Blu-ray Review “La La Land”

Actors: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie Dewitt, Finn Wittrock
Directors: Damien Chazelle
Rated: PG-13
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Run Time: 128 minutes

Film: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I was highly anticipating “La La Land”. I told myself I wasn’t going to hear a note of the music before seeing the film. Funnily enough after my first viewing, I felt really let down. Afterwards, I spent time listening to the soundtrack and since have fallen absolutely in love with the music and the film itself becoming one of my favorites from 2016. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are/and also sound amazing. I love them singing and I love them together. A must see for sure!

Official Premise: Winner of 6 Academy Awards® including Best Director for writer/director Damien Chazelle, and winner of a record-breaking 7 Golden Globe® Awards, LA LA LAND is more than the most acclaimed movie of the year – it’s a cinematic treasure for the ages that you’ll fall in love with again and again. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star as Mia and Sebastian, an actress and a jazz musician pursuing their Hollywood dreams – and finding each other – in a vibrant celebration of hope, dreams, and love.

The 1080p transfer is gorgeous. I love the look and the way that this film was shot. I feel like it speaks true to Hollywood today. Since this is an musical, you would assume that the sound of this Blu-ray is very important. Well Lionsgate films does not disappoint. They have delivered us with an epic Dolby Atmos track as well as a Dolby TrueHD 7.1. So two great options way to enjoy this beautiful film and its beautiful songs!

The special features are solid. There are about over 10 featurettes focusing on all aspects of the production bringing nearly 80 minutes of content. There is an informative audio commentary with Writer/Director Damien Chazelle and Composer Justin Hurwitz. I love these two together on this track. “Damien and Justin Sing: The Demos” is a look at two demos for the track “What a Waste of a Lovely Night” and “City of Stars”. Lastly there is a gallery and trailers.

Book Review: Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk”

“Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk”
Author: John Doe w/ Tom DeSavia and Friends
Da Capo Press
Hardcover: 227 pages

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

“Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk” was written by X vocalist/bassist John Doe along with help from Tom DeSavia and laundry list of who’s who from the late 70’s and early 80’s L.A. punk scene. For the first time in one place the true story of a scene often overlooked is told in all of its gritty and grimy detail by none other those who experienced it and by those who helped create it. This is not your typical memoir however as this book tells not only of how the scene began and developed but also how it went on to change music forever.

Before I get into my review of the book I want to point out that if you are unfamiliar with the scene this book documents or the bands that appear grab a copy of Penelope Spheeris film “The Decline of Western Civilization” as a majority of the people’s names and a lot of the places featured in the film coincide with those who are also in the book. After a very brief forward by Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong we are quickly whisked back to the not so glamorous side of Los Angeles. Just a few brief years before hair metal would dominate the sun set strip bands like X, Black Flag and the Minute Men were the bands to go see. John Doe does a great job recounting his stories from this era with vivid detail and truthfulness that make you want to keep turning the page. As an added element to Doe’s story there is often even more colorful commentary provided by other musicians or friends who were there to experience everything as well. Not only does this add different angles to a previously told story but it fills in gaps with intricate firsthand accounts. For me this only pulled me further into the already captivating story. To go along with the stories there are several black and white photo sections which are chocked full of rare photos that by themselves are worth the price of the book.

From cover to cover Doe and DeSavia and crew nail it. Aside from actually being around during this specific time I don’t think you could get any closer nor could it be anymore real. There were a few times when I wished Doe had kept going from his perspective as sometimes when the story teller switched you were in a sense re-reading some of what was just told however, that aside “Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk” is a great book for not only punk rock fans and music but for those wanting to learn about a period of time in Los Angeles that isn’t sugar coated with all the normal glitz and glamour LaLa Land is often associated.

Blu-ray/CD Review “Melissa Etheridge: A Little Bit of Me: Live In L.A.”

Rated: Unrated
Studio: Shout! Factory
Run Time: 60 min
Format: CD/DVD/Blu-Ray

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

“A Little Bit of Me: Live In L.A.” is the latest live release from singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge. The performance was recorded on December 12th 2014 at the historic Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles during the last show of Etheridge’s “This is Me” Tour. The package is being released via Shout! Factory and is available on both DVD/CD and Blu-Ray/CD combo’s and Deluxe Digital Edition formats.
2 time Grammy Award winning singer/song writer Melissa Etheridge is back with a brand new concert performance release, Her first new live release since 2001’s “Live and Alone”.

Though “A Little Bit of Me: Live In L.A.” clocks in at just 60 minutes the 13 tracks that make up the set list are pure magic. All the hits are here including “I Want To Come Over”, “Come To My Window” and “I’m The Only One” along with several new tracks from Etheridge’s most recent studio album “This Is M.E.” including “Take My Number” and “A Little Bit of Me”. Though I found the sound and picture to be really great on the Blu-Ray edition I was a little underwhelmed that the entire concert only ran 60 minutes. With Etheridge’s last live release clocking in at over 2 hrs. and packed with bonus footage there was certainly something’s left to be desired. Don’t get me wrong the behind the scenes footage and interviews with the band are ok but nothing that hasn’t already been done.

If you are a long time Melissa fan and have to have everything she release to fulfill your collection then this release is certainly for you. I think this also would make a great piece to have if you saw one of the shows from this tours run. However if you are really looking for a more complete M.E. package then dig into her expansive back catalogue as there are several options that will probably be able to fit what you are looking for.

Track Listing:
1.) I Won’t Be Alone Tonight
2.) I Want To Come Over
3.) Chrome Plated Heart
4.) Take My Number
5.) Come To My Window
6.) Ruins
7.) A Little Bit of Me
8.) If I Wanted To
9.) Meet Me In The Back
10.) Bring Me Some Water
11.) I’m The Only One
12.) Like The Way I Do (Bonus track on Blu-Ray, DVD and Deluxe Digital Edition)
13.) Monster (Bonus track on Blu-Ray, DVD and Deluxe Digital Edition)

Donald Trump, Bret Michaels and La Toya Jackson talk about NBC's "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice"

Donald Trump returns with the first ever “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” on Sunday, March 3, 2013. This is the sixth installment of “The Celebrity Apprentice” and the thirteenth season of “The Apprentice” series. This season, fourteen of your favorite business-savvy celebrity contestants return for a second chance to raise money and awareness for their charity of choice. The last person standing will be chosen as the Celebrity Apprentice and have the honor of delivering a $250,000 bonus check to their designated charity. The show’s executive producer and star Donald J. Trump along with entertainment icon La Toya Jackson, Poison front man Bret Michaels, also winner of the third season of Celebrity Apprentice took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about this season, their charities and what we can expect.

We all know that drama sells in this TV reality. Is this the most dramatic season yet?
Donald Trump: Well I’ll speak first. I think it’s certainly one of the most dramatic seasons. We have tremendous interest in the season and including Bret and La Toya, we have brought back some of the people that everybody really likes because it’s an All Star season. And I think yes, it’s a very dramatic season, amazing things happen. La Toya and Bret, go ahead.
La Toya Jackson: You have no idea, it’s very dramatic, it’s very exciting. There is so much going on. And you will see a lot of confrontations. It’s going to be a blast, you’ll love it. You will simply love it, everyone will.
Bret Michaels: I have found that as being there the first time it was something I really wanted to do. I had an absolutely great time and coming back obviously it is extremely dramatic and you’ll just have to watch because it will keep you riveted.

Bret, after winning Celebrity Apprentice in season three, did you feel like you had an advantage going into this one? What was your approach?
BM: The truth is here is the absolute truth. I actually felt like I had probably a major disadvantage because I feel like it’s like you want to call it the Super Bowl Syndrome — when a team comes back that has won it everyone is gunning for them. But I loved everyone who was on it and listen, as a lifelong diabetic, it’s a great opportunity for charity. I wanted to do it. But no doubt when you’re coming back they’re going to firing for you and you’ve just got to be strong and do the best you can.

Mr. Trump, What do you find so appealing about still doing the show?
DT: Well more than anything – yes I think more than anything else it’s the success of the show. It has just been amazing, you know, how well it has done and it took people by storm. As you know it became the number one show in many evenings over the years and it has been just a great success and it continues to be a phenomenal success for NBC and for me and for us. It has been an amazing success and I think maybe that’s why I keep doing it. It’s just that old thing. I could talk about many, many other shows that have tried to copy The Apprentice and they failed. They failed very quickly and miserably. And, you know, 15 of them now and I think more than anything else it’s really the success of the show. I enjoy doing it. As long as it continues to be successful I enjoy it.

After your experience on the show, what did you learn and plan for this season?
LTJ: Well first of all it’s such a fascinating show and I love the fact that he has given us this opportunity to promote our networks and what we’re doing as far as our charities are concerned. But I think I learned that personalities are individuals and you have to really be strong and steadfast no matter what happens, what you go through, stand by what you truly believe in and don’t let anyone deviate and you go into that road of deviation.

Were you expecting more out of the contestants since they have been through the show before? Were you a bit tougher on them?
DT: No I think they became a lot smarter, they understand the system better. We have a couple that did very, very well that frankly I wasn’t expecting as much from and I think they have learned the system a little bit. So it wasn’t that I was expecting more, I think they have become much smarter. I actually think that it made for an exciting show, very exciting show. I think it’s almost every one of them really have learned so much and it has become very, very exciting. It’s really a strong show, amazing show.

Bret and La Toya, did you have any hesitation about going back on the show or did you immediately think yes, I want to do this again.
LTJ: Well, I wanted to do it in the very beginning but the second time around I was a bit hesitant because I knew what I was faced with the first time. And I said you know what, you never give up, you always have to keep believing, you have to believe that you’re going to be the winner, you’re going to come through this really straightforward and strong. And I went for it, I went for it. Because if I have learned anything I have learned what Trump has taught us all that we need to put our best foot forward and don’t let anybody, anybody block us from anything that we wish to do or want to do. I felt it was very, very important to bring awareness as well to my charity which was National Network to End Domestic Violence. Because this show is so big and so wonderful, he has given us this opportunity to bring this awareness to our charities where everybody sees it and that interest goes there and then they start giving to the charity which is incredible. And it’s wonderful all the people who need it.
BM: No hesitation on my part at all. I was excited to do it, I wanted to do it the first time I did it and again I wasn’t – when I actually did it the first time I wasn’t at the peak of my best health. So this time getting the opportunity with All Stars and with La Toya and everyone that was there and Trace and Penn. I mean, these guys are all of them successful at what they do. There is a reason Mr. Trump and his show is a success. He’s a success in real life, in life life. And to be able to learn from that, I went in with no hesitation and realizing that the competition was going to be fierce. We all know each other, we all know the way each other plays, and for me I just went in headstrong and had a great time going there, zero hesitation. I would do it again.

Mr. Trump, why do you think the time was right to do the current All Stars edition?
DT: Well it just seemed good. You know, we’ve had so many people that have done so well on the show. They didn’t win but they did really well and they were really liked by the audience because ultimately it is about them being liked by the audience. And, you know, we have Trace Adkins coming back, we have so many people that did so well and just really were liked. I have such respect for Bret, you know, going on the show and because he could have sat to my side and it wouldn’t have been the same risk. But I really – I think you’ll see that Bret comes out amazingly, he comes out amazingly. But there was so much like and love for some of these contestants that we wanted to do an All Star version and bring back some of the, you know, whether it’s Gary Busey or Dennis Rodman, we have some – just some great people coming back.

Bret and La Toya, who do you guys think is your biggest competitor on the show and who surprised you the most?
LTJ: I think that in the beginning of the show I thought the biggest competitor, I knew it would be probably Penn. I just felt that. I don’t know why but I did of course and Trace of course. However, I felt that I would have a lot of problems with Omarosa and that was just a feeling. Because you can tell in the beginning when you see the people sort of sizing you out and saying little things to you but you’re still polite to them at the same time you’re going oh my God, it’s going to be war at some point. And you know it’s going to happen, you know it’s going to come. And yes of course it’s going to be an interesting season, let’s put it that way.
BM: Yes and I can add to this. There are – I look at everybody as massive competition on that show because everyone wants to win. They didn’t go there to lose. And, you know, you’ve got to just bring what is your game and pray that it works and bring your A game and pray that it works. And no doubt, La Toya said it best, everybody is competitive. And some of them are — I won’t mention any names — are pretty good TV professional villains. And as much as I think I’ve got nerves of steel they can rattle you, they can rattle you no doubt.
LTJ: And Bret you were a threat because as we all know Bret has already won so at this point you’re thinking oh no, Bret’s here, what are we going to do. So yes, it’s very competitive. And that’s one thing that you have to really, really mentally get yourself prepared for because people will do anything, and I do mean anything as Bret knows to win.
DT: And I’ll speak for Bret. He is very tough and he’s very, very smart.

Lastly, since you are playing for charity I’d like to give you the opportunity to tell us what is the name of your charity, what does it do, and why is that charity important to you personally?
LTJ: Well my charity that I was playing for was National Network to End Domestic Violence and that basically is a charity, as you all know domestic violence occurs all over the world and as we’re speaking now there are women and of course men that are just going through abuse at this very single moment. And they have no shelter, they feel that they have no lobby, they have nowhere to go. So I’m here to let them know that we are doing something about it and there are shelters, there is an 800 number that’s right there for you to call and get help. But this year – this charity that I’m playing for, National Network to End Domestic Violence was actually formed by the people themselves. So they went out and they got together and said we need a charity, we need a place to stay, something to do and have people come and donate for us. I thought that was very commendable of these little kids and women who were basically really suffering to get together and do something and say this is what our charity is going to be about and this is what it is. And it needs awareness. And people are just watching and just donating and I’m so happy. You can never, ever, ever have enough. And I truly believe that no one charity is better than the other but just bringing awareness to it is what I’m here for and I am very proud and pleased to be happy working with Mr. Trump to bring that awareness to it.
BM: My charity is simply called Life Rocks Foundation and I’ve had it for a really long time and it is – being a lifelong diabetic myself obviously a big part of it goes to diabetes. A big huge part of it which works also with ETF is St. Jude’s and childhood cancer and in Wounded Warriors and pet adoption. It’s got a variety of different things that we work. But it’s called Life Rocks Foundation Faces and Places and you just go to bretmichaels.com and you see the thousands of faces and the money every penny has been donated over the years.

Book Review “Fa La La”

Author: Leslie Patricelli
Hardcover: 26 pages
Publisher: Walker Childrens Hardbacks
Release Date: November 1, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Oh, Leslie Patricelli! Your board books are going to flood my daughter’s room. This is my first introduction to this series and I am sure it will not be the last. This series is based around the cutest little baby and continues from previous installments like “Tubby”, “Huggy Kissy” and “Quiet Loud”. This book celebrates and showcases my favorite holiday Christmas. These books are great for kids and I highly recommend them. But I am sure if anyone reading this has kids that is a big ole “Duh!”.

“Oh, baby! Leslie Patricelli’s one-haired wonder returns to revel in Christmas. It’s almost Christmas, and baby simply cannot contain the exuberance. There are things to decorate: a tree, a gingerbread house, a doggy! There are very creative presents to make, Santa to see (must be brave), carols to sing, not to mention the big event itself. Join the seasonal celebrations with humour and joy as everyone’s favourite baby puts a special spin on Christmas. These are two sure-fire winners – Leslie Patricelli’s bald baby, and Christmas – together at last! It’s all here: choosing the tree and decorating it; making home-made gifts; singing carols; and more – each event celebrated with bald baby flair. It is heartwarming and hilarious – like all the other books featuring this baby.”

In only the five short months that I have been a parent, as of this writing, Leslie Patricelli is one name that I keep seeing over and over. Besides this series, she is also author-illustrator of ” Higher! Higher!” and “Faster! Faster!” books. I have a feeling that I am going to come across her work quite a bit in the coming years and I welcome it.

“Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3: Viva La Fiesta!” Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Giveaway [ENDED]

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


Hilarious Fiesta of Family Fun Unleashed on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD and Digital — September 18.

To celebrate the Blu-Ray™ release of “”Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3: Viva La Fiesta!”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway 10 copies of the 2-Disc Combo Pack (Blu-ray™ + DVD). If you would like to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know your favorite character from the series. This giveaway will be open until October 5th at Noon, Eastern Time and is only open to residents of the United States. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

Walt Disney Studios proudly unleashes Hollywood’s renowned pack of celebrity Chihuahua stars in the hilarious all-new movie “Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3,Viva La Fiesta!” releasing on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD and Digital on September 18, 2012.

Everyone’s favorite talking Chihuahuas Papi (voice of George Lopez) and Chloe (voice of Odette Annable) are back, joined by their five playful pups in an all-new family comedy. It’s canine chaos as Papi’s family (dog and human) move into the posh Langham Hotel, complete with a luxurious doggy spa. But there’s trouble in puppy paradise when Rosa, the littlest member of the pack, feels smaller and less special than ever. Now it’s up to Papi to help Rosa find – and celebrate – her inner strength, which turns out to be bigger than she ever dreamed and reminds humans and canines alike of the importance of family, friends and teamwork.
Papi and Chloe’s pack of five pups include the voices of Kay Panabaker (“Little Birds”) as Rosa, Emily Osment (TV’s “Hannah Montana”) as Pep, Madison Pettis (Disney Junior’s “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” “Game Plan”) as Lala, Logan Grove (TV’s “Young Justice”) as Papi, Jr., and Delany Jones as Ali.

The canine cast features the voice talents of Miguel Ferrer (“Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” “Traffic”) as Delgado, Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo (“Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” Hispanic National Radio Morning Show DJ) as Humberto and Tom Kenny (“SpongeBob Square Pants”) as Sebastian. The film’s human stars include Marcus Coloma (TV’s “Make It or Break It,” South Beach”) and Erin Cahill (“Fast Track: No Limits”, “Boogeyman 3”) who reprise their roles from “Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2” as the dog’s masters, Sam and Rachel Cortez, plus Frances Fisher (“The Lincoln Lawyer” and TV’s “Torchwood”) as travel writer Amelia James.

Bonus features on the disc include the featurette “Hanging with Papi,” a playful look at a typical day on-set for Papi and both his human and canine costars, and the English and Spanish versions of “Living Your Dreams” an all-new music video performed by Raini Rodriguez, star of Disney Channel’s popular series “Austin and Ally.”

LMFAO’s DJ DainjaZone talks about touring and DJing in Las Vegas

DJ DainjaZone is a member of LMFAO’s Party Rock crew. He has recently taken up residency at Las Vegas’ LAVO and will also be filling in for DJ Air on LMFAO’s current tour. Media Mike had the chance to talk with DainjaZone about his newest gig and what got him started DJing.

Adam Lawton: What got you into djing?
DJ DainjaZone: It was something that I had just a small interest in. The plan was to be a major league pitcher and have a DJ set up in my mansion of a living room. That fell short. Before that fell short I started DJing in New Mexico while I was there playing baseball for New Mexico State University. We had a big Halloween party coming up so I said I would DJ. I went out and bought a CD mixer so I could control the music. I was into the old school hip-hop and not what was poppy or hot at the time. I just wanted to play the older stuff at first. I eventually evolved in playing what is hot today.

AL: Would you say the basis of your style is mostly old school?
DJ DainjaZone: I am all about adapting to what is going on. I like to grow and be ahead of the curve. I would say my style is definitely new but it has a lot of old elements to it. Sometimes it just comes down to song selection. For the most part it is new. I edit all of the tracks that I use. I have personal edits of just about everything I use. That way what I am presenting to the crowd is unique and it won’t be heard anywhere else. We all have access to the same tracks so I create my own edits. I have my own a capella ins and outs. I just like to make it sound different than what is going on. This creates for a unique beat.

AL: What generally sparks you interest when creating a track?
DJ DainjaZone: Inspiration comes at any place and time. I can be in a club listening to a DJ and they will play one song and something will pop in my head about that song. There style will have nothing to do with that but when inspiration hits me and I think I can take a song and do certain things with it and that’s what I will do. I can take a song people are familiar with and intro it three different ways. These will be something you have never heard before. A lot of time inspiration comes from the club. I go to clubs and study DJ’s and the crowd. When I am there it’s always business.

AL: How did you initial get involved with the Party Rock Crew?
DJ DainjaZone: I have a couple friends who were close with LMFAO’s manager. Through those people I eventually met him at a music conference. He hadn’t heard me yet but had heard about me. I guess he was feeling me because he asked that when we got back to Los Angeles that we have a meeting. We met and he still hadn’t heard me. We started talking about politics in the game and seeing where my head was at and what my ambitions were. After seeing and hearing those he wanted to take me on and be my manager. This was the summer before “Party Rock Anthem” so there was a lot evolving with Party Rock. There name was starting to grow and they were touring around America. At the time they wanted to create a Party Rock brand of DJ’s. A lot more has been added to the show and to the crew.

AL: Can you tell us about your current gig in Las Vegas?
DJ DainjaZone: It’s called “La Freak Friday’s”. La freak is actually the alter-ego of the Party Rock clothing line. If you have seen “Champagne Showers” that is what La Freak is. It is mysterious, sexy and vampire like. There is a lot of dark involved. People will associate this with Party Rock. I did the show for the first time a couple weeks ago and it went exceptionally well. They want me to rotate there two times a month but LMFAO’s DJ Air recently broke his ankle in Moscow so I am going to be filling in for him over the next 3 months. I am going to be doing the main stage and after parties with them.

AL: Do you have any other projects we can be watching for?
DJ DainjaZone: I have had to cancel a lot of dates in America because of filling in on the LMFAO tour. A lot of this stuff is taking it month my month. It depends on how Air feels. I have nothing big planned after August. My number one priority right now is LMFAO. Where ever we go that’s my priority. I am going to be trying to take more control of my own bookings. When we have open dates I will be trying to get myself some shows and fill in those days. I still have my own brand to push and I want to keep my name relevant in the DJ and club scene. I don’t want to be just be known as that Party Rock DJ. I want to have other options. I will also be starting work on a new mix tape sometime in June. That will hopefully take me back to Australia in September.

Cassie Steele talks about TV series “The L.A. Complex”

Cassie Steele plays the role of Abby Vargas in the television series “The L.A. Complex”. Media Mikes had a chance to talk with Cassie recently about the show and her upcoming music album.

Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about the show “The L.A. Complex”?
Cassie Steele: The show is about people who move down to Los Angeles to try and make it in the entertainment industry. The show follows how the characters deal with the pressures and anxieties of trying to make.

AL: Can you tell us about your role on the show?
CS: I play Abby on the show. She is a girl from Canada hoping to make it. Abby doesn’t have a lot of experience or a visa. She is struggling with how long she can stay down there and support herself without making any money. This is Abby’s first pilot season so we get to see a lot of that and the pressures pilot season can cause.

AL: Did you have any likes or dislikes about working on the series?
CS: I enjoyed meeting the new cast and crew and I loved everyone I worked with. The people at Epitome are like my family. I really learned so much and it’s been amazing to working with them. Now we get to do the second season!

AL: When does shooting for season two of the show start?
CS: I am actually in Toronto shooting as we speak. We just had a long read through of the first 7 episodes. There are some hot new characters and a lot of funny girls and boys. It was nice to meet some of the new people joining the show and, it was great to see returning cast members as well. It is very exciting.

AL: Will we see any big differences on the new season as compared to season 1?
CS: I think season 1 pushes a lot of buttons especially compared to Canadian television. Season two you will see the characters get into deeper problems. As they get move up or down the ladder you start to see what each character is capable of when they are desperate.

AL: Do you think your time on “Degrassi: The Next Generation” helped prepare you at all for your role on “The L.A. Complex”?
CS: Yeah, I guess so. I don’t think I really notice because I have done it for so long. The things other people may notice I may not. I think that it must. Everything to my knowledge went very smoothly. I think it helped me learn how to communicate with other actors. Character development is where I think it really helped me. I played the character of Manny for so long that I learned you have to play what people want to see from the character to your advantage. If you work against it things can start to work against you. I think that was a really important thing to take with me.

AL: What other projects do you have in the works?
CS: I am getting ready to release a three song teaser for my album. This release will sort of align with the CW release of my album. This is going to be a lot of fun. I am glad to have something for people to see after they watch “The L.A. Complex”. I plan to continue working on the release of my full-length album when time allows.

Interview with Damian La Rocco

Damian LaRocco is the lead singer for the Staten Island based band Four Nights Strong. The band has just released their first EP titled “Crash and Burn”. Media Mikes had a chance to talk with Damian about the release and what the bands current plans are for 2012.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some back ground on the band?
Damian La Rocco: We are a group of guys ages 17-21 who love all kinds of music. We each live pretty normal lives but have big goals for the band. We all want to make a career out of playing music because it’s something we love.

AL: How would you describe your music?
DL: Lyrically we’ve been called emotional and meaningful. I guess that’s kind of my goal when I write. I write based on my personal life as well as situations others can relate and connect with. Instrumentally we all have different influences that we mesh together. We try to avoid repetition and sounding generic because it feels fake. We feel we put 110% of ourselves into what we write.

AL: Can you tell us about your latest release?
DL: The “Crash and Burn” EP was something we can honestly say we are all really proud of. We worked with our producer Ethan Bill for quite some time until we found the sound we were looking for. Ethan has been a great help to us and he has been a real pleasure to work with. The CD has been getting a lot of positive feedback from all our fans online and our ITunes sales are going up every day. We started out barely knowing what we were doing and over time with hard work we grew into who we are now as musicians. I think the songs on the CD reflect that.

AL: Do you have a favorite track off the album?
DL: I love all the tracks. It’s hard to actually pick one. “Scared to Breathe” is my favorite to perform live while “Crash and Burn” & “Despair” are very personal to me, I wrote them both when I was in a dark place in my life. “The Message” and “My Last Call” get the crowd pumped and moshing so that’s definitely awesome to see! Overall I catch myself listening to “Scared to Breathe” and “The Message” the most.

AL: What are the bands plans for 2012?
DL: 2012 is going to be a big year for us. We will be experiencing a lot of firsts. Our first music video “My Last Call” will be coming out. We are doing our first summer tour that includes playing some big shows in New York City at The Gramercy Theater, Webster Hall and possibly the Hard-Rock Cafe. We also may have a hint at another E.P coming in the summer but nothing is definite.

Blu-ray Review “The Doors: Mr Mojo Risin’ -The Story of L.A. Woman”

Directors: Martin R. Smith
Starring: The Doors
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Run Time: 94 minutes

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

“Mr Mojo Risin’” focuses on Jim Morrison’s last album “L.A. Woman” with The Doors. The special itself run about 60 minutes and feels a little short but still entertains. This goes into great depth on the band, how the album was made track by track and also about its recording. 2011 was actually the 40th anniversary of the album’s release and Morrison’s death, so it is definitely relevant. If you are fans of The Doors this definitely leave you satisfied.

Some of tracks included in the special are “The Changeling”, “Love Her Madly”, “Hyacinth House”, “Crawling King Snake”, “Riders On The Storm”, “Light My Fire”, “People Are Strange” and “Hello, I Love You”…plus many more. This film included new interviews with the three surviving members of the band included Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger and John Densmore. There are also new interviews from Jac Holzman (founder of their label Elektra Records), Bill Siddons (ex-manager), Bruce Botnick (co-producer of the album). I also enjoyed the archive footage of the Doors performing, as well as new musical performances from the remaining members.

The special features included about 30 minutes of additional interviews. Not sure why they were not cut back into the film, since I think it would have enhances the film. Some of the extra footage includes John Densmore talks further L.A. Woman, more on the making of “Riders On The Storm” and “Crawling King Snake”, live performance of “Thoughts On Performing” and The Doors Guide To LA. Overall the extras are impressive and worth checking out.

Maya Entertainment Acquires Domestic Rights to “La Hora Cero”

MAYA ENTERTAINMENT ACQUIRES DOMESTIC RIGHTS TO “LA HORA CERO” (Aka THE ZERO HOUR) FROM HSI FILMS

VOD and Home Video Release Slated for 2012

“La Hora Cero” Set Box Office Record As Highest Grossing Film In Venezuelan Film History

LOS ANGELES, CA – Maya Entertainment has acquired from Los Angeles based HSI Films the domestic rights to “La Hora Cero”, a non-stop action/thriller shot entirely on location in the streets of Venezuela.   The deal for domestic rights includes plans for a 2012 VOD on Maya’s Comcast and Time Warner branded folders, Blu-Ray/DVD, and iTunes and other digital platforms.

Quickly becoming the highest grossing local film in Venezuelan history, “La Hora Cero” (aka The Zero Hour) is a gritty, fast-paced heist film.  Set in Caracas during the 24 hours of a controversial medical strike, it follows Parca, a tattooed hit man as he takes a private hospital hostage in order to save his girlfriend.  What seemed like a perfect plan will end in a frenetic outcome, as Parca is forced to come to terms with his past, and as he discovers that his worst enemies are much closer than he ever imagined.  A love story told in the midst of chaos, “La Hora Cero” is a timely and universal story about the mythic rise to power and the inevitable fall from grace.

“Maya Entertainment is extremely proud to have acquired the in-your-face action picture “La Hora Cero”, and even more thrilled to be working with the talented writer/director Diego Velasco and writer/producer Carolina Paiz,” said David Rand, EVP of Home Entertainment for Maya Entertainment.

Hollywood Studios International (parent company to HSI Films) Chairman and CEO Steven Saxton said, “We’re extremely pleased to have found the perfect partner in Maya Entertainment for the US release of one of the most exciting and influential films to come out of Latin America this past year.”

“La Hora Cero” was produced by Open Studios and Factor +RH in association with Anonimo Studio and Centro Nacional Autonomo de Cinematografia (CNAC). The deal was negotiated by Tonantzin Esparza, Director of Acquisitions on behalf of Maya and Eric Christenson of HSI Films on behalf of Executive Producer Sergio Aguero and producers, Diego Velasco and Carolina Paiz.

MAYA ENTERTAINMENT | www.maya-entertainment.com

Based in Los Angeles, Maya Entertainment Group, Inc. is an independent multi-platform content and distribution company that has established itself as the leader of media product that appeals to the “new mainstream” of American Latino and Multi-cultural audiences.  Led by entertainment industry pioneers, Moctesuma Esparza (Selena, Gettysburg) and Jeff Valdez (Sí TV, QuePasa.com), Maya Entertainment produces, acquires and distributes entertainment programming and has established a library of over 100 titles, which are available at retail, for rental, and on VOD through Time Warner Cable, Comcast, iN DEMAND, and TVN.

Maya International Distribution, headed by Elias Axume, sells rights to its entertainment properties worldwide and has a presence at key markets including Berlin Film Festival/European Film Market, Hong Kong FILMART, Cannes Film Festival, MIP-TV, Toronto International Film Festival, MIPCOM and AFM. Currently, Maya International is selling rights to La Mission, starring Benjamin Bratt; The Jesuit, starring Michelle Rodriguez and Willem Dafoe; Café, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jamie Kennedy; Without Men starring Eva Longoria Parker, Christian Slater and Oscar Nunez; Across the Line, starring Aidan Quinn and Mario van Peebles; and The Last Rites of Joe May, starring Dennis Farina, among others.

Maya’s recent theatrical and home video releases include the Official 2010 Sundance selection The Dry Land, starring America Ferrera, Jason Ritter, and Wilmer Valderrama; the action-drama Across the Line starring Aidan Quinn, Mario Van Peebles, and Andy Garcia; and Sins of My Father (Pecados de mi Padre), the true story of Pablo Escobar, the infamous boss of Colombia’s Medellin drug cartel, as told through the eyes of his son; Sympathy for Delicious, directed by and starring Mark Ruffalo, Orlando Bloom, Laura Linney and Juliette Lewis; Without Men, starring Eva Longoria Parker, Christian Slater and Oscar Nunez; and Café, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt.

ABOUT HSI FILMS

HSI Films is a worldwide theatrical motion picture financing, production and distribution division of Hollywood Studios International. The company handles all aspects of marketing and distribution for both its own internally developed motion pictures, as well as acquired films. HSI Films Distribution is led by Eric Christenson, who has licensed films that represent more than 50 Academy Award nominations, including: Academy Award “Best Picture” winners “The Hurt Locker” and “The Departed,” as well as “Traffic”, “The Aviator,” and “Gangs of New York”. HSI Films Production is overseen by Producer Paul Schiff. Schiff has an in-house first-look production deal with HSI. Some of the films produced by Schiff include “Young Guns I & II,” “My Cousin Vinny,“ “The Vanishing,” “Rushmore,” “Maid in Manhattan,” “Mona Lisa Smile,” and “Solitary Man.”

ABOUT HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS INTERNATIONAL

Hollywood Studios International is a media holding company focused on the intelligent deployment of capital in the entertainment industry. The company has developed a portfolio of fee-based businesses ranging from talent representation to international distribution.

 

Blu-ray Review “Lindsey Buckingham: Songs From the Small Machine- Live in L.A.”

Starring: Lindsey Buckingham
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Running Time: 125 mins

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Who does know and love Fleetwood Mac? Growing up I remember listening to them with my father, who still has a thing for Stevie Nicks. This concert was filmed in high-definition at The Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, California in April 2011 and is packed with amazing DTS Surround-Sound track. The sound was great and delivers some great new and old tunes. The video resolution was really great and very clear. It is hard when watching a concert on the TV then watching it live. This does a pretty good job and pulling you into the show and right into the action.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Famer Lindsey Buckingham, male lead singer for Fleetwood Mac, delivers a fun concert and a great presentation on Blu-ray. Since he is solo, it is not unexpected that he performs his new songs (some which kick some ass) and he plays some hits from Fleetwood Mac days. The guy really knows how to play the guitar, both acoustic and electric. The concert was almost split into two different shows with Lindsey and his guitar alone for the first couple of songs then he brings in the the rest of the band. They definitely kick up the energy and deliver a fun show. Picking up this release is a real no brainer for fans of Fleetwood Mac and Lindsey Buckingham.

The concerts set list includes the following songs:
“Shut Us Down”
“Go Insane”
“Trouble”
“Never Going Back Again”
“Big Love”
“Under the Skin”
“All My Sorrows”
“In Our Own Time”
“Illumination”
“Second Hand News”
“Tusk”
“Stars Are Crazy”
“End of Time”
“That’s the Way Love Goes”
“I’m So Afraid”
“Go Your Own Way”
“Turn It On”
“Treason”
“Seeds We Sow”