Who is winning the comic book movie war?

The comic boom world is one that’s built on fierce rivalries. And whilst the battles between Batman and The Joker, Superman and Lex Luthor, and Spider-Man and Green Goblin may be pretty epic, they are nothing compared to the showdown between Marvel and DC Comics.

These two legendary companies both started out in the interwar years in the USA. And whilst they leapt to fame through the popularity of their comic book heroes, both brands have been enormously successful in diversifying their revenues in everything from plastic action figures to online casino game licensing.

But it’s the way that Marvel and DC have dominated our cinema screens that’s perhaps the most remarkable aspect of their success stories. And with Disney taking control of Marvel, and Time Warner operating DC, it’s clear that the battle between these two entertainment titans is getting seriously competitive.

Whilst DC Comics’ movies in the 1970s like Superman were massive hits at the box office, a quick look at the biggest grossing comic book films shows that Marvel is definitely in the ascendancy.

With massive blockbusters like The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Spider-Man and Captain America: Civil War all picking up well over $1 billion at the box office, it’s clear that Marvel have a solid strategy in producing big hits.

Not that DC have been lagging far behind with the Dark Knight movies all performing well, and even the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice film picking up plenty of money despite the critical misgivings.

So with plenty of history behind them, there’s a huge amount of expectation as to what we can expect from these entertainment studios next. As the Marvel’s Deadpool movie was one of the biggest hits of 2016, it’s no surprise to find that there’s plenty of hype about the sequel with the blog at Lucky Nugget Casino revealing how Josh Brolin has been lined up for a key part in the film.

And with DC Comics following up a successful revamp of the Wonder Woman franchise with a hugely anticipated Justice League movie later this year, it seems as though the battle between these two studios is only going to get more intense.

But although there is plenty of fun to be had in discussing whether DC or Marvel actually give us the best comic books, movies and online casino games, perhaps in the spirit of the recent Comic Con, we have to agree that they both are equally awesome!

Blu-ray Review “War on Everyone”

Actors: Alexander Skarsgård, Michael Peña, Theo James
Directors: John Michael McDonagh
Rated: R
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Run Time: 98 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1 out of 5 stars

“War on Everyone” has what should be considered a hot young cast. Alexander Skarsgård is hot fresh off the heels of “The Legend of Tarzan” and Michael Peña is everywhere after his small role in “Ant-Man”. Pena has been making some bad choices with his last few movies. With this and recent “CHiPS”, he has been falling out of the spotlight. This film is fun and the cast is great like I said but it is lacking that theatrical value that you would want in a film like this. And its choice of casting Caleb Landry Jones just ruined it for me.

Official Premise: Terry (Alexander Skarsgård) and Bob (Michael Peña) are two crooked cops who frame and blackmail criminals all over town. Looking for the ultimate pay-off, they try to extort a strip-club manager (Caleb Landry Jones) and his eccentric, junkie boss (Theo James), but get more than they bargained for when their hair-brained scheme uncovers a bigger, darker secret.

“War on Everyone” seems like it should have been a big theatrical film but the studios didn’t expect a mega fortune from this and took a gamble releasing it limited and direct-to-Blu-ray. I have no complaints with the Blu-ray presentation. The A/V is on par for the type of film and delivers a great experience. On the downnote, there is only one featurette included in the special features called “Everyone Sounds Off: The Quirky Cast of War on Everyone”, which features the cast talking about the movie.

Blu-ray Review “War Dogs”

Actors: Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, Ana de Armas
Directors: Todd Phillips
Studio: Warner Brothers
DVD Release Date: November 22, 2016
Run Time: 120 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

This film had such potential going in. The director of “The Hangover” mixed with great talent of Jonah Hill and Miles Teller, but it didn’t really all come together well. I enjoyed it but I don’t see myself remembering this film after a few months. I do love Jonah Hill and Miles Teller together though, they seem to work very well. Worth a rent if your bored and can’t find anything else to watch just for the cast.

Official Premise: With the war in Iraq raging on, Efraim Diveroli offers childhood friend David Packouz a chance to make big bucks by becoming an international arms dealer. Together, they exploit a government initiative that allows businesses to bid on U.S. military contracts. Starting small allows the duo to rake in money and live the high life. They soon find themselves in over their heads after landing a $300 million deal to supply Afghan forces, a deal that puts them in business with some very shady people.

The Blu-ray also includes a digital HD copy of the film. The special features are much more of a disappointment than the film. There are three short featurettes. The film “General Phillips: Boots on the Ground” is an extended EPK with cast/director. “Access Granted” includes interviews with actual people that the film was based on. Lastly “Pentagon Pie” is a super short animated look at the film…but with singing rats…a little lost with this one.

Is “Gears of War 4” the most anticipated game of the year?

“Gears of War” is one of my favorite games in the last decade. When it was first released back in 2006 it ended up being the fastest-selling video game of 2006, in addition it was also the second-most played game over Xbox Live during 2007. Since then there has been an extremely respected and successful franchise built around that first game. The first sequel, Gears of War 2″, was released in 2008, following back “Gears of War 3” in 2011. The last game “Gears of War: Judgment”, which serves as a prequel to the franchise and is also received mixed reviews.

So 10 years have past and we are now looking at the release of “Gears of War 4” and word on the street is that it is aimed to be one of the biggest games of the year! The beta was released back in April and since then the developer has been working hard to fine tune all the fans feedback and requests getting the final version ready for release. This new game also brings back many features from previous games like the return of the dropshot weapon and the Buzzkill that shoots ricocheting sawblades.

“Gears of War” 4 also marks the first game in the franchise that is not developed by Epic Games, instead by the relatively unknown company The Coalition. But the game is in good hands because the new developer also scored big time remastering the first “Gears of War” in the 2015 release of “Gears of War: Ultimate Edition”.

They are also delivering no shortage in terms of options when purchasing this game including various Collector’s Editions with limited edition statues and also if you are looking to upgrade to the Xbox One S, there is a sweet bundle pack planned which includes a 2TB Gears of War 4 Limited Edition Xbox One S. This bundle will include “Gears of War 4: Ultimate Edition”, a custom Xbox One S console, and a Crimson Omen Limited Edition controller. So if you are a collector like myself you might want to snag this while it lasts!

Published by Microsoft Studios for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One, “Gears of War 4” is being pitched as a Xbox Play Anywhere title. If you don’t know what that means, get ready to be excited cause if you are planning on pre-ordering or buying the digital game you will be able to play on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. So you get the game for both platforms for the cost of one. Just note that this does not apply for physical disc copies only digital. So in between playing “Gears of Wars 4”  on the PC be sure to also visit betfaircasino.com for fun casino games online. I have a feeling that delivering games in this cross platform option will be very popular moving forward.

This franchise shows no signs of slowing down in the future. In addition to many books and comics that have been released off, there is also a feature film adaptation in development. So be sure not to miss “Gears of War 4”, now if you excuse me, I have to get my campaigning on!

Fozzy’s Chris Jericho talks about latest album “You Wanna Start a War”

The hard rock/heavy metal band Fozzy released their 6th studio album titled “You Wanna Start a War” this past summer and since that release the band has been out on the road non-stop in support of the release. The group is set to hit the road again and will be kicking of a headlining tour of Europe beginning in March. Media Mikes had a chance to talk with the group’s front man Chris Jericho recently about the group’s latest album, the bands relentless tour schedule and his popular “Talk is Jericho” Podcast.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the bands next tour run?
Chris Jericho: We have quite a few tours lined up at this time but the one that will be kicking off first starts in March. We will be hitting England, Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland, Germany and France. We have always done very well in Europe which makes it feel like our second home. We haven’t been there in about 18 months as we have been doing a lot of stuff here in the States since “You Wanna Start a War” came out. It’s really an honor to know that we have such a devoted fan base to be able to tour as much as we do. In this day and age touring is the back bone of the music industry so the more places you can hit the better it is for both the band and its fans. It’s certainly a different vibe when we are overseas but we are used to it and always have a great time.

AL: What type of band line up will the shows feature?
CJ: This will be our headlining tour over there and originally we were looking to do possibly a co-headlining tour and bring along a band with a similar style to that of Halestorm or Avatar. After some thought we decided to just go on our own. We will have a UK band by the name of The Dirty Youth with us but we really felt it was time to start taking bigger steps as a band and it’s looking like a lot of those shows are on pace to sell out. Sometimes you just have to take a chance and put on the big boy pants. That’s what we did and it’s seems to be paying off.

AL: It was announced recently that you will again be part of this year’s Rockville Festival here in the States. Can you tell us about that?
CJ: We are starting to see festivals like this one pop up here in the states that have elements of festivals that have been going on overseas for years now so this is something that is really cool. We played the festival last year and generally they don’t have bands back two years in a row. That’s why you won’t see us at some of the festival shows we did last year. For whatever reason we were invited back this year to Rockville again and we will take because we had a great time last year. Jacksonville is a great rock and roll town so I am sure it will be a great show. We have started talking about putting together a tour in the states with the Rockville show sort of being the corner piece.

AL: With “Do You Wanna Start a War” being out now for several months what has the overall impression of these songs been for you having watched them develop during the creation process to where they are now being performed live on a regular basis?

CJ: That’s always the fun part. The creative process is a lot of fun and very challenging as you want to get it right. I think most artists would say this is the best record we have ever done and you should definitely feel that way each time you make a new record. This is certainly our best record yet but it’s also our most diverse. Taking these songs out on the road and seeing the reaction from fans has just been crazy. We currently do 6 of the 12 songs from the new album live. We are looking to add one more for the European tour. Fans are getting a good helping of the new album so if you come to the show not having heard the album already you might be a bit lost. The songs are very catchy though so it’s not hard to get caught up. All the songs our going over real well and have fit in nicely with our older material which makes each shows set really great. Whether we are headlining or supporting we make sure to pick the ones that get the crowd going. It’s sort of a non-stop barrage of rocking during our shows. There’s not a lot of talking as we let the music take care of that and the shows have a nice flow.

AL: With the band going through a number of lineup changes where do you feel the band camaraderie is at right now being that this line up has been together for two albums now?

CJ: The core line up of the band has been the same since the start with me, Rich Ward and Frank Fontsere. Billy Grey has been with us a few years now and Jeff Rouse we have known for awhile as well. When you spend a lot of time together you sort of whittle away the bad seeds and dead weight over time. It’s very important to have a lineup you get along with. It’s not just the songs you’re playing during that hour long set. It’s the other 23 hours of the day you’re together traveling and what not. When you together for large amounts of time it doesn’t take much for people to get on other peoples nerves. When that stuff starts to happen it can throw an entire tour off. After all these years we have a lineup that is great together both on and off stage. This has never been Chris Jericho’s band. This is a band of 5 legitimate personalities who have worked hard to get to where they are. We want to stick with this line up for as long as we possibly can.

AL: Will you be keeping up with your podcast’s while out on tour?

CJ: Absolutely! I have about 20 or 30 episodes on deck ready to go. I do the outro’s and intro’s weekly and those can be done just about anywhere. A lot of times when I know a tour is coming up I make sure I have all that stuff set to go ahead of time. I love talking with people so to be able to do these shows is really great. Even to talk with people I have worked with for years is really great because very rarely do you get to just sit down and have a longer conversation. It’s a lot of fun and to have the freedom that podcasts have is great also because I really think that’s what draws people to them.

 

White Chapel’s Phil Bozeman talks about new album “Our Endless War”

Phil Bozeman is the lead singer for the heavy metal group White Chapel. On April 29th, they will release their 5th full length studio album titled “Our Endless War”. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Phil recently about the creation of the new album which is probably the most diverse record we have heard from the band yet and also about the group’s upcoming headlining tour with Devil Driver.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the new album?
Phil Bozeman: We have grown as musicians and are chemistry as a band has certainly gotten better. We were very focused on writing the heaviest and best music we could. We are a heavy metal band but we wanted to incorporate as many of our own influences as we could to help make a diverse record.

AL: Did you find it hard to explore those influences and still stick to the sound and style the band is known for?
PB: It was a bit difficult at times to try something different while still keeping the elements that appeal to our fans the same. I think we are able to get away with everything we did as we paid close attention to make sure that things were still fitting our style.

AL: In a recent press release you stated that the band felt held back when working on the previous albums. Can you tell us a little bit about that and what creative process you took this time around?
PB: We have always worked the same way from record to record. We generally start out by just sitting down and discussing everyone’s different ideas. We all want to take chances and do different things however we don’t want to look bad while doing those things. I think that’s where the bands chemistry really shows as we all work together to put out a great product and it is something we are all happy with. As far as being held back goes in the past there had always been time constraints which limited us a bit. We never had disagreements or anything like that but we always seemed to be under a deadline.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands upcoming tour?
PB: We just finished up a short ten day run as part of the New England Metal Fest. We have a couple shows in Mexico scheduled before we start our headlining tour with Devil Driver. That will take us through the summer.

AL: When you guys are putting together a headlining tour how do you go about choosing which bands will be going out with you?
PB: We always start out by just looking at the bands we like and who we feel would be good to bring out. On a tour like the ones that’s coming up bands submit offers to be considered for a spot and we either accept them or pass.

CD Review: Whitechapel “Our Endless War”

“Our Endless War”
Whitechapel
Metal Blade Records
Produced by: Mark Lewis
Tracks: 12

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Returning with the fifth full-length of their decimating career, there is no stopping the juggernaut that is Whitechapel. The album titled “Our Endless War” is the culmination of everything the band from Knoxville, TN has worked toward since their inception in 2006. The album is being released via Metal Blade Records and features 12 ruthless tracks produced by Mark Lewis.

The newest album from Whitechapel is everything you have come to love about the band while taking it a step further. The group has forged new ground with this release elevating them to the next level of heavy metal music mastery. From the albums opening instrumental track “Rise” which subtlety builds before giving way to the album’s explosive title track “Our Endless War” which is instantly kicked into gear by singer Phil Bozeman’s guttural vocals. The album features some really great instrumentation which I felt showcased each of the members the bands growth as musicians.

Probably my favorite track off the release is the track titled “The Saw is the Law” as it features a pounding rhythm section and fast paced, demonic like vocal rants that instantly grab your attention. Other notable tracks were “Psychopathy” which features an intro ala Ozzy Osbourne’s “Diary of a Madman” while one of the albums bonus tracks titled “Fall of the Hypocrites” is about as heavy as you can get as the songs shear power could literally blasts you across the room when turned up load enough.

Track Listing:
1.) Rise
2.) Our Endless War
3.) The Saw is the Law
4.) Mono
5.) Let Me Burn
6.) Worship the Digital Age
7.) How Times Have Changed
8.) Psychopathy
9.) Blacked Out
10.) Diggs Road
11.) A Process so Familiar (Bonus Track)
12.) Fall of Hypocrites (Bonus Track)

Theater Review “War Horse” Kansas City, Missouri

“War Horse”
April 1, 2014
Music Hall
Kansas City, Missouri

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

It was an incredible evening in Kansas City this week when the Tony Award winning play “War Horse” rode triumphantly into the Music Hall for a one week engagement.

Based on the popular children’s book of the same name by Michael Morpurgo (adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford, the play was also the basis for the very successful Steven Spielberg-helmed film from 2011.

The play begins in August 1912 in England. A horse auction is about to commence. In a bidding war between the Narracott brothers – well-to-do Arthur (Andrew Long) and down-on-his-luck Ted (Gene Gillette). As the two go at it, they drive the price to more than three times the usual. Ted wins but he must spend the mortgage money on the creature. What’s worse, while Ted was looking for a plow horse, he has come home with a hunter. He entrusts the care of the horse to his son, Albert (Michael Wyatt Cox). Albert names the horse “Joey,” and with love and kindness, the two bond. Soon, young Joey is a majestic steed…rearing up in joy when Albert is near. It is a bond that will continue to hold, even when separated by war.

Winner of 5 Tony Awards (and a special Tony for it’s remarkable puppetry), including Best Play, “War Horse” is a show that you will remember forever. Not only for its great cast and outstanding set design, but for the amazing work of the South African Handspring Puppet Company. What they have created is nothing short of miraculous. Life size horses gallop and play on the stage, guided not only by the puppeteers inside the creation but the one guiding the head as well, capturing the very essence of movement and grace. With the “handlers” dressed as others in the cast, they blend in so nicely that one can easily begin to believe the horses are real.

As the story progresses over six year, Joey learns to do things he wasn’t intended to and uses those skills to not only help himself but to save the lives of those around him. He is truly the star of this production and I can’t tip my hat enough to the artists that bring him, and the other horses, to life. The human actors also do a great job. As Albert, Cox displays just the right amount of wide-eyed innocence that is slowly lost as he goes off to battle in an effort to search for his friend. Both Long and Gillette portray the conflict between the two Narracott brothers sharply. Yes, there is some anger and animosity there, but underneath there is love. Others who deserve special notice include Maria Elena Ramirez as Albert’s mother, Andrew May as a German officer who soon understands the horror of war and Caden Douglas as the hard charging Captain Stewart. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the cast that brings Joey to life: Jon Hoche, Brian Robert Burns and Jessica Krueger. Bravo!

“War Horse” continues in Kansas City through April 6.
UPCOMING DATES
April 8        Orpheum Theater               Omaha, Nebraska
April 22     Capitol Theater                    Salt Lake City, Utah
April 29     Popejoy Hall                         Albequerque, New Mexico
May 6          Bass Concert Hall               Austin, Texas

Blu-ray Review “Justice League: War”

Actors: Alan Tudyk, Michelle Monaghan, Shemar Moore, Sean Astin, Christopher Gorham
Directors: Jay Oliva
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Run Time: 79 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Justice League: War” is based on the 2012 graphic novel, “Justice League: Origin” and focuses on the world before the Justice League was created and gives us a new animated incarnation of DC Entertainment’s “The New 52”. The DCU movies are getting better and better with each new title. This one is edgy and really uses its PG-13 to the fullest. There is some decent kills, some of which are quite bloody. I just really enjoyed this origin story all around. I will be anxiously waiting for Spring’s “Son of Batman” up next.

The film packs a solid voice cast including Jason O’Mara as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Christopher Gorham as Barry Allen/The Flash, Justin Kirk as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, Alan Tudyk as Clark Kent/Superman, Michelle Monaghan as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Shemar Moore as Victor Stone/Cyborg, Sean Astin as Shazam, Bruce Thomas as Desaad and Steve Blum as Darkseid. I did not think that Alan Tudyk at first would make a great Superman…but he definitely nailed it.

Official Premise: When the powerful Darkseid and his massive, relentless forces invade Earth, a group of previously unaligned super heroes — misunderstood and, in some cases, hunted by the authorities — discover the only way to fend off the attack will be to work together as a cohesive unit. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Shazam and Cyborg combine their respective talents in an all-out battle to save the planet.

Warner Bros. yet again delivers a very impressive combo pack including Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet copy. The animation in the film is really sharp. I loved the character designs showing our superheros quite younger. The action is also represented well within the Blu-ray transfer. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is also rock solid and packs a real punch. The walls were definitely shaking in some of the epic battle scenes.

The special features are impressive like the film. There is “Deconstructing Justice League: War with Jay Oliva & Jim Lee”, which servers as a part commentary/part documentary going deep into the film. “Creating Heroes: The Life and Art of Jim Lee” is a documentary looking into the work of the great comic artist. “Justice League: War Act D” looks at the film from animatic to pencil tests. There are four episodes taken from the DC Comics Vault including Justice League Unlimited Season 3 “Destroyer”, Batman: The Brave and The Bold Season 2 “The Malicious Mr. Mind”, Young Justice Invasion: Destiny Calling Season 2 Part 1 “Happy New Year” and Season 2 Part 1 “Earthlings”. Lastly there is a sneak peek at “Son of Batman”, the next DC Animated Feature.

3D Blu-ray Review “World War Z 3D”

Actors: Brad Pitt, Matthew Fox, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, David Morse, David Andrews
Directors: Marc Forster
Rated: PG-13 / Unrated
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Running Time: 116 / 123 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

With the success of TV show’s like “The Walking Dead”, zombies have been hotter right now. I have to admit before “World War Z” came out, I was kind of taken back by the fact that the film cost nearly $200 million dollars. I thought it was going to be this big-budgeted mess but I have to admit I was quite surprised. Brad Pitt really kicks some ass in this film and really delivers. The film is fast, suspenseful and definitely adds some new tabs to the zombie film genre. In fact, this film isn’t JUST a zombie film it plays more like a giant end-of-the-world-style action film. “World War Z” (like most films today) was shot in 2D and converted in post-production. Does the film need to be in 3D?…not at all. But is it worth it?…Yeah it is! There is some pretty cool added depth to the large scale action scenes. The zombie effects also take advantage of this format as well. Personally, if I had a choice to watch 2D or 3D, I would prefer seeing it in the third-dimension for sure. I thought it played out very well and added a lot to the film.

Official Premise: When former U.N. investigator Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his family get stuck in urban gridlock, he senses that it’s no ordinary traffic jam. His suspicions are confirmed when, suddenly, the city erupts into chaos. A lethal virus, spread through a single bite, is turning healthy people into something vicious, unthinking and feral. As the pandemic threatens to consume humanity, Gerry leads a worldwide search to find the source of the infection and, with luck, a way to halt its spread.

In terms of presentation, Paramount really delivers a fantastic Blu-ray here. The 3D disc of the film includes only the theatrical cut of the film (which is a little disappointing) and the 1080p transfer is very solid. This really captures the huge scale of the film and it just looks so crisp and sharp. The 2D Blu-ray includes both the theatrical and unrated cut of the film, even though I prefer the 3D, the film still looks impressive in terms of presentation in 2D. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track is rocking and delivers some amazing surround sound effects. Marco Beltrami’s score delivers some good suspense and works well with this track. Also included in this combo pack are a DVD and an UltraViolet copy of the film.

The special features will not last you through the end of the world but they are worth checking out. There are primarily made up of a few featurettes looking the production, no commentary tracks. “Origins” includes cast and crew, including Brad Pitt discuss how this film came about and their plans to make it different from other zombie films. “Looking to Science” looks into the scientific realities of the Zombies in the film. The next few featurettes focuses on the film’s production. “Outbreak” takes us on set with Brad Pitt and director Marc Forster as we get a behind-the-scenes look at the film’s first attack in Philadelphia. “The Journey Begins” focuses on Gerry’s escape in South Korea. “Behind The Wall” looks into the massive scene shot in Jerusalem and what it took to shoot. Lastly “Camouflage” focuses on the final battle between Gerry and the zombies and how it was done.

“World War Z” Unrated Cut Including More Intense Thrills & Action Not Seen in Theaters Arrives Exclusively on Blu-ray™ September 17th

BRAD PITT STARS IN THE BLOCKBUSTER PHENOMENON

WORLD WAR Z

 Unrated Cut Including More Intense Thrills & Action Not Seen in Theaters Arrives Exclusively on Blu-ray September 17th

Global Hit Debuts One Week Early on Digital

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.  – August 2, 2013 –  “The suspense is killer!” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone) in the fast-paced, pulse-pounding epic WORLD WAR Z, debuting on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and On Demand on September 17, 2013.  The pandemic begins one week early on Digital September 10th.  Due to overwhelming demand, the film has been digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX® 3D format and will be released in select IMAX theaters domestically for an exclusive one-week running beginning today.

Starring international superstar Brad Pitt and based on the best-selling and wildly popular novel, WORLD WAR Z took audiences by storm and was hailed by critics as   “thrilling, epic and spectacular” (Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly) and the “most gratifying action spectacle in years!” (David Denby, The New Yorker).  The tense and thrilling film follows a former United Nations investigator (Pitt) as he helps stop the chaotic pandemic that has gripped populations around the world.  WORLD WAR Z features stunning visual effects and edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that take the Zombie apocalypse phenomenon to a more extreme and electrifying level.

“I’m really excited for fans to see the new unrated version of WORLD WAR Z on Blu-ray,” said producer and star Brad Pitt.  “We were thrilled with the audience response to the film in theaters and wanted to give viewers even more of the action and intensity that they loved when they watch the film at home.”

WORLD WAR Z will be available on Blu-ray Combo or Blu-ray 3D Combo with an Unrated Cut packed with even more thrills and action too intense for theaters, along with the theatrical version of the film.  The combo packs feature UltraViolet™ and boast in-depth looks at the making of the film, the seamless blending of practical and digital effects, the science behind the Zombie outbreak and much more.  The film will also be available as a single-disc DVD.

 

WORLD WAR Z Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

The WORLD WAR Z Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The DVD in the combo pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The combo pack includes access to a digital copy of the film as well as the following:

 

Blu-ray

  • Feature film in high definition (Unrated version)
  • Origins—The filmmakers discuss collaborating with renowned actor/producer Brad Pitt to create a Zombie film the likes of which have never been seen.
  • Looking to Science—Explore the scientific realities of Zombie behavior in nature and learn more about Zombies in literature and film.
  • WWZ: Production

o   Outbreak—Go on set with Brad Pitt and director Marc Forster for a behind-the-scenes look at the film’s breathtaking first attack in Philadelphia.

o   The Journey Begins—Delve deeper into Gerry’s fight for survival during the dramatic escape in South Korea.

o   Behind The Wall—Explore the epic scene in Jerusalem and discover the incredible logistics of creating the elaborate stunts and crowd sequences.

o   Camouflage—Experience the final confrontation between Gerry and the Zombies and discover the phenomenal scope of the film’s production.
DVD

  • Feature film in standard definition (Theatrical version)

 

 

WORLD WAR Z Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

The WORLD WAR Z Blu-ray 3D combo pack includes all of the above, as well as the theatrical version of the film in high definition and 3D on a discpresented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.

WORLD WAR Z Single-Disc DVD

The single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The disc includes the theatrical version of the film in standard definition.

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Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions present in association with Hemisphere Media Capital and GK Films a Plan B/2DUX2 Production of a Marc Forster Film:  “World War Z.”  Executive producers Marc Forster, Brad Simpson, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Paul Schwake, Graham King, and Tim Headington.  Produced by Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Ian Bryce.  Based on the novel by Max Brooks.  Screen Story by Matthew Michael Carnahan and J. Michael Straczynski. Screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan and Drew Goddard & Damon Lindelof. Directed by Marc Forster.

Book Review “World War Z: The Art of the Film”

Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: June 18, 2013

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

If you’ve seen the film or even the trailers to “World War Z”, you see it is epic. It should be for costing nearly $200 million dollars. Unfortunately, when you read ”World War Z: The Art of the Film” you get the complete opposite results. First of all let’s address the obvious, the book is called “The Art of the Film” yet 90% of the book is the screenplay with a few piece of art and stills thrown in as filler. I may be wrong but that is not what makes up an “Art of” book. Titan Books also released similar books for “Firefly” (which are amazing) and those were not called “Art of” books. If you loved this film and are interested in the screenplay and a few images scattered her and there then this is for you. Hardcore “Art of” fans steer very clear.

Now that we are over this initial “what the hell”, as a companion to the movie, besides the (most up to date at the time of publishing) shooting script, there is some production art, design sketches and storyboards. The art was mostly based about the cities and locations in the film. In terms of quality the images are not high quality at all and are very rough around the edges. Also unlike the above mentioned “Firefly” books from Titan, they were packed with great interviews from the cast and crew. Well, that is also missing from here Like the film’s troubled production, this book seems to follow that trend of the need for rewrites. Oh well, I guess they can make it up with inevitable sequel companion book.

Film Review “World War Z”

Starring: Brad Pitt, David Morse and James Badge Dale
Directed by: Marc Forster
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1 hr 56 mins
Paramount

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Out on a drive with his family, Gerry Lane (Pitt) suddenly finds himself in gridlocked traffic. For an unknown reason, not a car in Philadelphia is moving. As he gets out to investigate he is greeted by a series of explosions. When the smoke clears the screams begin.

Carried by Pitt’s performance, “World War Z” is a sometimes intense story of the rise of the undead. Having recently retired from his job as a “fixer” for the United Nations, Gerry is recruited by his old boss (Fana Mokoena) to accompany a novice scientist on a journey to hopefully find a cure for what seems to be ailing the flesh eating monsters that now roam the earth freely. The only clue Gerry is given is a cryptic Japanese email, sent a few days before, which included the word “zombie.” Reluctant to leave his family, Gerry is assured that they will be looked after as long as he’s away. If he doesn’t help, he and his family will be removed from their safe zone and left to fend for themselves. Not much of a choice, is it?

It seemed an odd choice to have the director of “Monster’s Ball” and “Finding Neverland” direct a film about the zombie apocalypse. But director Forster also has the Bond film “Quantum of Silence” on his resume so he also knows his way around an action piece. There are some nice jolts mixed in with humor. There is also an amazing sequence set aboard a plane that will have you gripping the armrests. Like the zombies of Zack Snyder’s remake of “Dawn of the Dead,” these are not the plodding creatures we are used to. These zombies strike quickly, often in groups. When they’re not happy they let out a screech that sounds like an angry chicken. The premise is fine. It’s the presentation that falters. Shown in a very unnecessary 3D, the film is actually hurt by the process. Action scenes are too dark and many foreground objects are blurred when the focus is pulled to capture the action being featured.

Based on a novel by Max Brooks (Mel’s son…go figure), the story moves across the world as Gerry and his team attempt to find a way to beat the zombies. Pitt is strong and determined, yet vulnerable when it comes to his wife and daughters. Mireille Enos (“The Killing”) is equally strong in the face of her family’s separation. Supporting turns by Morse, Dale and Pierfrancesco Favino, among others, keep the film interesting. Technically, I must give a shout out to the more than 100 makeup artists that helped create the various zombies.

Blu-ray Review “War of the Dead”

Directed by: Marko Makilaakso
Starring: Andrew Tiernan, Mark Wingett, Mikko Leppilampi, Jouka Ahola
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Entertainment One
DVD Release Date: January 1, 2013
Run Time: 86 minutes

Our Score: 1 out of 5 stars

Being a sucker for zombie flicks I was anxious to check out “War of the Dead”. Yes there have already been countless films based around zombie wars and Nazi experiments gone array but surely one more couldn’t hurt could it? A slow start and the absence any real recognizable names put this film in the red at the start however at about the 15 minute mark you catch your first glimpse of some zombies and the film starts to take off. Well somewhat.

March 1941. Captain Martin Stone (Andrew Tiernan) leads an American unit on a mission to destroy a secret Nazi underground bunker. Fighting alongside an elite platoon, the soldiers find themselves attacked by the same men they killed in an earlier assault. Now, the remaining officers must struggle to survive against the war’s most terrifying enemy…a flesh hungry army of the living dead.

The overall presentation of the film is decent but far from great. At times scenes appear dark, choppy and are rather chaotic making the film tough to watch especially if you get motion sickness easy. I should also point out that anyone expecting to find Academy Award winning performances from the actors involved should skip this. Though the Blu-Ray version of the film also includes a bonus DVD copy that’s about all you will find in the way of bonuses. Fans of zombie/war films should save their money and continue to wait patiently for the highly anticipated Marc Foster film “World War Z” which is being released in Spring of 2013.

Blu-ray Review “This Means War”

Directed by: McG
Starring: Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Reese Witherspoon
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Running Time: 97 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

I have been a fan of the MAD comic strip “Spy vs. Spy” since I was a kid. When I saw this trailer for the first time, I was really excited to see it. When you put Star Trek’s Captain Kirk up against The Dark Knight’s Bane only sweetens the pot.  Unfortunately you then throw in Reese Witherspoon, it all goes bad. The teases you with kick ass action in the opening scenes only to make you wait until the last scene in order to get your second helping.  The in-between included a few laughs but nothing we haven’t seen from the trailer.

The story follows two covert CIA operatives, FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy), who are also best buddies …that is until they both fall for the same girl Lauren (Reese Witherspoon). They wage an all out epic battle against each other for her affection using their super cool CIA surveillance skills and high-tech gadgetry. It’s Spy vs. Spy and may the best spy win!

This Blu-ray included two cuts of the film, one being an extended cut, which runs about seven minutes longer and also  theatrical version.  Besides the Blu-ray disc, there is also a DVD disc and a Digital Copy disc included as well.  The 1080p video resolution looks good especially during the action scenes…well the two only action scenes. It is also presented with an aspect ratio of 2.40:1.  During the action scenes, the audio track also shines with its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track.

The special features are decent and includes some interesting content.  There is a very honest audio commentary from Director McG, usually not a big fan of his but this works.  There is an epilogue scene taking place at Lauren’s Vegas bachelorette party. There are six deleted scenes, with optional commentary by McG, which run about 15 minutes.  There is also three alternate endings,  also with optional commentary.  There is an alternate opening concept scene, which would have been taken place in Dubai.  There is a funny uncensored Gag Reel. Lastly there is a theatrical trailer.