Film Review: “Beautiful Blue Eyes”



  • Starring:  Roy Scheider, Scott Cohen and Alexander Newton
  • Directed by:  Joshua Newton
  • Rated:  R
  • Running time:  1 hr 30 mins
  • MovieFarm


When Roy Scheider passed away on February 10, 2008 he was in the process of completing a film he was working on called “Iron Cross.”  Though the film played some festivals, it was never released.  Earlier this year it was announced that the film, now titled “Beautiful Blue Eyes,” (a title suggested to the producers by Scheider) would finally hit theatres, opening this past weekend. 


Joseph (Alexander Newton) is a young man living in Nazi-occupied Poland.  Even though he is Jewish, he has a non-Jewish girlfriend, who he often visits at night.  One morning, after a night with his lover, Joseph returns to his home to find his family being taken away.  He goes with them but, when the opportunity arises, runs off, the sound of his family being executed behind him ringing in his ears.


  1. Nuremburg, Germany. Joseph (Scheider) has traveled all the way from New York City in hopes of making amends with his son, Ronnie (Cohen) he hasn’t seen in years.  Recently retired from the NYPD – Scheider excelled at playing cops – he visits the apartment building his son and family live in, where he meets his daughter-in-law, Anna (Calita Rainford) and his young grandson.  When Joseph and his son decide to go out, they pass an elderly man on the stairs.  Joseph is stunned as he is sure the man on the stairs (Berger) was a monster from his past.


Where to start?   I know when Scheider passed it was announced that there was still some of “Iron Cross” that needed to be filmed.  I’m not sure if that was ever done, or to what effect those scenes may have had on the finished film.  The film wants to be a thriller but is so jumbled in images and plot points that it is, sadly, sometimes hard to understand.  We have no idea what kind of cop Joseph was.  We get an occasional flash-back to his witnessing atrocities in Poland, only to have a quick cut to what appears to be a similar situation in New York.  But we don’t know if this means that Joseph was a brutal cop or just that occasionally something at work would trigger a memory.


Another thing that I really found odd was the entire reason that Joseph and Ronnie were estranged.  Joseph wanted Ronnie to follow in his footsteps as a cop, and Ronnie decided to move to Germany.  However, he is currently an actor PLAYING a cop on a television program so when he decides to help Joseph investigate his neighbor, he is fully trained in the art of surveillance and investigating.  I am a big fan of “NYPD BLUE,” but if I really need a cop, I’m not calling Dennis Franz.


Also confusing is the film’s use of subtitles.  Sometimes when the characters are speaking German, their dialogue is accompanied by subtitles.  But sometimes, it isn’t.  And it seems like there is another actor doing some of Scheider’s dialogue, especially in voice overs.  Again, I’m aware that the film as planned was never finished, and I’ve read that “Beautiful Blue Eyes” is approximately 30-minutes shorter then the version of “Iron Cross” that was shown.  Those edits may have helped to continuity of the story and made the film less puzzling.


Still, this film gives Scheider’s fans an opportunity to see him on the big screen one more time.  His performance is strong, a testament to the man who once told me that his most important role is the one he is currently working on.  His final performance was no exception.



Albert and Joe Bouchard are best known as founding members of Blue Öyster Cult. The original line-up sold millions of albums for Columbia Records, with such classic songs as “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and the #1 hit on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart “Burning For You”. Both contributing to songwriting, and lead vocals on some of their greatest songs, such as Albert’s vocals on “Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll”, and Joe’s on “Hot Rails To Hell”.

Albert’s infamous cowbell part in “Don’t Fear The Reaper” was the basis of the classic Will Ferrell skit on SNL, which also starred Christopher Walken. With “The Reaper,” an all-time classic on YouTube and every other digital platform, with zillions of views, the Bouchard brothers are forever cemented in pop culture.



Now they are ready to embark on their next venture together with RockHeart Records. With multiple albums being readied for release, the Bouchard’s manager, Jeff Keller, suggested the idea of forming a new imprint label that would be owned and operated by the Bouchards, with Keller’s assistance. Keller sought a partnership with a label that could assist with the new imprint label and the distribution, manufacturing, and marketing. “I had previously worked on a release with Deko Music and I was impressed with their team, experience, and the enthusiasm. Deko loved the idea of the imprint label and their team was excited to work with us,” said Keller. This led to the birth of RockHeart Records and a new partnership with Deko Music. Deko Entertainment president Bruce Pucciarello states, “Deko is thrilled to be partnering with RockHeart Records in releasing Joe and Albert’s new music. Having been fortunate enough to preview this material I can promise fans (because I am a big one) that they won’t be disappointed.”

Joe Bouchard will release his brand new solo album ‘Strange Legends’ on July 31st. The first single and lyric video “Forget About Love” will drop on June 19th, with the follow up “She’s A Legend” dropping on July 17th. Keep checking back at Deko Entertainment as Joe will continually take you on a special behind the scenes song by song look at ‘Strange Legends’.

For the last two years, Joe has worked tirelessly on his 6th and best solo album. For the production of this album he enlisted the help of Micky Curry, a drumming powerhouse, who has played with Hall and Oates, Alice Cooper and more. He is currently the drummer for Bryan Adams, playing on all of his big hits. He has over 40 gold records in his archives.

Several of the songs were written by Joe Bouchard and lyricist/sci-fi writer John Shirley. John Shirley is a long-time lyricist for Blue Öyster Cult, and has written dozens of sci-fi novels. He was the co-screenwriter for ‘The Crow,’ starring Brandon Lee. Other songs on the album were written by the late John Elwood Cook, a very prolific songwriter, who wrote many songs on Joe’s earlier solo albums. Joe’s album also includes a cover of Ray Davies and the Kinks’ “All Day and All of the Night.”

Joe says, “I really got to explore the production and mixing of this album like nothing I’ve ever done before. The guitar sounds are especially well produced. I play all the bass on this album, one thing that many of the Blue Öyster Cult fans miss on other projects, and wanted to hear more of. The vocals and guitars fit so well with Micky’s drums. It’s the best I’ve ever done.”
There are limited edition bundles (while supplies last), which can be ordered via:


Product Includes:
– One (1) Joe Bouchard – Strange Legends (Autographed) CD
– One (1) Joe Bouchard – Signature Guitar Pick
– One (1) Joe Bouchard – Strange Legend Poster
– One (1) Joe Bouchard – Strange Legends Shirt

– Exclusive Early Download of “Forget About Love” Before Anyone Else

LOOK FOR ALBERT’S ALBUM RE IMAGINOS this fall.  This is his own personal updated take on the Imaginos Album by Blue Öyster Cult from 1987.  

Coming soon on RockHeart Records and Deko Entertainment.

“Strange Legends” Tracklist:
1.The African Queen
2. Forget About Love
3. Walk of Fame
4. Hit and Run
5. Racin’ Thru the Desert
6. She’s a Legend
7. All Day and all of the Night
8. Once Upon a Time at the Border
9. Bottom for the Bottomless
10.Strangely in Love






Knocked Loose have announced their hotly anticipated new album, A Different Shade of Blue — a mammoth of a sophomore release and massive step forward for the band and for hardcore and metal as we know it.  Recorded by producer Will Putney, the new LP was approached slower and more methodically. Abandoning the previous ‘live in studio’ recording approach for something more deliberate, the band cranked out twelve new tracks that deal with all manner of anger, especially loss in lieu of absence. Vocalist and lyricist Bryan Garris found catharsis as well as some of his most intensely personal lyrics to date.

Lead single “…And Still I Wander South” was revealed today which Garris explains, “is about wanting to move on, or better yourself for whatever reason, but you keep going back to the same old thing. Whether that be depression or whatever you may be going through. You always wander back to the same mindset.”


Knocked Loose, comprised of the young Cole Crutchfield (rhythm guitar)Bryan Garris (vocals)Isaac Hale (lead guitar)Kevin Otten (bass) and Kevin Kaine (drums), have taken a huge leap, moving from upstart hardcore-influenced favorites to bonafide key figures of the genre. Their 2016 debut, Laugh Trackswas a revelation, taking the world by storm and establishing the band as a major force spanning genres and generations.

Forged on musical bonds built at an early age, Knocked Loose came together in the small yet relatively formidable hardcore / punk scene of the greater Louisville, KY area. Though the scene was relatively strong, a lack of available bands, touring parties and scarcity of gigs forced diversity- mixing genres and challenging young ears with new ideas, approaches and styles. That diversity­ – death metal bands mingling with youth crew, screamo on the same bill as Am-Rep-style bands and on and on- created the basis of Knocked Loose musically and the genesis for their approach, an amalgam of heavy influences that never commits to any singular style but maintains a loyalty to the hardcore tradition. 

Knocked Loose is the obvious evolution to decades of bands like Integrity, Disembodied, Botch and others- total and complete integration between metal and hardcore into a singular, seamless entity. Since its inception, hardcore has evolved from the germ of “Slayer actually has punk parts” to crossover to the addition of everything from death metal to rap to shoegaze. Knocked Loose is the proverbial fish walking on land- the end of the evolution, and possibly the apex of the metallic hardcore punk movement thus far. Ably combining the teeth-clenching hatred of a hardcore band with the unmitigated technicality and ferocity of metal, Knocked Loose have conceived state of the art hatred- a true melting pot of ideas that combines pit-ready riffs, memorable songwriting and deviously clandestine melody into a boiling-over pot of vitriol.

While some musical influences are easily identified – Pantera, Hatebreed, Obituary and more ­- the band’s palette and canvas has expanded by leaps and bounds, incorporating Gothenburg-style death metal (At the Gates, early In Flames), slam metal (Devourment, Dying Fetus), blood-thirsty thrash (Sodom, Kreator), black metal (Craft) and the mind-boggling complexity of latter noisy hardcore like Snapcase and Bloodlet. Clocking in at a lean and mean 37 minutes and featuring guest vocals from Emma Boster of Dying Wish and Keith Buckley of Every Time I DieA Different Shade of Blue grabs the listener by the throat from the jump and slowly tightening that grip for the duration.

A Different Shade of Blue is due on TKTKTK via Pure Noise Records this August 23. For further info and pre-order details, visit here.

Pre-order “A Different Shade of Blue” Here

Track Listing:

1 – Belleville

2 – Trapped In The Grasp Of A Memory

3 – A Serpent’s Touch (Ft. Emma Boster)

4 – By The Grave

5 – In The Walls

6 – Guided By The Moon

7 – Mistakes Like Fractures

8 – Forget Your Name (Ft. Keith Buckley)

9 – Road 23

10 – …And Still I Wander South

11 – Denied By Fate

12 – Misguided Son

Knocked Loose Live Dates:

05/23: Haarlem, Netherlands – Patronaat

05/24: London, UK – Islington Academy

05/25: Leeds, UK – Slam Dunk

05/26: Hatfield, UK – Slam Dunk

05/27: Paris, France – Gibus

05/28: Karlsruhe, Germany – Stadtmitte

05/29:  Berlin, Germany – Cassiopeia

05/30: Leipzig, Germany – Conne Island

05/31: Antwerp, Belgium – Metal Fest

06/01: Köln, Germany – Club Volta

06/02: München, Germany – Feierwerk

06/03:  Aarau, Switzerland – Kiff

06/05: Columbus, OH – Express Live *

06/07: Council Bluffs, IA – Stir Cove at Harrah’s Casino*

06/08: Madison, WI – The Sylvee*

06/10: Wichita, KS – Cotillion Ballroom*

06/11: Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom*

06/12: San Antonio, TX – The Tobin Center*

06/14: New Orleans, LA – The Fillmore*

06/15: Birmingham, AL – Avondale Brewing Company*

06/16: Augusta, GA – Bell Auditorium*

06/18: Chattanooga, TN – The Signal*

06/20: Raleigh, NC – The Ritz*

06/21: North Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues*

06/22: Richmond, VA – The National*

06/23: Poughkeepsie, NY – Mid Hudson Civic Center*

06/27: Portland, ME – State Theatre*

06/28: Providence, RI – The Strand Theatre*

07/28: Montreal, QB – Heavy Montreal

08/23: La Grange, KY (Oldham Country) – CityPlace Expo Center (Record Release Show)

* w/ A Day To Remember

Film Review “Born to Be Blue”

Starring: Ethan Hawke and Carmen Ejogo
Directed by: Robert Budreau
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hr 37 mins
IFC Films

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

OK music fans, here’s a name for you: Chet Baker. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? No?
Too bad. How about Miles Davis or Dizzy Gillespie? Oh, those guys you know. Would you be surprised if I told you that Chet Baker was, for a short time in the 1950’s, their musical equal? Sadly, it was the demon called Heroin that took away both his talent and his fame.

We first meet Baker (a well-cast Ethan Hawke) sprawled out on the floor of an Italian prison cell. While ruminating on his life we travel back to the mid 1950’s and the iconic jazz club known as Birdland. There we get a taste of Baker’s talent. Shot in black and white and full of billowy smoke, the scene sets the stage for what might have been. A decade later, his career floundering, he takes a job playing himself in a feature film. However, a beating by muggers leaves him minus his front teeth. And for a horn player, no teeth means no music. Reduced to pumping gas, Baker finds himself on the verge of redemption. If only he can keep the demon away.

A bio-pic that flits around, “Born to Be Blue” takes its name from one of Baker’s best known songs. Though other characters are featured, the film mostly concentrates on Baker and his girlfriend, Elaine (Ejogo), who we originally meet when she is cast as Baker’s ex-wife in the ill-fated movie. We learn that the creator of West Coast Swing had a hard time handling his father, also a musician. Referred to as the “James Dean of Jazz,” he is a junkie that hates needles. “Hello Fear, Hello Death, F*** You,” is his mantra as a friend sticks the needle in his arm. One of the first recovering drug addicts to be prescribed methadone, Baker takes his life one day at a time.

There are two stars in this film. The first is Hawke, who finds a way to make an unsympathetic character sympathetic. Extra points for doing his own vocal work. Second is the music. The soundtrack is full of some of the best jazz standards of the time, each one telling a story that accompanies the one on-screen. With Don Cheadle’s upcoming Miles Davis film on the horizon, it looks like jazz is making a comeback. Give it, and the film, a chance.

Out of the Blue Enterprises Acquires Colorforms

New Colorforms Animated Series, Extensive Toyline and Digital Apps Planned for New Generation to Love

Toy Industry Veteran George Vorkas Tapped as President of Colorforms Brand LLC

New York City – October 6, 2014 – Out of the Blue Enterprises LLC, a leader in children’s educational media founded by the creators of Super Why and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, has acquired the legacy brand Colorforms, named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Greatest Toys of All-Time. Out of the Blue focuses on multi-platform interactive, curriculum-based entertainment and consumer products, and are planning an extensive new toyline, animated series and digital apps based on the beloved Colorforms brand.
With over one billion sets sold throughout the past 60+ years, Colorforms vinyl stick-on playsets are one of the best-known toy brands. They provide safe, creative, open-ended and imaginative play, and have been trusted by generations of parents and grandparents. Colorforms began with basic shapes of squares, triangles and circles, and has evolved, incorporating relevant licensed characters and other innovations that engage kids in storytelling.

Colorforms Brand LLC, the new division of Out of the Blue, will showcase its new Colorforms toyline to retailers at the Dallas Fall Mass Market Preview this week in booth 12-414, and expects to debut product at retail in Fall 2015, based on popular and classic brands including, Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer, Bubble Guppies, SpongeBob SquarePants and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Peter Rabbit, Pete the Cat and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

“We are very excited to expand our portfolio of owned IP with this acquisition,” said Samantha Freeman, CEO of Out of the Blue and Colorforms Brand. “Our focus has always been toys and entertainment that elicit creative play, and Colorforms is the ideal property. We see so much potential to expand the toys, and simultaneously develop across our current lines of business — TV and digital – to really bring Colorforms to life. This treasured brand infused with classic and contemporary applications will only strengthen its appeal to the next generation.”

Out of the Blue also recently appointed toy industry veteran George Vorkas to head up its Colorforms Brand division as President. Vorkas previously held senior positions with The Bridge Direct and Li and Fung.

“From Michael Jackson to Mickey Mouse, many of the biggest and most iconic entertainment characters of our time have been featured on Colorforms,” said Vorkas. “Colorforms is a premier creativity brand, and we have exciting plans for expansion, including new formats, price points and features for the toyline as well as new entertainment, licenses and digital content. I am honored to help bring this brand into the future with the team at Out of the Blue.”

Angela Santomero, Chief Creative Officer of Out of the Blue, will be creating a new animated series based on Colorforms. Santomero has extensive experience in children’s entertainment as the Creator/Executive producer of preschool entertainment hits, including Blue’s Clues, Super Why and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Connect with Colorforms on Social Media!

Out of the Blue Enterprises is a leader in children’s educational media, with a portfolio of breakthrough,
interactive and multi-platform, curriculum-based entertainment for television, video, mobile apps and
consumer products. Out of the Blue creates and produces Super WHY, the hit Emmy-nominated literacy series
on PBS KIDS; Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, for The Fred Rogers Co/PBS Kids Galaxy and the upcoming
Wishenpoof for Amazon Studios and Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Room, and handles all licensing and merchandising
activity for Super WHY and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. The company also develops top-rated mobile
educational game apps, including Super WHY, Chuggington: Terrific Trainee, and Colorforms: Revolution. Led
by Co-Founders Angela C. Santomero, Creator of the hit preschool entertainment franchise, Blue’s Clues; and
Samantha Freeman, a former Nickelodeon and toy industry executive, Out of the Blue aims to engage kids and
families with age-appropriate, entertaining, and engaging learning

Blu-ray Review “Blue Jasmine”

Actors: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K., Bobby Cannavale, Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard
Directors: Woody Allen
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Run Time: 98 minutes

Film: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Woody Allen is one hell of an unstoppable force. Since he made “Midnight in Paris” (my favorite film of 2011), I have been on a real kick for his films.  “Blue Jasmine” can be described as simply, mesmerizing. Cate Blanchett is so bat-shit crazy that you both love at hate her. The film is hysterical yet has some great drama mixed in as well. I just kept asking myself how does this guy (Allen) come up with these amazing films. No question, this is one of the greats of 2013 and I have a feeling I will be having a repeat viewing in the very near future. Highly recommended!

Besides Cate Blanchett, who better win some awards for this role, there is a wonderful ensemble cast including Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K., Bobby Cannavale, Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins and Peter Sarsgaard. If I had to be runner up for best performance it would have to easily go to Bobby Cannavale who was an emotional wreck in this film and was wonderful. But very close behind him had to be Andrew Dice Clay, this guy was amazing. I kept asking myself why isn’t he in more films. Great talent here all around but that is expect from a Woody Allen picture.

Official Premise: Poignant, romantic and mesmerizing, writer/director Woody Allen’s latest masterpiece centers around Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), a former New York socialite teetering on an emotional tightrope, balancing between her troubled east coast past and a fresh start in San Francisco. Having moved into her sister’s humble apartment, Jasmine ricochets between the tumultuous acceptance of her new limitations, and the dreams of reclaiming her past life’s glamour. Join a powerful cast for an intimate portrayal of the battle between fantasy and reality which rages within us all.

Sony delivered this film as a combo pack with the Blu-ray and Digital HD Ultraviolet copy. The 1080p transfer was beautiful and really captured the essence of San Francisco. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track was solid as well but I wasn’t really blown away with the score like I was with “Midnight in Paris”. In terms of special features, it is not a surprise it is lacking since Woody’s films have never really impressed ere. “Notes From the Red Carpet” features the cast talking about the making the film and their characters. “Blue Jasmine Cast Press Conference” features interviews with Cate Blanchett, Peter Saarsgard and Andrew Dice Clay.

Film Review “Blue Jasmine”

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin and Sally Hawkins
Directed by: Woody Allen
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 98 Minutes
Sony Pictures Classic

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I enjoy “people watching”. There’s always been a fascination about other people’s lives, especially when you have nothing in common with that person yet you already have some predetermined notions about them. “Blue Jasmine” is the most intense version of “people watching” one could ever hope to achieve and a lot of fun. It has a quirky start, but once the pieces begin to fall into place, it’s off-the-wall charms turn into a strong drama with powerful performances.

Jasmine Francis (Blanchett) is in an alcoholic stupor. She downs Xanax like Tic-Tacs, verbally mumbles conversations she’s had in the past without realizing it and her emotional strings are pulled between depression and nervous breakdowns. Her sister, Ginger (Hawkins), has taken her in even though her life is in rebuilding mode. Jasmine has been on a tumble in life since her ex-husband, Hal (Baldwin), was arrested for his Bernie Madoff-esque activities. She’s gone from being the fashionable socialite of New York to tearfully debating her next move in life in San Francisco. The movie cuts back and forth from Jasmine’s previous life with Hal to her present predicaments. Both events unfold in a very smooth motion and the cuts from past to present are flawless.

Jasmine would be a sympathetic character if she wasn’t oblivious to the fact that people are trying to help her out. People around her hope to propel her forward with optimism as she criticizes and critiques everyone else’s life, behaving as if she was still being catered to in a mansion. Oddly enough, the most honest and truthful perspective in the movie comes from Ginger’s grease monkey boyfriend, Augie (Andrew Dice Clay). Instead of facing the harsh realities, she lies and manipulates her way through her new surroundings.

The entire cast of this film is at their peak, highlighted by a surprise performance by Andrew Dice Clay. Cate Blanchett perfectly portrays the pretentiously arrogant side of Jasmine as well as fully acting out her quivering moments after a healthy slap of reality. This is the first Woody Allen movie I’ve ever seen so I can’t really say that it’s his best work to-date or deliver any other comments of that nature. I will say that this is one of the more intelligent dramas I’ve seen in recent memory. Awkward scenes have a bit of light humor. Sometimes the laughs are uncomfortable. Even moments of melancholy are punctuated with a bizarre joy. The movie has an analytic feel about all of it’s characters without revealing too many of their motivations. Each character unravels, but only a few towards the end truly come out clean.

I get the sneaking suspicion that by the end of the movie, there will be a divide among audiences. Not straight down the middle, but a small minority that will feel sympathetic to Jasmine. The majority of others, like me, will have a morbid smile in watching things spiral out of control. The movie doesn’t portray her as good or bad, but instead just portrays her as human. She may be arrogant and self-absorbed, but when she’s knocked down she’s still scared and broken. Even though I took a certain glee in her misery, I found myself not wanting too much suffering to head her way. What makes her unlikable, but enjoyable to watch throughout, is the fact that she’s a constant fuel source and igniter for drama. It makes “Blue Jasmine” a rare treat at the theatre and a movie you’re sure to see in multiple awards categories at the end of the year

Blu-ray Review "Scooby-Doo: Mask of the Blue Falcon"

Starring: Frank Welker, Matthew Lillard, Grey DeLisle, Mindy Cohn
Directed By: Michael Goguen
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Run Time: 78 minutes

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

When it comes to “Scooby Doo”, I don’t know what it is but I always enjoy them.  Every since I was a kid and I was watching the classic series and these character have power over me.  This latest original movie “Mask of the Blue Falcon” is a real blast.  It is funny, action packed and features classic characters like Herculoids and Space Ghost and obviously Blue Falcon. Warner Premiere has been releasing new animated feature films at least two per year.  Next up is “Scooby-Doo and the Maniacal Mecha Mutt”, as well as “Scooby-Doo and the Scarecrow”.  Warner is a real pusher of this franchise and I do not see it slowing down anytime soon.  Keep them coming, I can’t wait to introduce my daughter to these films. If you are a Scooby fan or a comic book fan then this release is really for you.

Official Premise: The Mega Mondo Pop Cartoon-a-Con in sunny California marks the spot for mystery in this all-new original Scooby-Doo adventure! Herculoids Frankenstein Jr. and Space Ghost are just a few of the celebrated comic book characters headlining at the unconventional convention plus there’s a megabucks movie premiere starring Scooby-Doo and Shaggy’s all-time favorite super heroes Blue Falcon and Dynomutt! So when the gruesome villain Mr. Hyde unleashes monster bats howling hounds and sinister slime upon the festivities it’s time for Mystery Incorporated to follow the clues and set their monster traps. But it’s the pizza-snacking super-powered tag team of Shaggy and Scooby-Doo who tap into their inner super hero to prevent the entire event from being smothered in ghoulish green goo! Like right on Dog Wonder!

Warner has given this franchise much love over the years. This 1080p transfer really looks amazing on Blu-ray. The combo pack includes not only a Blu-ray plus also a DVD and Ultraviolet Digital Copy. The animation really shines on this release, within its aspect ratio: 1.78:1. The colors are very crisp and sharp. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 works well with the action and crazy antics. Overall this is a very solid release but Warner has yet to disappoint with their animation department. The special features are not jam packed but include three great vintage cartoons. They are “Comic Book Caper”, “Reflections in Ghoulish Eye” and “The Scooby Coupe”. They are a blast to revisit on this release and really look great.

Dennis Franz talks about going from “NYPD Blue” to designing homes

Dennis Franz is best known for his role as Andy Sipowicz in the long-running series “NYPD Blue”. There is a whole different side that you woulnd’t expect from the former hard-boiled police detective. Joining forces with the Junior League of Santa Barbara, actor Dennis Franz with wife Joanie Franz are creating the first Design House of Santa Barbara set to open just after Labor Day in September. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Dennis about designing homes and how he got involved doing this.

Mike Gencarelli: Going from working on TV on “NYPD Blue”, how did you get involved in home design?
Dennis Franz: I am sure Martha Stewart is somehow responsible. I have oddly enough been a fan of hers for as long as I can remember. My wife is also the same way. We have always enjoyed on weekends going to open houses. We have motor scooters that we will jump on and go looking for open houses. We will spend an entire day just going from house to house. It is something we have always really enjoyed. I am sure this has been a big part of my interest in this project. When the cable channels started coming out with shows about house hunting and home improvement that furthered my interest. Towards the end of “NYPD Blue’s” run my wife and I started buying houses and flipping them. We enjoy the design and building process. Isn’t it the next logical step for an actor who plays a cop for 30 years to start building and designing homes?

MG: Why did you choose the area in Santa Barbara, California of Montecito?
DF: We live in Montecito and we just love the area. It is a very beautiful area both weather and scenery wise. It has a very French Riviera look. The town also has a real small town feel to it and there is a lot going on there. We have owned in this area for about 18 years now and after “NYPD Blue” ended we moved out here permanently.

MG: What do you enjoy most about working with your wife on these projects?
DF: My wife has always been very energetic. Before I met her she was a very successful business woman. I knew that she had this drive for whatever it is she is doing. I tend to be on the other side of that spectrum. I enjoy a good day of golf and taking a nap. What I most enjoy though is the artistic and creative collaboration that we have on these projects. We really do enjoy shopping for various design elements. I leave all the supervision and business decisions in my wife’s hands.

MG: Tell us about working with BRAVO! network’s Million Dollar Decorators and your HGTV Special?
DF: My wife has been very instrumental in getting the attention of “Million Dollar Decorators”. Mary McDonald who is on the show is also one of our designers. She has been out several times filming part of an episode. She has done a wonderful job and has been great to get along with. It was really nice to have her involved in this stage of the project. HGTV has also been out filming a bunch of times for a special. I don’t know one that will be airing though. It’s really been my wife who has thought that these shows would be a great source for getting people’s attention.

MG: What do you find to be the hardest challenge when working on a project?
DF: This project is called “The Santa Barbara Design House and Gardens”. When we purchased this property we wanted to get involved with the community on a more philanthropic level. My wife made the offer to the Junior League of Santa Barbara in that all the money from people purchasing tickets to see this property would be donated back to their organization. We also will be having a Grand Opening dinner which will feature celebrities and entertainment. The proceeds from that event will be given to an organization called “Angel Foster Care of Santa Barbara”. The organization finds homes for abandoned or abused infants 2 years of age or under. It is an extremely worthwhile organization. Helping these organizations was more of a priority than the actual building of the house. We wanted to make sure we did everything correctly so that we could help raise funds for both of these great organizations. The dinner is set for Sept. 8th and the house will be on display starting Sept. 13th.  As far as challenges go there are always last minute things that pop up that need to be taken care of. You also are always finding things to add or change as you reach the end of a project.

MG: What do you have planned for your next project?
DF: You should probably ask my wife that question. It’s always a fun ride though to wherever she takes us. More than likely it will be another house in this same area but probably a little smaller. As for another design house I don’t know what the plans are for that. This design house will be for sale after the showings and such.

If you are interested in tickets or details for the event, please check out:

DVD Review “Red vs. Blue- Season 9”

Directed by: Burnie Burns, Matt Hullum
Voices: Matt Hullum, Gustavo Sorola, Geoff Ramsey, Joel Heyman, Burnie Burns, Shannon McCormick, Jason Saldana, Yomary Cruz, Kathleen Zuelch
Distributed by: New Video
MPAA Rating: Not Rating
Running Time: 120 minutes

Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Halo” has this huge universe that has been built around it over the years. I am sure that in order to truly appreciate “Red vs. Blue”, you need to be a MEGA huge fan of “Halo”. Well, I am not but I still enjoyed it…for the most part. This release contains the ninth season of the series. The season depicts two separate stories. The first one in uses the “Halo: Reach” engine in machinima style and continues after the finale of “Revelation”. The other part is presented with CGI and it’s storyline follows after the “Blood Gulch Chronicles”.

What I enjoyed about this season is that it really packed some decent action but was also very funny. The recorded dialogue is pretty sharp and witty. I have to saw though the machinima style is cool but definitely limited to its potential. The CGI scenes are freaking awesome but there really isn’t enough of them to make this rock. I would have loved to see more for sure. The one part that I had a issue with was the jumping between storylines…got a little confusing. From what I read about “Revelation”, in this season the machinima and CGI are not blended and each one actually represents a different timeline in the “Red vs. Blue” storyline.

The special features on the disc make this purchase worth wild for sure. First off we have commentary from directors Burnie Burns and Matt Hullum. It is fun and worth checking out. There are additional special videos and PSA’s from the series, which are short but definitely fun. The outtakes are also very funny and is a great addition. There are also deleted scenes and they are good but not great. The cast interviews worth a look also especially since you get to meet the people behind the voices. Lastly there are behind-the-scenes features which give some great insight into the production, probably the best feature.

DVD Review “Blue Sunshine”

Directed by: Jeff Lieberman
Starring: Zalman King, Deborah Winters, Robert Walden,Mark Goddard, Brion James, Charles Siebert
Distributed by New Video Group
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running time: 89 mins

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

I have been a fan of Jeff Lieberman for a long time and have also seen “Blue Sunshine” quite a few times. Along with “Squirm”, this is one of my favorite films of his. I believe it still holds up with each viewing. It is quite a trip and one very interesting film for sure. I also found it strange that this film was listed as horror because it is not really scary, falls more into thriller. This release though is not up to par with the special edition DVD by Synapse Entertainment in 2003, which is a two disc set with a lot of extras.

Certain words have been used to describe this film over the years, like “weird”, “out-there” and “creative” and that describes this quite well. The film follows Jerry Zipkin (Zalman King) who is wrongly accused of murder and tries to gather evidence to prove his innocence with the help of Alicia Sweeney (Deborah Winters). Through his search he discovers that college kids 10 years ago had taken a new form of LSD called “Blue Sunshine,” which causes them to loose their hair loss and become psychopathic murderers. He needs to get proof and clear his name.

The only real extra on this set is a never-before-seen interview with director Jeff Lieberman called “Blue Sunshine, 35 Years Later”. It is a decent length 40 minutes interview and covers good ground. Besides a photo gallery, this is the only feature, which is disappointing.