Blu-ray Review “Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete First Season”

Actors: Bruce Campbell, Dana DeLorenzo, Ray Santiago, Lucy Lawless, Jill Marie Jones
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
DVD Release Date: August 23, 2016

Season: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

I am one of the biggest “Evil Dead” franchise” fans. I have met Bruce Campbell and the cast of the three films in the franchise numerous times. I think I did a double back flip when I saw that we were getting a continuation in the franchise with this new series for Starz. The season is jam packed with enough amazing fanboy head explosion moments to satisfy any hardcore fan. A few of the episodes wonder a bit but overall I see an insane amount of future opportunities in this series and I have a feeling it will stick around for a long time! I am just happy that Ashley J. Williams is back and kicking Deadite ass! Can’t wait for season 2 this October!

The first season of “Ash vs Evil Dead” consists of 10 half-hour episodes and consists as a follow-up to the classic horror film franchise “The Evil Dead” The series is executive produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell, the original filmmakers of the franchise, and Craig DiGregorio (“Chuck”), who serves as executive producer and showrunner. Other than Bruce, who is literally gold with every word he speaks, the supporting cast is great as well with Xena herself, Lucy Lawless, plays a very important role. Also up-and-comers Dana DeLorenzo, Ray Santiago show that they can kick some ass as well and work well with Bruce.

Official Series Premise: The series follows Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip. The cast is led by Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams, Lucy Lawless as Ruby a mysterious figure who believes Ash is the cause of the Evil outbreaks, Ray Santiago as Pablo Simon Bolivar, an idealistic immigrant who becomes Ash’s loyal sidekick, Dana DeLorenzo as Kelly Maxwell, a moody wild child trying to outrun her past and Jill Marie Jones as Amanda Fisher, a disgraced Michigan State Trooper set to find our anti-hero Ash and prove his responsibility in the grisly murder of her partner.

Starz is a great place for this show because they are able to show the gritty shit that other network stations would be afraid to. The Blu-ray includes impressive 1080p transfers. The show is shot digitally and even though it doesn’t have that gritty feel we all love from the franchise films, it looks amazing. Topped only by the outstanding Dolby TrueHD 7.1 presentation for each episodes, which kicks ass with the intense soundtrack and awesome surround chainsaw-welding effects. I should also mention that the slipcover for this release is a sweet lenticular cover!

The first Blu-ray includes audio commentaries on all episodes from cast and creators with some additional extras included on disc two. Sadly, there are no DVD or digital versions of the show are included. I would have expected at least digital since Anchor Bay does include for their releases like “The Walking Dead”. The commentaries are fun and you can tell that the cast really enjoyed working together for this series. Other than the commentaries there are only three other features. The first is “Ash Inside the World” which gives skim details on each episode with behind the scenes details. “How to Kill a Deadite” features Bruce Campbell talking about the title feature. Lastly there is a compilation of Bruce Campbell’s best moments from this season in “Best of Ash”. Honestly expect a little more from these extras.

Singer/Guitarist John Corabi talks about the latest release from The Dead Daisies “Make Some Noise”

For over 20 years singer/guitarist John Corabi has been recording and performing with a number of hard rock acts ranging from Union and ESP to being the replacement for Motley Crue vocalist Vince Neil for a period of time in the mid 90’s. Since that time Corabi has embarked on a successful solo career and also joined the group The Dead Daisies a group whose current lineup also includes Marco Mendoza, Doug Aldrich, Brian Tichy and David Lowy. Media Mikes spoke with John recently about The Dead Daises upcoming album titled “Make Some Noise” which is due out on August 5th and also about the groups upcoming U.S. Tour with Kiss.

Adam Lawton: You joined The Dead Daisies in 2015. What has the first year of being in the band been like for you thus far?

John Corabi: It has been crazy! I got the call originally from Marco as they had been working with someone prior to me and things weren’t working out. They had plans to go over to Cuba and they asked me if I would be willing to go with them. I went and did that and we had an amazing time there. I think that was sort of a way for the guys to feel me out a bit. I think they wanted to see if I was a good fit or not. After that trip I got a call from the guys asking if I wanted to go to Australia and do an album. We got together in March of last year and wrote and recorded the “Revolucion” album in about 33 days. After flying home from that I did some solo shows with my band and the next thing I know I was in California doing a video with guys and also rehearsing for some upcoming European shows with Kiss. We then came back and did a run with Whitesnake after which we went back to Australia with Kiss. We then did the Kiss cruise and went back to Europe again but this time with Whitesnake. I got home at the end of December and by January of this year we were back in the studio working on the new record “Make Some Noise”. Things have been pretty busy. When I’m not out with The Daisies I’m out with my solo band which has a live album coming out in October.

AL: What has the addition of Doug Aldrich been like for the band?

JC: When Dizzy Reed and Richard Fortus got the call to go do the Guns N’ Roses tour we reached out to Doug. He is a really great player who has just jumped right in. I have known Doug since he was about 17 as we grew up in Philadelphia together. With this band it’s about friendship as we all hang out and have known each other for a long time. Doug was able to step in to that as he has a great sense of humor to go along with his amazing playing and song writing ability. With this new record we wanted to go in and do a straight forward 70’s era type rock album. All the guys in the band have similar influences so for us to be able to go in and do that with the addition of Doug was really great.

AL: How did the writing for “Make Some Noise” compare to that of your previous album with the band?

JC: When you bring in a different member things do change a little. Doug fits in with everyone and we all have similar interest so that certainly helped. I think the biggest difference with the new record wasn’t really anything with the guitars but it was more so the fact that we didn’t add keyboards this time around. That allowed the guitars more room to be a little more aggressive. David Lowy made that decision as doing a band similar to the style of AC/DC was his original idea for the band. When Richard and Dizzy left it was decided not to replace them so Doug and David had a little more space to expand on their parts in each song.

AL: Do you prefer working on material that is more stripped down and straight forward as opposed to something with a lot of layers and instrumentation?

JC: I think the song really dictates how much or how little it needs. There was one song we did that we didn’t end up putting on the album that I want to put on my new solo album that had a lot of stuff going on within it. When we looked at what we had this song didn’t really fit in with the others because they are all very straight forward. Again the song really decides what it needs in the way of production. I think back to the first album I did with Union which is a pretty stripped down album as that’s what most of those songs required but there is one on that recorded titled “Let It Flow” which has a bunch of cool over dubs and instrumentation on it because that’s what it sort of dictated.

AL: How was it working with producer Marti Frederiksen this time around?

JC: I had known Marti since he opened for my band The Scream in the early Nineties. I always sort of kept an eye on his career. I realized when he started working with groups like Brother Cane and Aerosmith that he was going to do a lot of cool stuff. We were looking for not just a producer but also someone who understood the writing process and would actually listen to what we were doing with a fresh set of ears. Marti was very open to suggestions throughout the process. We have all been making records for quite some time now so things worked well. We would just record things and if for some reason if something didn’t work we would just take it out after the fact. Marti was great in that he knew when to reel us in and also we to let us keep going. It was a two way street that worked pretty effortlessly.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands upcoming tour with Kiss and any other plans you and the band have scheduled?

JC: We start in the states with Kiss on August 10. Those guys have been really great to us. The shows are going to be very high energy. I am not sure how long we are going to be playing just yet but no matter how long we play its going to be pedal to the metal. We plan to do a mix of both old and new material along with a few covers to get the crowd riled up. That tour goes through mid September then we have a headlining show set in Los Angeles. After that I start rehearsals with my solo band and then we go out on the Monsters of Rock Cruise. From there The Daisies head over to Japan for the Loud Park Festival and we are booked all the way through December. We will be hitting a bunch a places all over.

For more info on John Corabi and The Dead Daisies be sure to head over to http://www.thedeaddaisies.comand also www.johncorabimusic.com

 

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Is Jon Snow Dead? Game of Thrones Trailer Drops a Hint

Jon Snow Tribute” (CC BY 2.0) by snbk97

The sixth season of Game of Thrones (GoT) is marching towards us like seven noble families vying for the Iron Throne and anticipation is starting to build among the show’s hardcore fan base.

The big question on everyone’s lips at the moment is whether Jon Snow is really dead and adding more fuel to the rumours he may still be alive is the final scene of the season six trailer. Typically dramatic yet carefully designed to ensure we don’t get to see too much, the defining moment in the trailer is the scene showing the Onion Knight drawing his sword to protect what looks like Snow’s body.

Ever since the son of Lord Eddard Stark was stabbed and seemingly left to die in the snow during season five, fans have refused to let his memory fade. Kit Harington, who plays Snow, has won the hearts of GoT viewers since he first appeared in season one and that’s led to him being featured in a plethora of spinoffs.

Join Snow for a Spin

Game of Throne Figures” (CC BY 2.0) by  Aranami

From action figures to board games, fans of the show can now interact with the likes of Snow in more ways than ever before.

In fact, one medium that’s managing to keep the dead (?) lord alive is the show’s online slot game. How’s that possible, we hear you ask? Simple, you can experience the fun of pokies on your iPhone and summon up the might of Snow to have some fun.

Becoming a member of pokies/slots sites gives you direct access to a game that not only features familiar sights and sounds from the show (including the dramatic soundtrack), but five and six-figure jackpots. Whether you’re just testing the water in free play mode or spinning from £0.30, the game is a great way to keep the memory of Snow alive.

Of course, if you’ve watched the trailer and are inclined to believe TV gossip then you won’t need to play the game for much longer because Snow’s future in season six is just a few weeks away.

Snow Might be Gone but he’s Not Forgotten

Game of Thrones giant pop-up” (CC BY 2.0) by  fdecomite 

However, if you’re more inclined to listen to Kit Harington then you’ll only see Snow in a deceased form when the new season airs.

Responding to the recent images of him on the set of the show, Harington explained that he was there to play a dead body.

“I had to be a dead body in Northern Ireland. You can’t just forget that he actually died. I had to be a dead body,” explained Harington.

Of course, the actor will be bound by a watertight contract that prevents him from talking about the show’s scripts, so it could be that this is a cunning ruse to throw people off the scent. Of course it’s equally likely that he’s telling the truth and this will be the last time we see Snow on screen.

Fortunately, if that is the case then it won’t be the end of the enigmatic lord. From slots to board games and more, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Game of Thrones long after the final credits have finished.

 

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David Bowie, “The Thin White Duke”, Dead at Age 69

David Bowie, who as a singer, arranger, songwriter, producer, actor and painter, influenced countless artists for more than four decades, died yesterday, January 10, two days after his birthday. He was 69.

Born David Robert Jones on January 8, 1947 in South London, Bowie always had a fascination with music and spent his earliest years hoping to achieve fame. At age 15 he joined a band called the Konrads, but left them soon to join the King Bees. His first single, titled “Liza Jane,” was released as being recorded by Davie Jones and the King Bees. It was not a hit. He later left the group and joined two other bands, Mannish Boys and Lower Third.

In 1966, to avoid being confused with Monkee’s singer Davy Jones, he changed his name to David Bowie, taking his last name from the great American 19th century pioneer Jim Bowie, who died during the battle of the Alamo. Jim Bowie pronounced his last name “Boo-ee” but David went with the harder pronunciation. In 1969 a friend and he put together a promotional film, which included snippets from many of his songs, including “Space Oddity,” which would eventually hit the top 5 in England. The film was not released until 1984.

On May 30, 1971, Bowie and his wife, Angie, welcomed a son into the world, Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones, who for the first 12 years of his life, was known as Zowie Bowie! Today Duncan is a highly respected filmmaker (“Moon”). In 1972 Bowie radically changed his image, becoming a “space man” and releasing the album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.” That same year, singer Ian Hunter told Bowie that he needed one more song for his groups, Mott the Hoople, upcoming album. Legend has it that Bowie sat down on the floor and, in twenty minutes, penned “All the Young Dudes.”

In 1974 he released the album “Diamond Dogs,” which produced two hit singles: the title track and “Rebel, Rebel.” The next year he exploded onto the charts, releasing the album “Young Americans.” The first single from the album, “FAME,” a song he co-wrote with John Lennon, hit number one on the US Charts. Lennon also sang back up on the song. Two other singles, “Golden Years” and the title tune, also charted well. To capitalize on the success, “Space Oddity” was reissued in England and went to number one on the British charts. In 1976 he released the album “Station to Station.” He also left Ziggy Stardust behind and adapted a new persona, taken from the first song on the new album: The Thin White Duke. He also starred opposite Candy Clark in the film, “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

As the 70’s ended, he moved to Germany, where he did a trio of albums that he would refer to as his “triptych,” : “Low,” “Heroes” and “Lodger.” In 1980 he spent three months on Broadway in the title role of “The Elephant Man,” earning great reviews. The following year he teamed up with Queen to produced the hit song, “Under Pressure.” In 1983 he reached the pinnacle of his success with the release of the album “Let’s Dance,” which produced the hits “Modern Love,” “China Girl” and the title song. He also continued his film career, appearing in 1983’s “The Hunger” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence.” Other film roles include the Goblin King in “Labyrinth,” Pontius Pilate in “The Last Temptation of Christ” and inventor Nicoli Tesla in “The Prestige.”

The next three decades were ones of experimentation. In 1989 he formed the group Tin Machine. Following that he began mixing electronic and classical music.

In 2001, he opened The Concert for New York, a benefit for the victims of the 9/11 tragedy, by performing Simon and Garfunkle’s “America” and his song, “Heroes.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and in 2006 received a Lifetime Grammy Award.

On January 8, 2016, his 69th birthday, he released his latest album, “Blackstar,” which is already being mentioned as a nominee for the best album of the year.

Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek’s Iconic Mr. Spock, Dead at Age 83

For three television seasons, animated and guest appearances and in many feature films, actor Leonard Nimoy would often address others with the phrase “Live long and prosper.” It was a philosophy Mr. Nimoy himself followed until he passed away today at the age of 83.

Best known for his portrayal of the emotionless Vulcan, Mr. Spock, on “Star Trek,” Nimoy would eventually escape that persona (he famously wrote his autobiography, entitled “I Am Not Spock”) to become not only a versatile actor but an accomplished photographer and film director.

Born in Boston on March 26, 1931, Nimoy began his acting career as a young boy, performing in local productions. He headed west after high school and, after serving in the United States Army, began appearing in popular television shows of the era, among them “Luke and the Tenderfoot,” “Broken Arrow” and “Mackenzies Raiders.” His unusual features often found him cast as a Native American. He worked steadily through the early 1960s and then, in 1966, he took the role that he would forever be identified with. Described by creator Gene Roddenberry, “Star Trek” was supposed to be like “Wagon Train” to the stars. Nimoy was cast as First Officer Spock, a member of the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Nimoy was one of the few actors who remained with the show from the pilot until the final episode. Spock struck a nerve with the counter-culture of the times and quickly became the series’ most popular character. He was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actor all three seasons “Star Trek” ran, losing to Eli Wallach, Milburn Stone (Doc on “Gunsmoke”) and Werner Klemperer (Colonel Klink on “Hogan’s Heroes”). HE LOST TO COLONEL KLINK??? Back then, the Emmy’s didn’t divide the supporting categories into drama and comedy. They also only had three nominees in that category, not the customary five. Wow. COLONEL FRICKING KLINK!

When the series ended Nimoy headed to another long running show, playing disguise and magic master Paris in “Mission: Impossible.” He also reprised the role of Spock on the Saturday morning “Star Trek – the Animated Series.” He continued acting through the 70s, appearing in the popular remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and also began working behind the camera, helming an episode of Rod Serling’s “Night Gallery.” In 1979 he once again returned to Spock in “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.” In 1981 he adapted and directed the television version of his one man play, “Vincent,” based on the life of Theo Van Gogh, brother of the famed artist, Vincent. The next year he returned in “Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan,” coming back only after being assured that the character of Spock would be killed off. the success of the film, both commercially and critically, brought the offer to return. Nimoy agreed to come back if he could direct the feature film. In 1984, “Star Trek III – The Search for Spock” was released. The film featured the crew of the Enterprise trying to recover the body of Spock. Nimoy appears at the end of the film. He again directed “Star Trek IV – The Voyage Home,” probably the most fun of the “Original Series” films, which came out in 1986. The next year he went behind the camera for the very popular comedy “Three Men and a Baby.”

Nimoy also pursued a career in photography, with many of his photos being exhibited in museums across the country. In 1996 he published his 2nd Autobiography, “I AM SPOCK,” finally coming to terms with the character that had made him famous. He leaves behind his 2nd wife, Susan, and his children, Adam and Julie.

Greg Nicotero talks about the fifth season of “The Walking Dead”

Special makeup effects master Greg Nicotero has worked on The Walking Dead since day one crafting the amazing zombies and gore that have helped make the show, currently in its fifth season, the worldwide phenomenon it is today. No where else was the fan hysteria more evident for the show than at this past weekend’s Walker Stalker NYNJ Convention at the Meadowlands Expo Center. While current cast members were barred from speaking with the press after a shocking midseason finale, Nicotero sat down with me to discuss his progression from special effects makeup to directing episodes of the show including this season’s gruesome premiere. I also got some of his thoughts on longtime collaborator Quentin Tarantino’s next film.

 

Lauren Damon: How did you decide to move into directing your own episodes and how do you decide which ones you’re going to direct?

Greg Nicotero: It all started from Frank Darabont because after season one— before we started season one, I’d directed a little short film and season one I was the second unit director. So there were a lot of times when we were shooting and I would call Frank in Los Angeles to say ‘Hey, I think we could probably use a little more footage here, maybe we need a little bit more here…’ so I had an eye for what the show needed. So when we started season two he said you should direct an episode. And I said I would love that. And he said ‘Do you want to direct a zombie-light episode, or a zombie-heavy one?’ And I said that’s a trick question! But I ended up ironically getting the episode where Dale gets killed and it was probably the most dramatic episode we had done to date. Because it was a bunch of people in a room sort of having this tribunal to decide whether Randall should live or die and it had one zombie in it. So it went from that to three episodes in season three and three episodes in season four and I did four episodes this year. So I’ve directed eleven episodes. [Showrunner] Scott Gimple is really good at sort of pinpointing which episodes he wants for which director but he’s had me direct the premiere for the last two years and I directed the finale this year too.

 

LD: That trough scene this year in the premiere was really traumatic…

GN: Oh it’s horribly traumatic! And I’m really proud of that scene because I feel like Scott and I really crafted that scene together. Because he pitched the original idea and we had really sort of both kind of immersed ourselves into making it as good as it could be. And I remember, the first time we screened it for the crew, I leaned over to Scott at one point and I went ‘I wonder if we went too far’ because it’s so uncomfortable and it’s so brutal and it’s so relentless. But the truth is, Terminus had to be portrayed that way otherwise it wouldn’t have felt authentic so I’m really really proud of that.

 

LD: At this point, can you still creep out the cast or they a little bit desensitized to it?

GN: No. As a matter of fact when we shot that scene, I had designed a rig for the slit throats and they hadn’t seen it tested. So when they were all leaning up against the trough and we did Robin—who played Sam, who was the first kill—they were all leaning up against the trough and we pumped the blood. And they, just out of the corner of their eye, just saw the blood shoot over the trough and then in and it started flowing down…They were all pretty…I know Steven and Norman were like ‘Ahh, what did I just see?’ Because all they saw was out of the corner of their eye blood spraying, and blood hitting the trough and then it running down the trough past them. So I think we can still, I think we’re still good on grossing them out.

 

LD: Do you have a resident team of players for the zombies, or do you go out to cast your ‘hero’ zombie parts?

GN: There are people that we use, that we like over and over again. I say there’s probably fifteen to twenty people that we really like and the beauty of the makeup is we can make them look different every single time. There’s a guy named Coleman Youmans I think he’s probably played the most zombies in the show ever. Because we’ve used him almost every episode for the last two seasons we just make him look different every time.

 

LD: You done it a couple times—

GN: I have. I didn’t get a chance to do it this year because I directed four episodes but my goal next year will be to be a zombie in a scene that I direct so I can just direct in zombie makeup which I just think would be fun.

 

LD: I’m getting the signal to wrap up here so finally I was wondering having done Quentin Tarantino’s movies since Pulp Fiction, are you working on The Hateful Eight? And if so, can you share anything about it?

GN:  Yep and not really…I just got back from we did some makeup tests yesterday and we start shooting the beginning of January. It’s–I love the script. I find it fascinating that Quentin has been doing live reads, table reads, of all his scripts and I feel like this script is a result of those table reads because it feels like a play. It’s a bunch of great characters in two locations but it really has that great emotion, that great power, but it takes place in minimal locations. I really love the script. It was—You know, I mean I’ve read all of them and it’s just something different enough from the other things that he’s done but it’s still with his voice.

The Walking Dead returns—with an episode directed by Nicotero—on February 8th at 9pm on AMC.

WalkerStalker Conventions continue in six more cities through next Halloween, for more info check out their website.

Win a Blu-ray of “Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead” [ENDED]


To celebrate the release of “Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead”, we are happy to be giving away THREE Blu-rays of the film. If you want to win this great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite zombie film. This giveaway will remain open until January 2nd at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Martin (Vegar Hoel) hasn’t had the best vacation. He accidentally killed his girlfriend with an axe. He cut his own arm off with a chainsaw. And his friends STILL got devoured by a battalion of Nazi Zombies. This morning, he woke up in a hospital bed with a new arm – but it’s a super-powered Zombie arm that wants to kill him, and anything else it can reach. Martin’s PISSED. And with the help of his new Zombie Squad pals (Martin Starr, Jocelyn DeBoer, Ingrid Haas), he’s gonna deliver some payback to Colonel Herzog and his precious Nazi gold – by raising an undead army of his own.

 

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  • STARZ Reteams Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert for a New TV Series Based on Their Classic Horror Film “The Evil Dead”

    STARZ RAISES THE DEAD

    NETWORK RETEAMS SAM RAIMI, BRUCE CAMPBELL AND ROB TAPERT FOR A NEW TV SERIES BASED ON THEIR CLASSIC HORROR FILM THE EVIL DEAD

    RAIMI TO DIRECT FIRST EPISODE OF NEW SERIES, “ASH VS. EVIL DEAD”

    BRUCE CAMPBELL TO STAR AS TITLE CHARACTER, ASH

     Beverly Hills, Calif. – November 10, 2014 – Starz announced today the greenlight of the network’s next original series, the long-awaited follow-up to the classic horror film franchise The Evil Dead. The project reteams the original filmmakers, director Sam Raimi, with longtime producing partner Rob Tapert and star Bruce Campbell.

    The STARZ Original series officially titled “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” will be 10 half-hour episodes.  Bruce Campbell will be reprising his role as Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead.  When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal.  Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip.

    “Starz first worked with Sam and Rob on ‘Spartacus,’ and we are thrilled to be back in business with them,” said Carmi Zlotnik, Managing Director of Starz.  “With Sam writing and directing and Bruce Campbell returning to the screen, we are certain the show will give Evil Dead fans around the world the fix they’ve been craving.”

    Evil Dead has always been a blast. Bruce, Rob, and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to tell the next chapter in Ash’s lame, but heroic saga.  With his chainsaw arm and his ‘boomstick,’ Ash is back to kick some monster butt. And brother, this time there’s a truckload of it,” said Sam Raimi.

    “I’m really excited to bring this series to the Evil Dead fans worldwide – it’s going to be everything they have been clamoring for: serious deadite ass-kicking and plenty of outrageous humor,” said Bruce Campbell.

    “STARZ has always been a great creative partner and we are excited to be working with them on this project,” said Robert Tapert.

    Raimi will direct the first episode.  “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” was written by Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi (Darkman, Army of Darkness, Drag Me to Hell) and Tom Spezialy (“Chuck,” “Reaper,” “Desperate Housewives”).  Sam Raimi will also serve as executive producer, along with Rob Tapert (Evil Dead, “Spartacus,” Xena: Warrior Princess”) and Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, “Burn Notice”).  Ivan Raimi will Co-Executive Produce and Aaron Lam (“Spartacus”) will serve as producer.

    The original Evil Dead film followed Ash and his friends who travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release demons intent on possessing the living.  The film became an international success and is critically lauded to this day as one of the best horror movies of all time.  It also spawned a media franchise, including two sequels, as well as video games and comic books and a recent reboot that grossed $97 million worldwide.

    “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” project was packaged by CAA and Craig Jacobson at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller.  Marta Fernandez will serve as the executive in charge at STARZ.

    The series will air on STARZ in 2015.

    Starz will retain all domestic and international multiplatform rights including television, home entertainment, and digital.

    Blu-ray Review “The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season (Limited Edition)”

    Actors: Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Scott Wilson
    Directors: Ernest R. Dickerson, Guy Ferland, Greg Nicotero
    Number of discs: 5
    Rated: NR (Not Rated)
    Studio: ANCHOR BAY
    DVD Release Date: August 26, 2014
    Run Time: 696 minutes

    Season: 4 out of 5 stars
    Blu-ray: 5 out of 5 stars
    Extras: 5 out of 5 stars

    Just when you thought that “The Walking Dead” couldn’t get any crazier…main characters getting killed off, pushing the limits of cable TV…we get season four, which takes it up yet another notch. Season four was a very impressive season for this show and easily my favorite to date. The season is split into technically three parts. The first half is the take down of the prison, the second is the group solo and getting back together (in some sense) and the third is the arrival at Terminus. Season five is being setup to kick off what is guaranteed to be the best season yet. With the show getting more and more popular with each episode, it is becoming an unstoppable force. If you love this show, this Blu-ray should hold you off until “The Walking Dead” season 5 returns on Sunday, October 12th.

    Official Premise: In the new season, we see Rick and the group of survivors fostering a thriving community in the safe haven of the prison only to have it short-lived as the group loses everything, their home, family, and friends to the threat of the walkers, outside threats and the hidden dangers brewing inside the fences. The group of survivors are broken apart and sent on divergent paths, unsure of everyone else’s fate as they are exposed to new dangers, new enemies, and heartbreaking choices. They will have their faith thoroughly tested — a faith that breaks some of them and redeems others.

    This season show not great but literally outstanding performances from everyone in the cast including. Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Emily Kinney, Chad Coleman, Sonequa Martin-Green, Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. and Scott Wilson. Speaking of Scott, we lost our beloved Hershel this season but his spirit will live on. He was a hard person to lose and easily one of my favorite characters on the show. Last season, I absolutely hated (and I am sure I am not alone) Carl but this season, Chandler really knocked it out the park. The VIP of the season easily has to be Melissa McBride! WOW! Looking at flowers will never be the same! Where is her damn Emmy nomination!?

    Anchor Day has been amazing with giving “The Walking Dead” Blu-ray amazing Limited Edition sets. The first season was more basic but the second season was the large zombie head with the screwdriver in the eye and the third was The Governor’s tank. The fourth season’s limited edition release includes an exclusive McFarlane Toys Tree Walker Case. The Tree walker’s head and arm move when you remove the Blu-ray set. It is quite epic and a must have for any hardcore collector. You look at the quality of work that comes with this release and you will be convinced that it is worth the extra money. But get it while it is available because like the other seasons, this is sure to become an expensive collectible.

    Like the past seasons, The Blu-ray presentations comes with outstanding 1080p transfers with even better Dolby TrueHD 7.1 surround tracks. Literally this are GOLD! I love watching this show on TV when it airs but the Blu-ray presentations are so much better to enjoy. When the Governor storms through the prison in their tanks, my surround sound system was screaming for a break. From every gunshot to zombie roar, the sound is just outstanding. You literally forget you are watching TV series, as this show feels so theatrical.

    The special features for this series have always been amazing! This season is no different. To start, we have Blu-ray exclusive extended episodes for “After” and “The Grove”. There are six cast and crew audio commentaries included on this set. The first is on “30 Days Without An Accident”  with Executive Producer and Showrunner Scott M. Gimple, Executive Producer/Unit Production Manager Tom Luse and Executive Producer/Special Effects Make-Up Supervisor/Director Greg Nicotero. Next is “Internment” with Executive Producer and Showrunner Scott M. Gimple and Actor Scott Wilson (Hershel). “After” includes Greg Nicotero, Co-Executive Producer Denise Huth and Actor Danai Gurira (Michonne).

    There are two tracks for the episode, “Still” the first with Director Julius Ramsay and Actor Emily Kinney (Beth) and the second with Writer/Producer Angela Kang and Actor Norman Reedus (Daryl). The last track is “The Grove” (Ep14) with Scott M. Gimple, Denise Huth and Actor Andrew Lincoln. I cannot say enough good things about these tracks. I loved everyone of them. The ones with Greg and the other producers are super technical and you get tons of great information about the show. If you love this show, you cannot miss these. All gems.

    Next up we have eight outstanding Behind-the-Scenes Production Featurettes. First up are “Inside The Walking Dead and “The Making of The Walking Dead”, which are self-explanatory. These are great for fans wanted an inside look in how the show is created. “Hershel” and “The Governor Is Back” are character based featurettes on two of our favorite characters to bit it this season. “Drawing Inspiration” and “Society, Science & Survival” look into the preparation taken for this season. “Inside KNB EFX” dives into the work of Greg Nicotero and his creations. Lastly “A Journey Back to Brutality” is a look back at the season and there are some Deleted Scenes included as well.

    Here is the Comic-Con trailer for what we can expect for Season Five!

     

    Lauren Bacall, Star of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Dead at 89

    Lauren Bacall, whose seven-decade career made her one of the greatest stars in Hollywood history, died this evening in her New York home a month shy of her 90th birthday.

    Born Betty Joan Perske on September 16 (a birthday we both shared) 1924, she set out to become a dancer before turning her sights to acting and attending the American Academy of the Dramatic Arts after her graduation from high school. While appearing in the occasional off-Broadway production she began modeling and, at age 19, caught the eye of film director Howard Hawks’ wife, who saw her on the cover of a magazine and suggested she be given a screen test. So impressive was her test that she was cast opposite Humphrey Bogart in the film “To Have and Have Not.” It was in this film that she introduced one of the most quoted lines in film history when she said “You know how to whistle, don’t you? You just put your lips together and…blow.” Despite their 25 year age difference, the two fell in love and were married a year later. The marriage would last until Bogart’s death in 1957.

    She continued to co-star with Bogart in such classic films as “The Big Sleep,” “Dark Passage” and “Key Largo.” In 1953 she tried her hand at comedy, co-starring with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable in “How to Marry a Millionaire.” She spent the next decade or so alternating between film and television before heading to Broadway, appearing in the musical “Applause,” for which she won the Tony Award as Best Actress.

    In 1973 she reprised her role in the television production of “Applause” and then returned to the big screen as part of the all-star cast of “Murder on the Orient Express.” She also starred opposite John Wayne in his last film, 1976’s “The Shootist.” In 1980 she appeared in the Robert Altman film “HealtH.” This movie was filmed in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida and I can remember some friends and I trying to sneak our way into the Don Cesar Hotel, where the film was shot, in the hopes of meeting Ms. Bacall, who my friend Scott Gilbert had a major school boy crush on. We were not successful.

    She continued to work at her leisure, appearing in such films as “The Fan,” “Misery,” “Pret-a-Porter” and “The Mirror Has Two Faces,” for which she received her first and only Academy Award nomination, as Best Supporting Actress. Though she did receive the Golden Globe for her performance, the Oscar went instead to Juliette Binoche. . As the 21st Century loomed she began contributing her voice to various animated projects, including “Madeline: Lost in Paris,” “Howl’s Moving Castle” and was actually heard earlier this year in an episode of “Family Guy.”

    In 2010 she received an honorary Academy Award in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures.

    Robin Williams, Oscar Winner and Beloved Actor, Dead at 63

    This is going to be tough. I’ve had the great fortune, followed by genuine sadness, in the past to see a young talent break through, shine brightly and then die. Two people that come to mind are River Phoenix and Heath Ledger. Both great talents and both taken way too soon. The fact that I have been entertained by Robin Williams for almost four decades only makes the pain of his passing hurt more. Williams died earlier today, with the cause of death pointing toward suicide. He was 63.

    I can remember Williams’ appearance on “Happy Days,” where he first gave life to Mork, the alien from the planet Ork. With his brightly colored suspenders and soon to be catchphrase “Nanu nanu,” Williams, like Mork, invaded our televisions and made them his own. I can still remember gathering at my friend Scott Gilbert’s house, just after my 18th birthday, with other friends to watch the debut of the new comedy “Mork and Mindy.” I can still remember the laughter, which peeled from the living room throughout the house. The show, and Williams, were such an instant hit that within a few weeks the movie theatre I was working at brought back an R-rated sketch comedy called “Can I Do It ‘Til I Need Glasses,” trumpeting in the ads that the film “starred” Robin “Mork” Williams. Williams really only had two brief appearances in the film, but that fact wasn’t enough to keep people from paying their money and selling out the opening weekend performances.

    In 1980, the studios came calling properly, with Williams playing the title role in Robert Altman’s “Popeye.” Two years later, he showed he was much more than a funny man when he took the lead in the film version of John Irving’s classic novel “The World According to Garp.” He continued filling theatres in the 80s with a series of comedies, including “The Survivors,” “The Best of Times” and “Club Paradise.” In 1987, he teamed up with director Barry Levinson and earned his first Academy Award nomination (for Best Actor) for his role as Airman Adrien Cronauer in “Good Morning, Vietnam.”

    Oscar nomination number two came in 1989 for the Peter Weir directed “Dead Poets Society.” He starred opposite Robert DeNiro in Penny Marshall’s “Awakenings” and alongside Kenneth Brannagh and Emma Thompson in “Dead Again.” He even managed a small cameo in his friend Bobcat Goldthwait’s film “Shakes the Clown.”

    1991 saw him star as the grown up Peter Banning in Steven Spielberg’s “Hook.” That same year he earned Oscar nod number three opposite Jeff Bridges in “The Fisher King.” The next year he exploded (literally) as the voice of the genie in the animated Disney hit “Aladdin,” So acclaimed was this performance that the Hollywood Foreign Press presented Williams with a special award for his work. He later amazed audiences when he donned a fake bosom and gray wig to portray everyone’s favorite housekeeper, “Mrs. Doubtfire.” During this time he would also show up in small cameo roles in films like “Shakes the Clown” and “To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.” In 1996 he co-starred with Nathan Lane in Mike Nichol’s “The Birdcage” and as a young man who grows up too fast in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Jack.” The next year saw him co-star opposite two young actors who found work by writing their own script. The writer/actors were Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and Williams received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the duo’s “Good Will Hunting,” which also won Affleck and Damon an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

    Williams continued working in a mixture of comedies and dramas, including “Patch Adams,” “Bicentennial Man,” “One Hour Photo” and “Insomnia.” He also contributed his voice to such popular animated films as “Robots” and “Happy Feet.” He appeared as President Theodore Roosevelt in “Night at the Museum” and it’s sequel (and had just completed work for the third installment). He returned to episodic television last year opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar in the CBS series “The Crazy Ones,” which was recently canceled. Last year he also appeared as President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the critically acclaimed film “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” This past May he starred opposite Mila Kunis and Peter Dinklage as a man who is mistakenly told he has 90 minutes to live in “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn.” The Internet Movie Data Base lists three remaining projects (including the third “Museum” film) to be released.

    I’ve tried my best to sum up the highlights of a thirty-six year career in these past six paragraphs. I’ve hit the high notes of a career that also had low times. Williams, along with Robert DeNiro, were with the late John Belushi the night the comedian overdosed and died, and that experience supposedly scarred Williams straight for quite a while. He recently had a couple of return trips to rehab, which proves nothing except that he was human. But I’ve chosen to remember the best about Robert Williams. To me he will always be the young man in the bright suspenders, standing on his head on the closest chair and exploring the world with the wide eyes of a child. He had so much to learn, and so much to teach us. Good night, Robin. God bless you!

    James Garner Dead at 86

    James Garner, whose rugged good looks and wry charm made him a star for almost seven decades, passed away last night at his Hollywood home. He was 86.

    Born James Scott Bumgarner in Norman, Oklahoma, Garner began his acting career shortly after returning home from the Korean War. While serving our country he received two Purple Hearts for injuries he received in combat.

    After a few minor roles in television and film he hit it big in 1957 playing Bret Maverick in the popular television program “Maverick.” So popular was the character that he would often appear briefly in other television westerns as Maverick. His first major film role came in 1963 when he co-starred in “The Great Escape.” The next year he became a leading man, appearing opposite Julie Andrews in Arthur Hiller’s “The Americanization of Emily.” With the exception of a brief 1972 series entitled “Nichols” he worked consistently in film for the next decade, appearing in such well received projects as “Grand Prix,” “Support Your Local Sheriff!,” “Marlowe” and “Support Your Local Gunfighter.”

    In 1974 he took on the role he would always be associated with, private investigator Jim Rockford in “The Rockford Files.” Driving his Pontiac Firebird and living in his mobile home, Rockford, with the occasional help of his father, Rocky (Noah Beery, Jr.) and occasional guest stars, would take any case – for $200 a day, plus expenses! The show was so popular that it’s theme song, written by Mike Post, reached #10 on the popular music chart and even won a Grammy Award for best television theme. “TV Guide” later named it the 39th Greatest Television Show Ever!

    After the show left the air in 1980 he returned to film, starring in Robert Altman’s “HealtH,” opposite Lauren Bacall in “The Fan,” re-teaming with Julie Andrews in the outstanding comedy “Victor/Victoria” and romancing Sally Field in “Murphy’s Romance,” a role that brought him his first and only Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

    The 90’s found him back on television, starring in the short-lived political series “Man of the People.” He also did several “Rockford Files” television movies and starred as Marshal Zane Cooper opposite Mel Gibson who took over the title role in the film adaptation of “Maverick.” The new millennium found him in space opposite Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones and Donald Sutherland in “Space Cowboys” and also starring in arguably one of the most beloved romances of the decade, “The Notebook.” On television he gave voice to the Creator in the underrated “God, the Devil and Bob” and on the popular series “8 Simple Rules.” His role on “Rules” was expanded during the last season following the tragic death of the show’s star, John Ritter. Besides his lone Oscar nomination, he earned fourteen Emmy nominations (winning two) and twelve Golden Globe nods (winning three).

    If I have one image of James Garner in my head, it isn’t from any of his film or television work. A few years ago, while visiting a local business, I was drawn to a photo of a group of young men, a few of them holding basketballs. I remarked to the owner that “the guy in the middle looks just like James Garner.” It was. The owner had served with Garner in Korea and, whenever time allowed, the men would have scrimmage basketball games at their post. In the photo Garner is beaming, as if he couldn’t be any happier. What’s amazing is that he had a whole new career ahead of him that he wasn’t even aware of. He will be missed.

    Kevin Sorbo talks about new films “God’s Not Dead” & “Revelation Road 3: The Black Rider”

    Kevin Sorbo is know best for his roles in “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”, “Andromeda” and “Kull the Conqueror”. Media Mikes had a chance to ask Kevin a few questions about his upcoming films “God’s Not Dead” and “Revelation Road 3: The Black Rider”.

    Mike Gencarelli: What drew you to this film, “God’s Not Dead”?
    Kevin Sorbo: It’s always the story. Great script, wonderful characters, fantastic message!

    MG: How did you prepare to play a character like Professor Radisson?
    KS: I have atheist friends. I have many conversations with them about my faith, their non belief. I have had college professors like him and have met with other college students who have had the same experience.

    MG: In the film you push your students to admit god is dead; did that clash with your religious beliefs?
    KS: Not at all. I’m acting. There are certain things I would be uncomfortable with as an actor and wouldn’t do, but the message here is great and needs to be brought to the light.

    MG: Big “Duck Dynasty” fan, did you get a chance to meet The Robertsons during filming?
    KS: They were brought in a year after we finished shooting, so we never met.

    MG: You are currently shooting “Revelation Road 3: The Black Rider”, tell us what we can expect?
    KS: A whacky ride into a post apocalyptic world where mad max meets the final chapter of the bible. Just had a fun, crazy character to play. No redeeming qualities in him really, but that remains to be seen with hints he may be back for other “Revelation Road” movies.

    MG: Lastly tell us about your current Kickstarter campaign for the film “Survivor”?
    KS: Sci-fi movie where I play the captain of a ship that had to leave earth decades ago when world war destroyed it. We answer the distress beacon of another planet and all hell breaks loose upon our arrival. Movie is shot and is looking for more money to wrap up post production.

    Actor/Director Harold Ramis Dead at the Age of 69

    Harold Ramis, whose early career writing jokes for “Playboy” magazine lead him to a career as one of the most successful comedy film writer/directors, passed away today in Chicago.  He was 69.  Cause of death was listed as complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis.
     
    Chicago born, Ramis began his comedic career as a writer and joke editor for “Playboy.”  At the age of 25 he joined the prestigious Second City Improvosational Comedy Troupe and soon was recruited to move to New York City to write and perform for the popular “National Lampoon Show.”  While there  he worked with such up and coming comedians as John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray.  In 1976, while those three were gaining fame on “Saturday Night Live,” he became head writer for the popular Canadian program “SCTV,” whose cast boasted such comic legends as John Candy, Martin Short and Joe Flaherety.  In 1978 he earned his first Hollywood film credit as co-writer of the enormously popular film “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” which was produced by Ivan Reitman.  He later teamed with Reitman by co-writing the script for “Meatballs.” 
     
    In 1980 he got his first shot behind the camera when he was named the director of the classic golf comedy “Caddyshack,” again co-writing the script.  He finally got his chance to appear on camera when he and Murray starred in the military comedy “Stripes,” again co-writing the script and directed by Reitman.  In 1983 he concentrated on directing when he helmed “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” written by John Hughes and starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo.  The next year he made movie history when he co-starred again with Murray and Dan Aykroyd in one of the most beloved films of all time, “Ghostbusters.”  Again, he shared co-writing duties, this time with Aykroyd.  Other films he helped write include “Back to School,” “Club Paradise,” “Ghostbusters II,” “Analyze This” (and it’s sequel) and “Groundhog Day.”
     
    As an actor he is probably best remembered as Dr. Egon Spengler, the heart of the Ghostbusters.  He often made brief cameo appearances in his own films and was also featured in “Airheads,” “Baby Boom,”  “Knocked Up” and “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.”  His last film was 2009’s “Year One” and he last directed in 2010 with an episode of television’s “The Office.”
     
    Ramis is survived by his second wife, Erica, their two children and a child from his first marriage. 
     
    R.I.P. Egon

    Sid Caesar, Comedy Legend, Dead at Age 91

    Sid Caesar, whose live television show in the 1950s had, arguably, the greatest assembly of comedy genius’ ever assembled at one time, died today at his Los Angeles area home after a long illness. He was 91. His weekly 90 minute television program, “Your Show of Shows,” boasted the on-screen talents of Caesar, Imogene Coca, Howard Morris and Carl Reiner. The show’s writers room was filled with a virtual who’s who of comedy legends, including Mel Brooks, Selma Diamond, Neil Simon and Danny Simon. His next show, entitled “Caesar’s Hour,” boasted a staff that included Larry Gelbart and Woody Allen. The show was so beloved that it not only inspired the classic Peter O’Toole comedy “My Favorite Year,” which was produced by Mel Brooks, but Neil Simon’s long running play “Laughter on the 23rd Floor.”

    Born Isaac Sidney Caesar on September 8, 1922 in Yonkers, New York, Caesar began his professional career as a saxophone player, having studied the instrument at the Julliard School of Music. After graduation he decided to try his luck as a professional musician in New York City but did not fare too well. One thing that went right for him: he met his future wife, Florence, there. They were married in July 1943. After 57 years of marriage Florence passed away in 2010.

    After small roles in theatre and film he found his calling in television. In 1949 he and Imogene Coca starred in the variety program “The Admiral Broadway Review.” The show grew so popular that it was broadcast on both NBC and the Dumont Network. In fact, the show became so popular that the sponsor, Admiral Televisions, had to cancel it after 26 weeks because their factory could not keep up with the demand for new television sets. Later in life Casesar would recount how an Admiral executive told him that the company had to decide whether to build a new factory or keep sponsoring the show. They chose the cheaper option. On February 25, 1950, the first episode of “Your Show of Shows” premiered. The show ran through 1954 and was quickly followed by “Caesar’s Hour,” a similar themed show which is best remembered for the first appearance of Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner’s 2000 Year Old Man character. The show ran through 1957. For the rest of the decade Caesar would appear in several television specials.

    In the 1960s he made his way to Broadway, starring in the musical “Little Me,” which boasted a script by Neil Simon and choreography by Bob Fosse. His performance, which included eight different characters and thirty-two costume changes, earned him a Tony Award nomination in 1963 for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. He lost to Zero Mostel, who earned Broadway immortality with his performance in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” which ironically was co-written by another one of Caesar’s former writers, Larry Gelbart. That same year he and Edie Adams co-starred as a married couple searching for a buried fortune in the film “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”

    He spent the rest of the decade, and most of the 1970s, making occasional television and film appearances. In 1978 he introduced his talents to a new generation when he was hired to replace Harry Reems as Rydell High School’s Coach Calhoun in the film version of the Broadway musical, “Grease.” He later reprised the role in “Grease 2.” Other film appearances include “Silent Movie,” “Airport ‘75” and “History of the World, Part I.” In 1982 he returned to Broadway opposite Carol Channing and Tommy Lee Jones in the show “Four on a Garden.” The next year he hosted “Saturday Night Live” and received a prolonged standing ovation upon his entrance. After the show he was given a plaque naming him an honorary member of the cast. He is the only host to receive that honor.

    He kept busy in the 1990s as well, appearing in “Vegas Vacation” and earning the last two of his eleven Emmy Award nominations in 1995 and 1997 for guest appearances on “Mad About You.” In his career he won two Emmy Awards.

     

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