Enter to Win a Copy of the Lost Dr. Seuss Book “What Pet Should I Get?” [ENDED]

To celebrate the release of lost Dr. Seuss book, “What Pet Should I Get?”, Media Mikes would like to give our fans a chance to win a copy of the book. If you want to win this great prize, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Dr. Seuss book. This giveaway will remain open until August 7th 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

The nearly complete manuscript for “What Pet Should I Get?” had languished for more than 20 years after Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Geisel, died in 1991. In 2013, Geisel’s wife, Audrey, and his friend and secretary Claudia Prescott re-discovered the work, complete with black-and-white illustrations, while they were cleaning out the author and illustrator’s office space, according to a press release. The book also features the same characters from Seuss’s “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.”

Also be sure to check out our participation in the Dr. Seuss Classic Celebratory Tour! below and our review of the classic book “McElligot’s Pool” by clicking the image below:

Blu-ray Review: “Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Lost Missions”

Starring: Matt Latner, James Arnold Taylor, Grey DeLisle, Corey Burton, Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2014
Run Time: 287 minutes

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

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Lost Missions” consists of the sixth and final season of the Emmy Award-winning Warner/Cartoon Network animated series. The 13-episode season original aired exclusively on Netflix. Go figure, the show gets canceled right when it is at its peak and yet this is easily one of the best collection of episodes. I definitely have been enjoying “Star Wars Rebels” but “The Clone Wars” was getting to a good point in its story that it was getting darker and much deeper. It is sad to think that “The Clone Wars” is over but at least it went out with a good bang.

Official Premise: In these eagerly anticipated episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, some of the deepest mysteries of the conflict between the light and the dark sides of the Force are revealed. An intrepid clone trooper discovers a shocking secret, Anakin Skywalker’s closest relationship is tested to its limits, and what Master Yoda discovers while investigating the disappearance of a Jedi could forever change the balance of power in the galaxy.

This Blu-ray edition delivers these episodes with fantastic 1080p transfers. This show contains never really felt like a TV series, it always felt much larger to me. The colors are crisp and the animation is well done. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track really works with the non-stop epic action in this episodes. I would have loved to see a little bit more in terms of special features included here especially since it is the final season ever of “The Clone Wars”. What we get is a never before seen 16-minute documentary, which covers all six seasons. Seems a little short though to encompass the entire mass of the six seasons. There are also four additional story reels from “The Lost Missions” season, which are only available on this Blu-ray.

Blu-ray Review “All is Lost”

Actors: Robert Redford
Directors: J. C. Chandor
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Lions Gate
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Run Time: 106 minutes

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

You have to give it to Robert Redford, the guy is 77 years old and he is still able to rock a role like “All is Lost”. The film was quite intense and was able to keep my full attention…for about half the film. I wasn’t able to take my eyes off the screen. I really cared for the character but this would have worked much better as a 90 minutes film. In terms of acting though, he gave what a hell of a performance and he does it basically without speaking. Very few actors are able to pull that off. So if you are looking for a film with great acting, I would recommend checking this out but personally it just didn’t do it for me.

Official Premise: Academy Award winner Robert Redford stars in “All is Lost”, an open-water thriller about one man’s battle for survival against the elements after his sailboat is destroyed at sea. Using only a sextant and nautical maps to chart his progress, he is forced to rely on ocean currents to carry him into a shipping lane in hopes of hailing a passing vessel. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meager supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face.

Lions Gate is releasing this film as a combo pack with Blu-ray and Digital HD Ultraviolet copy. The 1080p transfer is solid and really makes you feel like you are at sea with Mr. Redford. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track works well to create the drama and almost succeeds in getting you sea sick. The special features are a score, no question. There is a solid audio commentary from Writer/Director/Producer J.C. Chandor and Producers Neal Dodson and Anna Gerb. There are  two featurettes “Big Film, Small Film” and “Preparing for The Storm”, which also includes focus on Storyboards, VFX Reel and Pre-Shooting. There are four vignettes looking at the The Story, The Filmmaker: JC Chandor, The Actor: Robert Redford and The Sound of All Is Lost. Lastly there is Time-lapse Footage for the film, which is pretty cool to check out.

DVD Review “Trancers: City of Lost Angels”

Starring: Tim Thomerosn, Helen Hunt, Art La Fleur
Directed by: Charles Band
Distributed by: Full Moon Features
Release Date: November 2013
Running Time: 30 minutes
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

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

If you are a fan of Full Moon, then you know about the lost original sequel to the classic series “Trancers”. Trancers: City of Lost Angels” was post of an unreleased anthology film that Charles Band directed back in 1988 called “Pulse Pounders”. It consisted of three short films, the first was the “Trancers” sequel, the next was “H.P. Lovecraft’s The Evil Clergyman” and the last was a sequel to “The Dungeonmaster”. For the last 25 years, these were though to be lost…until now.  “Trancers: City of Lost Angels” otherwise known as “Trancers 1.5” sees the return of Tim Thomerosn, Helen Hunt and the rest of the “Trancers” cast. A must have for any Full Moon fan!

In 2011, a once thought lost workprint of “Pulse Pounders” was found and the first segment “The Evil Clergyman” was digitally restored. It received such praise from fans that Full Moon decided to move forward on the digital restore of “Trancers”. According to the DVD disclaimer, it was a painstaking process that took over a year to bring this basically stock footage into a film and augmenting the soundtrack with music from the classic first “Trancers” film. So if it wasn’t for the fans, this would have never seen the light of day.

Official Premise: Jack Deth, the super cop from the future, has put away three centuries worth of time traveling criminals. But Deth’s most dangerous collar, the ultraviolent assassin Edlin Shock, has escaped from her maximum security holding cell and won’t rest until she’s exacted revenge. Meanwhile, Deth is trying to make a life for himself as a private eye in 1988 Los Angeles with his hot-blooded girlfriend Lena (played by Academy Award winning actress Helen Hunt). Relationship troubles are just the beginning of Deth’s problems when he learns that Edlin Shock has followed him back in time. Aided by his former police chief McNulty, whose consciousness is inhabiting the body of a 13-year-old girl, Jack Deth will have to use his wits, as well as his fists, to save the past, present, and future!

The lost sequel might only be 30 minutes long but following it there are some decent special features included. There is a Tim Thomerson Intro Video. There is “Flashback Weekend Premiere Documentary”.There is a “Pulse Pounders Show West Promo” included. Lastly there is an un-restored 60-second preview of “The Dungeonmaster” segment. This segment is also planned to be released on Full Moon’s streaming channel online and in fact all three segments will be shown there together as the original “Pulse Pounders” anthology. Leave it to Full Moon to deliver the best for their fans. If you are not a subscriber to Full Moon’s streaming channel, I would highly recommend it!

Theatre Review “Alice Lost in Wonderland” Garden Theatre – Winter Garden, FL

“Alice Lost in Wonderland”
Writer/Director: Rob Winn Anderson
Garden Theatre
160 W. Plant St, Winter Garden FL
October 20, 2013

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Since I moved from New York (and missing Broadway), the Garden Theatre, located in Winter Garden, FL, has been my answer to fill that void. When I saw they they were going to be presenting a darker take on Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”, I knew I had to see it. The play “Alice Lost in Wonderland” made its world premiere this weekend and I was left quite speechless while leaving the theatre. I am a sucker for this classic story and always jump at the chance to see it portrayed in a difference view. The story was unique and backed with very impressive performances from the cast.

Official Premise: “Alice Lost in Wonderland” uses Lewis Carroll’s classic book to inspire the story of a woman frantically searching for what she has lost. Years of falling in and out of mental institutions have broken her and now she finds herself in a terrifying situation where chances are final and journeys into dark places are both wonderful and haunting.

This show is definitely not for kids. It is quite intense and contains some very mature themes. In terms of visual, the show consisted of only one set. So there wasn’t much of a visual “wow” factor. So the weight of the show rested on our cast of performers…and luckily like I mentioned they all were very impressive. I have seen plenty of local theatre productions and you always have talent that just isn’t quite up to par. Well, not at this theatre, the performers all pulled their weight and gave great performances.

If you are drawn in like myself to see a twisted production of “Alice in Wonderland”, you should be enjoy this quite a bit. The use of light and smoke in the show is very effective and add great atmosphere. It kept my interest the whole production and had me guessing as well to where they were going to take it. I have seen plenty of shows where I lose interest, but not here. Highly recommended to catch this play during its world premiere at the Garden Theatre (just leave the kiddies at home).

Cast of “Alice Lost in Wonderland”
Jane- Becky Eck
Alice/Dr.Alice/Cheshire Kitten- Taylor Anderson
Queen of Spades/Dr. Barb- Meaghan Fenner
White Rabbit/Mr. Gwynn- Alexander Mrazek
Ducky/Duchess/Crumpet/Pigeon- Julie Snyder
Mouse/White Knight- Erik Nelson
Carter/Mad Hatter- Wesley Slade
Louis/Sir Time/Tweedle/Gardener- Mike Deaven
Bill/Caterpillar- Tod Caviness
Campbell/Mock Turtle- Nicholas Bethencourt Neto

When: October 18th-November 3rd
Where: Garden Theatre, 160 W. Plant St., Winter Garden
Tickets: $25; $21 students and seniors
Call: 407-877-4736
Online: gardentheatre.org

Win Two Free Tickets to see Robert Redford in “All is Lost”

To celebrate the upcoming release of Robert Redford’s latest film “All is Lost”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway two free tickets to see the film in theaters. If you would like to enter for your chance to win this great prize, please leave us a comment or send us an email with your stories of survival or worst fears. This giveaway will remain open until October 28th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Academy Award® winner Robert Redford stars in All Is Lost, an open-water thriller about one man’s battle for survival against the elements after his sailboat is destroyed at sea. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meager supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face.

Written and directed by Academy Award nominee J.C. Chandor (Margin Call) with a musical score by Alex Ebert (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), All Is Lost is a gripping, visceral and powerfully moving tribute to ingenuity and resilience.

All Is Lost opens in NY and LA October 18, nationwide October 25th.

Garden Theatre Announces “Alice Lost in Wonderland”

GARDEN THEATRE ANNOUNCES ALICE LOST IN WONDERLAND

Original World Premiere of Psychological Drama

WINTER GARDEN, FL (Oct 2, 2013) – The Garden Theatre announces the original world premiere of Beth Marshall Presents’ production of Alice Lost in Wonderland, written and directed by award-winning playwright Rob Winn Anderson with producing artistic direction by Beth Marshall, October 18 – November 3, 2013, at the Garden Theatre (160 West Plant Street, Winter Garden). Alice Lost In Wonderland is sponsored by Insight Credit Union. The Garden Theatre’s 2013-2014 Season is presented by CenturyLink.

In this original world premiere, Alice Lost in Wonderland uses Lewis Carroll’s classic book to inspire the story of a woman frantically searching for what she has lost. Years of falling in and out of mental institutions have broken her and now she finds herself in a terrifying situation where chances are final and journeys into dark places are both wonderful and haunting. This whimsical psychological thriller steps out of reality and into a shattered mind to create a classically creepy and intriguingly creative journey through wonderland.

Since the Garden Theatre re-opened in 2008, there were talks about Beth Marshall Presents producing an adaptation of Alice In Wonderland, and so the idea shifted. “The concept of the show morphed into numerous forms throughout the years,” said producer Beth Marshall. “But I always knew that it would be from a strong female view point, giving the production an even darker and more adult feel. At this point the play went from being an adaptation to more of an original take.”

This play is written and directed by Rob Winn Anderson, an Orlando resident and nationally acclaimed director and playwright who’s other plays have been featured at Kennedy Center Playwrighting Intensive. Anderson is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America Inc., Chicago Dramatists, SAG, and many more.  Anderson most recently directed Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues and his fresh take on The Wizard of Oz at the Garden Theatre last season. During Biloxi Blues, Marshall presented him with her vision of Alice Lost In Wonderland and asked if he would write and direct the show. The next six months were brainstorming ideas, sharing images, songs, writings, research. “It feels like we’ve been through a million rewrites,” says Marshall. “Now here we are in our own wonderland.”

Beth Marshall plans to get two tattoos inspired by the show. The first tattoo, which she intends to get before opening night, will be the White Rabbit mask, and right below it the line from the play, “Even nonsense has sense in it.”  The second tattoo is an original design by set designer Tom Mangieri, a playing card of The Queen of Spades, which Marshall intends to get before the show closes.

Show times are Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are $25 for adults ($21 for seniors/students).  There will also be an Industry Night on Monday, October 28 at 8pm.  This show is open to the public, with $15 ticket for those in the theatre industry.  Note: This show contains mild drug and mental illness references, and mild language. For tickets, visit gardentheatre.org or call the Garden Theatre Box Office at 407-877-GRDN (4736).

ABOUT BETH MARSHALL PRESENTS

Beth Marshall Presents is an independent production company based out of Orlando, Florida, producing theatrical, dance, music, multi-media performance art and all things creative in arts & entertainment with a special focus on original works and touring festival circuits. This is Beth Marshall Present’s ninth show produced at the Garden Theatre, including previous shows L’Ange Avec Les FleursOur TownCrimes of the HeartDriving Miss Daisy, A Christmas CarolThe Diviners, Biloxi Blues, and Children of a Lesser God. Visit bethmarshallpresents.com for more information.

ABOUT THE GARDEN THEATRE 

Located in the heart of historic downtown Winter Garden on Plant Street, the Garden Theatre is a not-for-profit community organization committed to enriching, engaging, and entertaining through creative experiences. The theatre, which reopened 2008, showcases an atmospheric theatre in a Mediterranean Revival style venue. The Garden Theatre hosts live plays, concerts, movies, and more to the residents of and visitors to the city of Winter Garden. For tickets or additional information, contact the Garden Theatre Box Office at 407-877-GRDN (4736) or visit the new Garden Theatre website at gardentheatre.org.

Book Review “Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen”

Author: Al Jourgensen
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Press

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen” is the first book from off the wall front man Al Jourgensen. Throughout the books 336 pages Al and company take you on a roller coaster ride of sex, drugs, drugs and even more drugs mixed with a sprinkling of rock and roll. Jourgensen the front man for the legendary industrial act Ministry delves into the most intimate crevices of his mind to recount everything from his life growing up in Chicago to the trials and tribulation of the music business.

Casual readers take warning as this is not your typical tell all memoir as Al Jourgensen gives you that and then some. From drugged out nights with band members past and present to near death experiences “Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen” was a book that I couldn’t put down. The book consisted of stories that were so far out there that they had to be true due to the fact that it would be hard for someone to make up some of these experiences and, be able tell them with the in-depth conviction Jourgensen does. The book keeps you on the edge of your seat and makes you want more.

As you read through the pages you never know who you’re going to run into as it seems as though Al has worked with or been associated with just about everyone. From Rick Neilson of Cheap Trick who collaborated with Al on his Buck Satan album to hanging out and steeling drugs with the late Kurt Cobain there all here. Though I wasn’t a big fan of some of the segues which included stories about Al from the stand point of others the book was still an interesting read packed with great photos and amusing antidotes that at several points made me take a step back and just say “WOW”.

Blu-ray Review “Atlantis: The Lost Empire / Atlantis: Milo’s Return”

Actors: Michael J. Fox, James Garner, Cree Summer, Don Novello, Claudia Christian
Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Number of discs: 3
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Run Time: 176 minutes

“Atlantis: The Lost Empire”: 3 out of 5 stars
“Atlantis: Milo’s Return”: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Last year Disney started flooding the market with their less than par animated films on Blu-ray in these 2 Movie Collection sets. A few of them that we got “The Rescuers”/”The Rescuers Down Under”, “Pocahontas”/Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World” and “Mulan”/”Mulan II”. This month we are getting a few more to add to our collections including “The Emperor’s New Groove”/”Kronk’s New Groove”, “Lilo & Stitch”/”Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch” and this release “Atlantis: The Lost Empire”/”Atlantis 2: Milo’s Return”. “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” is not the best thing that Disney has every made, it is watchable and put not one of my favorites.  The sequel is another story, it was original made as a TV show “Team Atlantis” but failed and ended up being pieced together as a film. It is quite the failure in terms of Disney. I would say this release is for the hardcore Disney fans only.

Official Premise: Set a course for adventure as Milo Thatch and his fearless crew dive into the mysteries of the sea.  The group’s underwater expedition brings them face-to-face with gigantic sea monsters, spectacular spirits and the mythical land of Atlantis while they discover the power of friendship and teamwork.  Loaded with thrills and stunning visual effects, this sensational 2-Movie Collection takes audiences on an unforgettable voyage they’ll want to experience over and over again!

The 2-Movie Collection release of “Atlantis: The Lost Empire / Atlantis: Milo’s Return” is a 3-disc set. Which includes both films on one Blu-ray with each film also included on their own DVD. In terms of Blu-ray presentation, the 1080p transfers are great for “Atlantis: The Lost Empire”, which really looks clear and the colors are beautiful. “Atlantis: Milo’s Return” is not the greatest, especially since it really has that made-for-TV feel to it. Just doesn’t work for me overall. Both films come stocked with a standard, yet impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio tracks, same thing applies here also as the video transfer. The first film sounds stunning and very epic, while the sequel does not reach that same level at all. Decent but no wow factor.

The best thing this Blu-ray has going for it that “The Emperor’s New Groove”/”Kronk’s New Groove” and “Lilo & Stitch”/”Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch” doesn’t is that it actually has special features on the Blu-ray disc. There is an audio commentary on the first film from producer Don Hahn and directors Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise.  I actually thought it was quite interesting and informational. “The Making of Atlantis” is a sweet hour long extensive ten-part documentary, which covers all aspects of the production. “The Lost Empire Deleted Scenes” includes four unused scenes. There is one deleted scene from “Milo’s Return” running thirty-two seconds long…really? Lastly there is “How to Speak Atlantean” as a faux news reel, “Atlantis: Fact or Fiction?”, which is fun for the kids and Theatrical Trailers included.

Brian “Head” Welch talks about reuniting with Korn and Love & Death's first album "Between Here & Lost"

Brian “Head” Welch is a founding member and former guitarist of the multi-platinum selling hard rock band Korn. Welch left the group in 2005 and embarked on a solo career releasing his first album “Save Me From Myself” in 2008. More recently Brian is back with a new band called Love & Death who recently released their first full length album titled “Between Here & Lost”. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Brian about the new and as well as the recent announcement of him re-joining Korn for several shows.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the process of the new album?
Brian Welch: I and our bass player Valentine started writing and working with producer Jasen Rauch in 2011. We worked off and on until we finished it last year. The album came together in bits and pieces but it was more of a group effort. When I started as a solo artist I hired the band and we just became friends. From there we all talked and decided we wanted to make an album together and have things be more of a group project.

AL: All the songs were written collectively then?
BW: Yes we all wrote them together. We also had some help lyrically from a few outside writers as well. This was the first time I had ever brought in someone from outside the group to work on songs. I have to say I loved it! There are times when other people hear different things that you didn’t and a lot of the time it’s really good. I enjoyed the experience. Lyrics aren’t my strongest thing so bringing in some other guys really helped a lot.

AL: For you personally what was the hardest part about transitioning back to a group setting after being a solo artist for a few years?
BW: Letting the producer take over. The solo album was all about what I was feeling and what I wanted out of the album. With “Between Here & Lost” I just handed everything over as I didn’t want that producer type role. Jasen was just awesome and I would highly recommend him to anybody. He is really good at making good things great! Everything was new this time around which made for a really creative environment.

AL: This was the second time you had worked with Jasen correct?
BW: Yes. We did an EP with him last year that came out in April. Things were very comfortable being that we had worked together before. Jasen is a guitar player also and has this great ear for making riffs sound up to date and tweaking them to sound really great.

AL: What prompted the idea of covering Devo’s “Whip It”?
BW: I was trying to think of the weirdest New Wave song I could do and that one came to me. I remember those guys as being the weirdest guys on MTV back in the day. It seemed like everyone knows who Devo is because they are so weird and those hats. I wanted the song to be something everyone was familiar with. At first the other guys in the band thought the idea was pretty stupid. When I played them the music and the idea it changed their minds and they thought it could work. It was really fun.

AL: What can you tell us about the bands new video for the song “Abandoning”?
BW: The video just came out within the past week or so and it was cool shooting it as we got to work with Daniel Davison from Underoath/Norma Jean. Being he is a musician he just gets it so the shoot went really good.

AL: Can you tell us how things came about for you to be joining Korn at this year’s Rock on the Range Festival?
BW: I went to a show of theirs last May and ended up jamming a song with them on stage. It was very last minute but it felt so good and it was very emotional. Right after that Munky, the other guitar player asked me if I wanted to come back and do some shows with them. I told him that I didn’t think now was the right time but I would think about it. I just started thinking about how awesome and emotional it was for everybody. I started getting advice from other people and they were all leaning towards this being the right time. This door obviously opened for a reason and there will be some reconciliation going on that needs to happen. I went back to the guys and said let’s do it. Everyone was very agreeable and things came together pretty easily.

AL: Is there any chance drummer David Silveria will be back as well?
BW: No. David has really said some crazy things online about personal things and he’s not in a place where people would really want him around. That happened before I talked with them but I guess the things he said were really crazy. Those guys were in a band together for so long so I don’t know, but for now it’s just not going to happen.

AL: Have you and the guys from Korn started rehearsing yet?
BW: We have been getting together off and on but we will be starting to get things going more in the next couple of months. It’s going to be a lot of fun to play those old songs again. The times we have been together so far have been nothing but positive between everyone. It’s like nothing negative ever happened between any of us. Things were never really crazy between any of us as there were just a few things said here and there. We never had hate for one another as I love my old friends and it feels good to connect again.

AL: Is thing going to be just a short run of shows or will you be fully re-joining the band?
BW: We are going slowing with things right now. We don’t want to rush things and we also aren’t sure how far we want to take it. Anything is possible at this time but we are being really careful not to move to fast and have something happen. Even if I was to fully re-join Korn I will still keep doing Love & Death.

AL: Does Love and Death have any shows lined up in support of the new album?
BW: Yes. We will be heading out on the road starting Feb. 22 for a month long run with Thousand Foot Krutch. We will be hitting everything from Texas to the east coast. After that we have some weekend shows planned and after those there is a chance we will be doing some opening slots for Korn over in Europe. Those details are still being worked out.

AL: In the past few years you have done things like releasing a solo album, writing a book and now you are doing Love & Death and working again with Korn. What do you think has been the most rewarding thing to come out of your time away from Korn?
BW: I would probably have to say my faith. That is really the foundation of my life and it helps me in every way. My book was very liberating and cleansing to my soul. I was able to poor out all of that garbage and live the new life I was given. It’s funny when you find faith like I did as everything turns around for good. Even the bad and ugly stuff gets turned around to use for good purposes. It’s so cool to be able to think back about all your past screw ups and see how now they are now being used to help people. It’s the coolest thing ever.

To check out Love & Hates new video “Abandoning” and to also see a full list of tour dates be sure to check out Brian’s official website at www.brianheadwelch.net

David Kates & Joshua Mosley discuss composing “Mass Effect: Paragon Lost”

David Kates & Joshua Mosley are the composers of Production I.G.’s “Mass Effect: Paragon Lost”, which is an animated prequel to BioWare’s “Mass Effect 3”.  The film is being released on Blu-ray/DVD on  December 28, 2012 and packs a hell of an epic score.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with David and Joshua about working together on this project and with the “Mass Effect” franchise.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how you two ended up collaborating on “Mass Effect: Paragon Lost”?
Joshua Mosley: Really great to talk with you. Shortly after I was hired on to the film I discovered the music of David Kates – particularly his work on the Mass Effect games. I really dug the way he put together his cues. I reached out and connected through social media. I felt he would be a great collaborator on this film. Soon after we met in person, I invited him to join me on this creative adventure. It was a totally awesome and fun experience working with David.
David Kates: Thanks for including us. We love what you guys are doing, and thrilled to be a part of it. Joshua, I recall, reached out to me through social networking, and mentioned that he had listened to some of my music so I reciprocated and checked out was he was doing, and was really moved by what he was creating. And I say moved, because it’s one thing to be impressed, and another altogether, to be moved. I felt that Joshua’s writing was coming from a very honest place, and I knew I wanted to get to know him. When the opportunity to collaborate on Mass Effect: Paragon Lost came about, I was initially very surprised because at the time, no one knew an animated version of the franchise was in the works. I was thrilled to be included, and fascinated by the potential creativity in bringing what I had composed on the games to the screen with Joshua.

MG: David, How does composing a “Mass Effect” animated movie differ from the video game series?
DK: The mission in composing for the game, particularly Mass Effect 2, was to give each level of the game its own musical identity while keeping the overall quality consistent, but the process is tedious and limiting. One of my favorite levels that I worked on was Garrus because I found him to be a character tormented by his own internal challenges. He wasn’t human, yet he identified with human qualities like compassion, justice, and loyalty. I wanted to bring out his discomfort in this while also accentuating this underlying, almost chemical level need to participate in battle. To achieve this, I had to create short loops that had different layers of content, and those layers would be trigger-based on what the player achieves while playing. It’s very challenging and difficult to really dig into a character’s development this way. In the movie, though, the story is laid out and develops chronologically, and there are so many opportunities to compose themes that you can use to comment on what you see on the screen. In fact, the dramatization of Mass Effect: Paragon Lost is one of the aspects of my collaboration with Joshua that I’m most proud of. I feel we gave the story real dimension, and brought out the real emotion that was written in the script.

MG: Since this is a prequel to the third game, does that pose any issue when approaching the sound?
JM: Sure it does. We definitely wanted to capture the essence of the musical landscape of the Mass Effect games, including elements from all three titles. That sound also had to translate to a big cinematic experience. I think it fits well alongside the games.
DK: We both studied and analyzed the scores from the games to make sure not to leave any identifiable elements out, and we knew we wanted this score to have a cinematic and expansive feel that brings the games to the big screen.

MG: What you were most concerned about when handling the “Mass Effect” universe for the fans?
JM: We definitely wanted the score to fit into the sonic experience of the Mass Effect games and give the fans that same emotional feeling that they got when they played them.
DK: We certainly wanted the score to feel as though it naturally lives alongside the other productions, and were initially concerned how our musical approach would live well with the anime style of animation. Fortunately, the two elements blended successfully and we didn’t have to go back and alter our sound palette.

MG: The film has a very epic sci-fi score behind it, tell us about the inspiration?
JM: Yes, this is a very epic score but at the center of it all is the humanity and the spiritual and emotional journey that Vega embarks on through the film. There are definitely big sci-fi action cues throughout but there is also a very intimate emotional underscore that gives it the depth it needed to support and propel that story.
DK: I would say our inspiration was the spiritual nature we discovered in the story. Joshua and I talked for many hours about what we wanted to achieve, and that included accentuating the underlying humanity of what was going on. James Vega goes through an experience that no one would ever expect to go through in their lives, yet, every one of us can imagine being confronted with making the kind of decisions that could mean the lives of so many, particularly the ones we know and love. We really dedicated ourselves to making sure that this would be the inspiration that motivated every note we wrote in this score.

MG: Tell us what each of you have planned next?
JM: I begin work on a new video game and film in January. I am also in talks on a few other projects of which I cannot disclose any information. Thanks again for having us!
DK: I’ve been fortunate to be participating in The Helfman Institute Composer in Residence program this past year, and I’ve been composing my first Operetta based on the biblical character Miriam. We’re rehearsing it now, and will be performing it in Los Angeles in late January.
Cheers to you and your readers!! Thanks so much and wishing everyone a merry holiday season.

DVD Review “Mass Effect: Paragon Lost”

Actors: Freddie Prinze Jr., Monica Rial, Vic Mignogna
Directors: Justin Cook
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Funimation
Release Date: December 28, 2012
Run Time: 84 minutes

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

With “Mass Effect 3” tearing up video game systems right now, fans are in looking for more and more.  Thanks to Bioware and visionary Production I.G, we are delivered “Mass Effect: Paragon Lost”, which is an anime prequel to “Mass Effect 3”.  Production I.G. is known for their work on “Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C.” and “Blood: The Last Vampire”. The anime style is great and really works with the franchise. If you are a fan of the “Mass Effect” series and have played 1 and 2, then this is great way to great introduced  into 3.  Now if you haven’t played any it is still overall an awesome anime and will make you run out and purchase the game ASAP! In fact this month there is a newly released “Mass-Effect Trilogy” for Playstation 3.

Officical Premise: Mass Effect: Paragon Lost follows the early career of Alliance Marine, James Vega. Vega leads an elite Special Forces squad into battle against a mysterious alien threat known as The Collectors. Stationed at a colony in a remote star system, Vega and his soldiers must protect civilians from ruthless invaders determined to capture the population for unknown purposes.  Movie audiences will discover new insights into the Mass Effect universe with an unprecedented glimpse into the haunted past of the franchise’s newest hero.

I have to say with anime, I always prefer a Japanese audio track but “Mass Effect: Paragon Lost” really does features a very sharp English voice cast including Freddie Prinze, Jr., Monica Rial (Deadman Wonderland) and Vic Mignogna (Fullmetal Alchemist).  I still would have liked at least an option for a Japanese track but since this is more of a US release, I understand why it is not included. The real stars of the film though is composers David Kates and Joshua R. Mosley really steal the show with their fantastic score. Kates previously worked on the scores for both “Mass Effect” and “Mass Effect 2”, so he knows the series well. I am sure the score would sound even better with the audio track on the Blu-ray release.

The special features for the film are maybe not a lot in terms of quantity but nothing short in quality.  First we get “All Doors Open: A Look Inside Electronic Arts”, which a nice look into the studio.  I really enjoyed “An Inside Look at the Mass Effect Universe”, this is a really in depth look into how much work was but into the film, including character modeling and designing. I really enjoyed this 13 minute featurette. There is a decent behind-the-scenes featurette with “Directing Effect”, which looks into creating the film from the game with cast/crew interviews – also runs a nice 25 minutes. Lastly there is a trailer included.

Blu-ray Review “Peppa Pig and the Lost Christmas List”

Author: Candlewick Press
Illustrator: Ladybird
Reading level: Ages 2 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Candlewick
Release Date: September 11, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When it comes to Christmas, I am a big sap for anything relate to the holiday. The U.K.’s beloved, and award-winning Peppa Pig hops for the first time from screen to page. This is her first book from Candlewick…and it better not be the last. The story is perfect for the holiday and just right for preschoolers. It is a simple read with some very funny dialogue for the kids and parents.

Premise: “It’s almost Christmas, and Peppa Pig and her little brother, George, are mailing their letters to Santa. All of Peppa’s friends are there, too, and each one tells Peppa the special gift on their list. Peppa is excited to help Daddy Pig and Mummy Pig pick out and decorate their enormous tree, and she can’t wait for the big day to arrive. But little does she know that a surprise is in store on Christmas Eve, and that she may play a part in saving the day! Peppa is the endearing star of Peppa Pig — a BAFTA-winning preschool TV series that has been a long-running success in the U.K. and is now winning devoted fans in the U.S. with daily showings on Nick Jr. Peppa and her little brother, her daddy, her mummy, and her many friends arrive at Candlewick just in time for the holiday season, poised for much muddy puddle jumping and more new adventures to come.”

This Christmas tale is a perfect combination with Ladybird’s very colorful and palatable illustrations. a This BAFTA-winning preschool TV series is a perfect children’s book series. It has been such a success in the U.K. and is now also taking over the U.S. with on Nick Jr.  I am looking forward to future installment in this series, since I know that there is a lot of potential here.

DVD Review “Steve Jobs The Lost Interview”

Actors: Steve Jobs, Robert X. Cringely
Directors: Paul Sen
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: October 23, 2012
Run Time: 72 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

Steve Jobs is a man like Walt Disney.  He is a visionary that left us way too early. Like Disney himself, I am sure people said “I could only have imagined the things he would have thought up”.  Luckily, Jobs’ legacy will live on like Disney’s himself.  “Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview” is a 70 minute intimate chat with the man behind so many great things like Apple and Pixar.  What is most interesting about this is that it was conducted way before he took over Apple and made it what it is today.  It is fascinating to listen to Jobs talk about the future, knowing what how it turned out.  This was lost for 17 years and now thanks to Magnolia Home Entertainment we get a chance to behind-the-scenes to the early days with the late and great Steve Jobs.

Official Premise: In this candid, in-depth interview with the late visionary filmed in 1995, Steve Jobs discusses at length his early days, career battles, and vision for the future. Small portions of the piece were used for a television series at the time, but the vast majority was shelved and for 17 years thought to be lost. Resurfacing, it is being presented in its entirety, providing a fascinating look at Jobs at a particularly interesting moment in his career, two years before he would go on to retake control of Apple

The special features included on this DVD are quite impressive for a lost documentary.  This is not a memorial on his life, it is justlost interview.  So if you are looking for a life-story, then you are looking in the wrong place.  On the topic of the interview, there is a wonderful additional hour long interview with Andy Hertzfeld, the original Macintosh programmer at Apple.  It is a must-watch! There is an audio only interview with writer/presenter Robert X. Cringley, which is conducted by producer of this film, John Gau.  Lastly there is a commentary track also included over the interview with Robert X. Cringley and director/producer Paul Sen.  Each feature is better than the next and will leave you 100% satisfied.

Blu-ray Review “Chronicle: The Lost Footage Edition”

Directed by: Josh Trank
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly, Alex Russell
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Run Time: 84 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

It is rare that a film gets better with repeat viewings…well “Chronicle” does. The film is such a simple idea that packs such a payoff in the end that it only get better and better. Since this release is called “The Lost Footage Edition”, I was hoping for a decent Unrated Director’s Cut. But it is really not much more that just glorified extended scenes. I still prefer the Theatrical Cut and if you stick with that then this film will not disappoint. Found Footage POV films were given a whole new twist with this film and I look forward to “Chronicle 2”.

“Chronicle” follows three high school kids that come across a mysterious object buried in the ground, touch it and end up with superpowers. It is basically that simple. The guys firstly experience some telekinesis by moving cars around parking lots or pranks in grocery stores but then they realize they can do a hell of a lot more. Once they find out they can fly things get amped up quite a bit. When one of the guys takes his powers a little too far, it is up to his friends to try and stop him before it is too late.

The Blu-ray looks and sounds out of this world (get it?). Seriously, the 1080p transfer looks so vibrant, even though it is considered a low-budget POV film. The sound packs an impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and works so well with the film’s action scenes. This release, along with the Blu-ray, comes with a DVD disc of the film and a digital copy. Since this is the “The Lost Footage Edition”, the film does include both the Unrated Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut.

The special features though are not as impressive as the film at all. There is no commentary tracks, interviews or major behind-the-scenes featurettes. There is a short feature looking into the camera tests, which showcase the tricks from the film. “Pre-Viz” focuses on the special effects sequences, would have been decent if it was about 15 minutes longer. There is a brief deleted scene called “Matt and Casey in Kitchen”. Lastly, there is the theatrical trailer and “Chronicle” Soundtrack Info included.