Great online games to avoid the holiday blues!

During this holiday season, many people get what’s called the holiday blues. If you don’t get to share your holidays with a family or love ones, they can get a little down. I usually like to loose myself online and just browse around and play games. There are tons are great online games to pass the time and even in cases make you some of that holiday money back.

Whether you are a MMORPG video game players or someone that likes to hit the slots virtually. Here is one of the must visit sites, 888 casino bonus, which features everything from online casinos to roulette to automatic games. There are more than 200 games to choose from with HUGE jackpots and instant bonuses, in addition.

If you prefer MMORPG games, then you can check out another must play, Legend of Heroes, which is an online MMORPG and MMO game. This game has been out for a few years now and still drawing in a huge audience. So whether it be online gaming or guilding these are a few good ones to battle to holiday blues!

TPF Toys’ Peppy Pups Hit Stores in Time For Holiday Shopping!

Have you ever wanted a stuffed plush dog that actually walked around with you. Well, no lie, no gimmick. That is what the “Peppy Pups” does. It is kid powered dog toy that includes a collar and leash. You walk and the dog walks with you. It is simple and no batteries are needed. This is an awesome idea for a kids toy because it gets them up and on their feet and away from all electronic devices.

Here is some details about what is sure to be one of this holiday season’s hottest toys: “The only cuddly plush that can run, jump, wag its tail and interact with children like a real dog, TPF Toys’ Peppy Pups are brimming with personality and inviting cuddles with its fluffy tail and soft tuft of hair. Peppy Pups feature charming collar and bone tag, and branded paw pads. Eager to move and shake just like a real dog, Peppy Pups spring, bounce, jump, waddle and grove; turning heads as they go — no batteries needed!

Peppy Pups is the soft and cuddly friend your child has been looking for, without the responsibility or commitment of a regular puppy! This walking dog toy has pep and bounce in his step wherever your child decides to walk him, making him a lively, enthusiastic companion. Let your little one use the leash so he can walk-along in the park, on the sidewalk, or even in the house. With a fluffy white tail and a snuggly coat, Peppy Pup will be easy to love and cuddle, just like a real puppy. This little stuffed toy features a silly facial expression, and he can even perform tricks, like flips. Peppy Pup will be your child’s best friend.”

So if you are tired of your kids opening their presents this holiday season and then spending hours putting the toys together or not having the required thousand of batteries they need to operate them, then the Peppy Pups is a great solution for your shopping needs!

Hasbro Toys Delivers the Best New Products for Holiday 2016!

Every holiday season, everyone scrambles to find the best toys and deals for the hottest gifts of the year! Hasbro has been around for nearly 100 years and they always deliver the best toys and products year after year. This hooliday season, I wanted to do a feature on just a few of their new toys to show you the best ideas for this holidays gift season.

If you have little ones, Hasbro has delivered the PLAYSKOOL CHASE N’ GO BALL POPPER Toy, which is a perfect for ages 9 months & up. It is a new update to the classic PLAYSKOOL BALL POPPER toy! It carries an approx retail price of $32.99. I have a nephew that will be spending many hours enjoy this joy for sure and it is also fun to see him enjoying a new version of a toy that I myself used as a kid. Or if you are getting you kids ready for the MLB you can find the top MLB shop coupon codes right here. Here is the official description: The CHASE N’ GO BALL POPPER toy features the same air-powered popping play that kids love with an exciting twist! For a giggling good time, parents or kids can swivel the trunk around to deliver even more unpredictable ball-popping action! The toy has several features that encourage little ones to stand, crawl, grasp, and even dance along to the elephant’s poppin’ tunes. With a slim, easy-to-store design and a convenient handle, this elephant is ready for fun anytime, anywhere!

Being a “grown-up” or not, there is one brand that I have always and will always love as a kid that this Transformers. Hasbro is behind of the year’s coolest toys for kids ages 3-7 and that is the TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS GRIFFIN ROCK FIREHOUSE HEADQUARTERS Playset. This toy is a blast for sure and should be guaranteed to delivers hours of entertainment. I wish I had a toy like this when I was little. At an approx retail price of $32.99, this could be yours this holiday season and your kid will be thankful for such a great gift. Here is the official description: Little ones can imagine all sorts of fun rescue adventures with the RESCUE BOTS team in their GRIFFIN ROCK FIREHOUSE HEADQUARTERS playset! When danger is near, kids can extend the rotating tower to get a full 360-degree view of the surrounding area, then use the two hidden-reveal projectile launchers to pretend put out fires! When it’s time to head out on the next big mission, little ones can gear up the CODY BURNS figure in rescue gear, help him hop on the rescue motorcycle and use the vehicle launcher to takeoff through the secret tunnel. Launcher is also compatible with vehicles from the RESCAN assortment. Raise the helicopter landing pad, extend the ground bridge, and swing out the control center platform to convert the firehouse into the RESCUE BOTS headquarters. Other big-adventure features include an extendible helipad, sliding fire pole, ladder, and a pull-out ground bridge to bring the set to life! Playset comes with CODY BURNS figure, fire gear, and rescue motorcycle.

Meet ELE NA OF AVALOR, Disney’s next Princess! Elena made her debut this past summer and since then she is already taking over the hearts of kids and their family. DISNEY ELENA OF AVALOR Doll is available this Holiday season and it should be a must for any lucky girl. Personally my daughter already had the costume for Elena and watches the show each week without fail. This doll will definitely make her feel like a princess. The detail on this doll is so amazing as well it is like she jumped right out of the TV. Here is the official description: This beautiful fashion doll will allow kids to imagine joining the Crown Princess on all of her magical adventures in the Kingdom of Avalor. The ELENA OF AVALOR doll comes dressed in ELENA OF AVALOR’s series-inspired adventure dress and includes a scepter, hairclip, belt, pair of earrings, and removable shoes. If you want to try and find the best deals you can check out sites like http://awesomecoupons.org – coupon website or you can always find products like this most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.

First all kids of all ages, who doesn’t love Nerf! Who doesn’t love having a shoot ’em up with their friends and family (especially around the holiday season) Hasbro is bringing us two new products. The first being the NERF DOOMLANDS DOUBLE-DEALER Blaster at a approx retail price of $39.99. This is an amazing blaster that includes two 12-dart clips and 24 DOOMLANDS darts and will be a blast to have battles with. Here is the official description: Defend the barren landscape with the possibility of taking down targets two at a time with the DOUBLE-DEALER blaster. This high-capacity blaster features two clear 12-dart clips, clear top design with visible firing mechanisms, and boasts pump-action firing with slam-fire capability. Each pull of the DOUBLE-DEALER blaster trigger fires two darts simultaneously!

The second Nerf product is the Zombie Strike Brainsaw Blaster.NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE BRAINSAW Blaster. Just the title alone sound like a blast! Running an approx. retail price od $29.99. This is a must have for anyone of any age. With all the hype around shows like “The Walking Dead”, this is a fun role playing blaster to enjoy with friends and family. Here is the official description: For the ultimate zombie hunter, the NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE BRAINSAW Blaster offers two ways to repel the hordes! Fire up to eight ZOMBIE STRIKE darts at the undead, and then finish the job with the spinning foam saw blade. Includes eight ZOMBIE STRIKE darts.

Yo-kai Watch has hit the US this year and has become the hottest brand since Pokemon. The latest release is the new Yo-kai Watch™ Model Zero, which is now available for an approx retail price of $29.99. This is literally one of my favorite new animes to hit the US in a long time. My daughter also really loves this as well including the collecting of medal and watches. This is the second watch released from this show and is easily a huge improvement over the first one. Here is the official description: Kids can watch favorite Yo-kai appear before their eyes with the new Yo-kai Watch™ Model Zero! Insert a Yo-Motion™ Yo-kai Medal into the Yo-kai Watch™ Model Zero, push the switch and a short animation of the Yo-kai character will project on a wall to show off their signature move.

The Model Zero uses new medals as well, which are Yo-Motion™ Yo-kai Medals. This holiday season you can purchase Yo-kai Watch Yo-Motion Series 1 Bling Bags Assortment to deliver a new way to summon your favorite Yo-kai. Personally these are so much cooler than the first watch and they add a lot of extra play for the kids to enjoy! Here is the official  description: Kids can expand their Yo-kai collection with a mystery selection of character medals. Each bag includes two character medals with three ways to play! Imagine summoning Yo-kai by inserting the medal into the Yo-kai Watch™ Model Zero, discover the wacky world of the Yo-kai by scanning the medal with the Yo-kai Land app, and collect Yo-kai medals and store them in the Yo-kai Watch™ Medallium Collection Book 2 (book and medals each sold separately).

So there you have it, these are just a few of Hasbro’s amazing new products for the 2016 holiday gift guide. There are many many more great products from Hasbro as well. I hope this helps make the craziness of the holiday shopping just a little bit easier. Feel free to sound off below with products that you would like to see us cover in the future installments or share your own stories of success as well! Happy holidays and thanks for reading!

Holiday Shopping Madness Begins

It is official Fall and even though it is not Halloween yet, the holiday shopping season has already started. As you are visiting your favorite stores, you will see how they are already transformed into Christmas themes and the shopping craze is getting geared up. Stores like Lowes, Cracker Barrel, Kohls and many others are already all decorated for the season to come with hopes to kick start the madness that occurs this time of the year.

Personally, I always find that the best way for me is to get started and be done BEFORE Thanksgiving. That was I can enjoy the holidays and not have to worry about gifts and able to actually enjoy the season itself. That was in between holiday shows and holiday cooking, there is time to relax and hit up some UK mobile casino sites online. If you are good also playing would be a good way to pay back those holiday bills also! I find that if I leave shopping to the last minute that I am missing the true feeling of the holidays and more time stressing, which I do through out the year enough.

If you are an online shopper, the who dynamic of shopping for the holidays has changed so much as well. I remember “kicking off” the holiday season on Black Friday morning at 5am waiting in those lines, but now the shopping starts anytime online with numerous deals throughout the Fall. So whether you are a smart shopper like myself or a last minute rusher, be sure to get ready because the season is here as we gear up for the most wonderful time of the year! Happy Holidays (in advance) and stay safe!

Looking for that last minute holiday gift idea?!

Parents, if you are looking for that last minute gift…check out the following items below:

Make Your Case
Create and design two real cell phone cases or design one of the four ready-made cases to match every mood and outfit! How does it work? Simple. Push the plunger into the Case Maker and fill your mold with your chosen color. Once the mold has set, you can bling a selfie, decorate your pet or favorite musician’s picture or more. Compatible with iPod Touch 5, iPhone 4/4s, iPod Touch 5/5c/5s and Samsung S3/4. Also comes with gems, stickers and design sheets. Available at all major retailers. Ages 8+. Price $24.99

Orbeez Body Spa
Need a little ‘me’ time? Just imagine what it’s like to sit in a luxurious room chair full of the soothing
softness of Orbeez! It’s an Orbeez fantasy come true! Ahh… sink into the calming comfort of the Orbeez Body Spa and recharge! The perfect holiday gift for young girls, the sophisticated Body Spa chair comes with 6,000 comforting Orbeez and a vibration device help her relax and melt the day away! Use the chair anytime, and add the Orbeez for a special spa touch! Available at Walmart, Amazon.com & Kmart – Ages 5-12. Price: $49.99.

Xploderz Mayhem
This holiday season, outlast and out-blast the competition with the new Xploderz Mayhem! The new firing system will change the way you shoot forever! It features a multi-shot auto firing system that fires an astonishing 120 rounds of ammo in 60 seconds! The Mayhem comes with an amazing 2,000 rounds of ammo! With a velocity of 100 feet per second, it’s 50 percent faster than any foam blaster. Reloading ammo only takes seconds with no mess to clean up. Available at all major retailers. Ages 8+. Price: $39.99

Enter to win our NCircle Entertainment Holiday DVD Giveaway [ENDED]

The holidays are right around the corner and Media Mikes is teaming up with NCircle Entertainment to bring you a fantastic new holiday DVD giveaway. We are happy to be giving away the following four DVD below. If you want to win this great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite NCircle Entertainment title. This giveaway will remain open until December 19th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Here are the DVD included in this giveaway:
The Snowman
A Very Awesome Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Holiday Show!
Octonauts: The Very Vegimal Christmas
Caillou’s Holiday Movie

The Snowman
One crisp, winter morning, a young boy wakes up to find a thick blanket of snow has covered the ground as far as the eye can see. Filled with excitement, the boy decides to build a snowman using a tangerine for his nose, coal for his buttons and eyes, and tops him off with a hat and scarf. Later that night, at the stroke of midnight, the snowman comes to life! The young boy and the snowman embark on a magical adventure of discovery where the snowman explores the young boy’s world and in return he takes him flying to his home in the North Pole. Based on Raymond Briggs’ book, The Snowman is a family classic for generations to enjoy.

A Very Awesome Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Holiday Show!
Join DJ Lance Rock, Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Plex and Toodee as they dance, sing and decorate the tree to prepare for the arrival of Santa Claus! Filmed live at New York City’s The Beacon Theatre, celebrate the season with the colorful cast of characters singing their hits, including “It’s Wintertime,” “Every Snowflake’s Different, Just Like You” and a holiday version of everyone’s favorite “Party in my Tummy!” The DVD includes special appearances by superstar Leslie Hall and the one and only Santa Claus!

Octonauts: The Very Vegimal Christmas
On this very merry DVD, join the Octonauts as they celebrate the holidays! The Vegimals’ plans for a Christmas feast aboard the Octopod are interrupted when the Octonauts become entangled in a gigantic blob of sea snot! The holiday excitement continues when the Octonauts travel to Professor Inkling’s childhood home, an undersea mountain, but soon discover that a rockslide has endangered the local creatures, including Inkling’s nephew, Squirt! Can the Octonauts rescue the creatures and save Christmas in time?

Caillou’s Holiday Movie
When winter comes to Caillou’s house, this curious 4-year-old tackles all kinds of big boy activities like helping Daddy shovel snow, making holiday presents for his family and even discovering how other little boys and girls around the world celebrate the season! Filled with magical moments seen through a small child’s eyes, this delightful story will enchant your entire family.

Media Mikes’ 2014 Holiday Film Preview

As you just spent the last few days fighting those “Black Friday” crowds, making sure that for years to come your children will know that you paid $10.00 less than anyone else for their JAWS Lego set, why not set aside some family time and take in a movie?

This time of year not only brings jolly Saint Nick around but also a lot of what the studios deem their “prestige” films – the ones to remember come award time.  Of course, they occasionally sneak in a couple of stinkers as well.  Here is a list of both for you to plan your next cinema visit.  As usual, thanks to our friends at the Internet Movie Database for some synopsis information and, as always, remember that this list is not all-inclusive and that the opening dates are subject to change depending on the whims of the studios and where you live.  Enjoy!

 

DECEMBER 

ESCOBAR:  PARADISE LOST

Starring:  Benicio Del Toro, Josh Hutcherson

Directed by:  Andrea Di Stefano

While vacationing in Columbia, a young man meets the woman of his dreams and soon finds himself introduced to her uncle, the infamous drug dealer Pablo Escobar.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Not a lot of buzz on this film but Del Toro did win an Oscar for his Supporting work in “Traffic.”

 

STILL ALICE

Starring:  Julianne Moore, Kate Bosworth and Kristen Stewart

Directed by:  Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland

When Alice Howland (Moore), a noted linguistics professor, begins forgetting words she learns she is in the early stages of Alzheimer.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Moore, a four time nominee, is generating great word of mouth for a fifth nod.

 

TOP FIVE

Starring:  Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson

Directed by:  Chris Rock

A comedian tries to make it as a serious actor when his reality-TV star fiancé talks him into broadcasting their wedding on her TV show.  Rock, who also wrote the film, promises this film to carry the edge of his stand up.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Adam Sandler also appears but who am I to dream?

 

WILD

Starring:  Reese Witherspoon and Gaby Hoffman

Directed by:  Jean-Marc Vallee

A chronicle of one woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent catastrophe.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Like Julianne Moore, Witherspoon, who already has a Best Actress Oscar for her work in “Walk the Line,” is getting great word of mouth.  Director Vallee guided both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto to Oscars last year in “Dallas Buyers Club” and earned a nomination himself for his editing of the film.

 

DECEMBER 12

DEMONIC

Starring:  Maria Bello and Frank Grillo

Directed by:  Will Canon

A police officer and a psychologist investigate the deaths of five people who were killed while trying to summon ghosts.  The story comes from James Wan (“Saw,” “Insidious,” “The Conjuring”) so hopefully this will be on the plus side of horror.

OSCAR CHANCES:  “Horror,” asks the Academy, “what is that?”

 

EXODUS:  GODS AND KINGS

Starring:  Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton

Directed by:  Ridley Scott

The defiant leader Moses (Bale) rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Edgerton), setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Bale has one Oscar (Best Supporting Actor for “The Fighter”) and a second nomination while director Scott has been nominated three times, including for “Gladiator.”  Look for a lot of technical nods.

 

INHERENT VICE

Starring:  Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin

Directed by:  Paul Thomas Anderson

In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles detective Larry “Doc” Sportello (Phoenix) investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.  Here’s a little trivia for you:  writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s production company is named Ghoulardi after the late night horror host his father, Ernie Anderson, used to portray on Cleveland television.  As a boy I loved Ghoulardi!

OSCAR CHANCES:  If Paul Thomas Anderson has made a bad film I’ve never seen it.  He and his casts are nomination magnets so look for plenty.

 

DECEMBER 17

THE HOBBIT:  THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

Starring:  Martin Freeman and Cate Blanchett

Directed by:  Peter Jackson

The final episode of director Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy.  As he proved with the “Lord of the Rings” films, Jackson is a master storyteller and this last chapter should be amazing!

OSCAR CHANCES:  Technical across the board.

 

DECEMBER 19

ANNIE

Starring:  Quvenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx

Directed by:  Will Gluck

OK, the synopsis really has nothing to do with the Broadway musical except that Annie (Wallis) is an orphan and eventually she will sing “Tomorrow.”  This is the one film that I’m torn on.  I loved the original show – at one time it was so popular that when you went to audition for a musical you were told that you COULDN’T perform “Tomorrow” – so I’m trying to go in with blinders.  That fact that director Gluck only has a few PG-13 teen comedies on his resume, and that he helped produce the still horrible memory “About Last Night” remake makes me sad.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Young Miss Wallis remains the youngest Best Actress nominee EVER for her work in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” while Foxx not only has an Oscar for “Ray” but kicked ass in “Dreamgirls.”  I’m not looking for any here but hopefully I’ll be surprised.

 

THE GAMBLER

Starring:  Mark Walberg and Brie Larson

Directed by:  Rupert Wyatt

A literature college professor and high stakes gambler runs afoul of a loan shark and his bodyguard-like gangsters while he has an affair with one of his students.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Can’t see any.

 

TURNER

Starring:  Timothy Spall and Paul Jesson

Directed by:  Mike Leigh

An exploration of the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric, British painter J.M.W. Turner’s life.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Spall (probably best known as the band manager in “Rock Star” and Peter Pettigrew in the “Harry Potter” series, is getting huge word of mouth for his work here.  Writer/director Mike Leigh has seven previous nominations.

 

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM:  SECRET OF THE TOMB

Starring:  Ben Stiller and Rebel Wilson

Directed by:  Shawn Levy

Larry (Stiller) spans the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.  The final film in the series sadly features the final performance of the great Mickey Rooney and one of the final performances of the beloved Robin Williams.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Technical?

 

DECEMBER 24

TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT

Starring:  Marion Cotillard

Directed by:  Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenn

Sandra, a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.

 

OSCAR CHANCES:  Cotillard is a past winner for “La Vie en Rose” and is always a threat to earn a nomination.

 

DECEMBER 25

AMERICAN SNIPER

Starring:  Bradley Cooper

Directed by:  Clint Eastwood

A Navy S.E.A.L. recounts his military career, which includes more than 150 confirmed kills.  Based on the life of the late Chris Kyle.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Everyone I’ve spoken to who has seen this predicts nods for Cooper, which would be his third year in a row, and Eastwood, who already has two directing Oscars on the shelf (“Unforgiven” and “Million Dollar Baby”).

 

BIG EYES

Starring:  Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz

Directed by:  Tim Burton

A drama centered on the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.  A true change of pace film for director Burton.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Waltz has two Supporting Actor awards (“Inglorious Basterds” and “Django Unchained”) while Adams has been nominated five times previously.

 

THE INTERVIEW

Starring:  Seth Rogen and James Franco

Directed by:  Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen

Dave Skylark (Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen) run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show “Skylark Tonight.” When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists.  This is the second film co-directed by Rogen and his writing partner Goldberg, after the very funny “This is the End.”

OSCAR CHANCES:  “Comedy,” asks the Academy, “what is that?”

 

INTO THE WOODS

Starring:  Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt and Johnny Depp

Directed by:  Rob Marshall

A witch (Streep) conspires to teach important lessons to various characters of popular children’s stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel.  Based on the Tony Award winning musical by the legendary Stephen Sondheim.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Did I mention Meryl Streep is in it?  Director Marshall helmed “Chicago” to the Best Picture Oscar in 2003.

 

SELMA

Starring:  David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo

Directed by:  Ava DuVernay

The film looks at the lives of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and President Lyndon B. Johnson as well as the turbulent civil rights marches of the 1960s.

OSCAR CHANCES:  A supporting cast of previous nominees (Tim Roth, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Wilkinson) and winner (Cuba Gooding, Jr) bode well for a possible nod.  Oyelowo was brilliant last year in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

 

UNBROKEN

Starring:  Jack O’Connell and Jai Courtney

Directed by:  Angelina Jolie

A chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II.  As a long time follower of Lou Zamperini’s story this is one of my most anticipated films of the year.

OSCAR CHANCES:  The academy loves a good bio-film!

 

 

DECEMBER 31

A MOST VIOLENT YEAR

Starring:  Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain

Directed by:  J.C. Chandor

In New York City 1981, an ambitious immigrant fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city’s history.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Both Isaac and Chastain are bright new stars in Hollywood.

Blu-ray Review “The Best Man Holiday”

Actors: Monica Calhoun, Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall
Directors: Malcolm D. Lee
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Universal Studios
DVD Release Date: February 11, 2014
Running Time: 123 minutes

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

In 1999, I was working at a video store and I remember that the ensemble comedy “The Best Man” was almost impossible to keep on the shelves. This all-new sequel reunites the cast together again for a reunion packed with plenty of laughter, love, and surprises. The returning ensemble cast includes Morris Chestnut (“Identity Thief”), Terrence Howard (“Hustle & Flow”), Taye Diggs (“Baggage Claim”), Nia Long (“Soul Food”), Sanaa Lathan (“Contagion”), Regina Hall (“Scary Movie franchise”), Harold Perrineau (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Monica Calhoun (“Love & Basketball”) and Melissa De Sousa (“Miss Congeniality”). If you enjoyed the first film, you are going to love this film. I do know why they waited so long to come out with this but I am sure that they are not going to make that mistake again. I am sure that “The Best Man 3” is right around the corner.

Official Premise: Share the laughter, love and surprises as Harper (Taye Diggs), Lance (Morris Chestnut), Quentin (Terrence Howard), Jordan (Nia Long), Robyn (Sanaa Lathan), Mia (Monica Calhoun), Murch (Harold Perrineau), Candy (Regina Hall) and Shelby (Melissa De Sousa) all reunite for the first time in years. As they share their triumphs and tragedies, these college friends soon discover how easy it is to reignite long-forgotten rivalries and romances—all while new discoveries are made and secrets are revealed.

Universal delivers “The Best Man Holiday” as a Blu-ray Combo Pack including a Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD with UltraViolet. The 1080p transfer is very polished and really captures the holiday spirit…even in February. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 works well with the films music, which sounds great. In terms of special features, there is an Alternate Ending, Gag Reel as well as some Deleted and Extended Scenes with Commentary by Writer/Director/Producer Malcolm D. Lee. There is also a audio commentary track with Malcolm D. Lee. “Smack Talk” looks at the filming of the girl fight scene. Lastly we have “Holiday Reunion: The Making of The Best Man Holiday” which goes behind-the-scenes with cast and crew.

2013 Holiday Movie Preview

As the holiday season approaches you can smell it on the air.  No, not turkey and pumpkin pie!  I’m talking popcorn and Junior Mints.  Because with the holidays comes an opportunity to sample the best (sometimes) of what Hollywood has to offer.  From sure Oscar contenders to “might as well get it off the shelf” films, here is a list of some goodies that are on the menu between now and the end of the year.

As always, thanks to our friends at the Internet Movie Data Base for some synopsis information.  And remember, opening dates published are subject to change at the whim of the studios.  Enjoy!

 

NOVEMBER 27

BLACK NATIVITY

Starring:  Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson  

Directed by:  Kasi Lemmons

Based on an early 1961 stage musical by Langston Hughes, the film tells the story of a single mother in Harlem sending her teenage son to visit her parents in Baltimore for the holidays.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Whitaker and Hudson already have one and Bassett earned a nomination for her incredible portrayal of Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”  Writer/director Lemmons, probably best known for her work as an actress (she was Jodie Foster’s roommate/partner in “Silence of the Lambs”) previously helmed “Eve’s Bayou” and “Talk to Me.”  That all being said, the possibilities are there!

 

FROZEN

Starring the voices of:  Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell     

Directed by:  Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

When Princess Elsa accidentally uses her magic to cover her kingdom in ice it is up to her younger sister, Anne, to warm things up.

OSCAR CHANCES:  A possible nomination for Best Animated Feature but I think “Despicable Me 2” has that award sewn up.

 

HOMEFRONT

Starring:  Jason Statham and James Franco 

Directed by:  Gary Fleder

A former DEA agent moves his family to a quiet town, where he soon tangles with a local meth drug lord.  Based on the novel by Chuck Logan, the film’s script writer is none other than Sylvester Stallone.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Sly did nab a Best Original Screenplay nod back in 1976 for “Rocky” but I’m not to optimistic.

 

OLD BOY

Starring:  Josh Brolin
Directed by:  Spike Lee

A remake of the 2003 South Korean action film, Brolin stars as a man placed in solitary confinement for 20 years with no idea why or by who.  When he’s finally released he makes it his mission to answer those questions in a most bloody manner.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Could tie with “Machete’ Kills” for most blood used in a single film. (oh if only that was a category).

 

NOVEMBER 29

MANDELA:  LONG WALK TO FREEDOM (Moved to December 25th)

Starring:  Idris Elba and Naomie Harris

Directed by:  Justin Chadwick

Based on the autobiography of the great South African leader Nelson Mandela, the film follows his life from his early days as a student to his imprisonment through his rise as President of his country.

OSCAR CHANCES:  The Academy loves biographical stories and Elba is said to deliver a brilliant performance.

 

DECEMBER 6

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

Starring:  Oscar Issac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake        

Directed by:  Joel and Ethan Coen

The brothers Coen take a look at the early days of the folk music scene in New York City.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Three words:  “the Coen brothers.”  Academy Award nominations stick to their films like Mary Lou Retton sticking a dismount!  (please tell me you know who Mary Lou Retton is)

 

THE LAST DAYS ON MARS

Starring:  Liev Schreiber and Elias Koteas   

Directed by:  Ruairi Robinson

The title says it all.  Schreiber leads a manned mission to the Red Planet where things don’t go as planned.

OSCAR CHANCES:  No.

 

OUT OF THE FURNACE

Starring:  Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Woody Harrelson 

Directed by:  Scott Cooper

When his younger brother disappears, Russell Baze takes it upon himself to find out why and becomes entangled in the world of underground bare-knuckle fighting.  Wow, it looked so cool when Clint Eastwood and Clyde were doing it.

OSCAR CHANCES:  This is Cooper’s second film, his first being the Oscar winning “Crazy Heart.”  Bale has an Oscar and little Affleck and Woody have nominations so nothing is ruled out here.

 

DECEMBER 13 (limited opening – Opens wide December 18th)

AMERICAN HUSTLE

Starring:  Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams    

Directed by:  David O. Russell

A look back at the 1970s and the famous ABSCAM sting in New Jersey and Philadelphia.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Director Russell has assembled the cast members of his previous two films (“The Fighter” and “Silver Linings Playbook”) for a very ambitious project.  The main cast members either have Oscars or been nominated for one as has Russell so I’m giving this film a definite “yes.”

 

THE HOBBIT:  THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

Starring:  Martin Freeman, Orlando Bloom and the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch

Directed by:  Peter Jackson

The second film in director Jackson’s planned HOBBIT trilogy follows Bilbo Baggins and his dwarf friends as they attempt to reclaim what’s rightly theirs from the dreaded dragon Smaug.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Of course.  Many fans of the books are upset that Bloom’s Legolas shows up but come on, “Pirates 5” has been postponed and Orlando Bloom has to eat.  Thankfully I’m guessing most members of the academy ever read Tolkien so look for this to earn many technical nods.

 

SAVING MR. BANKS

Starring:  Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson

Directed by:  John Lee Hancock

The behind the scenes tale of the struggles Walt Disney had to undertake to turn P.L. Travers novel, “Mary Poppins,” into a film.  I’ve known for years that she didn’t like Dick Van Dyke being cast so how incredibly insane must she have been?

OSCAR CHANCES:  Several, starting with previous two-time winners Hanks and Thompson.

 

TYLER PERRY’S A MEDEA CHRISTMAS

Starring: Tyler Perry 

Directed by:  Tyler Perry

If you haven’t jumped down to the next film, you’re a better person than I.  The title says it all.

OSCAR CHANCES:  I actually stopped typing and slapped myself for including the words “Oscar Chances” within two sentences – top or bottom – of the name Tyler Perry.

 

DECEMBER 18

HER (limited opening – Opens wide January 10th)

Starring:  Joaquin  Phoenix and the voice of Scarlett Johansson

Directed by:  Spike Jonze

As the world grows more reliant on technology a man begins to fall in love with the female voice of his computer operating system.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Jonze’s “Being John Malkovich” scored a few nods so I’m not ruling anything out.

 

ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

Starring:  Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd and Steve Carell

Directed by:  Adam McKay

Ron Burgandy and the rest of his channel 4 news team are picked to help launch a 24-hour news channel.

OSCAR CHANCES:  A great mustache and salon quality hair could equal Best Makeup.

 

DECEMBER 20
WALKING WITH DINOSAURS

Starring the voices of:  John Leguizamo and Justin Long                                                                                                                

Directed by:  Barry Cook and Neil Nightingale

Three young Pachyrhinosauruses discover the ups and downs of the prehistoric world.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Again, like “Frozen,”  maybe an animated nod.

 

DECEMBER 25

47 RONIN

Starring:  Keanu Reeves

Directed by:  Carl Rinsch

A band of samurai set out to avenge the death and dishonor of their master at the hands of a ruthless shogun.

OSCAR CHANCES:  This is the kind of film that pulls the costume award nomination.

 

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

Starring:  Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Ewan McGregor                                                                                                        

Directed by:  John Wells

A screen adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Tony-award winning play about a family that gathers for the funeral of a relative and the internal battles that resurrect themselves.

OSCAR CHANCES:  I had the good fortune of seeing this film a couple of months ago and I’m going to say there will be no less than three nominations here.

 

BELIEVE

Starring:  Justin Bieber

Directed by:  John M. Chu

When a deadly virus strikes Canada, it is discovered that it’s evil host is…….Damn, I’d like to BELIEVE that was the plot.  Another concert film for those fans who apparently spent enough money on the first one to rate another.

OSCAR CHANCES:  As much as Tyler Perry.

 

GRUDGE MATCH

Starring:  Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro

Directed by:  Peter Segal

30 years since their last fight, boxers Henry “Razor” Sharp and Billy “the Kid” McDonnen, participate in a television special that rekindles old fires.  Or as I like to think of it, Rocky Balboa vs Jake Lamotta!

OSCAR CHANCES:  Probably not but this promises to be fun.

 

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN

Starring:  Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones

Directed by:  Ralph Fiennes

No, nothing spooky going on here.  The film tells the story of famed English author Charles Dickens and his secret affair with a younger woman.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Remember, it’s a bio-pic, so I’ll say maybe.

 

LABOR DAY

Starring:   Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin 

Directed by:  Jason Reitman

A woman and her young son are made to shelter an escaped convict.  The story gets interesting when she begins to fall for him.  I was so worried this was going to be the third film in Garry Marshall’s “holiday” trilogy!

OSCAR CHANCES:  Always a “yes” when director Reitman is in the mix.

 

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY

Starring:  Ben Stiller and Sean Penn 

Directed by:  Ben Stiller

Director/star Stiller attempts to update the classic 1947 film that featured the great Danny Kaye.  Bored with his life, Walter Mitty imagines himself in various exciting situations.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Maybe something technical.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

Starring:  Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Ethan Suplee                                              

Directed by:  Martin Scorsese

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort; from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.  This film was originally scheduled to open on November 15 and was pushed back at almost the last minute to finish post production.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Marty and Leo equal yes!

 

LONE SURVIVOR (limited opening – Opens wide January 10th)

Starring:  Mark Wahlberg and Ben Foster                                                                                                                                          

Directed by:  Peter Berg

The telling of a June 2005 military mission to capture a Talibad leader that went wrong.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Oh yeah.

 

Orlando Shakespeare Theater Turns up the Holiday Cheer with “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play”


Theater captures the spirit of Frank Capra’s cinematic classic

Orlando, FL – Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF warms Central Florida audiences with the holiday cheer of Joe Landry’s It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. Performed as a 1940s live radio broadcast and directed by Florida Rep’s founding Producing Artistic Director, Robert Cacioppo, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play begins December 4 and runs through December 29, 2013 at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center in Loch Haven Park. Tickets ($17-$40) may be purchased by calling the Box Office at (407) 447-1700 or online at http://orlandoshakes.org.

Inspired by Frank Capra’s beloved American film, Orlando Shakes’ It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play includes a five-member ensemble that brings to life a dozen familiar characters performed in the style of a 1940s live radio broadcast. Complete with commercial jingles and man-made sound effects, audiences will fall in love all over again with the selfless George Bailey and the gentle angel who saves his life on Christmas Eve. A holiday classic suitable for the entire family!

“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play is a joy for audiences young and old,” said Director Robert Cacioppo. “I am thrilled that Orlando Shakes’ Artistic Director Jim Helsinger offered me the opportunity to revisit this play with a truly wonderful cast.”

Cacioppo, who previously directed the production at Florida Rep in 2011, will be recreating his elaborate pre-show prologue in Orlando. Prior to the performance, theatergoers will take part in a holiday sing-along amongst busy telegram boys, popcorn girls, and 1940’s paparazzi. ”I urge Orlando audiences to show up early, because that’s when the fun begins!”Cacioppo said.

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play features actors Brad DePlanche, David Edwards, Duke Lafoon, Suzanne O’Donnell, and Piper Rae Patterson. Secondary performers include Anachebe Asomugha, Sophie Bell, Bridgette Hoover, Chris Metz, Alexander Ross Neal, Jeffrey Todd Parrott, and Seth Wallen. The creative team includes Scenic Designer Richard Crowell, Costume Designer Mel Barger, Lighting Designer Mary Heffernan, and Sound Designer Britt Sandusky.

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION AND RELATED EVENTS

PRE-SHOW CHAT
Join us in the Patron’s Room on December 6 at 6:45 p.m. for a brief, informative discussion with the director and members of the artistic team about the creative process.

OPENING NIGHT PARTY
Directly following the show on December 6, audience members are invited to celebrate with the cast, crew, designers, and Orlando Shakes staff at the Opening Night Party. The party begins after the show (approx. 10 p.m.) and everyone is invited. No RSVP necessary.

PLAYSHOP
School-age children can participate in a fun and creative camp during select Orlando Shakespeare Theater performances. Led by Orlando Shakes Actor/Educators, theatergoers’ children ages 5 to 12 will enjoy supervised arts and crafts, play educational games, and maybe even learn a song or dance. For It’s a Wonderful Life, the service is available to all ticket buyers on Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 2 p.m. for just $15 per child. Advance registration is required. Call the Box Office at (407) 447-1700 for tickets and information.

THURSDAY TALK BACK
Stay after the performance on Thursday, December 19 for an informal Q & A with the cast and members of the design team.

ADDITIONAL PERFORMANCE INFORMATION
Preview Dates: December 4 & 5 at 7:30 p.m. ($18)
Opening Date: December 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Senior Matinees: December 11 & 18 at 2 p.m. ($17)
$20 Under 30: December 13 at 7:30 p.m. ($20)

TICKET INFORMATION

DATES AND PRICES
Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m. – all seats $35, $30, $20
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. – all seats $40, $35, $30

DISCOUNTS
Group Sales: 20% off groups of 10+
Student Rush: $12 – 30 minutes prior to show w/ valid student ID
Military/Student Price: $10 off single ticket prices
Single and Season Tickets are available by calling (407) 447-1700, online at http://www.orlandoshakes.org, or in person at the Box Office located inside the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 East Rollins Street in Orlando’s Loch Haven Cultural Park.

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play is made possible through the generous support of Holland & Knight, LLP, Raymond James Financial, and Florida Hospital. Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF is supported by United Arts of Central Florida with funds from the United Arts collaborative campaign and by State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Arts Council.

###

PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT

Publicity photos feature actors Brad DePlanche, Suzanne O’Donnell, and Piper Rae Patterson. Photos by Landon St. Gordon.

ABOUT ORLANDO SHAKESPEARE THEATER

Now celebrating its 25th Anniversary Season, Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF has grown into one of the region’s most acclaimed Equity theaters producing classic, contemporary, and children’s plays. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Jim Helsinger and Managing Director PJ Albert, Orlando Shakespeare Theater continues to provide an innovative world-class theatrical experience to its patrons, while showcasing William Shakespeare’s legacy as the cornerstone of the company. Through PlayFest and Harriett’s New Play Series, Orlando Shakespeare Theater has garnered national recognition for the development of over 100 new works within the past 10 years. Orlando Shakes also provides immersive educational programming serving Central Florida schools and the local community at large.

Twitter: @orlandoshakes or http://www.twitter.com/orlandoshakes
Instagram: @orlandoshakes or http://www.instagram.com/orlandoshakes
Facebook: “Orlando Shakes” or http://www.facebook.com/orlandoshakes

Win a copy of the animated “A Monsterous Holiday” DVD [ENDED]

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED AND WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EACH WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

Just in time for Halloween, Media Mikes and ARC Entertainment are giving two lucky readers the chance to win a DVD of the new animated Halloween tale, “A Monsterous Holiday.” Featuring the voices of Brooke Shields, Jon Heder, Sean Astin, Matthew Lillard and Kyle Chandler the film follows the adventures of a young inventor named Andy who hopes to ask his neighbor to help him win an upcoming science fair. The neighbor is one Dr. Frankenstein. Finding the good doctor not at home Andy finds the next best thing: Frankenstein’s monster who, as luck would have it, is actually a teenager.

For a chance to win a copy of this new comedy just tell us below what your favorite costume was as a kid when you went trick or treating. Two random comments will be chosen on Sunday, November 3rd.

Good luck!

2013 Disney Blu-ray Holiday Gift Guide

Are you looking for great holiday gifts, as we enter the shopping season? Well don’t worry since Media Mikes is providing you the best choices in terms of Blu-ray and DVD released by Walt Disney Home Entertainment! Be sure not to miss any of these great releases this Fall! Your friends and family will be thanking you later!

Iron Man 3 – September 24
Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. Available on 3D Super Set, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, Digital Copy & On Demand September 24, 2013.

Bonus features include: Deconstructing The Scene – Jump into action with the stunt-team skydivers in this close-up look at creating one of the movie’s most memorable scenes; Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Look at Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World; Marvel’s Iron Man 3 Unmasked—Join cast and crew for a crash course in epic movie-making, Marvel style; Gag Reel; Deleted & Extended Scenes and Audio Commentary with Drew Pearce & Shane Black.

The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition 3D – October 1
The timeless story of the Little Mermaid is making its Diamond Edition debut this October. The Blu-ray contains oceans full of bubbly bonus features including an All-New Music Video by Carly Rae Jepsen singing “Part Of Your World,” featurettes including @ Disney Animation which speaks with current Disney animators who were inspired by the film, a Deleted Character, The Real Little Mermaid: Live Action Reference Model, Part of Her World: Jodi Benson’s Voyage To New Fantasyland, Howard’s Lecture, Crab-e-okee along to your favorite songs and all the classic DVD bonus features. Availbale on 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + Music Download) for $49.99 SRP and 2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack with Digital Copy (Blu-ray + DVD/ Digital Copy) for $44.99 SRP.

Monsters University – October 29
This Fall, Disney Pixar celebrates homecoming with the release of “Monsters University” on Digital HD and Digital HD 3D on October 8, 2013, followed by the 4-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, 3-Disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack, 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand on October 29, 2013. Lots of bonus features, go behind the scenes on Pixar’s real life campus with multiple featurettes, view “Deleted Scenes” and featured is the animated short “The Blue Umbrella”.

Mickey’s Christmas Carol 30th Anniversary – November 5
Ring in the holidays with a new 30th Anniversary Special Edition of Mickey’s Christmas Carol. Disney’s timeless tale sparkles like never before on Blu-ray and Digital Copy, with fully-restored classic holiday shorts, plus all-new bonus features!

Make the season merry as Mickey, Goofy, Donald and all their pals star in a heartwarming retelling of Dickens’ unforgettable holiday tale. Ebenezer Scrooge (Scrooge McDuck) is far too greedy to understand that Christmas is a time for kindness and generosity. But with the guidance of some wise ghosts (Goofy and Jiminy Cricket) and a bunch of newfound friends, Scrooge learns to embrace the spirit of the season. Share this wonderful holiday treat with the whole family! Bonus features include: Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Yodelberg, Pluto’s Christmas Tree, Art of Skiing, Corn Chips, & The Hockey Champ. Available on Blu-ray Combo Pack (BD+DVD+eCopy), DVD (+ eCopy), or Digitally.

Winnie The Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year – November 5
Get ready to ring in the season with a full-length adventure straight from the heart of the Hundred Acre Wood. Join Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Roo and the whole gang in Winnie The Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year – now on Blu-ray™ and Digital Copy for the very first time. Newly re-mastered in digital high definition, this sparkling holiday classic is an inspiring celebration of friendship. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but Rabbit will only discover the true spirit of the season after his pals make misguided New Year’s resolutions to change – with hilarious and heartfelt results! Featuring beloved characters, delightful songs and fun-filled bonus goodies, this special Gift of Friendship Edition is sure to become a shared family tradition for generations to come! Bonus features include Disney Intermission: press “pause” and see the characters break into song and dance. Available on Blu-ray Combo Pack (BD+DVD+eCopy), DVD (+ eCopy), or Digitally.

Planes – November 19
Disney’s heartwarming family comedy, PLANES, revved up with high-flying action and adventure, lands in homes and mass retailers nationwide on November 19th. This endearing underdog story about a crop dusting plane named Dusty with sky-high dreams touches down on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD and On-Demand featuring a cargo hold full of exciting bonus features. Guaranteeing hours of fun, PLANES is the perfect gift for “ladies and gentle-planes” of all ages this holiday season.

Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United – December 3
Marvel makes history again with one of the greatest Heroic team ups in the universe. Hulk’s brute strength and Tony Stark’s high-tech intellect come together to create a powerful duo necessary to face off against one of the most dangerous enemies.

When “Zzzax,” a seemingly invincible, energy devouring monster threatens to destroy the planet, these two Avengers are mankind’s only hope. Alone, neither can defeat the awesome power of Zzzax. As a team, they just might have a chance – if they can find a way to work together without smashing heads before time runs out! This Marvel

Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary – December 10
Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke bring this timeless classic to life for the first time on Blu-ray. Bonus highlights include: “Mary-oke” an interactive segment that allows viewers to sing-along with famous songs from the film, “Becoming Mr. Sherman,” Saving Mr. Banks’ Jason Schwarzman reveals what it was like to take on the shoes of famed Disney musician Richard Sherman and the making of the Broadway musical.

The Lone Ranger – December 17
Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer star in The Lone Ranger, from Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Director Gore Verbinski. It’s a wild ride of high velocity action, explosions and gunfights that brings the famed masked legend to life through brand-new eyes. The Lone Ranger (Hammer), the last of his kind, teams with Tonto (Depp), a dark and mysterious vigilante, to seek vengeance after justice has failed them. It’s a runaway train of epic surprises, as these two unlikely heroes must learn to work together before the ultimate showdown between good and evil explodes.

DVD Review “The Cabbage Patch Kids’ First Christmas/The Little Troll Prince Holiday – Double Feature”

Starring: Danny Cooksey, Vincent Price, Jonathan Winters, Cloris Leachman, Don Knotts
Directed by: Ray Patterson
Distributed by: Warner Archive
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 71 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

I may be a boy but I did grown up in the 80’s with a little sister. I remember watching “The Cabbage Patch Kids’ First Christmas”, which originally aired in 1984. It has been many years since then but now with a daughter of my own. I was excited to introduce her to the classic 1980’s Christmas special. Along with that special also included is the 1987 special “The Little Troll Prince Holiday”. This one I am not too familiar with but I certainly know the all-star voice cast including Vincent Price, Jonathan Winters, Don Knotts and Cloris Leachman. My daughter really seemed to enjoy both films quite a bit and wouldn’t take her eyes off the TV for “Cabbage Patch Kids”. This films aren’t overly Christmas themed but it was nice to start getting into mood even though it isn’t even Halloween yet, but that won’t stop me. I am sure we will be revisiting these too titles quite a bit over the next few months.

Official Premise: Fire up your Yule log and get set for an early Xmas, courtesy of Xavier Roberts and a wannabe gnome! The Cabbage Patch Kids First Christmas (1986) finds the magical brood leaving the safety of their Georgia hidden patch in search of the Christmas spirit in the big city courtesy of  Ruby Spears. Beyond the protection of their human guardian Xavier Roberts and Colonel Casey the stork, the kids find that the big city has its own brand of menace, one very similar to their own… Can they find the Christmas Spirit in time to help a very special orphan? The second feature, The Little Troll Prince (1984), finds Hanna-Barbera mixings Scandinavian folklore with traditional holiday spirit for a charming concoction about a royal monster that trades in menace for a simple life of domestic gnome-dom.

These films have never before been released on DVD and thanks to Warner Archive for making this DVD possible. I swear, a month doesn’t go by that this company doesn’t give live to some rare and unique film that was collecting dust. I did notice though that the transfers of the films were not the greatest. On Warner’s website, it says that they have been manufactured from the best-quality video master currently available, but they also haven’t been remastered or restored. Nonetheless, they still were completely watchable presented in their original aspect ratio of 1.37:1. The Dolby Digital audio track included works well with the music, especially the songs in “The Little Troll Prince Holiday”. There were no additional special features included.

Book Review “Sofia the First: Holiday in Enchancia”

Author: Catherine Hapka
Illustrator: Disney Storybook Art Team
Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: Sofia the First
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: October 29, 2013

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“Sofia the First” is easily my favorite children’s television show on TV and Christmas is my favorite time of the time. Put the two together and we have a match made in heaven here with “Sofia the First: Holiday in Enchancia”, which is the latest book in the series from Disney Press. I really hope that Disney Junior is also planning on turning this story into a TV special like “Sofia the First: The Floating Palace”. This book is a perfect way to get in the mood for the holiday season. It blends the wonderful feeling of the holidays with the charm of “Sofia the First”.

The story focuses around a snowstorm that prevents King Roland from returning home in time for the holidays. Sofia leads her family on a brave expedition to find him, and shows Amber that spending the holiday with loved ones is better than any present. Containing the tradition with the last book, this one includes a very special appearance by Princess Aurora from “Sleeping Beauty”. Like the past books as well, this is wonderfully illustrated and really captures the holiday spirit.

Once thing that I realized is that this book is actually quite smaller than the first two installments in this series. I am not sure why Disney Press decided to take that route but to be honest, I like the smaller format much more. This book comes out in late October and will give parents plenty of time to pick up and spread some holiday joy to the family. I think I enjoyed this book as much as my daughter did (but I am also an old softie when it comes to the holidays). Keep them coming Disney Press, I can’t wait to see what you have planned next for this series!

AWOLNATION Holiday Prize Pack Giveaway [ENDED]

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To celebrate to holiday seasons and the recent release of AWOLNATION’s “Megalithic Symphony”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway the holiday prize pack (show above). If you would like to win one of this great prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know your favorite song from AWOLNATION. This giveaway will be open until January 7th at Noon and is only open to residents of the United States. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out a winner and alert the winner via email.

Click here to purchase the latest album “Megalithic Symphony”:
http://awolnationmusic.com/category/music/

Official Sites:
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https://twitter.com/#!/AWOLNATION