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.

DVD Review “Duck Dynasty: The Complete Series”

Starring: Willie Robertson, Phil Robertson, Jase Robertson, Si Robertson, Kay Robertson, Korie Robertson, Jep Robertson
Developed by: A&E Networks
Distributed by: Lionsgate
Rating: TV-PG
24 Disc Set
Run Time: 51 Hrs, 8 Mins.

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

It’s hard to believe that “Duck Dynasty”, the reality television series developed by A&E, first aired in March 2012 has come to an end. The show had a mega successful run of 130 episodes over 11 seasons with a few spin-offs. The show portrays the lives of the Robertson family, who became successful from their family-operated business, Duck Commander. The show may have not been for everyone and personally I hate reality TV, but this show spoke to me. It has a strong family value deep within it ending every episode with a family meal and prayers. I may have not always agreed with the personal views of the family outside of the show but overall it is a fun family show that will be missed.

Official Premise: Grow a beard and grab the camo! Here’s the ultimate collectible for Duck Dynasty® fans! For 11 seasons, millions of TV viewers tuned in for the colorful adventures and homegrown humor of the Robertsons, the backwoods family that built an empire out of a small duck call business. Now you can enjoy all 130 episodes, including some of your favorite unforgettable moments — Willie and Si’s woodchipper competition, Sadie’s driving lessons, a redneck Christmas, and John Luke’s wedding — in one spec-quack-ular collection!

If you are a fan of this show then this is the ultimate release to own but if you are late to the show and just finding out about this series, this again makes a perfect way to dive and binge this series. There are the 130 episodes spanned out over the 24 discs which are formatted with 16×9 Widescreen 1.78:1 Presentation and packing a Dolby Digital Audio 2.0 tracks. So if when you are done with the FIFTY hours of episodes, there are also an additional FIVE hours of bonus features included, which only makes this release even more sweeter. The trick in getting this gift set is that it is only available on DVD at Walmart for the suggested retail price of $99.98. Don’t miss this!

Product Review: V2 Pro Series 3

V2 Cigs have been around for years they were one of the original electronic cigarette manufacturers and are known around the world as makers of high quality electronic cigarettes. The V2 Pro Series 3 is perfect vape for all your stealth vaping needs, as it looks like a regular electronic cigarette and doesn’t produce much visible vapor. You can also easily switch the cartridges around depending on what you choose to vape. However, because of this small size, it also has a small capacity, so this is really for more of a solo vaper.

In e-cigarette mode, the V2 Pro shines, besting other e cigs that are in its class and price range with good vapor production. Those who prefer a hit akin to traditional cigarettes will enjoy the V2 Pro immensely. There is also a ten-second cut-off time to prevent e-liquid from tasting burnt. The tank attachment for this device are quite impressive. Unlike other tanks where I have experience several leaks while testing, the V2 Pro proves it’s a solid Vape pen. Clouds are not as massive as other e-cigarettes and tank combos, but the vapor it delivers is warm and satisfying to the user.

The V2 Pro features a two minute automatic shut off which to help minimize incidents of overheating over using the battery.  The magnetic connection of a V2 Cigs 3-in-1 removes threading issues and also unifies the exterior appearance of this electronic cigarette/vaporizer. The connection is made sturdier by the fact that your cartridge slots into a portal shaped to accept its size and shape. All cartridges feature the same dimensions, but smart technology differentiates each one for the benefit of V2 Cig’s Pro Series 3 rechargeable battery.

If you’re looking for an affordable pen vaporizer with stealth in mind, or a pen that can do dry herbs, this is the vape for you. For $59.99, you can own the base. But it’s useless without at least one cartridge since no other company has introduced magnetic connections yet. That’s the price you pay to replace your battery when it runs out of juice. A starter kit costs $62.26 and features the e liquid cartridge with a USB charger cable. Add a Loose Leaf cartridge for $26.92 and an essential oil version for the same price.

I was pleasantly surprised by the life of their Pro Series 3 battery as it lasted my entire day (roughly 8 hours of sporadic use) it lasts a long time. E liquid lasts long enough to get up to 800 puffs out of a full cartridge. While the Series 3 may not be the best at everything, it does a lot. If you need a vape that can do it all, and you don’t want multiple units, this is probably one of the best vaporizers to buy. Click here to buy.

Pros

  • Ultra small and compact
  • Very discreet and stealthy, looks like an electronic cigarette
  • Vapes dried herb evenly and thoroughly
  • Can be used with e-liquid
  • Components clip together magnetically
  • Can be used while charging
  • Charger connects to regular USB (adaptor available for car lighter)
  • One of the best vapes in it’s price range
  • Doesn’t burn herb like most vape pens

Cons

  • Features only one temperature setting
  • The heating chamber holds a very small amount of herb (about .1 of a gram)
  • Ring around the mouthpiece gets quite hot after extended use
  • Battery only lasts about 30-45 minutes per charge

Enter to Win a Blu-ray of “From Dusk Till Dawn The Series: Season 3”

Media Mikes would like to give three of our fans a chance to win a “From Dusk Till Dawn The Series: Season 3” on Blu-ray. If you want to win this great prize, please leave a comment your favorite character from this series. This giveaway will remain open until February 10th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US 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.

If you can’t wait to own this, click here to purchase a Blu-ray!

Season three of “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” continues the Gecko brothers’ saga as they fight their way through the chilling world of culebras, the vampire-snake hybrids that control hidden empires in Texas and Mexico. Once the baddest outlaws in the land, Seth and Richie made a run for the Border two years ago to save their lives – and their fortune. After stumbling into a bar full of bloodsuckers and bandits, the Geckos encountered the vampire goddess Santánico, joining her cause to settle an old score. It won them a place in the culebra world. Now that world is on the verge of violent and destructive explosion as new enemies hell-bent on domination gather to take them down. In typical Gecko fashion, Seth and Richie assemble an unlikely crew (some new, some old) to take on the forces of hell.

Product Feature: V2 Pro Series 7 Vaporizer Kit

When it comes to vaporizers, I have been on the search for the perfect tool. V2 is a company that I found and and offers one hell of a product. That product is the V2 Pro Series 7 Kit includes everything . This is the one-stop tool for all your vaping needs. Some of the new features include like variable voltage and temperature settings. These are items that I specifically look for in a vaporizer. Another outstanding feature on the Series 7 is that it has a bigger storage capacity and solid battery life.

If you are familiar with the Series 3 vape pen then this is not new for I zoned in on the Series 7 since it offers cartridges for for add-on like loose leaf, e-liquid and wax. If you purchase this kit above that we are feature luckily it comes with both the e-liquid and loose leaf cartridges. Otherwise, they the cartridges are available to purchase individually. But let me tell you have these three cartridges today makes this the one of the best choices for all-in-one vaporizers.

One of my main urks about this product originally was the button pressing to get to where you need to get. I am used to it now and definitely have no issue but it did take a little bit to become a habit. To turn it on you have to click fast five times. Then you have to press two more times within a half a second…(Confused a little?)…then still flashing each of the three lines and you will be able to press it again when the level you want is lit. Lastly, once your temperature is chosen you hold the button for about 5-7 seconds which will turn on the heater. It turns off about a short period on its own and you press the button three times to turn it fully off and you will see a red light flash.

Overall, I have been very satisfied so far with this product. Once you get used to the routine above it just feels natural and I was worried at first it would be annoying but honestly not at all. I also love that the Series 7 has this smart technology so that it recognizes which cartridge type you have inserted and automatically heat to optimum vaporizing temperature. This allows you to just relax and enjoy!

Grace Kaufman talks about her role on the CBS series “Man with a Plan”

Teen actress Grace Kaufman has appeared in a variety of television shows including “The Closer” “2 Broke Girls” and the “The Last Ship”. Graces newest role has her playing opposite Matt LeBlanc in the CBS hit comedy “Man with a Plan”. Media Mikes has the chance to speak with Grace recently about her role on the show and also about her new film “Brave New Jersey”.

Adam Lawton: Tell us about your role on “Man with a Plan” and how the role came about?

Grace Kaufman: I play Kate Burns on the show. She is a very fun role to play because not only does she have a little bit of sass along with some rebellious qualities but she also really loves her family. That’s where I feel I connect with the role. Kate can be disobedient but loving at the same time. I had heard about the role by going through the normal auditioning process. I got the script and immediately fell in the love with my character Kate. I knew she was definitely a role I wanted to play. After my first audition I received a call back and that’s when I met Matt LeBlanc for the first time. That was very exciting for me as I have always loved his work. I found out shortly after reading with him that I had gotten the role and I was just over the moon about it.

AL: Was the role fairly laid out when it was presented to you or were you allowed to develop certain traits
of the character on your own?

GK: There were definitely some parts of the character that were already set ahead of time but, I also brought in my own set of traits and personality to the character. I think that’s what makes things more natural. I was very grateful for the opportunity to do that I was able to explore the character of Kate and really get to know her as well.

AL: What has it been like working alongside Matt LeBlanc?

GK: When I first met Matt at the initial call back it was like meeting one of your idols. I loved him on “Friends” and I have enjoyed his other work as well. Matt is very talented and a brilliant actor. To be in the same room and read with him was such a cool experience. Just being there was very exciting. We did our read through and there was some notes they gave me for the next read and everything just went from there.

AL: The show recently got picked up for a full run. What do you feel makes “Man with a Plan” stand out from other family based comedies?

GK: I feel like the show is not only one that’s fun for the whole family to watch but one that every member can relate to. I feel like a lot of the situations that happen on the show are things that happen to real families. That’s what I think makes the show so special and enjoyable for families to sit down and watch together.

AL: Was this your first experience filming in-front of a live studio audience?

GK: I have done some guest starring roles on shows which film in front of live audiences so I had some experience with that going in to this show. This was my first show that I was a series regular on where there would be a live audience. Even though I had done guests spots before in similar settings it was still very exciting and a bit nerve racking. The more we work in-front of the audience the more I have been able to see that they are not there to judge us. They are there to support us and laugh with us. Knowing that has made me start to feel very comfortable in-front of them now.

AL: You also recently had a film premier at the Austin Film Festival. Can you tell us about that?

GK: The film is called “Brave New Jersey”. I filmed that about a year ago in Tennessee. It was a lot of fun as I had never been to that state before nor had I ever done a period piece. The film takes place in the late 1930’s on the night of Orson Wells “War of the Worlds” broadcast. It’s set in a small town in Lullaby, NJ which overhears the broadcast and assumes real aliens are in-fact invading. The premise is based around if you know you only have one night to live what would you do? Having never done something like this before it was a lot of fun and I got to work with some really great people that I learned a lot from.

AL: What are your plans for the coming year?

GK: We start filming “Man with a Plan” again in January so I have that to look forward to. I also have a role on the show “The Last Ship” which is on TNT that just got picked up for a fifth season. I start working on that in April. I have been working on that show for about four years now so I am very excited that we are coming back for another season. The cast and crew have become like a family to me there. It’s quite different than “Man with a Plan” but they are both special to me in different ways. Shooting this fifth season is going to be really great.

For more info on Grace and her projects you can check out her various social media accounts at @ImGraceKaufman

New Book Series Ancient Aliens: Marradians and Anunnaki by Acclaimed Authors Ilil Arbel and Gary Morgenstein

WHO WERE THE MARRADIANS? 

FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE SHOCKING TRUTH BEHIND

THE EXTRATERRESTRIALS WHO CHANGED HUMANITY FOREVER 

NEW BOOK SERIES ANCIENT ALIENS: MARRADIANS AND ANUNNAKI  BY ACCLAIMED AUTHORS ILIL ARBEL AND GARY MORGENSTEIN  

NEW YORK – November 10, 2016 – Who were the Marradians? Long forgotten, these ancient aliens profoundly shaped humanity’s evolution through inter-breeding and advanced science and technology. It’s a story that’s been suppressed – until now.

The new book series Ancient Aliens: Marradians and Anunnaki from acclaimed exraterrestrial expert Ilil Arbel, Ph.D, and science fiction writer Gary Morgenstein will, for the very first time, reveal how the Marradians changed the course of mankind‘s history while battling their bitter rivals and cousins, the Anunnaki – with Earth the pawn in this galactic struggle.

Arbel and Morgenstein will use ancient texts and new research to finally bring to life the history, culture, traditions, religion, politics, food, science, technology, songs, sexual practices and customs of this previously obscure alien race, who’ve been misnamed The Grays by global intelligence services to hide the extraterrestrials‘ existence.

The first volume, Extraterrestrial Holidays, will teleport readers inside the worlds of the Marradians and Anunnaki through their holidays, from deity Cimric’s birthday, the Miracle of Egok the Cross-Limbed, the Sh‘ Holidays of Awe, as well as New Year’s and Breeding celebrations..

To blunt any attempts to subvert the truth, the authors are revealing select chapters before the official date of publication. The first selection, Ashar Marrad, about the Marradian day of thanks, will be available on November 15, 2016 at http://madmelsavestheworld.com/marradian-and-anunnaki-books/.

ILIL ARBEL is the author of numerous fiction and non-fiction books, including factual biographies of alien hybrids (descendants of Anunnaki), as well as extensive research on both the Anunnaki and the Marradians. In addition to biographies, memoirs, novels, mythology/folklore, and metaphysics, Arbel has contributed numerous short stories and articles on the subjects of natural history, personal histories, biography, health, education, social commentaries, and Judaic myths to many publications. Arbel has a Ph.D. in liberal arts and has lived and studied in Tel Aviv, Paris, and New York.

GARY MORGENSTEIN most recently wrote the critically acclaimed off-Broadway sci-fi rock musical The Anthem – Ayn Rand Meets Hunger Games. His plays range from A Tomato Can’t Grow in the Bronx and Right on Target to Ponzi Man, and his novels include Jesse’s Girl, under option to actress Ksenia Solo’s (Orphan Black) production company OnFireFilms, Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman, Take Me Out to the Ballgame and The Man Who Wanted to Play Center Field for the New York Yankees. He is currently completing the first novel in his science fiction trilogy, set on the eve of the 22nd Century after the United States lost World War Three.

 

The popular sci-fi radio drama series, Mad Mel and the Marradians, is based on the stories of the Marradians and can be heard at madmelsavestheworld.com and iTunes.

Please visit us at @madmelsaves

For further information contact:

Gary Morgenstein/garythewriter1@gmail.com

 

 

10 TV Series That Started Out as Feature Films

Some of the most beloved television series of all time revisited their characters and storylines in feature film style long after their small screen run was over. Shows like “The X-Files,” “Entourage,” and “Veronica Mars” all introduced feature film installments years after their run on television ended. Shows like “South Park” and “The Simpsons” were able to release movies during their run on television. Finally, there are shows that are based on previously successful movies. These shows usually have a lot to live up to, and here are 10 of the best TV series based on films.

  1. Friday Night Lights

In 2004, the film “Friday Night Lights” was released. Starring Billy Bob Thornton and Tim McGraw, the film followed a Texas high school football team. Based on the book of the same name, the story had its share of ups and downs during the course of the football season. Two years later, the producers of the film decided to further adapt the book into a television series. While the TV show never was a huge hit in the ratings department, it was beloved by fans and critics.

  1. Bates Motel

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 revelation Psycho was a classic among film historians. The story of Norman Bates and his mother was renewed with a prequel of sorts in 2013 with the A&E network’s “Bates Motel.” This series had also been embraced by critics with Vera Farmiga’s Norma Bates’ portrayal earning her an Emmy nomination in 2013.

  1. Westworld

Successful science fiction writer Michael Crichton, of “Jurassic Park” fame, wrote and directed a movie in 1973, “Westworld.” The movie that depicted a future robotic theme park gone astray starred Yul Brynner in one of the key roles. In 2016, HBO brought the story to the small screen along with a new spin on the story. This time, stars Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, and Ed Harris brought an increased amount of intrigue and mystery to the familiar story.

  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Joss Whedon’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” started out as a 1992 tongue-in-cheek film with Luke Perry and Kristy Swanson showing viewers the dark side of California. In 1997, the story was reworked for television and brought Sarah Michelle Gellar to the iconic role of Buffy. This cult classic spawned a spin-off show as well called “Angel.”

  1. Fargo

Joel and Ethan Coen brought Fargo, North Dakota to the public’s vision with their 1996 quirky thriller, “Fargo.” This much-loved picture earned Oscars for best actress Frances McDormand and best screenplay for the Coens. In 2014, when the television series premiered, it was also praised for its stellar cast and writing.

  1. Highlander

“Highlander,” which was released in 1986, gave audiences a combination of Scottish warriors, the supernatural, and the ultimate exploration of good versus evil. The film’s star, Christopher Lambert, would go on to have a successful career. A few years later in 1992, the story was developed for television using an alternate hero played by Adrian Paul.

  1. Marvel Cinematic Universe

One of the most popular film franchises of all time, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has propelled superhero stories to the next level. Characters like Ironman, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, and Captain America have all been the stars of a series of movies that started in 2008. The popularity has continued with the TV shows “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” and “Agent Carter.” Each of these shows has its own identity and following, which has helped make this franchise even more successful.

  1. Stargate

In 1994, the film “Stargate” was released to positive reviews. Its unique story about aliens and time travel and a strong ensemble of actors led it to success at the box office. A sequel was written as a television series, “Stargate SG-1” in 1997. The show started its run on Showtime, but it eventually moved to the Sci Fi channel later on. With the treasure trove of time travel possibilities, the series had a huge following of fans.

  1. Limitless

Another TV show that got its start on the big screen was “Limitless.” Bradley Cooper led the feature film of the same name to box office success in 2011. In 2015, Executive Ryan Kavanaugh helped bring the story to television, with Bradley Cooper starring in the pilot episode about a drug that gave users incredible abilities.

  1. The Terminator

The Terminator film series was one of the more successful stories of the past few decades. The film “The Terminator” started the story of John and Sarah Conner in 1984. After a hugely successful sequel in 1991 and additional installments in 2003 and 2009, the premise was brought to the small screen as “Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles.” The television series told the story of John Conner as a teenager on the run along with his mother.
Some of the most successful movies in history had more stories to tell in the form of a television show series. Many of these shows have also found their own levels of success beyond the small screen.

Win a copy of Time Life’s “The Wonder Years: The Complete Series”

In preparation for the upcoming “The Wonder Years: The Complete Series” DVD box set re-issue on August 23rd Media Mikes and Time Life would like to give fans of the show a chance to win a copy of the series for their very own. Please leave us a comment below or email us your favorite memory from the show. This give away will remain open until Wednesday, August 31st at 5pm, Eastern Time. One entry per-person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select a winner and notify them via email.

“THE WONDER YEARS: THE COMPLETE SERIES”

For six seasons, The Wonder Years captured the angst of growing up in suburban middle-class America in the late ’60s, as seen through the life and times of Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage).
Audiences eagerly followed his evolution as a typical awkward teenager who remembered every moment of his transition from childhood with excruciating detail and remarkable hindsight. From his first kiss with Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) to his friendship with Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano) and the ups and downs of the Arnold family, fans shared in laughter, love, and loss, but above all, wonder.

This 22-DVD set contains all 115 episodes from the six seasons of this landmark series that aired from 1988 to 1993. Included in this specially-priced slipcase set are complete show notes with episode synopses, cast member reflections, “Current Events,” and more plus nearly 12 hours of bonus material, as well as an astounding soundtrack of over 300 classic period songs as they were featured in the original broadcasts featuring such artists as: Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, and of course, Joe Cocker’s unforgettable theme.

BONUS FEATURES
• Highlights from the first cast reunion in 16 years
• Roundtable discussions with Danica McKellar, Fred Savage, and Josh Saviano
• 6 newly produced featurettes
• Farewell set tour
• One-hour ABC broadcast of the series finale
• Exclusive interviews with the show’s creators and cast including Fred Savage, Danica McKellar, Josh Saviano, Alley Mills, Dan Lauria, Olivia d’Abo, Jason Hervey, and more!

ABOUT THE WONDER YEARS
The Wonder Years debuted in 1988 following ABC’s broadcast of Super Bowl XXII, and the affectionate look at growing up in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s in suburban America was unlike anything else on television. It was 1968 — the year of Nixon, space walks, Mod Squad, and Vietnam. Enter Kevin Arnold, a sixth grader at Kennedy Junior High School. Set against the suburban backdrop of Anytown, USA, Kevin sought to minimize his teenage angst while dealing with an older, noogie-happy brother Wayne (Jason Hervey), a rebellious sister, Karen (Olivia d’Abo), distant, workaholic father, Jack (Dan Lauria) and doting housewife mother, Norma (Alley Mills). Add to the mix Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano), his nerdy, allergy-riddled best friend, a potential love interest in winsome girl-next-door Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) and narration by an older, wiser, wittier Kevin (voiced by Daniel Stern) to add perspective to the nostalgia, and you have the perfect recipe for TV greatness.

The contest is now closed and the winner has been emailed.

Blu-ray Review “The X-Files: The Event Series”

Directors: Chris Carter, James Wong, Darin Morgan, Glen Morgan
Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, William B. Davis
Number of discs: 2
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: June 14, 2016
Run Time: 264 minutes

Event Series: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

It has been 14 years since “The X-Files” left television. Hardcore fans have always wanted more and we never left satified from the sub par feature films. This year marked the much anticipated return to TV with a limited 6 episode “event series” run. Some fans were ecstatic and some felt still unsatisfied. Personally, I was just happy to see the major cast return to the series and get back in the game, even if it was just for 6 episodes. Obviously, this was a test from Fox to see how it was received and due to the dazzling rating, I would say it went quite well. I hope that they continue this series with more episodes, but I have a feeling that if it does happen it will not be right away. Hardcore fans will have to keep hope and stick with this series cause the truth is still out there!

Official Premise: Almost 14 years after the original series run, the next mind-bending chapter of THE X-FILES is a thrilling, six-episode event series from creator/executive producer Chris Carter, with stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson re-inhabiting their roles as iconic FBI agents FOX MULDER and DANA SCULLY. Mitch Pileggi also returns as FBI Assistant Director WALTER SKINNER, Mulder and Scully s boss, who walks a fine line between loyalty to these investigators and accountability to his superiors. This marks the momentous return of the Emmy®- and Golden Globe® Award-winning pop culture phenomenon, which remains one of the longest-running sci-fi series in network television history.

The BLu-ray presentation is a nice improvement over the earlier series, of course, due to the age of the older episodes. This new series packed some great visuals and really showed up its 1080p transfer. Same goes for the DTS-Master Audio 5.1 track, just hearing the theme song once again gave me chills. The special features are pretty solid as well. There are three commentary tracks on episodes, “Founder’s Mutation” with Chris Carter and James Wong, “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster” with David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and “My Struggle II” with Chris Carter, Gabe Rotter.

The rest of the bonus features include some featurettes and a gag reel and some deleted scenes. The first featurette is “Season X”, which runs just over 20 minutes and gives a series overview. “Monster of the Week: A Recap of the Wildest and Scariest from the Original Series” is a flashback to the original series with host Kumail Nunjiani. “The X-Files: Green Production” looks into this series’ efforts to be ecologically aware. Lastly there is a short film called “Grace” by Karen Nielsen, the series’ script coordinator.

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.

Film Review “The Divergent Series: Allegiant”

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Jeff Daniels
Directed By: Robert Schwentke
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 121 minutes
Lionsgate

Our Score: 1 out of 5 Stars

“The Divergent Series” has apparently been hitting the snooze alarm for the past six hours because there’s nothing new to report on this third nauseatingly bad movie. It also appears that Lionsgate loves burning through all that money it made from “The Hunger Games”, one of the few successful young adult dystopian future storylines. “Allegiant” does nothing new as it simply shuffles around different set pieces, and rehashes the same, poorly constructed arguments for individuality.

It doesn’t take long after the death of Jeanine (Kate Winslet, but she was sparred a brief cameo or stock footage in this, for her potential replacements to rise to the occasion and attempt their own cou d’état to take over the crumbling city of Chicago. Caught in the middle, once again, is Tris (Woodley) and Four (James). They’re ready to follow the advice of the anonymous talking head from the end of “Insurgent” and go outside the walls surrounding the city. But Four’s mother, Evelyn (Naomi Watts) seems more focused on keeping everyone inside, sealing up the walls even further. She also seems enamored with publicly executing members of the old regime, rather than restructuring society.

Johanna (Octavia Spencer) is ready to declare Chicago her pet project as well, believing that peace can be achieved through forgiveness of members of the old regime. Of course she also has some firepower and disposable goons with weapons of her own to take on Evelyn. While the two women bicker over nothing (literally), Tris, Four, and others escape from Chicago. They begin to explore the world outside the walls, which looks like the remnants of a trailer park after a tornado, on Mars. Nuclear fallout is weird like that I guess. Of course, Tris and Four encounter the civilization outside their own civilization. And of course, there are no good guys there, just more big bad guys with nefarious deeds.

“Allegiant” has beaten me down. I no longer want to look for positives or find any positives to talk about. There are some, but it’d be futile consider it’s like attempting to compliment a corpse. I’m now even considering taking back positive things I’ve said about Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller, and other up-and-coming actors. I can at least forgive veteran actors, Octavia Spencer, Jeff Daniels, and Naomi Watts, because I can see that, “Did my check clear yet,” look in their eyes throughout.

Tris no longer seems like a heroine, but instead a hollow pawn inconsequently bumping into people, things, and plot devices. Then there’s Four, who seems like he’s a 30 pack away from giving Tris a black eye as he attempts to control and grab every person he comes in contact with. Miles Teller is in this movie. Mainly as a character that spouts off Kindergarten insults and sarcastic humor, but no one told him the script and serious line reading in this movie is already comedy relief enough.

What’s worse than everything I’ve said so far is that the movie has yet to stop with exposition. “Allegiant” is way more fascinated with introducing than it is concluding. The world outside Chicago needs explanation. The gadgets in this new world need detail and unnecessary character montage tutorials. The only thing lacking description is the key element to making this a somewhat worthwhile movie, the plot.

In the grand scheme of things, learning how to operate a new piece of military hardware should be much lower on the clarification totem pole. Especially when the new world we’re supposed to be learning about involves mass brainwashing, child abductions, and the crafting of a genetically pure human being. With two hours left in the franchise, I’m wondering if we’re going to have a logical conclusion to this cluttered mess or if it’ll be content with hitting the snooze button a few more time. It’s a safe bet for all of this to inevitably be trite.

I’m sure the fans of the books/movies will gobble it up and the people who watched the first movie and have already checked , will most likely be saving their money for “Batman V. Superman” next week. My apathy in this review matches my feelings towards this series. Both of the groups of people I just told you about will most likely not read this because they’ve already made up their mind. So let me talk to the few of you who have never seen these movies and may be interested in possibly starting this series. Don’t. Just don’t.

Tommy Wiseau talks about “The Room” Rifftrax Live, James Franco in “The Disaster Artist” and his Hulu series “The Neighbors”

Tommy Wiseau is the director, producer, writer and star of the cult classic film “The Room”. Since the film was released back in 2003 it has achieved “Rocky Horror” like fame playing to midnight screenings non-stop to a huge fan base. Some called the film one of the worst ever made but true fans see “The Room” for what it really it, which is fun! The film was parodied live by the Rifftrax gang last year and is heading back to theaters again on January 28th, 2016. Media Mikes had a chance to catch up with Tommy again to discuss “The Room”, James Franco playing him in “The Disaster Artist” film adaptation and what else he is currently working on.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you feel about “The Room” being parodied by Rifftrax Live?
Tommy Wiseau: Yeah they reached out to me about a year ago about doing it. I liked what they did, I mean, I don’t support parts of it 100%, but it does show how fun “The Room” is. People take things too serious and the film isn’t made to be serious, it is made to be fun. If you haven’t seen the Rifftrax Live version of “The Room” in theaters, I would recommend it highly when it comes around again January 28th, 2016. And bring a big group of friends with you as well.

Mike Gencarelli: The film has been out for 13 years now, are you ever taken back by the continued interested in it year after year?
Tommy Wiseau: Yes, I am still surprised. I am happy that people are still talking about it and still seeing it in theaters. I also have been working a few new projects as well that I am excited for fans of “The Room” to see as well. I love touring with the film across the country. I usually show “The Room” and an episode of “The Neighbors” as a double header. It is a lot of fun to do and also getting to interact with the fans.

Mike Gencarelli: Last time we spoke back in 2011, you mentioned you were planning a 3D release for “The Room”; can we expect that soon?
Yeah that is something that I have wanted to do for a while. Making a film into 3D is definitely not an easy process. So yes, I still want to release “The Room” in 3D, but right now I am not sure if I want to reshoot the entire film in 3D or just convert it. But I am definitely still planning and exploring my options. Right now James Franco is making his film of “The Disaster Artist”, so I will let him have that and then I will focus more on the 3D after it is released.

Mike Gencarelli: Speaking of that, tell us about your feelings on James Franco playing you in the film adaption of Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell’s book “The Disaster Artist”?
Tommy Wiseau: I think James is one best actors in the business. I feel good that someone like him is playing me. Of course, I also feel a little like they are taking something away from me since it is based around my life and my movie. I hope that this is a big success for James since then in return I think it will also then bring more people to “The Room” and that’s good.

Mike Gencarelli: Exactly, I think that this will put your film back in the spotlight and also introduce it to a new audience…
Tommy Wiseau: Yes, exactly. I am hoping about that. James and his brothers are doing a very good job so far and I am excited to see it when it comes out later this year.

Mike Gencarelli: Do you have any involvement or input on the upcoming film?
Yeah James did speak with me about the role and I gave him some tips. My life is very complex but I believe he will do a good job. I also have a small part in the film as well, which is cool.

Mike Gencarelli: Did you enjoy playing the villain Linton Kitano in newly released “Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance”?
Tommy Wiseau: It is always great to play a villain, I loved it. This film was a very fun experience for me I can tell you that.

Mike Gencarelli: You TV series “The Neighbors” has aired 6 episodes on Hulu; any plans for more episodes on that format?
Tommy Wiseau: Yes! Currently 6 episodes have aired on Hulu and the fans really have been excited about what we have so far. I am currently working on another 6 episodes for Hulu. We have been also exploring releasing the episodes in animated format as well. If you inquire on our website, we can send even send them to the fans (free of charge). So that is something that we were trying and it also getting a good response. I hope to have the next 6 episodes on Hulu by the end of 2016.

Mike Gencarelli: You did a Reddit last year where you mentioned a new project called “The Foreclosure”, what can you tell us?
Tommy Wiseau: Yeah that is a project that I am currently working on as well as “The Neighbors”. “The Foreclosure” focuses on the housing market right now and looks into the current situation that we are facing today with people not being able to pay for their houses and being forced to foreclose. It is a current topic. There is also another project that I have that is currently untitled but that I cannot talk about right now…maybe in about 3-4 months, I can. But a lot of very excited stuff coming up for my fans!

DVD Review “My Favorite Martian: The Complete Series”

Actors: Bill Bixby, Ray Waltson
Directors: John L. Greene (Creator)
Number of discs: 15
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
DVD Release Date: October 20, 2015
Run Time: 3000 minutes

Series: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

Sad to admit but my first exposure to “My Favorite Martian” was the 1996 feature film starring Christopher Lloyd and Jeff Daniels. After watching that I became aware of the much better original 1960s supernatural sitcom series. For the first time ever MPI is releasing the complete series of this show in a collector’s set and packed it full with hours of rare extras. This DVD set features all 107 complete, unedited, digitally remastered episodes from the show’s three seasons. If you are a fan of this series, this is an amazing collection and very reasonable priced as well (Running around $60.00 on Amazon).

Official Premise: Originally airing on CBS-TV from 1963 to 1966 (and debuting in the top 10 in its premiere season), MY FAVORITE MARTIAN marked the beginning of television’s fascination with fantasy-themed comedy series. It stars Bill Bixby (The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father, The Incredible Hulk) as newspaper reporter Tim O’Hara and Ray Walston (South Pacific, Fast Times at Ridgemont High) as the perfectly human-looking Martian whom Tim discovers and passes off as his Uncle Martin. Pamela Britton (TV’s Blondie) plays their snoopy landlady, Lorelei Brown.

This show was known for also bringing in many beloved TV actors to make guest appearances including Linda Evans, Marlo Thomas, Alan Hale Jr., Gavin MacLeod, Jamie Farr, Stafford Repp, Richard Deacon, Madge Blake, Bernie Kopell, Butch Patrick, Henry Gibson, Allan Melvin, Michael Constantine, Pat Priest, David White and Madge Redmond. The episodes are presented in 1:33:1 full frame with Dolby Digital mono. Simple yet the black and white of the episodes look great and the sound effects some through well.

Now on to the extras! There are some great special features included here. “Ray Walston on I’ve Got a Secret” features the actor on the game show sponsored by Dream Whip! There is a Ray Walston TV Commercial with him pitching aluminum. There is a collection of promo pics from the series as well as comic strip from dozens of pages from the funny pages. “The Reluctant Eye” is failed pilot starring Bobby Van, which was included since it was made by “Martian” producer Jack Chertok. “The Man in the Square Suit” is another sitcom episode starring Paul Dooley (The Electric Company & Breaking Away) in the lead.

“Soundtrack Music Album” includes dozens of track from the show’s score. Some of my favorites are watching the “Original Sponsors Spots” including ads for Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, Paper Mate Pens and Toni, the home perm! There are some Vintage Cast Interviews with Ray Waltson. “Behind the Scenes Home Movies” features the cast having fun at the Desilu Studios. There are some cool “Spaceship Miniature Test Footage” as well as an “Animation & Effects Reel”. Lastly “Let’s Talk to Lucy” is a vintage radio show with interviews from Bill Bixby and Ray Walston.

Blu-ray Review “The Divergent Series: Insurgent”

Actors: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Octavia Spencer, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller
Directors: Robert Schwente
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Run Time: 119 minutes

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

“The Divergent Series” is really not one of my favorite franchises in Hollywood right now. The first film was rather painful to watch, the sequel is a bit more entertaining. I do believe that Shailene Woodley (The Fault in Our Stars, The Descendants) is quite awesome though and definitely a really talent actress (but a girls gotta make a buck I guess). There is more action in this and I am sure it looks cool in 3D (thought not reviewed here) but still lacks the compelling story and drive to keep the audience interested. But I guess we still have two more films in this franchise left to try and make a good film.

Along with co-star Theo James (Underworld: Awakening), this film does back a solid co-starring cast including Octavia Spencer (The Help), Jai Courtney (Terminator: Genesis), Ray Stevenson (Thor), Zoe Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road), Miles Teller (The Fantastic Four), Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars, Carrie), Maggie Q (TV’s “Nikita”), Mekhi Phifer (Showtime’s “House of Lies”), Daniel Dae Kim (TV’s “Hawaii Five-O”), Ashley Judd (Double Jeopardy), Naomi Watts (King Kong) and Kate Winslet (Titanic)…too bad it can’t translate this film.

Official Premise: Based on Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times best-selling novel Insurgent, The Divergent Series: Insurgent raises the stakes for Tris (Woodley) as she searches for answers and allies in this star-powered, action-packed second installment of the Divergent series. On the run and targeted by ruthless faction leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet), Tris fights to protect the people she loves, facing one impossible challenge after another as she and Four (James) race to unlock the truth about the past—and ultimately the future—of their world.

Lionsgate is releasing the film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + Digital HD. Even though the film is not great, the Blu-ray is very impressive. The 1080p transfer is really solid and the CGI looks sharp. I am curious to check this out in 3D since the virtual reality scenes could be cool. The audio track is also impressive boosting a Dolby Atmos soundtrack, which does rock with the action and Joseph Trapanese’s score. If your system can’t support Atmos, it will convert till Dolby TrueHD 7.1, which does sound amazing still.

The special features are actually quite impressive even though it kicks off with a lacking audio commentary with Producers Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher. Not a super chatty piece but decent. The save grace is a kick-ass feature extra “Insurgent Unlocked: The Ultimate Behind-the-Scenes Access”, which has picture in picture options and bunch of production featurettes. “From Divergent to Insurgent” features cast and crew interviews. “The Others: Cast and Characters” focuses more on the characters. “Anatomy of a Scene: The Train Fight” looks into this film. “The Peter Hayes Story” looks into Miles Teller’s character. Lastly “Divergent: Adapting Insurgent to the Screen” features some more interviews and behind the scenes footage.