Film Review: “Push”

Directed by: Fredrik Gerten
Rated: NR
Running Time: 92 minutes

With a moratorium on evictions and millions still unemployed in the U.S. because of the pandemic, it seems odd that house prices are at an all-time high and are expected to stay that way through 2021. Most economists would even agree that nothing makes sense this year as COVID-19 continues to rack up an astronomically high body count. But the documentary “Push” points out how something isn’t what it seems. The opportunity for affordable housing in the future is a pipe dream right now. Any remain chance is slowly beating whittled away by global conglomerates that are purchasing, hoarding, and stealing money for their own real estate monopoly aspirations. As if 2020 wasn’t depressing enough…

“Push” opens on a very familiar sight, at least for some, the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. I remember this vividly because it was the last year I had cable before pulling the plug. My cable service gave me the BBC so as soon as I saw American outlets reporting a massive structure fire in London, I flipped on the BBC to see the horror as flames enveloped a low-income residential tower. The BBC was showing clips of people waving, pleading for help from their windows, as well as airing 911 calls. Yet it seemed like the news cycle passed it by in America, especially since terrorism wasn’t the culprit. Instead it should have served as a warning about the woeful ignorance and carelessness of modern day slum lords.

“Push” meticulously lays out the dire situation we are in on a global level. Companies are buying up real-estate willy-nilly, with no regulations to stop them. While the settings are in Europe, every story and situation speaks on a human, global level. In a roundabout way this is contributing to income equality. Historically, buying and owning real estate was a way for poor to middle class residents of all countries to build their own personal wealth. But now real estate costs too much. There’s also forced gentrification (can’t blame Millennials on this one) where companies force people out of their homes or apartment complexes in a neighborhood property grab. At one point, the documentary shows a London suburb and how the majority of it was owned by foreign entities. It then shows how some of that real-estate corporations simply sit on empty properties despite no one to rent to. But these companies find ways to make money even when their property sits empty.

If you think that sounds bad, “Push” has a lot more horrifying scenarios and realities to unveil. The documentary shows you statistics and dramatic imagery that will rattle you to the core. Even if you yourself are a property owner, you won’t believe the things that are happening in sprawling urban areas. Not only are cities being groomed to be inhabited by the super-rich, but there’s an intentional effort to muscle out mom and pop stores or people who work out of their homes. Also if you live out in the country and think you’re safe, just wait until the documentary gets to the part about how these thirsty businesses are salivating over your 401k. 

The email screener for this movie stated, “ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FILMS OF 2020!!!!” First off, I don’t like superlatives because 2020 isn’t over yet and secondly, I don’t like exclamation points. In this instance though, I almost agree. Out of all the political documentaries I’ve watched this year, this one doesn’t just impact us this year, or just impact Americans. This is a documentary that impacts every living person on this planet right now. If you don’t watch “Push,” one day you’re going to wake up and wonder why you’re being priced out of your neighborhood, your home, your apartment, or whatever dwelling you find yourself in. Unfortunately, they’re coming for you, even if you don’t think so.

ACE FREHLEY RELEASES NEW ALBUM ORIGINS VOL. 2 VIA ENTERTAINMENT ONE

FEATURING JOHN 5, LITA FORD, BRUCE KULICK,
ROBIN ZANDER & MORE

Founding KISS guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame member Ace Frehley released his highly-anticipated second collection of eleven rock ‘n’ roll covers, titled Origins Vol. 2, today via Entertainment One (eOne). The record acts as the sequel to Frehley’s 2016 album Origins Vol. 1 and continues his reflections on a lifetime in music and inspiration.

Frehley is joined by friends on guest appearances, such as Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, former KISS comrade Bruce Kulick, John 5, and Lita Ford. Frehley and company tackle high energy versions of deep cuts and classics by Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and other musical touchstones of rock.

No stranger to cover versions throughout his musical history — having recorded, rebranded, and repossessed such notable nuggets as “New York Groove,” “Do Ya” and “I Wanna Go Back” throughout his eight previous studio efforts — this new collection presents a thoughtful and exciting selection of songs that inspired and helped shape the legendary guitarist.

LILY CORNELL SILVER RELEASES EPISODE 2 OF HER IGTV SERIES “MIND WIDE OPEN”

Dr. Marc Brackett Author of Permission to Feel and Founder/Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Lily and Marc Discuss the Importance of Labeling and Understanding Emotions among other subjects

Lily Cornell Silver today airs episode 2 of her IGTV series Mind Wide Open beginning at 9am PT/12noon ET.

The episode features Dr. Marc Brackettauthor of the bestselling book, Permission to Feel and the Founding Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence as well as a Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University. 

Continuing on her quest to helpde-stigmatize conversations around mental health and provide resources and access, Lily and Marc discuss trauma, anxiety, sexual abuse, and the power of being able to understand and label our emotions. 

Lily says, “Marc brings so much compassion and empathy to the conversation along with his science based research on our emotional lives. His concept of being an emotion scientist rather than an emotion judge so resonated with me and I deeply appreciate his work toward implementing social emotional learning in schools. His bravery in talking about his own childhood sexual abuse and how he got help in moving forward was also incredibly inspiring.”

Marc says, “Lily is a 20 year old with an old soul, wise beyond her years and able to connect in a way that will keep these important conversations going. It was incredible to talk to a young person who has experienced trauma, but yet has an understanding of her own situation and is using it to help others. What inspired me the most though was how open Lily is about her own emotions and how much she related to the idea of giving yourself and others permission to feel.”

Coming episodes will bring guests such as TikTok/Instagram influencer Sir Carter and Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver’s Duff McKagan among many others.

More guests will be announced in the coming weeks.
https://www.instagram.com/lilycornellsilver/

ABOUT Lily Cornell Silver: Lily Cornell Silver is the creator and host of the new IGTV interview series, Mind Wide Open. Her mission for the series is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. Lily is a poised, intelligent, and talented young woman whose goal is to open and amplify the conversations around trauma, grief, depression, anxiety, and other challenges. Lily is a junior in college studying Media Studies, Sociology, and Psychology. In addition to managing and promoting Seattle musicians, she is an activist and avid supporter of social justice initiatives including organizations such as Black Lives MatterNAACP, Equal Justice InitiativeEverytown for Gun Safety, and Planned Parenthood among many others.  

Lily Cornell Silver is the only daughter of music industry manager Susan Silver (Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Screaming Trees), and the first-born of the late Chris Cornell (Soundgarden/Audioslave). She is twenty years old and makes her home in Seattle, Washington.

Film Review: “Blessed Child”

Directed by: Cara Jones
Rated: NR
Running Time: 74 minutes

There’s a statement/joke I’ve heard when it comes to talking about cults and religion. It goes something like, “Cults + Time = Religion.” Granted, I could be butchering it. Regardless, the joke is that all religions started out as cults before legitimizing themselves. I say this first and foremost because “Blessed Child” deals with the personal story of Cara Jones and her time in the Unification Church, a new religious movement born in South Korea, which focuses on the teachings of Jesus. The teachings of Jesus range from the mainstream (Presbyterian, Catholic, Lutheran, etc.) to the extreme (Peoples Temple, Branch Davidians, Heaven’s Gate, etc.). My understanding is that the Unification Church toes the line between these two polar opposites. If you’re looking for an in-depth look at the church, “Blessed Child” is not for you. But if you’ve done a little bit of general reading on Unification Church, “Blessed Child” serves as an intimate look at its impact.

“Blessed Child” starts in 1995, where director Jones is getting married, alongside hundreds of other couples at an Olympic sized stadium before the Unification Church. She shouts, along with thousands, her marriage vows on the field, while holding the hand of a man she barely knows. It’s surreal to believe and see something bizarre and forced, especially when it happened in my own lifetime in a first-world country. The marriage, and her time in the Unification Church, didn’t last long. We’re not told exactly how she left (or escaped), but we know that she had to make a difficult choice; leaving her parents and family behind in a potential cult.

While Jones’ story is definitely the crux of the film, there’s a lot of other viewpoints included in this documentary. Jones talks with others who left (or escaped) the Unification Church. We learn that people left the church due to their own sexual orientation, for socioeconomic reasons, or a person’s general feeling of being excluded for whatever reason. The documentary doesn’t necessarily paint the Unification Church in a negative light, but it isn’t about to paint it in a flattering one.

“Blessed Child” has a surprising amount of nuance, especially since outsiders tend to label participants in these kind of religious sects as “nuts” or “brainwashed sheep.” The film establishes some solid reasoning as to why people become attracted to what it preaches. It uses this through archive footage and interviews. Unfortunately for me, it didn’t pull back the curtain enough for me to get a general enough feeling about the inner workings of the Unification Church. Halfway through the movie I opened up Wikipedia and hit up Google to answer some of my more burning questions. If anything, “Blessed Child” may be a form of self-medication and therapy for Jones, who reckons with her emotions.

Not to say that Jones’ story isn’t interesting or compelling, but at times it feels like there’s not enough information to digest, hence it’s incredibly brief running time. “Blessed Child” is a fairly interesting documentary, but not on par with others dealing with this subject matter. The reason it’s watchable though, is because Jones bares so much of herself that it’s fascinating to watch Jones break down and eventually reconcile with her parents and herself. 

Myrkur and Anna von Hausswolff Cover Björk’s “All Is Full of Love”

Folksange Available Now on Relapse Records

Photo Courtesy of Artist

Today Myrkur‘s Amalie Bruun joins forces with renowned multi-instrumentalist Anna von Hausswolff to reimagine Björk‘s classic, “All Is Full of Love“. Bruun comments, “From our homes in Denmark and Sweden we decided to record a simple, fragile and raw version of Björk‘s “All Is Full of Love”. A song we consider to be one of the most beautiful and encouraging songs, that is a reminder to stay open to receive love even in times like these.”

Listen & Share: Myrkur & Anna von Hausswolff – “All Is Full of Love (Cover)

Myrkur‘s latest album Folkesange saw its release earlier this year to high acclaim via Relapse. Just after newfound motherhood, Bruun set out on a journey into the very heart of the Scandinavian culture that marked her own childhood. The album relinquishes black metal for a refined yet far-reaching evocation of traditional folk, combining songs ancient and new to sublimely resonant effect. Through Bruun’s crystalline vocals, an array of traditional instruments and storytelling, Folkesange offers listeners an immersive, emotional and transcendent experience that resonates in today’s turbulent times.

LISTEN & SHARE FOLKESANGESPOTIFY | BANDCAMP | APPLE

ANTI-FLAG ANNOUNCE “QUARANTINE SUCKS, LET’S PARTY!” DIGITAL TOUR

ANTI-FLAG have announced their “Quarantine Sucks, Let’s Party” digital tour. The band will stream sets from festivals at which it has performed and chat live with fans.

Below is the band’s statement about the interactive online tour.

“At times of societal unrest, Anti-Flag have always looked to the punk rock community and work of our shows for solace. Because we can’t tour right now, we wanted to find a way to stay connected and share our collective stories. These shows travel across the globe, and throughout years. We look forward to watching them with you, and regaining the energy we get from the show to have the strength and optimism to keep fighting for a better, more just world!”

Fans can re-live classic sets alongside the band, as the members will be chatting live during the streams every day at 6pm ET (3pm PT/11pm BST/12am CEST) from this Friday, June 26 until Tuesday, June 30 at veeps.com.

Those who purchase the “All Access Package” will receive a BONUS stream on 7/1. It features the Live at Red Rocks 2018 show, a limited edition ‘Quarantine Sucks, Let’s Party’ t-shirt, and a tour laminate.

Checkout the event on Facebook HERE.

The streaming schedule is as follows:

6/26 — Hellfest 2013

6/27 — Pukkelpop 2008

6/28— Woodstock Poland 2012

6/29 — Vainstream 2016

6/30 — Resurrection Fest 2018

7/1 — Red Rocks 2018 (BONUS — All Access Package Only)

Anti-Flag Online:

https://www.facebook.com/anti.flag.official

https://twitter.com/anti_flag

http://www.anti-flag.com

THE LAWRENCE ARMS SHARE NEW TRACK “LAST LAST WORDS”

SKELETON COAST OUT JULY 17

Today, Chicago bred trio The Lawrence Arms share “Last Last Words” off their forthcoming record Skeleton Coast out July 17 via Epitaph.

The track “is about coming to terms with your own obscurity – but like, in a pretty upbeat way,” says vocalist and guitarist Chris McCaughan. “It’s an escape dream to an edge of the world while being strangely content with some undergrown adulthood. It’s part undercover love song to the sometimes beautiful randomness of the universe and part offbeat, comical reminder to keep rewriting your unknown future. Like so much of the record, the song chases tiny flashes of light in the darkness.”

LISTEN TO “LAST LAST WORDS” NOW

Skeleton Coast was recorded 30 miles east of El Paso, TX at Sonic Ranch Studios with longtime producer Matt Allison. The album contains the elements of the band’s sound that fans have come to love for the past two decades but recontextualizes them in a way that somehow sounds perfectly aligned with this strange time in our collective history. Although it was written and recorded before the Coronavirus upended the world, the band’s seventh studio album sounds eerily prescient as it imagines an apocalyptic future where coyotes croon and wolf packs roam free. “For a band who has been around as long as us, this is about as urgent of a record as we could make,” vocalist and bassist Brendan Kelly explains. “It may be kind of dark but it’s really about searching for light in the darkness and finding it, as small as those moments may seem. That’s sort of where we’re at: Collecting the scraps of things that could make for a bearable existence in dark times.”

SKELETON COAST TRACK LISTING
1. Quiet Storm
2. PTA
3. Belly Of The Whale
4. Dead Man’s Coat
5. Pigeons and Spies
6. Last Last Words
7. Demon
8. Ghostwriter
9. How To Rot
10. Under Paris
11. Goblin Fox Hunt
12. Lose Control
13. Don’t Look At Me
14. Coyote Crown

The Lawrence Arms have never had any agenda apart from just having fun and making good music. Since forming in Chicago in 1999—the trio of bassist/vocalist Brendan Kelly, guitarist/vocalist Chris McCaughan and drummer Neil Hennessy—have made albums that continually challenge the boundaries of their sound. In the process they’ve carved out a distinctive identity in the punk community that’s simultaneously gritty, beautiful, melodic and mutinous

CD Review: Iggy Pop “Lust For Life” Deluxe Edition

“Lust For Life” Deluxe Edition

Iggy pop

Virgin

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Included as part of the upcoming “The Bowie Years” 7 disc set exploring Iggy Pop’s Berlin-era releases “Lust For Life” The Deluxe Edition will also be made available separately and includes the original release of “Lust For Life” along with a second disc “TV Eye” which is a live album featuring rare outtakes and alternate mixes. Also included is a 40 page book of lyrics, photos and interviews housed in special multi-fold packaging,

More than 40 years after its initial release Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life” remains as one of the most influential albums ever made as to this day it continues to inspire and influence artists of all genres both past and present. Disc 1 feature’s a newly mastered version of 1977’s “Lust For Life” courtesy of Tony Dixon. Each of the 9 tracks sounded great with the new mastering as there is just enough freshness added to make it the release shine on any of today’s audio format while still staying true to the albums original sound. Personally I really enjoyed tracks such as “The Passenger” and “Neighborhood Threat” as they just sounded so good blasting through my speakers that I had to listen to them multiple times.

Disc two of the release titled “TV Eye: 1977 Live” is a collection of liver performances from the year of the album’s release. Not a bad collection however, The audio does vary from song to song given not all the live recordings are from the same concert or appearance. A couple EQ tweaks took care of this fairly quickly making for a decent addition to the set.

If you don’t already own this release I highly recommend the Deluxe Edition as you will surely enjoy the new mastering and the other bonus material included in this package. If you are a long time Iggy fan there may not be enough here to warrant a repurchase however if you are live recording fan then you will need this for your collection you also get the 40 page booklet and alternate packaging which is pretty cool on its own. Both this title and “The Idiot” are available now or if you want to wait until the end of June and get the complete 7 disc “Bowie Years” Collection both new versions of “Lust For Life” and “The Idiot” are a part of that set.

Disc 1: “Lust For Life”

1.) Lust For Life

2.) Sixteen

3.) Some Weird Sin

4.) The Passenger

5.) Tonight

6.) Success

7.) Turn Blue

8.) Neighborhood Threat

9.) Fall In Love With Me

Disc 2: “T.V. Eye: 1977 Live”

1.) T.V. Eye

2.) Funtime

3.) Sixteen

4.) I Got A Right

5.) Lust For Life

6.) Dirt

7.) Nightclubbing

8.) I Wanna Be Your Dog

Throwback: TNT’s “Snowpiercer” at NYCC

This Sunday TNT is readying for viewers to depart on their massive eponymous train, SNOWPIERCER. Starring Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs, the series is the second adaptation of the 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige after it got the big screen treatment from director Bong Joon Ho in 2013. TNT describes their series as follows: “The world has become a frozen wasteland, and the only survivors are those aboard a perpetually moving train that circles the globe. See how class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival play out on Snowpiercer.”

Cast members below series concept art

Given the expansion from a film to a series, the show promises to take a more in depth look into the characters and divisions that exist in the remnants of humanity aboard the some thousand cars of this monster train. Though some nods to the film–such as a character loosely based on Tilda Swinton’s “Mason”–are to be expected. The cast joined show runner Graeme Manson this past fall on stage at New York Comic Con. You can head over to our Facebook page to check out our full album of panel photos before catching the premiere!

Jennifer Connelly (“Melanie Cavill”) and Daveed Diggs (“Layton Well”)

SNOWPIERCER debuts on 5/17 at 9pm on TNT

Streaming Review: “Soul City”

  • Soul City
  • Starring: Omar J. Dorsey and Deneen Tyler
  • Directed by: Coodie & Chike 
  • Not Rated
  • Running Time: 15 minute episodes (3)
  • Topic
  • First Look Media

“In the City of a Million Dreams….Nightmares Come Knocking At Your Door.”


Fans of the horror anthology subgenre have had plenty to feast on these past few years. A resurgence of the format has seen success in Netflix’s Black Mirror, Hulu’s Into The Dark and, most recently, horror-specific streaming service Shudder’s Creepshow. The short run-time format allows for creative risk taking in stories that might be a gamble as a full length feature and, often, the result is evidence of a focused passion for storytelling and intention with little to no room for any unnecessary fluff.


Soul City, a new anthology series from the streaming service Topic, delivers its first season of three psychological horror mini-sodes from creators and directors Coodie and Chike. The season specific landscape set to explore multicultural, urban populations: this inaugural season set in New Orleans. 
Each of the three episodes are a tight fifteen minutes, each succinctly exploring the New Orleans vibe in different ways. An easy time investment to soak in the ambiance of perusing the city and all its gritty corners, haunts within odd street shops, southern religious fanaticism and dark magic. While there is certainly room for Coodie and Chike to grow as directors within the genre, they’re most definitely a welcome addition to the scene where persons of color still remain a minority despite the demand for representation of the genre’s viewership demographics. Soul City is thrilling for providing a platform to showcase New Orleans on screen as a locale that’s perfect for genre lovers to further examine its lush, spooky history. Coodie and Chike’s previous history within the music video sector brings a definitive confidence in visual storytelling that shines in the series especially in its second episode. 

The potential for a revolving city-specific format is intriguing and exciting. Think American Horror Story but regionally based. With New York and Los Angeles so outrageously over-represented on film it’s encouraging to see the possibilities for overlooked cities, domestic and abroad, to be dissected and celebrated for their own unique regional terrors.

SOUL CITY will be premiering on April 30, 2020 exclusively on Topic, the streaming service from First Look Media.

MUSHROOMHEAD to Release Eighth Full Length Album, A Wonderful Life, on June 19 via Napalm Records

Watch the Official Music Video for New Track “Seen It All” HERE

Pre-Order A Wonderful Life HERE

[Photo Credit: Abe Robinson at blind 7 Photography]

For the better part of the past five years, top-charting masked metal machine MUSHROOMHEAD have been crafting the epic follow up to their monumental 2014 full-length album, The Righteous & The Butterfly – waiting ever-so-patiently to drop their next collection of anthems. The Cleveland collective make their prodigious return with the new full-length oeuvre, A Wonderful Life – the eighth release of their benchmark career – out June 19, 2020 via Napalm Records

Available in several enticing formats, A Wonderful Life clocks in at a whopping 70+ minutes with its four bonus tracks – leaving a total of 17 stellar compositions in its wake for fans to devour. A Wonderful Life is accented by the sharp production of band mastermind/drummer Skinny, as well as the standout mixing prowess of Matt Wallace (Faith No More, 3 Doors Down), also recognized for his work on the band’s classic offering XIII

Today, MUSHROOMHEAD have dropped their first new single – the arena-ready anthem “Seen It All”. The hair-raising earworm will have listeners chanting along in no time and is surefire proof that MUSHROOMHEAD are back in prime form. New full-time vocalist Mr. Rauckhorst leads the pack in an apropos cry for societal unity and marks a confident return for the band. Sing along and watch the new music video for “Seen It All” below. 

Watch the new official music video and listen to “Seen It All” HERE:

Pre-Order A Wonderful LifeHERE 

At its start, an ominous choir invites the listener into A Wonderful Life – introductory track “A Requiem For Tomorrow” smoothly shifts into an industrial-metal inspired, grooving punch to the gut juxtaposed with a melodic, synth-laden chorus. This sets the stage for stocky, chant-worthy anthems such as “Seen It All” and hair-raising, politically-inclined tracks like “The Heresy” and “Carry On”, both featuring the sinister multi-voice attack of new full-time vocalist Ms. Jackie and returning longtime vocalist J Mann, with an extra strike from aforementioned new vocalist Mr. Rauckhorst on the latter. Tracks like “What A Shame”, “I Am The One” and “Madness Within” will prove a treat for new and diehard MUSHROOMHEAD fans alike – providing the macabre inspiration followers have come to crave with a weighty dose of galloping drums and bone-rattling guitars, to boot. 

MUSHROOMHEAD attacks track after track with a refreshed focus, delivering a carefully-curated selection of certified future hits. A Wonderful Life re-cements the band’s position as one of the most consistently impactful heavy bands of our generation.

[Cover Art: Gus Fink]
A Wonderful Life Tracklist: 
1. A Requiem for Tomorrow
2. Madness Within
3. Seen it All
4. The Heresy
5. What a Shame
6. Pulse
7. Carry On
8. The Time has Come
9. 11th Hour
10. I am the One
11. The Flood
12. Where the End Begins
13. Confutatis
14. To the Front (Bonus Track)
15. Sound of Destruction (Bonus Track)
16. Another Ghost (Bonus Track)
17. Lacrimosa (Bonus Track) 

A Wonderful Life will be available in the following formats*:
– CD Digipak              
– 2 LP Gatefold Black + Mask- Digital Album      
– 2 LP Gatefold Gold / Black Inkspot + Mask
– CD Digipak + Cover T-Shirt Bundle        
– 2 LP Gatefold Gold / Black Inkspot + Mask + Cover T-Shirt Bundle – US Mailorder Only
– 2 LP Gatefold Black + Mask + Cover T-Shirt Bundle – USA Mailorder Only            
– Skateboard ONLY 
– CD Digipak + Skateboard – USA Mailorder Only             
– 2 LP Gatefold Black + Mask + Skateboard – USA Mailorder Only           
– 2 LP Gatefold Gold / Black Inkspot + Mask + Skateboard Bundle – USA Mailorder Only    
– CD Digipak + Cover T-Shirt + Skateboard Bundle – USA Mailorder Only               
– 2 LP Gatefold Black + Mask + Cover T-Shirt + Skateboard Bundle – USA Mailorder Only   
– 2 LP Gatefold Gold / Black Inkspot + Mask + Cover T-Shirt + Skateboard Bundle – USA Mailorder Only

*All first edition vinyl pressings of A Wonderful Life include a cardboard punch out mask to help you become the next member of MUSHROOMHEAD!
2 LP Gatefold Gold / Black Inkspot + Mask + Cover T-shirt + Skateboard Bundle 
(USA Mailorder Only)

Stay tuned for more coming soon from MUSHROOMHEAD! 

MUSHROOMHEAD is:

Mr. Rauckhorst – Vocals

J Mann – Vocals

Ms. Jackie – Vocals

Dr. F – Keyboards & Bass guitar

Tankx – Guitar

Stitch – Keyboards & Samples

Diablo – Drums/Percussion

Skinny – Drums/Percussion 

MUSHROOMHEAD online:

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

NAPALM RECORDS

Blu-ray Review “Charlie’s Angels (2019)”

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Elizabeth Banks, Patrick Stewart
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Rated: PG-13
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 10, 2020
Run Time: 118 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Some films you can just tell from the trailers that they were going to be terrible…this one surprised me a little. It’s been 16 years since the “Charlie’s Angels 2” and no one was really screaming for another sequel in the “Charlie’s Angels” franchise, but we got a new one. Meet our new Angels: Kristen Stewart (“Twilight” franchise), Naomi Scott (“Aladdin” 2019) and relative newcomer, Ella Balinska! Honestly a great gang of girls. They are kick ass together and definitely give some life to this reboot. I definitely didn’t hate this film. It had solid action despite having some issues. I didn’t feel like this film knew what it wanted. Was it a sequel or a reboot? Either way if you are looking for some brainless fun, this film is worth checking out.

Official Premise: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska are working for the mysterious Charles Townsend, whose investigative agency has expanded internationally. The new Angels are among the world’s smartest, bravest, and most highly trained women all over the globe. Under the guidance of Bosley (Elizabeth Banks), the Angels have to protect a revolutionary technology from becoming weaponized. They will have to rely on each other as their assignment becomes increasingly treacherous and even those closest to them can no longer be trusted.

The 1080p transfer on this Blu-ray is solid enough and definitely showcases the beautiful shooting locations in the film. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track also works well with the action and gives the film a large scale feeling. Personally though, the 4K Ultra HD release includes The IMAX® Enhanced 4K Ultra HD™️ edition features digitally remastered content presented with High Dynamic Range and DTS:X® audio for a more immersive at-home entertainment experience. So that would be the more preferred way to view this film.

The specials included are decent and worth checking out if you enjoyed the film. There is a pretty funny Gag Reel with never-seen-before bloopers that show this must have been a fun shoot. There are five deleted scenes included as well as the music video for “Don’t Call Me Angel” featuring Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus & Lana Del Rey, which was made for the movie itself. Fun song and definitely a great collection of talent here.

Lastly there are four behind-the-scenes featurettes included. The first “Stronger Together: The Sisterhood of the Angels” features the Angels and how they got into their roles. “Elizabeth Banks: As BOSSley” features Banks discussing not only acting in the film but also writing, producing and directing. “Warriors on Set: Angels in Action” focuses on the biggest action scenes from the film including stunt rehearsals with the cast. And the last one “Tailored for Danger: Styling the Angels” focuses on the costumes, hair and make-up. Overall solid features.

Blu-ray Review “Parasite”

Directed by: Bong Joon-ho
Starring: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Lee Jung-eun, Jang Hye-jin
Distributed by: CJ Entertainment
Running time: 132 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
A/V: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Director Bong Joon Ho has been on my radar since “The Host”, and “Snowpiercer”. Two amazing movies that the average viewers have never seen but hopefully that will change now. “Parasite” made history as the first Korean film to be nominated for an Oscar®. The film received six Oscar® nominations and ended up winning not only Best International Film but also Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay. This film is definitely the underdog and deserved everything it got. It is a very unique and original film and I am glad to see it get the attention it deserves.

Featuring incredible must-see performances from the entire cast including Song Kang Ho (Snowpiercer, The Host), Lee Sun Kyun (A Hard Day, Paju), Cho Yeo Jeong (The Servant, Obsessed), Choi Woo Shik (Okja, Train to Busan), Park So Dam (The Priests, The Silenced), Lee Jung Eun (Okja, The Wailing) and Chang Hyae Jin (Marine Boy, If It Snows on Christmas). Everyone in this cast does an amazing job. I am huge fan of Song Kang Ho and I am glad to see him back with director Bong Joon Ho. I would definitely call this film an ensemble cast. Literally outstanding.

Official Premise: In PARASITE, meet the Park family, the picture of aspirational wealth and the Kim family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kim’s sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide “indispensable” luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks.

Technically this release is amazing. The 1080p transfer is gorgeous. The colors are simply gorgeous. According to IMDB, this film was shot at a resolution of 6.5K and finished at 4K and then downscaled to 1080p. But simply, this film just looks beautiful. The Korean language DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack is the only audio option on the disc. There is no dub track only English subtitles are included. This is the way to watch the film anyway. I wouldn’t want to see this dubbed. The score works well with this track also. It is just simply perfect. Overall, in terms of technical merits this release deserves a big major thumbs up!

Despite the amazing A/V on this release, personally I am a bit disappointed in the Blu-ray release for “Parasite”, I feel like it was rushed to release. It also didn’t get a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release, which is a bit sad. With the way this film was shot it would be amazing in 4K. It is though available to stream in 4K Ultra HD if that is your thing, just not on disc. Also the special features aren’t very special. There is only one extra included on this Blu-ray disc, which is a Q&A with Director Bong Joon Ho. It is worth watching if you enjoyed the film but I was really hoping for more. I don’t think anyone expected this film to do what it did. Hopefully there will be a re-release of this film in 4K Ultra HD in a nice steelbook release in the future.

Patrick Hinds’ Hit Podcast “True Crime Obsessed” Expands Brand With New Series “Obsessed With: Abducted In Plain Sight”

The New Podcast Hosted by ‘Abducted in Plain Sight’ Documentary Director Skye Borgman and Co-hosted and Produced by Patrick Hinds to Reveal Never-Before-Heard Information About the Case

Los Angeles – (February 10, 2020) – Patrick Hinds, one of the creative minds behind the hit comedy/true crime podcast True Crime Obsessed, today announces the formation of Obsessed Network and its first production, spin-off podcast series Obsessed With. Obsessed With will commence with the release of the first season titled Obsessed With: Abducted in Plain Sight. Diving deep into one of the most shocking and controversial documentaries in recent years, the new podcast will be hosted the film’s director Skye Borgman and co-hosted and produced by Patrick Hinds, and will feature chilling never-before-heard audio from the film and new interviews with the documentary’s producers and subjects – including Jan Broberg herself, whose story is told in the film. All four episodes of the podcast, which will strike a more serious tone than its predecessor True Crime Obsessed, will be available across major podcast platforms and on ObsessedNetwork.com on March 2nd, 2020.

Over the course of four episodes delivered in a binge, Skye and Patrick will go deeper into the case revealed in Abducted in Plain Sight. In the podcast, Jan Broberg addresses her father’s sexual encounter with her kidnapper, her father’s sexual orientation, and the world’s vitriolic reaction to her parents after the release of the film. The podcast will also include audio recordings of the kidnapper’s audio journals that were recovered by the FBI, the kidnapper’s wife sharing her thoughts on her husband’s more virtuous qualities, and more.

“After audiences around the globe were captivated by the original documentary, they still had many questions,” said podcast host and director of Abducted in Plain Sight, Skye Borgman. “There are so many untold stories I wanted to share. Collaborating with Patrick on Obsessed With: Abducted in Plain Sight provides an opportunity to expand upon the documentary. And, I get to hang out with Patrick Hinds!” 

“I became literally obsessed with Abducted in Plain Sight, so to work with Skye Borgman on the first large-scale project for Obsessed Network outside of our original podcast is thrilling,” said Patrick Hinds, creator of Obsessed Network.  “If you thought the documentary was wild, just wait until you hear the never-before-made-public recordings this podcast will unearth.”

About Obsessed Network:

Obsessed Network, created by Patrick Hinds, comprises a collection of some of the best true crime podcasts on the internet, including “True Crime Obsessed,” the upcoming “Obsessed With” series, and a forthcoming project with journalist Maggie Freleng. Obsessed Network is headquartered in New York City.   

Joker, 1917 and Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood Lead Winners for the 9th Annual Media Mikes Awards

Now that the Oscars dust has settled, it’s time to take a look at how we here at Media Mikes, readers and writers alike, voted for our top cinematic achievements of 2019 in our 9th Annual Media Mikes Awards

“Joker,” Todd Phillips’s dark look at the origins of Batman’s greatest enemy, “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino’s fable about the summer of 1969 and Sam Mendes’s enthralling WWI drama, “1917”, topped our lists with two awards each.

“Hollywood” took home the big prize as the year’s Best Picture and also nabbed Best Supporting Actor award for Brad Pitt. “Joker” earned wins for Joaquin Phoenix as Best Actor as well as Best Original Score, written and composed by Hildur Guðnadóttir. “1917” earned the award for Best Director for Sam Mendes and was also recognized for its cinematography by the legendary Roger Deakins.

Additional winners included Reneé Zellwegger as Best Actress for her portrayal of Judy Garland in “Judy” and Scarlett Johansson as Best Supporting Actress for her work in “JoJo Rabbit.”

“Toy Story 4” was chosen as the year’s Best Animated Feature.

This year saw more than 3,000 readers submit their choices in the seven top categories, check out the complete list of our winners below

Reader Voted Awards Went to…

Best Picture – “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood”
Best Director – Sam Mendes, “1917”
Best Actor – Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
Best Actress – Renee Zellweger, “Judy”
Best Supporting Actress – Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
Best Supporting Actor – “Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood”
Best Animated Feature – “Toy Story 4”

Awards chosen by our Media Mikes writers went to…

Best Original Screenplay – Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won, “Parasite”
Best Adapted Screenplay – Greta Gerwig, “Little Women”
Best Documentary Feature – “David Crosby: Remember my Name”
Best Cinematography – Roger Deakins, “1917”
Best Original Score – Hildur Guðnadóttir, “Joker”

Composer John Williams, who recently earned his 52nd Academy Award nomination, was name the recipient of this years Media Mikes Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who voted!

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