When You Really Do Want to Netflix and Chill: 10 Tips to Get You Settled for Binge-Watching

You’ve probably read about the fancy ways you can optimize your Netflix experience. However, this is NOT your average how-to guide. We are going to give a detailed step by step playbook of how to become a proper binge-watching couch potato. All you need to do is follow these rules, and you’ll be Netflix and Chilling like a pro. Without further ado, these are the magic steps.

1. Netflix Enhancement Suite for the Sheer Purpose of Watching Trailers

Before the big night, all you Chillers have a couple of chores. The first is to download the Netflix Enhancement Suite so that you can watch the trailers of anything that might catch your eye. The last thing you want is to be pumped up for a movie and then find out it’s nothing that you were looking forward to.

2. Spend an Afternoon and Add Things to “Your List”

Your list is not complete in any way if it does not have at least 20 “Must Sees” and 10 “Yeah, I Wanna See That,” especially if you’ve got friends coming over. However, if there’re problems while choosing what to binge on, here are a few helpful options to help you solve the issue.

  •         Reddit – Recommendations from fans all over regarding the best of Netflix
  •         What’s on Netflix – Simply search favorite categories for a bit: Romance, Comedy, Horror, etc.
  •         Netflix Roulette – Use it and make your life easier. Choose a genre, actor, or a theme and spin the roulette. While all the options might not be satisfying, this simple tool can defuse massive feuds in a matter of moments.

3. Use Netflix codes

Everybody knows that the most annoying part of binge watching is choose what to actually watch. While Netflix recommendations are fine, there’s a better way to make that daunting decision, and it’s called Netflix codes. Using these somewhat secret codes you can explore niche genres. You can zero in your search on anything from Cult-Horror flicks to Spaghetti Westerns. Here’s an awesome list of various codes for any genre lover!

4. Kick Friends off Account and Invite them Over Instead

Sharing your account is caring, for sure; however, eventually, none of your friends will show up for your regularly-scheduled binge marathon if they can simply do it on their own using your account. Lock them out and invite them over. It might seem rude, but the intent is purely good. Your friends will get it.

5. Use your phone as a backup remote

Losing your remote could turn out to be a hell on earth. To eliminate any chances of that happening turn your smartphone into a backup one. The Netflix iOS app can connect with select TVs and media players, which lets you use your smart device as a remote controller. Android users can connect their phones to a PS3, PS4, PS4 Pro, or PS Vita, which also allows them to use it as a remote. The only thing you need to make sure is that all devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi Network.

6. Set up Closed Caption in advance

As writers, we are very particular about catching every line, nuance, metaphor, in everything we watch. The feeling of being the first one to “get” the joke is like nothing else. That’s why we insist on having the closed caption on at all times. (On a side note, as an ex-English and Reading teacher, I’d recommend parents to turn on the captions for their kids as that can exponentially improve their linguistic skills). Netflix even offers subtitles in a variety of languages, which encourages users to read along.

7. Volume Control/ Noise Canceling Headsets

A noise-canceling headset is a must-have if you want to be a pro at Netflix and Chill. While you might not use it when you’re all alone, noise-canceling headphones could prove to be a lifesaver, especially if you have chatty friends over.  Another way to deal with a noisy company is to turn down the overall volume below the comfortable hearing range. Do that, and you’ll be surprised with the results.

8. Snacks

What is a movie marathon without treats? Everyone loves popcorn and nachos, so you can’t possibly go wrong having these on your side; however, the all-time best Netflix snack is lightly buttered popcorn sprinkled with Reese’s Pieces. While it the tip might be redundant, it’s too important to skip.

9. Download your shows and movies

A few years back Netflix introduced its users with an ability to download content locally for offline viewing. While this feature might not be used all that often, it can be a lifesaver. In an unlikely event of your Internet connection going down, you’d have nothing to worry about since all the shows and movies you were planning to binge on would be on your computer.

10. Blankets & Pillows

You’re almost ready to click play. Once you take care of everything we’ve talked about before, the final step is to find the most comfortable position and over stuff it with pillows. Remember to open a window for some fresh air, and you’re good to go. Once you’re done with your binge-session, reschedule, and repeat all these steps.

Bottom Line

The night is on. The preparation and hard work have all led up to this magic moment. It’s everything you wanted, so take a moment and enjoy it as best you can. Those treasurable times are rare, to say the least. Hopefully, these steps were helpful, and you’re having the best of time.

10 Years Continue to Tour In Support of Hit Album “(how to live) As Ghosts)”

10 YEARS CONTINUES TO TOUR IN SUPPORT OF HIT ALBUM
(how to live) AS GHOSTS MIXING HEADLINE APPEARANCES WITH
CANADIAN DATES SHARING THE STAGE WITH SHINEDOWN AND
IN THIS MOMENT ALONGSIDE SHOWS WITH BREAKING BENJAMIN

10 Years continues the heavy touring schedule that began with their return to the scene in support of the band’s latest studio album (how to live) AS GHOSTS. The lead single “Novacaine” has been a smash at active rock radio, across streaming platforms globally, and on video domains like YouTube where the official video has been viewed over 1.1 million times (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1glGnGOpf6c), The album marks the return of Brian Vodinh (guitar / drums) and Matt Wantland (guitar), and is their sixth full-length studio release, Produced by Grammy Award winner Nick Raskulinecz (Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters, Deftones, KoRn, Mastodon), the repertoire has been celebrated by fans and critics alike. On release, singer Jesse Hasek shared, “It’s funny. I named our last record From Birth to Burial (2015) because I thought it was our final record. It just didn’t feel like 10 Years without Brian and Matt, and having them back is really a reunion of the core writing team. This new record actually feels like a real rebirth for the band.”

The deep connection to these songs that is emerging from the fan base reflects the directness singer Hasek took with his lyrics. He shares, “In the past, I’ve written a lot of songs that were pretty ambiguous. But on this record, I’m comfortable being direct and talking about things that are important to me now. I’m older and find myself reflecting on the world more, especially after having traveled the globe. I’ve crossed paths with a lot of people, and perspectives shared have been enlightening for me as I look at The World. I see what’s going on around me. All the political, social, and religious turmoil, it had me thinking about how many people are judging and preparing for death, but are actually missing life. And, instead of using spirituality for good, a lot of people use it to point fingers and judge. Instead of worrying where we end up in the end, we need to focus on the now and the humanity.” Since release, the band has toured with Vodinh on guitar, Chad Huff on bass, and Kyle Mayer on drums. Vodinh reflects, “We’re bringing it back to the way it should be. It feels great to be back with these guys and we’re in such a good place musically and creatively.”

CONFIRMED APPEARANCES INCLUDE:
3/22 Mandan, ND Strawberry Bar
3/23 Minot, ND The O’riginal Bar and Nightclub
3/24 Billings, MT Pub Station
3/27 Penticton, British Columbia South Okanagan Events Centre *
3/29 Edmonton, Alberta Shaw Conference Centre *
3/30 Dawson Creek, British Columbia EnCana Events Centre *
3/31 Calgary, Alberta Grey Eagle Resort & Casino *
4/02 Winnipeg, Manitoba MTS Centre *
4/03 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Sasktel Centre *
4/04 Lethbridge, Alberta Enmax Centre *
4/06 Abbotsford, British Columbia Abbotsford Centre *
4/07 Missoula, MT The Wilma
4/09 Casper, WY Casper Events Center
4/10 Denver, CO Marquis Theater
4/12 Grand Junction, CO Mesa Theater & Club
4/13 Las Vegas, NV Vinyl
4/14 Tucson, AZ Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium
4/17 Monroe, LA Live Oaks Bar and Ballroom
4/18 Destin, FL Club LA
4/20 Tampa Bay, FL WXTB 98 Rockfest @ Amalie Arena
4/21 Orlando, FL WJRR Earthday Birthday @ Central FL Fairgrounds
4/22 Ladson, SC WYBB 98 Rockfest @ Ladson Fairgrounds
4/25 Richmond, VA The National !
4/26 North Myrtle Beach, SC House of Blues !
4/27 Greenville, SC Harley Davidson Greenville
4/28 Critz, VA Reynolds Homestead
4/29 Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live
5/02 Charlotte, NC The Underground
5/03 Chattanooga, TN The Signal !
5/05 Jefferson, LA Southport Hall
5/07 Nashville, TN Marathon Music Works !
5/09 Springfield Shrine Mosque !
5/11 Sioux Falls, SD The District !
5/13 Somerset, WI Somerset Amphitheater
5/15 Joliet, IL The Forge
5/16 Clive, IA 7 Flags Event Center !
5/17 Peoria, IL Peoria RiverFront
5/18 Columbus, OH Rock on the Range @ Mapfre Stadium
5/24 Knoxville, TN The International
5/26 Dallas, TX Starplex Pavillion
5/27 Pryor, OK Catch The Fever Music Festival
5/31 Sturgis, SD Nikki’s
6/01 Sauget, IL Pop’s Nightclub
6/02 Kansas City, KS The Grounds At Kansas Speedway
6/14 Oshkosh, WI Ford Festival Park
6/15 Belvidere, IL The Apollo Theater
6/20 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Casino – Wolf Den
8/04 Sturgis, SD Iron Horse Saloon

* Shinedown, In This Moment, One Bad Son
! Breaking Benjamin

http://10yearsmusic.com
https://www.facebook.com/10yearsmusic/
https://twitter.com/10years

The Man, The Legend –  Jimi Hendrix: 10 Things you didn’t know.

Legendary artist Jimi Hendrix will go down in history as one of the most talented musicians of all time, you’ve no doubt heard one of his songs before, but how well do you know the man behind it?

Jimi Hendrix passed away just when his career was really starting to take off,but he still managed to accomplish a hell of a lot in the mere 4 years he spent in the spotlight. He went on to leave this world a musical idol when he died in 1970. As Hendrix would now be 75 years old, we’ve put together a list of 10 things you probably didn’t know about Jimi Hendrix as an homage to the star and celebrate the announcement of the new album of unreleased songs coming soon!

1)      He wasn’t always called Jimi Hendrix. “Jimi” was born Johnny Allen Hendrix. His mum and dad did not have the greatest of relationships, so when Jimi’s father gained custody, and he went to live with him., his father renamed him James Marshall Hendrix. Although, he didn’t spell his name “Jimi” until 1966.

2)   He used the military to avoid Prison.  Jimi was caught in stolen cars on a couple of occasions whilst growing up in Seattle. He was subsequently arrested and given the choice of going to prison or two years in the military. He joined the army as an Airborne Ranger and although he was discharged for falling asleep whilst on duty, Hendrix later claimed that he broke his ankle and that was the real reason for his dismissal.

3)   There are several conspiracy theories surrounding his death. One particular conspiracy theory alleges that Hendrix didn’t die accidentally, he was murdered. The theory states that Monika Dannemann, his girlfriend at the time made him overdose, unlikely as it may sound.

4)   One of his most popular sings is a cover. His smash hit song “All Along the Watchtower”, was originally written and recorded by none other than Bob Dylan the year before. When Hendrix died, Dylan began to play the song in the Hendrix style as a tribute to him.

5)   He loved comic books. Hendrix would quite often reference characters from comic books when talking amongst friends. Jimi was particularly keen on Spider-Man and was known to be a huge fan of Batman.

6)   He wrote a screenplay. Written entirely by Jimi himself, his screenplay Moon Dust included a main character named The Powerful Sound King who was quite obviously based on himself. Other characters in the play where based on Marvel comics Spider Man characters.

7)   He wasn’t able to read music. Hendrix never actually learned how to read music. He taught himself to play by ear rather than reading the notes on the page. His first ‘guitar’ was a Ukelele that only had one string.

8)   Music was his religion. Jimi referred to his music as “Electric church” as he believed music was a religion. He put his belief into practice at Seattle’s Experience Music Project” where he named the great hall the “Sky Church”, a place where people of all ages and backgrounds could come together and experience music.

9)   Once mistaken for a clown. Hendrix was once allegedly refused service in a Liverpool bar. The bartender had thought he was a clown and there was a circus in town and the bar had a rule: No Clowns Allowed.

10)  You can Play Jimi Hendrix! There’s a slot machine modelled after Jimi Hendrix. Online casinos like bgo.com offer an online slot machine set to the soundtrack of the infamous musician. It embodies the essence of a Hendrix gig in an easy to play environment, with the potential of a nice little win. 

 

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Top 10 Bitcoin Casinos with Their Promotions

Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/bitcoin-coin-money-electronic-money-2651926/

Bitcoin is now available everywhere, including online casinos. As a secure and anonymous money transfer method, Bitcoin is beginning to be supported by more and more casinos. No commission, transaction times are instant, and nobody can follow you: Bitcoin is a very advantageous currency for these reasons. However, it is still not easy to find a casino that accepts Bitcoin, especially for beginners. Even if they are found, it is impossible to know how good and reliable they are. That’s why we will give a best bitcoin casino list in this article and talk about promotions. Every website in our list is licensed and trusted by prestigious institutions.

10. CloudBet

CloudBet, founded in 2013, is one of the first online casinos to support BTC. It has a collection of about 1,000 casino games. Sign up bonus for new members is extremely advantageous. The upper limit for this promotion, which is a 100% match bonus, is 5 BTC (about 12,000 USD). With every game you play and every bet you make, you earn loyalty points. If you earn 800 loyalty points, you can redeem them as 0.1 BTC to your blockchain. It takes about 1 year to win 5 coins. Since there is no wagering requirement, this is a highly advantageous offer. However, you cannot use a currency other than bitcoin.

9. BitStarz

BitStarz was founded in 2014 and is working under the license of Curacao. There are over 850 titles in their game collection, and the “provably fair” system is available for all of them. New players earn 20 free spins as soon as they become members. After that, they earn a 100% match bonus for the first four deposits they make. The upper limit of this bonus is 1 ฿ for the first and second deposit, 2 ฿ for the third deposit, and 1 BTC for the fourth deposit. In total, you can get 5 BTC and 200 free spins.

8. BitCasino.io

BitCasino is licensed in Curacao and was established in 2013. It offers more than 1,300 games from different developers. A match bonus is offered to new members, which means your first deposit is matched by %100. The upper limit for this offer is m ฿ 1,000 (1 BTC). However, no currency other than BTC is available. As a member of Bitcoin Foundation, this casino is one of the most reliable websites in the industry.

7. Bob Casino

This casino, named after Bob Marley, works with a Curacao license and accepts currencies outside of BTC too. Presenting Netent and Microgaming games, Bob Casino matches 100% of the first three deposits of new members. However, the upper limit of each deposit is different. You can earn 0.5 BTC for the first deposit and 1 ฿ for the second and third deposit. In addition, a total of 130 free spins are awarded.

6. VegasCasino.io

This casino was established in 2015 and uses a Panama license. You can find games of Betsoft, Novomatic, and Play’n Go. Sign up offer is a 100% match bonus. The upper limit is set at 1.000 mBTC (1 BTC). The casino also offers users the opportunity to convert their money into BTC without a commission in an instant.

5. 1xBit

1xBit is also a sports betting website and has more than 800 games. Like many other casinos, newcomers can take advantage of a 100% match bonus (up to 1 ฿). However, in order to benefit from this promotion, you must deposit a minimum of 0.5 BTC (around 2.200 USD). It also has a wagering requirement of x40. Although the game collection is rich, the bonus conditions are a bit heavy.

4. Fortune Jack

Fortune Jack is a Bitcoin Foundation member and operates under the Curacao license. Its game collection has more than one developer, and it offers about 500 games in different categories. First-time members can benefit from the 130% match bonus and the 250 free spins promotion. The highest bonus you can earn with this campaign is 1 BTC. You also need to deposit a minimum of 0.5 BTC to benefit.

3. Betchan Casino

Betchan works under a Curacao license and is supervised by eCOGRA. It has a collection of over 400 games and offers sports betting services too. It offers a match bonus up to 0.5 BTC for each of your first four deposits (2 ฿ in total). In addition, a total of 120 free spins are awarded. You can also earn a 50% reload bonus (up to 0.5 BTC) in a slot machine every week.

2. mBit Casino

Founded in 2014, mBit is a white label casino using coingaming.io infrastructure. You can play more than 900 games by using BTC. The deposit bonus rate is 110%. So the money you deposit is matched with this ratio. The highest amount you can earn is 1 ฿. Everyone can benefit from this campaign, not only new members.

1. BetChain Casino

BetChain is the first casino to feature Bitcoin-based slot machines. It was founded in 2013 and uses a Curacao license. All the games in their collection support the “provably fair” system. You can deposit money using another currency and convert it to BTC. The standard welcome promotion consists of a 100% match bonus (up to 1 ฿). However, if you deposit at least 2 ฿, this limit becomes 3.75 BTC.

10 Years Release Video For The Song “Novacaine”.

10 Years presents lead video for the song “Novacaine” in front of new album “(how to live) AS GHOSTS” coming October 27.

Pre-Order Link:
http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/10yearsmusic

ABOUT 10 YEARS
10 Years has come a long way since their inception in 1999. The band landed a deal with Universal/Republic Records on the strength of their two independent releases, 2001’s Into the Half Moon and 2004’s Killing All That Holds You. Their major label debut, 2005’s The Autumn Effect, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Album chart thanks to their breakthrough hit, “Wasteland,” which topped Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart, and “Through the Iris,” which hit No. 20 on Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks. The band followed that success with 2008’s Division, featuring co-production work from Rick Parashar (Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam). The album peaked at No. 12 on The Billboard 200 and spawned the hit “Beautiful,” which reached No. 6 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks. The momentum continued with 2010’s Feeding the Wolves, which was produced by Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, 3 Doors Down) and bowed at No. 17 on The Billboard 200, while the single, “Shoot It Out,” peaked at No. 6 on Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks and spent 25 weeks on the chart. The group, which toured the world with such rock greats at Linkin Park, Korn, and Deftones, went back to their indie roots with 2012’s Minus the Machine on their own Palehorse Records, which was part of Warner Music Label Group. The album debuted at No. 2 on the Hard Rock Albums chart, No. 8 on the Top Rock Albums chart, and No. 26 on The Billboard 200.

Dates:
10/13 Knoxville, TN Mill & Mine, +
10/14 Winchester, VA Blue Fox Billiards <
10/15 Morgantown, WV Schmitt’s <
10/17 Pittsburgh, PA Diesel *
10/19 Lancaster, PA Chameleon Club *
10/20 Lynchburg, VA Phase 2 *
10/21 New York, NY Highline Ballroom *
10/23 Greensboro, NC The Blind Tiger *
10/25 Darlington, SC Carolina Night Live *
10/26 Atlanta, GA Masquerade *
10/27 Destin, FL Club LA 99 Rock show w/ Pop Evil *
10/28 Cape Coral, FL Dixie Roadhouse – 93X show w/ Pop Evil *
10/29 Orlando, FL House of Blues *
10/31 Baton Rouge, LA Varsity Theatre *
11/02 Lexington, KY Manchester Music Hall *
11/03 Cincinnati, OH Bogart’s *
11/04 Sauget, IL Pop’s *
11/05 Joliet, IL The Forge *
11/07 Kansasville, WI 1175 *
11/08 Detroit, MI St. Andrews Hall *
11/10 Ft. Wayne, IN Piere’s *
11/11 Indianapolis, IN The Vogue *
11/28 Nashville, TN Marathon Music Works =
11/29 Mobile, AL Soul Kitchen =
12/01 Dallas, TX Southside Ballroom =
12/02 Houston, TX Revention Music Center =
12/04 Birmingham, AL Iron City =
12/05 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore Charlotte =
12/06 Raleigh, NC The Ritz =
12/11 Grand Rapids, MI 20 Monroe Live =
12/14 St. Paul, MN Palace Theatre =
12/17 Chicago, IL House of Blues =

* Co-Headline dates with RED
< Headline w/ Otherwise supporting
+ 10 Years headline
= Supporting Chevelle

Links:
http://10yearsmusic.com
https://www.facebook.com/10yearsmusic/

 

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Top 10 Casino and Gambling-Themed Movies

People have always regarded gambling as one of the favourite activities, and it is not surprising that this interest also translates into the world of movies. A number of gambling and casino themed movies come out on a regular basis, but there are movies that capture the hearts and minds of viewers more than others. Here are some of the top 10 casino and gambling themed movies:

  1. Rounders (1998)

The movie features a young Matt Damon, in one of his best roles ever, and Edward Norton as two friends who are addicted to gambling. Damon plays a youngster who excels at poker and uses this skill in order to pay off the loan sharks and help his friend in the process. It may not be a big budget film, but it has all the essentials for a slick poker inspiration.

  1. Casino (1995)

A classic casino-themed movie, it features Robert De Niro as a Las Vegas mobster who is involved in the world of casinos. Yet, he tries to go about his business in a respectable way while his mobster friend is overtaken by greed. The movie was directed by Martin Scorsese, widely regarded as one of the best directors. The film goes into several details of owning and running a casino in its 178-minute runtime.

  1. 21 (2008)

A recent entrant in the world of casino themed movies, 21 is a story of MIT students being coached by their professor – played by Kevin Spacey – in order to win big at Las Vegas casinos. The students set off to Las Vegas and use card counting technique to amass huge sums of money before being eventually caught. The 123-minute runtime will reveal if there is a happy ending or not.

  1. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

A star cast featuring Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, and many others, decide to rob Las Vegas casinos. The film gives an incredible insight into the behind-the-scenes action at a super casino, like those found in Australia and featured at https://pokiestar.com/online-casino-in-australia/. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the movie is not about robbing just one, but three Las Vegas casinos.

  1. Casino Royale (2006)

One of the first James Bond movies to heavily feature casino games, Casino Royale sees the debut of Daniel Craig as James Bond. His mission is to beat a top weapons dealer in a high-stakes game. The movie is set in Monaco, which has some of the oldest and most popular casinos in the world. Eva Green plays the love interest for Bond in the movie, which takes focus away from technology and moves it to Bond himself.

  1. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

A British crime movie, the plot follows a youngster who is indebted to the powerful crime lord to the tune of £500,000. The huge debt is created as a result of a fixed card game. In order to pay off this debt, the youngster goes on about every possible option and there is a huge amount of killing along the way. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the movie also features young Jason Statham.

  1. Owning Mahowny(2003)

A movie about gambling addiction, this Canadian film features Phillips Seymour Hoffman and John Hurt. A bank employee and gambling addiction certainly do not go along well. Large number of bank money being skimmed to fuel the gambling addiction results in everything falling apart. Just like a stack of cards, the movie shows gambling addiction destroying a life. The movie was directed by Richard Kwietniowski.

  1. Maverick (1994)

Starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster, Maverick is a movie about a young poker player trying to come up with a huge amount of money in order to enter a major poker tournament. Numerous challenges and comic mishaps happen along the way. The movie was directed by Richard Donner with Jodie Foster playing the love interest of Gibson, and someone who is also a gambler.

  1. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

This movie depicts the equivalent of a David versus Goliath contest, but in the world of poker. A young and upcoming poker player is pitted against one of the best in the business. Directed by Norman Jewison, the movie features some of the best-known stars of the time like Steve McQueen and Edward G. Robinson. A high-stakes poker game forms the fulcrum of the movie.

  1. The Gambler (1974)

Depicting the life of a literature professor who has become addicted to gambling, this movie shows some of the pitfalls of becoming addicted to gambling. Even after going through various stages of losing money, the lead character – played by James Caan – cannot stop gambling.

Film Review “10 Cloverfield Lane”

Starring: John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher, Jr.
Directed by: Dan Trachtenberg
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1 hr 43 mins
Paramount

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

It’s happened to all of us.

You have a fight with your significant other, grab a bottle of the good stuff and drive off into the night, unsure of where you’re going. Next thing you know, you’re waking up in a small room chained to your bed. OK, it probably hasn’t happened to a lot of people but it does happen to Michelle (Winstead). Thus begins “10 Cloverfield Lane.”

Less a “member” of the “Cloverfield” family than a straight sequel, “10 Cloverfield Lane” is a tight little film featuring three very strong performances. After some confused moments, Michelle meets Howard (Goodman), who informs her that he pulled her from an auto accident and brought her to his home. Home happens to be an underground bunker, which conspiracy theorist Howard built and filled some time ago with the help of the other person in the bunker, Emmett (Gallagher) a drifter who found work with Howard. Unsure of Howard’s intentions, Michelle tells him that her boyfriend is probably looking for her. “No one is looking for you,” Howard replies. He then goes on to explain that “something” has happened in the world. He suspects an attack, though he can’t be sure if it was the Russians or the Martians. He has plenty of ideas on how to defeat both.

What is intriguing about the story here is that we are never sure what the truth is really. Was there an attack? Is Howard just a nice guy with some weird rules (the table in the kitchen is an heirloom, so coasters and placemats will be used at all times) or is he a kidnapper and, possibly, a murderer? You never really know. Goodman is so reliable in supporting work that you sometimes forget what a fine actor he is. Here he gives a full and fleshed out performance and you can’t help but feel sorry about his station in life. Winstead and Gallagher also have some chemistry, though more friendly than romantic.

A word to the wise; if you go into this film looking for the monsters from J.J. Abrams film “Cloverfield” you may be disappointed. However, if you are in the mood for a small and satisfying thriller, then brave the bunker at “10 Cloverfield Lane.”

DVD Review “Ben 10: Omniverse – Galactic Monsters”

Created by: Man of Action Studios
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Cartoon Network
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Run Time: 110 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

“Ben 10: Omniverse” is the fourth installment in the “Ben 10” franchise. “Galactic Monsters” is the setting for the shows fifth season, which just recently completed airing. I have never really watched much of this show in the past…an episode here and there maybe. But this is definitely a solid show with some great action and humor mixed. For those “Ben 10” fans, get ready cause besides the more volumes from this season coming up, this October also brings the new season “The Evil Rooters”.

Official Premise: Sometimes it takes a real monster to defeat a real monster. So Ben is transforming into some awesome monster heroes in the latest DVD release “Ben 10 Omniverse: Galactic Monsters.” Watch for almost 2 action packed hours as Ben transforms into heroes like Frankenstrike and Whampire as he battles the most vile villains in the galaxy including the evil Lord Transyl on Monster Planet. It’s spooky! It’s kooky! It’s “Ben 10 Omniverse: Galactic Monsters”.

This volume five DVD comes with the following “Galactic Monsters” Episodes: “Rad Monster Party”; “Charmed, I’m Sure” and “The Vampire Strikes Back”. There are also two bonus episodes including “Something Zombozo This Way Comes” and “Mystery, Incorporeal” from the fifth season as well. I do not know why Cartoon Network  didn’t just included the remaining three episodes to make this a complete season. This is a little bit of a letdown for sure. But don’t worry parents since I doubt that kids will even notice, this is more a concern for the show’s older audience.

Quentin Tarantino picks his Top 10 films of 2013…so far

Director Quentin Tarantino recently revealed his “Top 10 films of 2013 so far” with fan site The Quentin Tarantino Archives and some might be surprised by his taste in movies. Although many of his releases include highly (and deliberately superficial) violent sequences with sometimes unconventional story lines, his list illustrates that he appreciates movies of various genres. I guess it isn’t a surprise then that Woody Allen’s celebrated film Blue Jasmine is featured. More surprising however, is his choice to add Disney’s flop blockbuster The Lone Ranger featuring Johnny Depp. Below is the complete list of Tarantino’s Top 10:

  • ‘Afternoon Delight’ (Jill Soloway)
  • ‘Before Midnight’ (Richard Linklater)
  • Blue Jasmine‘ (Woody Allen)
  • The Conjuring‘ (James Wan)
  • ‘Drinking Buddies’ (Joe Swanberg)
  • ‘Frances Ha’ (Noah Baumbach)
  • Gravity‘ (Alfonso Cuarón)
  • Kick-Ass 2‘ (Jeff Wadlow)
  • The Lone Ranger‘ (Gore Verbinski)
  • This Is The End‘ (Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg)

As the rankings are in alphabetical order and not order of preference, it is hard to determine which film has made the ultimate #1 spot. Nonetheless, his selection will have an impact on film buffs and Tarantino fans all over the world. There are only a number of other directors like Tarantino that have influenced the cult and pop culture film scene like he has, with masterpieces like Pulp Fiction or his latest, Django Unchained. Iconic images and movie posters to his classics can be spotted at myriad retailers from online stores like posterlounge.co.uk to local video stores.

Quentin Tarantino’s next project still has not been confirmed but with public appearances at the Huading Awards in Macau, there may be a chance that he reveals something in a few days. A third part of Kill Bill is possible or a spin-off mix of Inglorious Bastards and Django. Sounds unfathomable, as have many of his story lines, so maybe it’s wise not to write off this rumor just yet.

Film Review “10 Years”

Starring: Channing Tatum, Justin Long and Rosario Dawson
Directed by: Jamie Linden
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1 hr 40 mins
Anchor Bay

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

In what is sure to be remembered as “the year of Channing Tatum,” a smaller budgeted film he did last year (it played the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival) is finally seeing the light of day. That film is “10 Years” and it is, surprisingly, an intimate look at a group of young adults who return to their home town for their 10th Anniversary high school reunion.

The plot is fairly simple, if not occasionally clichéd. There is the big man on campus (Tatum) with his new girl (Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Channing’s real life wife) in tow. One of the gang has become a famous singer while another boasts of his cool life in New York City. And then there’s the former bully who is determined to make amends to all he picked on in the past Of course the BMOC is just there to see if his old flame, the former Big Girl on Campus, has shown up. The singer is encouraged to sing his hit song, which alerts the girl he wrote it for of his true feelings for her…apparently she’d never heard the song when it was a hit. And the bully (Chris Pratt)… no matter how hard he tries to make amends the old adage is true – once an ass always an ass. This tale and other similar stories are quickly brought to the forefront. Thank goodness for young and talented actors.

Most of the cast are unknowns making a small independent film. But the talented ones in “10 Years” are the names and faces you know. This is another in a string of bravura performances from Channing Tatum. Coupled with “the one that got away,” he says a quick hello to the others while worrying himself sick if he’s made the right choice with his latest lady friend. Solid work also by Long, Pratt and, most notably, Lynn Collins, whose Anna is the most deeply explored character in the film.

The Top 10 Albums of 2011

2011 brought a plethora of good and bad music releases to the masses and we here at Media Mikes had quite a pile of releases to choose from for our top 10 of 2011. However after great thought and debate our writers have come up with the lists below.

Adam Lawton:
1.) Wasting Light- Foo Fighters
2.) Heavy Worship- The Great Commission
3.) Worship Music- Anthrax
4.) The Truth Is…- Theory of a Deadman
5.) Set the World on Fire- Black Veil Brides
6.) Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes- Social Distortion
7.) Human Conditional- Fallon Bowman
8.) Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be- We Came as Romans
9.) Balls Out- Steel Panther
10.) A World Destroyer- Degradead

Mike Gencarelli:
1.) Anar – Marketa Irglova
2.) Chief – Eric Church
3.) Evanescence – Evanescence
4.)  Jeff Bridges – Jeff Bridges
5.) Original Sountrack – Janie Jones
6.) Original Sountrack – Midnight in Paris
7.) Original Sountrack – The Muppets
8.) Own The Night – Lady Antebellum
9.) Race Wars – mc chris
10.) Wasting Light- Foo Fighters

Chickenfoot III Debuts Top 10 as Band Announces Tour Dates

(LOS ANGELES, CA) – “CHICKENFOOT III”, the new album from the supergroup featuring guitarist Joe Satriani, drummer Kenny Aronoff, former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and frontman Sammy Hagar – debuted on the Billboard album chart at #9. Tickets will be available Friday, October 7th for the recently announced “2011 Road Test Tour.” The new dates will take the the band through San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Chicago and New York in early November. European tour dates will also be announced this month.

The first single, “Big Foot,” debuted at #1 on the Mediabase Classic Rock Chart holding the position for seven weeks and earning over 1.85 million listeners and continues to receive critical acclaim:

“‘Big Foot’ is sinewy, muscular and abundantly familiar – but in a good way. As Hagar sings, ‘that s*** rocks.’” Billboard Magazine.

“Chickenfoot light a fire under rock ‘n’ roll’s collective ass, setting the pace for the genre as a whole. Chickenfoot III melds monstrous grooves and virtuoso playing in one of the year’s best rock records,” writes Rick Florino of ARTISTdirect.com.

Last week on release day, Chickenfoot offered fans a very special free Live Concert Webcast: Chickenfoot Presents “III,” performing tracks from the new album and hosting a 30-minute Q&A session with the fans. “CHICKENFOOT III”, produced by Mike Fraser, features an elaborately designed 3D package with optical illusions and special codes giving fans a fully immersed creative Chickenfoot experience, creating a spectacle with spectacles. With special “3D optical enhancers,” old-skool 3D glasses that come with each package, the cover and numberous inside photos feature artwork that trick the eye by looking through the two different red and blue lenses of the glasses. A look through the red lens even reveals a very special message on the CD itself.

“CHICKENFOOT III” features 10 tracks with so many moments of epiphany that one can barely take them all in on first listen. Colossal, stadium-shaking riffs abound on earth-movers such as “Alright, Alright,” “Last Temptation” and “Lighten Up.” Tradition meets innovation on the Nashville pop-tinged “Different Devil,” the Delta-blues flavored “Something Going Wrong” and the aching rock ballad “Come Closer.” Special video releases and more can be seen at the band’s webpage , as well as their podcast, YouTube, Facebook and Google+ pages. Chickenfoot III follows the band’s 2009 debut album, which debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 100 and was certified gold for sales of over 500,000 units by the Recording Industry Association of America.

THE 2011 ROAD TEST TOUR DATES:
11/1/11 – San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theatre
11/2/11 – Los Angeles, CA – Avalon Hollywood
11/4/11 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
11/5/11 – Chicago, IL – Metro
11/8/11 – New York, NY – Webster Hall

TCM’s 10 Favorite Low-Budget Science Fiction Films

Who Needs a Big-Budget Summer Blockbuster?
TCM Finds Just as Much Fun with 10 Favorite Low-Budget Science Fiction Films

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Blob (1958),
Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) and The Terminator (1984) Included on TCM’s List

As summer blockbusters invade theaters across the country and fans descend upon San Diego for Comic-Con 2011, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has unveiled a list of movies that show how popular and critical success doesn’t require multi-million-dollar budgets. TCM’s 10 Favorite Low-Budget Science Fiction Films is a celebration of what can happen when minimal budgets spark maximum imagination.

TCM’s list spans from the 1953 monster-on-the-loose thriller The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, featuring Ray Harryhausen’s memorable stop-motion model animation effects, to 2001’s offbeat The American Astronaut, a black-and-white western/sci-fi hybrid. The list includes such acclaimed masterpieces as Invaders from Mars (1953) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), cult classics like The Blob (1958) and I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958) and independent hits like The Brother from Another Planet (1984) and The Terminator (1984), not to mention the film delightfully hailed as the worst ever made, Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959).

TCM’s Favorite Low-Budget Science Fiction Movies is the network’s latest list highlighting the history of the movie industry. TCM’s previous lists have included 10 Great Overlooked Performances, 10 Favorite Baseball Films, 10 Great Comedy Lines and 15 Influential Soundtracks. Here, in chronological order, are the 10 films chosen as TCM’s Favorite Low-Budget Science Fiction Movies:

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) – Directed by Eugene Lourie
Warner Bros. brought the monster movie into the nuclear age when it bought this low-budget film and turned it into a box-office bonanza. It led the way for a parade of revived dinosaurs and mutated creatures despoiling cities of the world. The story of a prehistoric carnivore awakened from its frozen sleep by an A-bomb test at the North Pole was inspired by the successful reissue of King Kong (1933) in 1952. Producers Jack Dietz and Hal E. Chester thought that by combining nuclear paranoia and giant critters they could create a new kind of monster movie. They enlisted special effects genius Ray Harryhausen – who apprenticed with Kong’s creator, Willis O’Brien – to undertake his first solo job animating the creature. When he realized how low the budget was, Harryhausen dipped into his own pocket. The script set the basic plot structure for most future giant monster movies, moving from isolated incidents in remote locations to a full-scale attack on a major city. Warner Bros. bought the finished film for $450,000, about twice the original cost, and scored a $5 million gross. Monsters were now big business. Warner Bros. followed up with the giant ant movie Them! (1954), though without Harryhausen the effects were far from convincing. Before long, almost every studio was making its own creature features. The real impact was felt in Japan, where The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms inspired Godzilla (1954) and the whole daikaiju (giant monster) genre.

Invaders from Mars (1953) – Directed by William Cameron Menzies
Three years before Invasion of the Body Snatchers warned us about pod people from outer space, this 1953 feature poured on the paranoia with the tale of a child (Jimmy Hunt) who sees an alien ship land behind his house, then finds his parents turned into emotionless robots. Director-production designer William Cameron Menzies may not have had much money to work with (an estimated $290,000), but he put it to good use with surrealistic sets and a score dominated by pulsating choir music that upped the eeriness. The man who created the look of such classics as Gone With the Wind (1939) and The Pride of the Yankees (1942) was a master at visual storytelling. In this case, he used deep sets with unusually high walls to create a child’s perspective of a threatening world as Hunt discovers that the people he depends on are joining the enemy. Hunt, nearing the end of his days as a child star, gives the role the perfect sense of wounded innocence. Tobe Hooper remade Invaders from Mars (1986) to somewhat less effect, with Hunt coming out of retirement to play the local police chief and give the film its high point. When he arrives at the hill where the Martian ship has landed and says, “Gee, I haven’t been here since I was a kid,” the original’s many fans got an echo of the dreamlike paranoia that had delighted them for decades.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) – Directed by Don Siegel
When Kevin McCarthy shouted, “You’re next!” into the camera near the end of this classic sleeper, audiences around the world jumped, shaking at the prospect of being replaced by emotionless beings. Invasion of the Body Snatchers was shot for less than half a million dollars, and only $15,000 went to special effects, proving a small budget can be overcome by a big dose of imagination and a great story. Small-town doctor McCarthy returns from a medical convention to discover an epidemic of paranoia afflicting the town of Santa Mira. Suddenly, many feel their friends, neighbors and relations – the people they’ve known all their lives – are “not themselves.” As the sick miraculously cure themselves, he realizes everyone was right to be afraid; the town’s residents are being replaced by humanoid vegetables from outer space. Critics have argued over what the invaders symbolize. Is the film a metaphor for conformism, McCarthyism or communism? But the film’s makers didn’t have an agenda; they just wanted to scare the audience, and that’s exactly what they did. Invasion of the Body Snatchers earned five times its investment domestically and, even with a studio-imposed “frame” at the beginning and end that allows for a happy ending, it continues to shock audiences. It has inspired three official remakes, numerous parodies and rip-offs and even a Radiohead song, “Bodysnatchers.” It also helped resurrect producer Walter Wanger’s career after a prison sentence for a crime of passion and is often hailed as director Don Siegel’s best film. It added the phrase “pod people” to the vocabulary to describe those devoid of emotion and individuality.

The Blob (1958) – Directed by Irvin S. Yeaworth
Who could resist the idea of people and even entire buildings being consumed by a mass of red gelatin from outer space? Not thousands of audience members, mostly at drive-ins, who made this film a hit and helped turn first-time leading man Steve McQueen into a star. Made by a Pennsylvania-based company specializing in educational and religious films, The Blob was created by people who didn’t know what not to do. As a result, they produced a winning combination of science fiction and juvenile delinquent drama in which the troubled teens of a small town fight to convince the authorities they’re under siege by the title monster. The writers gave the characters believable motivations, and even on a miniscule budget, director Irvin S. Yeaworth shot in widescreen and color. The producers claimed to have made The Blob for $240,000 (Yeaworth later admitted the budget was half that) and turned a profit when Paramount picked up distribution rights for $300,000. The studio originally intended to release it as the bottom half of a double bill with I Married a Monster from Outer Space, but when previews indicated the independent film was generating more interest, they switched the pictures’ positions. Now a movie legend, The Blob has inspired a sequel, two remakes (the next due in 2012) and Blobfest, a three-day annual celebration at the shooting location in Phoenixville, Pa., featuring original props and a re-creation of the scene in which moviegoers flee from a movie theater after the title creature eats the projectionist.

I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958) – Directed by Gene Fowler Jr.
Though this sci-fi shocker’s plot matches the confessional tone of its title (inspired by the director’s 1957 I Was a Teenage Werewolf), the quality is far greater than that of a tawdry confessional. In fact, this story of a newlywed who realizes her husband and another man have been replaced by aliens hoping to breed with Earth women can withstand comparison to the more acclaimed Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Writer Louis Vittes approached the project with a good deal of imagination, creating aliens who drop their disguises when startled (a creepy effect), can’t drink alcohol, die if given oxygen and repel dogs (an idea later writers would borrow). Gene Fowler Jr. shot it as though it were a film noir, with an impressive use of shadows and disturbing camera angles. Released on the bottom half of a double bill with The Blob, the $125,000 feature wasn’t taken very seriously by reviewers. But television screenings have brought it a devoted audience, while later critics have reappraised the film as an anti-Communist tract (the masquerading aliens lack emotion until they fall for their wives) or an early feminist dissection of marriage and gender roles.

Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) – Directed by Ed Wood Jr.
With cardboard tombstones, wooden performances and a character who changes size and shape from shot to shot, this would be a bad film in anybody’s hands. But only Ed Wood Jr. could have made it so bad that it turned out to be loads of fun. Although widely hailed as the worst director in movie history, Wood is too entertainingly awful to really deserve the title – and managed to sneak too many ideas into his films. This film, often described as the world’s worst, is actually more watchable than some big-budget Hollywood epics. When friend and frequent co-star Bela Lugosi died while shooting another project, Wood put the footage to use by concocting this tale of aliens using reanimated corpses to alert humanity to their disarmament message. He fleshed out the late star’s scenes by putting a cape on his wife’s chiropractor, even though the man was at least a foot taller, and told him to keep his face covered. The result was a movie too cheerfully inept for anyone to hate. Long before it was hailed as the worst movie ever made, or immortalized in Tim Burton’s 1994 biopic Ed Wood, Plan 9 from Outer Space had developed a devoted following through frequent television screenings. It also triggered the re-discovery of other Wood classics like Glen or Glenda (1953), his semi-autobiographical tale of a transvestite in love. With two remakes and four stage versions in various states of development, it continues to be one of the most popular sci-fi films ever made, all for a budget of just $60,000.

La Jetée (1962) – Directed by Chris Marker
When you have vision you can work with little money, or in the case of this 28-minute film, little movement. While making another picture (1966’s Le jolie mai) pioneering documentary filmmaker Chris Marker composed this black-and-white short almost entirely from still images played against voiceover narration. Rather than calling it a film, he called it a “photo-roman” (literally “picture-novel”), alluding to a popular European genre of comic book made from photos. La Jetée tells of a man from a post-apocalyptic world who uses a traumatic memory of seeing a man killed at Orly Airport to travel to the past in search of salvation for the future. He finds it, along with love and the key to his memory. Throughout, Marker plays with concepts of time, making the audience watch a movie that seems not to move (except for one shot of the leading lady waking up after a night of romance). He even plays with that convention when the leads visit a natural history museum, where the use of still photos makes the stuffed creatures seem as animated as the living people. La Jetée was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958), and Marker even copies a scene from that film by having the leading man point out his birth date in the cross section of an ancient tree trunk. It has, in turn, inspired other films, most notably Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys (1995).

The Brother from Another Planet (1984) – Directed by John Sayles
Writer-director John Sayles has always made the most of low-budget limitations, nowhere moreso than in this fascinating mash-up of blaxploitation, science fiction, western and social satire. Joe Morton plays a mute, runaway alien who can pass for human as long as nobody notices that his feet have three over-sized toes. Because of his skin color, he ends up in Harlem, where he builds a new life, using his telekinetic powers to repair video games and his silence to become a sounding board to the city’s many troubled souls. Although Morton does not understand prejudice based on skin color, the bounty hunters pursuing him refer to him as “three toes,” suggesting that bigotry is universal. Sayles drew part of his $350,000 budget from a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” and though the low budget sometimes shows in the special effects, the freedom Sayles enjoyed by refusing to sign with a major studio led to an innovative movie that overcomes all its limitations imaginatively. The result is a loosely plotted film that makes trenchant comments on race in America while also capturing the essence of immigrant spirit that built a nation. With its catchy title and low budget, The Brother from Another Planet had little trouble turning a modest profit. It also attracted champions like Roger Ebert, who compared Morton favorably to Buster Keaton, and a devoted fan following that has continued with Sayles through such films as Eight Men Out (1988) and Lone Star (1996).

The Terminator (1984) – Directed by James Cameron
When Arnold Schwarzenegger uttered one of his most famous lines, “I’ll be back,” in this action classic, nobody could have realized what a prophet he was. Not only would he return for two more sequels that transformed him from super-villain to superhero, but The Terminator made him a true superstar – with just 16 lines. Writer-director James Cameron and Schwarzenegger created the perfect combination of actor, role and story. Inspired by a nightmare in which a metal cyborg skeleton emerged from a fiery explosion, Cameron fashioned the story about a robot who travels from the future to destroy the mother of his greatest enemy. Originally Cameron interviewed Schwarzenegger to play the future rebel leader who follows the cyborg back in time to stop him. Intrigued by the former bodybuilder’s physical presence, Cameron reshaped his concept, eventually creating a dazzling, low-budget epic with Schwarzenegger as the cyborg. Distributor Orion Pictures didn’t seem to have high hopes for the picture; they didn’t even want to hold a press screening until the actors’ agents insisted. To their surprise, the picture won respectable reviews and went on to earn more than $38 million on a meager budget of just $6.5 million. Thanks to creative merchandizing tie-ins, Cameron’s persuasive direction and Schwarzenegger’s compelling presence, The Terminator became a cult favorite, inspiring three sequels (with a fourth scheduled for 2014), a TV series and numerous video games.

The American Astronaut (2001) – Directed by Cory McAbee
This cheerfully demented film doesn’t just mix genres; it explodes them. It’s sci-fi with still paintings as special effects, a Western with no shoot-outs and a musical in which the leading man dances his big number opposite another man. Inspired by Dennis Potter’s musicals (Pennies From Heaven, 1981), producer-director-writer-star Cory McAbee combined carefully integrated musical numbers (by his band, The Billy Nayer Show) with a decidedly iconoclastic plot. In McAbee’s Wild West vision of the universe, the sexes are segregated by planet, with the all-male workers on Jupiter worshiping The Boy Who Actually Saw a Woman’s Breast and the all-female colony on Venus in need of someone to replace their deceased consort. McAbee’s title character tries to get rich with a series of trades between worlds, all the while followed by a mad scientist out to kill him for no clear reason. But then, little in this film makes sense or even tries to. Shot in black and white for between $1 million and $2 million, the picture features Southern belle dresses made from shower curtains, a spaceship only shown in still shots and interiors built in an abandoned dance hall in Queens. It’s all compulsively watchable thanks to the off-the-cuff acting, surrealistic dialogue and ironic score. With a cast that includes former rockers Annie Golden of The Shirts and James Ransone of Early Man, The American Astronaut captures the spirit of gritty, inexpensive films punk rockers produced in the ‘80s, before Sundance made the indie scene respectable.

 

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