive pages and then tell the story by recording your own voice to share on your television with family and friends. Blue Sky Studios is known for the “Ice Age” series and delivers a stunning presentation on Blu-ray. The 1080p transfer is extremely gorgeous and the colors are amazing, like I said both in 3D and 2D. The winner of this release is the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track, which blew me away.  It is so impressive with the battle scenes and even the more subtle features like the birds wings fluttering.

The special features are honestly aimed more at kids but still very interesting and worth checking out. To start there are four short but sweet featurettes including. “Birds, Bugs, and Slugs: Forest Explorer”, which takes you outside the world of “Epic” into the real-world to learn about the animals and insects that inspired the film’s characters. “Rot Rocks” talks about benefits of rot and decay in the forest. “Bugs of Camouflage” features Ken the Bug Guy as he talks about how insects use camouflage to blend in to their environments. “The Epic Life at 2 Inches” is a look into your life if you were shrunk to two inches high. Next up there is a sweet seven-part documentary on the making of the film called “Mysteries of Moonhaven Revealed”. It runs nearly 30 minutes and features interviews with the director, producers, and animators. Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included.

Discover the World’s Greatest Heroes in “Epic,” on Blu-ray and DVD August 20!

DISCOVER THE WORLD’S GREATEST HEROES IN THE NEWEST ANIMATED ADVENTURE FROM THE CREATORS OF ICE AGE

Bring home Epic Adventure with a Brand New Interactive Coloring App and Nearly an Hour of Fun and Immersive Special Features for the Whole Family 

Arriving on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Deluxe Edition Blu-ray and DVD August 20 

LOS ANGELES, CA. (July 23, 2013) – From the creators of Ice Age, the year’s funniest, most exhilarating animated adventure comes home as EPICdebuts on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Deluxe Edition Blu-ray, and DVD this August 20 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.  Directed by Chris Wedge (The Ice Age Franchise) and featuring an amazing voice cast including Colin Farrell, Amanda Seyfried, Christoph Waltz, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler, Pitbull, and Beyoncé, the blockbuster film comes home just in time to help families become one with nature and end the summer in Epic style.

Transported to a magical world, a teenager (Amanda Seyfried) is recruited by a nature spirit, Queen Tara (Beyoncé Knowles), to help the “Leafmen” save their existence – and ours – from evil warriors. The whole family will love this fast-paced thrill-ride, with its astonishing animation and all-star voice cast that includes Colin Farrell, Oscar® Winner Christoph Waltz, and Steven Tyler!

Every Blu-ray and DVD comes with the Epic Coloring and Storybook Builder app. The app will allow kids to create their own Epic story and share it with family and friends.

The EPIC Blu-ray combo-pack includes Blu-ray, DVD and DigitalHD and comes complete with exclusives that will have kids both engaged and learning about the environment, just before heading back to school.  With special features including an overview of what life as a person two inches tall would be like, to discovering all of the different bugs from the film, EPIC is the perfect gift for families to enjoy from summer to the holidays!

EPIC 2- disc Blu-ray Combo Pack – BD/Ultraviolet/DVD & DC

  • Mub & Grub Intro – Join Mub and Grub for an EPIC tour through the special features of this Blu-ray!
  • Birds, Bugs and Slugs: Forest Explorer – Journey into the forest to meet the real-life counterparts of the EPIC world!
  • Rot Rocks – Mandrake might be the bad guy, but his world of rot benefits ours in a number of ways, let’s discover how!
  • Bugs of Camouflage – Join us to find out how bugs use their environment to hide right under our noses, just like the Leafmen!
  • The Epic Life At Two Inches Tall – How would your life be different if you were only two inches tall? Aside from being small, there are some surprising and amazing benefits!
  • Mysteries of Moonhaven Revealed – Meet the incredibly talented filmmakers, artists, and animators at Blue Sky, and learn all about the making of EPIC!
    • The World
    • The Leafmen
    • Queen Tara
    • Mub & Grub
    • Nim Galuu
    • The Stompers
    • Finding Moonhaven
  • Epic Coloring & Storybook Builder App – Color your own EPIC story with exclusive pages on your iOS or Android devices. Then become the story teller by recording your own voice and share on your television with family and friends
  • Theatrical Trailer

EPIC DVD

  • Mub & Grub Intro – Join Mub and Grub for an EPIC tour through the special features of this Blu-ray!
  • Rot Rocks – Mandrake might be the bad guy, but his world of rot benefits ours in a number of ways, let’s discover how!
  • Bugs of Camouflage – Join us to find out how bugs use their environment to hide right under our noses, just like the Leafmen!
  • Epic Coloring & Storybook Builder App – Color your own EPIC story with exclusive pages on your iOS or Android devices. Then become the story teller by recording your own voice and share on your device with family and friends
  • Theatrical Trailer

 

EPIC 3-Disc Deluxe Edition BD3D /BD/Ultraviolet/DVD & DC

Includes feature film on Blu-ray 3D and all of the features of the Blu-ray combo pack. In addition, inside every Deluxe Edition Blu-ray, families will find 3 Epic Seed cards—so you can grow your own Epic Garden!

ABOUT TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programing. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™ and DigitalHD™. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

Book Review “Pacific Rim: Man, Machines & Monsters – The Inner Workings of an Epic Film”

Author: David S. Cohen
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Insight Edition
Release Date: June 18, 2013

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Guillermo del Toro is my absolute hero! This guy should be making every single movie in Hollywood.  “Pacific Rim” is any guys dream come true. Giant monsters and giant robots going head-to-head…I need a minute to myself.  Ok, I am back! I seriously can say that this is my most anticipated film of the entire summer.  Yes, I know that action heroes are the hottest thing right now but you cannot put that up against monsters and robots. This book is also one of my favorite companion books from this year. It is part art book, part visual companion.  Best of both worlds!

Official Premise: When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes-a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)-who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.

You can also imagine that a $200 million dollar film is going to be backed with some amazing artwork and pre-production planning.   This book contains some really amazing images, all displayed in super high quality.  There is some amazing detailed set photography, along with great commentary from the film’s creative team. I also liked insights into the battle-torn world of 2025 CE depicted in the movie, so it takes you behind the story as well as behind the scenes. One aspect I loved about this book is that it is also very hands on, there are multiple sketches, blueprints and various tabs to enhance this experience. There are also two pull out posters in the back of the book.

David S. Cohen has been writing for Variety for over 10 years and is the author of “The Ballad of Rango: The Art & Making of an Outlaw Film”, which is another great companion book. There is an awesome foreword from director Guillermo del Toro.  He really is so passionate about his films and I loved reading what he had to say about this film. Some of the art in the book might be considered to be a bit of a spoiler since all of the monsters and robots are not show in the trailers but I couldn’t care less, I loved every page of this book and now I just want to see the film more!

Tara Bennett talks about her companion book “The Art of Epic”

Tara Bennett is the author of several movie and TV companion books including the upcoming “The Art of Epic”, as well as “The Art of 300”, and “The Art of Terminator Salvation”. She also contributed to the media tie-in books for ‘The Official Firefly Companions Vol. 1, Vol. 2 and Vol. 3’ and ‘Firefly: Celebration’. She has also done interviews and features for print and online publications, including The Walking Dead Magazine, Once Upon a Time Magazine, SCI FI Magazine, Blastr and many more. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Tara about her latest book and her love for pop culture.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with your latest book “The Art of Epic”?
Tara Bennett: I’ve worked with Titan Books since 2005 when I contributed to their Making of Fantastic Four book. I’ve been blessed to continue working with them over the last decade contributing to their Firefly Companions. As an individual author, I wrote for them all four of the 24: Series Companions, The Art of Terminator Salvation and Terminator Salvation Movie Companion. Late last year, they contacted me about writing The Art of epic and I was thrilled. I’m a long-time animation nut and this was my first opportunity to write a concept to creation book for an animated film so I jumped at the opportunity.

MG: Where you able to see the film “Epic” before working on the companion book?
I had the special opportunity to go to the Blue Sky Studios in Connecticut last September, where I got to meet the entire epic team. While there, I had a fascinating three hour presentation from epic Art Director Mike Knapp, who walked me through the entire conceptual evolution of the film. I got to see all of the concept art featured in the book, watched animatics, partially completed scenes and completed scenes. Just this past February, I got to go back to Blue Sky as part of my coverage for Total Film Magazine and watch about 25 minutes of the completed film. They only locked the entire film around the first week of April so I’m excited to see the final film next week.

MG: After working on “The Art of 300” and “The Art of Terminator Salvation”; how does “The Art of Epic” compare?
The common thread when doing any “art of” book is getting to see the early ideas that are developed for each film. “Art of” books are about documenting the creative path a film takes before it becomes the finished product, so all three books afforded me the opportunity to see, and explain, the design and aesthetic evolution of each film. I graduated with a degree in TV/Radio and Film so behind the scenes stories about making films have always fascinated me and as a professional who worked in the business, I know every project has a very unique story. So that being said, it’s hard to compare those three books because they were all very different types of films. But I think the epic book is unique in showing off the wide array of artists who contributed their ideas for environments, characters looks, costuming and more, and then how their work was all distilled into the final design after a long span of trial and error. I think the book shows off their work beautifully and just how much each design phase inspired what would become the final film.

MG: How much research is required for you to do before authoring these books?
It varies on every project. I do my homework with the materials provided to me by my editor and publisher. Often, I get to do interviews with key members of the production where I really get into the history and the practical decisions surrounding every aspect of making the film. My background and general love of the film and television industry also means I’m already always reading about, or keeping up with, trends and technology so I know the right questions to ask when I get the opportunity. Honestly, it’s the fun part of the job for me.

MG: I am a huge “Firefly” fan, tell us about your work on “The Official Firefly Companions Vol. 1-3” & “Firefly: Celebration”?
Hello fellow Browncoat! Working on all of the Firefly Companions has been an absolute dream. It’s got an incredibly passionate fan base so from the start I knew I would get to write for the real hard core fans who want to know the tiniest details about every aspect of that show which was exciting. Those books are not for a watered-down, mainstream audience; those books are for the true believers and that means I got to geek out in my interviews and with my writing. Also that cast and crew is just such a special collection of people so getting to talk with them and reminisce officially about the show was incredible. It’s always thrilling to meet a new Firefly fan, of which we are legion now and always growing, so those books make me very proud.

MG: Tell us about your print and online work including The Walking Dead Magazine, SCI FI Magazine, Blastr etc?
I’ve been an entertainment journalist full time since 2003 when I transitioned out of television producing into writing full-time. Along with writing books, I also cover television, film and pop culture for an array of online and print outlets. For Titan Magazines, I’ve worked on just about all of their series and film-centric specialty magazines from 2003 to today including most recently The Walking Dead Magazine, Once Upon a Time Collector’s Magazines and Grimm Magazine. I am the east coast editor for SFX Magazine and contributor for Total Film Magazine. I write for SCI FI Magazine. Online, I write for Movies.com, FEARnet, Blaster and more. I keep myself as diversified as possible because this business is rough and I never know when an outlet might disappear or not need me. Having a lot of places to write for makes my freelancing life a little more stable…if possible.

MG: What is your current obsessions now in pop culture, whether TV, comics, film etc?
Good question. Currently, I’m in Game of Thrones mode. I really love this season and am a little more invested because two of my graduating students work on the series in the visual effects department so their names in the credits every week always makes me smile. The summer movie season is here so I’m excited about Star Trek Into Darkness, epic (obviously), The Wolverine, Elysium and more. I’m a huge The Hunger Games nerd so I’m excited about Catching Fire in the fall. And then the upcoming TV season has some exciting possibilities and I love covering new shows anticipating if any will become one of my new favorites.

MG: What do you have planned next? In terms of “Art of Books”?
The book writing world is extremely mercurial. I’m at the mercy of a publisher or editor knocking on my cyber door to see if I’m available, so nothing is currently on my calendar but I hope something pops up soon and I’ll be back in the trenches again.

Book Review “The Art of Epic”

Author: Tara Bennett
Hardcover: 143 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: April 23, 2013

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Titan Books is really on fire this year, after also recently releasing the impressive “The Art of The Croods”. “Epic” is the latest film from 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios, the creators of “Ice Age” and “Rio”. I haven’t heard much of this film before reading this like I did with “The Art of the Croods”, but this book makes me really want to see this movie right now!

“The Art of Epic” is really sharp art book with over 300 pieces of concept art, character sketches, storyboards and digital paintings spread out over the 140+ pages. Top that with some great interviews from the very talented animation talent that are behind the film and we’ve got a winner. The art is very detailed and very colorful. It really captures this world that was created for this film. I love the breakdown of each character and environment that we get introduced to throughout this film.

Official Premise: “Epic” tells the story of an ongoing battle deep in the forest between the forces of good and the forces of evil. When a teenage girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she must band together with a rag-tag team of fun and whimsical characters in order to save their world — and ours.

The film is director by Chris Wedge, (“Ice Age”) and stars the voices of Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, with Steven Tyler and Beyoncé Knowles. So there is no shortage of talent here for sure.

The author for this book, Tara Bennett, is no stranger to “The Art of” books. She has worked on several movie and TV companion books including “The Art of 300”, “The Art of Terminator Salvation” and “The Official Firefly Companions Vol. 1, Vol. 2 and Vol. 3”. She really knows how to give an inside look behind-the-scenes on a project and she does it very well here. She has me hook, line and sinker. I will be first in line for “Epic”. I look forward to future releases from both her and Titan Books.

Blu-ray Review “The Bible: The Epic Miniseries”

Number of discs: 4
Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD Release Date: April 2, 2013
Run Time: 440 minutes

Series: 4 out of stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I may not be the most religious man in the world. I grew up going to church and catholic school, so I know the stories of The Bible quite well. There has been many history specials on these stories but never in the scale of this. The new epic mini-series is produced by Mark Burnett (“The Voice”, “Survivor”) and, his wife, Roma Downey (“Touched by an Angel”). If you watched the show on The History Channel, this is worth revisiting since this Blu-ray for an exclusive an all-new cut  featuring more stories than was show on television.

This mini-series is narrated by Emmy winning actor Keith David (“They Live”, “Cloud Atlas”) and features a fantastic international cast including Portuguese actor, Diogo Morgado as Jesus Christ and Roma Downey as Mother Mary. The score of the mini-series also features sound beautiful score from Oscar and Grammy winning composer Hans Zimmer, who reunited with acclaimed vocalist Lisa Gerrard for the first time since “Gladiator”. The score blends perfectly with the breathtaking visuals created for the mini-series. The performances are very impressive and the production value on the series really is on a high-scale and packed with some amazing visual effects.

Official Premise: From Executive Producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett comes The Bible — an epic 10-part miniseries retelling stories from the Scriptures for a whole new generation. Breathtaking in scope and scale, The Bible features powerful performances, exotic locales and dazzling visual effects that breathe spectacular life into the dramatic tales of faith and courage from Genesis through Revelation. This historic television event is sure to entertain and inspire the whole family.

“The Bible” really looks stunning on Blu-ray. When I first watched this on television, I knew that this was a show that had a lot of production put into it. Whether it is the set locations, visual effects or costumes, this show did not take the cheap route. The 1080p transfers are near-flawless and represent the action and the epic quality of the series quite well. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track also delivers. From every sword fight to thunder strike to battle scene they each sound absolutely amazing.

The special features are quite amazing for this mini-series. First off we have “The Bible: Creation” is a very in-depth three-part making of series. “Creation I: The Vision, The Look” is a behind-the-scenes look into the locations, production overall and costume design. “Creation II: Production Stories” is a cast/crew recollection of unique events that occurred throughout the production. “Creation III: Crucified & Resurrected” looks into the making of these emotional scenes.

“The Bible: Genesis” is a chat with with Mark Burnett and Roma Downey about how they prepared to film the stories of the Bible. “The Cast of The Bible” is again with Mark and Roma as they talk about the actors used for the mini-series. “Scoring The Bible” takes us into the score with composer Hans Zimmer and award-winning soloist Lisa Gerrard. “Believing in Miracles” feature cast and crew reliving moments that occured during filming. Lastly, “The Bible: Visual Effects” is a montage clip of all the amazing scenes created for the series.

Experience James Cameron’s Epic Masterpiece Like Never Before when “Titanic” Comes Home for the First Time Ever on Blu-ray 2D and 3D

EXPERIENCE JAMES CAMERON’S EPIC MASTERPIECE  LIKE NEVER BEFORE WHEN TITANIC COMES HOME FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER ON BLU-RAY™ 2D AND 3D

Spectacular Love Story Debuts On Blu-ray Worldwide September 10, 2012 With More Than 2 ½ Hours of New Special Feature Content

 LOS ANGELES, CA (May 31, 2012) – The two billion-dollar box office phenomenon and winner of 11 Academy Awards®,TITANIC, makes its highly anticipated debut on Blu-ray 2D and 3D on September 10, 2012 from Paramount Home Media Distribution and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.  Available in high definition for the first time ever, James Cameron’s timeless and unforgettable tour de force will be presented in stunning 2D and 3D, providing a cinematic in-home experience of TITANIC like never before.  Marking 101 years ago today that the RMS Titanic was launched into the Belfast Lough, film fans worldwide can now pre-order the epic love story on Blu-ray 2D or Blu-ray 3D™ with participating online retailers.

James Cameron commented, “Blu-ray extends TITANIC’s immersive 3D theatrical experience into audiences’ homes, where their living room becomes the backdrop for big spectacular environments and intense action, as well as profoundly intimate human moments, allowing generations of fans—new and old—to truly become part of the movie like never before.”

Presented in a four-disc 2D Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with Digital Copy or, for the ultimate experience in fully immersive 3D, in a four-disc Blu-ray 3D and 2D combo pack with Digital Copy, this high-definition presentation of TITANIC is a must have for film fans’ home media collections.  Both sets feature more than 2 ½ hours of new bonus footage never-before-released on disc, including a fascinating in-depth exploration of the film with James Cameron, as well as documentary footage produced by National Geographic with James Cameron that brings the world’s leading RMS Titanic experts together to solve the lingering mysteries of why and how the “unsinkable” ship sank.

The sets also boast previously released special features including 30 deleted scenes, over 60 behind-the-scenes featurettes, a look at the groundbreaking visual effects, over 2,000 photos, three commentaries and much, much more.  TITANIC will also be available in a two-disc DVD set with deleted scenes and, for the first time ever, for digital download.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in the roles that would make them global stars, TITANIC tells the story of the epic romance between two star-crossed lovers set against the backdrop of the legendary and ill-fated maiden voyage of the “ship of dreams.”

Four-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

The TITANIC Blu-ray containing the feature film is presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.  The DVDs are presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French and Spanish subtitles.

The disc breakdown is as follows:

Disc 1 (Blu-ray):

  • Feature film in high definition
  • Commentary by director James Cameron
  • Cast and Crew Commentary
  • Historical Commentary by Don Lynch and Ken Marschall

Disc 2 (DVD):

  • Feature film in standard definition (Part 1)

Disc 3 (DVD):

  • Feature film in standard definition (Part 2)

Disc 4 (Blu-ray):

  • Documentaries

o   Reflections on Titanic—NEW!

o   Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron—NEW!

  • Deleted Scenes with commentary by James Cameron
  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
  • Construction Timelapse
  • Deep Dive Presentation—Narrated by James Cameron
  • $200,000,001A Ship’s Odyssey—the Titanic Crew Video
  • Videomatics
  • Visual Effects
  • Music Video—“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion
  • Trailers
  • TV Spots
  • Still Galleries

o   Titanic Scriptment by James Cameron

o   Storyboard Sequences

o   Production Artwork

o   Photographs

o   Ken Marshall’s Painting Gallery

o   Concept Posters and One Sheets

o   By the Numbers

o   Bibliography

  • Titanic Parodies

o   MTV’s 1998 Movie Awards skit

o   Saturday Night Live skit

o   Titanic in 30 Seconds

Four-Disc Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack

The TITANIC Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray containing the feature film are presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.  The disc breakdown is as follows:

Disc 1 (Blu-ray 3D):

  • Feature film in high definition and 3D (Part 1)

Disc 2 (Blu-ray 3D):

  • Feature film in high definition and 3D (Part 2)

Disc 3 (Blu-ray):

  • Feature film in high definition
  • Commentary by director James Cameron
  • Cast and Crew Commentary
  • Historical Commentary by Don Lynch and Ken Marschall

Disc 4 (Blu-ray):

  • Documentaries

o   Reflections on Titanic—NEW!

o   Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron—NEW!

  • Deleted Scenes with commentary by James Cameron
  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
  • Construction Timelapse
  • Deep Dive Presentation—Narrated by James Cameron
  • $200,000,001A Ship’s Odyssey—the Titanic Crew Video
  • Videomatics
  • Visual Effects
  • Music Video—“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion
  • Trailers
  • TV Spots
  • Still Galleries

o   Titanic Scriptment by James Cameron

o   Storyboard Sequences

o   Production Artwork

o   Photographs

o   Ken Marshall’s Painting Gallery

o   Concept Posters and One Sheets

o   By the Numbers

o   Bibliography

  • Titanic Parodies

o   MTV’s 1998 Movie Awards skit

o   Saturday Night Live skit

o   Titanic in 30 Seconds

Two-Disc DVD

The TITANIC DVDs are presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French and Spanish subtitles.  The disc breakdown is as follows:

Disc 1 (DVD):

  • Feature film in standard definition (Part 1)

Disc 2 (DVD):

  • Feature film in standard definition (Part 2)
  • Deleted Scenes with commentary by James Cameron

Digital Download

The digital download includes the following:

  • Feature film in standard or high definition
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Still Galleries

About Paramount Home Media Distribution

Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment.  PPC is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands.  The PHMD division oversees PPC’s home entertainment, digital and television distribution activities worldwide. The division is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment content on behalf of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, CBS and PBS and for providing home entertainment fulfillment services for DreamWorks Animation Home Entertainment.  PHMD additionally manages global licensing of studio content and distribution across worldwide digital and television distribution platforms including online, mobile and portable devices and emerging technologies.

About Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC (TCFHE) is a recognized global industry leader and a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, a News Corporation company. Representing 75 years of innovative and award-winning filmmaking from Twentieth Century Fox, TCFHE is the worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming, acquisitions and original productions on DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital Copy, Video On Demand and Digital Download. The company also releases all products globally for MGM Home Entertainment. Each year TCFHE introduces hundreds of new and newly enhanced products, which it services to retail outlets from mass merchants and warehouse clubs to specialty stores and e-commerce throughout the world.

 

TITANIC

Street date:                 September 10, 2012

Runtime:                      194 minutes

SRP:                             $44.99 (Four-Disc Blu-ray 3D combo pack)

$39.99 (Four-Disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack)

$29.99 (Two-Disc DVD)

U.S. Rating:                 PG-13 for disaster related peril and violence, nudity, sensuality and brief language

Canadian Rating:         14A for frightening scenes, coarse language, violence, disturbing content