Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “Bombshell”

Media Mikes has teamed with their friends at Lionsgate to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first in Kansas City to see the new film “Bombshell,” starring Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie.

The film will be screened on Wednesday, December 18th, at the Screenland Armour Theatre in North Kansas City and will begin at 7:00 pm

To attend, all you have to do is click HERE. The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. Once the allotted number of passes have been claimed the giveaway is ended. ENJOY THE MOVIE!

Social Media: @BombshellMovie

Hashtag: #BombshellMovie

Website:  https://bombshell.movie/

Film Review: “Frozen II”

FROZEN II
Starring:  Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel and Josh Gad
Directed by: Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
Rated:  PG
Running time:  1 hr 43 mins
Walt Disney

Call me Nostradamus.  In 2015, in a book I published, I commented on the proliferation of sequels in today’s Hollywood.  I also noted that, as the original “Frozen” was such a big hit, you can rest assured there will be a “Frozen II.”  And now there is.  And it’s pretty darn good.

The film begins with a flashback of the two young princesses being told the story of how their kingdom was founded by their father.  It’s not a pretty tale and their mother calms them down with a lullaby.  Jump to the present.  We join our Princesses (Anna – voiced by Ms. Bell and Elsa – voiced by the Marvelous Ms. Menzel) as they enjoy a nice day outside with their snowman pal Olaf (Gad).  Apparently Olaf has been “permafrosted” so the sun no longer bothers him.  The story takes a turn when Elsa vanishes, having left to discover the secret behind her power (for the uninformed, she has the ability to conjure up snow and ice at will).  Adventure, and several songs, ensue.

“Frozen II” sticks to the Disney tradition of the sequel – familiar characters doing different things.  The story (and songs) aren’t as strong as the original, but it is enjoyable.  I may be unfair in doing this comparison, but the songs here are not as strong as in the first film.  “Let It Go” was a powerhouse of a song, deservedly earning the Academy Award for Best Original Song.  The best number here is “Into the Unknown,” which is delivered in full throat by Ms. Menzel.  As someone who would pay to hear Idina Menzel sing the phone book, her range and power on this tune is breathtaking.  Great for me, but it kind of takes the wind out of the sails of the other numbers.  The cast is in great form (and voice), with both Bell and Menzel giving life to their characters while Josh Gad is at his best comic timing as Olaf.

Visually, the film is perfect.  When I think back to the hand-drawn animation of my youth I can’t believe the progression that has been made up until today.  Directors Buck and Lee, who took home the Oscar for “Frozen,” return and keep the story moving, always a good thing when your target audience is youngsters.  They have delivered an early holiday present to princesses’ everywhere.

Film Review: “Dolemite is My Name”

DOLEMITE IS MY NAME
Starring:  Eddie Murphy, Keegan-Michael Key and Wesley Snipes
Directed by: Craig Brewer
Rated:  R
Running time:  1 hr 57 mins
NETFLIX

If.  If pigs had wings, they would fly.  If a frog had wings it wouldn’t bump its ass.  And if Eddie Murphy made better career choices he’d already have an Oscar.  He may have that opportunity soon thanks to his performance as Rudy Ray Moore in “Dolemite is My Name.”

Rudy is a hustler with big dreams.  He left his Fort Smith, Arkansas home and headed for California, knowing he would be a star someday.  When we meet him, that day hasn’t yet happened.  It’s the 1970s and Rudy manages a record shop while MC-ing at the local jazz joint, telling stale jokes and trying to get discovered.  Things begin to improve when he overhears a homeless man telling outrageous stories about a character named Dolemite.  He pays the man to share his tales and, donning an afro wig and sporting a look that could only be described as “pimp-sheik,” he takes the stage and begins telling the old man’s stories in a fresh new way.  A lot of jive and “F” bombs.  Suddenly he’s a hit!  A few successful comedy albums later Rudy decides to take his character to the big screen.  And the story begins.

Featuring an amazing cast, led by Eddie Murphy, “Dolemite is My Name” is an intriguing look behind the scenes of one of the most influential genres in film, the Blaxploitation film.  This genre spawned movies like “Shaft,” “Black Caesar,” “Blackula” and so many more.  It is also a look at true guerilla filmmaking.  Rudy knows nothing about making movies, yet he’s not intimidated at the prospect either.  He can’t be.  He knows what his goal is and he’s determined to reach it.  He is assisted on screen by some well known actors including Mike Epps, Keegan-Michael Key and, in one of his best performances in many years, Wesley Snipes, who stars as real-life actor D’Urville Martin, whose friendship with Fred Williamson led to some great roles in many of “the Hammer’s” action films.  Martin thinks of himself as more than a Blaxploitation star, commenting that he’s worked with Roman Polanski (he’s the Dakota’s elevator operator in “Rosemary’s Baby.”  And, for some extra trivia, he was cast as Lionel Jefferson in the two pilots for “All in the Family,” though lost the role to Mike Evans when the series finally aired.)  Martin feels he’s above a low-budget film like “Dolemite” until Rudy offers him the chance to direct.  NOW he’s an auteur! 

The script is sharp and funny, which I’ve come to expect from writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who have given us such great bio-pics as “Ed Wood,” “The People vs Larry Flynt,” “Man on the Moon” and “Big Eyes.”  Director Brewer (“Hustle and Flow,” the upcoming “Coming to America 2” keeps the film moving smoothly, letting the humor build while still telling an interesting story.

Eddie Murphy should have been an Academy Award nominee for the first “Nutty Professor” film, and he should have won the award outright when he was nominated for his performance as Jimmy Early in “Dreamgirls.”  As long as he doesn’t have “Norbit 2” on the horizon, he may finally take him the prize.

Film Review: “Ford v Ferrari”

FORD v FERRARI
Starring:  Matt Damon, Christian Bale and Jon Bernthal
Directed by: James Mangold
Rated:  PG 13
Running time:  2 hrs 32 mins
Warner Bros.

There have only been a handful of movies dealing with auto racing that give the audience the feel of being behind the wheel.  In the 1960s, as the sport was gaining notoriety, films like “Winning,” “Le Mans” and “Grand Prix” fueled the audiences’ appetites.  Later on, “Days of Thunder” and Ron Howard’s “Rush” helped convey the feeling of going around in a circle at 200 miles per hour.  This week, that list is joined by the latest film from director James Mangold, “Ford v Ferrari.”

In 1959, Carroll Shelby (Damon) did what no American had ever accomplished by winning the 24 hour Le Mans auto race, held annually in France.  Shortly after his victory Shelby left the driving to others and began selling sports cars to the rich.  But he wanted more. And one day, that “more” – in the form of Ford Motor Company’s Lee Iacoca (Bernthal) – walks into his showroom with an offer he can’t refuse.

With an exhilarating pace that belies its 2 ½ hour run time, “Ford v Ferrari” is a testament to the wills and friendships of two very different people.  While Shelby know cars he also knows who needs to be driving them.  That would be one Ken Miles (Bale, actually getting the chance to employ his very real British accent), a top driver who has a bit of a temper.  It’s this temper that his held Ken back and he knows he needs to become a “team player” if he wants to race the new car that Shelby has created.  Miles has a loving wife and a doting son, both of who support him in the good times and bad.  If Ford hopes to beat perennial champion motor company Ferrari at the upcoming Le Mans race, the good times need to outweigh all other.

I’ve always been a fan of James Mangold.  From the cop drama “Copland” to the R-rated Wolverine epic “Logan,” he has always entertained me with smart films that show a master’s touch in storytelling.  Here that touch is put together with two of the best actors working today, making for a nice combination.  Throw in plenty of race footage and you’ve got a film that takes the checkered flag.

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “21 Bridges”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at STX Entertainment to give (50) readers and a guest the opportunity to be among the first to see the new film “21 Bridges,” starring Chadwick Boseman.

The film will be shown on Wednesday, November 20, at the AMC Town Center Theatre in Leawood, Kansas. The screening will begin at 7:00 pm.

If you want to attend, all you have to do is click HERE. The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. Once the allotted passes have been claimed the giveaway has ended. Enjoy the shot!

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “Knives Out”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Lionsgate to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film, “Knives Out,” starring Chris Evans, Toni Collette and Christopher Plummer.

The screening will be held on Tuesday, November 19th, at the B & B Overland Park 16 Theatre in Overland Park, Kansas. The film will begin at 7:00 pm.

To attend, all you have to do is click HERE. The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. One the allotted number of passes have been claimed, the giveaway has ended. Enjoy the show!

“Knives Out” opens nationwide on November 27th.

#KnivesOut

@KnivesOut

@KnivesOutOfficial (Facebook)

Win a Blu-ray Boxed Set of Season One of NOS4A2

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at RLJ Entertainment and AMC to give one lucky reader the opportunity to win a Blu-ray boxed set of Season One of the hit AMC television program NOS4A2.

All you have to do is let us know below the scariest thing you’ve ever seen on television. Was it SALEM’S LOT? IT? The presidential debates? One random entry will be chosen and that person will receive a boxed set of the first season of NOS4A2 on Blu-ray. The contest ends on Sunday, November 10th (Roy Scheider’s birthday) at 10:00 pm CST. Winner will be notified by email. Good luck!

Win Passes to the Kansas City screening of “The Report”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Amazon Originals to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film “The Report,” starring Adam Driver and Annette Bening.

The film will screen on Tuesday, November 12th at the Screenland Armour Theatre in North Kansas City. The show begins at 7:00 pm

If you’d like to attend, all you have to do is click HERE. If you do not have an Amazon Screenings account you will have to create one. The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. Once the allotted passes have been claimed the giveaway has ended. Enjoy the show!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Limit one (1), up to an admit-two pass per person, while supplies last.  A limited number of admit-two passes are available per code and once all passes are redeemed, the code will be invalid.  This film is rated R for some scenes of inhumane treatment and torture, and language.  Must be 17 years of age or older to receive pass.  Seating is available on a first-come, first served basis.  Employees of all promotional partners and their agencies are not eligible.  Void where prohibited.  SEATING IS LIMITED, SO ARRIVE EARLY.  PASS DOES NOT GUARANTEE A SEAT AT THE SCREENING.  Refer to screening pass for further restrictions. 

Synopsis:  THE REPORT is a thriller based on actual events. Idealistic staffer Daniel J. Jones (Adam Driver) is tasked by his boss Senator Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening) to lead an investigation of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program created in the aftermath of 9/11. Jones’ relentless pursuit of the truth leads to findings that uncover the lengths to which the nation’s top intelligence agency went to destroy evidence, subvert the law, and hide a shocking secret from the American public. THE REPORT is written and directed by Scott Z. Burns, and the film also stars Jon Hamm, Sarah Goldberg, Michael C. Hall, Douglas Hodge, Fajer Kaisi, Ted Levine, Jennifer Morrison, Tim Blake Nelson, Linda Powell, Matthew Rhys, T. Ryder Smith, Corey Stoll, and Maura Tierney.  Rated R.

Book Review: “A Long Time Ago In a Cutting Room Far, Far Away”

  • A LONG TIME AGO IN A CUTTING ROOM FAR, FAR AWAY
  • Author:  Paul Hirsch
  • Hardcover
  • 384 pages
  • Published by Chicago Review Press Fo

A few years ago I had the pleasure of hosting a test screening for director John Hancock’s film, “The Looking Glass.”  After the film, as I drove John, his wife Dorothy Tristan (the film’s star and co-writer) and film editor Dennis O’Connor back to their hotel, I was amazed by the conversation between the director and editor.  They discussed certain scenes in the film, curious whether they had gone a beat too long or perhaps not long enough.  What impressed me the most was that even the suggestion of removing ONE FRAME of film – 1/24th of a second – could have a true impact in how the film was presented.

Armed with this very limited knowledge, I was eager to read the new book “A Long Time Ago In a Cutting Room Far, Far Away,” written by Academy Award winning film editor Paul Hirsch.  Where to begin?

The book is a rare inside glimpse into the careers, and minds, of three of the most acclaimed filmmakers of their time:  Brian De Palma, George Lucas and John Hughes. 

Mr. Hirsch got his start with De Palma, editing the director’s first five features, including “Phantom of the Paradise,” “Obsession” and “Carrie.”  It is while editing “Carrie” that he is shown photographs from a currently-in-production space opera called “Star Wars.”  Impressed with what he’s seen, Mr. Hirsch secretly wishes he could work on “Star Wars.”  His wish is granted when Lucas invites him to help edit the film alongside co-editors Marcia Lucas (George’s wife) and Richard Chew.  Soon Mr. Hirsch realizes it’s just him on the project and his stories about the finalization of the film, right down to the color of Darth Vader’s light sabre, are amazing. For his work on “Star Wars,” Mr. Hirsch, Mr. Chew and Ms. Lucas were awarded the Academy Award for Best Film Editing.

The book is written in a very simple style.  Not a lot of technical jargon, just great stories told to you as if Mr. Hirsch was sharing them over dinner.  There are many chapters devoted solely to one film, including “Carrie” (we learn about De Palma’s love for the split-screen), “Star Wars,” “The Fury,” “Blow Out,” “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “Ray” and so many more.  A veritable journey down the Yellow Brick Road to revisit some of the most popular and influential films of the past four decades.

If you’ve always wondered about how a film is put together, or just want to learn some behind the scenes secrets of your favorite films, then this is the book for you!  You can order “A Long Time Ago In a Cutting Room Far, Far Away,” which will be released on November 5th, by clicking HERE.   

KC’s Halloween ComicFest Is A Spooky Success

Comic enthusiasts found a welcome relief for the end-of-summer blues when they attended Elite Comics 2019 Halloween ComicFest this past Sunday at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kansas.

The event, which was FREE to the public, filled three rooms with dealers and comic artists and featured free comic giveaways to all who attended. Media Mikes was well represented as well. We had a table where we gave out some sweet movie swag from such films as “Countdown,” “Rambo” and the upcoming “Midway.”

And, of course, it’s not an official event unless Cosplay is involved and the 2019 ComicFest was no exception. Fans young and old represented their favorite characters and genre’s proudly.

All in all, a great time was had by all who attended, many of them already making plans to attend next year’s event. Rest assured we’ll be there as well!

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “Midway”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Lionsgate to give (50) readers the chance to receive a pass for (2) to attend the Kansas City screening of the new film “Midway.”

The film will be shown on Monday, November 4th at B&B Shawnee Theatre in Shawnee, Kansas and will begin at 7:00 pm

All you have to do to receive a pass is click HERE. The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. Once the allotted passes have been claimed the giveaway has ended.

Theater Review: “The Simon & Garfunkle Story”

  • THE SIMON & GARFUNKLE STORY
  • The Kauffman Center – Kansas City, Missouri
  • October 22, 2019

For the curious, the best selling album of 1967 was “More of the Monkees.” I’ve got it. In 1969 it was Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” Got that one too. AND I’ve got the best selling album of 1970, as well as 1971 and 1972. That album is Simon & Garfunkle’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and it is one of the almost 30 songs showcased in the new show “The Simon & Garfunkle Story.”

As the show opens we meet Paul Simon (George Clements) and Art Garfunkle (Andrew Wade), two school chums who enjoy singing together. They open the show with “The Sound of Silence,” the first of their many successful hit singles. Paul and Artie take turns telling their story, going back to when they recorded the song “Hey, Schoolgirl” under the name Tom and Jerry (a bit of trivia I already knew). As the stories are told, they are highlighted with a video display of the various time and era being recalled.

Both actors were outstanding. Mr. Clements was not only in great voice, pretty much nailing Simon’s sound, he also showed himself to be an excellent guitar player. Mr. Wade appears to be channeling Art Garfunkle, seemingly being able to mimic his stances and cadence with ease. He also has the unenviable task of trying to pay tribute to one of the greatest voices in music history, a task he undertakes, and completes, perfectly.

Andrew Wade (l) and George Clements bring the music of Simon & Garfunkle to life. (photo credit: Lance Peters)

The first act concentrates on their earlier music (“I Am a Rock,” “Homeward Bound”) while the second act take the audience through their greatest period, from “The Graduate” to the end. While it was great hearing all of the songs featured (both hits and album cuts), the highlight for me was when Mr. Wade brought the house down with an amazing rendition of one of the greatest songs ever written, “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The two stars are backed up by an amazing group of musicians who each contribute a highlight or two to the show.

Artie and Paul the way I remember them. (photo credit: Lance Peters)

I’ve been lucky enough to have caught Paul Simon in concert a few times. Sadly, I never got to see him live with Art Garfunkle. Until tonight.

“The Simon & Garfunkle Story” is currently on tour. For information on where you can catch it, click HERE.

SET LIST: The Sound of Silence, He Was My Brother, Hey, Schoolgirl, Bleecker Street, Kathy’s Song, I Am a Rock, Richard Cory,, Somewhere They Can’t Find Me, The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine, Patterns, For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her, Homeward Bound, Scarborough Fair, The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin Groovy), Mrs. Robinson, A Hazy Shade of Winter, Voices of Old People, Old Friends, Punky’s Dilemma, America, Fakin’ It, Cecilia, Keep the Customer Satisfied, The Only Living Boy in New York, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover/You Can Call Me Al/Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard, Late in the Evening, Baby Driver, Bye, Bye Love. ENCORE: Bridge Over Troubled Water, The Boxer.

Elite Comics Bringing 2019 Halloween ComicFest to Kansas City This Weekend

Elite Comics’ Halloween ComicFest just got BIGGER! 

For an event this epic, Elite Comics has moved the event to the Overland Park Convention Center, where they will take over Courtyard Ballrooms 1-3!  This means there will be over 10,000 square feet of toys, statues, trades, hardcovers, and comics, comics, comics! They will have over 50,000 $1 comics, over 20,000 Silver Age Comics, and collectibles of every sort!  It is also Halloween FREE Comic Book Day with 1000’s of free comics! 

Media Mikes will have a table at the show, giving away Swag from such upcoming films as “Download” and “Midway.” They will also be recording their “Behind the Mikes” Podcast from the event. Stop by and say “hello!”

Make plans to be at the Overland Park Convention Center, 6000 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS 66211 Sunday, October 27 from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm.  Admission and parking to the event are FREE!

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT AT THIS YEAR’S HALLOWEEN ComicFEST

  • A HUGE artists alley with over 30 talented comic creators! Come get original art, exclusive books, rare collectibles, and autographs from the artists themselves!
  • October is also when Elite Comics kicks their Children’s Mercy Toy Drive into high gear! There will be awesome drawings and raffles all day long to raise money for kids stuck in the hospital over the holidays!
  • Stop by the gaming alley to play some awesome spooky board games and the cyber cafe for refreshments!
  • Last, but definitely not least, participate in the huge COSTUME CONTEST! You know you want one more chance to show off your cosplay and/or Halloween outfit. Especially when there are prizes involved.

Bring the family and make a day of it!

THE FOLLOWING ARTISTS ARE SCHEDULED TO BE IN ATTENDANCE:

  • RYAN KINCAID
    • He has done covers for all the major publishers!  Come get some very rare variant covers signed by one of the hottest artists in comics!
  • ANDE PARKS
    • Ande has worked on every major title in is 20+ year comic career. His writing career is as impressive!   Writing credits like Capote in Kansas, and Union Station which led to his Ciudad original graphic novel which will be a Russo Brothers Netflix movie.  Come meet the man, get an autograph, buy a book and get some valuable hat advice!
  • BRYAN TIMMINS
    • Bryan will be showing his awesome art including his specialty of sharks and dinosaurs!  Make sure to stop by his table and get one of his prints or get a book signed!
  • JULIE TIMMINS
    • Julie will be in artists alley reading tarot cards and  foretelling your future of getting a bunch of great comics and having a blast at the Halloween ComicFest!
  • ED LAVALLEE
    • Come check out his  books Pop Star Assassin, Revere and Archeon! He might also let you stroke his beard if your lucky!
  • RUDY GARCIA
    • Known as the Pumpkin King, Rudy has professionally sculpted for every major toy and statue company in the business! And his pumpkin carving has literally taken him around the world! 
  • MEGAN LEVENS
    • She has worked on Buffy ,Star Trek, Back To The Future and many more! Come get one of her awesome sketches and hear some great stories about her Bostons!!
  • ED BICKFORD
    • Check out his Metal Robot, Pulp Robot and American Chop Suey comics!!
  • ARIE MONROE appearing
    • She is an incredible caricature artist and check out her comic!  She attended the Kubert school and has worked on a bunch of great comic projects
  • JEANNE BARNHILL
    • Designer, artist, lover of animals and mind behind almost everything you see on the windows, walls, cases and ceiling at Elite comics, Jeanne will be setting up and selling the awesome PopArtifacts items!  Toys and collectibles from the past displayed with the care and quality they deserve.
  • LORI BUNTIN
    • Lori is known as the city’s best custom framer.  She does all the framing for PopArtifacts!
  • BRYAN FYFFE
    • Bryan, the King of Halloween, is one of the most popular convention guests in America and will have a huge selection of awesome art to make your place a little cooler!
  • KARA LOVE
    • Kara will be here with her new anthology Local Haunts, spooky stories all set in hometowns around the world !  Come get a book signed and exchange scary stories just right for Halloween!!
  • ERICA BATTON
    • Creator, writer and artists of Panty Vigilante!  Come out and get some art, and get copies of your comics signed!
  • IRYNA STROGANOVA
    • She will be setting up in our huge artists alley!
  • ROD ZIRKLE
    • Face painter Rod Zirkle will be on-hand to make the day even more exciting.  Get the final touches added to your costume right before the costume contest!
  • BALDEMAR RIVAS
    • We are super happy to have art star and artist of Image Comics Unearth (issues 1 and 2 are out right now)  BALDEMAR RIVAS!  Come get some comics signed, get a sketch maybe even get your picture with comics newest sensation!
  • STEVE DANIELS
    • We are proud to have Mr. Kansas City, cartoonists STEVE DANIELS at our Halloween event!  Come get some art, get some books and ask him about his upcoming projects!
  • KYLE STRAHM
    • Kyle will be set up in our Halloween Comicfest artist alley!  Bring in your copies of Spread and Unearth and get his signature and his advice on organic gardening in the Midwest!!
  • STEPHEN SMITH
    • He will present his creations in our huge artist alley! You can score some cool art and argue about wrestling!
  • KELLY AARON
    • Will be showing her awesome at our Halloween ComicFest!  You can see her art all over town but if you want to see her art and see her be at the Elite ComicFest on October 27th!
  • JASON ARNETT
    • We are lucky to have local writing superstar and Kindness Community member JASON ARNETT!  Come buy one of his books and ask him about some of the awesome projects he has started at JCCC!
  • SKOTTIE YOUNG
    • We will have the awesome and talented SKOTTIE YOUNG doing an exclusive signing to benefit The Elite Comics Children’s Mercy Toy Drive! Get copy of the Marvel Art of Skottie Young Hardcover signed with 100% of the proceeds going to help make a better Christmas for kids in the hospital!

SEE YOU THERE!