Film Review: “Animal Among Us”

Starring: Larisa Oleynik, Erin Daniels and Heather Tom
Directed by: John Woodruff
Not Rated
Running time: 1 hr 30 mins
Uncork’d Entertainment

“This is a movie about a monster.” Author Roland Baumgarner’s (Christian Oliver) first and only successful writing venture found him fame by exploiting the mysterious deaths of two young girls at the family owned Camp Merrymaker. His novel helped to simultaneously draw curious and fanatical Sasquatch hunters to the area and cause the camp to shut down. Years later, Roland is living his own personal blasé-suburban nightmare and, without a sophomore success to his name, has resigned himself to teaching creative writing to a group of uninspired young writers.

     When Roland receives a strange fan letter in the mail – inviting him to return to  Camp Merrymaker for it’s grand reopening – he jumps at the opportunity to use the event to get his creative juices flowing. However, upon his arrival, he quickly realizes the proprietors of the camp, sisters Anita and Poppy (Larisa Oleynik and Christine Donlon), shouldn’t rush to open their gates to guests just yet. As hidden agendas and bloodied Sasquatch investigators emerge from the depths of the woods, Roland finds himself spiraling into the kind of real life terror that, incidentally, would make for a great book.

      Director John Woodruff is a lifelong genre fan and has crafted his first feature film with his bleeding monster kid heart on his sleeve. It’s filled with loving nods to a variety of classic horror films with all the key players of a traditional summer camp slasher present: the foreboding, woodsy atmosphere, creative special effects, the short shorts, the badly behaved counselors and the looming ever-present threat of death but “Animal Among Us” finds its own unique and emotionally honest voice by weaving in themes of obsession and revenge. It’s never exploitative or gratuitous, explores marital relationships with refreshing albeit uncomfortable honesty and stands out by utilizing every minute of its ninety minute run time to expand a creature feature into a multi-layer monster movie that will really keep you guessing who you’re rooting for.

Album Review: Soundgarden “King Animal” 35th Anniversary Vinyl

“King Animal” 35th Anniversary Vinyl


Republic Records

Producer: Adam Kasper/Soundgarden

2 LP’s

Tracks: 13

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Soundgarden’s sixth and final album “King Animal” is the latest in a series in specially packaged re-releases from the platinum selling band which celebrates the groups 35 year career. Like the previous three releases from this series “King Animal” comes pressed on 180 gram colored vinyl and is packaged in full color, dual gate fold sleeves complete with album liner notes.

The final release from Soundgarden after the group’s reformation in 2010 “King Animal” picks up roughly where its predecessor “Down On The Upside” leaves off. Not it in theme but in stylistic approach as the album features a wide range of textures and sounds giving listeners a smorgasbord of musical ear candy to digest. The latest LP release comes pressed on double white/yellow marble 180 gram vinyl which gives the albums 13 tracks a balanced warmness as it plays through your speakers. Tracks like the rawkus “Non-State Actor” and the eerie “Bones of Birds” were personal highlights as were the fast paced “Attrition” and the fanatical thumping of “Eyelids Mouth”.

Being this is not the albums first vinyl treatment aside from the addition of 180 gram vinyl it doesn’t really offer anything that the previous release didn’t already provide. This seems to be a common occurrence with these anniversary releases as none of them have offered anything extra to help entice buyers to grab another copy. With the various bonus content that was made available previously from this release I think it would have been an ideal time to house it all under one nicely packed anniversary collection however, this was not the case. Don’t get me wrong re-releases can be a really cool thing and like the subsequent 3 the packaging is second to none however they really should have given fans a reason to purchase them and “King Animal” is no exception. If you have this release already you may want to skip this one however if you haven’t gotten yourself a copy and just want the core album with no fancy extras, Then grab this anniversary edition as you won’t be disappointed.   

Track Listing:

1.) Been Away Too Long

2.) Non-State Actor

3.) By Crooked Steps

4.) A Thousand Days Before

5.) Blood on the Valley Floor

6.) Bones of Birds

7.) Taree

8.) Attrition

9.) Black Saturday

10.) Halfway There

11.) Worse Dreams

12.) Eyelids Mouth

13.) Rowing


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Product Review “Dyson DC65 Animal Complete Upright Vacuum Cleaner”

We recently reviewing the Dyson DC59 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner and it was quite the vacuum cleaner but after a few months of using it, I have noticed that it isn’t the best with carpets. I wanted to test out another Dyson product that would would have a little more power to it on carpeted floor. The DC65 Animal Complete is named to be include the strongest suction of any vacuum. So I wanted to try the best. Wow, it was not lying either, this is literally the best vacuum that I have ever used.

This vacuum cleaner has a self-adjusting cleaner head and re-engineered brushbar that dig deeper into carpets to remove more dust and dirt than the average vacuum, while still kicking ass on hard floors. The DC65 uses remodeled Radial Root Cyclone technology and uses the latest Ball technology and comes with a Tangle-free turbine tool to remove hair from carpets and has extra tools engineered for pet hair and ground-in dirt.

Why is this Radial Root Cyclone technology important in a vacuum? Well, it is pretty cool if you look into it since it uses the airflows to help remove more dirt, dust and allergens from the home. Both myself and I have pretty nasty allergies and most of our house is carpeted, so it is important for us to have a good way to clean. This vacuum also comes with a reconfigured brush bar that includes 25% more power and drives bristles deeper into carpets removing more dirt.

I have never used a upright vacuum before with Ball technology and it definitely makes things a lot easier. When it says ball, it actually means a ball. This sits on a ball that pivots on a dime allowing you to steer with a turn of the wrist. Like all Dyson’s they are hygienic and quick and easy to empty as well. The two brushes included here are a multi-angle and a stiff bristle brush.

The Dyson DC65 Animal Complete also comes with Zorb carpet maintenance powder and a Dyson tool bag to hold all accessories. Never before has cleaning been so easy. I swear if you aren’t using a Dyson product you are not cleaning as efficiently as you could be. I can’t wait to see what they have planned with the upcoming Dyson 360 Eye! Stay tuned to Media Mikes as we will be covering it first hand!

Book Review “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Animal ABCs”

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Board book: 10 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: January 7, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

I have an 18-month old daughter and I love her being able to have fun and yet still learn. “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” is such an amazing TV to get the best of both world in that department. This new book “Animal ABCs” is such a blast, it not only teaches the ABCs but also relates then to animals. My daughter is such a sponge right now and she literally has not put this book down. I see this being her favorite for quite a while! Highly Recommend!

Official Premise: Join Mickey, Minnie and the rest of the gang from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as they explore the jungle to discover all the animals of the alphabet, from Alligator to Zebra. This awesome lenticular novelty format makes learning the alphabet fun, as preschoolers can tilt the book to see a letter of the alphabet transform into a beautiful full-color photo of an animal.

What I like about this book is that it has some weight to it, it is not a flimsy book. It is high quality and looks to holds up again the little one. I also love the lenticular images since it is one animal looking one way and another the other way. I stood back and watched by daughter realize that and it really blew her mind. I can’t wait to see the next installment in this series “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Colors All Around”, which streets February 18, 2014. I will be first in line for sure…if I can pry this book from my daughters hands.

Book Review “Animal Opposites” by Petr Horacek

Author/Illustrator: Petr Horacek
Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 2
Hardcover: 20 pages
Publisher: Candlewick
Release Date: August 6, 2013

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

What kid doesn’t love animals? My daughter is only 16 months yet she can name at least two dozen animals and on top of that give the sound that each of them makes. This book contrasts 20 different animals with the use of flaps, pop-ups, and turn the page design. Kids can find out the opposite side of these animals all shapes and sizes.

Ranging from a slow snail to fast cheetah, a heavy hippo to light butterfly, a smooth frog to prickly porcupine, those are just some of the examples given to teach contrast to kids. Author Petr Horácek also did the illustration to this brightly colored pop-up book and it makes this book a real visual treat. It also makes it very interactive as well with the flaps, pop-ups etc. I recommend this for not only fun but also learning value.

Win Complimentary Passes to Kansas City Screenings of “Grease,” “Animal House” and “Real Genius” at the Alamo Drafthouse [ENDED]

Media Mikes has teamed up with the Alamo Drafthouse to give our readers a chance to win passes to themed screenings of the following films in Kansas City:

On Tuesday, September 17, join the T-Birds and Pink Ladies in a specially themed presentation of the classic 1978 musical “Grease.” This is a special sing-a-long screening, with the lyrics projected on screen during the film (like you’ll need them)

Text PINK LADIES and your ZIP CODE to 43549 to enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to see the GREASE SING-ALONG. (1) winner will be drawn on Monday, September 16.

On Wednesday, September 18, it’s time to join the members of Delta Tau Chi as they throw a Toga Party to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of “National Lampoon’s Animal House.”
Text TOGA and your ZIP CODE to 43549 to enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to see the ANIMAL HOUSE TOGA PARTY. (1) winner will be drawn on Tuesday, September 17.

Finally, go back to the 80s and celebrate with Val Kilmer and the fellow braniacs of “Real Genius.”

Text IQ and your ZIP CODE to 43549 to enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to see REAL GENIUS. (1) winner will be drawn on Wednesday, September 18.

DVD Review "Phineas & Ferb: The Perry Files – Animal Agents"

Creators: Jeff “Swampy” Marsh & Dan Povenmire
Actors: Vincent Martella, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dan Povenmire, Ashley Tisdale, Alyson Stoner
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: February 26, 2013
Run Time: 168 minutes

Episodes: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

I remember when I first started watching “Phineas & Ferb” and it hadn’t caught one yet with audience. But now it is just amazing how much “Phineas & Ferb” has blown up for Disney. Perry the Platypus has become a high-profile brand name and the fan-favorite of the show. One thing I noticed in these episodes is that Vincent Martella, voice of Phineas, voice is definitely changing as he sound quite different. Dan Povenmire really steals the show as usual as the voice of Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz. He is one of the best and funniest characters that Disney has ever branded. He is funny and his antics never get old. This DVD contains 12 very funny episodes dealing with Perry and the Animal Agents of the O.W.C.A. (Organization Without A Cool Acronym). If you are a fan of this show, do not miss the chance to own this fantastic release.

The episodes including are: “Journey to the Center of Candace”, “Traffic Cam Caper”, “Bowl-R-Rama Drama”, “Vanessasary Roughness”, “Isabella and the Temple of Sap”, “Cheer Up Candace”, “Robot Rodeo”, “Lotsa Latkes”, “Agent Doof”, “Where’s Perry Part 1”, “Where’s Perry Part 2” and “What’d I Miss”. They are a great collection of episodes showcasing Perry and his band of animal agents. The two part episode “Where’s Perry” could have been released as a DVD set of its own. But Disney delivered not only those too great episodes but many more greats.

Official Synopsis: Join Perry the Platypus – a.k.a. Agent P – and his fellow operatives as they team up to thwart Dr. Doofenshmirtz and his dastardly “Inators.” Be they furry or feathered, scaly or slimy, these fearless agents roll over for nobody when it comes to crushing evil in the Tri-State Area and beyond. Fully loaded with over two hours of animated animal-themed adventures, including the exciting, two-part “Phineas And Ferb” cliffhanger “Where’s Perry?”, “Phineas and Ferb: Animal Agents” is a fun-filled, action-packed laughfest that will drive audiences wild!
“Phineas and Ferb: Animal Agents” includes a cool activity spy kit complete with a set of paper binoculars, trading cards and O.W.C.A. I.D. Badge.

The special features included are a collection of “Take Two with Phineas and Ferb” shorts, which features the duo with cameos from real-life celebrities. That is all the actual bonus footage but there is a bunch of extra cool stuff included. There is a foldable spy kit with binoculars included inside. But that is not all, Disney took the time to take it one step further. If you check out the cover inside art, it includes a game to use the binoculars for. This is very clever and a nice way to use an otherwise back side of the cover art. Congrats Disney delivering not only a great disc but also a nice goodies.


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DVD Review “The Garfield Show: Dinosaur & Other Animal Adventures”

Voices of: Frank Welker, Gregg Berger, Wally Wingert
Episodes: 6
Running Time: 74 Minutes
Studio: Vivendi Entertainment

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“The Garfield Show” started in France in 2008, following its US premiere in late 2009. The show is a different take for the series as it is fully CGI animated. I think that it works rather well in 15 minute episode formats. Each episode is quick and usually packs a good laugh or two. The animation is basic but not bad, with the colors really standing out. It definitely also has a pretty catchy theme song.

There are six episodes from this series included in this set including “Down on the Farm”, “The Pet Show”, “Bone Diggers”, “Underwater World”, “Fish to Fry” and “History of Dogs”. Some of the adventures that Garfield and Ottie deal with are digging up dinosaur bones, working on a farm, working on a farm, exploring the ocean and even attends a pet show.

My favorite on the disc is definitely “Underwater World”, since it has a cool shark named Chomper. I am a sucker for CGI sharks. Overall this show is fun and should definitely hold the interest of children…(and some adult like myself). There are over 100 episodes of this show and they seem to be releasing a new volume many times throughout the year. So keep an eye out for more volumes coming fast.