Blu-ray Review “Fright Night 2: New Blood”

Starring: Will Payne, Jaime Murray, and Sean Power
Directed by: Eduardo Rodriguez
Rated: Unrated
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Run Time: 88 minutes

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

What a waste of time! “Fright Night 2: New Blood” is billed as a direct-to-video sequel to the 2011 remake, yet it is just another remake. I do not understand why they decided to take this route. Of course none of the original cast is back for this mess of a film. Charley, Amy and Evil Ed are placed in a high school program in Romania. Instead of Jerry Dandridge, we get Gerri Dandridge, who is not hard on the eyes I might add, as their female professor. Lastly Peter Vincent is also here except he a reality Ghost Hunters-wanna be paranormal investigator. There is no explanation or reference back to the other film, unless you know from reading this, I was left with a confused face on the entire movie.  Did I mention this is a waste of time?

Official Premise: By day Gerri Dandridge is a sexy professor, but by night she transforms into a real-life vampire with an unquenchable thirst for human blood. So when a group of high school students travel abroad to study in Romania, they find themselves ensnared in Gerri’s chilling web of lust and terror. Charley and “Evil” Ed must stop Gerri from drinking and bathing in the blood of a “new moon virgin,” which just so happens to be Charley’s ex-girlfriend, Amy. They enlist help from Peter Vincent, the vampire hunting host of a reality show called “Fright Night,” to drive a stake through Gerri’s plan and save Amy from a fate far worse than death.

20th Century Fox still delivered a nice release for this terrible film as a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Ultraviolet combo pack. The film is also delivered unrated but since it was never released, it is just another way to draw in any type of audience. The special features are just as weak as the film is.  There is an audio commentary by director Eduardo Rodriguez and producers Alison Rosenzweig and Michael Gaeta, Besides that there is “Fright Night” Webisodes and “Dracula Revealed” featurette included. Don’t waste your time, waste the 2011 remake instead or of course the original 1985 Tom Holland classic, which is the best. Stop making useless remakes!

 

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Blu-ray Review “True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season”

Actors: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley
Creator: Alan Ball
Number of discs: 7
Rated: Unrated
Studio: HBO Home Video
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Run Time: 720 minutes

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

Who doesn’t love HBO’s “True Blood”. The show has been going strong for five seasons now. When you start watching its is hard not to completed get sucked in. This season packs some great storylines i.e. Bill and Eric behind bars, Tara getting used to her new life as a vampire, Alcide turning his back on the wolfpack and a vampire civil war on the horizon. There is no shortage of action and drama this season. In fact this season is one of my favorite to date from the show, besides the first. You would think that after five seasons that this show would lose some steam but it only seems to get more interesting and entertaining. Season five also definitely can be considered a game-changer for the show and it was also creator Alan Ball’s final season. Season six has already started and completed last week and it was such a powerhouse of a season. Brian Buckner stood up to replace Ball as the show’s showrunner and continued without missing a beat, which just proves that this show is a force to be reckoned with.

The fifth season sees the return of our favorite True Blood cast members including Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgård, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley and Sam Trammell…just to name a few. They are all in fine-form and deliver some of their best performances of the series especially Ryan Kwanten, who has a fantastic arc. This season introduces various new cast members including Scott Foley as Patrick Devins; Christopher Meloni as Roman; Valentina Cervi as Salom; and Lucy Griffiths as Nora. I love the storyline surrounding the Authority and their affects on these characters. Each character their own arc, which works well for the most part, this season and the finale really brings it all together quite well.

HBO has delivered a very impressive DigiPack combo pack release for the fifth season of “True Blood”. Thanks to HBO Select, this release offers buyers the choice of three ways to watch in one set – Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy. The digital copy included is redeemable via iTunes, Vudu or Amazon and of course my favorite, UltraViolet. The 12 episodes are well represented with their 1080p transfers. The show has been given consistently impressive releases thanks to HBO and have continued to look very sharp and impressive. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks also deliver the mood for the show very well. I love composer Nathan Barr’s score for this show and as usual it is well represented here.

The special features are sure to leave diehard “True Blood” fans feeling very satisfied. “True Blood Episode Six: Autopsy” is an in-depth look behind-the-scenes with the cast and crew on that episode. “Authority Confessionals” gives you an inside look at the mysterious institution. There is an enhanced viewing option for the series allowing you to tap in Character Bios, Vampire Histories and fun facts while watching the show. There is a Flashback/Flash Forward option that will allow you to travel back through the show’s timeline and relive pivotal moments or Flash Forward to reveal the significance of a certain scenes. Lastly “True Blood Lines” is a fun guide to tap into secrets from relationships past and present.

Next up, the next batch of special features are available on the Blu-rays but are the only extras available on the DVDs. “Inside the Episodes” is an look into various back stories from each episode this season. There are five audio commentary tracks with cast and crew including creator/executive producer Alan Ball, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Denis O’Hare, Carrie Preston and many more! There are also Previews & Recaps from the series, in case you need to play catch up. Lastly you are able to watch these episodes seamless, so they flow really well together especially if you feel like marathoning it.

Thanks to Connect Your Home for setting us up with this great review. Can’t wait for what HBO has in store for “True Blood: The Complete Sixth Season” and also don’t forget that the show has already been renewed for a seventh season, which is planned for Summer of 2014. Keep it coming guys! This show is amazing!

“Fright Night 2: New Blood” – Available 10/1 on Blu-ray and DVD

By day Gerri Dandridge is a sexy professor, but by night she transforms into a real-life vampire with an unquenchable thirst for human blood. So when a group of high school students travel abroad to study in Romania, they find themselves ensnared in Gerri’s chilling web of lust and terror. Charley and “Evil” Ed must stop Gerri from drinking and bathing in the blood of a “new moon virgin,” which just so happens to be Charley’s ex-girlfriend, Amy. They enlist help from Peter Vincent, the vampire hunting host of a reality show called “Fright Night,” to drive a stake through Gerri’s plan and save Amy from a fate far worse than death.

Street Date: October 1, 2013
Screen Format: Widescreen 2.00:1
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Total Run Time: 83 minutes

Blu-ray Review “True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season”

Actors: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley
Creator: Alan Ball
Number of discs: 7
Rated: Unrated
Studio: HBO Home Video
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Run Time: 720 minutes

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

Who doesn’t love HBO’s “True Blood”. The show has been going strong for five seasons now. When you start watching its is hard not to completed get sucked in. This season packs some great storylines i.e. Bill and Eric behind bars, Tara getting used to her new life as a vampire, Alcide turning his back on the wolfpack and a vampire civil war on the horizon. There is no shortage of action and drama this season. In fact this season is one of my favorite to date from the show, besides the first. You would think that after five seasons that this show would lose some steam but it only seems to get more interesting and entertaining. Season five also definitely can be considered a game-changer for the show and it was also creator Alan Ball’s final season. I am still looking forward to what happens next in the upcoming sixth season, coming this June! Bring it on!

The fifth season sees the return of our favorite True Blood cast members including Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgård, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley and Sam Trammell…just to name a few. They are all in fine-form and deliver some of their best performances of the series especially Ryan Kwanten, who has a fantastic arc. This season introduces various new cast members including Scott Foley as Patrick Devins; Christopher Meloni as Roman; Valentina Cervi as Salom; and Lucy Griffiths as Nora. I love the storyline surrounding the Authority and their affects on these characters. Each character their own arc, which works well for the most part, this season and the finale really brings it all together quite well.

HBO has delivered a very impressive DigiPack combo pack release for the fifth season of “True Blood”. Thanks to HBO Select, this release offers buyers the choice of three ways to watch in one set – Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy. The digital copy included is redeemable via iTunes, Vudu or Amazon and of course my favorite, UltraViolet. The 12 episodes are well represented with their 1080p transfers. The show has been given consistently impressive releases thanks to HBO and have continued to look very sharp and impressive. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks also deliver the mood for the show very well. I love composer Nathan Barr’s score for this show and as usual it is well represented here.

The special features are sure to leave diehard “True Blood” fans feeling very satisfied. “True Blood Episode Six: Autopsy” is an in-depth look behind-the-scenes with the cast and crew on that episode. “Authority Confessionals” gives you an inside look at the mysterious institution. There is an enhanced viewing option for the series allowing you to tap in Character Bios, Vampire Histories and fun facts while watching the show. There is a Flashback/Flash Forward option that will allow you to travel back through the show’s timeline and relive pivotal moments or Flash Forward to reveal the significance of a certain scenes. Lastly “True Blood Lines” is a fun guide to tap into secrets from relationships past and present.

Next up, the next batch of special features are available on the Blu-rays but are the only extras available on the DVDs. “Inside the Episodes” is an look into various back stories from each episode this season. There are five audio commentary tracks with cast and crew including creator/executive producer Alan Ball, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Denis O’Hare, Carrie Preston and many more! There are also Previews & Recaps from the series, in case you need to play catch up. Lastly you are able to watch these episodes seamless, so they flow really well together especially if you feel like marathoning it.

Blu-ray Review "Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome"

Actors: Luke Pasqualino, Ben Cotton, Lili Bordan, Mike Dopud, John Pyper-Ferguson
Directors: Jonas Pate
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Universal Studios
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Run Time:  97 Minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to “Battlestar Galactica” you are eitehr a hardcore fan or nothing.  There is really no in-between here. This all-new chapter is a prequel to the 2004 “Battlestar Galactica” series. Since the failed attempt at the spin-off prequel with the short-lived “Caprica”, fans are now giving the chance to get more out of this franchise. Syfy is behind this and delivered this show in web-series format airing it over weeks on Machinima.com in a 10-part series. After the enormous success of “Mortal Kombat Legacy”, they were trying to grab that success. For a web series, this packs some killer visual effects and amazing CGI work. Did I mention the visual effects on this show are EPIC! Seriously? How did they do this on a web-series budget? They initially pitched this as a pilot of a new series but they decided against it, but at least we get this new two-hour movie. I am sure we have not seen the end of this franchise for sure. So if you enjoy “Battlestar”, are you going to dig “Blood & Chrome”…you bet your FRAKING ass! I WANT FRAKING MORE!!!

Official Premise: An all-new chapter in the Battlestar Galactica saga, Blood & Chrome takes place in the midst of the first Cylon war. As the battle between humans and their creation, the sentient robotic Cylons, rages across the 12 colonial worlds, a young, talented fighter pilot, William Adama (Luke Pasqualino, The Borgias), finds himself assigned to one of the most powerful battlestars in the Colonial fleet: the Galactica. Though Adama quickly finds himself at odds with his co-pilot, the battle-weary officer Coker (Ben Cotton, Alcatraz), the two men must set their differences aside when a routine escort mission with an enigmatic passenger (Lili Bordán, Silent Witness) turns dangerous and becomes a pivotal one for the desperate fleet.

So why would you want this Blu-ray release instead of just watching it on Machinima.com or Syfy? Well, that is simple it is for the never-before-seen Unrated Edition cut.  The unrated cut adds about 10 additional minutes to the show and is worth checking out for the new footage.  Universal is behind this release and they are delivering the goods with a sharp two-Disc combo Pack with Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet. The 1080p looks much better than it does online. Even though the show has a web-series scale, the quality and production scale is very high.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track is banging with the non-stop action and the ships will literally fly right past your head! The special features are usually a big draw for a web-series to Blu-ray but lacking a bit here. There are 13 deleted scenes included, seven which are exclusive to Blu-ray only.  Lastly there is “Blood & Chrome: Visual Effects”, which looks into how this series looks as good as it does.  I was hoping for a little more here in terms of featurettes but overall it is still worth the purchase.

CD Review: Dropkick Murphys "Signed and Sealed in Blood"

Dropkick Murphys
“Signed and Sealed in Blood”
Born & Bred Records
Tracks: 12

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The boy’s from Boston are back with their 8th studio album titled “Signed and Sealed in Blood”. The album is the follow up release to the bands 2011 release titled “Going Out In Style”. “Signed and Sealed in Blood” is the second release to carry the name of the bands own label Born & Bread Records which features 12 new tracks produced by Ted Hutt (Gaslight Anthem, Flogging Molly).

Right off the bat you are catapulted in to the album with a rousing call to arms type of song titled “The Boys Are Back”.  The song seems quite fitting as the album is the bands first studio release in 2 years. From there the sound changes to the more traditional Irish sound the band has been known for as of late. Songs such as “Rose Tattoo” and “Jimmy Collins’ Wake” feature more traditional instrumentation while songs such as “Burn” and “My Hero” are more reminiscent of the bands earlier punk recordings. Probably my favorite track off the album is “The Season’s Upon Us”. Vocalist/bassist Ken Kelly does a wonderful job telling a very tongue and cheek tale of holiday get together’s gone wrong and not so pleasant encounters with family members. It was nice to finally here someone hit the nail on the head by describing the un-pleasantries of the holidays while the rest of the band perform upbeat instrumentation that still makes you feel good about the season no matter how bad it can be.

“Signed and Sealed in Blood” may be a bit too much of a departure from the bands punk rock roots for some listeners however; it’s great to watch a band like Dropkick Murphys progress with the ever changing musical climate. Remembering back to the mid 90’s when I first discovered the band I don’t think they would still be as relevant as they are now if they didn’t break out of the mold that a lot of bands were following in those days. Progression is crucial in the music business as fans don’t want to keep buying the same album year after year. “Signed and Sealed in Blood” does not feature the Dropkick Murphys of 1998 but it does showcase the supped up 2013 edition.

Track Listing:
1.) The Boys Are Back
2.) Prisoner’s Song
3.) Rose Tattoo
4.) Burn
5.) Jimmy Collins’ Wake
6.) The Season’s Upon Us
7.) The Battle Rages On
8.) Don’t Tear Us Apart
9.) My Hero
10.) Out On The Town
11.) Out Of Our Heads

Zheng Liu talks about film debut “Blood Money”

Zheng Liu made his film debut in the action/thriller “Blood Money”. The film also co-stars rap superstar Pitbull and martial arts legend Gordon Liu. Zheng is already being compared to be the next Bruce Lee. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Zheng about his film, doing his own stunts and what he has planned next

Mike Gencarelli: How is it already being compared to be the next Bruce Lee?
Zheng Liu: I say this to people. Of course no-one can be Bruce Lee, It is crazy to say this. I don’t really like hearing it at all. It is embarrassing with me. I think what they are saying is that maybe I could be in films that go international like what Bruce Lee did. But Jackie Chan and Jet Li do this already. I hope people can see me not like someone else.

MG: Tell us about your experience filming “Blood Money”?
ZL: I always watched action and kung fu films and believed I could do what they do, but never thinking I would go into a film myself. When Greg the Director visited us in China, I did not know what he was here for. He filmed many students but said they were not what he wanted. Then they asked me to show him what I could do. Straight after that he asked me to go in the film. I was not sure about leaving Shaolin and going to another country away from my family, so I thought hard about it for nearly half a year. I decided to do it and my Master agreed to let me try this which would be a good way to maybe show Shaolin to the world through films. The

hardest part was actually saying the words in English as I was still learning. The other part was controlling my kicks and punches because I was making contact with the other fighters. Many people got hurt and it was hard physically doing all the stunts. But awesome also!

MG: What was your most difficult stunt in the film?
ZL: Breaking the steel bar over my head is difficult but I have done it many times before. It takes great concentration and power from within. Maybe the hardest stunt was when I did a running somersault over a motorbike that was coming at me at maybe 50mph. That was quite hard as any misjudgment and I slam into the motorbike.

MG: “Blood Money” was your film debut, what did take away from working on the project?
ZL: I think finding my true love of acting. I am very new to this and still have many things to learn, but it is very exciting to think that we can create all these real action stunts and spectacular fighting and show them to people around the world. Also show what Shaolin means to us all.

MG: How was it working with martial arts legend Gordon Liu?
ZL: I remember when our Director Greg showed me a picture of Gordon Liu and said to me that he would be in Blood Money. I said that he must have the wrong actor because this man is a very very big star in China. He would not go in a film with us. But he did. He is so nice and knows everything about acting and martial arts. When he sucks the air out of the flame, it is awesome. I have never seen this. He showed all of us many things when we were together. I have to thank him a lot.

MG: After “Blood Money”, what do you have planned next?
ZL: We have many films ready to make and our next film is probably in New York around winter time.Gregory has told me about this story and it sounds very strong. Not just action but when Chinese culture meets America culture in real life. We have many big stunts and fighting and action planned for this. It will look very real with real street gangs. A very scary but interesting story. I hope you see this next year. If we work hard maybe we can make many movies and help show Shaolin to the world

Kristina Anapau talks about her work on Season 5 of “True Blood”

Kristina Anapau has appeared in films like Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan”. She also appeared as Maurella in season 5 of HBO’s “True Blood”. Media Mikes had a chance to ask Kristina about her work on “True Blood” and what we can expect next.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with “True Blood”?
Kristina Anapau: I auditioned for Alan Ball and the True Blood producers. I did the scene once, they said thank you, and I left. It was apparently a ‘Thank you, that was exactly what we were looking for’ because I got the call that I had booked the role just a few hours later. As an actor, you always tend to feel that a quick audition with no discussion or adjustments means that they don’t like you or that you are not right for the role, but it is often times exactly the opposite.

MG: How was it joining an already established cast in season five?
KA: I feel very privileged to have worked with the actors I have worked with thusfar. Chris Bauer is an incredibly generous actor and human being. I learn something new from him every time we work together and with every conversation we have. I adore working with Anna [Paquin], she is tremendously talented and focused. She has a magnetism that pulls you in—she is really beautiful inside and out. The True Blood cast is phenomenal—incredibly talented actors on set and absolutely wonderful people off. It is such a pleasure to come to work.

MG: Tell us about your character Maurella and what do you ejnoy about playing her most?
KA: Maurella is a seductress from the faerie dimension who has a passion for Andy Bellefleur. She is 500 years old, although she only claims to be 300;) She is on her way to becoming an elder of the fairies, and is called in to help Sookie and Jason gain clarity surrounding their parents death . I enjoy everything about Maurella. Being able to shoot balls of light out of my hands, read peoples minds, and orgasmically give birth to quadruplets after a one week gestation period? What’s not to love?

MG: Can we expect you past for season six?
KA: We are a pretty secretive operation…don’t think I can give hints away as to where the storyline may be headed by answering that:)

MG: What other projects do you have upcoming?
KA: I just shot a really great episode of NBC’s Grimm that will be airing on September 10th. Sighting, a film I am very excited about, will be out later in the year. It’s a fantastic project. And early next year another film I am very proud of, BlackJacks, will be released.

Blu-ray Review “Blood Money”

Directed by: Gregory McQualter
Starring: Gordon Liu, Pitbull, Zheng Liu
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: XLrator Media
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Running Time: 107 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1 out of 5 stars

“Blood Money” tries to be a fun and action packed movie and it delivers most of the goods…except a cohesive plot. The film stars newcomer Zheng Liu and cameos from “World Famous Rap Star” Pitbull (don’t blink) and Kung-Fu legend Gordon Liu (“Kill Bill 1 & 2”). The only thing that keeps this movie from computer sucking is because it includes real action and real fighting. The film’s fight sequences are done without stuntmen or CGI. One of the most noteworthy scenes are where Zheng Liu does a flying somersault over the raging Harley Davidson. If that isn’t cool enough, Zheng Liu sldo breaks a steel bar on his dead with the actual location sound captured. The action is awesome but doesn’t make it overcome its weak and blotchy plot.

SYNOPSIS: BLOOD MONEY introduces American audiences to the martial arts sensation Zheng Liu, often called “the next Bruce Lee,” and features world-famous rap star Pitbull and Hong Kong film legend Chia Hui Liu aka Gordon Liu (Kill Bill 1 & 2). When a powerful Shaolin warrior (Zheng Liu) turns to crime after his parents are killed and sister kidnapped, the drug cartels of America, Australia and Hong Kong are about to feel the sting of the world’s deadliest hitman.

I think we are going to be seeing a lot more of Zheng Liu in the US. This film is being released by XLrator Media as a combo pack with both Blu-ray disc and DVD disc. The Blu-ray presentation overall is good. The 1080p presentation is sharp and the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks works perfectly with the film’s action sequences. If you are looking for special features to see behind-the-scenes on this production you will be very disappointed. Since this film promotes “real action and real fighting”, I would have loved to have seen how it was all done etc.  Oh well. There is only a trailer included on this release.

Blu-ray Review “Stallone Three-Film Collector’s Set (Rambo: First Blood / Cop Land / Lock Up)”

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Peter Berg, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro
Number of discs: 3
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Lionsgate
Release Date: August 14, 2012
Running Time: 327 minutes

3-Film Collection: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

With Stallone being a hot topic with “The Expendables 2” in theaters, Lionsgate Home Entertainment is bundling together three films from the iconic action star’s career, including: “Rambo: First Blood (1982)”, “Lock Up (1989)” and “Cop Land: The Director’s Cut (1997)”.  As much as I love Rambo, I would really have another great 80’s Stallone film like “Over the Top” in its place here.  Also as great of a film, “Cop Land” is I also would have like to see them include only 80’s Stallone.  Nonetheless at least the Director’s Cut of the film is included.  If you are looking for a dose of Stallone to get you psyched for “The Expendables 2”, you should definitely check out this release…especially for it’s low cost.  Now Lionsgate…one question, where is volume two?

“Cop Land” shows Sylvester Stallone in a different light in this edgy crime thriller sharing the screen with all-star cast – including Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel and Ray Liotta. Stallone plays Freddy Heflin, the sheriff of a small and seemingly peaceful town until he uncovers a massive, deadly conspiracy among these local residents and is forced to make a dangerous choice between protecting his friends and upholding the law.  We all know that one of Stallone’s best roles is John Rambo. In “First Blood”, he stars as the ex-Green Beret haunted by memories of Vietnam. When Rambo becomes the target of a massive manhunt, he must use all his combat skills and weapons training to stay alive and outwit his pursuers.  “Lock Up” stars Stallone as Frank Leone as he enters Gateway Prison, a nightmare jail where every minute is hard time. Leone goes head-to-head with the warden, who will stop at nothing to get him, in order to survive.

The three-disc package presents each title in its original aspect ratio – 2.39:1 for “First Blood” and 1.85:1 for “Lock Up” and “Cop Land”. Each title also comes packed with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 EX tracks.  Believe it or not I feel that “First Blood” and “Lock Up” are a tie for the film that looks the best.  Funny how they are also older than 1997’s “Cop Land”.  Nonetheless the presentations are impressive all around.  “Cop Land” steals the best audio track of the pack, followed by “First Blood” in a close second and “Lock Up” in third.

The special features are jam packed with goodies.  “First Blood” features two audio commentary tracks from Stallone and novelist David Morrell.  There is a featurette called “Drawing First Blood”, is an impressive making-of documentary running just over 20 minutes. There are about 5 minutes  of deleted scenes including the controversial alternate ending.  Lastly there is a trivia track including.  With “Lock Up” there is a brief but decent making-of featurett. “Sylvester Stallone Profile” features interviews with Stallone in addition to behind the scenes footage of the cast and crew.  There is a behind-the-scenes featurette with interviews with the cast within a collection of raw clips.  Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included.  Lastly “Cop Land”  includes a great commentary track with writer/director James Mangold, producer Cathy Konrad, and actors Sylvester Stallone & Robert Patrick.  There are two short deleted scenes with optional commentary by Mangold, Stallone and Konrad.  “Cop Land: The Making of an Urban Western” is a basic behind-the-scenes featurette, topping off at almost 15 minutes.  Lastly there is a short “Storyboard Comparison” piece, running under 2 minutes.

Kelly Overton talks about joining Season 5 of “True Blood”

Kelly Overton is currently playing the character of Rikki in season five of HBO’s “True Blood”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Kelly about her role in the show and how was it playing a werewolf.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you got involved with working on “True Blood”?
Kelly Overton: I had gotten an audition and was extremely excited as I was a fan of these shows from the start. It was great to have the opportunity to meet Alan Ball and to be able to show him what I could bring to the show. Everything happened really fast.

MG: Can you tell us a little bit about your character?
KO: I play Rikki who is a new werewolf that is a member of the Shreveport pack. When we first meet my character she is not in the best of moods after finding out the pack master is missing.

MG: How was it joining the team going into season 5?
KO: It was amazing. There is a true sense collaboration on the show. It’s a pleasure to be working with everyone. The talent all the way across the board on the show is great.

MG: What has been the roles biggest challenge?
 KO: Probably having to play a supernatural character. Also having to work with real wolves was a bit challenging. I had never worked with animals before. The season really starts off with a bang and the ride has been amazing.

MG: What have you liked most about playing the villain side of your character?
KO: I try not to look at her as a villain. She is werewolf but she is also a person. Rikki has a really good heart and is very loyal to her pack. She is willing to risk everything for the good of the pack.

MG: What other projects do you have in the works?
KO: I am in the process of figuring out what is next for me. It is a very exciting time in my life right now. I can’t say just yet what my next project is. Mainly I am focused on finishing this season of “True Blood” strong.

Attika 7’s Evan Seinfeld talks about new album “Blood of My Enemies” and tour

Evan Seinfeld is the former lead singer/bassist of the legendary NY hardcore band Biohazard. Seinfeld left the group in 2011 and joined the hard rock/metal group Attika 7. The group released its first LP titled “Blood of My Enemies” in mid June of this year and Media Mikes had the chance recently to talk with Evan about the group and their new album.

Adam Lawton:  What was it that interested you in joining a new band?
Evan Seinfeld:  I am the kind person that thrives on change and new energy. I started Biohazard when I was still a teenager. We played 4,000 concerts over 25 years. I put a lot of energy and time into the last Biohazard album but in the end I have to do what’s best for me. I had to be able to grow as a musician and to be inspired. I always put my creativity first and money second. I could have just gone on doing the same thing and faded off in to the sunset. When I first heard the material my friend Rusty Coones had written while he was in prison it gave me chills. I live for those moments.  When I am singing these new songs it takes me back to being 17 again. This time around I know what I want to do and I don’t have to waste any time with things I am not interested in. We only have a certain amount of time on this planet and I plan to live mine to the very fullest.

AL:  How did you get involved with the band?
ES: I have lived by our guitarist Rusty Coones for some time now. I had first met him though Jesse James and after that we were always hanging out and riding motorcycles together. One day we were talking and he had told me that they had just let their singer go and that they had a gig coming up. Rusty asked me if I would fill in and I said sure. He sent me the tracks and even though we hadn’t played together before I liked the music. At that point I had never really listened to the lyrics but after really listening to them I became very inspired. Rusty had never thought I would be available and that I was just filling in for this one show. The music just spoke to me and I felt like this is what I should be doing.

AL: How would you describe your work on the new album?
ES: I feel really great about this record and am walking with pep in my step. A lot of the credit I have to give to our producer MudRock. I have worked with a lot of great producers in my career but MudRock really helped me to find my voice. I am now able to sing harder and with more range than I was ever able to in the past. He did something in the studio that just brought the best out of me. I really enjoyed the process. This album is both heavy and melodic while remaining crystal clear. We went in to the studio and played the album front to back live which was great. A lot of the material werecorded was already written prior to me coming in but there were some songs that still needed a little work. A majority of the material was written so perfectly that it didn’t need anything else. We however did write some songs from scratch. Rusty had wanted to put this band together for a long time and played with a bunch of different people. When he and I started we just clicked. We dove in to that material and just dissected it in order to get the best possible result from each song. I like working like that and I really like being in the band. I am honored to sing songs that are so deep.

AL: How would you categorize the sound of this album?
ES: Everyone one loves to relate sounds to other bands as it’s an easy way to do things. Attika 7 is clearly derived from classic metal. You can hear our influences in the songs. I think it will definitely appeal to people who like old school Pantera up to fans of Godsmack. When I listen to the album I can hear a lot of my own influences like Black Sabbath and Type O Negative mixed with some melodic hard rock. I hear every little thing in this album. There are moments when we really lock in as a band and we don’t sound like anyone or anything else. Those are the moments that I am most proud of. The inspiration for this record comes from a very dark place and in the end the message is one of hope and redemption. When all the shit goes down you find out who you are and who your friends are. To be able to look in the mirror and know who you are and what you are made of is a great thing.

AL: What are going to be the tour plans for this album?
ES: There is a lot of talk and buzz right now about what we may be doing however, nothing has been confirmed. This is a new band so people are going to wait to see just how good we are live before making any decisions. A lot of times people have expectations or thoughts about how this project sounds like something else that me or one of the other guys in the band have done before. It has been really important to us that this band have a very heavy and true live sound. We also wanted the band to be really tight and have since made line-up changes to help us get to that point. Everything is completely wide open right now. It’s been a humbling process to start over. It’s awesome in a way because it alleviates any pressure or expectations I have on myself where I maybe played a venue back in the 90’s to X amount of people and this time there are only this amount of people. I am stoked if 20 or 20,000 people show up. As long as they are in to the music that’s all I care about. I am really excited to go to some new places and turn new people on to our sound.

AL: Are you planning to do anymore acting?
ES: Rusty and I both have a bunch of reality television type stuff in the works. Some of the things will be together while other are going to be separate. In terms of acting that is something I love to do. The thing that I don’t enjoy is going to auditions. Those can be disappointing because I am very hungry and love doing what I am doing so you go to those things and you may end up not getting the part. You then see who was cast instead and know you could have done better or been more real. That was kind of the situation when I auditioned for “Sons of Anarchy”. I really wanted that part and knew I could sink my teeth into it but they ended up casting a few guys who don’t even ride. I would enjoy the challenge of acting again but there are a lot of people out there that watch television and think it’s real. They often forget that actors are playing a character. You can’t tell me Anthony Hopkins walks around as Hannibal Lector. That’s just crazy to think. If I was to do more I don’t think I would want another role that would make people think I am something that I am not.   

CD Review: Attika 7 “Blood of My Enemies”

Attika 7
“Blood of My Enemies”
Rocket Science
Producer: MudRock
Tracks: 13

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“Blood of My Enemies” is the debut release from the hard rock/ metal group Attika 7. The group consists of former Biohazard singer/bassist Evan Seinfeld, former Static-X bassist Tony Campos and famed motorcycle build/guitarist Rusty Coones. Together with famed producer MudRock (Avenged Sevenfold, Godsmack) the group has created a sound/album that showcases the bands influences while at the same time creating something completely new.

The 13 tracks contained on “Blood of My Enemies” will pulverize your senses until they burst. Each song is beautifully crafted to give the listener the most bang for their buck. From the foreboding opening track “Crackerman” to the hook heavy “Devil’s Daughter” to the skull rattling title track “Blood of My Enemies “Attika 7 delivers. Seinfeld’s gruff and at times haunting vocal presence is a perfect match for bringing Coones lyrics (written while serving time in Federal Prison) to life. This album is as real as it gets and it only gets better each time you listen to it.

Attika 7’s “Blood of My Enemies” is a no bullshit, straight forward hard rock/metal album. Those expecting to find a reboot of any of the member’s former bands won’t find it here. Instead you get something that is brand new but with a broken in familiar feel

Track Listing:
1.)    CrackerMan
2.)    Serial Killer
3.)    All or Nothing
4.)    Devils Daughter
5.)    Greed and Power
6.)    LockDown
7.)    The Hard Cold Truth
8.)    No Redemption
9.)    Blood of My Enemies
10.)  Living in Oppression
11.)  Dying Slowly
12.)  HellBound
13.)  War

Blu-ray Review “Blood Work”

Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Daniels and Anjelica Huston
Distributed by: Warner Bros
MPAA Rating: R
Release date: June 5, 2012
Running time: 1 hour 50 mins

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Eastwood stars as Terry McCaleb, a former profiler for the FBI who retired after having a heart transplant. A well known name in his former occupation, McCaleb is approached Graciella (Wanda De Jesus), who asks him to find the murderer of her sister, Gloria. McCaleb says no but is swayed to take the case when he learns it is Gloria’s heart now beating inside his body.

The story is based on the novel by Michael Connelly with a top notch screenplay adaptation by Oscar winner Brian Helgeland (“L.A.Confidential”). Not as flashy as some of Eastwood’s earlier investigative films (“Tightrope,” “True Crime”) but still enjoyable. To see Eastwood not at his peak form (the heart transplant has left McCaleb very weak…he requires daily naps and can’t drive himself) is a rarity and he obviously has fun with the characterization. Also look for Clint’s missus, Dina Eastwood, as a reporter which she was when she met him. Like pretty much all of the Warner Brother Blu-rays I’ve seen the transfer is clean and sharp. Even the many night scenes jump off the television screen.

The extras included are Teaser Trailer, Theatrical Trailer, Making of “Bloodwork” featurette and “A Conversation in Spanish” with Wanda De Jesus, Paul Rodriguez and Clint Eastwood. Another disappointing group of extras, though better then those on “A Perfect World.” Besides the trailers there is a pretty much by-the-book “making of” piece. The best “extra” is “A Conversation in Spanish,” in which De Jesus and Rodriguez try to explain their roles in the film in Spanish. Clint drops in halfway through and you can see that the stories about his cast and crew loving him on set are not exaggerated.

Buy It 6/5 on Blu-ray™ http://bit.ly/LzZNfL
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Synopsis: FBI profiler Terry McCaleb almost always gets to the heart of a case. This time, that heart beats inside him. He?s a cardiac patient who received a murder victim?s heart. And the donor?s sister asks him to make good on his second chance by finding the killer. That?s just the first of many twists in a smart, gritty suspense thriller that?s ?vintage Eastwood: swift, surprising and very, very exciting? (Jim Svejda, KNX/CBS Radio). Clint Eastwood produces, directs and stars in this edgy, acclaimed mystery based on Michael Connelly?s novel and scripted by Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential). With a superb cast brought to a hard boil playing characters to quicken your pulse and hold you spellbound, Blood Work works exceptionally well.

 

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DVD Review “Hatfields & Mccoys: Bad Blood”

Directed by: Fred Olen Ray
Starring: Jeff Fahey, Christian Slater, Tim Abell, Perry King, Jerry Lacy
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by: Lions Gate
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Running Time: 90 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1 out of 5 stars

Alright so, who doesn’t love a good Western?  Especially one about the always interesting feud of Hatfields & Mccoys.  Well I made the terrible mistake with watching the new History Channel mini-series also called “Hatfields & Mccoys” with Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton.  That puts this film to shame extremely quick and makes this feel like a bargain discount DVD.  Jeff Fahey is bad-ass as usual and Christian Slater is relatively missing throughout the film popping up here and there.

The story follows two families who seek vengeance against each other, while also aiming to destroy each other’s loved ones. When it comes to Hatfields & Mccoys, you expect this intense drawn out bloody feud. Unfortunately with this film it is very anti-climatic and doesn’t really ever take the plunge over the bad-ass side.

Overall if I had to make a recommendation it is a total no-brainer.  For better acting (besides Fahey, since he’s a god) check out the new History Channel mini-series if you need your Hatfields & Mccoys fix. The DVD actually does comes with a decent Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The special features are lacking just like the film. The only real extra is a commentary track from director Fred Olen Ray. There is also a stills gallery, which is next to useless anyway unless you are an animation film.