After three years, one-million concert tickets sold across five continents, four consecutive #1 singles, a GRAMMY Award, and performances on “The Tonight Show” and “Saturday Night Live,” GRETA VAN FLEET is hurtling into the future with its second album, The Battle at Garden’s Gate due April 16, 2021 (Lava/Republic Records). The album can be pre-ordered HERE.
A bold evolution from the band’s 2018 full-length debut Anthem of the Peaceful Army, The Battle At Garden’s Gate came together primarily on the road or while in the studio after the runaway success of 2017’s “Highway Tune” led to the band packing up, leaving home, and eagerly soaking up new experiences on an extended road trip around the world. Over the past three years, Greta Van Fleet – vocalist Josh Kiszka, guitarist Jake Kiszka, bassist Sam Kiszka, and drummer Danny Wagner – played to hundreds of thousands of people across North America, Europe, Japan, Australia, South America, New Zealand, and the UK. While driving to gigs, the first-time world travelers passed many unfamiliar sights, from the favelas in Sao Paulo to the Gold Coast of Australia and everywhere in between, meeting and enjoying conversations with fans and other musicians that opened up new worlds to them.
To cap off the change-filled era, the quartet moved from Michigan to Nashville, immersing themselves in Music City’s rich history. The melding of all these experiences opened their eyes to amazing new worlds of culture, history, philosophy and spirituality – and ushered in an entirely new way of looking at life and the approach to their music. Accordingly, Greta Van Fleet poured everything they experienced into these new songs – the music reflects their spiritual and intellectual growth, increased awareness of the inequalities plaguing the modern world, and deep empathy for what other people are going through.
“We realized that while growing up, we had been shielded by many things, and we were unaware of a lot of things,” says drummer Danny Wagner. “And then we were thrown out into this huge world, and it was a bit of a culture shock at first. But as we started to travel a lot, meet new and different people and experience different cultures, our definition of ‘normal’ changed.”
“I suppose that everything has changed except what got us here in the first place,” adds bassist Sam Kiszka. “Everything – our perception of the world, perception of life itself, what it means to be an artist, what it means to be part of a beautiful, gorgeous society. We’ve gained a larger understanding of why we’re all here.”
In general, the album’s arrangements are spacious and leisurely, giving the music pleasing dynamics, as the band touches on all manners of rock ‘n’ roll. The Battle at Garden’s Gate is cinematic, capturing the breathtaking energy of an exciting fight scene or the smoldering passion of a brooding, heroic protagonist saving the day. The new music also illustrates that the members of Greta Van Fleet are paving the way for a new generation of musicians – ones that use rock ‘n’ roll’s foundational elements to build an entirely new sonic blueprint.
Sonically, The Battle at Garden’s Gate also feels bracingly modern, an embodiment of genre-blended musical freedom. Recorded in Los Angeles with Greg Kurstin (Foo Fighters, Paul McCartney), the album is ambitious and expansive, marked by epic journeys such as the second single, “Age of Machine,” released today (check it out HERE), and the Top 5 rock hit “My Way, Soon,” which boasts a towering chorus hook and rip-it-up-and-start-again lyrics.
Josh explains, “It’s very dynamic, lyrically speaking. And that’s the human experience. It’s much more than pain or fear; it’s also beauty. People need people, and love is important.” Lyrically, The Battle at Garden’s Gate muses about the influence of technology on modern life; the role conflict plays in the global sphere; the deceptive fulfillment of tangible riches; and philosophical questions about life, love and power.
“There was a lot of self-evolution happening during the writing of this album that was prompted by experiences I had, experiences we all had, so a lot of contemplation occurred,” Josh says, while Jake adds, “It’s reflecting a lot of the world that we’ve seen, and I think that it’s reflecting a lot of personal truth. What Josh does very well with the lyrics is telling ancient tales with a contemporary application.”
For Josh, working with Kurstin provided the confidence he needed to push his songwriting into these vivid dimensions. “I’m always a little bit hesitant about my abilities as an artist; I think a lot of artists feel that way,” he says. “But Greg hovering over me while I’m on the piano, taking an interest in what I was doing – that was really important for me.”
That added confidence is obvious. Josh sounds commanding on each song, stretching his already-acrobatic voice to newer heights, while the instrumentalists fearlessly push themselves into new territory. Easy going organ and acoustic folk-rock riffs drive one song, while another ends in a torrent of guitar noise that rivals Neil Young’s onstage guitar freakouts with Crazy Horse. “For all of us, the performances – and the aspects of them that are captured – preserve where we’re at musically in time right now,” Jake says.
The future is unwritten, and the sky’s the limit for these curious travelers and truth-seekers. Josh says, “certainly after this, we’ve grown in so many ways. This album has taught us a lot, about life in general, about ourselves, about all of us, about the world we live in.”
It was said that in the last 72 hours Eddie’s ongoing health battle went massively downhill — doctors discovered his throat cancer had moved to his brain as well as other organs.
Eddie has been battling cancer for well over a decade. Our sources say he’s been in and out of the hospital over the past year — including last November for intestinal issues and recently underwent a round of chemo. Though he was a heavy smoker for years, he believes he developed throat cancer from a metal guitar pick he used to frequently hold in his mouth more than 20 years ago. Nevertheless, he continued to attend concerts and rehearse music with his son, Wolfgang, who became Van Halen’s bassist in 2006.
Eddie formed the classic rock group in Pasadena in 1972 with his brother, Alec, on drums, Michael Anthony on bass and David Lee Roth singing. Eddie served as the main songwriter on their self-titled debut album in 1978 which launched the group into rock superstardom in the ’80s. Van Halen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and Eddie is widely considered one the greatest guitar players of all time.
COMING MAY 5, 2020 TO DIGITAL; ARRIVING MAY 19, 2020 ON 4K Ultra HD™ BLU-RAY combo pack, & BLU-RAY™ COMBO PACK
CA (March 4, 2019) – The World’s Greatest Super Heroes square off
once-and-for-all against the despotic Darkseid – with the fate of all humanity
hanging in the balance – in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, the next entry
in the popular series of DC UniverseMovies. Produced by Warner Bros.
Animation and DC, the feature-length animated film will be released by Warner
Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting May 5, 2020, and on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on May 19, 2020.
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War will be
accompanied by the all-new DC Showcase animated short, Adam Strange. The
thrilling tale, which offers insight into the space adventurer’s fascinating
backstory, features Charlie Weber (How To
Get Away with Murder) as the voice of title character.
Dark: Apokolips War will be available on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (USA $39.99 SRP;
Canada $44.98 SRP) and Blu-ray Combo Pack (USA $24.98 SRP; Canada $29.98 SRP) as well as on Digital. The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack features
an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc in 4K with HDR, a Blu-ray disc featuring the film in
hi-definition, and a digital version of the movie. The Blu-ray Combo Pack features a
Blu-ray disc with the film in hi-definition, a DVD with the film in standard
definition, and a digital version of the movie.
Culminating a six-year animated
journey that began with the release of Justice League War in 2014, Justice
League Dark: Apokolips War
finds Earth decimated after intergalactic tyrant Darkseid has devastated the
Justice League in a poorly executed war by the DC Super Heroes. Now the
remaining bastions of good – the Justice League, Teen Titans, Suicide Squad and
assorted others – must regroup, strategize and take the war to Darkseid in
order to save the planet and its surviving inhabitants. This is truly the war
to end all wars, and only the victor will live to enjoy the spoils.
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War features the largest Super Hero cast in the history of DC
Universe Movies with dozens of actors/characters spotlighted in a grand
ensemble of talent reprising their roles from this six-year story continuum. Matt
Ryan (Legends of Tomorrow, Constantine), Jerry O’Connell (Carter, Bravo’s Play by Play,Stand by Me) and Taissa Farmiga (The Nun, The Mule,American
Horror Story) anchor the cast as Constantine,
Superman and Raven, respectively – the triumvirate determined to assemble the
forces necessary to lead humanity’s final attack. Alongside that trio are the long-running
core of Justice League voices — Jason O’Mara (The Man in the High Castle, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Batman, Rosario Dawson (Briar Patch,Daredevil, Sin City) as Wonder Woman, Shemar Moore (S.W.A.T., Criminal Minds) as Cyborg and Christopher
Gorham (Covert Affairs, Insatiable, Ugly
Betty) as The Flash – as well as JL-adjacents Rebecca Romijn (X-Men, The Librarians) and Rainn Wilson
(The Office, The Meg) as the voices
of Lois Lane and Lex Luthor, respectively.
Tony Todd (Candyman) is the voice of the film’s key villain, Darkseid. The
cast also boasts appearances by Camilla Luddington (Grey’s Anatomy)
as Zatanna, Ray Chase (Justice League Dark, Final Fantasy XV videogame) as Jason Blood/Etrigan, Roger R. Cross
(24, The Strain, Arrow) as John
Stewart & Swamp Thing, Liam McIntyre (Spartacus:
War of the Damned, The Flash) as Captain Boomerang, Hynden Walch (Teen Titans Go! Vs. Teen Titans) as
Harley Quinn, Stuart Allan (Batman vs. Robin, Batman: Bad Blood) as Robin/Damian, Sachie
Alessio (Batman: Hush) as Lady Shiva, and John DiMaggio (Futurama, Batman:
Under the Red Hood) as King Shark.
Matt Peters (LEGO DC: Batman – Family Matters) and Christina Sotta (Young Justice) helm Justice League
Dark: Apokolips War from a script by Ernie Altbacker (Batman: Hush, Justice
League Dark) and Mairghread Scott (Wonder Woman: Bloodlines), who is
also credited with creating the story. Amy McKenna (The Death of Superman) is producer, and Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) is
co-producer. Executive Producers are Sam Register and James Tucker (Reign of the Supermen, Justice League Dark).
Dark: Apokolips War is an epic story of supernatural
proportions. A blockbuster, battle royale of a film filled with intense action
and heartfelt emotions, serving up spotlight moments for our cast of unique
characters,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Senior
Vice President, Originals, Animation and Family Marketing. “This incredible
thrill-ride takes us to the edge of the DC universe and sets the stage for an
exciting new chapter.”
League Dark: Apokolips War Special
4K Ultra HD
Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital
DC Showcase: Adam
Strange(Animated Short) – On an asteroid mining colony,
mysterious drifter Adam Strange is dismissed as an interplanetary derelict. But when the miners open a
fissure into the home of a horde of deadly
alien insects, his true identity is exposed. He is space adventurer Adam
Strange, whose heroic backstory is played out in flashbacks as he struggles to save the very people
who have scorned him for so long. Charlie Weber provides the voice of
Adam Strange, alongside with Roger R. Cross, Kimberly Brooks, Ray Chase and
Fred Tatasciore. Adam Strange is
produced and directed by Butch Lukic (Batman
Unlimited franchise), who also conceived the original story – which is
written by J.M. DeMatteis (Constantine:
City of Demons).
God/Evil Classic(New Featurette) – This documentary explores the machinations of one of
fiction¹s greatest Super Villains as we learn more about what fuels Darkseid¹s
drive to becoming a galactic Atilla the Hun and the importance of Deities in
our classic and modern fiction.
Commentary – Observations and
behind-the-scenes insight from Executive Producer James Tucker, Directors Matt
Peters and Christina Sotta, and Screenwriter Ernie Altbacker.
Look Back: Justice
League Dark (Featurette) – John Constantine leads a group of misfit characters
that use magic to vanquish their opponents. This is the dark version of the
Justice League taking on the malevolent forces that go beyond our plane of
Look Back: Batman
and Harley Quinn (Featurette) – Take a peek at the animated feature film, Batman
and Harley Quinn, featuring the creators and talented voice cast.
From the DC Vault: Justice League
Action, “Zombie King”
From the DC Vault: Justice League Action,
“Abate and Switch”
From the DC Comics Vault: Teen Titans,
A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie, Superman: Man of Tomorrow– An advanced look at the next animated film in the popular
DC UniverseMovies collection.
Justice League Dark:
Apokolips War will also be
available on Movies Anywhere. Using the free Movies Anywhere app and
website, consumers can access all their eligible movies by connecting their
Movies Anywhere account with their participating digital retailer accounts.
DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS
On May 5, 2020, Justice League Dark:
Apokolips War will be available to own in high
definition and standard definition from select digital retailers including
Amazon, the Apple TV app, FandangoNOW, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others. On May
19, 2020, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War will be made available digitally on Video On Demand
services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.
ABOUT MOVIES ANYWHERE
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4K UHD Combo
USA, $44.98 Canada
USA, $29.98 Canada
Blu-ray Languages: English, Spanish, French
Blu-ray Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
4K Blu-ray Languages:
English, Spanish, French
4K Blu-ray Subtitles:
English, Spanish, French
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rated R for bloody violence,
language and some sexual references.
About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc.:
Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s
home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in
order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An
industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of
content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the
form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite,
online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for
console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product
through third party retail partners and licensees.
DC is one of the largest English-language publishers
of comics and graphic novels in the world and home to some of the most iconic
and recognizable characters ever created. As a creative unit of WarnerMedia, DC
is charged with strategically integrating its stories and characters across
film, television, consumer products, home entertainment, interactive games and
the DC Universe subscription streaming service. For more information
Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) is one of the
leading producers of animation in the entertainment industry, producing and
developing projects for multiple platforms, both domestically and
internationally. WBA’s current series include Animaniacs for
Hulu, Green Eggs and Ham for Netflix, Aquaman: King of
Atlantis, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, Jellystone, Little
Ellen and Looney Tunes Cartoons for HBO Max, Harley
Quinn and Young Justice: Outsiders for DC
UNIVERSE, DC Super Hero Girls, Teen Titans Go!, ThunderCats Roar and Unikitty! for
Cartoon Network, Bunnicula, Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, New Looney
Tunes, Scooby-Doo! and Guess Who?, The Tom and Jerry Show, Wacky Races and Yabba-Dabba
Dinosaurs! for Boomerang. WBA’s full-length theatrical film, Teen
Titans GO! to the Movies, was released in summer 2018. As home to the
iconic animated characters from the DC, Hanna-Barbera, MGM and Looney Tunes
libraries, WBA also produces highly successful animated films — including the
DC Universe Movies — for DVD, Blu-ray® and digital media. One
of the most-honored animation studios in history, WBA has won six Academy
Awards®, 35 Emmy® Awards, the George Foster Peabody Award, a BAFTA Children’s
Award, an Environmental Media Award, a Parents’ Choice Award, the HUMANITAS
Prize, two Prism Awards and 20 Annie Awards (honoring excellence in animation).
ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL Starring: Rosa Salazar and Christoph Waltz Directed by: Robert Rodriguez Rated: PG-13 Running Time: 2hrs 2 mins 20th Century Fox
BREAKING NEWS: James Cameron movies are generally more about style over substance. As a screenwriter, his simplistic scripts often play second fiddle to grandiose special effects. A bright, shining example would be 2009’s “Avatar,” which was a fantastic 3D experience that sugar-coated a “Dances with Wolves” meets “Braveheart” storyline. (I can hear someone shouting, “Aren’t you forgetting ‘Titanic?’” Sorry, 14 Oscar nominations but none for screenplay.) Apparently, you can’t teach an old screenwriter any new techniques because Cameron’s latest producer/writing endeavor, “Alita: Battle Angel” is all about shock and awe but lacks a soul.
The story is set in the year 2563 where a dystopian society exists after a mysterious war called “The Fall” has wiped out much of Earth’s population. All we know that is left is a trash heap of a town known as Iron City, which sits directly below Earth’s last floating city – Zalem. Iron City is literally the junk yard for the wealthy Zalem and it is there where mild-mannered Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Bastards,” “Django Unchained”) finds a disembodied female cyborg with a living brain still intact.
How this cyborg ended up in the trash is a mystery, but nevertheless Dr. Ido rebuilds the cyborg and names her Alita (Rosa Salazar, “Maze Runner”) after his deceased daughter. Alita, a bright-eyed child with no memory of her past, soon befriends Hugo (Keean Johnson, “Nashville”), a teenage street hustler with dreams of getting enough money to buy his way into Zalem. It is through him that Alita is introduced to the violent sport of Motorball, which resembles a souped-up version of 2002’s “Rollerball.”
Thanks to Dr. Ido’s side job as a Hunter-Warrior, which is a fancy title for bounty hunter, Alita becomes exposed to a part of Iron City that leads her on a path to realizing her full potential, which involves a United Republics of Mars berserker battle suit. We are given scant background information about all of this except that there was a whole lot of fighting and some guy named Nova sees all atop his perch in Zalem, which sounds like an over-the-counter sleep medication. Of course, everything leads to a resounding conclusion as the unknown underdog attempts to overcome all odds. How original!
Directed by Robert Rodgriguez (“Sin City,” “Spy Kids”), someone else who is often more about style over substance, “Alita” stylistically is pleasing to watch and there is plenty of action to fill your plate. It doesn’t hurt that the cast contains three Academy Award winners including Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, who plays Dr. Ido’s estranged wife, and Mahershala Ali as Alita’s primary nemesis. They all give a level of gravitas that would have otherwise sunk the film faster than if it was struck by an iceberg in the north Atlantic. While their lines are often unimaginative and cliched, the cast delivers them with such polish that you almost forget how blasé it is.
For pure popcorn flare, “Alita: Battle Angel” does provide some fun for your time at the theater thanks to its talented cast and visual effects. Don’t expect a satisfying climax though as it sets itself up for a sequel, which may not happen if it cannot at least recuperate its massive production costs. Don’t worry though, you will get to see more James Cameron epics as more “Avatars” are set to be released.
Epic Records Rated: Not Rated
DVD Running time: 94 minutes
Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
Judas Priest’s tour in support of their 17th studio album was one of the most extensive of the group’s entire career- consisting of 130 shows in 33 countries and offering a set-list that touched upon selections from nearly all of their classic albums. Fans can now relive the live Priest experience through “Battle Cry”. Recorded live on August, 1st 2015 at Germany’s Wacken Festival in front of 85,000, the live performance is available on 15 track audio CD as well as DVD and Blu-Ray which both feature an additional 3 tracks shot in Poland on December 10th 2015.
Though not the first live concert performance release from metal gods Judas Priest it is however the first live release from the band to cover material from practically every album including “Redeemer of Souls”. Everything a hardcore Priest fan could want is here and more! From such classic tracks as “Metal Gods” and “Victim of Changes” to newer tracks like “Battle Cry” and “Redeemer of Souls”. You serious get a little bit of everything with this release. One track missing that I had hoped would make the cut was that of the song “Love Bites” off of “Defenders of the Faith”. The band performed this song for the first time since 1986 during the opening night of the “Redeemer of Souls” tour in Rochester, NY and continued playing it off and on throughout the tours run. Despite my own personal favorite missing the stunning visuals and immense crowd and staging made me quickly forget about that one minor detail as there was just so much to take in. The band made a really great decision by selecting the Wacken Festival as it is really proving to be one of if not thee most premier heavy metal festival.
This release will make a great addition to any metal fans collection especially if they were able to catch one of the bands shows from this tour. It would have been nice though if they came packaged as a CD/DVD combo giving you both an audio and video option all in one purchase. It also would have been cool to include some behind the scenes footage from the tour along with the 3 additional tracks being the tour was such a large undertaking for the band. Minus those few small things and you have great live release.
DVD/Blu-Ray Track Listing:
1.) (Intro) Battle Cry
3.) Metal Gods
4.) Devil’s Child
5.) Victims of Changes
6.) Halls of Valhalla
7.) Turbo Lover
8.) Redeemer of Souls
9.) Beyond the Realms of Death
11.) Breaking the Law
12.) Hell Bent for Leather
14.) Electric Eye
15.) You’ve Got Another Thing Coming
17.) Living After Midnight
18,) Screaming for Vengeance
19.) The Rage
20.) Desert Plains
Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Grade Level: 1 – 3
Series: Storybook Collection
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Marvel Press
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars
I wish I had a book like this when I was a kid. “The Avengers Storybook Collection” is a must have for any parent with young boys or even young fan girls for that matter! There is nothing like getting ready a story filled with heroism, adventure and action just before going to slip. These stories are fun, exciting and feature some of our favorite Marvel superheroes. Even though, my daughter is a little young for this one, she still loves it and already came name every character on the cover!
Official Premise: Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Falcon are Earth’s Mightiest Marvels-the Avengers! Join them as they work together to battle against sinister Super Villains such as Ultron, Thanos, the Masters of Evil,and more, to keep the Earth safe. Featuring 20 explosive stories of good vs. evil. Avengers assemble!
Let’s hope that this Storybook Collection is the first of many. There are literally an infinite collection of characters that they can include in future collections. This one has 20 stories included with all of the favorites like Iron Man and Captain America but I would love to be able to introduce my daughter to some of the lesser known characters as well. They could even do a female superhero only book OOHHHH OOHHHH or even better a villains only book. Who wouldn’t want to read a new story featuring everyone’s favorite Avenger villain, Loki! Fingers crossed!
Starring: Richard Armitage, Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Aidan Turner, Cate Blanchett
Director: Peter Jackson
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Run Time: 144 minutes
Film: 3 out of 5 stars
3D: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars
I am a huge fan of both “The Lord of Rings” and “The Hobbit” film series. I have to admit though, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” is easily the weakest entry in Peter Jackson’s entire six-chapter saga. Now it is not terrible at all but in terms of the scale of the other films it just does not live up to be the closing chapter in a six film saga. We all know that “The Hobbit” was a very short book and these three films have been expanded to enable a trilogy but this third film just feels too stretched out. There is like an hour long battle scene, which I wouldn’t never think this would happen but it just feels boring. This film could have easily been summed up in the second film and probably made that a better film also. The cast are still top notch and both Richard Armitage and Martin Freeman really shine here. Honestly a little sad to see this chapter close but who knows maybe their will be future Middle Earth adventures in the future (hopefully).
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” brings to an epic conclusion the adventure of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and the Company of Dwarves. The Dwarves of Erebor have reclaimed the vast wealth of their homeland, but now must face the consequences of having unleashed the terrifying Dragon, Smaug, upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town. As he succumbs to dragon-sickness, the King Under the Mountain, Thorin Oakenshield, sacrifices friendship and honor in search for the legendary Arkenstone. Unable to help Thorin see reason, Bilbo is driven to make a desperate and dangerous choice, not knowing that even greater perils lie ahead. An ancient enemy has returned to Middle-earth. Sauron, the Dark Lord, has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends as five great armies go to war.
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” is releasing this film as a 5-disc combo pack with a 3D Blu-ray + Standard Blu-ray + DVD and also Digital HD copy. The 3D on this film was good but I wasn’t blown away like the second film actually. I didn’t really feel like it added much to the film other than some depth. The 1080p transfer though was fantastic. This series has excelled in the audio and video department since the very first “The Lord of the Rings”. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track is also perfect. Since the film is basically one long fight scene, this track really stands up and delivers an action packed adventure at every turn. From dragons spewing fire to metal clanging, this track is exciting and intense.
Like previous releases in this trilogy, the initial Blu-ray special features have not been outstanding. It is the Extended Edition releases set for each Fall that have impressed. This Blu-ray includes some decent extra still. First up is “New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth Part 3”, which is an overview of the third film and its shooting locations. “Recruiting the Five Armies” looking into the casting, costumes and everything else involved with creating this army. “Completing Middle-earth: A Six-Part Saga” is an interview with Director Peter Jackson introduces discussing the last film, as is also “Completing Middle-earth: A Seventeen-Year Journey” taking about the saga as a whole. “The Last Goodbye: Behind the Scenes” looks into the creating the film’s end credits with actor Billy Boyd’s “The Last Goodbye.”, also included is the music video as well.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies arrives onto Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, 2-Disct DVD Special Edition and Digital HDÔ on March 24th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Starring: Sean Ryan Fox, Madison Pettis, Jadon Sand, David Arquette, Corey Burton
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: January 6, 2015
Run Time: 141 minutes
Episodes: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Disney Junior’s “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” continues to impress time after time. The show is great and then a few years ago, they introduced Peter Pan into the mix, which made it cooler. Now they have mixed in classic characters like Wendy, Michael and John to complete circle in the all-new special “Battle for the Book!”. This is literally the best episode of the series since it has aired. It is funny, sharp and very entertaining. I am not sure how they are going to top this next time but I can’t wait to see what they have planned next for this show…oh and BTW my two year old loved it also 😉
Official Premise: When Wendy’s special Storybook is stolen by Captain Hook, Jake and his mates go to London to help Peter Pan’s friend (from the classic movie Peter Pan). The longer the book is out of Wendy’s hands, the more she and her brothers (John and Michael) forget about their past adventures on Never Land. The battle for the book continues in Never Land, where Hook plans to destroy the book and its stories in the legendary Ring of Blue Fire. It’s up to our young heroes to save Wendy’s Storybook and the Story of Peter Pan!
“Jake and the Never Land Pirates” includes the following voice cast: Sean Ryan Fox (“Life Tracker”, “East of Kensington”) as Jake, Madison Pettis (“Cory in the House”, “Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 and 3”, “The Game Plan”) as Izzy, Jadon Sand (“Frozen”, “Wreck it Ralph”) as Cubby, David Arquette (“Scream” movies) as Skully, Jeff Bennett (“Tinker Bell” film series) as Mr. Smee, Bonesand Corey Burton (“Star Wars: The Clone Wars”) as Captain Hook.
If the hour-long season three finale of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” is not enough for you there is still much more packed into this DVD. In terms of special features we get ten “Jake’s Never Land Pirate School” shorts. The shorts are “Flying”, “Tick Tock Croc”, “B-B-Big Bugs!”, “Go Bucky!”, “Saving Captain Hook!”, “Mama knows Best!”, “Dancing with the Pirates”, “I’ve Got My Sword!”, “Hop-Hop-Hop!”, and “Look Out!”. These are great watchings for the for kiddies to enjoy. Also includes inside every DVD is an exclusive checker board bandanna with gold coins, which is not available anywhere else but this DVD release. So if you love “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”, this is a must own!
Starring: Martin Freeman and Ian McKellan
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 2 hours 24 mins
Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
It’s over. After thirteen years and six films, Peter Jackson has completed not one but two amazing film trilogies that will be thrilling viewers for generations to come. Welcome to the final chapter of “The Hobbit” series, “The Battle of the Five Armies.”
When we last saw Bilbo Baggins (Freeman), he and his dwarf friends had royally pissed off the great dragon, Smaug, who was doing his best to destroy Laketown. In case you didn’t see the middle film, “The Desolation of Smaug,” the final film opens with the same scenes that closed part two. Kind of like getting to see the end of the fight from “Rocky” when you screen “Rocky II.” Once things calm down the film settles into its narrative…Thorin (Richard Armitage) has gotten “gold fever” and begins to distrust those around him. Did you ever see the old Daffy Duck cartoon where he stumbles into a vault and begins to hoard all of the treasure? Well, it’s pretty much like that except Throin doesn’t run around yelling “mine, mine, mine….no, no, no!” Meanwhile, the Orcs are heading towards our heroes’ location, guaranteeing that the title battle will indeed take place – Orcs, Dwarves, Elves and Eagles spend an almost wordless 45 minutes kicking serious ass. So why am I not as in love with this film as the previous ones? One word: Legolas. Apparently his long blonde hair makes him able to defy gravity among other incredulous activities. Yes, I know it’s a fantasy but come on all ready!
On the plus side the film’s cast is as game as ever to bring the story to life and the special effects continue to amaze. If nothing else, Jackson has established himself as a master storyteller, even when the story sometimes goes a little off track. The saga is over and what never could have been imagined on screen two decades ago has now come to life. If that’s not something to be thankful for at this time of year I don’t know what is.
Media Mikes has teamed up with Warner Brothers/New Line Cinema and MGM to give (25) readers and their guests a chance to be among the first to see the final film in Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” in 3-D!
The screening will be held on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at the Cinemark Merriam 20 Theatre in Merriam, Kansas and will start at 7:00 p.m.
Release Date: October 23, 2014
E10+ for Everyone 10 and older: Cartoon Violence
Publisher: Game Mill Entertainment
Developer: 1st Playable Productions
Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars
Right from the start, “Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay” was off to a bad start. I thought there was something wrong with my 3DS and it turned out the game isn’t presented with 3D effects. I mean come on, there are indie games that are coming out in 3D and a big game like “Big Hero 6” is not. Very disappointing. The game difficulty is extremely easy. The bad guys are no challenge at all, in fact I beat the first boss while checking my email on my phone. You play as each of the five main characters mixed up throughout the game’s 20 levels, which will take the average gamer about an hour or two to beat. The other main issue is that Baymax, who is the best character in the movie is merely background noise. Big miss here for sure.
Official Premise: Following on the heels of their super hero debut, the Big Hero 6 team has targeted a dangerous gangster named Yama and his legion of out of control fighting robots! Take control of the stars of the film in this action packed combat platformer! Send robot’s flying across the screen as Hiro with his electro-mag gauntlets! Zoom through levels at top speed as Go ! Slice and dice as Wasabi with his plasma blades! Smash and burn as Fred in his Kaiju monster super suit!
“Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay” features no spoken dialogue or cut scenes at all along with bland and repetitive sound design. One thing this game does have though to add slightly more game play instead of jump flying through each level is that there is some in-game collectibles. You can collect various hidden items in each level including a cat, a plus symbol consisting of five cubes and the word HERO spelled out. Finding these items will provide health upgrades as well as trophies, art work and more. Unless you are completely obsessed with “Big Hero 6” and need to have everything from the movie, this is a definite pass.
Actors: Sean Schemmel, Christopher R. Sabat, Stephanie Nadolny, Sonny Strait, Jason Douglas
Directors: Christopher R. Sabat
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Run Time: 85 / 105 minutes
Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars
The first new “Dragon Ball” feature film in over seventeen years?! Yeah sign me up!! “”Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods” is a hell of a good time. I saw this film in theaters during its limited run and it was a real blast. The audience loved and we all really just loved seeing a new “Dragon Ball” feature. I think that diehard fans are going to love this as well (or loved it since it they are diehard fans they should have seen in theaters like me). I hope that the success of this film, still shows that there is plenty of demand for “Dragon Ball” content in the U.S., so I hope that they have future films planned as well. We are more FUNimation!! Bring it on!
Official Premise: Following the events of the Dragon Ball Z television series, after the defeat of Majin Buu, a new power awakens and threatens humanity. Beerus, an ancient and powerful God of Destruction, searches for Goku after hearing rumors of the Saiyan warrior who defeated Frieza. Realizing the threat Beerus poses to their home planet, the Z-fighters must find a way to stop him before it’s too late. Only Goku, humanity’s last hope, can ascend to the level of a legendary Super Saiyan God and stop Beerus’s from destroying Earth, and possibly the entire universe!
“Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods” delivered a solid Blu-ray presentation courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment The 1080p transfer in 1.78:1 looks amazing with this films colors and animation style. It keeps the original series look with not too much of an upgrade in terms of style but it just looks very polished and sharp. Same goes for the audio tracks. There are Dolby TrueHD 5.1 tracks for both Japanese and English on the Theatrical Version of the film and and an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 track for the Uncut Version. Either one really rules personally. I originall saw it in English but I love DBZ in Japanese as wel.
The Blu-ray contains as a mentioned, two cuts of the film the Theatrical cut runs about 85 minutes, while the Uncut version runs about 105 minutes. Obviously, I love DBZ so the longer the better for me. The film already had slight pacing issues at 85 minutes, so it runs a little long but I still can’t get enough personally. In terms of special features, we get a Behind the Scenes look into the film with “Battle of Voice Actors” and also similarly “The Voices of Dragon Ball Z Unveiled”, which touches on the cast. There is also a Textless Closing Song and U.S. Trailer included.
Any basketball fans out there? As we approach the end of the season, the burning question for sports way is which is the best way to end it properly. Some will same NCAA March Madness and some will say NBA Playoffs. If you are conflicted, take a look at this amazing infographic and let it give you the facts behind each.
Feel free to enter your comments below and let us know what are your thoughts, feeling and of course most importantly predictions for the end of this season!
Metal Blade Records
Tracks: 13 Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars
GWAR the rubber clad creatures from Antarctica are back with their 13th studio album titled “Battle Maximus”. The album is being released via Metal Blade Records and features 13 brand new tracks from the heavy metal group that have been slaying audiences and figure heads since the late 1980’s. When a band loses a member there are two things that can happen. The band can either replace that member and continue on or pack it in and call it quits. When Cory Smoot (Flattus Maximus) guitarist and key song writer for the band passed away while the group was on tour in 2011 I was unsure how a role that large could be filled and if there ever would be new GWAR music again. Thankfully the group has decided to forge on and with the addition of Pustulus Maximus (Brent Purgason) Gwar has been able to not only carry on with their signature sludge like sound they have taken it to an entirely new level.
The album kicks off with an acoustic tinged intro featuring the always comical lyrical stylings of Oderus Urungus (Dave Brockie) before blasting into “Madness at the Core of Time” which is a song done in typical GWAR fashion. The song also features several Iron Maiden type lead passages which were spot on. As the album continues to pulverize your senses you come across tracks such as “Nothing Left Alive” which features some stellar double bass technique courtesy of Jizmak (Brad Roberts) before making way for tracks such as “Torture” and “I, Bonesnapper” which gives GWAR’s always entertaining sidekick Bonesnapper a chance to strut his stuff and tell stories of his days on the Scum Dog slave ships. The album closes on several high notes such as “Falling” which features even more great solos and a trippy vibe reminiscent of “Dark Side of the Moon” before ending with the track “Fly Now” which upon close listen plays like a tribute to the bands fallen brother Flattus.
All the performances on “Battle Maximus” are well crafted and executed flawlessly. I have to give it to the groups newest members as with this being their first record with the band they are certainly worthy the Scum Dog armor in this writers eyes. GWAR fans both new and old will definitely want to grab a copy of this for their collection as it ushers in a new era for the wart covered creatures known as GWAR.
2.) Madness at the Core of Time
4.) Nothing Left Alive
5.) They Swallowed the Sun
7.) Raped at Birth
8.) I, Bonesnapper
9.) Mr. Perfect
10.) Battle Maximus
11.) Triumph of the Pig Children
13.) Fly Now