Blu-ray Review “The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death”

Starring: Helen McCrory, Jeremy Irvine, Adrian Rawlins, Oaklee Pendergast, Ned Dennehy, Hayley Joanne Bacon
Director: Tom Harper
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Run Time: 98 minutes

Film: 2,5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I am nothing but excited Hammer Films is back in business making new horror. I was a big fan of the first “The Woman in Black”. Honestly though, “The Woman in Black” wasn’t a film that I was screaming for a sequel but the trailer for “Angel of Death”, looked creepy as well. Too bad, the film didn’t pan out at all. The scares were so tame, you barely even noticed them. The pace was way off and the story was didn’t draw me in at all.

Official Premise: The supernatural terror returns and unspeakable evil sets its sight on new prey when a group of orphaned children are forced to move into the abandoned Eel Marsh House with their caretakers, Eve and Jean. As the children begin to mysteriously disappear, Eve makes a shocking discovery…it may not be a coincidence that she has come to reside in a place inhabited by the murderous Woman in Black.

“The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death” was released as a combo pack with a BLu-ray and Digital HD copy. The 1080p transfer worked with the dark and dreary conditions. Like the first film, the shooting locations have that certain Hammer charm today and look great on Blu-ray. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks delivers everything that you would expect from a horror film.

Like the film itself, the special features are quite the let down as well. First off is “Pulling Back the Veil: The Woman in Black 2”, which includes behind-the-scenes footage with interviews mixed in. There is also “The Woman in Black 2: Chilling Locations”, which briefly looks into the shooting locations for the film. Lastly there is a deleted scene and trailer included.

Blu-ray Review “Dark Angel”

Actors: Dolph Lundgren, Brian Benben
Directors: Craig R. Baxley
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Run Time: 91 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Shout! Factory must be big fans of Dolph Lundgren (like myself). They recently gave a nice Blu-ray treatment to another one of his films “Joshua Tree”. “Dark Angel” a.k.a. I Come in Peace (1990) is another gem to come out of the early 90’s. It screams 90’s but it is still a damn fun horror/thriller. Plus who doesn’t love a good alien film? Lundgren really kicks some major ass in this and it is a real blast. If you are a fan of this film or better if you’ve never seen it, this is a must watch! Shout! Factory keep Dolph’s movies coming to Blu-ray, you guys always pick the best films that would normally never get any love!

Official Premise: Detective Jack Caine (Dolph Lundgren, The Expendables) thought he’d dealt with every kind of crime on earth. But now, someone is using human bodies to manufacture narcotics. Someone, or something, not of this world. To the Alien that has arrived on earth, humans represent ideal drug factories because of our endorphins. To detective Caine, the Alien represents mankind’s worst threat. If the alien’s mission succeeds, our planet will be destroyed. Which is bad. Together with his straight-arrow FBI partner (Brian Benben, Private Practice) and his girlfriend, the city coroner (Betsy Brantley, Deep Impact), Caine is going to send this alien home in pieces! Kaboom!

The Blu-ray transfer for “Dark Angel” is like film itself screams 90’s, but it still delivers the action and works well with the special effects. Like most Shout! Factory’s older release titles, the audio track included is a DTS-HD Master Audio track and also like the video it works for the action. The special features included on this release are a bit lacking. There is three interviews included with director Craig R. Baxley, Dolph Lundgren and Brian Benben. Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included.

Grave’s Ola Lindgren talks about new album and touring with Morbid Angel

Ola Lindgren is the vocalist/guitarist for the death metal band Grave. The band has just released their 10 full length studio album titled “Endless Procession of Souls”. Media Mikes talked with Ola recently about the album and the bands upcoming tour with Morbid Angel.

Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about the band’s new album?
Ola Lindgren: I would say it is very much back to the bands roots. It is very old school and straight forward. The album has a very heavy, death metal groove. We set out to do an album that could sound like it could have been released in the early days of the band some 20 years ago. I think we accomplished that pretty well with not only the songwriting but also the arrangements. We recorded this album ourselves in our own studio. It’s crushing in every way.

AL: Was there any specific reason for wanting an album that sounded like the band in its early days?
OL: Our two previous albums were a lot more in this same direction. We are sticking to what we know best. We have never really been technical or complicated. We are very straight forward. This album also featured some new blood in the band. Everyone contributed with their own ideas. The process both writing it and putting it together has been pretty easy.

AL: Did having new members in the band change the writing/recording process at all?
OL: I would say the process was very much a band effort. It was different though from the previous 3 albums. It has always been pretty much myself and Ronnie doing everything. We had been sitting at home shooting tracks back and forth and also doing some pre-production stuff. This time it was everyone together in a rehearsal room. Everything felt very right and that’s the way we wanted to do it. Each member had a part in how the songs came together.

AL: Are you planning to shoot a video for any of the songs on the album?
OL: We have some plans but nothing is definite yet. There is one track that I really want to do a video for however we have to decide when to do it and what song we actually want to use.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands upcoming tour?
OL: It’s a very cool idea I think. We actually toured with Morbid Angel back in 1993 here in Europe. They are good friends. We got asked very early in the process about doing this tour. The addition of Dark Funeral is very cool as well. We are really looking forward to playing a lot of the new material and I think the tour will be very successful. The tour starts Sept. 20th and runs through Oct. 26th.

AL: Are you hitting any places that you haven’t been to before?
OL: I don’t think so. I recognize most of the cities on the list as this will be our 5th or 6th time to the States. We also have some Canadian dates and we have played there as well so I don’t think we will be making any new discoveries this time around.

AL: Is there any place the band wants to tour but has not been able to yet?
OL: The only place we have really toured or played is Japan. That has always been something that I thought would be very cool to be able to do. It’s very hard to get over there but we have people working on it for us. Lately there are a lot of things opening up in China and it would be cool to go there as well.

AL: What are the bands plans after the tour wraps up in October?
OL: There are plans for more touring. Before we come over to the States we are doing a small 2 week headlining run here in Europe. We can’t do much more than that as we have to head over to the states. When we get back we are looking to do a more extensive headlining tour as well as a tour in South America and Australia.

Interview with Gil Gerard

Gil Gerard is most know for his  role Capt. William “Buck” Rogers in “Buck Rogers in the 25h Century”.  The show is still loved by fans everywhere even after 30 years.  Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Gil about his role in the show and his upcoming projects.

Click here to purchase “Buck Rogers” merchandise

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get the role of Capt. William Rogers in “Buck Rogers in the 25h Century”?
Gil Gerard: I received the opportunity and turned it down three times.  Finally my agent told me to read the script.  I read it and it was pretty great.  So, I decided to do it.  I turned it down because I didn’t want to do a cartoon character.  I have seen the old Batman series and didn’t want to that type of show.  “Buck Rogers” was based on a cartoon.  I thought that Buck had a great sense of humanity and a great sense of humor.  That is what attracted me to the role.

MG: Have you ever seen any of the original television show or movie back in the 30’s?
GG: Yeah, I saw it when I was a kid.  I preferred the westerns to the serials.  I watched “Buck Rogers” and I also saw “Flash Gordon”.  I got to tell you it was pleasure to meet Buster (Crabbe) when he guest starred on the show.  We became great friends and remained friend until he died.

MG: Do you have a favorite episode from the series?
GG: Yes, it from my least favorite year…which is the second.  I liked ‘The Satyr’.  It gave me a chance to do some character acting.  It also reminded me of what I would have like the show to do for season two.  Which was basically stay on Earth and have adventures on Earth.

MG: 30 years ago, did you have any idea that this show will still be holding on with fans?
GG: No, If I did I would have saved all the props and wardrobes.  I could have had all that stuff.  It was just a job for me.  I did it, the show ended and I did other things.  It is amazing that after 30 years people still remember and love the show.  It is incredible.

MG: Did you get to keep any of the props?
GG: I did.  I have the star fighter from all of the fight scenes.  It was the Buck Rogers’ star fighter.  I have it here in my house.

MG: You have you blog and you frequent the convention scene, do you enjoy keeping in touch with fans at conventions?
GG: Yes very much.  It is very gratifying that people still remember it and it is a really nice things.  I enjoy meeting the fans and talking about the show.  It is nice thing to be remember for something like that.

MG: Tell us about your two upcoming projects “Blood Fare” and “Lost Valentine”?
GG: In “Blood Fare” I play a professor.  It is like a civil war horror film. It relates to the old legends.  It was a great experience and I really enjoyed it.  It was very low-budget independent film.  I love to deal with people that are creative, young and trying to get things started.  I just love the energy.  “Lost Valentine” is with Betty White and Jennifer Love Hewitt.   I play Betty’s son.  She is a woman who is widowed in World War II, her husband was MIA.  Jennifer plays a TV reporter who is doing a story on her.  The whole thing revolved around the fact that he said goodbye to her on Valentine’s day back in the 40’s.  Jennifer ends up finding what happened to her husband and the lost valentine becomes the found valentine. It is a really a nice story.  It will be on the Hallmark Channel probably around Valentine’s day.

Click here to purchase “Buck Rogers” merchandise

Interview with Scoot McNairy

Scoot McNairy stars in this fall’s sci-fi film “Monsters”.  He also has his own production company called The Group Films and starred its first film called “In Search of a Midnight Kiss” and received critical praise.  Movie Mikes had a chance to talk about working on “Monsters”, how it was preparing for the role and working with his wife on the film.

Click here to watch “Monsters” right now on Video on Demand

Mike Gencarelli: What drew you to working on the film “Monsters”?
Scoot McNairy: First off, Gareth (Edwards) showed me the concept or the treatment and based on that I was really excited about it.  The role was really wasn’t developed at the time.  Gareth came and met with us, we sat down and talked about some ideas.  I told him that ever since I was a kid, I always thought I would be a National Geographic photographer.  I would love to be a war journalist or something.  So based on that we incorporated that into the role.  I think at the time is when I really got excited and thought that this was a dream come true.  It was like reliving that childhood fantasy.

MG: What did you find the most difficult about working on “Monsters”?
SM: As far as the budget goes, I am pretty good at rolling with that.  Whitney and I are both very low maintenance actors.  The hardest thing about it was the improving.  The whole film was unscripted, it was all improv.  We made up stuff every day on the fly.  I think that was also the most stress baring thing about it.  We were constant trying to come up with new material on a sci-fi film where there is nothing grounded.  You cannot see anything, you are living in a world that doesn’t exist.  It is created after when we are done with the project.  We felt a bit lost at times.  We just kind of stuck with it and at the end of the day the editor did a fantastic job cutting together a great story out of it.

MG: What was it like worked with your wife, Whitney Able, on the film?
SM: It could have been a make or break ordeal.  I didn’t know how she was going to react to the stressful conditions.  Being in Guatemala in the middle of nowhere of the Jungle.  I think about three weeks into it, I was so impressed with her talent as well as her gung-ho indie film attitude.  I think halfway through the film, I decided I am going to marry this person.

MG: How do you prepare for a role that was mostly improv?
SM: All you do is back-story research.  Don’t get me wrong I usually do a lot of back-story research for my characters but for this one, it was different.  I had to write out this guys life from day one.  This way anything Whitney threw at me or I threw at her, we could come back with a legitimate idea.  We did about two to three months of writing out these characters lives.  A lot of it didn’t get used but it was all there in the back of our heads.

MG: Having worked on many films, how was it working with first time director, Gareth Edwards?
SM: It was good.  As much as he was a first time director, this was kind of find time thing for me as well.  I think we were all really patient with each other.  Being it was a small crew, we had the ability to stop production and sit down and talk about things.  It was very organic.  Everyone was involved in the creative process from the line producer, to Gareth, to Whitney and I.  We all just got together and made this story ourselves.  Due to our patience with each other, I think it led to a good project coming out in the end.

MG: Do you ever have plans to direct?
SM: It is funny you mention that right now, I am just sitting down writing a script right now that I have been developing for four years.  Yes, it is something that I am going to want to direct. Then I have a production company as well, I produced a movie called “In Search of a Midnight Kiss”.  The company is called The Group Films.  We currently have two films in development right now.  Directing is definitely the next step for me.

MG: What can you tell us about the films you are producing?
SM: One of them, “Frank and Cindy”, I can only say that Rene Russo is attached.   At the present time also we have Danny Devito directing.  I have another film I can’t say cause the cast is all over the place.  I am producing with Holly Wiersma who did “Factory Girl”, “Bobby”, “Wonderland” and “Stone” which just came out.

MG: What projects are acting in that are coming out?
SM: I have a movie coming out called “Angry White Man” with Matthew Perry and Mary Birdsong from “Reno 911”. It is a redneck comedy takes place in North Carolina.  I got the “The Off Hours”, I did with Lynn Shelton who directed “Humpday”.  I’ve also got a couple of other projects and TV shows in the works as well.

Click here to watch “Monsters” right now on Video on Demand

Interview with Tyne Stecklein

Tyne Stecklein, who made her memorable debut starring alongside one of her greatest mentors in Michael Jackson’s documentary film “This Is It”, has spent her life dedicating her mind, body, and soul to the art of dance. November 24th all of her hard work will pay off when she co-stars in the star-studded film “Burlesque” along with such greats as Cher, Kristen Bell, and Christina Aguilera. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Tyne about her love for dancing and her upcoming roles.

Click here to purchase “This Is It” on DVD/Blu-Ray

Mike Gencarelli: Have you always wanted to be a dancer?
Tyne Stecklein: Yeah, I started dancing when I was three. My mom was a dance teacher. I have done it my whole life. I think by the time I was twelve that I knew it was what I wanted to do professionally.

MG: How did you end up mentoring with Michael Jackson?
TS: Well that was a dance audition I got through my dance agent. The audition was by request only. There was dancers from all over the world there. I think there was like 400 girls auditioning for it.

MG: How was it working on the film “This is It”?
TS: It was really amazing working with Michael (Jackson). While we were working with him, we knew that he was filming but it was originally just suppose to be for his own personal collection. We never thought it will be made into this giant feature film. He was great to everyone. He was really just such a nice guy, very professional and knew exactly what he wanted. He was very hands on with all of us working on the show. Just getting to work around him was just amazing.

MG: Tell us about your role of Jesse in this fall’s “Burlesque”?

TS: I play Jesse, she is one of the lead dancers at the “Burlesque” club. My character is pretty sweet and innocent but me and the other girls that work there are not a big fan of Christina Aguilera’s character when she arrives. We do not like her being a new person there. But the club is going downhill at this point so she ends up having this hidden talent that could help the save the club. One of my funny traits is my character wears big frame glasses throughout the movie, even when I am dancing so that was fun.

MG: What was it like working with Cher and Christina Aguilera?
TS: Yeah, it was amazing. I actually had worked with Cher before for a year in Vegas. I danced at her show in Caesar’s Palace. It was really cool for me to work with her again but in a different setting. That was her as an artist and this is her as an actress. She is incredible at both. It is really inspiring because I would also like to be an actress. It was really cool to be around such amazing talent like that. I had a little scene with her and Stanley Tucci, which was awesome to be apart of. Christina is talent is so many different areas as well and this is her first acting role. She is such a great job with it. That was really inspiring to be around as well.

MG: Tell us about your upcoming film “Friends with Benefits”?
TS: In that film, I play the role of Victoria. Aston Kutcher is one of the leads, he works on the production set of television show. The TV show is has a high school setting and my character is the head cheerleader. She is the brat of the group. I actually auditioned for that as a dancer and then the director Ivan Reitman asked me if I would read for a role as role. I got to do both things, which was really cool.

Click here to purchase “This Is It” on DVD/Blu-Ray