The Legend of The Holy Grail in Film

 

There are many legendary tales from years gone by, legends that have been handed down to generation after generation.

Some have managed to become a little convoluted over time as they ultimately change as society and culture changes around them, whereas other legends have caught the imagination and even helped inspire some memorable moments in film, television and even the world of gaming.

One such Arthurian legend revolves around the divine vessel known as the Holy Grail, and the apparently epic quest to uncover it.

Here’s a look at just some of the shows, movies, literature and games that have been inspired and spun off from this cup of eternal youth.

MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1975)

To kick things off we just have to make sure that this incredible comedic gem is where it belongs, right at the top. From the surreal minds of the world famous Monty Python team they were able to collectively draw from the Arthurian legend of the Holy Grail in their first feature film outing.

It was 90 minutes of absurdity and hilarity and in spite of its budgetary restrictions it still bought an incredible amount of historical accuracy and realism to the proceedings focusing on King Arthur (played by the late Graham Chapman) and his loyal knights as they embark on their legendary Grail quest.

 

INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE (1989)

In what should have been the final feature in an Indiana Jones trilogy, which was sadly followed up with an extremely unsatisfactory and almost ridiculous sequel involving aliens and crystal skulls, Indie’s final crusade involved plenty of action and adventure as he teamed up with his Holy Grail scholar father as they set out to track down the legendary cup before those pesky Nazis get their hands on it.

In the final moments of the movie Indiana must face a series of challenges in order to reach the cup only to face a vast selection of various cups, false Grails and an ageing knight sworn to protect the chamber.

He must choose the correct one in order for it to give healing powers, needed to help his injured father.

 

AVALON 2

In this follow up to the original popular slot game the fun and medieval theme flows around the quest for the grail. Avalon 2 is a 5-reel game that requires the player to help King Arthur retrieve the grail and return it to Avalon.

It includes a special Grail Bonus feature that includes an impressive line-up of 8 additional bonus games to enjoy. It’s triggered when 3 or more random Grail symbols appear anywhere on the reels and there’s plenty there to keep most gamers interested.

 

THE DA VINCI CODE (2003)

In Dan Brown’s bestselling mystery thriller novel ‘The Da Vinci Code’ it’s Professor Robert Langdon who races around on his hunt for the legendary Grail.

Along with police cryptographer, Sophie Neveu, the pair must solve a number of cyptic clues that will lead them to the hailed cup which is revealed to not actually be a cup at all, but a tomb containing the bones of Mary Magdalene.

Horror Icon Bill Moseley And Metal Legend Philip H. Anselmo Unite To Release Songs Of Darkness And Despair Via Housecore Next Month.

BILL & PHIL: Horror Icon Bill Moseley And Metal Legend Philip H. Anselmo Unite To Release Songs Of Darkness And Despair Via Housecore Next Month.

Horror icon Bill Moseley – most notable as Chop Top in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, and Otis in Rob Zombie’s House Of 1000 Corpses and Devil’s Rejects – recently joined forces with extreme music legend Philp H. Anselmo (Down, Pantera, Superjoint, Scour, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, Arson Anthem etc.) for a very special collaborative release entitled Songs Of Darkness And Despair.

Set for official unveiling on January 20th 2017 via Anselmo’s own Housecore Records, the five-track offering was produced and performed by Anselmo and Stephen “The Big Fella” Berrigan (Down, SYK, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, Eyehategod, haarp, Classhole, etc.), and mastered by Scott Hull of Visceral Sound. Songs Of Darkness And Despair includes guest appearances by Kevin Bond (Superjoint) on guitar, Squizzy Squires (King Parrot) on bass and guitar, and José “Blue” Gonzalez (Superjoint, Warbeast, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals) on percussion.

From preppie journalist to Satanic serial killer, Bill Moseley’s taken a long and unusual road to cult stardom, firmly cementing his place in the annals of horror history along the way. Having released his Spider Mountain record, and collaborated with Buckethead on their Cornbugs project, Moseley expands his musical endeavors by teaming up with Anselmo. BILL & PHIL‘s Songs Of Darkness And Despair is a brilliant trip that will give everyone a thrill.
Comments Anselmo: “Working with Mr. Moseley was an awesome experience! Bill brought the lyrics and Stephen [Berrigan] and I just improvised directly on the spot, and squeezed out six tunes in three days. All the songs have a different vibe because I wanted the music to represent Bill’s lyrical vision(s), and we needed to, because Bill does indeed have a unique, visual element within his choice of words and phrasing. I love Bill Moseley, and can’t wait to work on the next one! Be cool and enjoy this one!”
BILL & PHIL‘s Songs Of Darkness And Despair preorder bundles (including limited edition air fresheners and face masks) are available at The Housecore Store RIGHT HERE.
 
Songs Of Darkness And Despair Track Listing:
1. Dirty Eye
2. Corpus Crispy
3. Catastrophic
4. Widder Woman
5. Tonight’s The Night We Die
6. Bad Donu

Hardcore legend Harley Flanagan talks about his debut solo album “Cro-Mags”

Punk mainstay Harley Flanagan is often recognized as one of the most influential members of the NY hardcore/punk scene of the early 1980’s. His band the Cro-Mags set the early standard for hardcore which is still followed and recognized to this day. Harley recently released his first solo album titled “Cro-Mags” and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with him recently about the album, his trials and tribulations with his former band and also about his upcoming book.

Ryan Albro: At what moment did you decided it was time to release your first solo album?

Harley Flanagan: I had some ideas in my head that I had been working on and at one point I was fortunate enough to have some studio time made available to me so I decided that I was going to use that time to start laying down some demos. From there one thing led to another and it wound up turning into this album.

RA: What was the writing process like working on a solo album versus previous albums?

HF: It was really the same process as I am the guy who came up with riffs. Back in the old days, I would have be recording them on a cassette player or when I was living with Squatch I used to call up Parris’s house and tell him not to pick up the phone so I could hum riffs on his answering machine. He’d learn the riffs and then we’d meet up later and we’d play them together. Now I sit around the house and record them on my phone. Whenever a riff comes I put it down and I work with it. I had a ton of riffs on my phone and when the studio time became available I went in and just waded through everything and picked out a bunch that I thought had an old school type of feel. I wanted to write a bunch of short songs that just come in, punch you in the face and walk right over you. I actually wrote everything believe it or not on an acoustic. I am actually thinking about releasing an acoustic version online just for fun because that’s how this whole album was originally recorded

RA: What made you decide to name the album Cro-Mags, considering the issues you have with the band?

HF: I basically felt like it was time for me to reclaim something that is rightfully mine. All bullshit aside, my hand has always been extended to those guys and even after all the shit went down at Webster Hall and along with everything else, my hand is still extended. The fact of the matter is that so called band is just John and occasionally Matthew. There’s nobody playing in that so-called band that has ever written a Cro-mags song and the Cro-mags have not written a song since I haven’t been involved. They are like a tribute band doing songs and other covers. This new record sounds more like Cro-Mags than anything anybody’s done since. I’m taking back the name. That magic is never going to be recaptured without everyone being involved. I believe that and I know that and that’s why I’m the sentimental fool that’s always fucking extending my hand to these guys, but obviously it doesn’t mean as much to those guys as it does to me. The good that game out of it far outweighs the bad, but unfortunately there has been a lot of bad. For me that whole interruption in 2012 and then putting out this album and really venting my feelings about that moment has been a real positive thing for me because it has helped me exorcise a lot of those demons.

RA: You also have a book coming out can you tell us about that?

HF: As far back as I can remember people have been telling me I should write a book, at least going back to like the 80’s but, I never really wanted to. Despite being told I have some really great stories it’s just never been something I had the desire to do. When I was going through some particularly tough times in my life I started thinking that in case anything happens I do want my side of the story to get out. I already knew that hardcore had made enough of an impact culturally where there would inevitably be books written and bullshit said and bullshit told. I was like I’m going to get my side of this out and I’m going to tell my story, the actual story. If I don’t I’m going to wind up with some asshole telling my life story the way they perceived it or the way they want it told to serve their purpose. I started writing everything down that I could remember going back as far as I could to my early childhood. Over the years of working on it I kept going back and fact checking and, double checking and, confirming facts with my family members. My mom was helpful with that before she passed away. I did a lot or research on everything. I wrote this book with the intention of it being something that people would want to read and them to see what it was like living in that time period through the eyes of a child, through the eyes of someone that was there growing up in it. There has been a lot of books about punk rock but there haven’t been any written by someone who was 10 years old when this happened. It goes through my whole life. It starts off with the day that Webster Hall went down and then right when that started to erupt it goes back to my early childhood and it retraces everything through as much as I could. Obviously I had to cut a lot of shit out or it would have been like a 10,000 page book but I wound up getting an editor and after everything was written and really narrowed down to the most powerful stuff. People can get a taste of what will be in the book if they check out www.harleyflanagan.com

RA: Lastly, What are your plans for touring in support of the new album?

HF: I have looked into doing some shows and some touring but so far the right show hasn’t come up. I work 6 days a week, I love my job, I love the people I work with and I love being home with my wife and spending as much time with my kids as I can. For me to get out there and tour it has to be the right shows. When the book comes out I will definitely be doing a book tour and, the idea is I would like to try and book shows that coincide with that so I can perhaps do a book thing during the day and maybe a show that same evening in the same city. That way you can kill two birds with one stone while having fun.

Book Review “Ultimate Warrior: A Life Lived ‘Forever’: The Legend of a WWE Hero”

Author: Jon Robinson
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Insight Editions
Release Date: September 8, 2015

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

I like to think that I drew up in the heyday of the wrestling. I remember the wrestling greats of that time including Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramone, The Undertaker and my personal all time favorite the Ultimate Warrior. This guy was a absolute nut case when it ran out to the ring! I remember seeing him live at an event probably in 1991 or 1992 and going insane when he came out. His energy was like nothing I had ever seen and probably still unmatched today. He went up against legends like Hulk Hogan in matches like the epic battle of Wrestlemania VI. I vividly remember watching this pay-per-view event in my living room with all my friends at the time as a kid. Times like this are unforgettable. Unfortunately, the legend is no longer with us…but thanks to the WWE, his legend will live in forever. “Ultimate Warrior: A Life Lived ‘Forever’: The Legend of a WWE Hero” is an amazing tribute to one of the best wrestlers in the business. Triple H kicks off the book with a great introduction. Even with all the feuds in the business, I enjoyed getting reading this opening. Dana Warrior also gives a heartfelt foreword to the this book giving us an inside look at the Warrior outside of the ring. This book is a must own for any wrestling fan!

Official Premise: With signature moves like the Warrior Splash, epic battles against Hulk Hogan, Sgt. Slaughter, Macho Man Randy Savage, and The Undertaker, and impassioned speeches that struck fear into his opponents and inspired warriors across the nation, the late Ultimate Warrior became one of the most revered figures in WWE history. Here, for the first time, the complete legend of The Ultimate Warrior is told in full, from his humble beginnings as a self-proclaimed “small, insecure kid who wasn’t into any sports” to his rise to WWE fame as the most powerful force in the universe. Through both action and candid photographs, personal ephemera, including original Warrior art and detailed journal entries, insider stories and exclusive interviews with WWE legends, and intimate accounts from the Warrior family, this unique biography brings the legacy of The Ultimate Warrior to life like never before. Relive the Warrior’s most intense matches and rivalries, and get to know the man behind the face paint in this one-of-a-kind volume. Filled with intense action and little-known details, Ultimate Warrior: A Life Lived Forever is a celebration of the Superstar who left an inimitable mark on WWE and redefined sports entertainment for generations.

Insight Editions always delivers the most informative and books on the market. They are also innovate with their releases. If you were a fan of the Ultimate Warrior you will recall his ribbons from his wrists. Well this book has ribbons included as a clever way to hold your page (see image). This book is jam packed with information about the former wrestler, his career and his life. I really enjoyed this book since it wasn’t just a flashy biography. It was also has a very intimate feel to it as well. The images in the book are absolutely gorgeous and easily transport me back to my favorite days of wrestling. In fact it makes me want to go back and re-watch old Wrestlemania events! This is a book that I can look through for years to come. There is so much included in this that you would need to go slowly through with a fine comb to absorb everything. Even though the Warrior is no longer with us, it is books like this that are going to carry on his name and keep him in the spotlight that he deserves. I will proudly be displaying this book prominently on my coffee tables for months to come.

Photo provided by Insight Editions. © 2015 WWE, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Concert Review “The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses” Orlando, FL

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Orlando, FL
July 18, 2015

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses was a delicious meal for the ears and eyes. The concert started off softly, drawing you in with the subtle sounds of Zelda. Of course, they saved some of the best songs for last.

A live orchestra and chorus performed in sync with clips from various Legend of Zelda games, such as Twilight Princess and Majora’s Mask. For added effect, live cameras would occasionally pan into orchestra pit to feature an instrument soloist. Also, they featured video clips where the games’ creators, such as Shigeru Miyamoto, sharing the delight they’ve had in creating the Zelda games.

The only downside was that sometimes the audience would get overly excited at the beginning of certain, popular songs and start loudly clapping and cheering. This, sadly, would overwhelm about 20-30 seconds of the song. While I was a little disappointed to miss the start of the song, I had to admit the music deserved the applause.

Regardless of the occasional crowd noise, this show is a must see for the avid Legend of Zelda fan. A live orchestra that is playing Zelda music? It was everything that I imagined.

Blu-ray Review “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast”

Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Mae Whitman, Rosario Dawson, Lucy Liu, Raven-Symoné, Megan Hilty
Director: Steve Loter
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Run Time: 76 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I have been a fan of the Disney Fairies franchise since the first Tinker Bell movie. They have all been very cute and honestly, each one is better than the next…until this one. “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast” is easily the weakest in the franchise. The title is misleading as Tinker Bell takes a back seat to her fairy friend Fawn (who was voice re-casted by Ginnifer Goodwin). Unlike the previous films, the one is quite dark and a bit scary for the little ones. It doesn’t have that fairy charm of the previous films either. Plus Gruff aka the NeverBeast is not a likable character at all. I hope Disney resolves this with the next Tinker Bell film.

Official Premise: Return to Pixie Hollow for a heartwarming adventure, Disney’s Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast. An ancient myth of a massive creature sparks the curiosity of Tinker Bell and her good friend Fawn, an animal fairy who’s not afraid to break the rules to help an animal in need. But this creature is not welcome in Pixie Hollow — and the scout fairies are determined to capture the mysterious beast, who they fear will destroy their home. Fawn must convince her fairy friends to risk everything to rescue the NeverBeast.

Disney is releasing this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD copy with access in Disney Movies Anywhere. The 1080p transfer is quite impressive still and you can tell the film was made with 3D in mind but, of course, Disney neglected to release on 3D Blu-ray. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track is absolutely amazing and very impressive. Singer/songwriter KT Tunstall performs three news songs in the film, including “Float,” “Strange Sight” and “1000 Years” with singer/songwriter Bleu, but it is not the most upbeat song played during the film’s end credits.

The special features like the film is are not very entertaining. “5 Essential Ingredients to Getting Gruff” is a quick chat with Director Steve Loter and crew about the film’s development. “My Dad’s Movie: The True Story of The NeverBeast” features Loter again with his daughter discussing the film. “Jeff Crowin’s Guide to Real-World NeverBeasts” features the well know animal and nature conservationist as he discusses the title character and talks about other “NeverBeast” like characters in real-life. There are four deleted scenes with optional director intros. Lastly “Gruff Love” is a long promo for the film.

IndieBox Announces “Brütal Legend: Limited Edition”

IndieBox, in partnership with Double Fine Productions, is releasing a special “limited edition” of the rock ‘n roll game Brütal Legend starring Jack Black, Tim Curry, and Ozzy Osbourne. Only 250 copies of this limited edition are available for purchase.

Orlando, FL – November 8, 2014 – IndieBox, a mystery box for indie games, partners with talented indie developers to create retrostyle game boxes featuring handpainted artwork with DRMfree game copies, Steam keys, full color manuals, CD soundtracks, posters, collectibles, and much more.

This October’s featured game was Brütal Legend, created by Double Fine Productions. The game stars the voices of Jack Black, Tim Curry, Ozzy Osbourne, and other rock legends who are summoned to the world of Heavy Metal to do battle. Swing an axe (and guitar) at demons and monsters as Eddie Riggs, voiced by Jack Black. Brütal Legend is now available on the IndieBox store for $24.99 plus shipping. Each limited edition box is numbered for authenticity. Only 250 will be placed for sale at Indiebox.MyShopify.com.

Brütal Legend was the first game to be revealed prior to shipping by IndieBox. September’s mystery game was Luftrausers by indie developer Vlambeer. The Collector’s Edition of Luftrausers can also be purchased at Indiebox.MyShopify.com while supplies last. November’s subscription deadline is November 21st at 11:59PM EST. New subscribers must subscribe before then to get this month’s mystery box! We think subscribers will really dig it. For more information, visit TheIndieBox.com and join the IndieBox community on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheIndieBox, and Twitter, Twitter.com/TheIndieBox.

Double Fine Productions is an awardwinning, independent game development studio founded in 2000 by games industry veteran Tim Schafer.

Blu-ray Review “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon”

Starring: Shep Gordon
Director: Mike Myers
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: ANCHOR BAY
elease Date: October 7, 2014
Run Time: 85 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 0 out of 5 stars

“Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon” is a documentary about the king of the entertainment industry. It is marks the directorial debut of Mike Myers. That’s right the same Mike Myers from “Austin Powers” series and “Wayne’s World” series. I have to admit, I wasn’t familiar with Shep Gordon but this guy knows EVERYONE in the business. He has been Alice Coopers manager for over 40 years and has worked with everyone from Pink Floyd (for like 9 days) to Groucho Marx to Jimi Hendrix to Emeril Lagasse. In terms of documentary, this one really interested me and was definitely worth checking out if you are in the world involved in the business.

Official Premise: In his directorial debut, Mike Myers (Austin Powers, Wayne’s World) steps behind the camera to document the remarkable career of friend and Hollywood insider—Shep Gordon. He isn’t a household name, but Gordon became a beacon in the entertainment industry after a chance run-in with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin launched his career in 1968. Since then, he has managed an endless list of talent, including Alice Cooper, Blondie, Luther Vandross, and Raquel Welch. His management of Emeril Lagasse was the driving force behind the “Celebrity Chef,” concept that turned the culinary arts into the multi-billion dollar industry it is today. Capitalist, protector, hedonist, pioneer, showman, shaman…Shep, or SUPERMENSCH, is beloved by the countless stars he’s encountered. Now, Gordon’s fascinating story is told by those who know him best, his pals including Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, Anne Murray, Willie Nelson, and more.

“Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon” is not special at all when it comes to its Blu-ray presentation. The 1080p transfer is good but also barely decent at certain points. Since some of the content is taken from old sourced. It is not very polished but to be honest it still works since it is a documentary and I didn’t expect “Avatar”. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is a bit neglected since there isn’t much on the track besides the dialogue. There isn’t much music in the film either than the typical documentary music. In more disappointing there are zero special features on this Blu-ray. I would have loved to see a commentary track and some deleted or extended interviews included.

Blu-ray Review “The Legend of Hell House (1973)”

Starring: Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowall, Gayle Hunnicutt, Clive Revill, Roland Culver, Peter Bowles
Director: John Hough
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Run Time: 95 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I remember as a kid seeing the VHS box for this film and never renting it. In fact, I still had never seen the film prior to this Blu-ray release. “The Legend of Hell House” has a sort of Hammer feel to it but takes too long to get going and the pay off is not worth the wait. There is a point when not seeing anything gets old. I expected some of that and then some reveal but it never came. Roddy McDowall is always great to watch though. Hardcore horror fans might dig having this on Blu-ray.

Official Premise: A team consisting of a physicist, his wife, a young female psychic and the only survivor of the previous visit are sent to the notorious Hell House to prove/disprove survival after death. Previous visitors have either been killed or gone mad, and it is up to the team to survive a full week in isolation, and solve the mystery of the Hell House.

I feel like Shout! Factory could have done a bit more with this release to be honest. It is not being released as a combo pack just a Blu-ray. The transfer is good but nothing spectacualr for the age of the film it looks ok but feels a little bit muted to me. The DTS-Master Audio Mono track does work with the successful score and the dialogue. The special features are bit lacking as well. There is a new interview with Director John Hough as well as a new audio commentary With actress Pamela Franklin. Both are good but we usually get more from Shout! Lastly there is an original theatrical trailer included.

Enter to Win Robin Williams’ latest film “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn” on Blu-ray [ENDED]

To celebrate the Blu-ray release of “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn”, Media Mikes is excited to giveaway one (1) copy of the Blu-ray to our readers. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of this prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite film with Robin Williams. This giveaway will remain open until July 25th 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.

Comic Legend ​Robin Williams, Mila Kunis, Peter Dinklage ​A​nd Melissa Leo ​Headline ​Heartfelt Comedy Arriving On Blu-ray, DVD And Digital HD July 22 From Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Some people have bad days. Henry Altmann (Williams) has one every day. Always unhappy and angry at the world including everyone in it, Henry sits impatiently at the doctor’s office when he is finally seen by Dr. Sharon Gill (Kunis). Sharon, who is enduring her own bad day, reveals that Henry has a brain aneurysm. This news makes Henry even angrier, yelling at Sharon he demands to know how much time he has left. Faced with Henry’s anger and insults, Sharon abruptly tells him he has only 90 minutes. Shocked and reeling by this news, Henry storms out of the office leaving Sharon stunned by what she has just done in a lapse of judgment. As Sharon goes on a city-wide search, Henry struggles with his diagnosis, determined to make amends with everyone he has hurt in his life.

DVD Review “Kung Fu: The Legend Continues – The Complete First Season”

Starring: David Carradine, Chris Potter
Created by: Ed Spielman
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Distributed: Warner Archive
Release Date: May 27, 2014

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

“Kung Fu: The Legend Continues” is a spin-off of the 1972–1975 TV series “Kung Fu”. It ran from 1993-1997. I remember watching “Kung Fu as a kid and loving every single minute of it. Then I started watching the spin-off and I honestly just never got into it. It picks up after “Kung Fu: The Movie” with Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine), grandson of the legendary hero of the Wild West, who teams up with his policeman son, Peter (Chris Potter), to tame the new Wild West – 90’s urban America. I guess it plays better if you are watching this in the 90’s, even though I wasn’t even thrilled then, but this show does not hold up today. If you are a hardcore fan, you may dig it otherwise it would have been better off getting lost in the wild west.

Official Premise: When we last saw Kwai Chang Caine, in “Kung Fu: the Movie”, he was united with the son he never knew he had in turn-of-the-century Wild West. Now, the son of that son, also named Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine), must emerge from seclusion to save the son he thought lost. Like his legendary namesake, this Caine is also a warrior monk, operating a Shaolin temple in Northern California. After an evil priest, Tan (Ernest Abuba), destroys the temple, Caine and his young son, Peter (Nathaniel Moreau) each believe the other has perished. The two embark on very different paths ­ Caine wanders the Earth, while Peter (Chris Potter) becomes a cop. When fate brings the two together, they work to overcome their differing philosophies to battle Tan, and then help the innocent and bring justice to the new Wild West ­90’s urban America.

The best part of watching this show today is no question picking out all the guest stars from back in the day including Neve Campbell, Colm Feore, Katie Griffin, James Hong, Martin Kove, George Lazenby, Mako, Barry Morse, Sandra Oh, Regis Philbin, Mickey Rooney, John Schneider, Scott Speedman, Tara Strong, George Takei and of course Richard Carradine (Note these listed are throughout the whole series not just the first season). There are no special features included on this release, like most TV DVD series releases from Warner Archive. I assume that they are going to burn through the rest of this series mostly likely before the end of the year. So if you are a fan of this show, the next three seasons should be available soon so you can get all your 90’s cheesy goodness out.

3D Blu-ray Review “The Legend Of Hercules 3D”

Actors: Kellan Lutz, Scott Adkins, Liam Garrigan
Director: Renny Harlin
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Summit Inc/Lionsgate
DVD Release Date: April 29, 2014
Run Time: 98 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
3D: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Renny Harlin is quite the well respected action film director having done classics like “Die Hard 2”, “Cliffhanger” and “Deep Blue Sea”. “The Legend of Hercules” is the first of two films focusing on the mythical Greek hero. Unfortunately, this one stars “The Twilight Saga” star Kellan Lutz, which doesn’t really hold its weight against Brett Ratner’s “Hercules”, which stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The film takes itself way too serious and fails completely. Luckily there are some decent action scenes but they also feel too dramatic and therefore also laughable. I would wait until this summer if you want to watch a film about Hercules to be honest.

Official Premise: “The Legend Of Hercules follows the mythical Greek hero Hercules, the son of Zeus, who is blessed with extraordinary strength as a half-god, half-man. Banished by his stepfather, the king, Hercules slowly becomes aware of his true origins as the son of Zeus. As he learns to harness his demi-god powers, Hercules gathers an army to fight his way back to his kingdom in this action-filled epic.

Summit/Lionsgate released this film as a combo pack including a 3D and 2D version of the film on one Blu-ray along with an Ultraviolet Digital Copy. What the film does score a near perfect score with its audio and video. I thought the 3D transfer was quite awesome. Since the film is so brainless it leaves room for plenty of fast action scenes which looks quite awesome in the third dimension. From the rain to the fire to the lightning, the depth is there and it added a lot to this film. In fact, I would go as far as to say that without the 3D, I wouldn’t even have been able to finish watching this.

Even though some of the CGI looked a little cheesy, overall the 1080p transfer packed that certain 300” style feel but more on a direct-to-video standard. The real VIP of this release has to be the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track, which literally shook my walls. I was very impressed with this track, especially for a film like this. The only special features included here are a short behind-the-scenes featurette “The Making of The Legend of Hercules” and an audio commentary with Kellan Lutz and director Renny Harlin. Although there is talent is on the track, it doesn’t make the film any more watchable unfortunately.

Blu-ray Review “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”

Starring: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner
Director: Adam McKay
Rated: PG-13/Unrated/R
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: April 1, 2014
Run Time: 118/122/143 minutes

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

NEWS TEAM ASSEMBLE!! Ron Burgundy and his team is back. Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner reprise their already iconic roles. “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is a very ambitious sequel to the 2004 cult classic. I would say that it succeeds about 75% of the time with its jokes but does rely a lot on the shoulders of the film before it. I have a feeling that, like the first film, this is going to be one of those that gets better with age…like a good scotch as I am sure Ron Burgundy himself would enjoy.

Official Premise: After losing his job to his wife and co-anchor (Christina Applegate), Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) reassembles the news team (Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner ) and squares off against a new rival (James Madsen). Will the world’s greatest anchorman be crushed beneath the weight of his own ego (and his salon-quality hair)? Anything goes in the outrageous comedy.

The three-disc Blu-ray Combo Pack includes not one…not two but three versions of the film including-in a Home Entertainment First, the Super-Sized R-Rated Version with 763 New Jokes. I think whether you loved or absolutely hated the film, this is such a crazy feat that everyone needs to check this out. Never before in the history of home entertainment has anyone replaced 763 jokes. It is like a new movie told within the shell of the first. Paramount also squeezed in a DVD copy of the film along with an HD Digital Ultraviolet copy.

Paramount not only delivered an astounding three version of the film, they also included over four hours of special features. The first disc including a perfect and highly recommend commentary track from the whole gang including Adam McKay, Judd Apatow, Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd & David Koechner. Honestly, it is like you are watching a fourth version of the film with even more new jokes. If you are looking for replay value on this film if you get bored with the other three, this is a great way to re-enjoy the film.

There is a Behind-the-Scenes look with “Newsroom”, which takes us inside the making of the film. There is a two part Gag Reel including, because one is just not enough. “Line-O-Rama, Parts 1 & 2” is another collection of non-stop alternate lines from the film. “Welcome to the Dolphin Show” has Ron Burgundy taking on the crowd at SeaWorld. “Catfight” features more ad-lib between Christina Applegate and Meagan Good going head-to-head. “News-O-Rama” features Ron and the News Team bringing you the headlines. “Kench-O-Rama” is a mashup of Kench Allenby’s most Australian moments…Brilliant! Lastly there is a Cast Table Read, which is also a riot.

The second Blu-ray disc includes the Super-Sized R-Rated Version along with more special features. There is an Behind-the-Scenes featurette. “Anchorman 2: The Musical” is a look into how this film almost was a musical sequel. “RV” dives into the work behind the RV tumble. “Baxter & Doby” focuses on the animals of Anchorman 2. “News Fight” was one of the best parts of the film and this dives into the biggest, baddest all-star celebrity brawl ever! There are an additional 90 minutes of Deleted, Extended & Alternate Scenes. At this point I said out loud, “SERIOUSLY?” How did they have this much footage.

“Previsualizations” looks into the various FX filled scenes including the RV, Shark Attack and the News Fight sequences. “Auditions” includes pre-film scenes featuring Meagan Good, Dylan Baker and Amy Poehler. “Benefit for 826LA” is a special tribute to Anchorman 2. Lastly there are trailers. The last disc, which is the DVD, only includes the theatrical version of the film. Also be sure to check out the pamphlet inside the case which comes with a digital code to unlock all levels for “Scotchy Scotch Toss” video game.

Sid Caesar, Comedy Legend, Dead at Age 91

Sid Caesar, whose live television show in the 1950s had, arguably, the greatest assembly of comedy genius’ ever assembled at one time, died today at his Los Angeles area home after a long illness. He was 91. His weekly 90 minute television program, “Your Show of Shows,” boasted the on-screen talents of Caesar, Imogene Coca, Howard Morris and Carl Reiner. The show’s writers room was filled with a virtual who’s who of comedy legends, including Mel Brooks, Selma Diamond, Neil Simon and Danny Simon. His next show, entitled “Caesar’s Hour,” boasted a staff that included Larry Gelbart and Woody Allen. The show was so beloved that it not only inspired the classic Peter O’Toole comedy “My Favorite Year,” which was produced by Mel Brooks, but Neil Simon’s long running play “Laughter on the 23rd Floor.”

Born Isaac Sidney Caesar on September 8, 1922 in Yonkers, New York, Caesar began his professional career as a saxophone player, having studied the instrument at the Julliard School of Music. After graduation he decided to try his luck as a professional musician in New York City but did not fare too well. One thing that went right for him: he met his future wife, Florence, there. They were married in July 1943. After 57 years of marriage Florence passed away in 2010.

After small roles in theatre and film he found his calling in television. In 1949 he and Imogene Coca starred in the variety program “The Admiral Broadway Review.” The show grew so popular that it was broadcast on both NBC and the Dumont Network. In fact, the show became so popular that the sponsor, Admiral Televisions, had to cancel it after 26 weeks because their factory could not keep up with the demand for new television sets. Later in life Casesar would recount how an Admiral executive told him that the company had to decide whether to build a new factory or keep sponsoring the show. They chose the cheaper option. On February 25, 1950, the first episode of “Your Show of Shows” premiered. The show ran through 1954 and was quickly followed by “Caesar’s Hour,” a similar themed show which is best remembered for the first appearance of Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner’s 2000 Year Old Man character. The show ran through 1957. For the rest of the decade Caesar would appear in several television specials.

In the 1960s he made his way to Broadway, starring in the musical “Little Me,” which boasted a script by Neil Simon and choreography by Bob Fosse. His performance, which included eight different characters and thirty-two costume changes, earned him a Tony Award nomination in 1963 for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. He lost to Zero Mostel, who earned Broadway immortality with his performance in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” which ironically was co-written by another one of Caesar’s former writers, Larry Gelbart. That same year he and Edie Adams co-starred as a married couple searching for a buried fortune in the film “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”

He spent the rest of the decade, and most of the 1970s, making occasional television and film appearances. In 1978 he introduced his talents to a new generation when he was hired to replace Harry Reems as Rydell High School’s Coach Calhoun in the film version of the Broadway musical, “Grease.” He later reprised the role in “Grease 2.” Other film appearances include “Silent Movie,” “Airport ‘75” and “History of the World, Part I.” In 1982 he returned to Broadway opposite Carol Channing and Tommy Lee Jones in the show “Four on a Garden.” The next year he hosted “Saturday Night Live” and received a prolonged standing ovation upon his entrance. After the show he was given a plaque naming him an honorary member of the cast. He is the only host to receive that honor.

He kept busy in the 1990s as well, appearing in “Vegas Vacation” and earning the last two of his eleven Emmy Award nominations in 1995 and 1997 for guest appearances on “Mad About You.” In his career he won two Emmy Awards.

Disney Legend, Floyd Norman talks about his work on “The Jungle Book”

Animator, Floyd Norman was named a Disney Legend in 2007. His first feature for Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”. He worked under Walt’s personal supervision on story sequences for “The Jungle Book”. In 1997, Norman moved to Pixar Animation Studios where he joined the story crew for “Toy Story 2” and “Monsters, Inc.”. He continues to work for The Walt Disney Co. as a freelance consultant on various projects. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Floyd about “The Jungle Book” and working personally with Walt Disney.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us what it is like to see a film like “The Jungle Book” restored and presented on high definition Blu-ray?
Floyd Norman: It is delightful to know that people still appreciate this film. It continues to amaze us that worked on it nearly 50 years ago that it is still loved by audiences. It seems to have a life of its own and I love that.

MG: Have you seen it yet and if so how do you feel it looks having worked on it?
FN: I do not really see that much of a difference. I know that the film looks clean and pristine. The guys who did the restoration have done a terrific job, so no complaints there.

MG: You worked under Walt Disney’s personal supervision on story sequences including the song “Trust in Me”, tell us about that process?
FN: It was very simple [laughs]. In a way it was simple, yet also very complex. When I began working on this particular sequence, I was handed some rough notes from Larry Clemmons, who was credited on the film for the story. I called him our writer because he has an actual typewriter and that made him a real writer [laughs]. So he wrote me notes about the sequence and for this one it was going to be Mowgli’s meeting with Kaa the Snake. So that is pretty much all I got. We were told that Kaa was going to try and hypnotize him and then funny stuff would happen. So that is what I had to go with “funny stuff was going to happen”. I had to come up with that “funny stuff”. So like I said in one sense it was a very simple job as well as being very complex because we had to figure out what was that funny stuff and how was it going to happen. They just kind of turned you loose and let you do your job.

MG: How long did a scene like that take to complete?
FN: It is difficult to remember. I would say a few weeks, maybe three weeks to completely storyboard that sequence. That was considered normal during that time. I had no real rush because Walt Disney was either in Europe or working on other matters and wasn’t able to review it right away. So I definitely had amble time to work on it.

MG: Did you find that working directly with Walt Disney did you have any creative freedom or did you follow a set path?
FN: Oh no, I found that I had a good deal of creative freedom. Surprisingly more than I ever realized. I initially came in expecting to be told exactly want to do and that was not the case at all. I came in and they said “Here is the sequence and just go do it” [laughs]. So given very little guidance or direction, I just went off and did what I had to do. The good news was that whatever I did, they seemed to like it [laughs]. The main thing, and the most critical, was that Walt liked it. So as long as Walt likes it you are safe [laughs].

MG: Can you compare your work on “The Jungle Book” to some of your other earlier films including “Sleeping Beauty”, “The Sword in the Stone” and “Robin Hood”?
FN: It was actually totally different because on those films, I was actually working on the animation. For “Robin Hood”, I was an animator and didn’t do any storyboard work at all. It was just animation. Having said that, I feel that the story in “Robin Hood” was pretty terrible [laughs]. I can afford to say that because I didn’t story work on “Robin Hood” [laughs]. But I did have a lot to fun animating it. I worked on animation also with “The Sword in the Stone”. The cool thing about that project was that I got to work personally with Milt Kahl, who was acknowledged as being one of the finest Disney animators of all-time. Milt is a giant in the world of animation, so that was a big deal for me. I was still a kid when I worked with Milt; I was only in my 20’s. Milt was a tough guy but it was such a great experience.

MG: Unlike some animators you embraced the digital age by working at Pixar and definitely software for animation; tell how you feel animation has changed?
FN: Oh, there is no doubt that animation has changed. Once again, following in Walt’s philosophy, “You have to embrace change, not run from it”. When I saw what Pixar was doing, I thought that I had to work for these guys. So when the opportunity came for me to go to Pixar in 1997, I was ready to pack up and go. Not everybody was, mind you, Pixar was at that time not a well-known studio. They only had made one film, which was “Toy Story”. I think that you have to move forward as Walt believed “Don’t fight technology. Embrace it and learn how to use it”. That is what Pixar did and they are continuing to do that. Certainly that would have been what Walt would have done as well.

MG: Do you still do any animation for Disney today?
FN: No animation. But I have worked on Disney storybooks from time to time. As I have time I work on Disney projects. Generally, I wait for them to call me. I don’t go looking but every now and then someone will call me. I had the opportunity to work on an electronic device that they were developing. I asked one of the Vice President’s how did they get my name and they said “John Lasseter recommended you”. I do not think that you can do any better than that getting a recommendation from John Lasseter [laughs].