Dir En Grey’s Kaoru talks about US tour and new DVD “Tour 12-13 In Situ Tabula Rasa”

Kaoru is the guitarist for the Japanese rock band Dir En Grey. The group has a new DVD out titled “Tour 12-13 In Situ Tabula Rasa” and in November will be touring the United States for the first time in two years. With the help of Kaoru’s translator Media Mikes was able to talk with him about the bands new DVD, the upcoming tour and the groups plans for a new album.

Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about the bands new concert DVD?
Kaoru: The DVD is really a documentary about the band returning from a hiatus we took due to our singer having some vocal issues. The film covers everything from then up until the last date of our most recent European tour which concluded this past summer.

AL: Having filmed a few other DVD’s how does the new one differ from previous ones the band has been involved in.
Kaoru: We have in the past released a number of live concert DVD’s. The main focus of this one was to show the process of what the band had to go through and what we had to do to overcome our singers vocal problems. There was a period for the band after returning that everything was going well but then our singer was hit with more health problems. We didn’t know what to do as a band and this DVD shows all of that.

AL: What does the band enjoy most about releasing DVD’s as they do require quite a bit of work?
Kaoru: Every show that we do as a band is different. Even though the songs may be the same we still might do something different from night to night. Some of our previous releases are from one night of a tour while others are made up multiple shows edited together. We like to release a lot of different things which is something we as a band just realized.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands upcoming tour?
Kaoru: We are staring of with some shows in Japan and in November we will be touring the United States. This will be our first time there in quite some time. Having been two years since our last trip to the United States I am sure our fans there are waiting for us and we are all looking forward to meeting everyone again. This band is now at the point where we want to see just how far we take this so now is the time for us to do that. We are currently working on our stage set for the show and we are hoping that we can bring some of what we do at our shows in Japan over to the States. We will definitely be bringing something different for everyone to see.

AL: What do you feel is the biggest challenge when touring outside of your country?
Kaoru: Definitely the language barrier. Not so much when it comes to performing our songs but when it comes to interacting with people on a daily basis. If we all just spoke the same language things would be so much easier. (Laughs) You can actually one instance where we are on stage at a festival in Europe and some trouble occurs and because we don’t speak English this turned into a bigger trouble. We have the textbook knowledge of a lot of different places but we are missing some things due to the language barrier.

AL: Has the band begun talking about starting work on any new material?
Kaoru: We have been talking about starting work on some new songs. Nothing is concrete yet but after this tour concludes we will be starting work on a new album.

Blu-ray/CD Review “Jimmy Buffett: Welcome to Fin City – Live in Las Vegas 2011”

Starring: Jimmy Buffett
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Number of Discs: 2
Tracks: 15
Running Time:
Label: Mailboat Records

Blu-ray Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars
CD Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I have been a life-long Jimmy Buffett fan, although only seeing him live for the first time earlier this year. Living in Florida, there is also no shortage of Jimmy Buffett mentality but I will take more wherever I can. Jimmy Buffett is also a rare act that can constantly produce live albums and DVDs and still manage to excite fans and deliver a fantastic time worth re-purchasing. Jimmy Buffett concerts are unlike any concert I have ever been to. The energy is so unique and what better than to watch it from the best seat in the house! So crack open that Margarita mix, get that blender ready and party it out with Jimmy and friends.

This release marks the first time that Jimmy is available in high definition Blu-ray. If that isn’t enough this comes as a two disc set with a CD of the show as well. The concert featured here includes the best of from his 2011 Las Vegas shows. I am not sure why the entire concert wasn’t included though since all of his concert is really a best of. Also included on the Blu-ray only is a never before released music video of “Elvis Presley Blues”. I just love the fact that this come with both Blu-ray and CD, since one can stay in my car and one in my Blu-ray player! 24 hours of Jimmy Buffett.

It is funny because when I think of Vegas, I immediately think of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at the Flamingo Hotel. Las Vegas seems to be an awesome venue to catch one of his concerts. This concert contains combined performances from 2 incredible Saturday night shows at the MGM. The audio/video on the Blu-ray is just superb and makes you feel like you are there in the audience. Of course there is nothing like a live show, this will hold you over until Jimmy’s next go-round in your town. Inquirers who are curious about what a Buffett concert is like will enjoy this personal and intimate view. But obviously, hardcore fans of Jimmy, this purchase is a no-brainer.

Track Listing:
1. Viva Las Vegas
2. Brown Eyed Girl
3. License to Chill
4. Off To See The Lizard
5. Life Is Just A Tire Swing
6. Bama Breeze
7. Gypsies In The Palace
8. It’s Midnight And I’m Not Famous Yet
9. Knee Deep
10. Back Where I Come From
11. Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes
12. One Particular Harbour
13. Fins
14. Defying Gravity
15. Elvis Presley Blues (Blu-ray only)


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DVD Review “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)”

Directed by: David Fincher
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Entertainment
MPAA Rating: R
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Running Time: 158 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is one of the best novels released in the recent years. The series has spanned two sequels, both which have Swedish films already made. This film is a US remake of the Swedish film based on the novel…get all that. I am sure I don’t have to explain though because of America’s wide awareness of this film. Rooney Mara really does an amazing job taking the role of Lisbeth Salander from Noomi Rapace. Although Noomi’s portrayal just feels a little more rigid and brutal. Daniel Craig just a match up job with his role of Mikael Blomkvist. Very impressive job overall from both. The aspect of this film that I loved the most was easily the cinematography, some shots are just downright breathtaking. You really get Fincher’s vision coming through with the film and it adds a lot to the film itself.

My only issue with the film is that it felt a little too much like the Swedish films. I enjoyed them both equally in fact with this film. I really can’t compare the two because they are so a like. In fact, after viewing this film, I spent a lot of time comparing the two and I was able to pick out bits and pieces of each from each film that I really enjoyed. The score is by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (known for the Oscar-winning “The Social Network” score) is so stunning, haunting and really intense. “The Immigrant Song” cover by Trent Reznor and Karen O is truly an instant classic and will be used for many years following. It really drives this film and adds a lot of direction. The film is also 158 minutes but easily feels like it is only 90 minutes.

The only special feature available on the DVD is a commentary with David Fischer. It is a great feature in fact but I assume that the Blu-ray will have tons more features covering the film’s production more in depth. Also as I said that the film’s has such amazing shots, which would also looks much better on Blu-ray than DVD. Overall though this film is worth the purchase easily no matter what format you are able to view it on. I really hope that Fincher is able to make the other two books in the series because I would like to see how his vision is portrayed in them as well.

Blu-ray Review “Footloose (2011)”

Directed by: Craig Brewer
Starring: Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Andie MacDowell, Dennis Quaid
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 113 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love Kevin Bacon, the original “Footloose” is definitely a classic, but this remake really holds its own. It is packed with more heart and a better laid out story. The film runs almost two hours but is so fast-paced, you don’t even feel it. You will also notice though that this remake aims plenty of odes to the original film, especially with the opening scene and various outfits throughout.  There is more back story in the beginning of the film explaining the accident that caused the ban of dancing, which was just a mention in the original. All-in-all, if you love the original that’s fine, but this definitely takes the classic and pumps it up a little.

The music is the film is extremely infectious, with the exception of one song. Holding Out for a Hero” remade by Ella Mae Bowen is absolutely dreadful. They took one of the most energetic songs and made it into a sleepy ballad. “Where The River Goes” by Zac Brown was even nominated for a Grammy it is so good. As much as I like Kenny Loggins, “Footloose” by Blake Shelton is quite a bit of fun as well. Fans of the 80’s don’t fret, also included are original tracks like “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)” by Quiet Riot and the original “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” by Deniece Williams. Music is very important in this film and it does not disappoint.

Props need to go to the film’s acting as I enjoyed every performance. Dancing with the Stars’s Julianne Hough did an amazing job and obviously we all know that she can dance. Kenny Wormald is not a huge name but he sure knows how to dance also having toured with Justin Timberlake and The Pussycat Dolls. Dennis Quaid gave a very emotional performance. The underdog performances needs to go to Miles Teller, who played Willard, since he got all the good laughs in the film.

The Blu-ray presentation is very impressive. The video is extremely sharp and packs a crystal clear picture. Most importantly, the sound is excellent featuring an DTS-HD MA 5.1 track and it really scores with the music in the film. Also included with the Blu-ray is a DVD copy of the film and an Ultraviolet digital copy of the film as well. This new feature enables you to watch the film streaming wherever you want like on your smart phone or online. Really great feature!

The special features are also very notable. There is an audio commentary with director Craig Bower. He discusses every aspect of the film from coming on board to completion, great listen. “Jump Back: Re-Imagining Footloose” focuses on the original film with comments from the cast and crew and its remake process. “Everybody Cut: The Stars of Footloose” focuses on the cast of the film. “Dancing with the Footloose Stars” is a great features and focuses on the film’s dance choreography. There are about five short deleted scenes with optional director commentary, worth a watch but nothing amazing. There are various music videos including “Footloose” by Blake Shelton, “Fake ID” by Big & Rich and “Holding Out for a Hero” by Ella Mae Brown. Lastly there is a video from Emily Whitcomb doing a Footloose-inspired Rap. Overall great features for an awesome film.

Blu-ray Review “Santana: Live at Montreux 2011”

Starring Carlos Santana
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Run Time: 204 minutes

Concert: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Santana has been around since 1969 and shows zero signs of slowing down. His guitar work is something of magic. This concert includes 23 of their greatest hits from then to now and also a bunch of fantastic covers. The show is over three hours and it was filmed during Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival. If all this isn’t enough the concert also features some great special guests including Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks and Cindy Blackman-Santana.

Obviously, every track is notable but these are some of my favorites. Two of my favorite tracks from Santana are “Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen” and “Oye Como Va”. “Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile)” is also so amazing! “Soul Sacrifice” is very notable including drum solo from Dennis Chambers. Lastly there is a really sharp cover of AC/DC’s “Back In Black”.

The Blu-ray presentation is very impressive. It was filmed in high-definition, so the video looks great and includes a great DTS-HD Master Audio track. With a concert Blu-ray, the release is based surely upon amazing sound. This one definitely kick-ass in the sound department. If a three plus hour was not enough, there are some great special features including various interviews with the band and a really cool behind the scenes look at the show. Very impressive release overall.

Track Listing:
1) Spark Of The Divine
3) Back In Black
4) Singing Winds, Crying Beasts
5) Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen
6) Oye Como Va
7) Maria, Maria
8) Foo Foo
9) Corazon Espinado / Guajira
10) Benny & Cindy Solo
11) Jingo
12) Carlos Speaks / Novus
13) Europa (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile) / I Want You
14) Batuka / No One To Depend On
15) Duende / Open Invitation
16) Make Somebody Happy / Right On Be Free
17) Evil Ways / A Love Supreme
18) Sunshine Of Your Love
19) Smooth / Dame Tu Amor
20) Soul Sacrifice / Dennis Drum Solo
21) Samba Pa Ti
22) Into The Night
23) Love, Peace And Happiness / Freedom


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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

Kansas City Critics name “The Descendants” Best Film of 2011

“The Descendants” narrowly defeated “Drive” to win the top prize as the Kansas City Film Critics Circle held their annual end of year vote Sunday evening. The Alexander Payne directed film also took home the Best Actor award for star George Clooney. Best Actress went to Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia. Reclusive filmmaker Terrence Malick was named Best Director for “The Tree of Life.” Here is a complete list of winners:

Best Film: “The Descendants”
Robert Altman Award for Direction: Terrence Malick – “The Tree of Life”
Best Actor: George Clooney – “The Descendants”
Best Actress: Kirsten Dunst – “Melancholia”
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer – “Beginners”
Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain – “The Tree of Life”
Best Animated Feature: “Rango”
Best Foreign Film: “A Separation” (Iran)
Best Documentary: “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” (Werner Herzog – Director)
Best Original Screenplay: “Beginners” (Mike Mills)
Best Adapted Screenplay: “Moneyball” (Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin)
Vince Koehler Award for Best Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror Film: “Hugo”

This was the 45th annual vote by the organization, which was founded by Dr. James Loutzenhiser in 1966. The KCFCC is the second oldest critics group in the nation.

MediaMikes’ The Best and Worst of 2011

Happy New Year!

What better way to begin the new year then to discuss the good, bad and ugly in film from 2011.  Keep in mind that some of the films that may be honored in the upcoming Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations (“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” “The Iron Lady”) may have only played in New York City and Los Angeles for the past two weeks to qualify them for those awards and haven’t been screened yet.  Just a caveat in case one of them is GREAT and you ask us “how could you leave “THAT” off of your ten best list???

Here are the films the Mikes thought were the best of the past year.  With the exception of the first film noted, in no particular order:

Mike Smith

1. “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
“The Artist”
“War Horse”
“The Descendants”
“The Way”
“The Conspirator”
“Crazy Stupid Love”
“Water For Elephants”
“Super 8”

Mike Gencarelli:

1. “Midnight in Paris”
“The Adventures of TinTin”
“The Descendants”
“Fright Night”
“The Help”
“The Muppets”
“Final Destination 5”
“True Legend”

And, of course, the 8 worse:

Mike Smith:

“Shark Night 3D”
“Red Riding Hood”
“Green Lantern”
“Gnomeo and Juliet”
“I Am Number Four”
“The Tree of Life”

Mike Gencarelli:

“Shark Night 3D”
“Conan the Barbarian”
“Mars Needs Moms”
“Scream 4”
“Red Riding Hood”


2011 DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

African Cats


Ancient Aliens: Season One

Ancient Aliens: Season Two

Animal, Whores and Dialogue: Breakfast with Hunter, Vol.2

The Anniversary at Shallow Creek

Assassins Creed: Lineage

Astron-6 Collection

Asylum Seekers



Barney’s Version

Beauty and the Beast 3D


Ben-Hur: 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition

Beyblade: Metal Fusion- Volume 4

Bizarre Bazaar

BKO: Bangkok Knockout

Black Zoo


The Bleeding House


Blue Sunshine

Bodyguards and Assassins

Bolt 3D

Cars 2 3D

Challenge of the GoBots: The Original Mini-Series

Chicken Little 3D


Clash of the Gods

Climate of Change

The Coffin

Cold Fish

Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Criss Angel: Mindfreak- Season 6



Deep Purple + Orchestra: Live At Montreux 2011

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

Devil’s Playground

Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series

Doctor Who: Series 6, Part 1

Dolphin Tale

Dragon’s Lair: The Complete Series

Drinking Made Easy: Season 1

Ed Hardy: Tattoo the World

Exit 33

Exporting Raymond

The Exterminator

Final Destination 5

Fire on Conscience


Forget the Film, Watch the Titles!


Fright Night 3D

Frosty’s Winter Wonderland

G-Force 3D

George: A Zombie Intervention

George A. Romero Presents: Deadtime Stories– Vol.1

George A. Romero Presents: Deadtime Stories– Vol.2

Gettysburg: Director’s Cut

Gift of The Magi

Gods and Generals: Extended: Director’s Cut

Gnomeo and Juliet 3D

God Bless Ozzy Osbourne

Grave Encounters

Green Lantern: Extended Cut

Griff The Invisible

The Guild: Season Four

Hall Pass: Enlarged Edition

The Hangover Part II

Happiness is Peanuts: Snow Days

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

The Help

The High Cost of Living

HitRECord Recollection Vol. 1

Hobo With A Shotgun

Hollywood Party

Hostel: Part III

The Hour: Series 1


How The Earth Was Made: Season 2

The Human Experience

I Ride

I Am Nancy


Into the Cold: A Journey of the Soul


Jackboots on Whitehall

Jessika Rabid

The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones

Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story

The Kids Grow Up

The Kids in the Hall: Complete Series DVD Megaset

Klown Kamp Massacre

The Last Circus


Let’s Talk About Sex

Life, Above All

Life After People: Season 2

Lindsey Buckingham: Songs From the Small Machine- Live in L.A.

The Lion King 3D

The Looney Tunes Show: Season One, Volume 2

The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy: Extended Edition

The Love We Make

Maniac Cop

Mars Needs Moms 3D

Meet the Robinsons 3D

Midnight in Paris

Moby Dick (2011)

More Brains! A Return To The Living Dead

Mortal Kombat: Legacy

Neverwhere: 15th Anniversary Edition

Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated

Night Watch

The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D

Ninjas vs. Vampires

Off the Boulevard

Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy- Volume 1

Our Idiot Brother

Page One: Inside The New York Times

Panic Button

Pearl Jam Twenty

The Perfect Host

Peter Gabriel: New Blood- Live in London 3D

The Phantom of Hollywood

Phase 7

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 3D

Placebo: We Come In Pieces

Planet Earth: Special Edition

Point Blank

Queensrÿche: Mindcrime at the Moore

Rammbock: Berlin Undead

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Ray Charles: Live in France 1961


Red Riding Hood: Alternate Cut

Red vs. Blue- Season 9

Repo Chick

Rice Field of Dreams

The Rite

Road, Movie

Robotech: The Complete Original Series

The Rolling Stones: Some Girls- Live in Texas ’78

Ron White’s Comedy Salute to the Troops

The Santa Incident

Secrets in the Walls

See What I’m Saying

Scooby Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Season 1, Volume 3

Scream 4

The Smurfs 3D

The Smurfs: A Magical Smurf Adventure

The Smurfs Holiday Special

Something Borrowed

South of Heaven

Storage Wars: Season One


Sucker Punch: Extended Cut


Sweet Hostage

Switched at Birth: Volume One

Tactical Force

13 Assassins

Tom and Jerry: Fur Flying Adventures- Volume 3

Toy Story 3D

Toy Story 2 3D

Toy Story 3 3D

Trancers: The Ultimate Deth Collection


True Legend

Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Underwater Universe: Season One

The Universe: The Mega Collection

The Universe: Our Solar System

The Universe: Season 5

The Universe 3D: 7 Wonders of the Solar System


Usher: OMG Tour- Live From London

Vanishing of the Bees

Virus X

Waiting For Hockney

The Warring States

What Women Want (2011)

When Strangers Click

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory: Ultimate Collector’s Edition

Winnie The Pooh


Young Justice: Volume Two

2010 DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

2011 Film Reviews

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

The Adjustment Bureau

The Adventures of Tintin



Arthur Christmas

The Artist

Bad Teacher

Battle: Los Angeles


The Best and The Brightest

Beware the Gonzo




Captain America: The First Avenger


Cars 2

The Change-Up


The Company Men

Conan The Barbarian

The Conspirator


Country Strong

Cowboys and Aliens

Crazy, Stupid, Love


The Debt

The Descendants

The Dilemma

Dolphin Tale

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark


Fast Five

Final Destination 5

The 5th Quarter

5 Star Day

Fix: The Ministry Movie


Friends with Benefits

Fright Night


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Glee the 3D Concert Movie

Golf in the Kingdom

Good Neighbors

Gnomeo and Juliet

The Green Hornet

Green Lantern

Hall Pass

The Hangover Part II

Happy Feet Two

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Hobo With a Shotgun


Horrible Bosses


The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)

I Am Number Four
The Ides of March
The Illusionist (2011)

IMAX: Born To Be Wild 3D



J. Edgar

Jack and Jill

Janie Jones

John Carpenter’s The Ward

Just Go With It

Just Like Us

Kung Fu Panda 2

Larry Crowne

The Last Rites of Joe May

Like Crazy


The Lincoln Lawyer


Magic Trip

The Man on a Train

Mars Needs Moms

Martha Marcy May Marlene

The Mechanic

The Mighty Macs

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol


Mr. Popper’s Penguins

The Muppets

My Week With Marilyn

No Strings Attached

Ong Bak 3: The Final Battle

The Other F Word


The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Pound of Flesh

Puss in Boots

Quarantine 2: Terminal


Real Steel

Red Riding Hood

Red State

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The Rite

Road to Nowhere


The Rum Diary

Sailcloth [Short]


Scream 4

The Sea Is All I Know [Short]


Shark Night 3D

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Shut Up, Little Man!

The Smurfs

Source Code

Sucker Punch


Super 8

The Swell Season

Take Me Home Tonight

The Thing

13 Assassins

30 Minutes Or Less


Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Tower Heist

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The Tree of Life

The Troll Hunter

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn- Part 1


War Horse


The Way

What’s Your Number

Winnie the Pooh

The Woman

X-Men: First Class

Your Highness

2010 Film Reviews

DVD Review ‘What Women Want (2011)”

Directed by: Chen Daming
Starring: Andy Lau, Gong Li,
Distributed by: New Video Group
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 116 minutes

Overall Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When I heard that there was a Chinese remake of the Mel Gibson starer “What Women Want”, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I am a big of of Andy Lau and Gong Li though, so right off the bat I was interested. Well I was definitely surprised since I enjoyed this film very much. The story was similar to the US version but had more of a new interesting feel added to it. It was funny and also had some good drama as well.

We follow Sun Zigang (Andy Lau) who works as an advertising agency and gets a new boss. The thing is the boss, Li Yilong, is a woman and threatens Sun’s position. During their first meeting Li suggests that in order to be able to sell their women’s products that the men should use the products first. After a freak accident Sun is slightly electrocuted, survives but now can hear all women’s thoughts. He uses this to get a head at work but ends up falls for his boss in the process.

The film runs a little long at around two hours but overall is very entertaining. My only real negative comment is that the DVD does not come with any special features at all. Even though it lists the Mandarin audio track with English & Chinese subtitles, but it is not a bonus feature and is in fact the only audio track available. Besides that I would definitely recommend this film.

Concert Review “Epitaph Tour 2011” Rochester, NY

“Epitaph Tour 2011”
Judas Priest, Black Label Society, Thin Lizzy, DJ Lady Starlight
Date: Wednesday, November 16th 2011
Venue: Main St. Armory, Rochester, NY

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

The Epitaph Tour headlined by Judas priest made its way to upstate New York on Nov. 16th playing to a near capacity crowd. The tour is slated to be the last tour for heavy metal legends Judas Priest who will be retiring from the road after almost 40 years in the music business. The crowd consisted of a variety of ages that ranged from pre-teens on up to what appeared to be grandparents. DJ Lady Starlight kicked off the night spinning a variety of heavy metal classics which she would continue to do in between each of the other acts sets. Thin Lizzy took the stage first playing a variety of hits. Though the crowd’s reception to the band started off luke warm classic tracks such as “Jail Break” and “The Boy’s Are Back In Town” quickly won the audience over.

Black Label Society took the stage next and was surely a crowd favorite. Zakk Wylde and company put on a stellar performance which seemed to work the crowd into a rabid frenzy. Songs such as “Crazy Horse”, “Fire It Up” and “Stillborn” gave the crowd plenty to bang their heads to. Though the band only played an hour each member appeared to give it their all. The assembled masses in return showed their appreciation in a variety of ways.

Judas Priest would take the stage next to close out the night. The stage featured a chain link motif that only added to the fact that after 40 years in the business the band are still the kings of heavy metal. At times throughout the set I found it hard to hear Rob Halfords vocals which seemed to get lost in the mix. That aside the band was extremely tight. Newly added guitarist Richie Faulkner who replaces K.K. Downing did an excellent job and seemed to fit right in with the veteran metalers from Birmingham, England. The set featured a variety of classic songs assembled from the bands vast catalog. Songs such as “Diamonds and Rust” Screaming for Vengeance” and “Hell Bent For Leather” which featured Halfords signature of riding a motorcycle across the stage were definite highlights.

If you are fan of both classic and newer heavy metal you will want to check out the Epitaph Tour. Not to mention this will most likely be one of the last times you will be able to see Judas priest live.

Thin Lizzy Set List:
Are Your Ready
Waiting For An Alibi
Killer On the Loose
Rosalie/Cowgirls Song
Black Rose
Cowboy Song
The Boys Are Back In Town

Black Label Society Set list:
Crazy Horse
Funeral Bell
Bleed For Me
Suicide Messiah
Parade of the Dead
Fire it Up
Guitar Solo
Godspeed Hell Bound
Concrete Jungle

Judas Priest Set List:
Rapid Fire
Metal Gods
Heading Out To The Highway
Judas Rising
Victim Of Changes
Never Satisfied
Diamonds and Rust
Night Crawler
Turbo Lover
Beyond the Realms of Death
The Sentinel
Blood Red Skies
The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)
Breaking The Law
The Hellion/Electric Eye
Hell Bent For Leather
You’ve Got Another Thing Coming
Living After Midnight

Blu-ray Review “Deep Purple + Orchestra: Live At Montreux 2011”

Directed by: Stephen “BK” Bentley-Klein
Starring: Deep Purple
Rating: Unrated
Run Time: 115 Mins.
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love rocking out to Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water”? Such a great track. This Blu-ray was recorded on the closing night of Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival on July 16, 2011. The band re-invented their classic catalog with the help of a symphony orchestra. This is common for recent bands to do like Metallica, Kansas and Queensryche. I really enjoy the new take on great classics that playing with an orchestra presents. These guys still know how to deliver an entertaining concert. Overall this is a must for fans of Deep Purple, especially if your want to catch their classics with a twist.

The Blu-Ray release looks visually great even in 1080i video presentation. The sound also delivers these tracks perfectly in it DTS-HD surround sound track. Some of the great classic included on this concert is “Highway Star”, “Strange Kind of Woman,” “Lazy,” “Perfect Strangers,” “Hush,” “Woman From Tokyo,” “Black Night,” and “Smoke On The Water”. I think the orchestra really adds a new twist on these songs and the band Ian Gillan (vocals), Ian Paice (drums), Roger Glover (bass), Steve Morse (guitar) and Don Airey (keyboards) really seemed to be getting into it along with them.

The concert runs a decent 115-minutes and includes a great theatrical presence from the band. It shows that Deep Purple can still deliver some hardcore kick ass classic rock. There is great in depth interview included on the Blu-ray which has the band chatting about their music and the tour. It is very informative and definitely worth checking out. Whether you are Deep Purple biggest fans or just finding out about them (Thanks to the video game “Rock Band”), this is definitely worth checking out.

1) Orchestral Intro
2) Highway Star
3) Hard Loving Man
4) Maybe I m A Leo
5) Strage Kind Of Woman
6) Rapture Of The Deep
7) Woman From Tokyo
8) Contact Lost
9) When A Blind Man Cries
10) The Well Dressed Guitar
11) Knocking At Your Back Door
12) Lazy
13) No One Came
14) Don Airey Solo
15) Perfect Strangers
16) Space Truckin
17) Smoke On The Water
18) Hush
19) Black Night


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Concert Review “Orlando Calling 2011”

Festival Republic Presents:
Orlando Calling 2011
Citrus Bowl Park, Orlando FL
November 12-13, 2011

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

This music festival feels like they were trying to capture the look and feel of Woodstock but unfortunately failed.  This was the first year for this two-day music festival at the Citrus Bowl, it may also be the last.  When arriving the event, I saw that the attendance was very poor but I figured that they were possibly waiting for the night’s main attractions but no such luck.  The venue itself did not seem prepared for sure an event.  The cumulative feelings from the events attendees was that the event was very unorganized.  Besides the main stage, the additional stages were almost hard to find and too far to trek in between each act.

Day one was seemed to aim at a younger audience with bands like The Killers and Kid Cudi.  Our coverage focuses on Sunday’s bands which definitely trumped the acts from Saturday. Kid Rock and Blake Shelton are a big enough draw even without, the recently MIA, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band.  “The Doobie Brothers proved they definitely can still rock the house and sounded fantastic. Blake Shelton was honestly not a good as I hoped he would be.  I do not think that it was the fact that he was one of the only country acts at the festival but he just didn’t really bring it all to the stage, presence-wise.  Kid Rock easily stole the show with his amazing performance.  His full set was packed with all of his great hits and was super high energy. His songs “Fucking 40” and mash-up of “Picture/Bawitaba” with a little help from “Beavis and Butt-head” where a major highlight.  Unfortunately then he was followed by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band.  Normally I think that Bob Seger would have been fantastic but his act cannot follow Kid Rock and brought more “Night Snooze” than “Night Moves”.

I think that this event had major potential but was definitely disappointing.  Maybe with a different venue this could have honed-in on its potential.  Maybe it was just the lack of a audience because my section 226 had less than 20 people total, though even the GA area was less than 1/3 full.  I would have loved to post some video for you from these great acts but both Kid Rock and Bob Seger did not allow any video at the event. In fact Seger didn’t even allow photos, which was quite disappointing. Not sure if there will be a next time but if there is I hope they try and improve it.

Kid Rock set list:
1. Devil Without a Cause
2. It Feels Good To Me
3. Tom Sawyer/Forever
4. Cocky
5. So Hott
6. I Got One for Ya’
7. Wasting Time
8. Purple Sky
9. Cowboy
10. Lay it on Me/Cowboy (Reprise)
11. Care
12. Fucking 40
13. What’s My Name?
14. Cat Scratch Fever/God Bless Saturday
15. Picture/Bawitaba
16. All Summer Long
17. Rock N Roll Jesus
18. Only God Knows Why
19. Born Free

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band set list:
1.Roll Me Away
2. Tryin’ to Live My Life Without You
3. The Fire Down Below
4. Mainstreet
5. Old Time Rock & Roll
6. Going Back To Birmingham
7. Travelin’ Man
8. Beautiful Loser
9. We’ve Got Tonight
10. Nutbush City Limits
11. Come to Poppa
12. Her Strut
13. Turn the Page
14. Sunspot Baby
15. Real Mean Bottle (w/ Kid Rock) (Vince Gill cover)
16. Against the Wind
17. Hollywood Nights
18. Night Moves
19. Rock and Roll Never Forgets

Event Review: Major League Gaming Pro Circuit 2011

Major League Gaming Pro Circuit
Gaylord Palms Hotel
Orlando, FL – October 14-16, 2011

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

This weekend I had the privilege of attending the Major League Gaming (MLG) event held in Orlando, FL, at the beautiful Gaylord Palms Hotel. The Major League Gaming event is a tournament event that brings hardcore gamers together to compete in tournaments against each other.

MLG was founded in 2002 by Sundance DiGiovann and Mike Sepso, who wanted to bring computer and console game tournaments to a competitive and spectator market. They have partnered with PlayStation and have many sponsors such as Sony Ericsson and Alienware who provide the computers and monitors, and Dr. Pepper and Stride gum who not only sponsor the organization but also provide free samples at the events.

The event it’s self is very well organized, allowing for amateur players to play against already established professional players after competing against each other. The games are displayed on large screens above the players so the audience can watch from a “spectator” perspective. There was a section for “Halo: Reach” for the Xbox 360, “Call of Duty: Black Ops” on PlayStation 3, and “StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty” on the PC. The excitement of the audience was so intense as the competitors get into watching the players competed, clapping and shouting with as much enthusiasm as a rock concert.

Audience members are even allowed the option, for a minimal increase to their attendance fee, to play the games in separate areas on individual computers and console. This allows the opportunity for gamers who have not played the games before to experience them.

I made several attempts to try getting an interview with any of the professional gamers and since they were so busy most of the time playing games I was extremely fortunate to catch a few minutes with each Michael Cavanaugh and Cody “Wethy” Wetherald, who are both on teams sponsored by “QuanTic”.


Pro Gamer: Michael Cavanaugh, age 23

Desiree Yates: So Michael, how long have you been with your current team?
Michael Cavanaugh: About 6 years.

DY: When did you first start playing video games as a career?
MC: I started when I was in High School on “Halo 2” then “Halo: Reach”.

DY: From experience I understand there were a lot of major changes from “Halo 2” to “Halo: Reach”, such as the major increase in weapon choices. Do you think maybe the weapon choices has gone a little overboard?
MC: No, I don’t think they went overboard at all. In fact I think they were perfect. I like the new sprint feature and jet pack the most.

DY: So when did you sign on with MLG and can you tell us roughly how much you make playing console games professionally?
MC: I’ve been with MLG since July 2005 and contracted for $250,000 a year.

DY: Wow, impressive! Do you have your own sponsers?
MC: Yeah, RedBull, Apex Esports, partnered with Twitch.tv, and a few others. (National Guard)

DY: So you are here in Orlando, FL right now for this tournament. How do you like Orlando?
MC: I like Orlando because of the sights and activities and I am staying four more days after the competition with my girlfriend.


Pro Gamer: Cody “Wethy” Wetherald

Desiree Yates: So Cody, what team are you on and how long have you played on that team?
Cody “Wethy” Wetherald: I’ve been on “QuanTic LeveraGe” team since “Call of Duty: Black Ops” and “Modern Warfare II” and I’ve also been playing “Modern Warfare III”.

DY: So can you tell me a bit about your experience as a professional gamer?
CW: I travel with MLG and love these events. There has been a major increase in sponsorship and turnout (from spectators). This is an industry that is still growing and will never go away, it will keep getting bigger and bigger.

Both Michael Cavanaugh and Cody Wetherald only had so much time before they had to get into another game, but it was obvious by their big smiles and energy they absolutely loved what they do for a living. And who wouldn’t? There are kids and adults of all ages out there that would love a chance to play video games and get paid for it. I know I sure would!

While the games themselves were terrific and the competitions were, well, competitive, I found the announcers though to be rather amateur. They gave off the impression they were probably related to someone to get the position as an announcer. After speaking to a few of the spectators, there seemed to be a somewhat general consensus agreeing with my observation that everyone would appreciate a little more swag, other then the free “Dr. Pepper” drinks and samples of “Warheads” candy and “STRIDE” gum.

Overall I found the event to be a terrific opportunity to experience what the hardcore gamer can do when put to the test. Their reaction times are phenomenal and they clearly know every inch of every map on their specialized games. Having been addicted to “Halo 2” myself, I can definitely understand their drive to want to know everything they can to exploit their opportunity to get just one more win. The sense of achievement even with something as simple as winning a video game is one that gamers have experienced since the early arcade games…where kids would burn through quarter after quarter.

Games today are much easier then they were originally. Just play a game of “Zelda” and you will notice it. But in a sense gamers have not really changed much…we all love the games…we play the ones we love the most several times working out several angles and scenarios on the “RPG” games and continue to strive to kick the heck out of our friends and others. This industry may still be in it’s beginning stages in some ways, but from the location of the event, the increasing sponsors and attendance from spectators…it is obvious this industry will just keep getting bigger and bigger.