Film Review “Atomic Blonde”

Directed by: David Leitch
Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy
Distributed by: Focus Features
Running time: 115 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

When I first heard about “Atomic Blonde”, I read the quote describing it as “John Wick” with a girl! And I said, “Sure, kickass!” Charlize Theron is nothing short of amazing and extremely bad-ass, continuing from her roles in “The Fate of the Furious” and “Mad Max: Fury Road”. She is just incredible. I did quite enjoy the 80’s music and the Germany setting during the fall of the Berlin Wall. Unfortunately this film doesn’t succeed like “John Wick” and has some great moments of action, but never goes all-in.

Official Premise: Agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on an impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin to retrieve a priceless dossier from within the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through a deadly game of spies.

There was something about “John Wick” to me that just had that “their are no rules” feeling and this one felt much more by the book. I did read that Charlize Theron did most of the action herself and trained very hard for the role, so I really give her credit and I would love to be able to say that I liked it more.  There were some great standout scenes, one feeling like it was a one-shot room to room shootout. Very cool scene. Ending had some cool twists and turns, which is expected with a CIA/spy movie. Could this be a new franchise? It’s possible, I’m sure…I will hold out for a Atomic Blonde/John Wick crossover!

Concert Review: 2017 “K-Rockathon”

“K-Rockathon”
Korn, Stone Sour, Skillet, Yelawolf, Ded, Red Sun Rising
Wednesday, July 19th, 2017
Lakeview Amphitheater, Syracuse, NY

Our score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The sprawling Lakeview Amphitheater was filled nearly to capacity on July 19th for the return of K-Rock’s annual “K-Rockathon”. After a one year hiatus and moving to a new venue the concert was back as promised delivering a stellar, somewhat diverse bill featuring the likes of Yelawolf, Stone Sour and Korn which the Syracuse crowd went crazy for.

Kicking of the main bill of the show was upcoming rock act Red Sun Rising who put on a brief but spot on set which helped get the crowd going and excited for the acts to come. Ded would hit the stage next and sadly did nothing for me. The band’s sound was nothing new nor, was the white contact lenses some of the bands member donned. Thankfully their set was brief as it came off very flat. Shady Records artist Yelawolf would take the stage next flanked by a giant riser that looked like the front of a classic Chevrolet complete with working lights and smoke. Together with DJ Klever the duo had the crowd on their fit from beginning to end. Being the only hip-hop artist on an all rock bill can certainly make you the underdog however that was definitely not the case here as fans seemed to be really into the performance. Skillet would follow with an energetic set which had fans singing to a few of their more well known songs including “Feel Invincible”, “Hero” and the always popular “Monster”. The band looked great and sounded even better and those on hand showed their appreciation in giant waves of applause and cheers. Stone Sour was up next and wasted no time getting their set under way. Front-man Cory Taylor worked the crowd like the season pro he is while his fellow band mates put forth stellar performances as they shredded through songs like “Made of Scars”, “Tired” and the chart topping “Song #3”. At several points during the set Taylor either made his way out into the crowd or doused those in close proximity with showers of confetti via a giant cannon like shooter. It was hard to tell who was having more fun the band or those watching the band as the energy during the set was definitely at a high. Closing out the night were veteran metalers Korn. After making a couple trips around the venue and seeing all the various Korn apparel that was being worn you could clearly tell who people were there to see. As soon as the band hit the stage basked in blue and white light it was on. The 5 piece band from Bakersfield, California were straightforward in their approach and wasted no time between songs as they gave the Syracuse crowd exactly what they came for. Hits such as “Falling Away From Me”, “Got The Life” and “Freak On A Leash” seemed to grab the biggest applause while deeper tracks such “Shoots And Ladders”, “Twist” and “Make Me Bad” satisfied longtime Korn fans.

It was great to see K-Rock fulfill their promise with the return of this year’s “K-Rockathon”. When an annual concert that has been around for 20 years decides to take a year off you sometimes question will it ever come back? Thankfully it did and the hometown crowd definitely showed their appreciation by coming out in droves on a Wednesday night to fill the expansive new venue. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year.

Stone Sour Set List:
1.) Taipei Person/ Allah Tea
2.) Made of Scars
3.) Say You’ll Haunt Me
4.) 30/30-150
5.) Tired
6.) Do Me A Favor
7.) Song #3
8.) Through Glass
9.) Absolute Zero
10.) Fabuless

Korn Set list:
1.) Rotting In Vain
2.) Falling Away From Me
3.) Did My Time
4.) Here To Say
5.) Clown
6.) Shoots And Ladders
7.) Twist
8.) Got The Life
9.) Coming Undone
10.) Insane
11.) Make Me Bad
12.) 4 U
13.) Blind
14.) It’s On
15.) Freak On A Leash

Film Review “Dunkirk”

Starring: Fionn Whitehead, Damien Bonnard and Mark Rylance
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1 hr 46 mins
Warner Bros

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Even though it was one of the most important events of World War II, the story has rarely been told. 400,000 soldiers trapped on a French beach in the early days of the war. That tale is now front and center in the latest film by Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk.”

June 1940. As the battle in France intensifies we happen upon a group of English soldiers. They walk quietly through the deserted streets, trying to avoid detection. Suddenly a shot rings out. Then many. They run for cover but to no avail. One manages to escape and joins others on the beach.

In England, the British Navy is requisitioning civilian watercraft to travel across the channel to help evacuate the troops. One of the boat owners, Mr. Dawson (Rylance) is readying his yacht with his son, Peter (Tom Glynn-Carney) and Peter’s friend, George (Barry Keoghan). However, rather than turn his boat over, Mr. Dawson decides to push off and make the journey himself.

High above the Channel, a pilot (Tom Hardy) gathers with his squadron mates to begin a sortie to give cover to the evacuation. It’s a high risk game of distance, altitude and available fuel. The slightest miscalculation of any or all three can spell certain death.

Told as three separate stories (Mole, Sea and Air) in three different time narratives (from a week out to a day to an hour before) “Dunkirk” is more of a thriller than a full out war film. Director Nolan, who also wrote the script, weaves the three stories together seamlessly, giving each story ample time to develop. He also has filled the cast with young actors who do a good job in projecting the fear and anticipation that war can bring. Besides misters Whitehead, Bonnard, Glynn-Carney and Keoghan, I must add pop star Harry Styles to the list. Though not a large or showy role, it is an important one, and if he ever decides to give up music he has found another profession in which he can succeed. If I have one complaint about the acting it’s that Nolan has attracted such talents as Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hardy but has put them in roles that don’t require a lot of acting. Both Rylance and Branagh have been recognized alongside a small group of actors as the best Britain has EVER produced and Hardy is always a treat to watch on screen. Would have loved to have seen them seriously chew some scenery.

The film is beautifully shot, and the musical score by Hans Zimmer accompanies the on-screen action perfectly. That being said, I expected a lot more action in what was being sold in the trailers as a “war film.” Why have 400,000 troops, a couple destroyers and a few squadrons of airplanes if you’re only going to use them sparingly? Anyone?

CD Review: Royal Blood “How Did We Get So Dark”

“How Did We Get So Dark”
Royal Blood
Warner Bros.
Tracks: 10

Our score: 2 out of 5 stars

The UK Duo Royal Blood are back with their sophomore release via Warner Bros. Records titled “How Did We Get So Dark”. As the follow up to the bands successful 2010 release “Royal Blood”, the new album features 10 fresh tracks which were produce by the band along with Tom Dalgety and Jolyon Thomas.

Having caught Royal Blood when they opened for the Foo Fighters on their “Sonic Highways” tour I was instantly amazed at the sizeable sound these two guys were able produce. Needless to say I was instantly hooked. The band’s latest offering “How Did We Get So Dark” is a bit of a departure from the group’s self-titled release as I found it lacking the punch and grittiness of its predecessor. Tracks like “How Did We Get So Dark” and “Hole On Your Heart” feature much more robust instrumentation and production which I felt took away from the group’s signature bass, drums sound scape. Thankfully tracks such as “Where Are You Now” and “Hook, Line & Sinker” brought back some of the sound that originally appealed to me.

Though not an outright bad album “How Did We Get So Dark” is not what I consider a good album either. I applaud the band for stretching their legs while trying to expand on the limited possibilities of a two member group however, I think they may have strayed a touch too far from the signature sound that put them on the map making their latest offering one I just couldn’t get in to.

Track Listing:
1.) How Did We Get So Dark
2.) Lights Out
3.) I Only Lie When I Love
4.) She’s Creeping
5.) Look Like You Know
6.) Where Are You Now
7.) Don’t Tell
8.) Hook, Line & Sinker
9.) Hole In Your Heart
10.) Sleep

CD Review: Teenage BottleRocket “Stealing The Covers”

“Stealing The Covers”
Teenage BottleRocket
Fat Wreck Chords
Tracks: 14

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

Teenage BottleRocket’s brand new album and their return to Fat Wreck Chords is complete! “Stealing The Covers” is the latest offering from the 4 piece punk band hailing from Laramie, Wyoming. Pulled from catalogs of bands TBR has toured with over the last 17 years the groups most recent offering is a unique collection of upbeat, tongue and cheek cover tracks that follow suit with the bands previous releases.

Having first heard about the possibility of this album during last years Warped Tour I was more than ready to check it out when the opportunity arose. Right off the bat I noticed that this wasn’t going to be just another punk cover album as while looking at the albums track listing a lot of the song titles where foreign to me as were the bands who originally performed them. No matter, I forged ahead and what I ended up finding was a fun, fresh and energetic album worth listening to multiple times over. Tracks like “Back and Forth”, “Robocop Is a Halfbreed Sellout” and, “Gay Parade” had just about I look for in a solid pop-punk tune.

From humorous lyrics and subject matter to catchy sing along choruses played with a Ramones like fury Teenage Bottlerockets “Stealing The Covers” is a great listen. Don’t let the bands decision to choose more obscure tracks cloud your judgment as I found not knowing some of the music only added to the appeal of the record and gave it a freshness other cover albums lack.

Track Listing:
1. The Way I Know (Varsity Weirdos)
2. Back and Forth (Hollywood Blondes)
3. College Town (Juke)
4. Don’t Go (The Scutches)
5. Robocop Is a Halfbreed Sellout (Sprocket Nova)
6. No Hugging No Learning (HEAD)
7. Shit Fuck God Damn (Artimus Maximus)
8. Gay Parade (The Gullibles)
9. It Came from the Radio (The Blendours)
10. Alien Motion Technology (The Mugwumps)
11. Hat Nerd (The Four Eyes)
12. My Very Best (The 20Belows)
13. I Kill Butterflies (Onion Flavored Rings)
14. Why the Big Pause (The Punchlines)

Film Review #2 “Despicable Me 3”

Directed by: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker
Distributed by Universal Pictures[2]
MPAA Rating: PG
Running time: 90 minutes

Mike G’s Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Illumination Entertainment really has a gold mine here with the “Despicable Me” franchise. It literally just prints its own money…but so far after three films and an even better spin-off, they are still great. Pixar’s movies cost near or above $200 million per film and don’t get me wrong they are good, at least they used to be, while Illumination knocks out films like this and “The Secret Lives of Pets” for just $80 million. These are quality films that are very entertaining, pack great voice casts and overall great movies. “Despicable Me 3” is a great addition to the series and is a step up from the second film.

Official Premise: The mischievous Minions hope that Gru will return to a life of crime after the new boss of the Anti-Villain League fires him. Instead, Gru decides to remain retired and travel to Freedonia to meet his long-lost twin brother for the first time. The reunited siblings soon find themselves in an uneasy alliance to take down the elusive Balthazar Bratt, a former 1980s child star who seeks revenge against the world.

Pharrell Williams steps up again and some great new songs for this film. I don’t think he replicated another “Happy” on this soundtrack but very fun music. In addition the film has a flood of 80’s theme of music that is very fun in this film ranging from a-ha to Madonna to Michael Jackson. Trey Parker, co-creator of “South Park” is a new addition to this cast and voices the role of villain Balthazar Bratt, a former child star who’s grown up to become obsessed with the character he played in the 80’s, Evil Bratt. Trey knocks it out of the park and steals the movie, no question. Also we get to meet Gru’s twin brother, Dru and he is another great addition to this sequel.

What I love most about this film is that it is has a nice balance. A nice balance of Gru, Lucy and the girls as well as the a fun backstory for Bratt and of course we get a good amount of those lovable Minions. If Illumination is reading, I am ready for a “Minions 2” BTW for sure next. Just love those guys (or whatever they are). I saw this with my five year old daughter and she simply had a blast. She was laughing throughout and even though some of the 80’s theme was obviously lost on her she enjoyed the balance of the characters and just had a great time watching this film. I really hope that Illumination continues down this trend and continues to deliver great animated films for the whole family!

Concert Review: Megadeth “Dystopia World Tour”

“Dystopia World Tour”
Megadeth, Meshuggah, Tesseract, Lillake
Friday, June 23rd 2017
Tag’s Summer Stage, Big Flats, NY

Our score: 3 out of 5 stars

The rolling hills of Upstate New York came alive on June 23rd as Megadeth kicked off the summer leg of their summer “Dystopia World Tour” at Tag’s Summer Stage in Big Flats, NY. Along with the veteran metal act for this leg of the tour were Meshuggah, Tesseract and Lillake who all performed to a damp crowd under foreboding skies which gave the night of music a very European festival feel.

As rain drop still trickled down over the outdoor venue known as Tag’s Summer Stage the band Lillake would start the night off. Despite a few technical glitches at the start of the bands set the group did a great job not letting it get to them as they performed a brief yet solid set of vintage tinged heavy metal but with a modern twist that had early concert goings up and moving. Tesseract a progressive band hailing from Milton Keynes, England would take the stage next for a similar length set which further helped the still semi-wet crowd dry off a little as the performed songs from their 3 studio albums including their latest single “Smile” which the crowd seemed to really enjoy. Meshuggah a band I was anxious to check out would hit the stage next and after about 2 very long minutes I was wishing for them to be done. Lack luster stage presence and even less impressive instrumentation really left me with an incredibly bad taste in my mouth however, the one positive I did find in the groups set was drummer Tomas Haak who despite the many off time signatures and sonic dirge kept the band tight and on beat. Closing out the night would be Big 4 Alum Megadeth. After an extended wait time the band burst on to the stage with a renewed sense of energy courtesy of the bands newest member guitarist Kiko Loureiro. The band shredded through material both new and old including “Hangar 18”, “Trust”, “A Tout Le Monde” and fan favorite “Symphony of Destruction”. Even front man/founder Dave Mustaine who when I have seen the band before would often remain fairly motionless was making tracks around the stage giving the night’s performance a breath of fresh air.

Fans of heavy metal music will certainly want to check out this tour if comes to your area. Don’t let the smaller production or newer acts on the bill fool you as the “Dystopia” tour is a stripped down lean, mean, metal machine which gives fans an in your face dose of metal in its purest form. No hokey stage tricks, props or gigantic movie screens here folks you get the bands exactly for what they are.

Megadeth Set List:
1.) Hangar 18
2.) Wake Up Dead
3.) In My Darkest Hour
4.) The Threat Is Real
5.) Sweating Bullets
6.) She-Wolf
7.) Trust
8.) Poisonous Shadows
9.) A Tout Le Monde
10.) Tornado of Souls
11.) Dystopia
12.) Symphony of Destruction
13.) Peace Sells
14.) Holy Wars…The Punishment Due

CD Review: M.O.D. “Busted, Broke & American”

“Busted, Broke & American”
M.O.D. (Method of Destruction)
Megaforce Records
Tracks: 12

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

Legendary hardcore/thrash band M.O.D. are back with a brand new full-length album titled “Busted, Broke & American”. The album (the bands 10th) was 3 years in the making and over that course of time the band helmed by vocalist Billy Milano went through a variety of ups and downs and at the end reunited with Megaforce Records to release what could be considered M.O.D.’s most brash and in your face collection of songs to date.

Put this album on and prepare to be pummeled as NY hardcore staple Billy Milano and company come out with all guns blazing on the band’s latest release “Busted, Broke & American”. The track “The Final Declaration” whose gang vocal filled choruses chant “to war” is a staunch warning of what your ears are in for over the course of the next 11 tracks. As the album progresses listeners are treated to the in your face, pull no punches approach of Mr. Milano. Case in point the aptly titled “You’re A Fucking Dick” and probably my favorite track off the album “Busted, Broke & American” which shoves it finger straight into the chest of today’s society. Other tracks I found to stand out was the heavily punk influenced “Shattered Dreams & Broken Glass” and the shredding instrumental track “All Out of Bubblegum”.

Be ready to jump in the deep end as “Busted, Broke & American” is full on from the word go. Intense, thought provoking lyrics mixed with bombastic instrumentation make up each of the albums 12 tracks. With Milano going on record stating that this could in-fact be M.O.D.’s final record he and the rest of the band certainly gave their all leaving nothing on the table.

Track Listing:
1.) Eisenhower Was Right
2.) The Final Declaration
3.) You’re A Fucking Dick
4.) Busted, Broke & American
5.) Fight
6.) Hooligan
7.) Billy Be Damned
8.) Shattered Dreams & Broken Glass
9.) They
10.) All Out of Bubblegum
11.) Go Go Revolution
12.) Kennedy Speaks

Be sure to check out our exclusive interview with M.O.D. frontman Billy Milano here.

4DX Theater Experience Review “Transformers: The Last Knight”

Directed by: Michael Bay
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Stanley Tucci, Anthony Hopkins
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release date
Running time: 149 minutes

4DX Score: 4 out of 5 stars
Film Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Recently, I have been contacted to see if I wanted to review one of this Summer’s movies the brand new 4DX Theater Experience. This is not your typical movie going experience. Here is an example of the effects that you can expect going into a 4DX screening: water, air, bubbles, fog, scents, motion seats with vibration and ticklers as well as environmental effects like rain, storming, snow, wind and lightning. This seemed like the ONLY way to see a film like “Transformers”. Currently, I believe there are only a handful of these theaters across the United States, one of them luckily being in Orlando FL at the Regal Pointe Orlando Stadium. If you are in the area or are lucky enough to have one local to you, I would highly recommend checking out this experience at least once.

“Transformers: The Last Knight” is the fifth installment in the Hasbro toy inspired franchise. Honestly, each film sort of blends together. The plots in the past films have been convoluted and confused and this film is no different. Is it entertaining…YES! Will I remember it and be able to distinguish between it and the previous four films….NOPE! Just pure popcorn Summer fun. If you dig explosions and robots, then it worth checking out then for a mindless two and half hours. But let me tell you one thing, seeing this film in 4DX definitely made it a better experience for sure and if you are thinking about seeing a 4DX film, “Transformers” is a great example to test it out with.

If you have ever visited Disney World parks and went on the attractions “Honey I Shrunk the Audience”, “Captain EO” or “Mickey’s PhilharMagic”, this 4DX Theater Experience reminded me of all of those combined together and more. I have to admit though, by the end of the two and a half hour movie of “Transformers”, I was exhausted. This is definitely not for those people that just want to kick their feet up and escape into a movie. This is a workout. You are almost constantly moving the whole time, some times subtle movement and sometimes huge motion jumps, twists and turns…I definitely saw a popcorn bag get tossed during my screening. Personally, I wouldn’t want to see every new film that comes out like this but I can definitely see it being an event to do every once in a while right the right film comes out. If you are curious though about this do not wait, definitely check it out because it is definitely an experience.

Blu-ray Review “The Vampire Diaries: The Eighth and Final Season”

Actors: Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Kat Graham, Candice King, Zach Roerig
Producers: Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec, Leslie Morgenstein, Caroline Dries
Number of discs: 3
Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Run Time: 704 minutes

Season: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

When Nina Dobrev left “The Vampire Diaries” after season six, I had a feeling this show would die off quick. Well kudos to them for lasting eight seasons. This final season is luckily the last and not the greatest either. I felt like these characters lost me personally after the fifth season when Dobrev was even still in the show. They try and end all open stories well but honestly wasn’t a grand finale. Unfortunately, the worse spin-off, “The Originals” is still going and has been renewed again. Guess New Orleans is cooler.

Official Premise: In Season Eight, we find Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Enzo (Michael Malarkey) continuing on their killing spree, both following the commands of a sinister and unnatural force. While Bonnie (Kat Graham), Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Caroline (Candice King) are grieving their loss, they team up to investigate who or what may be the cause of their disappearance at the end of season seven. Alaric (Matt Davis) joins the search and continues to look for clues on how they escaped the Armory vault, and Matt’s (Zach Roerig) family history will reveal a deeper connection to Mystic Falls and how he may be able to save the town from destruction.

Warner Brothers delivers this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + UltraViolet digital copy incliuded. “The Vampire Diaries: The Eighth and Final Season” Blu-ray features solid audio and video as it has with the previous seasons as well. The 1080p transfer with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track works great with the season and the television series.

The special features are a letdown for sure, especially for the final Blu-ray release. (Unless they are planning a big box set with all eight in the future, I am sure they are). There are three featurettes and some deleted scenes. Included are “Last Days As A Vampire”, “The Vampire Diaries: Forever Yours” which is a retrospective special as well as the 2016 Comic-Con Panel. No commentary tracks for the final season.

CD Review: Bad Cop Bad Cop “Warriors”

“Warriors”
Bad Cop/Bad Cop
Fat Wreck Chords
Tracks: 11

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

It’s been a hectic few years since Los Angeles punk quartet Bad Cop/Bad Cop dropped their debut full-length, “Not Sorry”. The band spent a huge chunk of their intervening time on the road like many bands do and in that time wound-up discovering some ugly things about themselves. Out of those experiences came a number of tracks which make up the band lasts release titled “Warriors”, the bands third album which features 11 new tracks which are once again being released via Fat Wreck Chords.

If the song titles and lyrics are just a glancing look at what was going on with Bad Cop/Bad Cop over the last few years it’s a miracle this album even happened at all. Thankfully things smoothed out with the four piece as the group’s latest offering “Warriors” is a gritty and searing album brimming over with pop-punk infused goodness making for a fun and enjoyable listen. Tracks like the albums opener “Retrograde” instantly had me moving with its sparkling guitar intro and catchy sing along chorus while songs like “Amputation”, “Wild Me” and the album’s title track “Warriors all hit with similar results.

Bad Cop/Bad Cop are living proof that good can come out of a bad situation and the group’s latest offering “Warriors” is a fitting testament to that statement. The band sounds better than ever and each of the albums 11 tracks has the potential to get stuck in your head for long periods of time. I found myself listening to the album multiple times and with each listen I was able to find something new to enjoy each and every.

Track Listing:
1.) Retrograde
2.) I’m Done
3.) Womanarchist
4.) Why Change A Thing
5.) Victoria
6.) Amputations
7.) Broken
8.) Wild Me
9.) Warriors
10.) Kids
11.) Brain Is For Lovers

CD Review: Doyle II “As We Die”

II“As We Die”
Doyle
Monsterman Records
Tracks: 13

Our score: 3 out of 5 stars

Former Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein is back with a brand new full-length solo album titled II”As We Die”. The album which was initially recorded during the “Abominator” sessions will be the second release from Doyle via his Monsterman Records and once again features Cancerslug’s Alex “Wolfman” Story handling vocal duties over the course of the albums 13 macabre tracks.

Over the course of the last few years Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein or Doyle for short has been on a relentless pace of record, tour and repeat. Throw in a handful of Misfit reunion shows as well and it makes you wonder when the band has had time to sleep let alone put together another full length release. II “As We Die” is the second portion of what was intended to be a double album. Originally recorded during the sessions for “Abominator”, II “As We Die” is the result of those sessions amassing an impressive amount of quality material that the band felt warranted two separate releases. I couldn’t have agreed more with the decision as where “Abominator” sets the stage, II “As We Die” solidifies the band’s sound with darker subject matter and even heavier instrumentation than its predecessor. Tracks such as “Beast Like Me” and “King of the Undead” blast out of the gate kicking and screaming with a bombastic amount of force and energy while tracks like “Darkside” and “Virgin Sacrifice” are reminiscent of Michael Graves era Misfits giving the album an eerie since of familiarity while remaining new and fresh. Though I found the guitar hooks to be less prominent this time around Doyle’s latest offering is still everything you would expect from the annihilator wielding beast.

Track Listing:
1.) Kiss Me As We Die
2.) Beast Like Me
3.) God of Flies
4.) Run For Your Life
5.) Darkside
6.) Witchcraft
7.) King of the Undead
8.) Virgin Sacrifice
9.) We Belong Dead
10.) Show No Mercy
11.) Dark Gods Arise
12.) Blood on the Axes
13.) Night of Sin

Film Review “Cars 3”

Directed by: Brian Fee
Starring: Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Armie Hammer, Larry the Cable Guy, Nathan Fillion, Kerry Washington, Lea DeLaria, Cheech Marin, Michael Wallis, Paul Dooley
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios
MPAA Rating: PG
Running time: 109 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

After the second disaster of a film, the “Cars” franchise should have come to an end. The thing is that the “Cars” brand brings in billions in merchandise alone, so Disney is stupid not to keep the brand in people’s heads. Personally, I have never been a fan of either of the two previous films. The first was good, don’t get me wrong but it’s not a favorite when I think of great Pixar films. “Cars 3”, luckily, was better than the second that’s for sure. The film has more heart like the first but unfortunately doesn’t deliver much till the end. Newcomer character, Cruz Ramierz definitely steals the show.

Official Premise: Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

Before I saw this I was quick to say at least Mater looks like he is not even in this film but what’s funny after seeing it is his scenes I actually enjoyed and added the only real comedic relief. He still was only in the film for a very short time. I took my five year old to see this and honestly, she was bored out of her mind and gave it a big thumbs down. I liked it a little more because of the heart that the film tried to replicate from the first film. I appreciated that and I know others will as well.

Keeping in line with the previous films, Pixar didn’t disappoint. The visuals were impressive and the colors were beautiful, no question. The 3D, I felt was rather useless. I don’t recall being wowed by anything. Obviously, I doubt we have seen the end of this franchise. I did like the way it was ended in particular and could lead it down an interesting path, but overall I just left the theatre like my kid feeling kinda blah, didn’t hate it just didn’t really love it.

4K Ultra HD Review “Dredd”

Actors: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Wood Harris, Langley Kirkwood
Directors: Pete Travis
Rated: R
Studio: LIONSGATE
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Run Time: 96 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
4K Ultra HD: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extra: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Lionsgate has been plowing through their catalog and delivering some great films on 4K Ultra HD recently. If you are looking for a demo disc to show off your 4K TV, “Dredd” would be the one to show it off for sure. The film packs a visual and audio punch already before being delivered in Ultra HD. I was blown away with the presentation here. This film definitely didn’t get the attention it deserved but has luckily found a nice home with fans and this release gives the fans a great reason to repurchase this film! (as long as you don’t care about the 3D option).

Official Premise: Mega City One is a vast, violent metropolis where felons rule the streets. The only law lies with cops called “judges,” who act as judge, jury and executioner, and Dredd (Karl Urban) is one of the city’s most feared. One day, Dredd is partnered with Cassandra (Olivia Thirlby), a rookie with powerful psychic abilities. A report of a terrible crime sends Dredd and Cassandra to a dangerous area controlled by Ma-Ma (Lena Headey), a drug lord who will stop at nothing to protect her empire.

“Dredd” comes stocked with a 2160p transfer with an aspect ratio of 2.40:1. You can see a little bit of up-scaling throughout but the detail on this is just beautiful. The non-stop action is also perfectly showcased in the Dolby Atmos track. The previous Blu-ray release of “Dredd” included a combo pack with a 3D/2D version of the film on the same disc, that is not the cause with this release and the 3D has gone missing. A little bit of a bummer but at the same time 3D seems to be fading. This combo pack also does come though with a standard Blu-ray (sans the 3D also) and a digital copy.

Judge Dredd is such a popular brand name still today and even has a new TV series in the works. He even has his own Judge Dredd slots game, which has great bonuses or and you can also play some fun online slots at SchmittsCasino.com, while you watch the film. Speaking of bonuses, this combo pack also includes two featurettes both running about 15 minutes each: “Mega-City Masters: 35 Years of Judge Dredd” which gives us history lesson on the character and it’s legacy and the second is a bit for technical “Day of Chaos: The Visual Effects of Dredd”. Both worth checking out. Other than that there are four other very short peeks behind-the-scenes as well as a “Dredd Motion Comic Prequel” and trailers included.

Blu-ray Review “Fist Fight”

Actors: Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Tracy Morgan, Jillian Bell, Christina Hendricks
Directors: Richie Keen
Rated: R
Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Run Time: 91 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

The combination of Ice Cube and Charlie Day should be an instant winner for “Fist Fight”…but something is missing here. There are some funny moments in the film for sure and both guys bring their A-game but the film itself just feels lazy like they just assumed having them together would be enough. Like I said a few solid laughs but overall, I can’t really see myself bragging about this film and recommending it to everyone I speak with. Feels more like a one-timer.

Official Premise: Ice Cube and Charlie Day star as high school teachers prepared to solve their differences the hard way. On the last day of the year, mild-mannered high school English teacher Andy Campbell (Day) is trying his best to keep it together amidst senior pranks, a dysfunctional administration and budget cuts that put jobs on the line. But things go from bad to worse when he accidentally crosses his much tougher and deeply feared colleague, Ron Strickland (Ice Cube), who challenges Campbell to an old-fashioned throwdown after school. News of the fight spreads like wildfire and ends up becoming the very thing this school, and Campbell, needed.

Warner Brothers is delivering this film in a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy included. So, you are getting a nice return for your money. We all know that teachers are under paid, so if you want to avoid fighting and save some money places like CouponGrind are a good solution to find some savings. The A/V is typical for a comedy, I don’t see this film getting high merits for either but they also have no issues either for sure. Solid video and a nice DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track are included here. Special features are big let down though delivering about 15 minutes of deleted scenes and a short featurette about filming in Georgia.