Announce Winners of 2013 Movie Awards

Entertainment web site Media announced the winners of their annual movie awards for 2013 today.

“Gravity,” director Alfonso Cuaron’s space epic earned four awards, including Best Picture of 2013, after tabulating nominations submitted by the staff and readers of Media, one of the fastest growing entertainment web sites on the Internet. Readers were asked to send in their choices in the following categories: Picture, Director, Animated Feature, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress. Votes could be submitted either on the site or via email. Awards were also given in the categories of Original Score, Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay and Documentary Feature. These were chosen by a vote among staff members of the web site. Starting next year, these categories will also be open to the readers.

The winners are:
Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity


       BEST ACTOR           
Tom Hanks – Captain Phillips
Sandra Bullock – Gravity
Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
20 Feet From Stardom
Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright – The World’s End
Terence Winter – The Wolf of Wall Street
 Steven Price – Gravity

Blu-ray Review “Carrie (2013)”

Actors: Chloë Grace Moretz, Judy Greer, Portia Doubleday, Alex Russell, Gabriella Wilde
Directors: Kimberly Peirce
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: MGM
Release Date: January 14, 2014
Run Time: 100 minutes

Film: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Let’s just say that when I saw that “Carrie” was being remade again, I couldn’t be any less interested. This is the fourth (and hopefully last) rendition of Stephen King’s 1974 novel. The first go around was, of course, in 1976 (and still the best). The terrible sequel “The Rage: Carrie 2” came in 1999 and the even worse TV Movie remake came in 2002. I really wanted to go into this with an open mind but just couldn’t do it.

This latest remake is absolutely unnecessary and just plain terrible. Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore are fine in the their respective roles. Moore, I think forgets this is a “horror film” and tries to go for the Oscar nomination. The film also relies way too much on CGI in the last 30 minutes, which is quite sad because it is such a cop out and to be honest doesn’t have the gore edge like the ’76 film despite being R-rated. What we have here is a sad remake of “Carrie” for today’s MTV generation.

Official Premise: “Carrie” is a re-imagining of the classic horror tale about Carrie White (Chloë Moretz), a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother (Julianne Moore), who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom.

The film came in a combo pack with Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy. It also comes in a neat Collectible Lenticular package. The 1080p transfer is clean and showcases well all the film’s terrible CGI effects. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 works well with the prom scene action but too bad had no edge and lack of terror in it.

The special features are better than the film but not amazing. There is an equally bad alternate ending and some Deleted/Extended Scenes with commentary by Director Kimberly Peirce. There is also a feature commentary track by Director Kimberly Peirce. There is a featurette “Bringing Back Carrie”, which takes us behind the scenes. “The Power of Telekinesis” looks into Carrie’s abilities. There is the “Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise”, which was an online viral joke video. Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included.

2013: The Year in Comics

So, here we are in 2014. Hopefully, we’ll see more of the awesomeness that we saw in 2013 in comic books, as some seriously cool stuff came out. However, there is always the other side to things; some companies made some horrible errors and some obvious ‘money grabs’. Let’s take a gander, shall we?

Marvel Comics

Let’s start with the big boys. Their restart of various comics, like Avengers, Hulk, and various X-Men books was truly entertaining and inspiring. Using some of the top writers and artists in the industry, they made a huge push to revamp their books with a more ‘mature’ audience in mind, while also keeping true to the origins of the characters (unlike DC’s New 52, which attempted to re-write the universe after events in Flashpoint—which we’ll be exploring next time). With such amazing plot lines as the Avengers having to destroy an alternate Earth in order to save this one, Bruce Banner basically blackmailing S.H.E.I.L.D. so he can go back to being a scientist instead of just a green rage monster, and the original X-Men being stuck in the current time period and none too happy about what the current X-Men are up to, especially Scott Summers, I find myself repeatedly saying things like, “Wow, it’s fun to read X-Books again,” (which hasn’t been the case since the 90’s), and “Well, I never read the Avengers before, but it’s pretty awesome now.” Even side books like Thunderbolts & Savage Wolverine have been a bunch of fun. Without a doubt, the single best book Marvel put out the last year was Thor, God of Thunder. Full of consistently epic storytelling by Jason Aaron, spanning plotlines like a serial killer of the gods and the most evil dark elf the realms have ever seen, and exquisitely illustrated by Esad Rubic & Ron Garney, Thor most definitely gets my vote for best Marvel book of 2013.

Which brings us to where they messed up…Wolverine. Can it be that perhaps one of the most amazing characters ever written has become ‘kid friendly.’ NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!! This is not why we fell in love with this character!! That’s not WHAT HE DOES BEST! While Savage Wolverine comes close, his other titles have failed miserably. If you want to read a real Wolverine story, read X-Force: Sex & Violence. Seriously epic & classic, with passages like:

Wolverine: “I’ve been here once before.”
Domino: “Oh yeah, what happened?”
Wolverine: “Had to kill everyone.”
Domino: “Of course.”

That, my friends, is what he does best! Old Man Logan is also pretty awe inspiring, but that’s from a few years ago at this point. Also, while starting out with amazing potential, the Avengers’ big summer crossover, Infinity, took a quick nosedive somewhere in the middle. So much went on that I didn’t even care about the characters or what they were up to anymore, not to mention it went on at least 3-4 issues too long in three different titles! Perhaps the biggest mistake Marvel made in 2013 was the sissification of one of the greatest Marvel villains ever, Thanos. In preparation of the movies Avengers 3 (yup…rumor has it that he doesn’t actually show up until the 3rd one) & Guardians of the Galaxy, we saw a bit more of Thanos in the Marvel universe, and quite frankly it was more than I wanted to see. Not only does he get easily and simply defeated at the end of the (far too long) Infinity storyline by his son turning him into a statue (Really? After 4-6 months of a massive crossover, one of the most powerful entities in the universe gets turned to stone? Really?? Vomit much?), but we get an origin story, which was brilliantly and beautifully illustrated by Simone Bionchi, that pretty much shows us a Thanos growing up & ‘trying to fit in’ with the cool kids, but then turning evil because of mommy issues & falling in love with Death. Once again…NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!! Thanos is simply pure evil; that’s the point. He would never have been a child trying to fit in with the cool kids. Nice attempt to relate to us nerds, Marvel, but…EPIC FAIL.

One final note on Marvel’s good/bad: The “Ultimate” universe was such a fun and refreshing change from established comic book norms. With the longest running consistent books Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate X-Men, we got so see such heart-wrenching events as the death of Peter Parker (for realz…the actual death… not the I’m back, but really really gone. Some of the scenes with Gwen Stacey, Aunt May & Mary Jane were enough to make any of us weep) and such mind-blowing events as Colossus crushing a prison guard’s head like a grape after being constantly tortured in a death camp (I was sold immediately after that scene.). But alas, with the good must come the bad: an “Ultimate” universe crossover with Galactus destroying it all. Way to cripple one of your best comic lines in ages.

Well, that’s all for now…next time DC gets theirs!


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2013 Holiday Movie Preview

As the holiday season approaches you can smell it on the air.  No, not turkey and pumpkin pie!  I’m talking popcorn and Junior Mints.  Because with the holidays comes an opportunity to sample the best (sometimes) of what Hollywood has to offer.  From sure Oscar contenders to “might as well get it off the shelf” films, here is a list of some goodies that are on the menu between now and the end of the year.

As always, thanks to our friends at the Internet Movie Data Base for some synopsis information.  And remember, opening dates published are subject to change at the whim of the studios.  Enjoy!




Starring:  Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson  

Directed by:  Kasi Lemmons

Based on an early 1961 stage musical by Langston Hughes, the film tells the story of a single mother in Harlem sending her teenage son to visit her parents in Baltimore for the holidays.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Whitaker and Hudson already have one and Bassett earned a nomination for her incredible portrayal of Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”  Writer/director Lemmons, probably best known for her work as an actress (she was Jodie Foster’s roommate/partner in “Silence of the Lambs”) previously helmed “Eve’s Bayou” and “Talk to Me.”  That all being said, the possibilities are there!



Starring the voices of:  Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell     

Directed by:  Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

When Princess Elsa accidentally uses her magic to cover her kingdom in ice it is up to her younger sister, Anne, to warm things up.

OSCAR CHANCES:  A possible nomination for Best Animated Feature but I think “Despicable Me 2” has that award sewn up.



Starring:  Jason Statham and James Franco 

Directed by:  Gary Fleder

A former DEA agent moves his family to a quiet town, where he soon tangles with a local meth drug lord.  Based on the novel by Chuck Logan, the film’s script writer is none other than Sylvester Stallone.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Sly did nab a Best Original Screenplay nod back in 1976 for “Rocky” but I’m not to optimistic.



Starring:  Josh Brolin
Directed by:  Spike Lee

A remake of the 2003 South Korean action film, Brolin stars as a man placed in solitary confinement for 20 years with no idea why or by who.  When he’s finally released he makes it his mission to answer those questions in a most bloody manner.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Could tie with “Machete’ Kills” for most blood used in a single film. (oh if only that was a category).



MANDELA:  LONG WALK TO FREEDOM (Moved to December 25th)

Starring:  Idris Elba and Naomie Harris

Directed by:  Justin Chadwick

Based on the autobiography of the great South African leader Nelson Mandela, the film follows his life from his early days as a student to his imprisonment through his rise as President of his country.

OSCAR CHANCES:  The Academy loves biographical stories and Elba is said to deliver a brilliant performance.




Starring:  Oscar Issac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake        

Directed by:  Joel and Ethan Coen

The brothers Coen take a look at the early days of the folk music scene in New York City.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Three words:  “the Coen brothers.”  Academy Award nominations stick to their films like Mary Lou Retton sticking a dismount!  (please tell me you know who Mary Lou Retton is)



Starring:  Liev Schreiber and Elias Koteas   

Directed by:  Ruairi Robinson

The title says it all.  Schreiber leads a manned mission to the Red Planet where things don’t go as planned.




Starring:  Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Woody Harrelson 

Directed by:  Scott Cooper

When his younger brother disappears, Russell Baze takes it upon himself to find out why and becomes entangled in the world of underground bare-knuckle fighting.  Wow, it looked so cool when Clint Eastwood and Clyde were doing it.

OSCAR CHANCES:  This is Cooper’s second film, his first being the Oscar winning “Crazy Heart.”  Bale has an Oscar and little Affleck and Woody have nominations so nothing is ruled out here.


DECEMBER 13 (limited opening – Opens wide December 18th)


Starring:  Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams    

Directed by:  David O. Russell

A look back at the 1970s and the famous ABSCAM sting in New Jersey and Philadelphia.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Director Russell has assembled the cast members of his previous two films (“The Fighter” and “Silver Linings Playbook”) for a very ambitious project.  The main cast members either have Oscars or been nominated for one as has Russell so I’m giving this film a definite “yes.”



Starring:  Martin Freeman, Orlando Bloom and the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch

Directed by:  Peter Jackson

The second film in director Jackson’s planned HOBBIT trilogy follows Bilbo Baggins and his dwarf friends as they attempt to reclaim what’s rightly theirs from the dreaded dragon Smaug.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Of course.  Many fans of the books are upset that Bloom’s Legolas shows up but come on, “Pirates 5” has been postponed and Orlando Bloom has to eat.  Thankfully I’m guessing most members of the academy ever read Tolkien so look for this to earn many technical nods.



Starring:  Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson

Directed by:  John Lee Hancock

The behind the scenes tale of the struggles Walt Disney had to undertake to turn P.L. Travers novel, “Mary Poppins,” into a film.  I’ve known for years that she didn’t like Dick Van Dyke being cast so how incredibly insane must she have been?

OSCAR CHANCES:  Several, starting with previous two-time winners Hanks and Thompson.



Starring: Tyler Perry 

Directed by:  Tyler Perry

If you haven’t jumped down to the next film, you’re a better person than I.  The title says it all.

OSCAR CHANCES:  I actually stopped typing and slapped myself for including the words “Oscar Chances” within two sentences – top or bottom – of the name Tyler Perry.



HER (limited opening – Opens wide January 10th)

Starring:  Joaquin  Phoenix and the voice of Scarlett Johansson

Directed by:  Spike Jonze

As the world grows more reliant on technology a man begins to fall in love with the female voice of his computer operating system.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Jonze’s “Being John Malkovich” scored a few nods so I’m not ruling anything out.



Starring:  Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd and Steve Carell

Directed by:  Adam McKay

Ron Burgandy and the rest of his channel 4 news team are picked to help launch a 24-hour news channel.

OSCAR CHANCES:  A great mustache and salon quality hair could equal Best Makeup.



Starring the voices of:  John Leguizamo and Justin Long                                                                                                                

Directed by:  Barry Cook and Neil Nightingale

Three young Pachyrhinosauruses discover the ups and downs of the prehistoric world.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Again, like “Frozen,”  maybe an animated nod.




Starring:  Keanu Reeves

Directed by:  Carl Rinsch

A band of samurai set out to avenge the death and dishonor of their master at the hands of a ruthless shogun.

OSCAR CHANCES:  This is the kind of film that pulls the costume award nomination.



Starring:  Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Ewan McGregor                                                                                                        

Directed by:  John Wells

A screen adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Tony-award winning play about a family that gathers for the funeral of a relative and the internal battles that resurrect themselves.

OSCAR CHANCES:  I had the good fortune of seeing this film a couple of months ago and I’m going to say there will be no less than three nominations here.



Starring:  Justin Bieber

Directed by:  John M. Chu

When a deadly virus strikes Canada, it is discovered that it’s evil host is…….Damn, I’d like to BELIEVE that was the plot.  Another concert film for those fans who apparently spent enough money on the first one to rate another.

OSCAR CHANCES:  As much as Tyler Perry.



Starring:  Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro

Directed by:  Peter Segal

30 years since their last fight, boxers Henry “Razor” Sharp and Billy “the Kid” McDonnen, participate in a television special that rekindles old fires.  Or as I like to think of it, Rocky Balboa vs Jake Lamotta!

OSCAR CHANCES:  Probably not but this promises to be fun.



Starring:  Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones

Directed by:  Ralph Fiennes

No, nothing spooky going on here.  The film tells the story of famed English author Charles Dickens and his secret affair with a younger woman.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Remember, it’s a bio-pic, so I’ll say maybe.



Starring:   Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin 

Directed by:  Jason Reitman

A woman and her young son are made to shelter an escaped convict.  The story gets interesting when she begins to fall for him.  I was so worried this was going to be the third film in Garry Marshall’s “holiday” trilogy!

OSCAR CHANCES:  Always a “yes” when director Reitman is in the mix.



Starring:  Ben Stiller and Sean Penn 

Directed by:  Ben Stiller

Director/star Stiller attempts to update the classic 1947 film that featured the great Danny Kaye.  Bored with his life, Walter Mitty imagines himself in various exciting situations.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Maybe something technical.


Starring:  Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Ethan Suplee                                              

Directed by:  Martin Scorsese

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort; from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.  This film was originally scheduled to open on November 15 and was pushed back at almost the last minute to finish post production.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Marty and Leo equal yes!


LONE SURVIVOR (limited opening – Opens wide January 10th)

Starring:  Mark Wahlberg and Ben Foster                                                                                                                                          

Directed by:  Peter Berg

The telling of a June 2005 military mission to capture a Talibad leader that went wrong.



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2013 Disney Blu-ray Holiday Gift Guide

Are you looking for great holiday gifts, as we enter the shopping season? Well don’t worry since Media Mikes is providing you the best choices in terms of Blu-ray and DVD released by Walt Disney Home Entertainment! Be sure not to miss any of these great releases this Fall! Your friends and family will be thanking you later!

Iron Man 3 – September 24
Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. Available on 3D Super Set, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, Digital Copy & On Demand September 24, 2013.

Bonus features include: Deconstructing The Scene – Jump into action with the stunt-team skydivers in this close-up look at creating one of the movie’s most memorable scenes; Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Look at Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World; Marvel’s Iron Man 3 Unmasked—Join cast and crew for a crash course in epic movie-making, Marvel style; Gag Reel; Deleted & Extended Scenes and Audio Commentary with Drew Pearce & Shane Black.

The Little Mermaid: Diamond Edition 3D – October 1
The timeless story of the Little Mermaid is making its Diamond Edition debut this October. The Blu-ray contains oceans full of bubbly bonus features including an All-New Music Video by Carly Rae Jepsen singing “Part Of Your World,” featurettes including @ Disney Animation which speaks with current Disney animators who were inspired by the film, a Deleted Character, The Real Little Mermaid: Live Action Reference Model, Part of Her World: Jodi Benson’s Voyage To New Fantasyland, Howard’s Lecture, Crab-e-okee along to your favorite songs and all the classic DVD bonus features. Availbale on 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + Music Download) for $49.99 SRP and 2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack with Digital Copy (Blu-ray + DVD/ Digital Copy) for $44.99 SRP.

Monsters University – October 29
This Fall, Disney Pixar celebrates homecoming with the release of “Monsters University” on Digital HD and Digital HD 3D on October 8, 2013, followed by the 4-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, 3-Disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack, 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand on October 29, 2013. Lots of bonus features, go behind the scenes on Pixar’s real life campus with multiple featurettes, view “Deleted Scenes” and featured is the animated short “The Blue Umbrella”.

Mickey’s Christmas Carol 30th Anniversary – November 5
Ring in the holidays with a new 30th Anniversary Special Edition of Mickey’s Christmas Carol. Disney’s timeless tale sparkles like never before on Blu-ray and Digital Copy, with fully-restored classic holiday shorts, plus all-new bonus features!

Make the season merry as Mickey, Goofy, Donald and all their pals star in a heartwarming retelling of Dickens’ unforgettable holiday tale. Ebenezer Scrooge (Scrooge McDuck) is far too greedy to understand that Christmas is a time for kindness and generosity. But with the guidance of some wise ghosts (Goofy and Jiminy Cricket) and a bunch of newfound friends, Scrooge learns to embrace the spirit of the season. Share this wonderful holiday treat with the whole family! Bonus features include: Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Yodelberg, Pluto’s Christmas Tree, Art of Skiing, Corn Chips, & The Hockey Champ. Available on Blu-ray Combo Pack (BD+DVD+eCopy), DVD (+ eCopy), or Digitally.

Winnie The Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year – November 5
Get ready to ring in the season with a full-length adventure straight from the heart of the Hundred Acre Wood. Join Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Roo and the whole gang in Winnie The Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year – now on Blu-ray™ and Digital Copy for the very first time. Newly re-mastered in digital high definition, this sparkling holiday classic is an inspiring celebration of friendship. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but Rabbit will only discover the true spirit of the season after his pals make misguided New Year’s resolutions to change – with hilarious and heartfelt results! Featuring beloved characters, delightful songs and fun-filled bonus goodies, this special Gift of Friendship Edition is sure to become a shared family tradition for generations to come! Bonus features include Disney Intermission: press “pause” and see the characters break into song and dance. Available on Blu-ray Combo Pack (BD+DVD+eCopy), DVD (+ eCopy), or Digitally.

Planes – November 19
Disney’s heartwarming family comedy, PLANES, revved up with high-flying action and adventure, lands in homes and mass retailers nationwide on November 19th. This endearing underdog story about a crop dusting plane named Dusty with sky-high dreams touches down on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD and On-Demand featuring a cargo hold full of exciting bonus features. Guaranteeing hours of fun, PLANES is the perfect gift for “ladies and gentle-planes” of all ages this holiday season.

Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United – December 3
Marvel makes history again with one of the greatest Heroic team ups in the universe. Hulk’s brute strength and Tony Stark’s high-tech intellect come together to create a powerful duo necessary to face off against one of the most dangerous enemies.

When “Zzzax,” a seemingly invincible, energy devouring monster threatens to destroy the planet, these two Avengers are mankind’s only hope. Alone, neither can defeat the awesome power of Zzzax. As a team, they just might have a chance – if they can find a way to work together without smashing heads before time runs out! This Marvel

Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary – December 10
Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke bring this timeless classic to life for the first time on Blu-ray. Bonus highlights include: “Mary-oke” an interactive segment that allows viewers to sing-along with famous songs from the film, “Becoming Mr. Sherman,” Saving Mr. Banks’ Jason Schwarzman reveals what it was like to take on the shoes of famed Disney musician Richard Sherman and the making of the Broadway musical.

The Lone Ranger – December 17
Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer star in The Lone Ranger, from Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Director Gore Verbinski. It’s a wild ride of high velocity action, explosions and gunfights that brings the famed masked legend to life through brand-new eyes. The Lone Ranger (Hammer), the last of his kind, teams with Tonto (Depp), a dark and mysterious vigilante, to seek vengeance after justice has failed them. It’s a runaway train of epic surprises, as these two unlikely heroes must learn to work together before the ultimate showdown between good and evil explodes.

Event Review “New York Comic Con” October 10-13, 2013

New York Comic Con
Date: Thursday, October 10th – Sunday, October 13th
Venue: Jacob K. Javitz Center, New York, New York

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

The annual New York Comic Con kapowed its way into the Jacob K. Javitz center once again this year for 4 days of fandom and craziness. From 10/10-10/14 the massive multi level convention center played host to the annual event which showcases everything from comics and video games, to pop culture icons and informative workshops. With 2012 convention attendance being reported as over 100,000 attendees for the 4 days this year’s events would easily be able to match if not top that number.

This year’s con featured a slightly different layout than that of previous years which proved to be a plus as several high traffic areas which normally wreaked havoc on fans were redesigned allowing for smooth passage to the different areas of the venue. This also included the entrances of the venue which saw expansive security fencing and added staff to help keep fans from spilling over into the bustling streets surrounding the hall. These two changes right off the bat made my time at the convention a lot better and a lot less sweaty. (If you have ever experienced the con you know what I mean). Though the convention seemed smaller than that of previous year there was certainly still plenty to keep fans busy over the 4 days. On the main convention floor fans were treated to impressive booth displays by Nintendo, Ubisoft and New York’s own Midtown Comics which all played host to a number of cool merchandise. As my assistant and I made our through the packed isles we stumbled across a number of different media personalities. Charlie Adlard of “Walking Dead” fame was spotted working commission pieces, Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria/ Evil Ink was signing for fans as were a number of other guests though out the event. To the left of the main hall was “The Block” which like in previous years was home to a bevy of multi medium artists who were on hand showcasing their newest works and products. Once again you never know who you will run in to as this time around I was lucky enough to meet punk icon Jerry Only of the Misfits who was on hand for the unveiling of the new Misfits Records logo.

Artist Alley was a buzz of excitement as hardcore comic fans filed in to meet their favorite artists and have their most prized books signed. Some of the longest lines on Friday belonged to the likes of artists Aaron Kuder (Amory Wars, Amazing Spiderman), Humberto Ramos (Superior Spiderman, Uncanny X-Men) and David Finch of “The Dark Knight” and “JLA” fame. There was certainly lots of talent on hand in this area of the convention which in my opinion was like a whole other convention in its self.

The Autographing area which much like last year still seemed worlds away from the constant bustle and activity happening on the main floor however a break from the crowd noise is always nice. On this day the longest lines belong to “The Office” star BJ Novak, “Star Wars” Anthony Daniels and “Dr. Who’s” Colin Baker. It wouldn’t be until Saturday/Sunday that the Hollywood heavy weights would turn out as booths laid in waiting for the likes of Sigourney Weaver, Chloe Grace Moretz and Sylvester Stallone who after a bit of research I found out was charging $395 per autograph and an additional $445 for a photo! Yes you read that right.

Also in the same vicinity as the autograph area was the always popular panel viewing rooms. Everyone from AMC’s “Comic Book Men” to the 25th anniversary of “Child’s Play” had events going on in one of the various rooms. Probably two of the biggest events for this day would be the “Comic Book Men” panel hosted by none other than Kevin Smith himself and the 10th anniversary panel for “The Walking Dead” comic which featured creator Robert Kirkman. Featured panels for the weekend included talks with “Robot Chicken”, “The League” and AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead” which featured a majority of the cast.

Though this year’s event seemed a bit scaled back in the way of big celebrity guests other than the above mentioned and the main floor seemed lacking in several big name companies many of which are on the verge of major releases (Sony PS4 and Xbox 720 where both nowhere to be found) NYCC 2013 was a great time. Both my assistant and I were left shell shocked by all in which we took in and will probably use the time between this year’s event and next year’s event just to re-cooperate we certainly can’t wait to do it all over again in 2014.

Kevin Smith talks “Clerks III” and “Tusk” during 2013 New York Comic Con

Media Mikes had the pleasure of attending the AMC “Comic Book Men” panel held during this year’s Comic Con Convention in New York on Oct. 10-13. The panel featured show creator Kevin Smith along with cast members Brian Johnson, Walter Flanningan, Ming Chen and Michael Zapcic. Though the panel was originally meant to discuss season 2 of the hit AMC show the audience quickly turned it into their opportunity to grill Smith about a few of his other upcoming projects, namely “Clerks III” which Kevin had this to say.

Kevin Smith: “Clerks III” is currently going well enough to where the script is done and we are just waiting on finding our money. In an effort to keep my mind off of worrying about finding money for that movie I wrote this film titled “Tusk”. That is what I am going to be doing next. In a few weeks I will be heading to North Carolina to start filming. The film stars Justin Long and Michael Parks and it’s basically about a kid trying to turn another kid into a walrus. The film is based off of a UK add on a Gumtree website where there was actually a guy who made up this hoax about a person looking for someone to wear a walrus costume they made. The hoax was done by a guy named Chris Parkinson who we reached out to and actually made a producer on the film. Without his dopey idea I wouldn’t have come up with this. So while waiting on the money for “Clerks III” which I wanted to take to Sundance as it will be the 20th anniversary of the first “Clerks” films things were looking less and less likely so I wrote this stupid walrus movie. I wrote it in about 20 days under the mindset of not really wanting to make a movie but if I had to what would I want to see. I loved Michael Parks in “Red State” so I just built this around him with the idea that it would make it easy for me to sit on set for weeks and weeks as I would get to watch Michael work. When I got the script done it was like pornography and Michael Parks. (Laughs) We just pushed the ideas we had and thanks to some really good weed we said “fuck it” and tried pretty much everything. Over the next couple of months this film started to become more real than “Clerks III”. This is a much smaller scaled film that is easier to get in and out of. “Tusk” has now taken the place of “Clerks III” at Sundance this year as I thought fans would want to see something different rather than just more “Clerks”. We will still be doing “Clerks III” however not until March or April of 2014. I hope to have it done for the 20th anniversary as the original film came out in October of 1994. All of the crew from “Comic Book Men” will be in this film as could most of the people here in this room. “Clerks III” is going to be a massive fucking movie! I say that without a hint of irony.

Film Review “Carrie (2013)”

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore
Directed by: Kimberly Peirce
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 40 mins

Our Score: 1 out of 5 stars

November 3, 1976. A date I remember for one reason. This was my first night working as a movie theatre usher at the Twin Bays 4 in Tampa. It was also opening night for a new film called “Carrie.” The date sticks in my head because, at the end of the first evening show, during the “shock” ending, a woman in an aisle seat had a heart attack and fell out of her chair into the aisle. At least we all thought it was a heart attack. She left via ambulance and was apparently ok but still….. Almost four decades later director Kimberly Peirce and company have conspired to destroy a great memory of mine with their unnecessary and not welcome remake of “Carrie.”

We meet Margaret White (Moore) as she lay in a blood stained bed, cursing the cancer in her body that she thinks is killing her. Apparently Margaret never took health in school because she is soon joined by a beautiful baby girl. Hell bent on killing the newborn Margaret hovers over the child with a pair of scissors. But at the last moment she decides to keep the baby and give her a loving home. Yeah, right.

Now 18 we find the now grown up Carrie White (Moretz) in gym class playing water volleyball. It’s obvious she doesn’t want to participate but she makes the effort. When a ball splashes in front of her she is teased by Chris Hargensen (Portia Doubleday) and some of the other “cool” girls. Afterwards, as she showers alone, she notices blood on her body. Unaware that she is having her monthly period (apparently none of the women in the White family went to health class) she believes she is hurt and begs the other girls for help. In reply they began to throw tampons at her, urging her to “plug it up!” To make matters worse, Chris films the horrific moment on her cell phone. A typical day in the life of Carrie White.

Where to start? I dislike reviewing “remakes” because often the good feelings I have toward the original film seep into my thoughts about the new version. Not the case here. When I left the theatre after this remake it only made me appreciate the original film more. In fact, I wanted to punch everyone involved with the making of this one. In the 1976 version Carrie is a shy, timid girl unaware that she has been granted the power of telekinesis. Here she not only becomes aware of her powers but works hard to hone them. When Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde) one of the girls who mocked her in gym class, begins to feel bad about her actions she encourages her boyfriend, Tommy Ross (Ansel Elgort) to ask Carrie to the prom instead of her. Tommy is reluctant but eventually agrees. After all, it’s the prom. What could go wrong?

Poorly directed with no sense of pace or, for that matter, atmosphere, “Carrie” is probably one of the worse films I’ve ever seen that has “A” list talent both in front of and behind the camera. Moore plays Margaret White like a just escaped lunatic who spends her free time listening to hymns and cutting herself. How this woman was ever allowed to keep a baby, let alone raise her, is utterly amazing. Moretz is also all over the place. Is she the sad and frightened victim or the cunningly shrewd mastermind of what turns out to be one hell of a prom? We don’t know or at least we’re not sure until the film ends, but I think the term finding busy work applies. Mama White is, of course, not pleased with Carrie’s sassiness, praying that God will come and end her daughter’s “wickedness.” I was doing the same thing praying for the end of the film. Both leads try hard but compared to 1976 stars Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie, they pale in comparison. Both Spacek and Laurie were Oscar nominated for their work. To tell you who hard an achievement that is for a horror film, it would be another 20 years before Sigourney Weaver was nominated for “Aliens.” With the exception of Elgort, the rest of the teen cast helps bring the film down more. Besides Carrie and Mama, Tommy is the only fleshed out character in the film. I don’t know what movie Doubleday thought she was making but it sure wasn’t a horror film. There is no menace in her performance. There is no emotion whatsoever. She could be reading the phone book. In Stephen King’s novel the story is told through the words of Sue Snell but here Sue is an almost forgotten character.

As for Carrie’s powers, they run the gambit from being able to move books to, I’m guessing, heat vision. She can also make herself fly. And she breaks a lot of mirrors. Director Peirce seems to have a fixation with glass here. Especially showing, in slow motion, an unfortunate actors face making contact with it, be it a door or a windshield. By the end of the film, when a pigs blood drenched Carrie began ambling down the street like she just walked off the set of “Michael Jackson’s Thriller” video, I let out a loud sigh and checked my watch for the tenth time.

Kimberly Peirce guided Hilary Swank to her first Oscar with her directorial debut “Boys Don’t Cry.” Her follow up, “Stop Loss,” was one of my favorite films of 2008. Sadly the third time is not the charm. The film plays like a blood soaked version of “The Breakfast Club.” Or “Sixteen Candles.” Or any other teen angst movie. I expected more from her, as I did the stars. I have faith that all three ladies will bounce back from this debacle. I hope it’s soon.

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 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.

Concert Review: “Carnival of Madness 2013” Tag’s Summer Stage, Big Flats, NY

“Carnival of Madness 2013”
Shinedown, Skillet, Papa Roach, In This Moment, We As Human
Date: Wednesday, August28th 2013
Venue: Tag’s Summer Stage, Big Flats, NY

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

The Tag’s Summer Stage was alive and kicking on August 28th as the 2013 Carnival of Madness tour made a stop in the normally quiet upstate NY town of Big Flats. Complete with stilt walkers, jugglers and of course tour headliners Shinedown there really shouldn’t have been anywhere else to be.

The show kicked off with We As Human taking the stage for a brief 20 minute set which primed the crowd for what was to come later in the evening. Though the crowds appreciation was lacking somewhat in the way of applause the 5 piece rock band from Nashville, TN forged ahead giving their all. In This Moment would take the stage next and the always entertaining Maria Brink and company took the show to a completely different level. The set consisted of air/smoke cannons, scantily clad backup dancers and of course some great heavy music.

The next slot on the bill changes from night to night with Papa Roach and Skillet alternating line up slots. On this night it would be veterans Papa Roach who would take the stage first blasting their way through a high energy set that mixed both classic and new songs from the bands expansive catalog. Lead singer Jacoby Shaddix who is back and better than ever (Shaddix had a polyp removed from his vocal cord recently) whipped the crowd in to a frenzy that resulted in people and lawn chairs sailing through the air from the start of the bands set until the last notes of the bands hit song “Last Resort” rang out.

Skillet would follow and though I wasn’t sure how anyone could follow the amazing set that Papa Roach had just completed Skillet delivered. The band pulled out all the stops including masked string players, air cannons and levitating platforms. Not only did the band deliver visually they sounded great as well. As always fan favorites such as “Hero” and “Monster” garnered the biggest responses however each number the band performed in their 11 song set was spot on.

Last to take the stage where tour headliners Shinedown. Though the bands set was packed with hit after hit for me the performance fell kind of flat. At times the production of the show which featured a vast lighting rig over powered the bands performance making it hard at certain points to look directly at the stage. I did however enjoy the bands cover of the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic “Simple Man” as singer Brent Smith always does the song justice. All in all a great night of music and fun was had by those in attendance.

Papa Roach Set List:
1.) Still Swingin’
2.) Blood Brothers
3.) Give Me Back My Life
4.) Between Angels and Insects
5.) Where Did the Angels Go?
6.) Burn
7.) Forever
8.) Leader of the Broken Hearts
9.) Scars
10.) …To Be Loved
11.) Getting Away with Murder
12.) Last Resort

Skillet Set List:
1.) Whispers in the Dark
2.) Hero
3.) Sick of It
4.) Comatose
5.) Rise
6.) Awake and Alive
7.) The Last Night
8.) Not Gonna Die
9.) Circus for a Psycho
10.) Monster
11.) Rebirthing

Shinedown Set List:
1.) I’m Not Alright
2.) Enemies
3.) Devour
4.) Unity
5.) The Crow & The Butterfly
6.) Adrenaline
7.) I’ll Follow You
8.) Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom -Lay Boom)
9.) If You Only Knew
10.) Amaryllis
11.) Sound of Madness
12.) Second Chance
13.) Simple Man
14.) Bully

“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” Bursts Onto Blu-ray™, Blu-ray 3D™ and DVD July 30, 2013



Thrill-Packed Blockbuster Bursts Onto Blu-ray™, Blu-ray 3D™ and DVD July 30, 2013

Fans Can Be the First to Own the Action Extravaganza on Digital July 16th  

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (June 4, 2013) –  Called “a stunning, high-flying, super-charged blast of fun” (Shawn Edwards, FOX-TV), the $355+ million worldwide blockbuster  G.I. JOE: RETALIATION explodes onto Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and On Demand July 30, 2013 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.  Based on Hasbro’s popular G.I. JOE brand, the film will be available on Digital two weeks early on July 16th.  “Born to play a G.I. JOE” (Scott Bowles, USA Today), Dwayne Johnson embodies ROADBLOCK and he and Channing Tatum “are a match made in action flick heaven” (James Oster, in this “cool ride” (Richard Corliss, Time) that is “awesome times 10!” (Shawn Edwards, FOX-TV).  From Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, G.I. JOE: RETALIATION also stars action legend Bruce Willis as the original G.I. JOE, as well as Adrianne Palicki, D.J. Cotrona and Jonathan Pryce.  In director Jon M. Chu’s heart-pounding thrill ride, the  G.I. JOE team not only faces off against its mortal enemy COBRA, it is also forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize its very existence.

The G.I. JOE: RETALIATION Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with UltraViolet™ comes fully loaded with declassified special features that take viewers behind the lines to explore the action and the characters, what it took to bring the film to life and more. The film will also be available in a Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD combo pack or as a single disc DVD.

In addition, both the Blu-ray/DVD and Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD combos include a limited time offer to receive a FREE set of personalized dog tags.  Consumers can visit a dedicated website and enter their unique code along with personal information to receive their own high-quality, collectible dog tags (see insert for complete details).

The Blu-ray releases available for purchase will be enabled with UltraViolet, a new way to collect, access and enjoy movies.  With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them – reliably and securely – to a variety of devices.

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

The G.I. JOE: RETALIATION Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The DVD in the combo pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The combo pack includes access to a digital copy of the film as well as the following:


  • Feature film in high definition
  • Commentary by director Jon M. Chu and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura
  • Special Features

o   Mission Briefing—A look at pre-production, previsualization, storyboards and more.

o   Deployment— As filming begins we take a closer look at the stunts, costumes and more.

o   Two Ninjas—Focus on two G.I. JOE favorites, SNAKE EYES and JINX, and the filming of the Dojo sequence.

o   The Desert Attack—An in-depth look at the filming of this pivotal action sequence.

o   COBRA Strikes—Highlights of the villains featured in the film.

o   The Lone Soldiers—Behind-the-scenes as ROADBLOCK, FLINT and LADY JAYE go on the run.

o   The Monastery—An examination of the Himalayan escape sequence.

o   Fort Sumter—An all-access view of the epic climax.

  • Deleted Scenes


  • Feature film in standard definition


G.I. JOE: RETALIATION Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

The G.I. JOE: RETALIATION Blu-ray 3D combo pack includes all of the above, as well as the film in high definition and 3D on a disc presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.


The single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.  The disc includes the feature film in standard definition.

Concert Review: The Doobie Brothers “2013 Tour” – Mohegan Sun Arena

The Doobie Brothers: 2013 Tour
Mohegan Sun Arena
Uncasville, CT
July 3, 2013

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“We decided to play a little rock and roll this evening.  Are you up for that, Connecticut?”

And, with that, the Doobie Brothers delivered as promised: nearly two non-stop hours worth of straightforward rock classics with instantly recognizable riffs that have been the band’s calling card for over 40 years. The focus of the 18-song show consistently stayed on the band’s most prolific era of the 70’s when they churned out anthems such as “Long Train Runnin’”, “Rockin’ Down the Highway”, “China Grove”, “Jesus is Just Alright and “Take Me in Your Arms”, all of which feature the founding vocal/guitar duo of Tommy Johnston and Patrick Simmons – both of whom are still part of the group’s current eight-member line-up.

The mellower Michael McDonald era of the late 70’s and early 80’s was only represented by the inclusion of an extended version of “Takin’ It to the Streets” that featured an impressive keyboard intro from Guy Allison, vocals from Simmons and bassist John Cowan, and a rippin’ sax solo from Marc Russo. It was a wise choice for the set list not only because of the song’s popularity as a hit, but because its inherent funky groove matches the Johnston-era classics that dominate the current touring band’s repertoire. They pull off the tune flawlessly live – so well, in fact, that the concert version almost outshines the McDonald original.

As far as newer material is concerned…well…the Doobies don’t really have much of it. The group has only released one studio album over the past decade: 2010’s reunion with longtime producer Ted Templeman, “World Gone Crazy.” While that album is fairly tepid in comparison to the band’s multi-platinum mega-sellers from the 70’s, the two songs performed from it at this show – the title track and “A Brighter Day” – work quite well when played live and are a good addition to the band’s set list of classics.

With all of the driving guitar rhythm provided by the band’s four axemen and the percussive power of dual drummers Tony Pia and Ed Toth, it’s easy to forget that one of the key ingredients to Doobies music is intricate vocal harmonies that flesh out the songs and provide them with the richness that makes them worth savoring. To that end, the show’s overall sound was impeccably mixed, something that was especially evident when all four of the band’s frontsmen, Johnston, Simmons, Cowan, and endlessly-versatile instrumentalist John McFee, delivered the four-part a cappella harmony outro to “Black Water.” As much as it is truly amazing that these guys can still belt it out as clearly as they did when they recorded the song in 1974, it’s equally impressive that the 2013 tour’s audio crew was able to make every aural nuance sound as clear as possible within the context of a live show.

The music of the Doobie Brothers, when at its best, manages to effectively blend elements of rock and roll, country, bluegrass, soul, funk, and blues to produce songs that never pidgeon-hole themselves into an era and subsequently become dated. At their core is an element that is truly timeless: they’re fun. Given the band’s sheer exuberance while onstage, it’s clear that the Doobie Brothers themselves are still having a blast touring and energetically jamming out to these classics. As they proved to the Connecticut crowd, you don’t necessarily need fireworks to kick off a 4th of July holiday party. All you have to do is listen to the music. All the time.


[NOTE: Big thanks go out to the guy who first introduced me to the Doobies – and music in general – my father, Tom Picton, for his invaluable assistance with this article. ]



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Concert Review “Unity Tour 2013” with 311, Cypress Hill and G.Love & Special Sauce – Kansas City, Missouri

The Unity Tour
Cypress Hill
G.Love & Special Sauce
Starlight Theater
Kansas City, Missouri
July 2, 2013

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

I have seen 311 more times than I can count on my fingers (unless I had Bill Cosby’s hands) and as always the only thing I can say after seeing them is AMAZING!!

The 2013 Unity Tour kicked off with G.Love & Special Sauce performing their smooth mix of bluesy, hip hop, and R& B stylings. They played a great set and started the night off perfectly. It was about 80 degrees and sunny and the crowd was in it from the start. Playing “Cold Beverages” had everyone in the audience holding there beers up, resulting in more spilling going on than drinking at that time. G.Love has been a staple in my music collection since college and they did not disappoint in my first time seeing them live.

As more people started filling in the seats I began seeing and smelling many different groups forming. I could only think “what an appropriate welcoming for Cypress Hill.” If you are not familiar with the name Cypress Hill you will be familiar with their largest hit, “Insane in the Brain.” You couldn’t go anywhere in the mid to late 90’s it seemed without hearing that song or
a reference to that song. They lived up to their billing and, after all these years, they still brought a fresh set and energized performance to KC.

As good as the opening performances were I noticed I could hear the sound of people rushing into Starlight as 311 prepared to come on stage. I thought I had seen Starlight packed before.. but not like this! They must have been at capacity by this time of the night and for good reason. 311 has and always will put on one of the best live performances you will ever see! During their annual 3/11 day concerts they’ve been known to play up to 84 song over a two day period. They put together a tight play list for this concert. From the opening “Omaha Stylee” to their encore of “Creatures (For a While),” they had the crowed riled up, jumping yelling, singing. I’d bet the majority of the crowd knew every word to every song… every word.

What separates 311 from other acts I have seen is they know what the fans want to hear. They have consistently put out records since 1993. They still have current singles on the radio but they don’t push all of their new material. Their set list spawns 20 years now and they hit every album, playing not only songs considered their greatest hits but songs that only the most die hard fans would know. There isn’t a new song they are trying out. It is just straight hits: “Down,” “All Mixed Up,” “Amber,” “Don’t Tread on Me,” “Logo,” and “Behind the Gray Sky.” While they can’t play every song (remember they’ve been known to do 80-plus songs at a concert) I never thought ” aw man they didn’t play that song.” I was as pleased with this concert as the others I’d attended.

This group of acts is something you shouldn’t sit on, They are hitting tons of cities and great venues, GO AND GET YOUR TICKETS! They will sell out everywhere and you will hear your friends just rant about the concert. Especially 7/21(West Palm Beach), 7/23,(Tampa) 7/27(Houston) and 8/3 (Chula Vista) when they pickup Penny Wise and Sublime w/Rome on those dates. Extremely jealous that I will not be around those cities on those dates.

You can check out all the tour dates at

They will have a different set list at all the cities so if you get to see them I would love to see your comments and their set list.

311 Set list:
1. Omaha Stylee
2. Sunset In July
3. Freak Out
4. Misdirected Hostility
5. Beautiful Disaster
6. Wild Nights
7. Random
8. My Stoney Baby
9. Come Original, Loco
10. Time Bomb
11. Applied Science
12. Amber
13. All Mixed Up
14. Wake Your Mind Up
15. Taiyed Hey You
16. Beyond The Gray Sky
17. Freeze Time
18. Visit
19. Down
20. Jackpot
21. Creatures

Concert Review “Gigantour 2013” Canandaigua, NY

“Gigantour 2013”
Megadeth, Black Label Society, Device, Hellyeah, Newsted, Death Division
Date: Saturday, July 6th 2013
Venue: CMAC, Canandaigua, NY

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

The rolling hills of the CMAC Center were alive with the sound of metal on July 6th as the Gigantour package made its way to the small upstate town of Canandaigua, NY. The tour now in its 6th run has featured acts like Dream Theater, Lamb of God and Fear Factory. This year’s lineup is again being headlined by tour creators Megadeth along with Black Label Society and Hellyeah which features former members of Mudvayne and Pantera.

The first thing that came to mind when looking at this year’s “Gigantour” lineup was that it read like a who’s, who of rock artists who are now in fact performing with a different band than the one they are normally associated with. Everyone from Disturbed front man Dave Draiman to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Jason Newsted is out touring their new projects under this one bill. Before even entering the venue the parking lots were a bevy of discussion about the various new material that was about to be bestowed upon those in attendance.

Kicking off the festivities was Death Division who hails from Hollywood, California and features former Danzig bassist Jerry Montano and Morbid Angel drummer Tim Yeung. The group’s performance was on par however it did very little to capture the audience’s attention. Next up on the bill was former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted’s newest group simply titled Newsted. Jason seemed very comfortable in his role as front man and the band which also features Staind guitarist Mike Mushok were incredibly tight. Mushok is a great addition and seems to be able to stretch his legs a little more performing a number of blistering solos. Due to time constraints however the group was given the signal to leave the stage prior to their set completion which left fans chanting for more. Hellyeah took the stage next performing one of the better sets of the day. Vocalist Chad Grey (formerly of Mudvayne)worked the front of the stage like a consummate pro pausing only briefly to introduce the bands next song which generally started with the rumble of legendary Pantera/Damage Plan drummer Vinnie Paul’s bass drums. Highlights of the groups set included a in your face rendition of “Drink, Drank, Drunk” which had the audience singing and fist pumping throughout its duration.

After a brief speech by Jim Florentine of “VH1’s That Metal Show” Device would take the stage in a synth induced swell which did very little to grab the audience which now numbered around 2000-2500 attention. The noise at times seemed chaotic and with the only real exception being that of former Evanescence drummer Will Hunt who provided a majority of the excitement. In fact there was such a lull in the crowd that singer Dave Draiman attempted to revive the situation several times with little result. The leather and denim clad, Zakk Wylde fronted Black Label Society was up next performing material that covered each of the group’s albums. Though I would have liked to hear more vocals and less guitar soloing songs such as “Forever Down” and “Bleed for Me” were personal highlights. Megadeth closed out the night performing in front of massive video and lighting rigs which only elevated the extremely technical playing of Mustaine and company. The set featured such classics as “Hangar 18” and “Sweating Bullets” as well as new material from the group’s recent release “Super Collider” before rounding out the evening with “Symphony of Destruction” and “Peace Sells”.

Though the day consisted of up and down performances and low attendance numbers don’t let that steer you away from buying a ticket to one of the remaining dates on the tour. Megadeth’s performance alone is worth the price of admission and if you’re interested in checking out what former members of Metallica, Disturbed and Pantera are doing then you will certainly want to check out this year’s Gigantour.

Newsted Set List:
1.) Heroic Dose
2.) Soldierhead
3.) …As the Crow Flies
4.) Twisted Tail of the Comet

Hellyeah Set List:
1.) War in Me
2.) Drink Drank Drunk
3.) Cowboy Way
4.) Matter of Time
5.) Rage/Burn
6.) You Wouldn’t Know
7.) Hellyeah!

Device Set List:
1.) Penance
2.) You Think You Know
3.) A Part of Me
4.) Out of Line
5.) Opinion
6.) Haze
7.) Recover
8.) Vilify
9.) Wish (NIN Cover)

Black Label Society Set List:
1.) Godspeed Hell Bound
2.) Destruction Overdrive
3.) Bleed for Me
4.) Forever Down
5.) Guitar Solo
6.) Parade of the Dead
7.) Overlord
8.) Suicide Messiah
9.) Concrete Jungle
10.) Stillborn

Megadeth Set List:
1.) Trust
2.) Hangar 18
3.) Kingmaker
4.) She-Wolf
5.) Skin o’ My Teeth
6.) Architecture of Aggression
7.) Sweating Bullets
8.) Ashes in Your Mouth
9.) Hook in Mouth
10.) A Tout Le Monde
11.) Super Collider
12.) Symphony of Destruction
13.) Peace Sells
14.) Cold Sweat
15.) Holy Wars…The Punishment Due

Blu-ray Review “Evil Dead (2013)”

Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas, Lou Taylor Pucci, Elizabeth Blackmore
Director: Fede Alvarez
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: July 16, 2013
Run Time: 91 minutes

Film: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to remakes, they are always endless debates about the originals and how they shouldn’t be touched.  The original “Evil Dead” is one of my favorite horror films and introduced me to the marvel of Bruce Campbell.  When I heard that there was going to be an “Evil Dead” remake, I was extremely nervous since I feared, like everyone else, that they would ruin it.  Well, goddamn, I will just say that I was absolutely blown away. You know that the original is the original and that is that but this new reboot really packs a major punch. What makes this great is that it has the blessing of Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, which makes this all the sweeter.  If you are a hardcore fan of the original stay through the credits for a little surprise. Damn, the credit this film is a crazy ride and a ton of fun!

The film is fast, angry and fucking intense.  I do not think that I had one nail left on my fingers after viewing this film.  I watched this film with my wife in the kitchen and she was scared just listening to the film’s events from the other room.  I thought that Fede Alvarez did an absolutely amazing job on this and I can’t see where he takes this franchise next.  I read his report from WonderCon that he is planning to link the original series with Ash with the reboot’s lead Mia in a third “Evil Dead” after his planned “Evil Dead 2” and Sam Raimi’s supposed sequel of “Army of Darkness”.  All I have to say is “Groovy”!

Official Premise: A secluded cabin. An ancient curse. An unrelenting evil. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell reunite to present a genuinely terrifying re-imagining of their original horror masterpiece. Five young friends have found the mysterious and fiercely powerful Book of the Dead. Unable to resist its temptation, they release a violent demon on a blood-thirsty quest to possess them all. Who will be left to fight for their survival and defeat this unearthly force of murderous carnage?

Sony delivered this film with an amazing 1080p transfer.  The color red is particularly used a lot in this film 😉 When you think the gore couldn’t get any more intense…it does! Even being a horrorhound myself, I found myself looking away a little as well. So damn, they really did a great job there.  I even read that this was trimmed a little to avoid NC-17, so I could only imagine where it was taken from.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is another thing of beauty. Roque Baños’ score is easily one of my favorite horror scores…ever! It literally had me on the edge of my chair.

Along with the Blu-ray, there is also a Digital HD Ultraviolet copy included. The rest of the special features are pretty amazing. There is an audio commentary with actors Jane Levy, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Jessica Lucas; director Fede Alvarez; and writer Rodo Sayagues.  It is pretty awesome for any fan of the film. There are four featurettes including “Directing the Dead” showcases Fede Alvarez’s taking on this daunting task. “Evil Dead the Reboot” has a chat with Rob Tapert, Bruce Campbell, Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues, Jane Levy, and J.R. Young discuss the original film and the remake. “Making Life Difficult” has Jane Levy and Fede Alvarez chats about the difficult role. “Unleashing the Evil Force” looks at the new Book of the Dead. Lastly “Being Mia” has Jane Levy doing a video diary about her character.