New Netflix Original Series inspired by the music of the Beatles, “Beat Bugs” Airing Now!

 Netflix has been known for their original series content. They have come up with some truly amazing shows like “Marvel’s Daredevil” or “Orange is the New Black”. One of their latest their latest though is aimed at a slightly younger audience yet has stolen the hearts of the entire family. The new preschool-targeted animated children’s show is called “Beat Bugs”, it is a Netflix Original Series inspired by the music of the Beatles. That’s right the Beatles. Each episode is specifically titled after a song and it also re-recorded and sang throughout the episode. I cannot recommend this show any more! Fun for the whole family!

This show follows five friendly, child-like bugs that learn big lessons about the world around them, all from the safety of their own backyard. There is no shortage of talent either, this Emmy Award-winning series features the talents of P!nk, Sia, Eddie Vedder, James Corden as well as other big-name stars who cover the Beatles songs in each episode. The main reason why “Beat Bugs” is so important because it introduces a whole new generation to one of the most influential band in rock history (and my favorite), The Beatles.

I have a five year old daughter and she doesn’t like The Beatles…she LOVES them! From the moment she was born literally, we had Beatles lullabies playing in the hospital and flash forward five years, she is gearing up to see Paul McCartney live in concert this Summer! She is non-stop singing their songs. So when I introduced this show to her and the she heard the theme song “All You Need is Love” kick off, her eyes lit up…let’s just say that it took literally six episodes before we could get her away from the TV!

Netflix really has a huge hit on their hands here and I know that there is lots more planned for this show in the future with cool consumer products outside of the episodes. If you want to find out more about this show please check it out via the following links: Official WebsiteNetflix Page. Stay tuned also to MediaMikes.com as we will be covering this show with all their excited new products coming out this Summer.

Blu-ray Review “Roots: The Complete Original Series”

Directors: David Greene, Marvin J. Chomsky, John Erman, Gilbert Moses
Starring: Ben Vereen, John Amos, LeVar Burton, Olivia Cole, Vic Morrow, Louis Gossett Jr.
Number of discs: 3
Rated: Not Rated
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: June 7, 2016

Series: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Roots” is a modern piece of TV history. This series had stood the test of time with some of the best performances since on TV ever. It is brutal sometimes, hard to watch but simple outstanding. Especially with the rebooted series which just aired on TV this past month, this is the perfect time to revisit this classic. It is presented in it’s original broadcast with all the program bumpers intact at the beginning and end of each episode. If you haven’t seen this series ever or not for a long time, now is the time to revisit this for sure!

Official Premise: His name was Kunta Kinte. Kidnapped from Africa and enslaved in America in 1767, he refused to accept his slave name of Toby. Heirs kept his heroic defiance alive, whispering the name Kunta Kinte from one generation to the next until it reached a young boy growing up in Tennessee. His name was Alex Haley. And he proclaimed Kunta Kinte’s name to the world. Through the lineage of one family, Haley and his Pulitzer Prize-winning ROOTS told a story for all America and the world. Seen by 130-million viewers during its premiere telecasts and the winner of dozens of awards, the David L. Wolper production remains a vital and engrossing entertainment landmark decades later.

This 40th anniversary release includes all the episodes in their original aspect ratio of 1:33, which has never looks better. Strangely the box specs say that the video is 1080i and that audio is Dolby Digital but that is definitely not the case because this series boasts a solid 1080p 24 frame video with sharp DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 sound, especially for a 40 year old TV series. You can tell that they actually did a lot of work to keep this series looking better than it ever has. The real bonus for me is that there is also a digital HD copy of the series included for you to watching streaming additionally.

The special features are also jam packed with content include two news features. The first is
“Roots: The American Story Continues” which features Whoopi Goldberg, James Earl Jones, Blair Underwood, Debbie Allen, Tavis Smiley, Shonda Rhimes and Reverend Al Sharpton talking about the effects of the series on their lives. The second is “The Cast Looks Back”, which includes original cast members including LeVar Burton, John Amos, Louis Gossett Jr., Ben Vereen, Cicely Tyson, Ed Asner, Sandy Duncan, Georg Stanford Brown and Lynne Moody share reflecting on the series.

Also included are a few great features like “Crossing Over: How Roots Captivated an Entire Nation”; “Connecting With the Past”; “The Struggle to Make Roots” and even an original screen test from Mr. LeVar Burton. Lastly there is an Alex Haley Interview by David Frost and a look back into the series with “Roots: One Year Later”. So if you are a fan of this series, you will not be let down with the additional content included in this very special 40th anniversary release.

Book Review “Star Wars: The Original Trilogy – Read-Along Storybook and CD”

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Grade Level: 1 – 3
Series: Read-Along Storybook and CD
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press

Our Scores: 5 out of 5 stars

I am very excited that Disney has decided to release the original trilogy for “Star Wars” in a kid friendly Read-Along Storybook with a CD included. I have a 3 year old daughter and she loves “Star Wars” already and this is the perfect way to get introduced to the original trilogy in a fun and exciting way.

The books are fully illustrated with images by “Star Wars” artist Brian Rood. The images are crisp and the dialogue (though not original) easy to read. Included with this storybook series is a CD with word-for-word narration, music, and character voices. I find that it really engages my daughter with the beeps to turn the page and exciting sound effects.

“Star Wars: A New Hope”: Experience Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope like never before! Follow along as Luke Skywalker meets Obi-Wan Kenobi, rescues Princess Leia, and faces Darth Vader for the first time.

“Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back”: The Rebellion faces its darkest hour in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. Follow along as Luke Skywalker trains with Yoda to become a Jedi and defeat the fearsome Darth Vader.

“Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” The Rebellion begins a desperate mission to defeat the Empire once and for all in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. Follow along as Luke Skywalker and the rest of the rebels take on the Empire’s deadliest weapon yet–a new Death Star.

Theatre Review: Original Hedwig’s Final Weeks on Broadway

I’ve never been so cold. I’m standing outside a Broadway theatre on a snowy March night, and I’m from Texas. I can’t feel my face.

“Is this ridiculous?” I ask the fellow fan next to me, referring to the rose I’m holding for the show’s star.

“Nope,” she says.

She gets it. We’re Hedheads, and we’re here getting frostbite for the same reason: to see the queen. John Cameron Mitchell, the co-creator and current star of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, is due to exit the Belasco Theatre stage door any minute.

Diehard fans and critics alike are practically yelling at you to go see this show before his run ends on April 26—and with good reason. Seeing him perform is pure magic, at once vulnerable and sardonic, witty and sexy. He is so genuine and raw on stage that distinguishing new jokes from improvised quips is next to impossible in one viewing. (“You’re seeing the original cast,” referring to Mitchell’s/Hedwig’s knee brace, is my new favorite.) But there’s more to Mitchell’s Hedwig than his brilliantly moving and funny performance and Stephen Trask’s phenomenal music. There’s a reason some fans are crossing continents to see him do this.

I’ve attempted to explain the significance of the queen’s return to people who know nothing about the show: This is different than any other actor playing Hedwig because when you watch the others, you’re watching a performance; when you see Mitchell, you’re seeing Hedwig, the character, in real life. It’s as if the 2001 film was a documentary and now you’re going to a real, live Hedwig and the Angry Inch concert.

For those unfamiliar, the musical is less a traditional play and more a rock concert with monologues in between songs. An overarching theme about the search for one’s missing “other half” is beautifully woven into both the lyrics and Hedwig’s tragicomic backstory. Somewhat paradoxically, watching Mitchell play Hedwig almost undermines the show’s closing message of finding wholeness within oneself, because fans leave feeling like we’ve found our other half—right there, on stage, spitting on us and shouting in German.

The knee brace Mitchell is sporting is starkly apropos, becoming another sad-yet-humorous aspect of Hedwig’s story. Although the sight of it tugs the heartstrings, one of the best things about the brace might be the way it further blurs the line between Mitchell and Hedwig—in a way, she’s realer than she’s ever been.

Basking in the glow of his inimitable performance, I’ve never been happier to freeze my toes off.

John Cameron Mitchell can be seen through April 26th at the Belasco Theatre with Darren Criss scheduled to take over Hedwig on April 29th.

Blu-ray Review “Into the Woods: Original Broadway Production”

Starring: Bernadette Peters, Chip Zien, Joanna Gleason, Tom Aldredge, Robert Westenberg, Kim Crosby
Director: James Lapine
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
Release Date: December 2, 2014
Run Time: 153 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: N/A

With the new Disney’s big-screen adaptation of the Tony-Award Winning Broadway Musical “Into the Woods” right around the corner, it is the perfect time for to release the original Broadway Production on Blu-ray for the very first time. What we get here is a May 1989 performance of Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning musical, which starred Bernadette Peters, Chip Zien, Joanna Gleason, Tom Aldredge, Robert Westenberg and Kim Crosby. If you are a fan of the production and looking forward to the movie, this will be a good way to revisit before seeing it on the big screen.

Official Premise: A baker and his wife journey into the woods in search of a cow, a red cape, a pair of golden slippers and some magic beans to lift a curse that has kept them childless. Tony Award winners Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason and the rest of the original Broadway cast weave their magic spell over you in Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece, directed by James Lapine, a seamless fusion of fairy tale characters and what happens after “happily ever after.”

If you have seen this production on DVD, I wouldn’t be expecting much from this Blu-ray. The 1080p transfer is quite muted with the productions colors and even shows up blurry in a few scenes. I was expecting much more from this. The DTS HD Master Audio 2.0 audio track sound great especially with classics songs like “Children Will Listen” and “No One Is Alone”. There are zero special features included to accompany this stage production.

CD Review “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved – Original Soundtrack”

Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved
Original Soundtrack
Composer: Inon Zur
Label: Sumthing Else Music Works
Release Date: October 21, 2014

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I was very excited when I heard about the game “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” coming out. After I saw the track list though filled with today’s crappy pop hits, I was a little less excited. When I think of Fantasia, I think about big orchestrations. Luckily the original soundtrack to “Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved” is what I would expect. It consists of the game’s orchestral themes scored by award-winning composer Inon Zur and the music team at Harmonix. It also includes new performances of classical masterpieces from Bach, Dvořák, Liszt, Mozart, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi and more recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin In The Fields and Chamber Orchestra of London at the famed Abbey Road Studios.

Sumthing Else Music Works is a rally cool record label that is solely dedicated to video game soundtracks, who also recently released the soundtrack to “Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel”. Even though this music is hearing throughout the game in the background, it is nice to see that it is able to get showcased here on this album. I think that “Fantasia” actually introduced me to classical music and I am excited that I am already able to do the same for my daughter. If you want more tracks, Sumthing Else is also coming out with a “Director’s Cut” soundtrack, which will offer 21 additional exclusive remixes of the classical selections and original score B-sides for collectors. The Director’s Cut will be released for digital download exclusively on Sumthing.com.

Track List:
1. Main Theme – London Symphony Orchestra (Inon Zur)
2. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor – London Symphony Orchestra (Johann Sebastian Bach)
3. Meeting The Master – Inon Zur
4. The Shoal – Emeen Zarookian, Steve Pardo
5. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Allegro) – Academy of St. Martin In The Fields (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
6. Introducing The Hat – Michael Veloso, Inon Zur
7. The Hollow – Michael Veloso, Inon Zur
8. Night on Bald Mountain – London Symphony Orchestra (Modest Mussorgsky)
9. Scout’s Theme – London Symphony Orchestra (Inon Zur)
10. The Nation – Peter Moore, Steve Pardo, Inon Zur
11. Symphony No. 9, from the New World, IV. Allegro con fuoco – Chamber Orchestra of London (Antonin Dvořák)
12. Pressing On – Michael Veloso, Inon Zur
13. The Press – Drew Olsen, Inon Zur, Steve Pardo
14. Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 – Chamber Orchestra of London (Franz Liszt)
15. Asking The Moon – Michael Veloso, Inon Zur
16. The Capsule – Peter Moore
17. The Next Phase – Michael Veloso, Inon Zur
18. Making An Impression/A Malignant Force – Inon Zur
19. The Apology – Inon Zur
20. Selections from the Nutcracker (Medley) – Academy of St. Martin In The Fields (Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky)
21. The Four Seasons: Winter, I., Allegro non molto – Academy of St. Martin In The Fields (Antonio Vivaldi)
22. Theme from Fantasia: Music Evolved – Inon Zur
23. A Familiar Friend – Michael Veloso
24. Finale – Inon Zur

DVD Review “My Little Pony: The Complete Original Series”

Number of discs: 4
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Shout! Factory
DVD Release Date: September 30, 2014
Run Time: 720 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Having a two year old daughter, there is no shortage of “My Little Pony” in my life. Usually it is the new series “Friendship is Magic” that is currently airing on Hub TV. Thanks to Shout Kids!, my wife and I are able to introduce our daughter to the original “My Little Pony” series from the 80’s that we grew up with. It is available for the first time ever on DVD in its entirety. If you loved “My Little Pony” as a kid and looking for a little nostalgia, this is the DVD set to do it with!

Official Premise: You’re invited to return to Ponyland, the home of all your favorite classic Little Ponies, including the Earth Ponies, Unicorns, Pegasus Ponies, Flutter Ponies, Sea Ponies, Baby Sea Ponies, their human friends Megan, Danny and Molly and, of course, their dragon friend, Spike! Together, they live a life of games, songs and harmony with allies like the Bushwoolies and Furbobs. But, occasionally, there are problems in Ponyland and the Little Ponies of Paradise Estate must face evil witches, goblins, Stone Backs, Grundles and more! Now you can come join in the fun and adventure with My Little Pony: The Complete Series!

This complete series includes all 65 episodes! These episodes look plain and simple…OLD. The colors are faded and they are definitely not restored at all. So it is not perfection but at least we still get the episodes all together. Disc 1 includes the following episodes: “The End Of Flutter Valley, Part 1-10”; “The Ghost Of Paradise Estate, Part 1-4”; “The Great Rainbow Caper” & “The Glass Princess, Part 1-3”. Disc 2 includes “The Glass Princess, Part 4”; “Pony Puppy”; “Bright Lights, Part 1-4”; “Sweet Stuff And The Treasure Hunt”; “The Return Of Tambelon, Part 1-4”; “Little Piece Of Magic” & “The Magic Coins, Part 1-4”

Disc 3 includes the following episodes: “Mish Mash Melee”; “Woe Is Me, Part 1-2”; “Fugitive Flowers, Part 1-2”; “Would Be Dragonslayer”; “Baby, It’s Cold Outside, Part 1-2”; “Crunch The Rockdog, Part 1-2”; “The Revolt Of Paradise Estate, Part 1-2” & “Through The Door, Part 1-2”. Disc 4 includes “Rescue From Midnight Castle, Part 1-2”; “The Quest Of The Princess Ponies, Part 1-4”; “Spike’s Search”; “The Golden Horseshoes, Part 1-2”, “Flight To Cloud Castle, Part 1-2”; “The Ice Cream Wars”; “Somnambula, Part 1-2”; “The Prince And The Ponies” & “Escape From Catrina, Part 1-2”. There are no additional special features on this release.

Vinyl Review “Disney’s TRON: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” 180g Double Vinyl Edition

Disney’s TRON
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Composer: Wendy Carlos
Double LP
180g Virgin Vinyl

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Growing up, one of my favorite films was “TRON”, now 30+ years later…little has changed. The music in the film was always my favorite. I just to listen to the cassette as kid and now I have it digitally on my smartphone. Audio Fidelity is the guys behind the the release of this album on a Double LP  with 180g translucent blue vinyl records. They are the definitely of quality when it comes to music releases. This wonderful music has never sounded better! Crack it up to 11 and enjoy the wonderful sound of “TRON” once again on vinyl!

The score itself for “TRON” an nice blend of electronic along with traditional orchestral music. Kudos to composer Wendy Carlos for her brilliant orchestral recording with symphonic backgrounds by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the UCLA Chorus. She has created some of my favorite scores including “A Clockwork Orange” and “The Shining”. The “TRON” soundtrack also has two additional tracks from the rock band Journey, “Only Solutions” and “1990’s Theme”.

The gatefold jacket inside this new vinyl reissue holds the two 180g translucent blue vinyl records and also includes colorful photos from the popular cult film. Inside there is a fantastic liner notes written by the composer as well Michael Fremer, who also served as the film’s soundtrack supervisor. Fremer also oversaw the new Audio Fidelity mastering by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. So you know it go the attention that it deserved.

Track list: 
SIDE 1
1-Creation Of TRON
2-Only Solutions – Journey
3-We’ve Got Company
4-Wormhole
5-Ring Game And Escape
6-Water, Music, And Tronaction

SIDE 2
1-TRON Scherzo
2-Miracle and Magician
3-Magic Landings
4-Theme From TRON
5-1990’s Theme – Journey
6-Love Theme

SIDE 3
1-Tower Music – Let Us Pray
2-The Light Sailer
3-Sea Of Simulation

SIDE 4
1-A New TRON And The MCP
2-Anthem
3-Ending Titles

Enter to Win a DVD of Hulu’s Original Series “Deadbeat: Season One” [ENDED]

To celebrate the Target exclusive release of Hulu’s hit original series “Deadbeat”, Media Mikes is excited to giveaway one (1) copy of Season One on DVD 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 Hulu series. This giveaway will remain open until September 5th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to all of our Media Mikes readers worldwide. 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.

Kevin Pacalioglu (Labine) may have no money and no clue, but he can see dead people, so that’s pretty cool. Faced with a constant stream of stubborn spirits, Pac goes to whatever lengths require the least amount of effort to help New York City’s most frivolous ghosts finish their unfinished business. Starring Tyler Labine (TV’s “Reaper”)the show also features Brandon T. Jackson (Tropic Thunder), Lucy DeVito (TV’s “Melissa & Joey)and Cat Deeley (the host of TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance”).

CD Review “Snowpiercer” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Snowpiercer
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Composer:Marco Beltrami
Varese Sarabande Records
Tracks: 20
Running Time: 56 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Releasing on July 22nd is Marco Beltrami’s score to the fantastic Joon-Ho Bong film, Snowpiercer. Snowpiercer is the name of the post-apocalyptic train which shelters all remaining life on Earth in a dystopian society arranged from the haves in the front of the train and the haves-nots in the back of the train. Chris Evans’s Curtis leads a rebellion from the back to the front and Beltrami’s score excellently compliments his struggle.

Most of the tracks feature heavy metallic percussive beats that emulate the chugging along of the train as well as the battles along the way. Most notably in the “Blackout Fight” track. Fitting for one of the most exciting sequences of the film. Similarly “Steam Car” manages to maintain this train soundscape while also layering in the steamy atmosphere.

Frequently Beltrami lets up on the action to make way for eerie, sparse piano and orchestral work to accent the more decadent cars of Snowpiercer as in “Sushi”. He also manages to work in the thumping club music of the “Seoul Train”–so different visually in the film–into the forward motion of the rest of the score.

I will admit I enjoyed the action score much more in the context of driving the film, but the haunting piano work it kicks off with and spread throughout is more than enough to recommend giving this a listen on its own. Also, much to my amusement the final track also throws in the charmingly terrifying propaganda anthem from the classroom car (Sample: What happens if the engines stops? We all freeze and DIE!).

Track Listing:
1. This is the End
2. Stomp
3. Preparation
4. Requesting An Upgrade
5. Take the Engine
6. Axe Gang
7. Axe Schlomo
8. Blackout Fight
9. Water Supply
10. Go Ahead
11. Sushi
12. The Seven
13. We Go Forward
14. Steam Car
15. Seoul Train
16. Snow Melt
17. Take My Place
18. Yona Lights
19. This is the Beginning
20. Yona’s Theme

Win a CD for “Maleficent: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” [ENDED]

To celebrate the release of “Maleficent” in theaters, Media Mikes is excited five (5) copies of the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 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 Angelina Jolie film. This giveaway will remain open until June 13th 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.

All-new soundtrack that includes a new take on the original Disney classic, Once Upon a Dream, performed by Lana Del Rey. Original score composed by 8-time Academy Award nominee, James Newton Howard. The official soundtrack to the Walt Disney Studios film Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie. This visually dazzling live action film explores the origins of one of the most iconic Disney villains: Maleficent, the infamous fairy who curses Princess Aurora in Disney’s animated classic Sleeping Beauty. This ‘origin’ story is told from Maleficent’s perspective, intersecting with the classic in both familiar and unexpected ways. The movie stars Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, and is directed by two-time Oscar-winning production designer Robert Stromberg (Avatar, Alice in Wonderland). The film co-stars Elle Fanning (Super 8) as the Princess Aurora, and features Sharlto Copley (District 9), Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), and Juno Temple (Atonement).

Book Review “Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy”

Editor: J.W. Rinzler
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Abrams
Release Date: May 13, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Last year when, “Star Wars Storyboards: The Prequel Trilogy” was released, click here for our review, I was first in line to get it but we all knew that “Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy” was the book that we were all waiting for. I “enjoy” the Prequel Trilogy film as much as the next hardcore “Star Wars” fan but nothing compares to the original. The original storyboards have also never been available in a book before and this is a first time. Fans are able to get inside “A New Hope”, ” The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” and see what it will be like to experience these films from their original ideas. Being a hardcore “Star Wars” fan, this book made my month!

Official Premise: For the first time, Lucasfilm has opened its Archives to present the complete storyboards for the original Star Wars trilogy—the world-changing A New Hope and its operatic sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi—as well as never-before-published art from early conceptual and deleted scenes. From the opening chase above Tatooine in A New Hope to the Battle of Endor in Jedi, this book presents the visual inspiration behind now-iconic moments. Readers can finally see a full set of storyboards by legendary artist Joe Johnston, as well as early boards for Episode IV by Alex Tavoularis and for Episode V by Ivor Beddoes, rarely seen Episode VI boards by Roy Carnon, and Ralph McQuarrie’s never-before-seen storyboards for Episode V.

When I see that a “Star Wars” book has been edited by J.W. Rinzler, I always know it is going to be a winner. He is the executive editor at Lucasfilm, Ltd and is also the author of the bestseller “The Making of Star Wars”. There is a great kick off introduction from Nilo Rodis-Jamero, who was the assistant art director of visual effects for “The Empire Strikes Back” and the costume designer for “Return of the Jedi”. So it was great to have that experience send off the book. The colors are sharp and the book is just so well done, I can honestly say that this is yet another hit for Abrams. They have done some wonderful things for the “Star Wars” franchise and I can’t wait to see what they have planned next!

CD Review “Godzilla: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”

“Godzilla”
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Composer: Alexandre Desplat
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Tracks 20
Label: WaterTower Music

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

To walk in the footsteps of the giant monster Godzilla, you are going to have to wear some big shoes. Luckily, composer Alexandre Desplat does a great job of filling those big shoes and delivers one of the best scores of year. He is quite familiar with epic score as he handled the last two “Harry Potter” films, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 & 2”. There is something about this score that has me locked in that after listening to for two days now I can’t get enough of it. When you think of an epic action film, you might think about this loud and in your face score but Desplat doesn’t do just that. He delivers some very beautiful music here that is soft and then he also brings the big action feel that is weaved in so well. “Godzilla” is easily one of my most anticipated films of the year and this score just makes me more and more excited to see it.

If you aren’t familiar with the new director Gareth Edwards, that is because he has only directed one film prior to this called “Monsters” in 2010. That film also had one of my favorite scores not just of the year but of all time. He introduced me to one the also first time film composer is Jon Hopkins and now I am a huge fan of his work as well. What I am getting at is that Edwards knows good music and he really picked a winner here teaming up with Desplat. Even though I mentioned this score is quite in parts, there was about a hundred musicians involved with this score and you can really feel the excitement that is generated from their performances on each track. When it comes to the busy summer season, I had a feeling that this score will be number one on my phone for months to come. Just a note, and this doesn’t mean to look down now, be warned that the track listings contain bit of spoilers for the film itself, so I would refrain from checking them out and just enjoy the tunes at least until you have seen the film!

Track Listing:
1. Godzilla!
2. Inside the Mines
3. The Power Plant
4. To Q Zone
5. Back to Janjira
6. Muto Hatch
7. In the Jungle
8. The Wave
9. Airport Attack
10. Missing Spore
11. Vegas Aftermath
12. Ford Rescued
13. Following Godzilla
14. Golden Gate Chaos
15. Let Them Fight
16. Entering the Nest
17. Two Against One
18. Last Shot
19. Godzilla’s Victory
20. Back to the Ocean

CD Review: “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 – Original Game Soundtrack”

Composer: Oscar Araujo
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Soundtrack
Label: Sumthing Else Music Works/Konami

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2” is the latest game in nearly 30 year history of “Castlevania”. It is the last game in the new trilogy from Mercury Stream, following “Lords of Shadow” and Lord of Shadows: Mirror of Fate”. Oscar Araujo has been behind the series as the composer for each of these three video games. Having listened to each of the three scores, I found this one really standing out to me personally. Now it is dark, scary, action packed and at times also very beautiful, including tracks like “The Throne Room”. Having played the game myself, I really enjoyed listening to the score after the fact and I felt that it added a lot to the game. I look forward to Araujo’s next project! A must listen for any “Castlevania” fan.

One of my main concerns with the score is that they left out one of the best tracks from the game, which was the beginning first big fight. That track was SO epic and I literally was thinking (while getting my ass kicked in the game) how amazing this it was. That wasn’t the only track missing either some of the electronic sound tracks were MIA as well. Looking back that though, this score is just a thrill to listen to and most importantly it passed by most important loop test. I also say that if I can leave an album on loop for hours at a time and do not get bored listening to it or find it repetitive then it is a winner. I literally had this album on loop for eight hours and I literally loved every single track.

CD Review: “Knight of Badassdom: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”

“Knight of Badassdom”
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Composer: Bear McCreary
Label: Sparks & Shadows
Run Time: 65 minutes

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

“Knight of Badassdom” is no question of the coolest titles of all time. It is directed by Joe Lynch (“Wrong Turn 2”, “Holliston”) and has been waiting to be released for a few years now. It follows three best friends (Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn and Ryan Kwanten) and LARPers as they take to the woods to reenact a dungeons and dragons-like scenario fresh out of the mythical Middle Ages. It is a nerd’s dream come true. When I heard that Emmy Award®-Winning Composer Bear McCreary (“The Walking Dead”, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) was making original music for the soundtrack, I high-fived the closest person to me out of shear excitement. If that isn’t enough there is still more the album features performances by heavy metal and rock names including Brendon Small (Dethklok), Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio), Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa), Steve Bartek (Oingo Boingo), Ira Ingber (Bob Dylan), Pete Griffin (Three Inches of Blood) and Joe Travers (Zappa Plays Zappa). This album is dripping with amazing talent. It is also quickly becoming one of my favorite albums to listen to.

What I look for in an album is something I can listen to over and over. “Knight of Badassdom” is a good album but it is great after multiple listens. I found myself catching little things that I didn’t catch the first time. This is not only an amazing score to the film but also a pretty kick ass rock/metal album. I really love Dethklok’s music by Brendan Small and you can really here his contribution and influence on this. There are also some really killer solos and rhythm guitars featured on this album. They went above and beyond here with these tracks. There are also featured vocals from Brendan McCreary and Raya Yarbrough on a few tracks. I love composer Bear McCreary because you can tell that he is just such a cool guy. He read the script for this film and was totally behind it. The guy is a Grammy winner and yet he still backs a small film like this by releasing it under his record label, Sparks & Shadows. He is one of the biggest composers in the business right now and I hope he continues to back future projects like this!

Speaking of amazing rhythm guitars, props need to go to Mike Keneally, Pete Griffin, and Joe Travers for rocking that section. Doug Aldrich’s insane guitar solo on “At the Gates” is a highlight on the album. One of the main things, I love about this album is how all over the place it is. From Ira Ingber playing the “down-home slide guitar” to Steve Bartek bringing the horror cues to the playing of Scottish pipes by Eric Rigler (who was featured on the score to “Braveheart”). There is a lot of range in this score and it is very entertaining. I easily left it on for about 8 hours on loop yesterday and it didn’t bore me out at all…and that is the true test to an album for me. Do you feel the urge to skip a track? No? Then you have yourself a really winner for sure! eOne Films is releasing “Knight of Badassdom” with TUGG screenings beginning on January 21st and available digitally and on VOD as of February 11, 2014. The soundtrack is available now everywhere including Amazon and iTunes. Don’t miss this album and be sure to support this film!