Remembering Susan Backlinie


Susan Backlinie getting into the harness that would pull her across the water in “Jaws”

Fifty years ago this month the film JAWS began filming on Martha’s Vineyard.  The first scene shot consisted of members of the cast finding the remains of a young girl who had gone for a midnight swim and been attacked by a shark.  The young woman’s name was Christine Watkins, and she was played by Susan Backlinie.  Ms. Backlinie passed away today (May 11th) at the age of 77.


A skilled swimmer, Susan easily found work as a “Mermaid” at the Weeki Wachie attraction in Florida in the mid-1960s.  I remember my grandparents taking me there but it was after Susan had moved on to become an animal trainer.  Her work, and beauty, was later profiled in the January 1973 issue of “Penthouse” magazine.

Susan performing as a “Mermid” at Weeki Wachee


Her first film role was as Chrissie Watkins, the first victim of the shark in JAWS.  Swimming naked in the Atlantic Ocean she is attacked and violently killed, her body thrashing across the water as her screams go unheard.  Clinging to a buoy as her life slowly flows out of her, she recites the Lord’s Prayer, to no avail.  The scene set the tone for the film and was not easily forgotten by filmgoers.





 Photo by Moviestore/REX Shutterstock (1597310a)  Used by permission.
Her work in JAWS got her noticed and soon she was working as a stuntwoman, appearing in such films as Grizzly, Day of the Animals, and Two-Minute Warning and on such television programs as “The Incredible Hulk” and, naturally, “The Fall Guy.”  She also recreated her midnight swim to comic effect when Steven Spielberg cast her as the Polar Bear swimmer who finds herself “attacked” by a submarine in 1941.    Filming the opening scene for “1941.”

I first met Susan at the 1st JAWSFest in 2005.She was very nice, answered questions and signed autographs for anyone that asked.  It wasn’t until the next JAWSFest, in 2012, that our paths would cross again.  My wife and I were in Menemsha visiting a small shop when I noticed both Susan and Jeff Kramer standing around outside.  I said hello and Kramer commented that they had been waiting for sometime for someone from the Fest to come pick them up and take them back to Edgartown.  However, they couldn’t get ahold of anyone.  We quickly volunteered to take them back to town but, as they both were quite hungry – they had been at the shop for several hours – we offered to take them to lunch.  Jeff recommended a small shack at the end of the harbor and we headed there.  I was shocked to see that it was situated right next to the (still) vacant lot where quint’s shack had been built.  If you stood in the lot and looked towards the water you got the same view seen through the shark jaws when the ORCA pulls out of the harbor in JAWS.  We had a great lunch as both Susan and Jeff told some amazing stories.  I would see her occasionally over the years, usually at fan conventions.  She was always friendly.  I last saw her the past October when she was a guest at ScareFest in Lexington, Kentucky.  We said “hello” and I presented her with a t-shirt highlighting our JAWS 50 group.  She loved it.  As we said our goodbyes, I noted that, among the items she was signing was a Star Wars movie poster.  I was curious and I asked her why.  Had she possibly been a Stormtrooper in the film?  No.  As I mentioned earlier, Susan was an animal trainer and had, among her animals, a bear cub.  Her cub’s growl was recorded and was used for the growls of Chewbacca the Wookie! 


Susan is survived by her husband of nearly three decades, Harvey Swindall. 

“Oppenheimer” is Big Winner at 96th Annual Academy Awards


Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s epic about the dawn of the nuclear age, took home seven Oscars, including Best Picture, last night at the 96th Annual Academy Awards.  The film, which led all films with thirteen nominations, also received awards for Director (Nolan), Actor (Cillian Murphy), Supporting Actor (Robert Downey, Jr.), Film Editing, Cinematography and Original Score.  On the other side of the massive Barbieheimer battle, Barbie only took home one award, for the original song “What Was I Made For?”, written by Billie Eilish  and Finneas O’Connell.  The win made Ellish, at age 22, the youngest person ever to have won two Academy Awards  She received her first Oscar two years ago for the title song to the James Bond film No Time to Die.

Other major award winners were Emma Stone, who won her second Best Actress award for Poor Things, Da’Vine Joy Randolph (Best Supporting Actress for The Holdovers) and The Zone of Interest, which was named the Best International Feature Film.  Seventy years after making his film debut, Godzilla Minus One earned the big green guy his first Oscar, winning for Visual Effects. 


Hosted again by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, the show moved quickly, coming in at just under three and half hours.


While Ellish’ song from Barbie took home the Oscar, it was another song from the film, “I’m Just Ken,” performed by Best Supporting Actor nominee Ryan Gosling.  The number, which featured Gosling all in pink as a tribute to Marily Monroe’s “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” featured guest appearances by guitarists Slash and Wolfgang Van Halen.  Another fun bit was John Cena coming out to present the Best Costume award wearing just his birthday suit.


The low point for me was the IN MEMORIAM portion of the show.  The segment began with a brief clip of Alexi Navalny, who recently passed away in a Russian prison.  However, it was all downhill from there because, for whatever reason, the tv director felt it was best to go with a long shot most of the time, so the names of many of those being honored could not be read on the screen.  Also, in what I assume was an attempt to silence the fans who, the next day, always complain that “so and so” wasn’t mentioned, the segment ended with about 50 names all crammed into a circle.  One of those names was Oscar nominee Burt Young, who deserved better!


Here is a complete list of the winners:


Best picture: “Oppenheimer”

Best director: Christopher Nolan, “Oppenheimer”

Best actress: Emma Stone, “Poor Things.”

Best actor: Cillian Murphy, “Oppenheimer”

Best supporting actress: Da’Vine Joy Randolph, “The Holdovers”

Best supporting actor: Robert Downey Jr., “Oppenheimer”

Best original screenplay: Justine Triet and Arthur Harari, “Anatomy of a Fall”

Best adapted screenplay: Cord Jefferson, “American Fiction”

Best animated feature: “The Boy and the Heron”

Best animated short: “War is Over! Inspired by the Music of John Lennon and Yoko Ono”

Best international feature: “The Zone of Interest” (United Kingdom)

Best documentary feature: “20 Days in Mariupol”

Best documentary short: “The Last Repair Shop”

Best live action short: “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar”

Best score: Ludwig Göransson, “Oppenheimer”

Best original song: Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, “What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie”

Best sound: Tarn Willers and Johnnie Burn, “The Zone of Interest”

Best production design: James Price, Shona Heath and Zsuzsa Mihalek, “Poor Things”

Best cinematography: Hoyte van Hoytema, “Oppenheimer”

Best makeup and hairstyling: Nadia Stacey, Mark Coulier and Josh Weston, “Poor Things”

Best costume design: Holly Waddington, “Poor Things”

Best editing: Jennifer Lame, “Oppenheimer”

Best visual effects: Takashi Yamazaki, Kiyoko Shibuya, Masaki Takahashi and Tatsuji Nojima, “Godzilla Minus One”

Caitlin Carmichael talks about her role in the new film “Roadkill”

Caitlin Carmichael has been acting since the age of 3 and already has a very impressive resume. Her latest film “Roadkill” was released earlier this year and co-stars scream queen Danielle Harris. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Caitlin to discuss the film and her plans for 2024!

“Oppenheimer” Earns (13) Nominations for the 96th Annual Academy Awards


Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s epic story about the dawn of the Atomic Age, dominated the nominations for the 96th Annual Academy Awards, earning a total of (13) nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Nolan.  Also earning double-digit nominations, Poor Things and Killers of the Flower Moon, which received (11) and (10) nods respectively.  Both films are also in the running for Best Picture, alongside American Fiction, Anatomy of a Fall, Barbie, The Holdovers, Maestro, Past Lives and The Zone of Interest


The nominations were announced by Zazie Beetz and Jack Quaid, who for some reason seemed to think they were leading a pep rally.  Their vocal inflections and over enthusiasm for some nominees were actually pretty annoying. 


This year’s acting nominations were a great representation of the talent working today.  Kudos to Jeffrey Wright, who is great in anything he does, earning his first Best Actor nomination for American Fiction.  A surprise non-nominee in this category was Leonardo DiCaprio for Killers of the Flower Moon.  In Leo’s defense, it was a strong season for acting this year so no shame in not making the top five.  His Killers co-star, Lily Gladstone, became the first Native American actor to be nominated for an acting award. 


2023’s biggest moneymaker, Barbie, earned (8) nominations, including Best Supporting Actor for Ryan Gosling, Best Supporting Actress for America Ferrera and Best Adapted Screenplay.  Surprisingly, star (and co-producer) Margot Robbie, did not earn a Best Actress nod. 


Martin Scorsese, at age 81, became the oldest nominee in the Best Director category, earning his tenth  nomination in this category for Killers of the Flower Moon.  


The great John Williams received nomination number (54) when he earned a nod for his original score for Indian Jones and the Dial of Destiny.   



The 96th Annual Academy Awards will air on Sunday, March 10th


Below is a complete list of nominees:

Best Picture

“American Fiction”

“Anatomy of a Fall”


“The Holdovers”

“Killers of the Flower Moon”



“Past Lives”

“Poor Things”

“The Zone of Interest”

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper, “Maestro”

Colman Domingo, “Rustin”

Paul Giamatti, “The Holdovers”

Cillian Murphy, “Oppenheimer”

Jeffrey Wright, “American Fiction”

Best Actress

Annette Bening, “Nyad”

Lily Gladstone, “Killers of the Flower Moon”

Sandra Hüller, “Anatomy of a Fall”

Carey Mulligan, “Maestro”

Emma Stone, “Poor Things”


Best Supporting Actor

Sterling K. Brown, “American Fiction”

Robert De Niro, “Killers of the Flower Moon”

Robert Downey Jr., “Oppenheimer”

Ryan Gosling, “Barbie”

Mark Ruffalo, “Poor Things”


Best Supporting Actress

Emily Blunt, “Oppenheimer”

Danielle Brooks, “The Color Purple”

America Ferrera, “Barbie”

Jodie Foster, “Nyad”

Da’Vine Joy Randolph, “The Holdovers”


Best Director

Jonathan Glazer, “The Zone of Interest”

Yorgos Lanthimos, “Poor Things”

Christopher Nolan, “Oppenheimer”

Martin Scorsese, “Killers of the Flower Moon”

Justine Triet, “Anatomy of a Fall”


International Feature Film

“Io Capitano,” Italy

“Perfect Days,” Japan

“Society of the Snow,” Spain

“The Teachers’ Lounge,” Germany

“The Zone of Interest,” United Kingdom

Animated Feature Film

“The Boy and the Heron”



“Robot Dreams”

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”

Adapted Screenplay

“American Fiction”



“Poor Things”

“The Zone of Interest”

Original Screenplay

“Anatomy of a Fall”

“The Holdovers”


“May December”

“Past Lives”

Visual Effects

“The Creator”

“Godzilla Minus One”

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”

“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One”


Original Score

“American Fiction”

“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”

“Killers of the Flower Moon”


“Poor Things”

Original Song

“It Never Went Away” from “American Symphony”

“I’m Just Ken” from “Barbie”

“What Was I Made For?” from “Barbie”

“The Fire Inside” from “Flamin’ Hot”

“Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)” from “Killers of the Flower Moon”

Documentary Feature Film

“20 Days in Mariupol”

“Bobi Wine: The People’s President”

“The Eternal Memory”

“Four Daughters”

“To Kill a Tiger”


“El Conde”

“Killers of the Flower Moon”



“Poor Things”

Costume Design


“Killers of the Flower Moon”



“Poor Things”

Animated Short Film

“Letter to a Pig”

“Ninety-Five Senses”

“Our Uniform”


“War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko”

Live Action Short Film

“The After”


“Knight of Fortune”

“Red, White and Blue”

“The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar”

Documentary Short Film

“The ABCs of Book Banning”

“The Barber of Little Rock”

“Island in Between”

“The Last Repair Shop”

“Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó”

Film Editing

“Anatomy of a Fall”

“The Holdovers”

“Killers of the Flower Moon”


“Poor Things”


“The Creator”


“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One”


“The Zone of Interest”

Production Design


“Killers of the Flower Moon”



“Poor Things”

Makeup and Hairstyling




Shout! Studios 2023 Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to our Shout! Studios 2023 Holiday Gift Guide!!! We some great titles to showcase for you this year. First up we have one of my favorite underrated films from Laika Studios, “Kubo and the Two Strings”. This film has great replay value and looks absolutely gorgeous in this Limited Edition SteelBook 4K UHD release.

TITLE: Kubo and the Two Strings (Limited Edition SteelBook 4K UHD)

RELEASE DATE: February 28, 2023


SRP: $34.98 each (Limited SteelBook Edition)

Kubo and the Two Strings is available in 4K for the first time ever, allowing fans to experience this cherished films in the highest possible fidelity. Supervised by LAIKA’s visionary filmmaking team, this dazzling 4K remaster features HDR and Dolby Vision plus Dolby Atmos for the ultimate entertainment experience.

The scrupulous remastering process for this title was overseen by the team at LAIKA, led by LAIKA CEO (and Kubo and the Two Strings Director) Travis Knight, and Visual Effects Supervisor Steve Emerson, who pored over each film shot-by-shot, paying close attention to every last detail and color to present these groundbreaking films in the most dynamic format. 

The SteelBook™ release features new hand drawn art from acclaimed illustrators: the Kubo and the Two Strings cover art was drawn by Kevin Tong, an artist living and working out of Austin, TX.

Next up for up fellow anime fans, there is “Evangelion:3.0+1.11 Thrice upon a Time”, which is coming from legendary director Hideaki Anno, “Evangelion:3.0+1.11 Thrice upon a Time” is the fourth and final installment of the REBUILD OF EVANGELION films, bringing an epic conclusion to the story of Shinji and his fellow Eva pilots, with the stunning visuals and thought-provoking storytelling that has made EVANGELION a global pop culture phenomenon.

TITLE: EVANGELION: 3.0 + 1.11 THRICE UPON A TIME (Collector’s Edition) from GKIDS

RELEASE DATE: October 17, 2023


SRP: $79.98

The 4K UHD Collector’s Edition of EVANGELION:3.0+1.11 THRICE UPON A TIME is a three-disc set that includes one 4K UHD disc featuring the film, a Blu-Ray™ of the feature film, and a disc of brand-new bonus features encased in a rigid box case. Featuring both the original Japanese language version and an English dub, the set includes a 28-page book, art cards, and a poster, as well as bonus features including EVANGELION:3.0(-46h), EVANGELION:3.0(-120min.), character promotion reels, stage greeting, trailers, and more!

This next one is one of my favorites from 2023, I had the privilege of seeing this stage presentation of “Spirited Away” on the big screen and it was absolutely stunning. This Blu-ray features not one but two performances featuring both Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi as Chihiro.


RELEASE DATENovember 7, 2023


SRP: $32.98

Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award®-winning* animated feature film comes to life in this first-ever stage adaptation full of dazzling sets, captivating musical numbers, and wondrous puppets of beloved characters. Adapted and directed by Tony Award® winner John Caird (Les Misérables), SPIRITED AWAY: Live on Stage features two unique casts and performances filmed during the show’s acclaimed 2022 run at Tokyo’s historic Imperial Theatre, featuring Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi as Chihiro.

Growing up in the 80’s (I know I am dating myself), I would look forward to watching “ALF” all the time on the TV with my family. It always have been a favorite of mine. The deluxe edition DVD set includes not only every episode of the hit series, it also includes the 1996 film Project: ALF starring Martin Sheen, and all episodes from Saturday morning’s ALF: The Animated Series and ALF Tales! 

TITLE: ALF: The Complete Series (Deluxe Edition) + Bundle

RELEASE DATE: October 17, 2023


SRP: $239.97 (Shout Exclusive Bundle), $89.99 (Box Set)

Everyone’s favorite wise-cracking alien from Melmac, Gordon Shumway — better known to Earthlings as ALF crash-lands onto DVD in this definitive 24-disc collection. The collection includes every episode of this interstellar hit series, restored to their original broadcast length for the first time in 30 years. It also includes the 1996 film Project: ALF starring Martin Sheen, and all 47 episodes of Saturday morning’s ALF: The Animated Series and ALF Tales! 

Never has a collection been so out of this world! This Exclusive includes the NEW DVD release of ALF, an exclusive 18” x 24” rolled poster featuring new artwork, a retro prism sticker, a 7″ vinyl, an enamel pin set, a lunch box, and an authentic Melmac rock.

Following ALF comes another TV series that I was completely obsessed with in the late 90’s/early 00’s, “Farscape”. The show was produced by The Jim Henson Company and they were responsible for the various alien make-up and prosthetics, and two regular characters (the animatronic puppets Rygel and Pilot) were entirely Creature Shop creations.

TITLE: Farscape: The Complete Series (25th Anniversary Edition)  + 3 Prism Stickers + Poster + Enamel Pin Set

RELEASE DATE: November 21, 2023


SRP: $305.98 (Shout exclusive bundle), $219.98 (Box Set)

A fusion of live action, state-of-the-art puppetry, prosthetics and CGI, Farscape features mind-boggling alien life forms, dazzling special effects, edge-of-your-seat thrills, irreverent humor and unforgettable characters all brought to life by the creative minds at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop in this definitive 22-Disc set. The Exclusive bundle contains the new BLU-RAY BOX SET of FARSCAPE, an EXCLUSIVE 18” X 24” ROLLED POSTER featuring a brand new design from artist Joe Corroney, a set of three retro prism stickers, and a LIMITED EDITION ENAMEL PIN SET via Gutter Garbs.

TITLE: Shaw Brothers Classics, Vol. 3

RELEASE DATE: Volume 3: October 24, 2023


SRP: $169.98 each

Jam-packed with epic kung-fu tales from the legendary Hong Kong studio, this box sets make the classic films available on Blu-Ray™ in North America for the first time, with the action-packed Volume 3 further houses the classic martial art films, including Killer Clans, The Shaolin Avengers, The Web of Death, The Vengeful Beauty, Death Duel, Life Gamble, Soul of the Sword, The Deadly Breaking Sword, Clan of the White Lotus, Shaolin Abbot and Shaolin Rescuers.

TITLE: Night of the Demon (Collector’s Edition)

TITLE: Night of the Demon 2 (Collector’s Edition)       

TITLE: Night of the Demon 3 (Collector’s Edition)

RELEASE DATE: October 3, 2023


SRP: $36.98 each

Just in time for Halloween, horror enthusiasts and collectors can experience bone-chilling suspense, ancient dark rituals, and terrifying horror like never before when SCREAM FACTORY™ unleashes three creepy supernatural cult hits with NIGHT OF THE DEMONS Collector’s Edition in a 4K UHD™+ Blu-Ray™ combo pack, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 2 Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray™, and NIGHT OF THE DEMONS 3 Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray™. For the first time ever in 4K UHD™ format, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS Collector’s Edition includes a 2023 restoration from an earlier 4K scan of the unrated negative, as well as special content and new interviews.

LIFE AFTER THE NEVERENDING STORY – First Look Teaser and Kickstarter Now Live!

Celebrating the iconic 1984 classic The NeverEnding Story, formerly called “Life After Atreyu”, LIFE AFTER THE NEVERENDING STORY stars Noah Hathaway (Atreyu), Tami Stronach (the Childlike Empress), Deep Roy, Limahl & Klaus Doldinger, Katja Eichinger, Herman Weigel, Renato Casaro, Jason James Richter, Keith Coogan and more!

This NeverEnding Story documentary will be premiering around September 2023 at film festivals, then will be released on REGION FREE BLURAY early 2024.

PRE-ORDER your copy NOW from

Your pre-order helps cover the post production costs and with indie film, it all helps. All discs ship worldwide, and come with your very own limited edition collectors patch!

Vanilla Ice, Sophie Monk and Chuck Norris Board the Zombie Plane

10/16/2023 – Los Angeles, CA / Brisbane, Australia] 90’s pop icon Vanilla Ice stars as himself alongside Australia’s darling Sophie Monk, who is also playing herself in the upcoming action-comedy, “Zombie Plane”. Radioactive and Entertainment Squad (subsidiary of Studio Dome) revealed this morning in The Hollywood Reporter the cast which includes Chuck Norris, starring as Commander Chuck Norris who mentored and trained Ice to be the deadly secret agent he is today.

In “Zombie Plane,” a secret government agency recruited celebrities to be undercover agents, and together they saved humanity from an imminent zombie attack. The film is littered with celebrity cameos as well as well-known pop music from the 90’s including Vanilla Ice’s own library.

The film was shot earlier this year in Australia with the support of Screen Australia. Directed by Lav Bodnaruk and Michael Mier, of Chop Shop Post, an established post-production and VFX company who’s recent work includes Paramount+ ‘Last King of the Cross’ and Amazon’s ‘Troppo’.

Producer and Radioactive MD Jessica Butland commented: “audiences can expect a wild ride, Vanilla Ice is in his element as secret agent and Chuck Norris having trained him is excellent and it just works”

Executive Producer Shaked Berenson added “Zombie Plane uses comedy, the zombie genre and 90’s nostalgia as a vehicle, to comment on pop-culture as much as it feeds it, creating unforgettable one-liners and situational comedy ‘to the extreme’.

Studio Dome will launch international sales at the upcoming American Film Market in November.

Radioactive is an Australian production and distribution company founded by Jessica Butland (RUBY’S CHOICE, THE RED). Radioactive’s recent releases include UK Sci-fi/Drama AROUND THE SUN, John Soto’s Action/Thriller AVARICE and Lily Taylor & Stefania LaVie Owen starring in multi-award winner PAPER SPIDERS.

Entertainment Squad is the production arm of Studio Dome, founded by veteran producer Shaked Berenson (TURBO KID, TALES OF HALLOWEEN). Recent productions include the Shudder Original SLAXX, and the critically acclaimed horror-comedy SUMMONING SYLVIA.

New Trailer for GB Hajim’s “Mermaids’ Lament”

MERMAIDS’ LAMENT is the latest upcoming film from GB Hajim (Strange Frame), which premieres on June 25th at 9:30pm at the TCL Chinese Theater as part of Dances with Films festival. You can get tickets here. Check out our raving review here and the latest trailer below!

The story of two women who find strength in each other despite their personal struggles, MERMAIDS’ LAMENT follows two women: Oee (Dayva Summer Escobar) a traumatized woman who has lost her voice and may or may not be a mermaid. Her therapist, Dr. Nell Jamison (Justina Mattos) battles with anxiety herself, attempts to help Oee overcome her delusions and connect with reality. As they bond over their experiences, they learn to be resilient like the ocean and embrace the power of imagination to navigate the chaos of the world.

“Mermaids’ Lament”: A New Film by Director GB Hajim that Teaches about Resilience through Trauma and Imagination to screen Dances with Films June 25


Director GB Hajim’s ode to Resilience through trauma and imagination, MERMAID’S LAMENT will screen at the Dances with Films film festival in Hollywood, California, June 25.

The story of two women who find strength in each other despite their personal struggles, MERMAID’S LAMENT follows two women: Oee (Dayva Summer Escobar) a traumatized woman who has lost her voice and may or may not be a mermaid. Her therapist, Dr. Nell Jamison (Justina Mattos) battles with anxiety herself, attempts to help Oee overcome her delusions and connect with reality. As they bond over their experiences, they learn to be resilient like the ocean and embrace the power of imagination to navigate the chaos of the world.

GB Hajim has been supporting the Hawaiian Renaissance through his multimedia work for over 25 years. He has produced over 150 Hawaiian language dramas, animations, documentaries, podcasts, and educational programs.

MERMAID’S LAMENT is GB’s second feature film, following the self-produced 2D animated sci-fi lesbian musical, “Strange Frame” (2013), which featured an all-star cast including Claudia Black, Cree Summer, Tim Curry, George Takei, Academy Award winner Gary Rizzo for sound, and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd for music.

GB is excited to bring his passion for storytelling and his love for the ocean to MERMAID’S LAMENT. He splits his time between working with the Hawaiian community, writing screenplays, freediving, and farming.

See the heartfelt and moving story that explores the power of imagination and the strength that comes from human connection, MERMAID’S LAMENT – screening June 25th at 9:30pm at the TCL Chinese Theater as part of Dances with Films.




Major Metallica news from Down Under! Metallica: 72 Seasons – Global Premiere has just screened in cinemas in New Zealand and moviegoers there were the first to learn that Metallica’s M72 World Tour is set to burst onto the big screen, live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, in cinemas worldwide on Friday, August 18 and Sunday, August 20.

Titled Metallica: M72 World Tour Live From Arlington, TX – A Two Night Event, this unprecedented global theatrical event will see the band playing two nights with two completely different setlists, with songs spanning the group’s 40+ year career, from 1983’s classic Kill ‘Em All to 2023’s long-awaited 72 Seasons. The band won’t play a single song twice, making for a total of more than 30 songs across both nights.

The M72 tour will feature a bold new in-the-round stage design that relocates the famed Metallica Snake Pit to center stage, while giving fans a complete 360-degree view from every seat in the house. With a state-of-the-art multi-camera set up, fans will be right in the middle of the action, no matter where they are in the world. For more information, visit

Metallica: 72 Seasons – Global Premiere, the worldwide listening party for Metallica’s forthcoming 12th studio album, 72 Seasons, continues to launch across the globe over the next 20 hours. Tickets are still available for this tonight-only event at At the event, 72 Seasons will be played in full in pummeling surround sound, exclusively for cinema audiences worldwide—with every one of the new songs featuring its own music video and exclusive commentary from the band. The result will offer fans an unforgettable night as they experience 72 Seasons first and fully on the eve of its April 14 release date.

“We feel like we are a part of the Metallica family now that we are doing our third release together (Metallica: M72 World Tour Live From Arlington, TX – A Two Night Event, 72 Seasons Global Premiere, and S&M²),” said Kymberli Frueh, SVP Programming and Content Acquisitions, Trafalgar Releasing. “Since Metallica is touring in very limited markets this year, we are so happy that we can extend that tour into cinemas across the globe. The cinemas create a virtual tour stop for fans in thousands of locations where Metallica isn’t touring this year. What better way to create a VIP experience with every seat in the cinema feeling as if you are in the front row of the concert.”

Hailed as “some of the deepest, hardest-hitting music of their career” (Rolling Stone), Metallica’s 72 Seasons will be released April 14 via the band’s own Blackened Recordings. Produced by Greg Fidelman with Hetfield and Ulrich, and clocking in at over 77 minutes, the 12-track 72 Seasons is Metallica’s first full length collection of new material since 2016’s Hardwired…To Self-Destruct. For a full listing of configurations, pre-orders and further information, go to

The ticket on-sale date for Metallica: M72 World Tour Live From Arlington, TX – A Two Night Event will be announced later. Visit for the most updated information.

* Screenings in some countries/territories will be time-shifted to best suit local time zones.

About Metallica

Formed in 1981 by vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, Metallica has become one of the most influential and successful rock bands in history, selling nearly 120 million albums worldwide and generating more than 15 billion streams while playing to millions of fans on all seven continents. Metallica’s catalog of multi-platinum studio albums includes Kill ‘Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, … And Justice for All, Metallica (commonly referred to as The Black Album), Load, Reload, St. Anger, Death Magnetic, Hardwired…to Self-Destruct, and the forthcoming 72 Seasons, out April 14, 2023, on the band’s own Blackened Recordings label. Metallica’s awards and accolades include nine Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, multiple MTV Video Music Awards, a 2009 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and Sweden’s Polar Music Prize. In 2017, Metallica established the All Within My Hands Foundation to give back to communities that have supported the band. To date, All Within My Hands’ collective efforts have raised nearly $12 million – providing $5.9 million in grants to career and technical education programs, over $2.5 million to combat food insecurity, and more than $3.3 million to disaster relief efforts.

I Was RIGHT About Adam Sandler


Let’s take a trip back in time.  It’s 2011 and this site was still known as MovieMikes.  I posted a review for the Adam Sandler film Jack and Jill and all hell broke loose.  The reason?  I had rated it as positive on Rotten Tomatoes.  Let me go more in depth.  I was the ONLY critic to give Jack and Jill a positive rating.


If you’ve learned anything about me in the 13-plus years this site has been in existance, it’s that, even though I’m now 62, inside I’ll always be a 13-year old boy.  I love Adam Sandler’s goofy brand of comedy.  Yes, some of his films are pretty, well, not-good, but I usually laugh at them.


That was the case of Jack and Jill.  Yes it was durmb, but come on….you had Al Pacino singing and dancing for Christ’s sake!  I gave it 2.5 stars out of 5, but instead of rating it as “Rotten” on RT I rated it “fresh.”  And the madness began.


I received so many negative comments on the post on RT that they stopped allowing people to comment.  I received a bunch of horrible emails, many of which I can’t quote here.  What I thought was odd was that these comments began piling up the moment I posted my review.  The day before the film even opened.  These people were criticizing me for liking a film they hadn’t even seen.  However, there is a certain silver lining to this adventure as Adam Sandler recently was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.  That’s right.  Richard Pryor.  Steve Martin.  Carol Burnett.  ADAM SANDLER!!



As the ONLY critic to give Jack and Jill a “fresh” rating, this site was not only mentioned nationwide on the “Opie and Anthony” radio show, but was mentioned on “E!” Entertainment Television.  Adam Sandler, and Mike G’s series of “Walking Dead” interviews that same year put us on the map!  Thirteen years later we continue to be one of the most popular entertainment sites out there.  And for that I say, “thank YOU, Adam Sandler!”


And thanks to all of yolu for your continued support!

“Mermaids’ Lament”: A New Film by Director GB Hajim that Teaches about Resilience through Trauma and Imagination

Los Angeles, CA – March 17, 2023 – Director GB Hajim is proud to announce his latest film “Mermaids’ Lament,” which tells a story of two women who find strength in each other despite their personal struggles.

The film follows two women: Oee (Dayva Summer Escobar) a traumatized woman who has lost her voice and may or may not be a mermaid. Her therapist, Dr. Nell Jamison (Justina Mattos) battles with anxiety herself, attempts to help Oee overcome her delusions and connect with reality. As they bond over their experiences, they learn to be resilient like the ocean and embrace the power of imagination to navigate the chaos of the world.

GB Hajim has been supporting the Hawaiian Renaissance through his multimedia work for over 25 years. He has produced over 150 Hawaiian language dramas, animations, documentaries, podcasts, and educational programs.

“Mermaids’ Lament” is GB’s second feature film, following the self-produced 2D animated sci-fi lesbian musical, “Strange Frame” (2013), which featured an all-star cast including Claudia Black, Cree Summer, Tim Curry, George Takei, Academy Award winner Gary Rizzo for sound, and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd for music.

GB is excited to bring his passion for storytelling and his love for the ocean to “Mermaids’ Lament.” He splits his time between working with the Hawaiian community, writing screenplays, freediving, and farming.

“Mermaids’ Lament” is a heartfelt and moving story that explores the power of imagination and the strength that comes from human connection. The film is set to premiere in theaters worldwide in the fall of 2023.



GKIDS and Fathom Events Bring Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s Full Feature Catalog Back to U.S. Cinemas Nationwide 

Studio Ghibli’s Series of Animated Masterpieces Begins by Celebrating the 35th Anniversary of My Neighbor Totoro on March 25th 

Lineup Includes First-Ever North American Screenings of SPIRITED AWAY: Live On Stage 

The Acclaimed Stage Production of Hayao Miyazaki’s Academy Award®-Winning Masterpiece

NEW YORK (February 28, 2023) –STUDIO GHIBLI FEST is back in theaters and bigger than ever – highlighting all ten of Hayao Miyazaki’s iconic animated films with Studio Ghibli, as well as the first-ever North American screenings of SPIRITED AWAY: Live On Stage, featuring two separate full performances filmed during the production’s acclaimed run in Tokyo last year. It’s a year of celebrating animation master Hayao Miyazaki with the first-ever nationwide retrospective of his Studio Ghibli works, including several anniversary titles: the 35th Anniversary screenings of My Neighbor Totoro, 15th Anniversary screenings of Ponyo, and 10th Anniversary screenings of The Wind Rises. GKIDS, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, are proud to continue their partnership with Fathom events and expand STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2023 to more screening dates than ever before to meet increased fan demand.

“We’re excited to partner with GKIDS and honor Hayao Miyazaki this year by bringing his collective body of work to the big screen. He has always been a leader, visionary and inspiration to fans and critics alike and we know this series, including the debut of SPIRITED AWAY: Live On Stage will be well received by fans across the country,” said Ray Nutt CEO of Fathom Events.

“We are thrilled to return to theaters with STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2023, in continued partnership with Fathom Events,” said GKIDS President David Jesteadt. “Over the past years, it has been incredible to experience the studio’s films on the big screen with fans, and this year’s focus on director and studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki will celebrate the incredible films one of cinema’s greatest talents.”

Each of the 10 animated features will be shown in both original Japanese and English dubbed versions and will include exclusive selections from the documentary series 10 Years With Hayao Miyazaki. Tickets for STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2023 can be purchased online now by visiting or at participating theater box offices. (Theater participants are subject to change). 


All event listings are in local time 

My Neighbor Totoro 35th Anniversary

  • Saturday, March 25 at 3:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)
  • Sunday, March 26 at 4:00 PM (English Dubbed) and 7:00 PM (English Dubbed)
  • Monday, March 27 at 7:00 PM (English Dubbed)
  • Tuesday, March 28 at 7:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)
  • Wednesday, March 29 at 7:00 PM (English Dubbed)

SPIRITED AWAY: Live on Stage

*All performances in Japanese with English Subtitles

  • Sunday, April 23 at 4:00 PM (with Kanna Hashimoto as Chihiro)
  • Thursday, April 27 at 7:00 PM (with Mone Kamishiraishi as Chihiro)

Ponyo 15th Anniversary

  • Sunday, May 7 at 4:00 PM (English Dubbed) and 7:00 PM (English Dubbed)
  • Monday, May 8 at 7:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)
  • Wednesday, May 10 at 7:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)

Kiki’s Delivery Service

  • Sunday, June 11 at 4:00 PM (English Dubbed) and 7:00 PM (English Dubbed)
  • Monday, June 12 at 7:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)
  • Wednesday, June 14 at 7:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

  • Sunday, July 9 at 4:00 PM (English Dubbed)
  • Tuesday, July 11 at 7:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)

Castle in the Sky

  • Monday, July 10 at 7:00 PM (English Dubbed)
  • Wednesday, July 12 at 7:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)

Princess Mononoke

  • Saturday, August 5 at 3:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)
  • Sunday, August 6 at 4:00 PM (English Dubbed) and 7:00 PM (English Dubbed)
  • Monday, August 7 at 7:00 PM (English Dubbed)
  • Tuesday, August 8 at 7:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)
  • Wednesday, August 9 at 7:00 PM (English Dubbed) 

Porco Rosso

  • Sunday, August 20 at 4:00 PM (English Dubbed)
  • Tuesday, August 22 at 7:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)

The Wind Rises 10th Anniversary 

  • Monday, August 21 at 7:00 PM (English Dubbed)
  • Wednesday, August 23 at 7:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)

Howl’s Moving Castle

  • Saturday, September 23 at 3:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)
  • Sunday, September 24 at 4:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles) and 7:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)
  • Monday, September 25 at 7:00 PM (English Dubbed)
  • Tuesday, September 26 at 7:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)
  • Wednesday, September 27 at 7:00 PM (English Dubbed)

Spirited Away

  • Saturday, October 28 at 3:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)
  • Sunday, October 29 at 4:00 PM (English Dubbed) and 7:00 PM (English Dubbed) 
  • Monday, October 30 at 7:00 PM (English Dubbed)
  • Tuesday, October 31 at 7:00 PM (Japanese with Subtitles)
  • Wednesday, November 1 at 7:00 PM (English Dubbed)

About Fathom Events

Fathom is a recognized leader in the entertainment industry as one of the top distributors of content to movie theaters in North America. Owned by AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC); Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK); and Regal Cinemas, a subsidiary of the Cineworld Group (LSE: CINE.L), Fathom operates the largest cinema distribution network, delivering a wide variety of programming and experiences to cinema audiences in all of the top U.S. markets and to more than 45 countries. For more information, visit


Celebrating its 15th anniversary, GKIDS is the producer and distributor of artist-driven and award-winning animation from around the world. Since 2010, the company has scored an astounding 12 Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations with The Secret of Kells in 2010, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, Ernest & Celestine in 2014, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea in 2015, Boy and the World and When Marnie Was There in 2016, My Life as a Zucchini in 2017, The Breadwinner in 2018, Mirai in 2019, and Wolfwalkers in 2021. GKIDS handles North American distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films, one of the world’s most coveted animation collections with titles Spirited AwayMy Neighbor TotoroPrincess Mononoke and others; as well as the critically acclaimed television series, NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. Also, GKIDS is the founder and host of ANIMATION IS FILM, the annual LA-based film festival which embraces the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form, and is a vocal advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of the medium to its fullest range of artistic expressions.

About Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli is one of the most acclaimed and influential animation studios in the world, inspiring filmmakers and audiences alike over the last 30 years with beloved stories and breathtaking visuals. Under the brilliance of visionary animation directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, and producer Toshio Suzuki, the studio’s films are known for timeless classics such as My Neighbor TotoroKiki’s Delivery Service, and Ponyo; and have won countless international awards including an Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature for Spirited Away, as well as five additional Oscar® nominations for Howl’s Moving CastleThe Wind RisesThe Tale of The Princess KaguyaWhen Marnie Was There, and The Red Turtle. Director and studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki was separately given an Honorary Award at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Governors Awards in 2014, and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures paid tribute to his artwork with a special exhibit when the Museum opened in September 2021.

Remembering Author Edith Blake


Edith Blake outside the “Spielberg” cabin on Martha’s vineyard. (photo by Dana Goudreault)

A lot of what I’m going to say about author Edith Blake, who passed away over the weekend at the age of 97, I wrote in my introduction to the 45th Anniversary edition of her much-loved book, “On Location – On Martha’s Vineyard:  The Making of the Movie JAWS,” which I had the humbling opportunity to update for new generations of fans. 
Edie’s obituary will surely mention her favorite activities, among them photography, writing, sailing, tennis (she played actively until she was 90) and animals of all types.  But it was her up-close experiences on the set of JAWS that endeared her to fans the world over.  Referring to herself as “the girl photographer,” Edie spent hours on end documenting with her camera the day-to-day activities on a major motion picture film set.  From milling around with the extras to being knocked backwards by the exploding shark, her words and photos painted a picture of an amazing story, one that brought thousands of fans – maybe even hundreds of thousands – the world over to Martha’s Vineyard.
Edie self-published her book in June 1975, the same month the film opened.  The success of the film led Ballentine books to reprint the paperback.  Over the years the book has sold millions of copies in many languages.  The book, like Carl Gottlieb’s “The JAWS Log,” was one of the first to give film fans a real inside look at how a movie is made.
I first “met” Edie in September 1976.  After reading her book I took a chance and called directory assistance for Martha’s Vineyard.  I asked for the number of Edith Blake and soon I was speaking with her.  I told her how much I loved the book and mentioned my association with Richard Dreyfuss’ official fan club.  Before we said goodbye she asked for my address.  Soon I received in the mail (3) photos of Richard she had taken on the set that hadn’t been in the book.  I was overwhelmed by her act of kindness.

Of the phonts Edith sent me, this was my favorite. Both Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss laughed at the image when I showed it to them (Photo by Edith Blake)

It wasn’t until the first official JAWSFest in 2005 that I officially met her.  To my surprise she seemed to remember the kid from Florida who called her.  She marveled at how her book had influenced so many people and always seemed puzzled when people would seek her out for an autograph or a quick “hello.”  The fans loved her, and she loved the fans.  Sadly, that affection was betrayed when one fan, Michael Roddy, stole her JAWS-period negatives from the local museum, where she had donated her archives when she retired.  It took time but, after the authorities were called in, the negatives slowly began to return.  I was visiting with her at the museum in 2006 when a batch arrived, mailed in an envelope with a Universal Studios return address. 
In late 2019, Donna Honig asked me if I would be interested in helping Edie bring her book to new generations.  In 2005, the Bunch of Grapes bookstore in Edgartown had, without Edith’s knowledge or permission, reprinted her book.  It was terribly reproduced, with many of the images too dark for fans to enjoy.  The idea was to not only release an authorized edition (the Ballentine edition was long out of print), but to update it for fans.  It was one of my greatest honors to be allowed to contribute not only an Introduction to the book, but an additional chapter, looking not only at the people that had made the film but the people the film influenced.  The book was released on Edith’s birthday in 2020 and was well received, earning a Book of the Year nomination in the annual Rondo Hatton Horror Awards.
I last spent time with Edie in September 2021.  Surrounded by fans I had the privilege of joining her for a book signing at Edgartown Books.  Afterwards we joined a large group for dinner at the Wharf.  It was a surreal moment for me.  Not only was I having dinner with an author that had so influenced my youth, but we were joined by guitarist Michael Haydn and Alex Kintner himself, Jeff Voorhees.  When dinner was over, I walked with Edie to her waiting car.  It was raining and I held an umbrella over her head.  I opened her door and when she got inside, I thanked her again for allowing me to be a part of her book and I wished her a good night.  It was certainly a great one for me.
Rest well, dear lady.  Your work will live on forever.  

Win Passes to This Year’s Planet Comicon Kansas City


Long before Media Mikes was created – we just cerlebrated our 13th Anniversaryl – I have been a huge supporter of the amazing Planet Comicon Kansas City.


That being said, I’m happy to announce that we have once again teamed up with our KCPC friends and are giving five lucky readers (2) passes to the event.  


The best show in the Midwest, hands down, this years celebrity guests include William Shatner, Richard Dreyfuss, Jeffrey Kramer, Jonathan Frakes, William Daniels and Giancarlo Espisito.


All you have to do is comment below and let us know who you would like to see at a future show.  It’s that simple.


Fi ve random comments will be chosen and those picked will receive (2) passes to this year’s show.


This contest runs through midnight on Wednesday, March 15th.  Winners will be notified by email.  GOOD LUCK!


Take a few minutes to see this great highlight video from last years show HERE

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