Calling Florida moviegoers, below please find the codes for the screenings of “Ghost in the Shell”. If you want to see this film before ANYONE else! Hurry fast and grab tickets below and spread the word to your friends as well! They will go VERY fast! Enjoy and be sure to leave comments below after the film!
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – (December 13, 2016) The groundbreaking anime film Ghost in the Shellarrives on Blu-ray™ + Digital HD with limited-edition Mondo key art in collectible Steelbook packaging from Anchor Bay Entertainment on March 14, 2017. The groundbreaking anime celebrated the 25thanniversary of the original Manga in 2014. Directed by legendary anime director Mamoru Oshii, Ghost in the Shell questions human existence in the fast-paced world of the information age, this award-winning, cyber-tech thriller has established itself as one of the leading Japanese animation films of all time.
A female cybernetic government agent, Major Motoko Kusanagi, and the Internal Bureau of Investigations are hot on the trail of “The Puppet Master,” a mysterious and threatening computer virus capable of infiltrating human hosts. Together, with her fellow agents from Section 9, they embark on a high-tech race against time to capture the omnipresent entity. Ghost in the Shell took the world by storm in the mid-90’s, exhibiting a new dimension of anime with unprecedented, mesmerizing cinematic expression. Seamlessly merging traditional animation with the latest computer graphic imagery, this stunning sci-fi spectacle challenged the boundaries of mainstream animation with detailed artistic expression and a uniquely intelligent story line. Veteran director Mamoru Oshii skillfully creates the ultimate anime experience in this futuristic masterpiece based on the groundbreaking comic book by Masamune Shirow.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Season 1 and Season 2 previously only available on DVD will be arriving on Blu-ray™ for the first time on February 21, 2017. Ghost in the Shell will be available on Blu-ray™ from Anchor Bay Entertainment on March 14, 2017 for the suggested retail price of $34.99.
ABOUT ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT
Anchor Bay Entertainment, a Lionsgate company, is a leading independent home entertainment company that acquires and releases a wide array of theatrical and home entertainment content, including STARZ Original series, children’s programming, fitness (Anchor Bay Fitness), sports and specialty films on Blu-ray™ and DVD formats. The company has long-term distribution agreements in place for select programming with The Weinstein Company, AMC Networks and RADiUS, among others.
GHOST IN THE SHELL Blu-ray™ + Digital HD
Street Date: March 14, 2017
Pre-book: February 8, 2017
Catalog #: BD64909
Run Time: 82 Minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Format: English: Dolby 5.1 DTS-HD
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 1:78:1g
Audio: Subtitles: English, Japanese
Loma Vista Recordings
Our Score: 4 out of 5 Stars
Ghost continues to thumb its nose at metal purists with their latest EP. If you’re hoping for a return to the heavy doom metal that was “Opus Eponymous” you’re going to continue to be severely disappointed in Ghost’s current direction. “Popestar” drops the same day as they begin their new North American tour. The EP may come as a reaction to the newfound attention the gimmicky Satanic band from Sweden got after nabbing a Grammy earlier this year for the single “Cirice”. An appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert before Halloween doesn’t hurt either.
Unlike their last EP, “If You Have Ghost,” “Popestar” comes with a fresh song that’s a suitable follow-up to the mellow progressive rock/metal album “Meliora”. The new song, “Square Hammer,” blasts out of the gate with a cheesy horror organ tune with rock drumming underneath. Once the guitars kick in, there’s an infectious catchiness to all the instruments firing off seamlessly. At no point does “Square Hammer” feel like a chart topping metal song, but a catchy rock tune that could easily sneak into the Top 40 of any pop station. That is if it wasn’t for the allusions to Satan.
The chorus of “Square Hammer” is something that’ll have fans singing and chanting along like they’re at an arena rock concert. The hokeyness of the song, Blue Oyster Cult-like guitar solos, almost mask that this song is about fully submitting to the Dark Lord instead of passively giving the thumbs up to Satan. The band has even dropped a music video to accompany the song, featuring an homage to 1920’s Dracula and the inherent cheesiness that the band has been from day one. Asking listeners to give in to Satan has never been so poppy or catchy.
The EP then gives us a breather by sliding into the simplistic, but head bobbing “Nocturnal Me,” originally by Echo & the Bunnymen. The post punk guitars for this song are tuned heavier and make it a moodier. The post-punk music is an easy mold for Ghost to fit into. It’s a song that allows for atmospheric evil to permeate and eat up five minutes very quickly. I can see Trent Reznor hearing this song and kicking himself in the head for never covering it.
The oddest choice for this EP comes next on “I Believe,” originally by Simian Mobile Disco, which is like a contemporary Pet Shop Boys, but without the 80’s charm. “I Believe” may grow on me, but it only features heavy synthesizers, R&B guitar plucking and light drumming. It may serve as a brief segue between the two halves of this EP. The four minutes doesn’t go by fast enough, but on a solid play through of this EP, it feels more like an unnecessary break between the two halves of this EP.
The heaviest the band gets on this EP is covering a Eurythmics song on the next song. They take British pop band’s soul single, “Missionary Man” and crank the guitars and drums to 11. Vocalist Papa Emeritus III keeps the soul vocals intact and the band does their best to turn the blues riffs into breakdowns that melt in between the rhythmic metal chugs. Hearing Papa Emeritus III with a southern twang to his voice is enough to check out this song.
The EP ends on an oddly inspirational sounding track, “Bible” originally by Imperiet, a short-lived Swedish post-punk band that I’ve never heard of and you probably haven’t either. The gospel chorus, sweeping drums, toned down guitars, soft acoustic guitar, and heavenly organs are incredibly misleading. Once you get down to the lyrics of this sucker, you’ll realize how critical it is religion, power, government and humanity’s hypocrisy. It’s a beautiful song that’s haunting and deserves repeated listens with your volume knob all the way to the right on your speakers.
“Popestar” is another solid outing for the band. Ghost is known for “replacing” their lead singer with a new persona for every new album. This EP is certainly a farewell to Papa Emeritus III, which feels fitting with how much this EP feels like a crisp summarization of what made Ghost a hit on the American scene in the past year with the personification of Papa Emeritus III at the helm. Their fearless tackle of pop music with their traditional doom metal sound is highlighted on “Popestar” It’s a wonderful counterbalance between the stingy headbanger crowd and the passive metalhead who dabbles in other genres. The EP title is a reference to the criticisms by some that they musically “sold out” by going for a more mainstream sound, but also a statement that they’re going to continue to push metal into new boundaries with their newfound fame.
1.) Square Hammer
2.) Nocturnal Me (Echo & the Bunnymen cover)
3.) I Believe (Simian Mobile Disco cover)
4.) Missionary Man (Eurythmics cover)
5.) Bible (Imperiet cover)
Loma Vista Recordings
Produced by: Klas Ahlund
Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars
“Meliora” is the latest release from the Swedish heavy metal band Ghost. The album is being released via Loma Vista Recordings and features 10 brand new tracks produced by Klas Ahlund. “Meliora” is the third release from the costume clad group and is the follow up to the bands 2013 release titled “Infestissumam”.
The latest offering from Ghost is certainly their most edgy release yet however the music still does little to live up to the bands dark imagery. With this being the first album to feature the newly anointed Papa Emeritus III signaling a new chapter for the band I had extremely high hopes. After hearing the album’s first single “Cirice” which features thunderous drums and a cool repeating guitar riff ala “Black Album” era Metallica I thought the band was off to a great start. Sadly much like the bands previous efforts there is a lot to sift through before getting to the albums more promising moments. That’s not to say the other tracks are bad musically as they all feature impressive arrangements however, those wanting a more straight forward metal sound might want to skip this. Along with “Cirice” I found the tracks “From the Pinnacle to the Pit”, “Mummy Dust” and “Majesty” to be more to my liking as they featured simpler arrangements that were easier to digest while tracks like “He Is” and “Dues in Absenthia” feature church like orchestral sounds that left me reaching for the skip button.
Yes Ghost and their latest album “Meliora” is a decent album. Will it appeal to everyone? Probably not. There just seems to be a lot of droning and weighty productions elements which make the listening experience a bit annoying. Fans of the band unique sound will certainly enjoy the album as it is quite a bit beefier however I don’t see the album being strong enough to elevate the band to the next level and pull in an entirely new group of listeners.
From the Pinnacle to the Pit
Dues in Absentia
Actors: Christopher R.Sabat, John Swasey, Elizabeth Maxwell
Directors: Zach Bolton
Number of discs: 4
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Run Time: 114 minutes
Series: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars
“Ghost in the Shell: Arise” is a new four-part OVA series that serves as a re-imagining of Masamune Shirow’s “Ghost in the Shell”. The OVA series features new character designs and new music by Cornelius. The series of OVAs were split into separate episodes called “Borders”. This release includes the first two titled: “Ghost Pain” and “Ghost Whispers”. Being a fan of “Ghost in the Shell” for years, this is another great series in the franchise. I can’t wait to see the second half.
Official Premise: In this highly anticipated prequel set in the year after the fourth World War, cyborg and hacker Motoko Kusanagi finds herself wrapped up in the investigation of a devastating bombing. But she’s not the only one looking for answers—as she delves deeper into the mystery of who is behind the attack, a specialized team unlike any before begins to take shape.
“Ghost in the Shell: Arise” looks stunning on Blu-ray. The 1080p transfers presented in 1.78:1 is outstanding. The animation is breathtaking and even though the characters looks a little different the series still is so sharp. The colors are so sharp and there is a nice mix of CGI elements. Same goes for the language tracks. There are both Japanese and English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, it may upset some people that this does not include original cast but I see it as new character designs, new voices. A few new start.
I was really impressed that this release included some solid special features, which are are great like the series and spanned over two discs. “Ghost in the Shell: Arise at the Anime Expo 2013” features interviews with staff and attendees. There is a feature with the robotic quadrapeds in “Logicoma Beat”. There are also a bunch of promotional videos, New Flash(s) and trailers/teasers and textless openings included.
The second disc includes a U.S. Cast and Crew Audio Commentary. “Decode 501File” gives background on the mysterious group. “Border: 1 Ghost Pain Cyberbrain” includes two Q&A from 2013 with cast and I.G. There are also a bunch more of promotional videos, New Flash(s) and trailers/teasers.spots and textless openings/closings included. Overall a lot of promotional material but still great extras.
Starring: Akio Ôtsuka, Atsuko Tanaka, Kouichi Yamadera, Tamio Ohki, Iemasa Kayumi, Yutaka Nakano
Directors: Mamoru Oshii
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: ANCHOR BAY
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Run Time: 82 minutes
Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 0 out of 5 stars
If you are counting on your fingers wondering if you are going nuts, don’t worry the answer is no. “Ghost in the Shell” did come out in 1995 and it has only been 19 years since its release. This Blu-ray celebrates the the 25th anniversary of the publication of Masamune Shirow’s original manga. If you are scratching your head again wondering how this compares to the 2009 “Ghost in the Shell 2.0” Blu-ray release, you are not alone again, but luckily I will explain. The 2.0 cut was a new version of the film with over 250 reworked scenes, remastered by Mamoru Oshii himself including a new voice cast recording and brand new score from Kenji Kawai. The original theatrical cut has never been released before on Blu-ray, so this is the first time. Honestly though unless you are a hardcore fan, who needs the original cut (which is pretty awesome to have don’t get me wrong), I wouldn’t rush out to pick this up.
Official Premise: Set in the year 2029 and following World Wars III and IV, a Japanese-led Asian block dominates world affairs. The alliance maintains its international supremacy through its elite security force whose cybernetically enhanced operatives tackle an array of hi-tech terrorists and other threats to international security. These augmented agents can “ghost hack” (i.e., download their consciousness) via the now omnipresent internet into other machines and human/machine cross breeds. Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cybernetically augmented female agent, has been tracking a virtual entity known as the Puppet Master with her crack squad of security agents. The shape-shifting Puppet Master, a rogue creation of a rival agency of the security apparatus, has concluded that it is a life form in its own right, “born in sea of information,” and requested political asylum and true physical existence in defiance of its creators.
This 25th Anniversary Blu-ray release includes a HD remaster of the original, unaltered theatrical cut of the film. This version has never been released on Blu-ray before, which is a cool thing but I expected so much more from the “25th Anniversary release” The audio tracks includes are a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 for the English track and only a LPCM 2.0 for the Japanese track. If you recall the 2009 Blu-ray we got DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1 for both Japanese and English tracks along with LPCM 2.0 as well for each. This Blu-ray just doesn’t cut it for me in comparison. Plus there are ZERO special features included on this release besides a booklet with an interview from Mamoru Oshii and an article on the “The World of Ghost in the Shell” and “The Impact of Ghost in the Shell”, which makes for a nice read but hardly enough to warrant a re-buy.
“Ghost The Musical”
Bob Carr Performing Arts Center
May 13-18, 2014
Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars
“Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers is probably one of my all-time favorite long songs. I remember watching the film “Ghost” as a kid (probably too young to even get the film) and I fell in love with that song. The film is such a classic and whew knew that it could ever be turned into a Broadway play. Leave it up to the amazing, Bruce Joel Rubin (original writer of “Ghost”), who gave the words to “Ghost: The Musical” and the very fresh pop/rock score delivered by Grammy winner Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and Glenn Ballard (writer of Josh Groban’s “Believe” and Alanis Morisstette’s “You Outta Know”). The show is such an experience, that is the only way I am able describe it. It is exhilarating and also at the same time exhausting. They not only capture the essence of the original film but also improve it to make this one of the best plays that I have ever seen on the stage.
We all know the story but just in case you don’t, here is official premise: “‘Ghost: The Musical’ follows Sam and Molly, a young couple whose connection takes a shocking turn after Sam’s untimely death. Trapped between two worlds, Sam refuses to leave Molly when he learns she is in grave danger. Desperate to communicate with her, he turns to a storefront psychic who helps him protect Molly and avenge his death”. What I love the most about this play was that my wife hadn’t seen the film in years and yet she enjoyed it just as much as myself who had just watched the film again to refresh earlier this week.
From the moment the play starts, you are wowed with amazing visuals projected at the stage. You feel like you are being swept through New York City. This video presentation is used throughout the show along with amazing light, smoke and strobe light effects. There is one particular scene that really blew me away, which takes place on a subway car that left me speechless. I have seen many different plays at Bob Carr Performing Arts Center and none of them have ever been like this. I felt like I was literally sitting on Broadway watching this performance. It was so solid and well done that I haven’t stopped thinking about it since and have already looked up tickets for another showing.
Since this show is a musical, I was very interested how they were going to tell the story of “Ghost” through music. Right from the “Overture”, I fell in love with the songs (and even purchased the soundtrack). I loved the spin that they put on “Unchained Melody” and of course it is also cued through the entire show. I cannot get the track “Here Right Now” out of my head. I have had it on repeat. “More” is a tale about the life in NYC really hits home with my having lived and worked there for many years. “Are You a Believer” was a highlight of the show and literally had me rolling in my chair.
Steven Grant Douglas gave life (or after life) to the role of Sam Wheat. He was very strong and easily the best acting performance for the show. Katie Postotnik plays Molly Jenson and this girl can really sing. She nails the song “With You”. I could see her on the stages of Broadway since she really has the chops, so she takes the best singing in the show. Last but certainly not least everyone’s favorite Oda Mae Brown (who won Whoopi Goldberg an Oscar for from the film) is played by Carla R. Stewart. Let me tell you this woman had the audience in tears, laughing that is. She was the perfect comedic relief for this film and was hit for hit with each of the jokes. Put these amazing performance together with a wonderful production and you have a guaranteed hit with “Ghost: The Musical”, do not this miss on the stage!
“Ghost: The Musical” will be at Bob Carr Performing Arts Center from May 13th-18th. If you miss it in Orlando, be sure to check it out on the rest of its US National Tour below:
JUNE 5 – JUNE 8
Exclusive U.S. DVD Distribution Rights for Season 9 of the #1 Paranormal Show
LOS ANGELES, CA – Grand Entertainment Group (GEG), an independent multi-platform content and distribution company, has obtained exclusive DVD rights from Pilgrim Studios to Season 9 of their hit Syfy original series “Ghost Hunters.” Under the deal brokered by GEG President David Rand, Michael Purleski, Vice President of Legal Affairs for Pilgrim Studios and Executive Producer Alan David. Grand Entertainment Group will produce market and distribute the latest season on DVD throughout the United States.
“Ghost Hunters,” the #1 paranormal reality television series and longest-running series on the Syfy network, is executive produced by Craig Piligian, Mike Nichols, Thomas Thayer and Alan David. “We are very excited to be working with Pilgrim Studios and the ‘Ghost Hunters’ franchise,” states David Rand. “The show has a loyal fan base and past DVD sales have performed well — we anticipate as much success with Season 9.”
In Season 9 of “Ghost Hunters,” Jason Hawes and his team from The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) continue conducting chilling investigations across the country. Locations include Los Angeles’ historic Sowden House, said to be the site where Elizabeth Short — more famously known as “The Black Dahlia” — was brutally murdered; the eerie Peoria Asylum in Bartonville, IL, where an estimated 16,000 people perished under gruesome conditions; and Sylvan Beach Amusement Park on Lake Oneida, NY which, according to its owners and patrons, is a rollercoaster of paranormal activity.
“Ghost Hunters” Season 9 will be available second quarter at major retailers and online distributors.
Craig Piligian’s Pilgrim Studios produces a wide variety of unscripted programming for television, including Fast N’ Loud for Discovery; Ghost Hunters and Killer Contact for Syfy; The Ultimate Fighter for FOX Sports 1; Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy for History; Orange County Choppers for CMT; Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s and Raising Whitley for OWN; David Tutera: Unveiled for WEtv; Wicked Tuna for National Geographic Channel, and Swamp Pawn for CMT. In the scripted realm, Pilgrim’s original movies for Lifetime include Amanda Knox: Murder On Trial In Italy; Abducted: The Carlina White Story and the crime thriller Stalkers. Pilgrim’s most recent scripted projects include a pilot for ABC Family and a mini-series for Spike about the 2012 terrorist attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Grand Entertainment Group (GEG), launched in early 2012, as a complete destination for programming. With the ability to distribute DVD; digital; streaming; television and limited theatricals, Grand Entertainment gives filmmakers and their films the platform they deserve. GEG is a subsidiary of Grand Distribution Group, which produces and distributes diversified products, services, and technologies. With a line-up of films slated for 2014, GEG is moving forward in a “Grand Way.”
Stephen King, John Mellencamp, T Bone Burnett
Ghost Brothers of Darkland County
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Concord Music Group
Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
“Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” is a very unique release. It comes from the great talented minds of Stephen King, John Mellencamp and T Bone Burnett. It was originally a musical stage performance, which was performed in Atlanta in April of 2012. So what is this actually? It is a libretto of the acclaimed Southern Gothic supernatural musical. It is a mix of dialogue tracks, written by King with music by some amazing musicians including Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Sheryl Crow, Ryan Bingam, Kristofferson and Rosanne Cash…just to name a few. Costello and Kristofferson also take on characters in between the songs, along with Meg Ryan, Samantha Mathis and Matthew McConaughey. Can you believe the talent attached to this! It is very well put together and draws you in just like one of King’s novels. The music is seamless with the dialogue and together they really create a creepy atmosphere.
Official Premise: Set in the tiny town of Lake Belle Reve, Mississippi, the Ghost Brothers’ story centers on two sets of brothers: the ghosts of Jack and Andy, dead in an apparent murder/suicide, and their nephews, the living Frank and Drake, who seem to be headed toward the same downward spiral as their uncles. Joe, younger brother of Jack and Andy, father of Frank and Drake, has decided it’s time to reveal his own terrible secret at the site of the tragedy, before it’s too late.
This deluxe edition comes with a two disc set, one CD and one DVD. The DVD contains a bunch of great behind the scenes content and features the songs and interviews with Stephen King, John Mellencamp, and Musical Director, T Bone Burnett. The following three featurettes are included “A Look Behind Ghost Brothers of Darkland County”, “Truth In Studio” and “Libretto”. The DVD also comes with a digital copy of the libretto. There is also a pamphlet included with the set for an MP3 download of just the music. I was also impressive with the fact that this deluxe edition also comes with the complete lyrics and script from the CD tracks…and it looks very sharp as well. I highly recommend this for country music fans and of course the words of the great Stephen King.
1. Introduction By The Zydeco Cowboy
2. That s Me (Performed by Elvis Costello)
3. Anna and Frank Badmouthing Drake
4. That s Who I Am (Performed by Neko Case)
5. The Ghosts Argue and Fight
6. So Goddam Smart (Performed by Dave Alvin, Phil Alvin, Sheryl Crow)
7. Monique and Anna Meet
8. Wrong, Wrong, Wrong About Me (Performed by Elvis Costello)
9. Frank and Drake Argue
10. Brotherly Love (Performed by Ryan Bingham, Will Dailey)
11. Monique, Frank, Drake, and Anna Argue
12. How Many Days (Performed by Kris Kristofferson)
13. The Ghosts Talk (Dialog Underscoring: Patrick Fleming)
14. Home Again (Performed by Sheryl Crow, Dave Alvin, Phil Alvin, Taj Mahal)
15. Monique Comforts Drake
16. You Are Blind (Performed by Ryan Bingham)
17. Joe Begins To Tell His Story
18. Tear This Cabin Down (Performed by Taj Mahal)
19. Joe Continues His Story
20. My Name Is Joe (Performed by Clyde Mulroney)
21. Jenna Expresses Her Feelings
22. Away From This World (Performed by Sheryl Crow)
23. Monique Frustrated With The Boys
24. You Don t Know Me (Performed by Rosanne Cash)
25. Joe Continues As The Ghosts Observe (Dialog Underscoring: Patrick Fleming)
26. And Your Days Are Gone (Performed by Sheryl Crow, Dave Alvin, Phil Alvin)
27. Jack And Andy Fight Over Jenna
28. Jukin (Performed by Sheryl Crow)
29. Jack And Andy Argue And Fight
30. So Goddam Good (Performed by Phil Alvin, Dave Alvin, Sheryl Crow)
31. Joe Talks With His Younger Self
32. What Kind Of Man Am I (Performed by Kris Kristofferson, Phil Alvin, Sheryl Crow, Dave Alvin, Taj Mahal)
33. The Shape Sums Things Up
34. Truth (Performed by John Mellencamp with Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz)
35. Joe Talks With The Bartender
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Release Date: April 16, 2013
Run Time: 107 minutes
Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars
If you are a fan of Japanese films that you will know about “Rashomon”. This adapation of that the film really delivers a visual treat. It is also packs a great cast including Ananda Everingham (“Legend of the Tsunami Warrior”), Mario Maurer (“The Love of Siam”), Chermarn Bonnyasak (“The Love of Siam”), Mum Jokmok (“Ong Bak” Franchise, “The Protector”) and Dom Hetrakul (“Bangkok Dangerous”). The story is well paced and the action is mouth dropping. I would highly recommend checking out this film if you are a fan of the genre.
Official Premise: In this adaptation of the Japanese film Rashomon, a young monk leaves town to seek his father’s counsel after being disturbed by the murder trial testimony of the bandit Singh Khan, the wife of the deceased warlord, and a shaman who conjures up the warlord’s spirit. Along the way, he encounters a poor man who testified at the trial, and the two take refuge in an abandoned burial tunnel during a storm. They are met by an old beggar who joins in their lively conversation about the trial. In vivid detail, each story is witnessed on screen as it’s told from the bandit’s, the wife’s and the warlord’s perspectives, all riddled with bias and personal agenda. In the end, the young monk is left to determine what meaning is of true consequence not only in this murder trial, but in choosing to continue on his monastic path.
The Blu-ray presentation is great. The 1080p transfer is very impressive. The colors really pop out and looks very sharp. The action in the film is so well choreographed. The audio option included a Thai DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, which really works with the charm of the film and compliments the action sequels very well. The special features are ok but nothing amazing. They include a brief “The Making of a Legendary Story”, “Behind the Scenes” featurette and an International trailer as well.
Directed by: Brian Taylor, Mark Neveldine
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ciarán Hinds, Idris Elba, Violante Placido, Johnny Whitworth
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Running Time: 95 minutes
Blu-ray Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Film Score: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Unlike most people, I was a big fan of the first “Ghost Rider” film. I am also a huge fan of Nicolas Cage and he is at his most zaniest in this film. After seeing the crazy trailer for “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”, I was psyched that they were really bringing back Ghost Rider as more dark and violent and even in 3D. But unfortunately, they disappointed by taming this film to yet another safe PG-13 release. Ghost Rider is a dark character from Hell yet they have been afraid to really take the plunge on this franchise. On the bright side of this release though, the Blu-ray is impressive and the 3D is great even though it is converted.
Nicolas Cage returns to the role of Johnny Blaze in this sequel. He is still struggling with his curse as the devil’s bounty hunter. While hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe, he is recruited by a secret group from the church in order to save a young boy (Fergus Riordan) from the devil (Ciaran Hinds), who is looking for a new body. Blaze decided to embrace the power of the Ghost Rider once more in order to protect the boy and possibly rid himself of his curse forever.
Even though the film is a bit disappointing, the Blu-ray release is not. “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” packs a sweet 1080p 3D transfer and looks better on Blu-ray than it did on the big screen. Though if you are not a fan of 3D, there is also a 2D presentation of the film as well included. Also included is a sweet Ultraviolet streaming digital copy. This Blu-ray also packs a super awesome quality DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track, which blew up my surround sound.
There special features are impressive overall. Unlike most 3D releases, this one actually packs a 3D extra called “Riding Into Another Dimension”. It is a little short but focuses on cast/crew discussing 3D filmmaking and issues with converting the 2D to 3D in post-production. There is an awesome director’s expanded video commentary with picture-in-picture. It is being described by Sony as “an all access behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film”. There are just over 10 minutes of deleted scenes included. Lastly there is a super intense six-part documentary, ” The Path to Vengeance: Making Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”, which encompasses focusing on the behind-the-scenes making the film. Highly recommended.
Directed by: Herve de Crecy, Francois Alaux
Starring: Radek Bruna and Mark Ivanir
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Distributed by: New Video
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Running Time: 25 minutes
Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars
A live-action “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon” film…where do I sign up. This film is a sharp and fantastic attempt to showcase the charm of this series. The only bad thing about short film is that it is a ‘short film’, I would have loved to seen this go feature length. This film will be put out to time with the release of Ubisoft’s “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier” video game for Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3. The film is produced by Little Minx aka Ridley Scott, so you know that you are not getting some cheesy low-budget action. This film contains some great action and impressive CGI. New Video also released last year the brilliant “Assassin’s Creed: Lineage”, live-action prequel as well. What’s next guys? We want more!!??
If you are aware of the “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon” franchise, you will know that the ghosts are the world’s most highly trained and lethal soldiers. This film is a specifically a prequel to the new video game “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier”. It focuses on what happens when the Ghosts are dropped behind behind lines in hopes to eliminate one of the world’s biggest terrorists. This film also boasts the amazing cinematography from Trent Opaloch, known best for his work on “District 9”.
This release not only comes with a Blu-ray disc but also a DVD disc as well. The video looks great in its high-def 1080p transfer. The audio is also very impressive and packed with a fantastic score. There are only two special features but they are very impressive and worth the purchase of this film alone. There is 30 minute making-of featurette, which is longer than the film itself and really dives into all aspects including the special effects, the production and even the score. Lastly there is the 2010 Comic-Con teaser included. If you are fan of the series, this is a must purchase.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner
Directed by: Brad Bird
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 2 hours 13 minutes
Our Score: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars
Things are not going well on the other side of the world. In Budapest, a loyal American agent is shot dead during what was supposed to be a routine mission. At the same time, in Moscow, an elaborate prison break is being executed. The subject of the mission: one Ethan Hunt (Cruise). As he reaches the end of his escape route he yells to one of his rescuers, “Light the fuse!” Cue the music.
It’s been five years since the last “Mission.” Since then, Ethan’s team has been re-staffed and they are wary of working with him. Many rumors circulated after the death of Hunt’s wife, among them that he went rogue and killed the people responsible for her death. But now he and his skills are needed. A shadowy figure calling himself COBALT is looking to launch a nuclear weapon. He has managed to obtain the equipment necessary and now just needs the launch codes. He has also managed to frame Hunt and company for bombing the Russian Kremlin. Of course, like the instructions say, the members of the IMF have been disavowed. They are on their own as they try to prevent what will surely become World War III.
Many film fans balked when director Brad Bird was chosen to direct “M:I 4.” They needn’t have worried. With such classic animated films behind him like “The Iron Giant” and “The Incredibles,” Bird has only shifted his skills to now include real live people on screen. He fills the screen with wall to wall action, making sure there isn’t a dull moment to slow down the story. Shot all over the world, cinematographer Robert Elswit, who is the DP of choice for Paul Thomas Anderson and won an Oscar for his work on “There Will Be Blood” takes advantage of the different locales with almost breathtaking beauty. The production managed to secure the approval to film in and, most importantly, outside the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which is the tallest building in the world. Setting their cameras at the very ledge of a 130th floor window, Bird and Elswit gives us a view we would never be able to achieve in our lives.
The cast is just as committed as the director. Cruise is obviously comfortable in Hunt’s shoes and gives a strong performance. He is joined by a trio of actors that make up his new team. Patton, best known for romantic comedies, kicks serious ass as Jane. Simon Pegg, also known for comedies, plays Benji. He’s the gadget guy who can’t wait to go on a mission that requires him to wear a mask. But the surprise here is Renner. After back to back Oscar nominations (for “The Hurt Locker” and “The Town,” you may have him pegged as a serious bad ass. And he is. But he also shows a flair for comedy and completes the team. Good work is also turned in by Tom Wilkinson and Anil Kapoor (the game show host in “Slumdog Millionaire.”
The visual effects are spectacular, including a sand storm that begins in the desert and slowly envelops Dubai. I saw the film in IMAX and this is the perfect film for the format. This is Cruise and company’s greatest mission so far.
“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” is now playing exclusively in IMAX theatres. It opens wide December 21st.”
“The Ghost You Gave Me”
Metal Blade Records
Our Score: 2 out of 5
“The Ghost You Gave Me” will be the 6th studio release for the Woodstock, NY band 3. “The Ghost You Gave Me” is a rock infused blend of melodic vocals and stylistic guitar lines that captivate the listener from the very start. 3 formed in 1994 and quickly made their way up the progressive music ranks and in 2008 the band was part of the progressive rock package tour “Progressive Nation” which also featured Opeth, Between the Buried and Me and Dream Theater. “The Ghost You Gave Me” is the bands follow up release to their 2009 album titled “Revisions”.
“The Ghost You Gave Me” I found to be an interesting listen. The album was vocally very melodic and well performed even though I would have prefered a little heavier less dated approach. At times the music seemed weak and the instrumentation was not on the level of some other progressive bands however each member did have specific moments throughout the album where they could shine. A couple highlights off the album consisted of the title track “The Ghost You Gave Me” as well as “Pretty” which featured a catchy sing along type chorus that was enjoyable to listen to.
3’s “The Ghost You Gave Me” didn’t do much to impress me. In looking at the progressive music genre as a whole I think there really needs to be something new to come along and in a sense one up what bands like Dream Theater did starting in the mid 80’s. If bands such as 3 keep putting out dated interpretations instead of new and fresh material the genre progressive will surely slip further into the obscure.
1.) Sirenum Scopuli
4.) High Times
6.) On With the Sun
7.) The Ghost You Gave Me
10.) It’s Alive
11.) Only Child
12.) The Barrier
New Poster Now Available For “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”. In theaters: December 21st, 2011.
Director: Brad Bird
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Josh Holloway, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Lea Seydoux, Anil Kapoor
This is not just another mission. The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in a global terrorist bombing plot. Ghost Protocol is initiated and Ethan Hunt and his rogue new team must go undercover to clear their organization’s name. No help, no contact, off the grid. You have never seen a mission grittier and more intense than this.