Need a Holiday gift idea for the Rockstar in your life? Check out Pluginz “Jack Rack”

PLUGINZ ‘Jack Rack’ Now Available via Guitar Center & Musician’s Friend –

The Hottest Music Accessory of 2016!

Take it from Reputable Industry Leaders such as Marshall Amplification and Metal Blade Records + Artists such as Dillinger Escape Plan, Of Mice & Men, Warrant, Atreyu and More…

www.thejackrack.com

Pluginz recently introduced their newest product – the latest musician’s must-have – the “Jack Rack”! Already making a name for itself, this unique, eye-catching wall-mounted keychain holder is the best way to “Hang Your Keys like a Rockstar”. Now, Pluginz is pleased to announce that in addition to their online store at www.thejackrack.com, you can now purchase your very own “Jack Rack” online via top musical gear retailers Guitar Center and Musician’s Friend.

Not only can you buy your own “Jack Rack” via Pluginz, you customize them for your business or brand, too. Artists and reputable companies in the music industry are already creating their own custom Pluginz “Jack Rack” designs after witnessing the personalized nature of the product – allowing them to further promote their brands with a fun and functional twist. To find out more on how to customize your very own “Jack Rack”, email Pluginz at: contact@pluginzkeychains.com.

Pluginz was founded in early 2015 by Mike Stricklin. Stricklin soon partnered up with Rockworld Merchandise owners Dan Jacobs of the band Atreyu, and his brother Joe Jacobs. After a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $10,000, Pluginz started making a buzz within the music industry. Soon after, the “Jack Rack” went viral on the front page of Reddit, as well as breaking records for post likes, comments, and shares on pages such as Guitar World, Revolver Magazine, Shut up And Take My Money, Celestion Speakers, 100.3 the Sound FM, Alt 98.7, OC Weekly and many more.

Take it from those who have used the “Jack Rack” and branded their own:

Josh Bernstein
Alternative Press
“There are many inventions in the world that I wish I came up with, such as the iPhone, the electric car and most recently, the cronut. But, when I saw the “Jack Rack” by Pluginz, I was truly humbled. I can’t think of a more highly coveted item by both music players and music fans alike. I know how I will be stuffing my stockings this winter!”

David Peterson
Shut Up and Take My Money
“Pluginz has single-handedly revolutionized the wall mounted key holder industry.”

Rick Zeiler
Coldcock Whiskey
“Dan’s been a longtime friend and business colleague of mine. He presented me with a COLDCOCK Whiskey “Jack Rack” and I was floored at the detail and quality that went into it, so much so we welcomed him using our trademark. Pluginz, the company Dan created, makes an instant impact and is a conversation starter, love them!”

Read more about the Pluginz “Jack Rack” via http://www.jackrack.com, and stay tuned for more news coming soon!

Jack and the Beanstalk Film and Namesake Slot Machine

If you have ever had to keep the kids amused, there is a very good chance that one film you have sat them down to watch is Jack and the Beanstalk. In fact, over the years there have been many remakes of that original film, many of which are actually suitable for both children and adults!

As is always the case when a film, book or even cartoon has proven to be popular with viewers, a company involved in the design and supply of slot machines will license that film and designed and then launch a slot game which boasts that theme.

Therefore it will not surprise you to learn that there is in fact quite a number of sites that have Jack and the beanstalk slot, and as such if you do every fancy trying your chances playing a slot machine with a fin theme and one that is bound to give you something of a fun fill and rollercoaster type of slot playing session so do consider playing that slot online.

Below we have highlighted several of the built in features of that slot game which we think you will enjoy, and as you are always more than welcome to play the Jack and the Beanstalk slot game for free or for real money you can always test it out at no risk as see if you like playing it!

Animated Graphics – Watching any slot game you are playing suddenly springing to life thanks to some high definition graphics and animations is always going to add another level of fun to your slot playing sessions.

That is what you will find on offer on this slot game, so one tip for playing it will be to play it with a large a screen size setting on your computer as you can do, for you will then get totally enveloped in playing it online when you do so.

Multiple Staking Opportunities – There will be plenty of different staking options you can pick and choose from when playing this slot, so even if you are a very low stake slot machine player you will still get plenty of fun when playing it and play it in such a way you will not spend much money doing so!

Huge Jackpot on Offer – The jackpot on offer on this slot is certainly going to be worth playing it with the aim of winning, however keep in mind that some of the best and highest valued winning payouts can also be achieved when you have triggered its bonus features.

Bonus Features Can Be Triggered – The way in which the most fun to play slot games have been designed is in such a way that a bonus game can be awarded to you when playing off a base game spin. That is something you will find on offer when playing this slot and that bonus game could turn out to be a frequently triggered one too!

 

 

 

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DVD Review “Jack And The Cuckoo-Clock Heart”

Actors: Michelle Fairley, Samantha Barks
Directors: Stephane Berla
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Shout! Factory
DVD Release Date: October 7, 2014
Run Time: 89 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

“Jack And The Cuckoo-Clock Heart” is a French animated film, which is based on the concept album by the French rock band Dionysos and on the illustrated novel “La Mécanique du cœur” written by the band’s lead singer Mathias Malzieu. The film was produced by Luc Besson’s company. Les Miserables’ Samantha Barks’ singing amazing, of course, since she is brilliant. It also stars Michelle Fairley (aka Lady Stark from “Game of Thrones”). The animation is absolutely really awesome and visually gorgeous. This feels like mix of “James and the Giant Peach” meets “Coraline”. It is funny, unique and has a nice heart. Recommended.

Official Premise: Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest day in the history of the world, little Jack is born with his heart frozen solid. Wasting no time, midwife Madeleine takes action and saves his life by inserting a cuckoo-clock in place of his icy heart. And now Jack will live…as long as he observes three golden rules: He must never touch the hands of the clock. He must master his anger. He must never, ever fall in love. But fall in love he does, to a bespectacled young street performer, Miss Acacia, with a soul-stirring voice. Now begins a journey of escape and pursuit, from Edinburgh to Paris to Miss Acacia’s home in Andalusia.

If there is a film that I would have loved to see on Blu-ray, this would be one of them. In fact, Shout! Blu-ray comes in a combo pack with a DVD and digital copy as well. I actually would have loved to have seen this film released in 3D, since it would have really worked really well with the animation style. The special features included are decent, especially for a DVD. There are two featurettes focusing on “The Characters” and “From Book to Animation”. I enjoyed both of these for sure and they give a solid behind-the-scenes look at the film

David Mackenzie, Jack O’Connell and Rupert Friend talk about “Starred Up”

David Mackenzie’s transfixing new UK prison drama, Starred Up, is now available on demand as well as in theatrical release in New York. The film made its initial NYC  premiere this past spring at the Tribeca Film Festival where I got a chance to speak with Mackenzie as well as the stars Jack O’Connell and Rupert Friend.

O’Connell stars as Eric Love, a 19 year-old inmate who has been deemed too dangerous to serve in a juvenile facility and has been “starred up” to the adult penitentiary. Friend plays a prison counselor who seeks to rehabilitate the inmates through non violent group therapy. The shooting of the film itself took place over four weeks in an actual prison which the filmmakers credited with helping to develop the film:

“You feel it,” said director David Mackenzie, “You feel the strength of those walls and the strength of the metal bars and the doors. It kind of pens you in a bit. It’s perfect for recreating the atmosphere you need for the movie. But you can definitely feel how oppressive that architecture is.”

Consequently, the actor’s substituted trailers for jail cells. “There was nothing else to be in” Rupert Friend described the setting, “and it’s freezing and the walls hadn’t been cleaned or painted since the last occupants so there’s kind of bodily secretions…don’t touch the walls. And the feeling of isolation and frankly, terror, was pretty powerful for everyone. And it does, it plays into the psychology of the thing. It really does.”

Jack O’Connell had a similar feeling “because we spent our downtime in cells too it meant I had the opportunity at any point to just imagine it. So our trailers were effectively cells. So if at any point I wanted to research or just be as Eric for a bit, I was in his setting.” Although he also went on to say the prison itself he didn’t find scary, “not when it’s not functioning. From what I can gather from the graffiti and the history of [the jail] itself, it’s had scarier days. Much scarier days than when we were there.”

The cast also had the fairly unique experience of shooting the film sequentially over the course of four weeks which encouraged an improvisational take on the story. O’Connell described this as “a total luxury. I mean I could turn up on set without knowing my lines and kind of just blag it, you know? Sort of story unfolding as we told it and if I ever get to repeat that same sort luxury I consider myself very privileged and I’m sure David Mackenzie, our director, shares those sentiments.” In fact Mackenzie shared on the red carpet that he hoped to repeat the experience on an AMC pilot he was readying to shoot at the time, “I’m asking them at the moment whether they’re prepared to let me do it in this method…we’ll see what happens. But actually because the pilot is set in a very limited number of locations so you don’t have to kind of do all the moving that would normally make it problematic. So if I’m lucky maybe I’ll get away with it.”

The improvisational atmosphere was most evident in the group therapy sessions overseen by Friend’s character Oliver, whom the writer Jonathan Asser based on his own experience with inmates. If there’s levity to be found in the film, it’s here and unsurprisingly Mackenzie described those shooting days as  “a joy” saying “because we shot the film sequentially–So you know, we’d have like four or five days and then we’d get a group scene and…there’s quite a big page count. So the schedule gave me like three hours rather than two hours, so it was like ‘Wow! A luxury here!’ and the way we shot it with those scenes was we had the text but we improvised at the head of the scene and we improvised at the tail of the scene. And we allowed the guys to kind of play with it. So we really felt like it wasn’t written. It had to feel like it was alive. And it was great what they did was you know a real joy.”

For Friend it got especially real in a fight scene, “We just kind of went for it. You know one of the scenes these guys, you know there’s a lot of fighting and we didn’t choreograph any of that…and I won’t say who it was, but I got punched so hard in the eye I wound up in the eye doctor.” Although for Friend, “the most interesting part” was remaining a nonviolent character amongst all the tension. “How is it that this one mild mannered, middle class guy was able to diffuse that tension and make it constructive? That’s what was fascinating” he said on the red carpet,  “Not just theoretically, but actually in the room when this lot are all going crazy.”

Director Mackenzie reinforced this sentiment on maintaining control in the violent group. “It was fascinating to watch how…you often see the escalation of things but the deescalation of things is never like a straight deflation. It’s like you know it’s jagged, jagged deescalation and that was really interesting. But it’s fun and also he’s building connections with these guys and I think that’s where the socialization I guess of Jack’s character is really at the fore.”

When specifically asked what O’Connell brought to the role of Eric, the director had nothing but praise for the up-and-coming actor. “What he really brought to it was a fearlessness and the kind of cojones to really go as far as he could with that character. Without holding anything back and that was what a director dreams of. And because we shot the film sequentially he only needed to worry about the scene he was in. He didn’t have to worry about where it fits in in the jigsaw puzzle…so he didn’t. He tried to kind of forget about the rest of the film apart from the scene he was in. And it was just about the immersion into that moment. And I think it’s great. I’m very happy with what he did.”

Jack himself credited his background for aiding him in bringing rougher characters like Eric to the screen, “I don’t want to offend people here, but I do find that you know your typical actor doesn’t necessarily have you know that sort of life experience, you know in scrapes and you know, I haven’t been in a drama school for a significant amount of my adult life. I was out and about trying to be an actor and also trying to survive I guess and have fun at the same time. So that kind of gave me a bit of a wealth of life experience and I think directors like David distinguish the difference between someone with experience in that field and an actor who’s trying to pretend. And so it certainly was to my advantage that the majority of actors you know aren’t working class individuals from Darby. I mean that meant approaching a role like this, I kind of know the difference between acting hard and perhaps being hard. You know, being intimidating. It’s a fine line but very decisive one way or the other.”

Despite it’s grim setting, when Mackenzie was asked what message he hoped the film conveyed, he responded “Somebody said something about a film that kind of suggests that everybody has a chance, a shot at redemption and the idea that you know, this character has obviously done very bad things but you know, he’s obviously come from circumstances…I think it’s about shining a little bit of humanity into the situation. There isn’t much.”

Starred Up is available on VOD and in limited NYC release. Jack O’Connell can next be seen starring in Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut “Unbroken”.

Blu-ray Review “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”

Actors: Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, Kenneth Branagh, Lenn Kudrjawizki
Directors: Kenneth Branagh
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Run Time: 105 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

The character of Jack Ryan from Tom Clancy’s novels has been played by many very talented actors over the last roughly 25 years from Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck. They have all done great with the character…yes even Affleck. Chris Pine, who just revived life into the character of Captain Kirk in the reboot of the “Star Trek” franchise, is hoping to do the same with this character but fails due to an extremely bland and unoriginal story. The film is so generic that you know where every scene it going with little to no surprise around each corner. I guess we will have to wait until they decide to reboot this series yet again or finally put it to sleep.

Official Premise: The thrills are non-stop as CIA recruit Jack Ryan (Chris Pine, “Star Trek” series) is caught in a dangerous web of intrigue and espionage spun between a shadowy government agent (Kevin Costner, “Field of Dreams”), his unsuspecting fiancee (Keira Knightly, “Pirates of the Caribbean” series) and a fearless Russian power broker (Kenneth Branagh, “Thor”). Jack must quickly evolve from soldier to analyst to full-fledged operative to stop a devastating terrorist plot against the United States.

Despite, the painfulness of the film itself, Paramount delivers an phenomonal release. “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” comes as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet digital copy. It boasts an outstanding 1080p transfer. The film just looks stunning and very details. The real winner though for this release is easily the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track. It works perfect building the film’s tension and shakes the walls in the action scenes. The score is also highlighted so well and sounds absolutely amazing. Overall, this was very effective and quite unexpected from this film, so I give major kudos.

The special features are quite decent as well. There is a solid and quite engaging audio commentary track from director Kenneth Branagh and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. “Jack Ryan: The Smartest Guy in the Room” is an all-around behind-the-scenes look into the film. “Sir Kenneth Branagh: The Tsar of Shadow Recruit” focuses on the director/actor role in the film. “Jack Ryan: A Thinking Man of Action”
looks into several key action sequences. “Old Enemies Return” is a look into the film’s villains in depth. Lastly, there are a five deleted & extended scenes, as well an alternate ending all with optional commentary by Director Kenneth Branagh and Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.

Film Review “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”

Starring: Chris Pine, Keira Knightley and Kevin Costner
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1 hour 45 mins
Paramount

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When I lived in Baltimore I had season tickets to the Orioles at Memorial Stadium (and, later, Camden Yards). The seats behind me were owned by a very nice guy who sold insurance. We would talk between innings about all kinds of things. From football (he HATED the Washington Redskins) to where to get the best burnt ends (off Route 40 near the Golden Ring mall). The man also wrote a little. His name was Tom Clancy and one of the characters he created is the subject of the new film “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.”

When we meet Jack Ryan (Pine), he’s a college student in England. Then the events of September 11, 2001 take place and we meet him again on a military mission in Afghanistan as a member of the U.S. Marines. After his helicopter is attacked and crashes, his injured body is sent to Walter Reed Medical Center where he learns to walk again thanks to his beautiful doctor, Cathy (Knightley). Now working as a bank examiner, Jack hides from Cathy the fact that his job is a cover for his work as an analyst for the C.IA, where he was secretly recruited while in the hospital by Thomas Harper (Costner). Jacks latest assignment will take him to Moscow, where his dealings with crooked businessman Viktor Cherevin (Branagh) may make this lesson his last.

First things first, this film is not based on any of Tom Clancy’s books. The filmmakers have basically taken his most popular character and given him a new backstory. And, if you’re not a fan of the books, it works. While Ryan is much more of an action hero here (“you’re not just an analyst,” Harper tells him) Pine still manages to keep the character grounded in reality. Knightley gets a little more to do than in previous stories and Costner is an excellent choice to play Ryan’s mentor.

The action comes non-stop and credit director/co-star Branagh with making the film interesting, both with his performance and his guidance. The film moves quickly to a rather satisfying climax. This is not your father’s Jack Ryan and, when everything is taken into consideration, that’s really not a bad thing.

Win Passes to the Advance Kansas City IMAX Screening of “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” [ENDED]

Media Mikes has teamed up with Paramount Pictures to offer our Kansas City area readers a chance to attend the upcoming advance screening of the new film “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” starring Chris Pine. The screening will be on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. and will be held at the AMC Studio 30 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas.

For a chance to win two passes go to http://l.gofobo.us/Lgnmkr4M and register. Winners will be notified by GOFOBO on Sunday, January 12, 2014.

Official Website: ShadowRecruitMovie.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/JackRyanMovie
Twitter: @JackRyanMovie #ShadowRecruit

Opening Date: Friday, January 17, 2014

Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and intense action, and brief strong language.

Synopsis:
Based on the CIA analyst created by espionage master Tom Clancy, “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” is a blistering action thriller that follows Ryan (Chris Pine, “Star Trek”) from his quiet double-life as a veteran-turned-Wall Street executive to his all-out initiation as a hunted American agent on the trail of a massive terrorist plot in Moscow.

Ryan appears to be just another New York executive to his friends and loved ones, but his enlistment into the CIA secretly goes back years. He was brought in as a brainy Ph.D. who crunches global data – but when Ryan ferrets out a meticulously planned scheme to collapse the U.S. economy and spark global chaos, he becomes the only man with the skills to stop it. Now, he’s gone fully operational, thrust into a world of mounting suspicion, deception and deadly force. Caught between his tight-lipped handler Harper (Academy Award-winner Kevin Costner), his in-the-dark fiancée Cathy (Keira Knightley) and a brilliant Russian oligarch (Kenneth Branagh), Jack must confront a new reality where no one can seem to be trusted, yet the fate of millions rests on his finding the truth. With the urgency of a lit fuse, he’s in a race to stay one step ahead of everyone around him.

DVD Review “The Best of Jack Hanna”

Actors: Jack Hanna, Suzi Hanna, Julie Hanna, Kathaleen Hanna
Directors: Guy Nickerson
Number of discs: 5
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Image/Madacy Entertainment
DVD Release Date: October 15, 2013
Run Time: 1320 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I have to thank my mother-in-law for getting me into the world of Jack Hanna.  She is a big fan and has since introduced to his work. Jack visits yearly to SeaWorld in Orlando, FL.  So each year, I have the privilege of watching him work with the animals and even to meet him. He is not only a television personality and conservationist but also an author and lifelong adventurer. I am sure that plenty of kids wanted to be him growing up. This collector’s edition package “The Best of Jack Hanna” includes 30 episodes from “Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild” and also 30 episodes from “Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures”  If you are a fan of his work, then this 5-DVD box set is a must own.

Official Premise: “The Best of Jack Hanna” follows America’s most beloved animal adventurer and his family as he spends time with nature’s creatures across the continents, over the years, and through two different TV shows. This collector’s edition package includes 30 episodes from Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild, which has garnered 6 Daytime Emmy Nominations and 3 wins to date, plus 30 episodes from Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures. Each episode provides insight into the protection and conservation of some of our planet’s most precious animals and endangered species. “The Best of Jack Hanna” takes you on an action-packed journey, leaving you with a renewed appreciation for all creatures, great and small.

Jack shows no signs of slow down either as he continues to develop new TV series including “Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown”, which airs on Saturday mornings on ABC affiliates around the country. “Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures” and “Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild” are also currently in syndication as well. He has been working for decades to protect and spread the word about wildlife conservation and I am sure that he will continue to spread the word for many more years to come. I hope that Image/Madacy Entertainment is planning to release future releases of Jack Hanna because I would love to have more, specifically his new series. There are no special features on this DVD but there are 60 amazing episodes, so that is good enough for me.

“Jack The Giant Slayer” Blu-ray Giveaway [ENDED]

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

To celebrate the release of “Jack the Giant Slayer”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway a Blu-ray of the film. If you would like to enter for your chance to win this great prize, please take the quiz in the app below and leave us a comment below or send us an email with your results. This giveaway will remain open until July 5th, Eastern Time. This is open to all fans of Media Mikes in the the US and Canada. 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.

Jack the Giant Slayer tells the story of an ancient war that is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants. Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack, into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom, its people, and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend—and gets the chance to become a legend himself.

Blu-ray Review “Jack the Giant Slayer”

Actors: Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, Bill Nighy
Directors: Bryan Singer
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Bros Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Run Time: 114 minutes

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

When I first saw the trailer for “Jack the Giant Slayer”, I thought to myself “Come one now another big-budget fairy tale”. The film went one to become the biggest flop of the year so far costing nearly $200 million and only grossing $65 million in North America. I have to say though after watching it it wasn’t nearly as bad as it looked. If you look at it from the perspective of mindless fantasy action, it work for the most part. I would have preferred to see this film in 3D, since it would have popped more but the 2D version still worked. Overall, we get solid visual effects though surrounded by a weak campy story.

I have to admit, I am not a fan of Nicholas Hoult. Didn’t like him as Beast in “X-Men: First Class” and skipped “Warm Bodies” due to him. He does not strike me as an action hero in this film at all. On the other hand, I am a huge fan of Ewan McGregor but in my mind he is too good for this but does make the best out of it. Notable voiceover for the main giant, General Fallon is voiced by Bill Nighy and his smaller head is voiced by John Kassir aka The Cryptkepper in “Tales from the Crypt”. Stanley Tucci is the baddie and seems like he didn’t want to be there. Ewen Bremner couldn’t have died sooner (oops spoiler), hated him. Also keep an quick eye out for Warwick Davis in the beginning of the film.

Official Premise: Jack the Giant Slayer tells the story of an ancient war that is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants. Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack, into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom, its people, and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend—and gets the chance to become a legend himself.

Warner released this film with a Blu-ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack. Since the film delivered some impressive CG work, the 1080p transfer is absolutely fantastic within its 2.4:1 aspect ratio. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. track works perfectly with the constant action. The special features are good but for a production this size, I expected more. “Become A Giant Slayer” is a eight-part behind-the-scenes look into the production including, “Know Your Enemy”, “Suiting Up”, “Attack Tactics”, “The Magic of a Beanstalk”, “How to Zip”, “Giants’ Kitchen”, “Saving the Princess” and “Defending Your Kingdom”. Lastly there is a deleted scene and gag reel included.

DVD Review “Jack and the Giant Killer (1962)”

Starring: Kerwin Mathews, Judi Meredith
Directed: Nathan Juran
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Legend Films
DVD Release Date: May 28, 2013
Run Time: 94 minutes

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

Legend Films is re-releasing the 1962 film “Jack and the Giant Killer” to capitalize on the release of Warner Bros recent film “Jack The Giant Slayer”. The DVD though is very unimpressive. The colors are extremely faded and the print looks a bit sad. Stop-motion animator Jim Danforth tried to recreate what Ray Harryhausen did with Nathan Juran’s “The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad” but falls short of his talent. I would recommend the Rifftrax version of this film, at least it’s worth the laugh, which is also released by Legend Films coincidentally.

Official Premise: Farm boy Jack heroically rescues Princess Elaine from sorcerer Pendragon by slaying his bloodthirsty giant. But when Pendragon uses his evil powers to bewitch and imprison Elaine in his enchanted fortress, Jack must cross the ocean to brave dragons, two-headed ogres and an army of ghouls to save his lady love!

Even though the film’s transfer has seen better days, I have heard that this film has two versions of it floating around. One of them is the original 1962 version and the other has musical numbers added in. At least this one is the original 1962 version, since I have heard that the musical version is even more unwatchable. There are no special features included here, which is not shocking as all since this is just a cash-in release. If you are a childhood fan of this film and have never owned it prior, it just comes down to your love of this film and if you have $8.99 to blow.

Blu-ray Review “Jack Reacher”

Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Robert Duvall, Werner Herzog, Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: May 7, 2013
Run Time: 130 minutes

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

Before this film was released, I had never heard of this ass-kicking ex-Army anti-hero created by Best-Selling Author Lee Child, Jack Reacher. Tom Cruise takes on this title role and really nails the role. I have to say I came into this film expecting a crazy action film like in “Mission Impossible”, but I was really surprised with what I got. This is a real slow-burn detective story mixed with some great action and one hell of a car chase scene. Besides Cruise, the rest of the cast is also phenomenal including Rosamund Pike (“Wrath of the Titans”); Werner Herzog (“Rescue Dawn”), who is usually behind the camera directing but he is quite a stunning villain; David Oyelowo (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”); Richard Jenkins (“The Cabin in the Woods”) and Jai Courtney (“A Good Day to Die Hard”). If you like Cruise then you should enjoy this for sure. Just don’t expect an all out action-fest. I would love to see this series continued in further installment but I have a feeling that this will be Jack Reacher’s first and last go.

Official Premise: Adapted from a novel in Lee Child’s best-selling crime series, the film sees Cruise in the title role as an ex-military policeman turned vigilante drifter who is called in to investigate after an expert sniper takes the lives of five random victims. When the authorities pull in former army sniper, James Barr (Joseph Sikora), they are certain they have the perpetrator, but Barr believes he’s been set up and asks that Jack Reacher (Cruise) be assigned to the case. At first, Reacher is weary of Barr but after some thorough investigation he is led to believe there is an unseen force pulling the strings of the investigation and he’s determined to get to the truth.

Paramount really went through the trouble of delivering a very nice presentation with this Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. Also included is an UltraViolet digital streaming copy. The 1080p transfer is super sharp and top that with a very impressive (and unexpected) DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track. At first I thought that this wasn’t necessary but it really worked with the car chase scene and Joe Kraemer score. The special features are pretty darn good. There are two commentary tracks, the first with Tom Cruise, director Christopher McQuarrie and the second with composer Joe Kraemer. I am very impressed that Cruise lended his voice and it is worth checking out. “When the Man Comes Around” is a look into the film’s journey from the page to the screen. “You Do Not Mess with Jack Reacher: Combat & Weapons” focuses on that training and stunt choreography through the fight sequences. Lastly, “The Reacher Phenomenon” is a look into this series popularity around the world with Lee Child. Also included is a $10 off coupon for sports tickets at Ticketmaster and there is also a code for the first chapter of Lee Child’s next “Jack Reacher” novel “Never Go Back”. So if you are a fan of the series, this is a nice bonus!

Film Review “Jack Reacher”

Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike and Richard Jenkins
Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 2 hours 10 mins
Paramount

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I apologize in advance if these first paragraphs seem “preachy.” But I feel strong enough about what I’m going to write that I must include it. Sometimes things in life tragically coincide with things in Hollywood, with Hollywood always getting the blame for exploiting a tragedy. On July 22, 1991, the world first learned of the horrible crimes committed by Jeffrey Dahmer. Less than two weeks later the movie “Body Parts” opened. Even though the film had nothing to do with Dahmer just the title put Hollywood in a bad light. On June 17, 1994 O.J. Simpson led police on a slow-speed chase prior to being arrested on suspicion of murdering his wife. At the same time, “The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult,” a film in which Simpson co-starred, was opening in discount houses. Again, an outcry that a studio was trying to capitalize on a tragedy. If you have any knowledge of film history you know that both the original “Spider-man” and the comedy “Zoolander” were edited to remove images of the World Trade Center just after September 11, 2001. Even this past summer’s “Dark Knight Rises” was put in a negative light after a late night screening was interrupted by a man with a gun.

Which brings us to “Jack Reacher.” This past week we were all horrified when 26 people, including 20 children, were senselessly killed at their elementary school. The film deals with an investigator looking into the case of a sniper that kills five people. As the film begins we see the sniper looking through his scope, pausing momentarily on a young woman holding hands with a child and then the child. The audience at the screening I attended gave a collected gasp. “We don’t need this,” one of my fellow critics said to me. The sniper takes his crosshairs off of the child to continue his search for his victims. But that moment brought the audience back into reality, ironically in the one place people go to escape it. Again, it’s just a movie but I felt you deserved a heads up.

And now on with the review:

In the city of Pittsburgh a white van slowly makes its way into a parking garage overlooking the riverfront. A man gets out, rifle in hand, and begins to search across the river for a target. Five shots later he is gone. Armed with evidence found at the scene the police close in on the home of James Barr (Joseph Sikora). When he is interrogated he refuses to talk, instead scribbling on a yellow legal pad “GET JACK REACHER.”

A tightly woven thriller with an undertone of comedy, “Jack Reacher” is a smart mystery with enough twists and turns that you may get dizzy following them. Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who won an Oscar for his script for “The Usual Suspects,” the film’s premise is that things are not always what they seem. Catching word of the crime, Reacher (Cruise) shows up at police headquarters and is introduced to Barr’s attorney, Helen Rodin (Pike). Helen is hoping to keep Barr from being sentenced to death if convicted and needs help because when the district attorney (Jenkins) goes after the death penalty he seems to always get it. Oh, and he’s also Helen’s father. Helen convinces Jack to help her and soon we meet an assortment of goons and idiots, all working for a mysterious man known as The Zec (Werner Herzog). As Jack solves one puzzle he finds himself thrust in the middle of another, all the time trying to convince himself that Barr really is guilty. The stakes keep getting bigger and bigger as both Jack and Helen begin to question the loyalty of those around them.

Tom Cruise turned 50 this year and it’s almost hard to imagine that he’s been a star for almost 30 of those years. Cruise is one of those rare actors that really can play ANYTHING. Be it a high school boy looking for some weekend fun, an ace pilot in the U.S. Navy or a paralyzed Vietnam War veteran, he has always found a way to inhabit his characters. When he’s on screen you don’t see TOM CRUISE, you see Joel Goodsen, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell and Ron Kovic. He does the same thing here, inhabiting Jack Reacher and making him three dimensional. He is assisted by a fine supporting cast that includes, besides Pike, Jenkins and Herzog, David Owelolo, Jai Courtney and Cruise’s old buddy, the great Robert Duvall who, at age 81, continues to amaze.

This is McQuarrie’s second directorial effort and his first in more than a decade. He does manage to keep the story on track, even finding time for a pretty intense street race between some serious muscle and Reacher. And I’m sure Tom Cruise would like me to tell you that he’s up to date when it comes to dealing with the bad guys hand to hand.

Sara Lindsey talks about working with Tom Cruise in “Jack Reacher”

Photo Credit: Sierra Prescott

Sara Lindsey is an up and coming Hollywood starlet who will be appearing in the new Tom Cruise action film “Jack Reacher” which is scheduled for release on December 21st. Media Mikes had the chance to talk recently with Lindsey about the film and what it was that got her in to acting.

Adam Lawton: How did you first get involved with acting?
Sara Lindsey: I have always been a performer. The first time I tried it was in a 1st grade play my teacher arranged. That was the bug that bit me. I have been performing since I was very young and I have always been very artistic and musical. As I got older I began to get more serious about things and when I started looking at colleges I decided acting was what I was most passionate about. I felt very connected to acting and that’s what I pursued in college.

AL: How did you get attached to the film “Jack Reacher”?
SL: I had gone to an audition for the film and after that I learned about the book franchise and all the other things associated with “Jack Reacher”. I think the film is going to be really cool as it is a fun film. The story is very easy to follow which is not always the case with some films with similar themes. Tom Cruise is just awesome as the Jack Reacher character. I am definitely looking forward to the film coming out.

AL: What was it like working on such a large production?
SL: It was crazy! I am super new to the business and have only done two or three movies up to this point. The audition process for this was pretty long and I had a few call backs. One call back was done over Skype between the directors, me and the person who was going to be playing my boyfriend. Christopher McQuarrie is such a brilliant writer and director. It was a pleasure to get to work with him. I had a great time during the process.

AL: Were you allowed to experiment with your character at all?
SL: We really did get some freedom within the structure of the film. My big scene is at the very end of the movie. Chris gave us the frame work and allowed us to do whatever we wanted within the boundaries of the scene. We talked over a few different ideas and went from there.  We sort of did things in the moment. To be allowed to do that on this caliber of a movie was very unique.

AL: Can you tell us about the film “Promise Land”?
SL: That was a dream project for me. I got to meet and work with an amazing group of people. I learned so much. The film is about identity and what makes us who we are. The story is set against a back ground that has to do with hydro fracking. There is that issue going on while some great characters with compelling stories are interwoven throughout the film. I think it’s going to be really great.

AL: What are the release plans for the film?
SL: I think they are doing a limited release in several cities starting on or around December 28th. The wide release is scheduled for January 4th.

AL: Can you tell us about some of your other projects you have coming out?
SL:  I am working on a screen play project right now that is not yet titled. We have been working on it for about a year now. It has been a lot of fun to work on something from the ground up. The things you can cultivate with peers and colleges are really great. We are hoping to start shooting that in the very near future.

Complimentary Passes to the Kansas City Advance Screening of “Jack Reacher” [ENDED]

ALL TICKETS HAVE BEEN DISTRIBUTED AND ALL WINNERS HAVE BEEN EMAILED!

ALL TICKETS HAVE BEEN DISTRIBUTED AND ALL WINNERS HAVE BEEN EMAILED!

If you would like to enter for a chance to win tickets to the following advance screening, please leave a comment below with your FAVORITE MOVIE “JACK”. Is it creepy Jack Torrance from “The Shining?”  How about Jack Dawson in “Titanic?”  The first (50) people to comment will be given a code to obtain a pass for (2) via the GOFOBO site. Winners will be notified on or before Sunday, December 16th. ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON PLEASE! OTHERWISE ALL ENTRIES WILL BE DISREGARDED. The winners will be will notified via email and will be instructed how to register for their passes. Good luck and hope to see if you at the screening! Screening information is as follows:

Date: Monday, December 17, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Cinemark Merriam, Merriam, Kansas

Official Site: JackReachermovie.com
Opening Date: Friday, December 21, 2012