DVD Review “Muppet Babies: Time To Play!”

Voice Cast: Matt Danner; Melanie Harrison; Dee Bradley Baker; Ben Diskin; Eric Bauza; Jessica DiCicco; and Jenny Slate
Number of discs: 1
Rated: Not Rated
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: August 14, 2018
Run Time: 92 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Growing up in the 80’s, I was a huge fan of the original “Muppet Babies” series and when I heard that the show was being re-imagined for Disney Junior audience, I couldn’t have been happier, now with a 6 year old of my own to enjoy. Let me start with the fact that my daughter honestly has never been a fan of The Muppets at all, so I was hesitate introducing this show. Let me tell you from the moment that theme song hit her eyes lit up and she was hooked. Since her first viewing, this show has people her favorite to watch, she has seen each episode numerous times now.

The voice cast is legit for this re-imagination. There is some amazing talent brought in here for this show including Matt Danner as Kermit the Frog; Melanie Harrison as Piggy; Dee Bradley Baker as Animal; Ben Diskin as Gonzo; Eric Bauza as Fozzie Bear; Jessica DiCicco as a brand-new Muppet Baby, Summer Penguin; and Jenny Slate as Miss Nancy. Disney went all out for this one and delivered for the parents as well as kids.

“Muppet Babies: Time To Play!” is the first volume DVD released for this The episodes included “Sir Kermit the Brave/Animal Fly Airplane”; “Super Fabulous vs. Captain Icecube/Piggy’s Time Machine”; “The Great Muppet Sport-A-thon/You Say Potato, I Say Best Friend”; “Hatastrophe/Fly South”; and even two bonus episodes “How Kermit Got His Groove/One Small Problem” and “Playground Pirates/The Blanket Fort”.

There are also 10 “Muppet Babies: Show & Tell” Shorts with each of the characters. Other special features include The Great Muppet (Short) Musical and 6 Music Videos including “What’s So Scary About The Dark?”; “Never Have To Say Goodbye (To The Summer)”; “Get Back In The Game”; “Good Things Come To Those Who Wait”; “You Can Be A Dancer”; “Muppet Pirate Shanty”. Honestly I was impressed to see so many special features on a kids DVD but this one is jam packed! Can’t wait for future volumes!

Enter to Win Blu-ray Combo Pack of “Breaking In”

To celebrate the Blu-ray release of “Breaking In“, Media Mikes would like to give two of our fans a chance to win a Blu-ray + DVD combo pack of the film. If you want to win this great prize, please leave a comment below your favorite revenge thriller. This giveaway will remain open until August 13th 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.

Shaun Russell (Union) takes her son and daughter on a weekend getaway to her late father’s secluded, high-tech vacation home in the country side where the family soon receives an unwelcome surprise from four men who break into the house in search of a hidden safe. After managing to escape, Shaun stops at nothing to turn the tables on the thieves and rescue her two children being held hostage in a house designed with impenetrable security. No trap, no trick and especially no man inside can match a mother with a mission in BREAKING IN. Directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta, Sense8), BREAKING INalso stars Billy Burke (TwilightSeries), Aijona Alexus (“13 Reasons Why,”Acrimony) and Seth Carr (Black Panther).

Blu-ray Review “Gravity Falls: The Complete Series”

Actors: Jason Ritter, Alex Hirsch, Kristen Schaal, Linda Cardellini
Number of discs: 7
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: July 24, 2018
Run Time: 900 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“Gravity Falls” was a brave and very different show for Disney XD. I caught an episode of this show by accident one day nearly at the end of the first season and right away I was hooked. This show had it all. It created this wonderful world with these characters. There was great mythology and planning that went behind this show. I loved how each episodes was leading to something bigger in the next. The show really engaged it’s viewer with deeper meanings and hidden Easter eggs. This show was definitely one of a kind and due to that it never really got the love it deserved. I had the chance to chat with the show’s created years ago after watching that first episode and I found, read here, out how much really went into the making of this show and I got a really appreciation for it. If you are a fan of the show, this is a must purchase for all fans! Shout! Factory doesn’t disappoint again!

Official Premise: Welcome To Gravity Falls! Twin brother and sister Dipper and Mabel Pines are sent to the small town of Gravity Falls, Oregon to spend their summer vacation with their great uncle (Grunkle) Stan. Upon arrival, Grunkle Stan enlists the siblings’ help in running The Mystery Shack, a self-owned tourist trap that overcharges unsuspecting customers. While Dipper has a hard time getting used to his new surroundings, Mabel’s upbeat optimism comes in handy in her quest to find true love. But there may be more to Gravity Falls than meets the eye as Dipper and Mabel encounter strange occurrences and weird creatures. When Dipper stumbles upon an elusive book, he discovers it is the answer to uncovering the town’s mysterious happenings. Soon, Dipper and Mabel realize they must rely on each other to navigate this unfamiliar place. Meanwhile, Grunkle Stan guards a secret of his own: one that just might hold the key to unlocking the deeper mystery that is Gravity Falls.

The Collector’s Edition will be a seven-disc Blu-ray box set that includes all 40 episodes of this show. There is also an entire disc of bonus features, including audio commentaries on all 40 episodes with series creator Alex Hirsch and members of the cast and crew…that’s right ALL 40!;. There is a new feature-length documentary “One Crazy Summer,” featuring interviews with Alex Hirsch, actors Jason Ritter and Kristen Schaal, director and storyboard artist Matt Braly, writers Jeff Rowe, Shion Takeuchi and Josh Weinstein, composer Brad Breeck and over a dozen additional members of the cast and crew. This doc is a must watch for all fans. Lastly we have a over an hour of never-before-seen deleted scenes as well as a few shorts and promos from the show’s run.

You can tell  that there was a lot of planning and love that was put into this these extras and the Blu-ray in general. The 1080p transfer of these episodes look great with the animation style and the colors. I love the palette for this show. The exterior slip cover case is a really sturdy hard stock and I  really like it. It feels like they actually delivered a solid product all around here. If you don’t have Blu-ray, there will also be a six-disc retail DVD edition that includes all 40 episodes of the series and the accompanying audio commentaries, but does not include the bonus feature disc.  Shout! has got us fan covered! Don’t miss this!

“Batman: The Complete Animated Series – Deluxe Limited Edition” Coming October 16, 2018 To Blu-ray Box Set and Digital

WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT AND DC ENTERTAINMENT PRESENT

BATMAN: The Complete Animated Series Deluxe Limited Edition

COMING OCTOBER 16, 2018 TO BLU-RAY™ BOX SET AND DIGITAL

BURBANK, CA (July 23, 2018) – Batman: The Animated Series, the most acclaimed animated super hero television series in history, arrives this fall in an all-encompassing package befitting its revered place in the annals of fan-favorite entertainment. Remastered for the first time since its broadcast airing from 1992-1995, Batman: The Complete Animated Series Deluxe Limited Edition will be available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital and in a stunning Blu-ray™ box set ($112.99 SRP) on October 16, 2018.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, the Emmy Award-winning series captured the imaginations of generations, setting the standard for super hero storytelling for the past quarter-century with its innovative designs, near-perfect voice cast and landmark approach to DC’s iconic characters and stories.  Batman: The Complete Animated Series Deluxe Limited Edition box set includes all 109 thrilling episodes, plus two bonus disks containing the recently-remastered, fan favorite animated films Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero.

The impressive Batman: The Complete Animated Series Deluxe Limited Edition package features approximately 2,700 minutes of entertainment spread over 10 Blu-ray™ discs, plus the two bonus discs – not counting 11 specially-selected episodes with audio commentaries by cast and crew. In addition, Batman: The Complete Animated Series Deluxe Limited Edition includes an exclusive ensemble of collectibles highlighted by three Funko mini-figurines (Batman, Joker, Harley Quinn) and seven beautifully-designed lenticular art cards. The entire box set is housed in a stunning layflat-book with a dazzling slipcase.

This ultimate collectors Blu-ray box set will be individually numbered for a Limited Edition release of 30,000. More than 2,000 copies were pre-ordered within the first 24 hours of availability on Amazon.

Batman: The Animated Series had a ground-breaking initial run from 1992-1995, garnering a Primetime Emmy Award in 1993 for Outstanding Animated Program, along with three additional Emmy wins and 13 total Emmy nominations.

The creative team behind the breakthrough animated series was headed by the producing quartet of Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Alan Burnett and Eric Radomski, alongside executive producers Jean MacCurdy and Tom Ruegger. Shirley Walker composed the award-winning score, while 8-time Emmy Award winner Andrea Romano guided an unparalleled collection of actors as casting/dialogue director. Kevin Altieri, Boyd Kirkland and Frank Paur handled the majority of episodic animation direction, along with Dan Riba, Dick Seabast, Bruce Timm, Eric Radomski and Kent Butterworth.

The Batman: The Animated Series cast rivaled that of any animated series in its time. The cast featured actors with laurels totaling one Academy Award, 11 Oscar nominations, 65 Emmy Awards, 283 Emmy nods, 15 Gold Globe Awards, 85 Golden Globe nominations, four Grammy Awards, a Peabody Award, and 17 actors forever honored with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Kevin Conroy led the voice cast as Batman, quickly and forever establishing himself as the fan-favorite voice of The Dark Knight. The core cast featured Golden Globe Award winner Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Alfred Pennyworth, Robert Hastings as Commissioner Gordon, Loren Lester as Robin, and Robert Costanzo as Detective Harvey Bullock.

The extraordinary villains guest cast was led by Mark Hamill as the now-preeminent voice of The Joker, along with Richard Moll as Harvey Dent, Adrienne Barbeau as Catwoman, and Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn – the first character to be created initially for animation (by Bruce Timm & Paul Dini) to jump to comic books. Harley Quinn is now recognizable worldwide in film, television, videogames and comics and is one of DC’s most popular female characters, and Super Villains.

Other notable guest cast included actor/singer/songwriter Paul Williams as Penguin, Melissa Gilbert as Barbara Gordon, George Dzundza as Scarface, Brock Peters as Lucius Fox, Ed Asner as Roland Daggett, David Warner as Ra’s al Ghul, Marilu Henner as Veronica Vreeland, Ron Perlman as Clayface, Roddy McDowall as the Mad Hatter, Helen Slater as Talia al Ghul, Diana Muldaur as Dr. Leslie Thompkins, John Glover as Edward Nygma, Marc Singer as Dr. Kirk Langstrom, Pat Fraley as Bat-Mite, Kate Mulgrew as Red Claw, Ed Begley Jr. as Germs, Michael Ansara as Dr. Victor Fries, Harry Hamlin as Anthony Romulus, Alan Rachins as the Clock King, and Adam West as Simon Trent.

Also lending their voices were entertainment luminaries Elisabeth Moss, LeVar Burton, Elizabeth Montgomery, Paul Winfield, Seth Green, Jeffrey Tambor, Tim Curry, Michael York, Megan Mullally, Alan Young, Brad Garrett, Heather Locklear, Ken Howard, Joseph Campanella, Matt Frewer, Dick Gautier, Treat Williams, Richard Dysart, Peter Scolari, Meredith MacRae, Rene Auberjonois, Tim Matheson, Joe Piscopo, Thomas Wilson, Bud Cort, William Windom, Bill Mumy, Robby Benson, Dorian Harewood, Lindsay Crouse, John Rhys-Davies, Bess Armstrong, Michael Gross, Henry Silva, Paul Dooley, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Micky Dolenz, Ernie Hudson, David Lander, Kevin McCarthy, Roscoe Lee Browne, Peter Strauss, JoBeth Williams, Jeffrey Jones, Loretta Swit, William Katt, Nichelle Nichols, Alan Oppenheimer, Hector Elizondo, Katherine Helmond, Robert Picardo, Melissa Manchester, Jean Smart, Stephanie Zimbalist, Brian George, Bruce Weitz, Vincent Schiavelli, Richard Jeni, Andrea Martin, and Adam Ant.

Batman: The Animated Series set the standard for super hero animation for decades to come, and we’re proud to present this remastered box set to allow new generations – and the series’ vast, avid fanbase – to enjoy this landmark entertainment in the highest quality possible,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Vice President, Family & Animation Marketing. “This is truly a box set for the ages with an array of bonus features to perfectly complement all 109 episodic masterpieces – plus the full-length, remastered films Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero.”

Batman: The Complete Animated Series Deluxe Limited Edition Enhanced Content includes 25 featurettes – led by an all-new, 60+ minute definitive Batman: The Animated Series making-of documentary, “The Heart of Batman” – as well as introductions to five episodes by producer Bruce Timm, and commentary on 12 episodes by various combinations of the production team: Bruce Timm, Eric Radomski, Paul Dini, Kevin Altieri, Michael Reaves, Boyd Kirkland, Shirley Walker, Glen Murakami, Dan Riba, and James Tucker.

Batman: The Complete Animated Series Deluxe Limited Edition Enhanced Content

The Heart of Batman (All-New Documentary) – A rare gathering of talent defined Batman for a generation. Twenty-five years later, Batman: The Animated Series continues to inspire fans and myth makers all over the world. This hour-long documentary takes an in-depth look at the renowned storytellers behind the landmark series.

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (Feature-Length Film) – When the city’s most feared gangsters are systematically eliminated, the Caped Crusader is blamed. But prowling the Gotham night is a shadowy new villain, the Phantasm, a sinister figure with some link to Batman’s past. Can the Dark Knight elude the police, capture the Phantasm and clear his own name? Unmasking the Phantasm is just one of the twists in this dazzling animated feature. Discover revelations about Batman’s past, his archrival the Joker, and Batman’s most grueling battle ever — the choice between his love for a beautiful woman and his vow to be the defender of right. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is “a mystery that is genuinely absorbing, suspenseful and moving” (The Cincinnati Enquirer ).

Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero (Feature-Length Film) – Batman faces his coolest case ever when Mr. Freeze returns to Gotham City and kidnaps Batgirl. While unraveling the mystery of Batgirl’s disappearance, Batman and Robin discover that she is part of Mr. Freeze’s frigid plan to save his dying wife – no matter what the cost. With time running out, Batman and Robin must find Gotham’s most cold-blooded villain and prevent him from putting Batgirl “on ice” forever. Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero includes all of the special features included on the original release: All four episodes of the animated “Mr. Freeze Saga” – Heart of Ice (Batman: The Animated Series), Deep Freeze (Batman: The Animated Series), Cold Comfort (The New Batman Adventures) and Meltdown (Batman Beyond); Art of Batman: Music Montage (Featurette); Get the Picture: How to Draw Batman (Featurette); Arkham Asylum: Examine the Top-Secret Case Files of the Dark Knight’s Many Foes (Featurette); and an Audio Commentary featuring Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Glen Murakami and James Tucker.

The Dark Knight’s First Night Pilot Promo: Hosted by Bruce Timm (Featurette) – Witness the 1991 Batman promo reel as producers Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski discuss the origins of Batman: The Animated Series.

Batman: The Legacy Continues Retrospective (Featurette) – DC luminaries join BTAS creators as they explore the combination of exquisite design and in-depth storytelling that helped create a once in a generation show.

Robin Rising: How the Boy Wonder’s Character Evolved (Featurette) – The evolution of Dick Grayson from young ward to crime fighter.

Gotham’s Guardians: The Stalwart Supporting Characters (Featurette) – Batman is not the only hero safeguarding Gotham City. This documentary focuses on the importance of the Dark Knight’s allies in the Batman mythology.

Voices of the Knight (Featurette) – Actors Mark Hamill, Kevin Conroy, Adriene Barbeau, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., and Andrea Romano discuss the process of bringing their iconic characters to life.

Gotham’s New Knight (Featurette) – Barbara Gordon swings into focus in this exciting look at Batman’s trusted ally and equal, Batgirl.

Video Commentary: “House and Garden” – Watch along as Producer Bruce Timm, Director Boyd Kirkland and writer Paul Dini take viewers behind the scenes of an exciting episode of Batman: The Animated Series.

In-Movie Experience – Watch along as Producer Bruce Timm, Director Boyd Kirkland and writer Paul Dini take viewers behind the scenes of an exciting episode of Batman: The Animated Series.

Arkham Asylum: Examine the Top-Secret Case Files of the Dark Knight’s Many Foes: Introduction (Featurette) – Bruce Timm, Dan Riba, James Tucker, Paul Dini, Alan Burnett and Andrea Romano discuss Gotham’s most popular rogues.

Arkham Asylum: Examine the Top-Secret Case Files of the Dark Knight’s Many Foes: Clayface (Featurette) – Clayface personnel file revealed by Bruce Timm, Dan Riba and James Tucker.

Arkham Asylum: Examine the Top-Secret Case Files of the Dark Knight’s Many Foes: Harley Quinn (Featurette) – Alan Burnett, Bruce Timm, Eric Radomski, Paul Dini and James Tucker discuss bringing Harley Quinn to life.

Arkham Asylum: Examine the Top-Secret Case Files of the Dark Knight’s Many Foes: The Joker (Featurette) – Alan Burnett, Bruce Timm, Eric Radomski, Paul Dini, Andrea Romano and Dan Riba discuss Mark Hamill’s inimitable Joker.

Arkham Asylum: Examine the Top-Secret Case Files of the Dark Knight’s Many Foes: Mr. Freeze (Featurette) – Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Andrea Romano and Dan Riba discuss MR. Freeze and the Heart and Ice Origin story.

Arkham Asylum: Examine the Top-Secret Case Files of the Dark Knight’s Many Foes: The Penquin (Featurette) – Bruce Timm, Andrea Romano, Alan Burnett, James Tucker, Dan Riba and Eric Radomski discuss The Penguin.

Arkham Asylum: Examine the Top-Secret Case Files of the Dark Knight’s Many Foes: Poison Ivy (Featurette) – Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, Andrea Romano, Alan Burnett, Dan Riba and Eric Radomski discuss designing Poison Ivy.

Arkham Asylum: Examine the Top-Secret Case Files of the Dark Knight’s Many Foes: Ra’s Al Ghul (Featurette) – Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, and Dan Riba discuss why Ra’s Al Ghul is such an exciting villain.

Arkham Asylum: Examine the Top-Secret Case Files of the Dark Knight’s Many Foes: The Riddler (Featurette) – This file discusses The Riddler and how creators differentiated him from the Batman ‘66 Riddler with: Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Andrea Romano, Eric Radomski and Dan Riba.

Arkham Asylum: Examine the Top-Secret Case Files of the Dark Knight’s Many Foes: Scarecrow (Featurette) – Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Andrea Romano and Dan Riba discuss the various iterations of the Scarecrow.

Arkham Asylum: Examine the Top-Secret Case Files of the Dark Knight’s Many Foes: Two Face (Featurette) – Discussing Batman’s key nemesis are Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, James Tucker, and Dan Riba.

Arkham Asylum: Examine the Top-Secret Case Files of the Dark Knight’s Many Foes: Ventriloquist & Scarface (Featurette) – Lively discussion about one of Batman’s most unique villains with creators Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Eric Radomski, Andrea Romano, and Dan Riba.

“Concepting Harley Quinn” (Featurette) – Producer Paul Dini discusses how Harley Quinn was incorporated into the series.

Tour of the Batcave (Featurettes):

  • Batman 
  • Utility Belt 
  • Bat-Vehicles
  • Alfred

Audio Commentaries:

“On Leather Wings” – Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski.

“Heart of Ice” – Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, and Eric Radomski.

“Robin’s Reckoning, Part One” – Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski

 “Heart of Steel, Part Two” – Bruce Timm, Eric Radomski and Kevin Altieri

“Almost Got ‘Im” – Bruce Timm, Eric Radomski and Paul Dini

“Harley and Ivy” – Bruce Timm, Eric Radomski and Boyd Kirkland

“Read My Lips” – Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Michael Reaves, Boyd Kirkland and Shirley Walker.

“Harlequinade” – Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Shirley Walker and Eric Radomski

“Over The Edge” – Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Glen Murakami, and James Tucker.

“Critters” – Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Dan Riba, Glen Murakami, and James Tucker.

“Legends of the Dark Knight” – Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Dan Riba, Glen Murakami, and James Tucker.

 

Blu-ray Review “Escape Plan 2: Hades”

Actors: Sylvester Stallone;Dave Bautista;Curtis Jackson
Directors: Steven C. Miller
Rated: R
Studio: LIONSGATE
Release Date: June 29, 2018
Run Time: 94 minutes

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

The first “Escape Plan” back in 2013 was an “ok” movie, not great and definitely didn’t warrant a franchise. Iam not sure what Sylvester Stallone was thinking about when he agreed to do not one sequel but TWO for “Escape Plan”. Oh wait I know…$$$$$. What’s sad about this film is that it is the truly first low budget direct-to-video release for Stallone since “Eye See You” in 2002. Anyone remember that bomb? I didn’t think so. Stallone just got nominated for an Oscar back in 2015 and then this…so I am honestly sad because this film is such a mess that it is nearly hard to watch…and I seen it twice now. I was hoping that I missed something the first time but it is a true bomb and the whole film just wastes time to setup the third film! WHY?!

Arnold Schwarzenegger smartly stays away from this sequel but Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson returns for what feels like a useless role. Same goes to Dave Bautista! This dude is on the top of his game with the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise etc and yet he is in a film like this. I don’t understand. I don’t even think any of these people of in the same scene together. “Escape Plan 2: Hades” is directed by Steven C. Miller. He has become the go-to low budget action direct-to-video guy with recent forgettable films like “Extraction (2015)”, “Marauders (2016)” and “First Kill (2017)”, which all happen to star Bruce Willis (another actor that has gone to the straight home video market). Let’s hope the third movie makes up for this one.

Official Premise: Years after Ray Breslin [Academy Award nominee Sylvester Stallone (Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, Creed, 2016)] fought his way out of the escape-proof prison called “The Tomb,” he’s organized a new top-notch, for-hire security force. But when one of his team members goes missing inside a computerized techno-terror battle-maze known as HADES, Breslin together with Trent DeRosa (Dave Bautista, Guardians of the Galaxy) must now decipher a way to break into the world’s best hidden prison, release their kidnapped team, and make it out alive.

Even though the film is what it is, the Blu-ray is solid and comes stacked as a combo back with a Blu-ray + DVD (anyone still use these) and a digital copy. The film feels low budget and doesn’t carry the same scale as the first film (which had a $70 million budget). The look of the film is cheap but the sound is solid. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 works well with the action, when there is any. I was honestly shocked to see there was extras included. There are three features including: “Making Escape Plan 2: Hades”, “Creating the Look of Escape Plan 2: Hades” and “Building the Robot of Escape Plan 2: Hades”. Lastly there are a few more Extended Cast / Crew Interviews, worth taking a look if your really bored.

 

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Digital HD Review “Silicon Valley: Season 5”

Created by: Mike Judge, John Altschuler, Dave Krinsky
Starring: Thomas Middleditch, Josh Brener, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani, Zack Woods
Episodes: 8
Release Date: June 11, 2018
Original network: HBO

Season: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Season 5 is all about changes for “Silicon Valley”, not only in the show but also behind-the-scenes. This is the first season that doesn’t have T.J. Miller in the cast but honestly the show still delivers with a shorter yet effective season. The returning series regulars Thomas Middleditch as Richard Hendricks, Zach Woods as Jared, Kumail Nanjiani as Dinesh, Martin Starr as Gilfoyle, Josh Brener as ‘Big Head’, Amanda Crew as Monica Hall, Matt Ross as Gavin Belson, Jimmy O. Yang as Jian Yang and Suzanne Cryer as Laurie Bream. Missing a lead, this season we got to explore a little more of the main cast but I would like to see some drastic changes in future season but I feel this current path might be wearing thin.

Season Official Premise: “The future is now. Pied Piper finally has enough funding for proper offices and new employees, and to bring its peer-to-peer internet to the world – but leveling up introduces a whole new class of obstacles. While Richard struggles to lead a larger team and play with the big dogs, the rest of the team adjusts to new staff, new digs and new anxieties. Meanwhile, Hooli rival Gavin Belson has returned to power, but finds the threat of Pied Piper, and its boldness, hard to shake.”

“Silicon Valley: Season 5” is available as of June 11th for Digital Download. The Emmy Award-winning show tightens things up a bit this season delivering eight 30-minute episodes. If you purchase on digital streaming services like Vudu, you get three extras including “Silicon Valley: Pied Pipers Highs and Lows”, which is short and runs 2 minutes. You can see where Richard and his Pied Piper pals are headed in Season 5 of the hit comedy series ‘Silicon Valley’ trailer included. Lastly you can take a peak back at Season 4 of ‘Silicon Valley’ in case you need a refresher or just wanted a quick recap of the season.

 

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DVD Review: Anthrax “Kings Among Scotland”

Anthrax “Kings Among Scotland”
Director: Paul M Green
Metal Blade Records
Not Rated
2 Discs

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Multi-Grammy nominated thrash icons Anthrax have just released their long-awaited live-in-concert DVD “Kings Among Scotland.” The release is available on CD, DVD and digital formats and features the bands two hour set from their sold out February 15, 2017 concert at the historic Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow, Scotland. Also included on the two disc set are interviews, behind-the-scenes footage along with other B-roll footage shot on the band’s bus, backstage and in hotels elsewhere, plus “gear rundowns” from each band member.

This release has been on my radar since it was first announced quite a few months ago and, upon receiving it I can say that it was certainly worth the wait! Even before I opened the packaging the artwork grabbed my attention as the band chose to riff on the classic Kiss “Rock and Roll Over” motif which was nicely embossed on the multi fold packaging. Inside along with the discs were a collection of live shots from the show as well as a sticker of the albums cover art (another nod to “Rock and Roll Over” which also came with a sticker). Even before I had this in the player I was already digging it. From the opening notes of “A.I.R.” to the closing notes of “Antisocial” some eighteen songs later the band appears to be at the top of their game and have never sounded better. Disc one is the live portion of the release featuring classic tracks like “Madhouse” and “Medusa” intertwined with newer songs like “Fight’ Em ‘Til You Can’t” and “Breathing Lighting” before giving away to an entire “Among the Living” set which is closed out by the bands anthemic cover of “Antisocial”. If all that wasn’t enough Disc two is jammed packed with candid, behind the scenes footage that gives you a glimpse of what it’s like to be on the road and the work it takes to makes a show like Anthrax’s happen each night.

Director Paul M Green and Mixer Jay Ruston did a phenomenal job with the look and sound of the live show. The variety of camera angles used gives viewers the best experience possible without actually being there. The audio is equally top notch and sounds great no matter if you are watching it with headphones or using your home theater system. Anthrax really delivered something special with this package and, even though I would have liked to hear a few more songs from some of the bands more recent releases the new material they did play combined with all the classics was really great. Throw in all the material featured on Disc two including the in-depth gear segment and you will be hard pressed to find a similar package offering as much as “Kings Among Scotland” does.

Track Listing:
1.) A.I.R.
2.) Madhouse
3.) Evil Twin
4.) Medusa
5.) Blood Eagle Wings
6.) Fight’Em ‘Til You Can’t
7.) Be All, End All
8.) Breathing Lightning
9.) Among the Living
10.) Caught In A Mosh
11.) One World
12.) I Am The Law
13.) A Skeleton In The Closet
14.) E-Lnikufesin (N.F.L.)
15.) A.D.I./Horror Of It All
16.) Indians
17.) Imitations of Life
18.) Antisocial

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Blu-ray Review “Insidious: The Last Key”

Directed by Adam Robitel
Starring: Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, Spencer Locke, Caitlin Gerard, Bruce Davison
Distributed by: Universal Pictures (Theatrical)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (Home Video)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 103 minutes

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

The “Insidious” franchise has never really blown me away after the first film. Oddly enough the first “Insidious” is in my top 5 horror all time, so it’s a shame these sequels never really lived up to the first film. Taking the directorial reigns this time is Adam Robitel, he is the writer/director of “The Taking of Deborah Logan” (which is an amazing film), so I was psyched to see what he could do here. Unfortunately, I just feel like this was another unnecessary sequel. The film just doesn’t deliver anything new at all. I would love a deeper look into The Further and more subtle score led jumps like the first film had and was terrifying. This film, like the previous sequels, just lacks the terror.

Official Premise: Brilliant parapsychologist Elise Rainier receives a disturbing phone call from a man who claims that his house is haunted. Even more disturbing is the address — 413 Apple Tree Lane in Five Keys, N.M. — the home where Elise grew up as a child. Accompanied by her two investigative partners, Rainier travels to Five Keys to confront and destroy her greatest fear — the demon that she accidentally set free years earlier.

The star of the film is hands down, the amazing Lin Shaye. I have to say in this film she definitely gave her performance. She was bad-ass! God bless her, she is 74 years old and the lead of a hugely successful horror franchise. She is one of a kind. But I feel the franchise might need to take a new direction and get back to its roots in future films, which I am sure will follow. I want to see the demon/entity sitting in the corner of the room without knowing that I see it and having it terrify me know that I can’t look over to the corner with the fear that it will know I see it. That is the terror I want from the “Insidious” franchise.

“Insidious: The Last Key” comes stocked as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + Digital copy. It is also solid in the A/V department. The 1080p transfer is crisp matched with the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. The special features include an alternate ending and more than 20 minutes of additional scenes. It is worth checking out if you want to see a little more from the film. There is a franchise recap includes as well as three all-new featurettes. The first one “Becoming Elise” dives into the mythology of Elise’s origin story. The next one “Going into the Further” features everyone from the cast and crew talking about the production design and how it differs from the previous films. Lastly “Unlocking Keyface” showcases the new demon in the franchise.

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Enter to Win a Blu-ray Comb Pack of “Den of Thieves”

To celebrate the Blu-ray Comb Pack of “Den of Thieves”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway a combo pack to one of our fans! If you want to win this great prize, please leave a comment below your favorite movie with Gerald Butler. This giveaway will remain open until April 24th 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.

Den of Thieves is a gritty Los Angeles crime saga which follows the intersecting and often personally connected lives of an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff’s Department and the state’s most successful bank robbery crew as they plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank of Downtown Los Angeles. Filled with gripping, explosive action and an ending that left audiences stunned, Den of Thieves is an electrifying game of cat-and-mouse.

In addition to both the action-packed theatrical version and the extended unrated version with footage not seen in theaters, Den of Thieves on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital also features never-before seen bonus content including an alternate ending, outtakes and deleted scenes, and insightful commentary from the filmmakers.

BONUS FEATURES on BLU-RAYTM, DVD AND DIGITAL

  • Alternate Ending
  • Alpha Males – The cast describes how the tough characters in the film blur the lines between the good guys and the bad guys.
  • Into the Den – Director Christian Gudegast and the cast describe the two brotherhoods within the film, the renegades and the outlaws, and their unique sets of skills.
  • Alameda Corridor – The cast and director discuss filming the intense scene that take place on the streets of L.A. and the extensive weapons training it took to film it.
  • Outtakes and Deleted Scenes
  • Commentary with Director Christian Gudegast and Producer Tucker Tooley
  • Den of Thieves Theatrical Cut

 

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DVD Review “Puppy Dog Pals: Going on a Mission”

Creator: Harland Williams
Studio Walt Disney
Product Title: Puppy Dog Pals, Vol. 1
Release Date: 04/10/2018

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Since the birth of my daughter, now 6 years ago, Disney Junior has been a must watch in our house. All of their shows have been fun, even for parents, that is until “Puppy Dog Pals”. This is one show was one that I have not not been able to enjoy..but my daughter does love it. It is created by comedian Harland Williams (“Half Baked”). I have to admit though after watching the DVD this show is definitely growing on me. I see how much my daughter and even my nephew enjoy this show and if they enjoy it, I can dig it.

Official Premise: Fun-loving puppy brothers Bingo and Rolly go on adventures throughout their neighborhood and around the world as a way to help quench their thrill-seeking appetites. The pups’ motto is life is always more exciting with your best friends by your side. For the pugs, those friends include owner Bob, his cat Hissy and his robot dog A.R.F.

The episodes includes are:

  • Hawaii Pug-Oh/A.R.F.
  • The French Toast Connection/Take Me Out to the Pug Game
  • The Go-Long Retriever/Pot O’ Pugs
  • A Pyramid Scheme/Special Delivery

The reason why I am starting to come around for this series is because it teaches lessons about friendship, problem-solving and collaboration and these are values that I want my daughter to have. Plus I am a fan of Williams and he also provides the voice of Bob. “Puppy Dog Pals: Going on a Mission” is the first volume DVD for this show and I am sure will not be the last. I would like to see a little bonus content included in future releases, at least something fun and extra for the kiddies to enjoy. There is still about two hours of content and at a price below $10 bucks, can’t go wrong here.

 

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4K Ultra-HD Review “Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Ultimate Collector’s Edition”

Actors: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega. Oscar Isacc
Directors: Rian Johnson
Rated: PG-13
Studio: LucasFilm
Release Date: March 27, 2018
Run Time: 152 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
4K: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I am just going to come out and say this, I dug “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”. I saw it twice in theaters and once on 4K UHD and it just keeps getting better. I don’t think us as fans were expecting the next “Star Wars” film to be like “The Last Jedi” but it was definitely different…much different than “The Force Awakens”. I enjoyed looking at this film from a different angle then what I did when I first saw it theatrically and I discovered that I was able to really appreciate it much more. The “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” is definitely a must purchase for ANY “Star Wars” fan (unless you want this film on 3D Blu-ray, then you need to import). “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” marks Disney’s first title available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc in both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos immersive audio, so this is a big one!

In the world of high definition, you want to get the best possible when watching “The Last Jedi”. This 2160p/Dolby Vision UHD release knocks it out of the park. This combo really delivers the best transfer possible here with such an increase of detail and color depth on your TV screen. The depth to facial features as well as costumes and landscape environments. sadly this is lost on the Blu-ray disc. The 2160 transfer with Dolby Vision is the way to go for this release, you will be, honestly, blown away from the amount of detail given here. As it delivers a perfect score on video transfer, “The Last Jedi” also hits a home run with its Dolby Atmos soundtrack. The full featured track is perfectly balanced and delivers a perfect viewing experience.

“The Last Jedi” is JAM PACKED with awesome extra content, all of which is on a dedicated third Blu-ray disc, besides the commentary track. There is also a Movies Anywhere digital code is included with purchase, which redeems a 4K digital copy to watch online or on your phone/tablet. The commentary track with Writer/Director Rian Johnson delivers a very full audio commentary given some much needed insight into the film. I am not 100% on board with him but I tried Lucasfilm knows what they are doing moving forward. “The Director and the Jedi” is THE documentary for “The Last Jedi”. It is a feature film length run 95 minutes and dives super deep into the making of the film from every aspect possible! It is a perfect and must watch extra, cannot stress this more for “Star Wars” fans.

Next up we have “Balance of the Force” is more discussion with Rian Johnson discuses The Force and it’s play out with Rey, Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker. Most of this is coverage in commentary as well but in a different format. There are scene breakdowns giving insight into making three of the film’s key sequences – included are “Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle”, “Snoke and Mirrors”, and “Showdown on Crait”. “Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only)” features Andy Serkis’ performance as Snoke in the motion capture suit before CGI was applied. This is a MUST SEE also! He is amazing. Finishing off the extras are nearly 25 minutes of deleted scenes with optional Rian Johnson commentary. I also wanted to point out a digital only extra, there is score-only version available exclusively on Movies Anywhere for a limited time, check it out!

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Blu-ray Review “Lady and the Tramp: The Signature Collection”

Actors: Larry Roberts, Verna Felton, Barbara Luddy, Bill Baucom, Stan Freberg
Rated: G
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: February 27, 2018
Run Time: 76 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

“Lady and the Tramp” was the first Disney animated feature filmed in CinemaScope. It is the sixth title to join the Walt Disney Signature Collection, alongside “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Pinocchio,” “Bambi” and “The Lion King.” Walt Disney Signature Collection. This new release included three versions of the film, classic bonus material as well as three all-new features!

Official Premise: As one of the greatest love stories ever told, “Lady and the Tramp” is sure to melt the hearts of generations with its beloved characters, brilliant animation, memorable music and sweet sentiment. The animated treasure tells the story of Lady, a lovingly pampered cocker spaniel, and Tramp, a freewheeling mutt with a heart of gold. Through the Signature Collection edition, viewers can relive the pair’s thrilling adventures, sing along with the film’s unforgettable songs like “Bella Notte,” and swoon over one of the most memorable movie moments of all time—the iconic scene in which Lady and Tramp share a plate of spaghetti and an accidental kiss.

“The Signature Collection” includes the film on Blu-ray, DVD and also Digital HD. The audio and video haven’t changed since the last 2012, “Diamond Edition” Blu-ray release. That being said it is not like it is bad though, that release features a near flawless audio/video features. There are three versions of this film included. There is the original theatrical edition, a Sing-Along mode and a lastly a mode called Inside Walt’s Story Meetings, in which as you watch the film you hear reenactments of Walt’s story sessions with animators and see how their ideas were realized on-screen. This version is probably my favorite included here.

The new special features included are not life changing but are worth checking out still. “Walt & His Dogs” includes archival recordings and photos about the dogs Walt Disney owned and loved over his lifetime. Next up is “Stories from Walt’s Office” which takes us on a tour of Walt’s office suite on the Studio lot. Lastly the fun extra is a DYI called “How to Make a Meatball and Other Fun Facts About “Lady and The Tramp”” with teen chef Amber Kelley and Oh My Disney Show Host.

In the classic bonus features, this release carries over a few extras from previous Diamond Edition and also removes a few while moving most of the Diamond Edition’s extras to digital-only format accessible via sites like Vudu and Movies Anywhere. In the end, the means to re-purchase this relies on how much the digital HD copy and digital extras would be worth to you. I personally think it is worth it for myself. In future releases, I would like to see an attempt to upgrade the video and audio or at least attempt a 4K UHD release.

 

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DVD Review “Disney Minnie: Helping Hearts”

“Disney Minnie: Helping Hearts”
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Run Time: 77 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“Disney Minnie: Helping Hearts” is the latest DVD release from the hit Disney Junior series “Mickey and the Roadster Racers”. Disney isn’t dumb at all their new show may be themed towards boys at first but every episode of “Mickey and the Roadster Racers” also includes a second part which focuses specifically on “Happy Helpers” featuring Minnie, Daisy, and Cuckoo-Loca, so the girl market is covered also! Honestly the second half of the episodes are personally my (and my daughters) favorite anyway so this DVD is a win!

There are eight 11-minute episodes included on this DVD.
• The Happiest Helpers Cruise! • The Big Broadcast • Adventures in Buddysitting! • Lights! Camera! Help! • Grandpa Beagle’s Day Out • Artful Helpers • Cuckoo La-La • Figaro’s New Friend

These episodes are fun and primarily focused on Minnie, Daisy, and Cuckoo-Loca but still feature Mickey and the whole gang a bit as well. This latest DVD is missing the usual bonus item that comes with a Disney Junior DVD like a necklace or cardboard cut out as a bonus but still comes timed perfectly for Valentine’s Day and is quite cheap, running under $10 bucks, which make this a great gift for your special someone! I am looking forward to future releases from “Mickey and the Roadster Racers” as this is a fun show that also teaches great lessons to the kids watching!

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Blu-ray Review “Speed Racer: The Complete Series – Collector’s Edition”

Actors: Corinne Orr, Peter Fernandez, Jack Curtis
Language: Japanese/English
Subtitles: English
Number of discs: 26
Studio: Funimation
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Run Time: 3450 minutes

Overall Score: 3 out of 5 stars

READY SET, GO! GO! GO! I have always loved “Speed Racer” since I was young kid! The show is also probably one of the first Japanese cartoons at the time that I watched, followed closely second by “Dragon Ball” series. Have the complete series on Blu-ray is totally an awesome thing but having a huge Collector’s Edition is even better. With the show celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this Collector’s Edition will come complete with Speed Racer, Mach Go Go Go, and Mach Go Go Go: Restart in the first-ever official U.S. release of the Japanese audio.

Official Premise: Speed Racer dreams of becoming a professional racer. When meddling crooks keep him from the finish line, he finds a way to make it through. An endearing classic since 1967, Speed Racer has captivated audiences from every corner of the globe. Preserve one of the most beloved racing shows of all time and share it with generations to come.

I have to admit though, I wasn’t all happy with this release. The Collectible Speed Racer Bust comes with Sound Effects, which is cool but honestly you can barely hear it. If you are breathing loud its so slow. I think this is a fail because you could have easily juiced up the sound board a bit. Hopefully mine is just defective and they are all not like this. Second is the price, this product was original retailing for near $300 bucks, which is A LOT! Even for a collectible.

Funimation has delivers the technical specs here. The 1080p transfer is solid for the includes episodes. The aspect ratio is includes is the original 1.33:1, which is going to make fans happy. Also both the English dub and original Japanese tracks come stocked with Dolby TrueHD 2.0 track. This are impressive tracks and since, this is the first time for the US to receive the Japanese audio, it is a real treat for sure!

As mentioned above, this is set includes the complete 1967 Speed Racer Collection and the 1967 Mach Go Go Go Collection on both DVD and Blu-ray. The 1997 Mach Go Go Go Restart Collection is only featured on DVD here. Also included here is a collectible Speed Racer Key Chain and a bonus 2017 Interview with Trixie, voice actor Connie Orr. So overall, I am excited every time I walk in my office and see this bust sticking out on my shelf, so in that sense, I am one happy Speed Racer fan!

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Blu-Ray Review “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
Director: Michael Schultz
Rating: PG
Shout! Factory
Run Time: 113 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1 out of 5 stars

As the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Beatles groundbreaking album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, Shout! Factory will release the film of the same name on Blu-Ray. Sit back and let the evening go with the 1978 musical spectacular featuring stunning reinterpretations of over twenty classic Beatles songs. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is a magical, musical tour through some of the greatest songs ever written, and an astounding time capsule of the late 70’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen or heard.

Classic 70’s presented in stunning hi-definition audio and sound. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is brimming over with everything from the bi-gone era. Starring Peter Frampton and The Bee Gee’s the film follows the story of Billy Shears (Peter Frampton) and his friends the Henderson’s (The Bee Gees) as they leave their small town in hopes of stardom. Along the way the group run into a variety of unique characters and themes pulled from the iconic Beatles album that spurred hits songs like “With a Little Help from My Friends” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamond” to name just a few. Also included are some cool performances by Aerosmith, Earth, Wind and Fire and the late great George Burns. The film definitely serves as a time capsule as you don’t see productions as quirky as this happing today but that’s what makes this film so appealing.

Included in the Special Features section of the Blu-Ray is an audio commentary by Pop Culture Historian Russell Dyball, Picture Galleries and the film’s original theatrical trailer. Though I found this portion of the release to be lacking the film provided just enough campy moments to make it enjoyable. The film looks and sounds great which for me is the most important part so if you’re a fan of the Beatles album and some of the other great performers featured here you’re going to be in for a treat with the latest release from Shout! Factory

 

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