Kevin Sorbo talks about new films “God’s Not Dead” & “Revelation Road 3: The Black Rider”

Kevin Sorbo is know best for his roles in “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”, “Andromeda” and “Kull the Conqueror”. Media Mikes had a chance to ask Kevin a few questions about his upcoming films “God’s Not Dead” and “Revelation Road 3: The Black Rider”.

Mike Gencarelli: What drew you to this film, “God’s Not Dead”?
Kevin Sorbo: It’s always the story. Great script, wonderful characters, fantastic message!

MG: How did you prepare to play a character like Professor Radisson?
KS: I have atheist friends. I have many conversations with them about my faith, their non belief. I have had college professors like him and have met with other college students who have had the same experience.

MG: In the film you push your students to admit god is dead; did that clash with your religious beliefs?
KS: Not at all. I’m acting. There are certain things I would be uncomfortable with as an actor and wouldn’t do, but the message here is great and needs to be brought to the light.

MG: Big “Duck Dynasty” fan, did you get a chance to meet The Robertsons during filming?
KS: They were brought in a year after we finished shooting, so we never met.

MG: You are currently shooting “Revelation Road 3: The Black Rider”, tell us what we can expect?
KS: A whacky ride into a post apocalyptic world where mad max meets the final chapter of the bible. Just had a fun, crazy character to play. No redeeming qualities in him really, but that remains to be seen with hints he may be back for other “Revelation Road” movies.

MG: Lastly tell us about your current Kickstarter campaign for the film “Survivor”?
KS: Sci-fi movie where I play the captain of a ship that had to leave earth decades ago when world war destroyed it. We answer the distress beacon of another planet and all hell breaks loose upon our arrival. Movie is shot and is looking for more money to wrap up post production.

Volbeat’s Rob Caggiano talks about Grammy nominated song “Lonesome Rider”

Rob Caggiano is the former lead guitarist of the thrash metal band Anthrax and current guitarist for the Danish-metal group Volbeat. The group was recently nominated for a Grammy and also put out a new music video for the song “Lonesome Rider”. Media Mikes had the pleasure of speaking with Rob about the group’s nomination, how he came to join the band and what the group has planned for the rest of this year.

Adam Lawton: Can you walk us through your transition from leaving Anthrax, to producing Volbeat and subsequently joining the band?
Rob Caggiano: I first met Volbeat around 2010. They had taken my other band The Damned Things out on tour with them. We all became friends as we hit it off instantly. The first time I really heard the band was on this tour and was just blown away. During the tour they always asked me to come up and play on the Misfits song “Angel Fuck” which was just such a blast. In talking during that tour we all flirted with the idea of working together in the studio with me as a producer. They were fans of the Damned Things album as well as the Anthrax album “Worship Music” which I produced both. It seemed like a cool idea that I was into but it all seemed a bit far-fetched because of our scheduled and the fact that I am in the States and the rest of the band is in Denmark. A few years later when I decided I needed to move on from Anthrax my scheduled had opened up and it was perfect timing because Volbeat was set to go in to the studio. They heard of what was going on with me and Michael called me up to see if I would be interested in producing their album. Things happened all really quickly because a day or two after that phone call I was in Copenhagen and about two weeks after starting work on the album I was asked if I would join the band.

AL: Did you have any reservations about joining a band that you initial only signed on to produce?
RC: I am kind of used to that as I have done that a lot lately. (Laughs) It was similar with The Damned things and Anthrax. I did have to change how I looked at the project from a production stand point because now I was not only trying to get good performances out of the band but I was also trying to figure out how I was going to put my stamp on the music. What we ended up trying worked out perfectly for the record. We put my rhythm guitars on the left and Michaels on the right we put Anders bass in the middle and Jon is everywhere. You get the sound of the band running on all cylinders.

AL: Did you have to rework your sound at all in order to fit with the new band?
RC: My sound is my sound. Coincidentally it works perfect with Volbeat. (Laughs) I really didn’t change anything. There are certainly more stack of amps on the stage now and it’s a lot louder.

AL: What were your first thoughts when your first album with band both as a producer and as a member was nominated for a Grammy?
RC: It was an honor. I have been nominated a couple times before but never was able to go to the Grammy’s. This year I went and it was surreal. It was a very cool night. I think the Grammy’s is sort of misunderstood. For me it’s not a competition of whose better or worse it’s a celebration of the most successful artists of that year. Just to be able to be in that mix for me is a honor.

AL: Can you tell us about the new video for the song “Lonesome Rider”?
RC: I think this is the first Volbeat video not to feature the band. (Laughs) That was the main idea. Michael talked to our video guy and asked him to come up with something cool that didn’t feature the band. That’s exactly what they did. I think the video turned out great and totally compliments the song.

AL: You just returned from this year’s NAMM convention. Are there any new products being released that with have your signature on them?
RC: ESP is continuing with my signature line of guitars. There aren’t any changes to this year’s model as compared to last year’s however I have been thinking about some. I love the guitar the way that it is but I have just been thinking of some stuff. The newest thing I have coming out is a signature guitar pedal. It’s going to be put about by Haden which is part of ESP now. They are originally from the UK and put out boutique amps. They are just killer! I am excited about the pedal as it’s unlike anything that is currently on the market. You should start to see more about it in the coming months.

AL: What other plans do you and the band have planned for this year?
RC: Volbeat will be back touring the States in April. We are bringing Trivium out with us and hitting a lot of B market places this time around. Our last few time out we really only hit the major markets. From there we will be heading overseas for most of the spring and summer. I also have a few other things in the pipe but I can’t talk about those just yet.

DVD Review “Storm Rider”

Starring: Kevin Sorbo, Kristy Swanson and C. Thomas Howell
Directed by: Craig Clyde
Rated: PG
Running time: 1 hour 30 mins
Stone Five Studios
Release date: 10/22/2013

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Surrounded by her numerous championship ribbons, Dani (Danielle Chuchran) takes to the ring again astride her prize horse, Admiral. Soon she will add another ribbon to her collection. If only things at home were going as well. With her father (Howell) facing a lengthy prison term for his “business dealings,” her step-mother (Sam Sorbo) leaves home, taking her step-brother with her. Dad tries to make a deal but that causes him to lose everything…including Admiral. Dani is sent to live with her “Uncle Sam” (Kevin Sorbo), a man she has met exactly once. It’s not going to be a good summer.

Beautifully photographed, “Storm Rider” is one of those small “family” films that major studios don’t (or won’t) make anymore. It is also a story about adapting and learning to care for those around you, be they two legged or four. Dani is used to having everything and now finds herself living on a farm. It is only after Sam, a veterinarian, introduces her to a baby mule who was found huddled in some trees afraid of a storm that she begins to lighten up. Naming the creature “Stormy,” she begins to treat it as if it was the horse she had to give up. As always, there is a lesson to be learned.

The cast does an admirable job, bringing some light heartedness to a film with some pretty dark moments. Kevin Sorbo brings to mind Keith Carradine with his performance. Silent yet strong. Chuchran occasionally overplays the spoiled brat card but all in all her performance is solid. Sam Sorbo is icy as the former wife who is only looking out for herself. Halfway through the film she returns just to drop her son off – which is really surprising since Uncle Sam is her ex-husband’s brother. Swanson brings light to her scenes with Kevin Sorbo as a friend/love interest with the right advice.

High praise indeed for cinematographer Brandon Christensen whose camera captures the beautiful mountains and countryside featured in the film. Though sometimes a little dramatic, composer Russ Whitelock’s score sets a nice tone for the onscreen action.

“Storm Rider” is also now available on Video on Demand (VOD)

3D Blu-ray Review “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 3D”

Directed by: Brian Taylor, Mark Neveldine
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ciarán Hinds, Idris Elba, Violante Placido, Johnny Whitworth
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Running Time: 95 minutes

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

Unlike most people, I was a big fan of the first “Ghost Rider” film. I am also a huge fan of Nicolas Cage and he is at his most zaniest in this film. After seeing the crazy trailer for “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”, I was psyched that they were really bringing back Ghost Rider as more dark and violent and even in 3D. But unfortunately, they disappointed by taming this film to yet another safe PG-13 release. Ghost Rider is a dark character from Hell yet they have been afraid to really take the plunge on this franchise. On the bright side of this release though, the Blu-ray is impressive and the 3D is great even though it is converted.

Nicolas Cage returns to the role of Johnny Blaze in this sequel. He is still struggling with his curse as the devil’s bounty hunter. While hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe, he is recruited by a secret group from the church in order to save a young boy (Fergus Riordan) from the devil (Ciaran Hinds), who is looking for a new body. Blaze decided to embrace the power of the Ghost Rider once more in order to protect the boy and possibly rid himself of his curse forever.

Even though the film is a bit disappointing, the Blu-ray release is not. “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” packs a sweet 1080p 3D transfer and looks better on Blu-ray than it did on the big screen. Though if you are not a fan of 3D, there is also a 2D presentation of the film as well included. Also included is a sweet Ultraviolet streaming digital copy. This Blu-ray also packs a super awesome quality DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track, which blew up my surround sound.

There special features are impressive overall.  Unlike most 3D releases, this one actually packs a 3D extra called “Riding Into Another Dimension”.  It is a little short but focuses on cast/crew discussing 3D filmmaking and issues with converting the 2D to 3D in post-production. There is an awesome director’s expanded video commentary with picture-in-picture.  It is being described by Sony as “an all access behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film”.   There are just over 10 minutes of deleted scenes included.  Lastly there is a super intense six-part documentary, ” The Path to Vengeance: Making Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”, which encompasses focusing on the behind-the-scenes making the film. Highly recommended.