CD Review: Cannibal Corpse “Red Before Black”

“Red Before Black”
Cannibal Corpse
Metal Blade Records
Producer: Erik Rutan
Tracks: 12

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Cannibal Corpse returns with their 14th full-length studio album titled “Red Before Black” an album which clearly shows the soon-to-be thirty-year death metal veterans are unstoppable! The album serves to not only to reiterate this but to once more raise the stakes, making it very clear who sets the standards when it comes to compelling music this is equally brutal and complex. With 2017 seeing a slew of stunning new releases from death metal’s old guard “Red Before Black” stands strong and is a fitting statement for a band whose career spans almost three decades.

Not for the faint of heart “Red Before Black” is the latest offering from death metal heavy weights Cannibal Corpse and much like previous releases from the Buffalo, NY natives the band burst out of the gate going directly for your face! Tracks like album opener “Only One Will Die” and “Heads Shoveled Off” feature bombastic blast beats and thunderous double bass courtesy of Mr. Paul Mazurkiewicz while tracks like “Code of the Slashers” and “Shedding My Human Skin” feature some of the most guttural, demon summoning growls by George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. With the guitars and bass acting as the proverbial cherry on top of each of the albums 12 tracks “Red Before Black” is one of the bands strongest releases in the past 5 years.

Chances are if you are already reading this then you what Cannibal Corpse is about and are familiar with their sound. If not but, you are looking for some balls to the wall death metal then do yourself a favor and grab a copy of “Red Before Black”! As a band progresses through their career often times sounds and styles change but in the case of Cannibal Corpse the band’s latest offering is equally if not more aggressive than the band’s debut, proving that just because a band gets older doesn’t mean they have to slow down or soften up.

Track Listing:
1.) Only One Will Die
2.) Red Before Black
3.) Code of the Slashers
4.) Shedding My Human Skin
5.) Remaimed
6.) Firestorm Vengeance
7.) Heads Shoveled Off
8.) Corpus Delicti
9.) Scavenger Consuming Death
10.) In The Midst of Ruin
11.) Destroyed Without a Trace
12.) Hideous Ichor

Blu-ray Review “The Red Turtle”

Directors: Michael Dudok De Wit
Rated: PG
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Run Time: 81 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I am a huge fan of Studio Ghibli, “The Red Turtle” marks a change for the company. This is not an original film from them but instead a French film acquisition. It is also a wordless film yet also a beautiful film. Put it this way, I watched this film with my 5 year old and she was interested the whole time, even without words. The story was beautiful and the animation was gorgeous. Not your typical Ghibli film but definitely a different one and quite enjoyable.

Official Premise: Marking the much-anticipated return of Studio Ghibli, this masterfully animated fantasy film tells the story of a man shipwrecked at sea who becomes stranded on a beautiful but desolate island. He learns to live in isolation, seemingly tormented in his efforts to escape the island by a giant red turtle. Miraculously, he soon comes upon a young woman also lost at sea and they create a family together.

The 1080p transfer looks solid. The animation is well represented here and the colors are vibrant. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 works perfectly with the films score and sound effects, which gracefully drive the film along. The special features are a little light. There are two featurettes going behind-the-scenes including “The Birth of The Red Turtle” and “The Secrets of The Red Turtle” as well as a AFI Fest Q&A with Director Michael Dudok de Wit. This is a solid interview with a lot of great details though.

2015 Tribeca Film Festival Red Carpet Interviews

The 14th annual Tribeca Film Fest was held from April 15th to 26th in lower Manhattan. Media Mikes had the opportunity to speak to many of the creative minds behind the films making their premieres over the course of the Fest. You can read my coverage by clicking on any of the posters below and check back to see more additions:

About the Tribeca Film Festival:

The Tribeca Film Festival helps filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enabling the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. It is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors.

Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001, following the attacks on the World Trade Center, to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music, and culture, the Festival brings the industry and community together around storytelling.

The Tribeca Film Festival has screened more than 1,600 films from more than 80 countries since its first edition in 2002. Since inception, it has attracted an international audience of more than 4.9 million attendees, and has generated an estimated $900 million in economic activity for New York City.

RiffTrax Live! discuss “The Room” on the Tribeca Red Carpet

RiffTrax Live! took the stage at the Tribeca Film Festival for their first ever New York show on April 17th. The crew consisted of the talent behind classic TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000, Mike J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett. Although MST3K went off the air officially in 1999, their particular brand of humor, consisting of running commentary on classic terrible B-movies got a new life in the form of RiffTrax. With RiffTrax, the guys have shed their MST3K alter-egos (Bill as Crow T Robot, Kevin as Tom Servo and Mike as…Mike) and have broadened their scope to include live shows and downloadable tracks riffing on mainstream studio films. For their Tribeca audience, the guys presented Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 “disasterpiece” The Room. I caught up with the trio on their red carpet. In true RiffTrax fashion while Mike posed in front of photographers, Kevin and Bill stalled off ­to the side to riff on his technique before all heading over for a hilarious chat about what they do:

Lauren Damon: So…why The Room?

Mike Lawrence: Have you seen it?
LD: Yep
Mike: Yeah. I mean it’s the weirdest movie ever, it has to be done.
Bill Corbett: It is the Citizen Kane of bad movies.

 

LD: Have you guys ever met Tommy Wiseau, does he know what you’re up to?
Mike: Oh yes.
Bill: Yeah, he has to agree to this, believe it or not.

 

LD: Does he think the movie is good?
Kevin Murphy: I think he was confused at first. He didn’t know exactly—He thought we were stealing his film at first—
Bill: He thought we were stealing his soul!
Kevin: But then he realized we were just having fun with it and he already knows people have fun with the film.
Bill: Yeah
Kevin: He’s accepted it and he’s embraced it so—
Bill: He decided to call it a comedy.
Mike: He’s a good sport about it.
Kevin: He’s a very good sport about it.

 

LD: And you’ll be doing this again live?
Kevin: We’re doing it live, May 6th, Rifftrax.com for all the information
Bill: Across the land!

 

LD: And you’ll have new material on this same film every time?
Bill: Yeah, this will probably change, yeah. This is very different from the one we recorded before, yeah, it’ll change a lot.

 

LD: Can you also talk about how with Rifftrax you switched from Mystery Science 3000 riffing on B-movies to now these downloadable tracks for mainstream movies?
Mike: Well we’ve never had a chance to do them, since we can’t get the rights to them, and the technology allowed it was just like there’s a whole bunch of movies out there that are opened up by doing it that way.
Kevin: It helped us to get some of these big, more recent films for our live shows. Like we’re doing Sharknado 2 in July. Yeah and then what’s that big blockbuster? Santa and The Ice Cream Bunny. [laughing]
Bill: George Lucas’s, I believe?
Kevin: [laughing] I think so, yes, in December.

 

LD: I enjoy downloading your tracks on my favorite movies. I have all your Marvel universe ones, because I’ve seen them a ton of times and I like to get a ‘new take’ on them.
Kevin: Yeah [all laughing] I’m glad we can provide that for you!
Bill: If we can do NOTHING else, it’s talk about the Hulk’s schlong.

 

LD: Do you miss your Mystery Science Theatre 3000 alter-egos, your robots?
Bill: I miss being Mike. I played Mike, you realize that don’t you?
Kevin: It’s amazing.
Mike: Make up. Hours in the chair.
Kevin: And Mike was Crow but he wasn’t a puppet, it was make up. It was just all make up. No, I had the opportunity to bring one of the show puppets home after the show was over and I said I don’t want that thing around my house. It would be like Anthony Hopkins in Magic [in presumably a demon puppet voice] “Chop your head off Kevin, CHOP YOUR HEAD OFF!”
Bill: KEVIN! KEEEEEVIN!

 

 

When you started MST3K almost 30 years ago did you ever think you’d be doing anything similar all this time later?
Kevin: No
Bill: I thought I’d work as like a bus boy or a porter or be, I don’t know on the Bowery.
Mike: I was sure I’d be back at TGIFridays. I still remember all the codes for extra broccoli.
Bill: Something to fall back on.
Kevin: We kinda were in job transitions and it seemed like fun so we did it and boom, we’re still here.
Bill: Well At this point we have no other discernible skill set. So we kind of have to do it.
Kevin: Yeah we kind of boned ourselves here!

 

LD: Do you go to see ‘real movies’? Are you in MS3TK mode, how  are you about people talking during films?
All: Oh yeah.
Bill: By all means, oh yeah. I hate people who talk in the movie theater! I’m really a prig and a tight-ass when it comes to that.
Kevin: “SHUSH!!” It’s true.

 

LD: Do you think, with rights issues, there will ever be a return to the MS3TK characters or that format?
Kevin: Really not up to us because we’re not really controlling—or owners of the company in any way. So…
Bill: I think they will be resurrected on the last days of EARTH. Like…the living and the dead…
Kevin: All the immortal souls.
Bill: Definitely that!

 

LD: Because it continues to have such life with dvds…
Kevin: Well, wait for the rapture, we’ll see what happens!
Bill: And this movie [The Room] will be the thing that kicks off the rapture.
Mike: Luckily you don’t have to wait very long at all.

Fortunately, the presentation at Tribeca did not bring about the rapture–although I can’t make any promises for the May 6th nationwide broadcast–but it was a hell of a good time. Not only were audiences treated to The Room, but the gang pre-gamed with a black and white children’s safety film, “Live and Learn” that featured more lessons than you can shake a dangerous pointed stick at. My face hurt from laughing and the crowd gave the trio a standing O.

 

Tickets for the May 6th broadcast of Rifftrax Live: The Room are available via Fathom Events

Win a Blu-ray of “Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead” [ENDED]


To celebrate the release of “Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead”, we are happy to be giving away THREE Blu-rays of the film. If you want to win this great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite zombie film. This giveaway will remain open until January 2nd 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.

Martin (Vegar Hoel) hasn’t had the best vacation. He accidentally killed his girlfriend with an axe. He cut his own arm off with a chainsaw. And his friends STILL got devoured by a battalion of Nazi Zombies. This morning, he woke up in a hospital bed with a new arm – but it’s a super-powered Zombie arm that wants to kill him, and anything else it can reach. Martin’s PISSED. And with the help of his new Zombie Squad pals (Martin Starr, Jocelyn DeBoer, Ingrid Haas), he’s gonna deliver some payback to Colonel Herzog and his precious Nazi gold – by raising an undead army of his own.

CD Review: Red Dragon Cartel “Red Dragon Cartel”

Red Dragon Cartel
“Red Dragon Cartel”
Frontier Records
Produced by: Ronnie Mancuso, Jake E. Lee
Tracks: 10

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Red Dragon Cartel is the newest rock/metal group formed by former Ozzy Osbourne/Badlands guitarist Jake E. Lee. Along with Lee the group features Ronnie Mancuso on bass, drummer Jonas Fairly and singer D.J. Smith. Together the group creates a sound that blurs the lines between progressive rock, heavy metal and industrial synth pop. The self-titled debut is being released via Frontier Records and features 10 original tracks produced by Mancuso and Lee and Executive Produced by Kevin Churko (Five Finger Death Punch, In This Moment, Ozzy Osbourne).

Having been a subscriber of Guitar World magazine for as long as I can remember I certainly wasn’t stranger to the work Jake E. Lee. From Ozzy’s “Bark at the Moon” and “Ultimate Sin” albums to his recent appearances on VH1’s “That Metal Show” he was a player that was always on my radar. When it was announced he was going to be coming out with a new project I was certainly down for checking it out. “Red Dragon Cartel” is a unique blend of styles that cover a wide spectrum of hard rock and metal. The albums opening track “Deceived” shares a striking resemblance to “Bark at the Moon” while forging new ground both musically and vocally.

The track “Feeder” is a catchy rocker that is the first of several tracks to feature guest appearances with this one featuring Robin Zander of Cheap Trick fame. Other guest performances on the album include Maria Brink of In This Moment, former Iron Maiden singer Paul Di’Anno and former Pantera/current Kill Devil Hill bassist Rex Brown to name just a few. Don’t let the long list of guest musicians fool you in to thinking that Red Dragon Cartel can’t stand on their own as singer D.J. Smith and the rest of the members of the band all can certainly hold their as the guest performances act more like the icing on the cake.

Though I found portions of the album sounding a bit dated there was nothing on the album that made me want to stop listening. I think the members of Red Dragon Cartel have made a solid record that showcases a number of different styles and talents and those things alone are makes this album worth checking out.

Track Listing:
1.) Deceived
2.) Shout It Out
3.) Feeder (feat. Robin Zander)
4.) Fall from the Sky
5.) Wasted
6.) Slave
7.) Big Mouth (feat. Maria Brink)
8.) War Machine
9.) Redeem Me
10.) Exquisite Tenderness

Blu-ray Review “Red 2”

Actors: Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins, Mary-Louise Parker
Directors: Dean Parisot
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Summit Inc/Lionsgate
Release Date: November 26, 2013
Run Time: 116 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras” 2 out of 5 stars

When “Red” came out, I thought that it was cool that they were adapting a comic book for the older folks. The cast is superb including Bruce Willis (“Die Hard”), John Malkovich (“Burn After Reading”), Mary-Louise Parker (Showtime’s “Weeds”), with Anthony Hopkins (“Thor”) and Helen Mirren (“The Queen”) but too bad, the film cannot capture that same thrill as the first. In fact “Red 2” just feels like a re-do of the first one, the fun aspect feels too old…no pun. The action/comedy is still present but lacks the sharpness of the first film. This is a sequel that no one was asking for, so unless you are a die-hard of the first film I would pass this one and just remember how cool the first film was.

Official Premise: Retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses (Willis) and his team set out on a global quest to track down a missing, next-generation lethal device that can change the balance of world power. To succeed, they’ll need to survive an army of relentless assassins, ruthless terrorists and power-crazed government officials, all eager to get their hands on the technologically advanced super weapon. Outgunned and outmanned, they have only their cunning wits, old-school skills and each other to rely on as they try to save the world – and stay alive in the process.

Despite the film itself, “Red 2” packs an amazing punch in terms of audio video. The 1080p transfer with an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 delivers the action and also showcases the very beautiful shooting locations including Paris and London. Same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, which is wall-shaking good and works perfect with each action sequence. In terms of special features though we are back to disappointing. “The Red 2 Experience” is a decent collection of featurettes looking behind-the-scenes. Lastly there are a few short deleted scenes and a gag reel included.

Film Review “Red 2”

Starring: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Mary-Louise Parker
Directed by: Dean Parisot
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hr 56 mins
Summit Entertainment

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

The loveable sociopaths of the CIA retirement home are back with some fresh new villains and killing machines accompanying them for the ride. This sequel to 2010’s “RED” once again showcases the elderly handing out some ass kickings, though with less charm and wit than the original.

Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is trying out the normal life. Shopping at CostCo and trying to find the latest gadget to put in his home. His girlfriend Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker), who is still coming down from the adrenaline rush of the events in “RED”, is not as enthusiastic about settling down and making dinner. As the film starts, the paranoid Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) springs up, trying to sway Frank back into the spy game. As much as Frank says no, he really doesn’t have much of a choice because, as in the first film, he’s a marked man. The cold war era has come back to haunt him. A recently released document shows a portable nuclear device is missing and everyone’s pointing their fingers at Frank and Marvin.

As in “RED,” the film is peppered with both well known and B-list actors to supply the excitement. Jack Horton (Neal MacDonough) is tasked with capturing Frank, but realizes even a squad of machine gun wielding men can’t stop an unarmed Bruce Willis. Also hot on the trail of Frank is Han Jo-Bae (Lee Byung-hun), who has a personal vendetta against him. During Frank and Marvin’s journey to find out more about this lost WMD, they track down a diabolical wine connoisseur who is known simply as The Frog (David Thewlis). The trio also accidentally bump into one of Frank’s former flames, Miranda (Catherine Zeta-Jones). We’re also treated to the best character in the movie, Edward Bradley (Anthony Hopkins). He’s a delusional former scientist who might just hold the whereabouts to the weapon.

During “RED” the characters traversed the United States. This sequel takes us first class on a wild trip around the world that touches down multiple times in three continents. It’s a visual step up, but our time in each city is short lived. Before we’re given enough time to chew on some of the scenery or digest any fresh details to the story, we’re back on the plane to another exotic location to have more exposition crammed in our gullets. When the flames die down and the guns run out of ammo, the movie hits the brakes hard.

The returning cast lack that spark of excitement and that innate taste of chaos they seemed to bathe in with “RED”. The first was obviously an introductory piece to this fantastic world of geriatric spies and assassins. Without any graphic novel to really fall back on, the writers (the Hoeber brothers) pretty much had free range to do whatever they want. So, they opted for a bland imitation of the first script. They had a chance to scratch away at the surface and find some nuggets of fun, smiling insanity. Instead the characters act out hollow versions of their previous selves when their guns are in their holsters. You’ll find yourself re-adjusting in your seat when Frank wonders aloud if he can keep Sarah safe from this horrible predicament. Yes you can. Now give her a gun.

Even though this isn’t a step-up from the original, it’s still great to see the trio of Frank, Martin and Sarah bicker and quip at each during a gun battle. It’s also still fun that every character introduction or entrance into a scene comes with screaming, bullet hole ridden furniture and shattered glass. It was a blast at the theater, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that these characters deserved better. So, if you’re looking for the same chuckles, violent eye candy and seeing some of your favorite aging actors embody James Bond or Rambo, give “RED 2” a look.

Tribeca Film Festival 2013 – Red Carpet Coverage & Film Reviews

The 12th annual Tribeca Film Festival is being held from April 17-28 in New York City. The festival’s mission is to help filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enable the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. Tribeca Film Festival is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors. The Festival has screened over 1400 films from over 80 countries since its first festival in 2002. Since its founding, it has attracted an international audience of more than 4 million attendees and has generated an estimated $750 million in economic activity for New York City.

Check out the following link for the 2013 film schedule

A Single Shot: The writer and director join stars Sam Rockwell, Kelly Reilly and Heather Lind at the thriller’s TFF premiere. Rockwell stars as John Moon, a man caught in a tense cat-and-mouse chase after stealing money from a woman he accidentally shot while hunting in rural West Virginia. Check out our review here!

Lil Bub and Friendz : Documents the rise of cat videos on the internet as both a subculture and in some cases, a potential goldmine. Bub and owner Mike Bridavsky joined doc directors Andy Capper and Eisner on TFF’s red carpet.

Trust Me: Clark Gregg’s second directorial effort after 2008’s Choke finds the actor also starring as Howard Holloway a down on his luck agent to child stars. The film’s premiere at Tribeca included Gregg, newcomer Saxon Sharbino, and co-stars Felicity Huffman (“Desperate Housewives”) and Paul Sparks (“Boardwalk Empire”).

V/H/S 2: Follow-up to last year horror film, which is an anthology film that is comprised of horror shorts by different directors strung loosely together by a framing story. Click here for our review.

What Richard Did: Director Lenny Abrahamson joined star Jack Reynor to talk about their Irish drama which made it’s Stateside debut at Tribeca. Check out our review here!

Click each poster below for our red carpet coverage from the following films:

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“The Man With the Iron Fists” ROE Tickets Giveaway! [ENDED]

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

If you would like to enter for a chance to win free passes to see THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS during its run of engagement (AKA ROE), please leave a comment below with your favorite martial arts film. Winners will be chosen on a RANDOM BASIS on November 2nd. ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON/PER HOUSEHOLD PLEASE! OTHERWISE ALL ENTRIES WILL BE DISREGARDED. The winners will be will notified via email if chosen to win. Good luck and thanks for supporting MediaMikes.com

Quentin Tarantino presents THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS, an action-adventure inspired by kung-fu classics as interpreted by his longtime collaborators RZA and Eli Roth.  Making his debut as a big-screen director, co-writer and leading man, RZA—alongside an exciting international cast led by Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu—tells the epic story of warriors, assassins and a lone outsider hero who all descend on one fabled village in China for a winner-take-all battle for a fortune in gold.

Blending astonishing martial-arts sequences from some of the masters of this world with the signature vision he brings as the leader of the Wu-Tang Clan and as one of hip-hop’s most dominant figures of the past two decades, RZA embarks upon his most ambitious, stylized and thrilling project to date.

Joining Crowe, RZA and Liu in the cast are Rick Yune, Jamie Chung, Cung Le, Dave Bautista, Byron Mann, Daniel Wu and Pam Grier.

Universal Pictures will release THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS on Friday, November 2, 2012.

DVD Review “Red Dust (1932)”

Cast: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Gene Raymond, Mary Astor
Director: Victor Fleming
Distributed by: Warner Archive
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 83 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Prior to receiving this review DVD, I have never seen this fantastic film before. But I surely know the names of Victor Fleming, Clark Gable and Jean Harlow and I would never say no to check out some of their work.  This film was originally released in 1932.  The film looks absolutely amazing for a film that..get ready…80 years old.  Wow, that is absolutely amazing.  The film is already so sharp and well done.  Films are not made like this any more and this one is such a classic.

Thanks to Warner Archive, yet again for finally releasing this film on DVD.  It is not just a drop off on DVD either, this film is newly remastered. Boy, does it look amazing for an 80 year old film.  It is also beautiful presented in 4X3 full frame and its original aspect ratio of 1.37:1.  Warner also delivers the original mono track, which suites the film perfectly. Lastly, there is a trailer included on the disc as well. If you are looking for a classic MGM studio film on a rainy day, I highly recommend picking this up.

Premise: From the first moment wisecracking Vantine (Harlow) takes refuge on the plantation run by Carson (Gable), he sizes her up as an easy mark for his virile charm. But when a research engineer (Gene Raymond) and his elegant wife, Barbara (Mary Astor), appear on the scene, Carson falls hard for the beautiful Barbara, discarding Vantine as nothing more than a “cute little trick.” The steamy rivalry between the women soon boils into a jealous rage – with violent consequences. Oscar®-winning Best Director Victor Fleming (Gone with the Wind, 1939) deftly orchestrates the script’s tense drama and hilarious erotic comedy, helping Gable and Harlow turn Red Dust into pure gold.

Film Review “Red Lights”

Directed by: Rodrigo Cortés
Starring: Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy, Joely Richardson, Elizabeth Olsen, Toby Jones, Leonardo Sbaraglia
Distributed by: Millennium Entertainment
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 113 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Hold on a sec, a paranormal thriller/horror film with Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy? Where do I sign up? This little film has flown under my radar this summer with big budget superhero movies taken the spotlight. “Red Lights” deserves some major attention.  It is extremely well-done and really delivers from the moment it starts through the its shocking ending. I am a big fan of Rodrigo Cortés, especially after his film “Buried”. He is really able to do a lot in a film with not much. Cillian Murphy also gives an amazing performance and really carries this film.

The film follows psychologist and paranormal investigator, Margaret Matheson, (Weaver), and her physicist assistant, Tom Buckley (Murphy) as they aim to disprove the paranormal experiences with science and technology. When they get involved with investigating a famous psychic, Simon Silver (De Niro) things get a little too hot and they find themselves in deeper than they expected. Is Silver a true psychic medium or just another fraud?

“Red Lights” does a great job of blending its horror, thriller and drama aspects all together to one entertaining film. It has some good spooks but isn’t full blown horror. With the televisions and cinemas being flooded with films about paranormal activities and ghost huntings, this will probably be filed in with the rest but is actually able to stand on its own. It is not only well directed and executed but also packed with impressive performances, I highly recommend checking this film out.

Blu-ray Review “Red Scorpion”

Directed by: Joseph Zito
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, M. Emmet Walsh, Al White, T.P. McKenna, Carmen Argenziano
Distributed by: Synapse Films
Release Date: June 12th, 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running time: 106 minutes

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

Synapse Films is the company behind this amazing new Blu-ray release for “Red Scorpion”, the action-packed controversial cult classic. This isn’t just your typical Blu-ray release, it is a very impressive 2K high-definition transfer featuring the uncensored version with new footage never before seen in the US. Dolph Lundgren really nails this performance along with M. Emmet Walsh, who is also great. The action in the film is so over-the-top and contains some amazing gore special effects from Tom Savini. If you are fan of 80’s action, this is a must purchase.

Dolph Lundgren plays Nikolai, a Russian Spetznaz agent, who is assigned to murder the leader of an African rebel movement. When he is sees what is going on with the guerrilla faction, he is sympathetic to their cause and falls through on the assassination plans. Due to this he is caught by the rebels and left for dead in the desert. He survives and seeks revenge against his former employers.

The Blu-ray presentation is incredible. Synapse has not let us down yet with their releases. The 1080p transfer is just amazing and also includes its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The audio tracks included are DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, which both are very impressive. This release also comes in a two-disc set, which a Blu-ray and a DVD of the film. Also like all Synapse films, there is a great liner notes included on the Making of “Red Scorpion” by Jérémie Damoiseau. There is also a reversible cover included, I had a hard time deciding which I wanted to display.

The special features are also very impressive. There is a fun and informative audio commentary with Director Joseph Zito and Mondo Digital’s Nathaniel Thompson. “Hath No Fury – Dolph Lundgren and the Road to Red Scorpion” is a basic behind-the-scenes featurette, which goes into the film’s production. “Assignment: Africa” is a decent video interview with Producer Jack Abramoff. “Scorpion Tales” is another video interview with Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini. There is also some really cool rare On-Set Behind-the-Scenes footage, great insight and trip back in time. There is an animated still gallery included. Lastly there is Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots included.

Anthrax’s Dan Spitz talks about new band Red Lamb with Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine

Dan Spitz is best known as one of the founding member of the thrash metal group Anthrax. Together with Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, Dan has put together a new band called Red Lamb. The band is set to release a new video in the coming months and Media Mikes had the chance recently to talk with Dan about the project and the premise behind it.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about your new band Red Lamb?
Dan Spitz: Red Lamb is the first thing I have ever done full bore outside of Anthrax. I am charging forward with this project the same way I did with Anthrax. We are trying to break new ground as there is a purpose behind this band. Because of that purpose the music its self took a long time to create and get its sound. This music is different from my past but still reminiscent of me. This was a fresh start for me. This is a collaborative effort between me and Dave Dave Mustaine of Megadeth. He came in one day to hear what I was doing and really took hold of it. This is I think the first thing he has ever done outside of Megadeth. He really wanted to be a band member more than a co-producer or co-lyricist. Dave known’s my family so he has sort of a personal stake in this material. He knows the purpose of the band.

AL: Can you elaborate more on the purpose behind the band?
DS: Around the world we have a problem with Autism. Previous generations saw Autism however it wasn’t in every neighborhood. It’s now infiltrating everywhere. My wife and I have identical twin boys who are both Autistic. There is a song on the album titled “Puzzle Box” which will be are next release that we just finished a video for. I hope to change the world through music by bringing awareness around the world that this is a serious problem. We aren’t asking for people to send us money to give to a certain charity. We want to just bring awareness around the world. The CDC just released a statistic that 1 in 56 boys born with have autism. That is crazy! What will we do when everyone grows up and can’t function in a normal job? We pull no punches and I am living this hear every day with my kids. That’s what Red Lamb is here to do. Once the machine roles we will be doing something on a permanent basis.

AL: What will be the actual premise of the video?
DS: The “Puzzle Box” video is really going to be like a mini movie. Our singer Donny is a video producer so I was kind of blessed to have him in the band. He was able to take my idea and show what we live each day as a family. We are going to show to the world what it is like to live with Autism. My family are all in this video. We also filmed at the Autism Speaks walk. We filmed all kinds of important people and things that will be included in the video. I am not here preaching but everyone needs to just wake up. If you look on Facebook people are writing in about how they are affected by Autism. It’s a really moving video. There are people in the movie and sports industry that have been standing up for Autism for years but there has never been anyone in music that has done anything. People often wonder why it has taken me so long after leaving Anthrax to do something new. Now people will get to see what goes on in my house on a regular basis. Every 30 seconds there is a crisis going on. To write and record is very difficult. Eventually I had to leave and live at Dave’s studio to be able to finish work on this project. Things are that hard where I had to completely remove myself. It’s time everyone see’s what’s going on.

AL: What can you tell us about your work on the film “Goat”?
DS: That film has some really cool people in it. Ice-T is the film and it’s funny because he used to be a huge Anthrax fan. A friend of mine is making this film and it is now completed. The song “One Shell in the Chamber” which will appear on the Red Lamb album made it into thefilm. We started writing stuff and decided that parts of that song fit really well. There is some other stuff in the can for other movies my friend has made also. The High School I went to produced quite a few people who have gone on to do things that have really changed the world. We were either friends or we played against them in battle of the bands contests. We all hung out. The guy who did this film is one of those people. Some of the other people I hung out with now put on some of the biggest shows on Broadway. I have had beers with some pretty cool people. (Laughs)

AL: What other stuff do you have going on right now?
DS: At this point I do plan on doing a bunch of things. Red Lamb is taking up most of my time right now. Once this video is done and out then the object is to go out and play. It will be time. We started a little while ago putting things together so I can get back on the stage. I have been away for awhile so it will be great to get back to where I belong. I took some time off from music to clear my head and during that time I realized what I was here to do. I’m back doing it and I don’t plan to stop. I also am currently working of some stuff with Chris Vrenna from Marilyn Manson which is turning out really cool.

Blu-ray Review “The Red House”

Directed by: Delmer Daves
Starring: Edward G. Robinson, Lon McCallister, Judith Anderson, Rory Calhoun
Distributed by: Film Chest Media Group
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Running time: 100 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Film Chest Media Group for releasing this classic 1943 film restored on Blu-ray. Before receiving this film, I was not aware of this gem. It is a slow release thriller that packs a fantastic conclusion. It not only looks and sounds great on Blu-ray, it still holds up as a film itself almost 70 years later. I also really enjoyed Miklós Rózsa (“Ben-Hur”) haunting score as well, which rally drove the film. The film itself has been digitally restored in high definition and transferred from original 35mm elements.

This 1947 thriller stars Edward G. Robinson (“Double Indemnity”) as a farmer with a wooden leg trying to keep his family from uncovering a mysterious red house. After need help around the farm his hire’s his adopted daughter Meg’s friend Nath to come help with chores.  When Nath decides to take a short cut home through the woods, Pete warns him to stay out and clear of the red house.   Of course this only makes Meg and Nath more curious and decide to ignore his warnings and begin exploring.  As they get closer to the truth about what the deal with the red house is, it might be too late.

The high definition 1080p B&W transfer looks really sharp and clear. The special features even include a before-and-after restoration demo, which is short but shows how much better the film looks. The film is also presented in full screen with an aspect ratio of 4×3. The sound on the film is also notable packing a great DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track. There is a commentary track included from author William Hare, who talks about film noir aspects of “The Red Room”. Also within this combo pack is a DVD of the film, the original 35mm trailer and an original movie art postcard.