Enter to Win a Blu-ray of “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”

To celebrate the Blu-ray release of “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”, which hits Digital on 4/30 & 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray & DVD 5/21, Media Mikes would like to give one of our fans a chance to win a Blu-ray + DVD combo pack of the film. If you want to win this great prize, please leave a comment below your favorite character / dragon from this franchise. This giveaway will remain open until May 21st at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US 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.

Universal City, California, March 26, 2019 – Nearly ten years after the first movie wowed audiences around the world, Hiccup and Toothless return to captivate fans with an adventure of a lifetime in DreamWorks Animation’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD. The final quest from Dean DeBlois’ (Lilo & StichHow to Train Your Dragon trilogy) arrives on Digital and via the digital movie app MOVIES ANYWHERE on May 7, 2019 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™, DVD, and On Demand May 21, 2019 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Hailed as “the perfect conclusion to one of the best animated trilogies of all time” (Scott Menzel, We Live Entertainment) and certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes®, the film opened at #1 in over 40 markets. The 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital versions feature over an hour of exclusive behind-the-scenes bonus content including an alternate opening, two DreamWorks animated shorts, deleted scenes and more.

What began as an unlikely friendship between an adolescent Viking and a fearsome Night Fury dragon has become an epic trilogy spanning their lives. In this next installment, the heroic pair finally fulfill their destinies; Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) as the village chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid (America Ferrera), and Toothless as the dragon leader of his own kind. As the Vikings and dragons of Berk face their darkest threat yet, the evil Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham), and Toothless discovers his soulmate, Light Fury – the bonds of Hiccup and Toothless’ friendship are tested like never before.

The all-star voice cast behind all of the beloved characters from the previous films returns with Jay Baruchel (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, This Is the End), America Ferrera (“Superstore,” The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants), Cate Blanchett (The House with a Clock in Its Walls, Ocean’s Eight), Gerard Butler (300The Bounty Hunter), F. Murray Abraham (Isle of DogsThe Grand Budapest Hotel), Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”), Craig Ferguson (Brave), Kristen Wiig (Despicable Me 3, Ghostbusters), Jonah Hill (The Lego Movie franchise, 21 Jump Street) and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Trolls, This is the End).

Film Review: How to Train Your Dragon – The Hidden World


Voiced by: Jay Baruchel (Hiccup), America Ferrera (Astrid), Cate Blanchett (Valka), Kit Harington (Eret)
Directed By: Dean DeBlois

Rated: PG-7
Running Time: 104 minutes
DreamWork Animation

Right from the start, we’ll admit that How to Train Your Dragon is one of our favorite animation movies of all time. The Hidden World even though it’s animated, somehow feels so real, not just the visual effect and animations which put it over the top, but the story of the movie that is incredibly appealing and makes you believe in the supernatural. It is an emotional movie telling us that in every relationship you are, you must know when to let go and move on with your life.

The action takes place one year after Hiccup found his mom in the second film. Now they created a strong bond with their dragons, and everybody has one. There are no huge cages in their village to contain them, they are basically living together. That is becoming a problem because their home, Berk, is now overpopulated and their village chief, Hiccup, must find a solution.

Even though Hiccup is facing that problem, followed by his desires, he continues to rescue dragons from evil Vikings that are trying to lock them up and use them as slaves. He rescues every single dragon alongside his partner the Night Fury dragon – Toothless and brings them to Berk.

A dangerous new threat is coming to Berk, from the cold-blooded dragon tracker and killer Grimmel (voiced by F. Murray Abraham). Grimmel is the evil looking villain and his character fits very well in the movie. He is driven by his desire to kill every single Night Fury, alongside every other dragon.

He knows about Hiccup and the village full of dragons Berk, thus his plan is to go to the village and capture Toothless as the Alpha Dragon and make him command all the dragons to follow Grimmel’s orders. The angry dragon slayer uses the white female Night Fury dragon (Light Fury) as bait for Toothless.

Hiccup is facing his toughest decision yet as village chief. They must abandon the village that has been their home for generations and left by Hiccup’s father to guard. Hiccup doesn’t know what to do and there is no time to hold his horses. He remembers though, that his dad was talking about some place hidden from the world, beneath a great waterfall, but he is not sure exactly if it is true.

Grimmel using the Light Fury as bait came to Berk, with a plan of a surprise attack on the village and taking Toothless. Hiccup was expecting the attack as he found poisonous darts in the village. They shut him down and he is forced to leave. Now everybody in the village knows the power of Grimmel and they are forced to make a fast decision on their future. After Hiccup inspired the people of the village and made them believe that Berk is not about place, but about his inhabitants, they got on the way in the search of the hidden world.

Meanwhile, the alpha dragon Toothless after he meets the white female Light Fury falls in love and can’t get his mind of her. This part is quite amusing, as the dragon is doing all kinds of silly things just to impress his beloved. Hiccup is getting jealous and confused by Toothlesses behavior, since he doesn’t realize that even Toothless wants to have a family and a relationship.

The visual and sound effects on this movie are out of this world, you can see and hear that they’ve put so much effort in trying to make it more realistic and they succeeded. Even though it is animation, it feels like real life and it makes you get into that imaginary world.

The movie was released in early January in Australia and in February in United States and has grosses already 501.9 million USD in box offices. Right now, the movie holds a record of 7.8/10 in IMDB and an almost perfect score of 90% in Rotten Tomatoes, something that surely certifies the overall quality of the film.

To sum up,How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is astounding. Somehow, they captured that feeling as you were living beside them all these years through this trilogy. The characters in the franchise look older like its audience in real life, which started watching this trilogy 8 years ago.

You can learn a lot from this movie, it is deeply emotional and funny at the same time, has amazing visuals and a simple story about love and friendship. It is not a movie only for children, but for all ages. If you still haven’t watched it, you should grab some popcorn and do it!

 

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Digital HD Review “How to Train Your Dragon 2”

Directed by: Dean DeBlois
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill
Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harington
Rated: PG
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Run Time: 102 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

We are trying something new here for the release of “How to Train Your Dragon 2”, we are reviewing the title Digital HD format. That means that we redeemed a code for the film and are able to watch it on your computer, compatible TV or Blu-ray player, smartphones, tablets etc. This is the future for films. I have quite the library of Digital HD films.

Official Premise: The thrilling second chapter of the epic HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON trilogy returns to the fantastical world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless. The inseparable duo must protect the peace and save the future of men and dragons from the power-hungry Drago.

The first “How to Train Your Dragon” really built up the story for this film. The TV series continued it on and this sequel really takes it to the next level. It is fast, colorful and really sharp looking. As much as I would have loved to reviewed this film on 3D Blu-ray, this Digital HD option wasn’t too bad, especially since I could watch it pretty much anywhere.

Plus with Digital HD, the film is released a few weeks ahead of the Blu-ray release. For instance, this film was released on Digital HD on October 21st where as the Blu-ray was just released on November 11th. Not my code but you can even purchase Digital HD copies including the special features, which is a real bonus and is a really nice feature to have.

 

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  • Blu-ray Review “Dragon Ball: Season Eight”

    Actors: Sean Schemmel, Christopher R. Sabat, Stephanie Nadolny
    Directors: Mike McFarland
    Number of discs: 4
    Rated: Unrated
    Studio: Funimation
    Release Date: October 28, 2014
    Run Time: 775 minutes

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

    We are getting close to the end folks, FUNimation Entertainment just released the Blu-ray for “Dragon Ball Z: Season Eight Uncut”, which features episodes 220-253 of the classic anime series, presented in remastered high definition. It has been a blast getting to re-watch this series totally uncut and delivered in this wonderful Blu-ray release. I know haters will always hate but I love Dragon Ball Z and this is easily the best that I have ever seen this show. Personally, I do not want December to come any faster since that brings the release of season nine and the completion of this series uncut on Blu-ray. Every way it has been an amazing run!

    Official Synopsis: The forces of good and evil have converged upon the planet Earth, and the fate of the universe hangs in the balance! The evil wizard Babidi has traveled across the galaxy on a quest for revenge, hoping to fulfill his father’s thwarted dreams of universal domination. Meanwhile, the Supreme Kai has come to enlist the aid of the Z-Fighters in an effort to prevent Babidi from completing his plans and awakening a monster of unimaginable terror: Majin Buu.

    These episodes have undergone a frame-by-frame restoration to remove any blemishes, tape marks and foreign bodies from the film. Funimation has been consistently delivering for the fans on this series and this season is no different. There are three audio tracks included, the Japanese audio and two English tracks: the U.S. English-language broadcast dub and a mix with English dialogue and Japanese music. These have also been re-mastered in the interest of noise reduction and superior sound quality. This series has also received a precise shot-by-shot reframing to create “a modern HD widescreen presentation.”

    The special features are not too bad either. There is a “Inside Dragon Ball Z” with an interview with Kyle Hebert aka the voice of adult Gohan and the narrator. There is also a “Inside Dragon Ball Z” with an interview with Kara Edwards, who is known for voicing Videl, Goten, and Gotenks. “Dragon Ball Z: Coming to America” is a feature about how the series has become so popular in the U.S. There is a Textless Opening/Closing Song included. Lastly there is a U.S. Trailer for the Blu-ray and also additional trailers included.

    Blu-ray Review “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods”

    Actors: Sean Schemmel, Christopher R. Sabat, Stephanie Nadolny, Sonny Strait, Jason Douglas
    Directors: Christopher R. Sabat
    Rated: Unrated
    Studio: FUNimation
    Release Date: October 7, 2014
    Run Time: 85 / 105 minutes

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

    The first new “Dragon Ball” feature film in over seventeen years?! Yeah sign me up!! “”Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods” is a hell of a good time. I saw this film in theaters during its limited run and it was a real blast. The audience loved and we all really just loved seeing a new “Dragon Ball” feature. I think that diehard fans are going to love this as well (or loved it since it they are diehard fans they should have seen in theaters like me). I hope that the success of this film, still shows that there is plenty of demand for “Dragon Ball” content in the U.S., so I hope that they have future films planned as well. We are more FUNimation!! Bring it on!

    Official Premise: Following the events of the Dragon Ball Z television series, after the defeat of Majin Buu, a new power awakens and threatens humanity. Beerus, an ancient and powerful God of Destruction, searches for Goku after hearing rumors of the Saiyan warrior who defeated Frieza. Realizing the threat Beerus poses to their home planet, the Z-fighters must find a way to stop him before it’s too late. Only Goku, humanity’s last hope, can ascend to the level of a legendary Super Saiyan God and stop Beerus’s from destroying Earth, and possibly the entire universe!

    “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods” delivered a solid Blu-ray presentation courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment The 1080p transfer in 1.78:1 looks amazing with this films colors and animation style. It keeps the original series look with not too much of an upgrade in terms of style but it just looks very polished and sharp. Same goes for the audio tracks. There are Dolby TrueHD 5.1 tracks for both Japanese and English on the Theatrical Version of the film and and an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 track for the Uncut Version. Either one really rules personally. I originall saw it in English but I love DBZ in Japanese as wel.

    The Blu-ray contains as a mentioned, two cuts of the film the Theatrical cut runs about 85 minutes, while the Uncut version runs about 105 minutes. Obviously, I love DBZ so the longer the better for me. The film already had slight pacing issues at 85 minutes, so it runs a little long but I still can’t get enough personally. In terms of special features, we get a Behind the Scenes look into the film with “Battle of Voice Actors” and also similarly “The Voices of Dragon Ball Z Unveiled”, which touches on the cast. There is also a Textless Closing Song and U.S. Trailer included.

     

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    Blu-ray Review “Dragon Ball Z: Season Six”

    Starring: Sean Schemmel, Stephanie Nadolny, Christopher Sabat, Daisuke Gōri, Mayumi Tanaka, Kenji Utsumi
    Director: Daisuke Nishio, Mike McFarland
    Number of discs: 4
    Rated: Unrated
    Studio: Funimation
    Release Date: September 16, 2014
    Run Time: 685 minutes

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

    As we are flying through the seasons this year, FUNimation Entertainment is continuing the love for Dragon Ball Z Uncut with the sixth season which features episodes 166-194 of the classic anime series. The season around the Cell Games Saga and originally aired from 1992–1993 in Japan and 2000 in the U.S. on Cartoon Network dubbed in English. This is a great season as Cell was always a kick-ass villain. Three more seasons to go after this Funimation is determined to finish the series before the end of 2014.

    Official Premise: Having at last achieved his Perfect Form, the evil Cell’s powers have soared to terrible new heights, overshadowing even the greatest of the Z-Fighters. Eager to demonstrate these newfound abilities and prove his superiority, Cell proposes a tournament. He issues an ultimatum to the people of Earth: produce a worthy opponent or die! The day of reckoning upon them, Goku and the Z-Fighters line up to participate in Cell’s twisted game, the world’s best hope of defeating the monster.

    But they are not the only ones brave enough to accept the challenge. The reigning World Martial Arts Champion, Mr. Satan, has also stepped into the ring! Now, with the fate of the human race hanging in the balance, one of these valiant fighters must come forward to defeat the seemingly invincible Perfect Cell. But who will it be?

    Like the past seasons, this one has be given a frame-by-frame restoration to remove blemishes, tape marks and foreign bodies from the film. The 1080p transfer at a 16:9 aspect ratio looks amazing. The audio tracks including the Japanese audio and two English tracks: the U.S. English-language broadcast dub and a mix with English dialogue and Japanese music have been re-mastered in the interest of noise reduction and superior sound quality, and the colors are bolder and more vibrant.

    The special features are decent including two Inside Dragon Ball Z features. The first is an interview with Eric Vale, voice of Trunks. The second is an interview with Cynthia Cranz, who voiced infant Broly. There is also some Dragon Ball Z trivia and a must for those hardcore fans. Lastly there are Textless Opening/Closing Songs and trailers included.

     

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    Blu-ray Review “Dragon Ball Z: Season Seven”

    Starring: Sean Schemmel, Stephanie Nadolny, Christopher Sabat, Daisuke Gōri, Mayumi Tanaka, Kenji Utsumi
    Director: Daisuke Nishio, Mike McFarland
    Number of discs: 4
    Rated: Unrated
    Studio: Funimation
    Release Date: August 5, 2014
    Run Time: 600 minutes

    Season: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
    Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

    As we are flying through the seasons this year, FUNimation Entertainment is continuing the love for Dragon Ball Z Uncut with the sixth season which features episodes 195-219 of the classic anime series. The season around the Cell Games Saga and originally aired from 1992–1993 in Japan and 2000 in the U.S. on Cartoon Network dubbed in English. This season focuses around Great Saiyaman and World Tournament Sagas. Getting close now only two more seasons to go after this as Funimation is determined to finish the series before the end of 2014.

    Official Premise: Seven years of peace have passed since the defeat of the monstrous Cell, and the Z-Fighters have enjoyed a return to normal life. Goku has eagerly continued his training in Other World, Krillin has gotten married, and Gohan has renewed his scholarly pursuits while attempting to navigate the pitfalls of high school. Two fresh new Saiyan faces have also appeared on the scene – Goku’s son Goten, and Vegeta’s son Trunks.

    Now, the time has come for the Z-Fighters to reunite, as the new World Martial Arts Tournament is set to begin. The greatest warriors on Earth have come together for their chance to capture the title of the reigning champion, Mr. Satan – but behind the scenes, sinister forces are at work. An evil eye watches the competitors’ every move, waiting for the opportune moment to strike. The action grows fierce on the tournament floor, but for the Z-Fighters, the real fight is only just beginning

    Like the past seasons, this one has be given a frame-by-frame restoration to remove blemishes, tape marks and foreign bodies from the film. The 1080p transfer at a 16:9 aspect ratio looks amazing. The audio tracks including the Japanese audio and two English tracks: the U.S. English-language broadcast dub and a mix with English dialogue and Japanese music have been re-mastered in the interest of noise reduction and superior sound quality, and the colors are bolder and more vibrant.

    The special features are decent including two Inside Dragon Ball Z features. The first is an interview with Justin Cook, who voices of Dende, Evil Buu & Super Buu. The second is an interview with Nathanael Harrison, who is the audio mixing engineer for the Funimation dub. There is an extras on the “Dragon Ball Z Card Game” called “Past, Present and Future”. Lastly there are Textless Opening/Closing Songs and trailers included.

    “How to Train Your Dragon 2” Arrives on Digital HD Oct. 21 and Blu-ray & DVD Nov. 11

    Catch the all-new animated adventure, DreamWorks DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS, exclusively with the Blu-ray™ Combo, DVD Double Pack and Digital HD

    LOS ANGELES, CA (August 29, 2014) – Soaring past the $500 million mark at the global box office, DreamWorks Animation’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 is not only one of the best reviewed films of the year, but also 2014’s highest grossing animated film to-date and one of the top ten grossing films of the year in any genre.The thrilling second chapter of the epic HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON trilogy returns to the fantastical world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless. The inseparable duo must protect the peace and save the future of men and dragons from the power-hungry Drago when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases DreamWorks Animation’s critically acclaimed HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 on Digital HD October 21 and on Blu-ray™ and DVD November 11.

    HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, the next chapter to the Academy Award® nominated film released in 2010, is “sensational…an instant animated classic,” proclaims Access Hollywood. A hit with audiences and critics alike, the film received an outstanding audience reaction with a coveted “A” CinemaScore® and certified 92% fresh on RottenTomatoes.com. Variety’s Peter Debruge declares the film is “Braver than ‘Brave,’ more fun than ‘Frozen’…Dragon delivers.” It’s a must-own title for the whole family!

    Fans will get even more excitement, adventure and, of course, more dragons when DreamWorks Animation releases DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS, an all-new animated adventure featuring the original voice cast. A hunt for lost sheep soon turns into a high-flying sprint in the all-new epic adventure as Hiccup and friends battle to become the first Dragon Racing Champion of Berk! DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS will be available exclusively on the Blu-ray™ combo pack, DVD double pack and Digital HD.

    The all-star film talent features Jay Baruchel (This Is The End), two-time Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Gerard Butler (Olympus Has Fallen), Craig Ferguson (“The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”), America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”), Academy Award® nominee Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Neighbors), T.J. Miller (“Silicon Valley”) and Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids).  The film also adds the voice talent of Academy Award® nominee Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) and Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”).

    The Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD feature hours of bonus materials that explore the world of dragons and more. Furthermore, the Blu-ray™ and Digital HD contain four exclusive featurettes, deleted scenes and a 60-minute behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of the film, shot and created by the film’s writer and director Dean DeBlois.

    DreamWorks Animation How To Train Your Dragon 2 Blu-ray™ & Digital HD include:  
    Feature film in high definition 
    Special Features:

    • Fishleg’s Dragon Stats – How much do you know about your favorite dragons? Explore the Dragon 2 Guide and learn more about your favorite fire-breathing friends!
    • Drago’s War Machines – Gobber the Belch narrates this inside look at the fierce creatures and “high-tech” weapons used by Drago to expand his growing dragon army.
    • Berk’s Dragon World – Explore the massive stable created to house the dragons of Berk, along with other changes made on the island to promote harmonious living.
    • Hiccup’s Inventions in Flight – Learn the secrets of how Hiccup and Toothless work together to form the ultimate high-flying team in this fascinating interactive tour.
    • Deleted Scenes — The awesome adventure continues with telling deleted and extended scenes, including action-packed footage you couldn’t see in theaters!
    • Commentary by Simon Otto, Bonnie Arnold, Dean DeBlois, and Pierre-Olivier Vincent
    • Where No One Goes: The Making of How To Train Your Dragon 2 – Writer-Director Dean DeBlois and his team take you behind the scenes of creating the film’s eye-popping visual effects and epic story
    • Dragon Races – Catch the thrilling aerial action and exciting play-by-play commentary as you cheer on your favorite riders in a spectacular dragon race!
    • Image Gallery
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • World of DreamWorks Animation – Move to the music videos from your favorite  DreamWorks Animation feature films
    DreamWorks Animation How To Train Your Dragon 2 DVD includes:
    Feature film in standard definition 
    Special Features:
    • Fishleg’s Dragon Stats – How much do you know about your favorite dragons? Explore the Dragon 2 Guide and learn more about your favorite fire-breathing friends!
    • Image Gallery
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • World of DreamWorks Animation – Music videos from your favorite  DreamWorks Animation feature films

    Nintendo 3DS Video Game Review “How to Train Your Dragon 2: The Video Game”

    Format: Nintendo 3DS
    Developed by Torus Games
    Published by Little Orbit
    Rated: E
    Release Date: June 10, 2014

    Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

    How you think of the successful film and TV series “How to Train Your Dragon”, you can’t really go wrong. The first film is amazing, the second is even better and the TV series is a great companion.  Unlike all those, “How to Train Your Dragon 2: The Video Game” on Nintendo 3DS is quite underwhelming. In the game you basically choose a dragon and it’s rider from the series, then you fly around Berk racing other dragons, exploring for coins and playing mini-games. After the first hour, it gets quite repetitive. I would recommend sticking to the films and TV series and skip this game.

    Official Premise: Take to the skies and return to the epic Viking Isle of Berk Five years later Dragon Racing has become the hot new sport for the Vikings. Hiccup Astrid Snoutlout Tuffnut & Ruffnut and their dragons are competing in fierce flying tournaments to determine the ultimate Dragon Rider. Soar through clouds and discover unmapped territories. Discover a secret ice cavern that is home a mysterious Dragon Rider and find yourself in an epic battle to protect their peaceful homeland.

    I know I really should be shocked about this game, since usually all video game adaption of films never pan out. This was made on a tight budget and probably was just an updated version of the last “How to Train Your Dragon” handheld console game. The control are very weak when it comes to flying, which takes forever to figure out and master, but by the time that happens, I was just left wanting to turn this game off and play anything else. If you are a die-hard fan of this series, you could give the WiiU or XBOX 360 version a try…just don’t expect nothing spectacular their either.

    Blu-ray Review “Dragon Ball Z: Season Five”

    Starring: Sean Schemmel, Stephanie Nadolny, Christopher Sabat, Daisuke Gōri, Mayumi Tanaka, Kenji Utsumi
    Director: Daisuke Nishio
    Number of discs: 4
    Rated: Unrated
    Studio: Funimation
    DVD Release Date: June 24, 2014
    Run Time: 615 minutes

    Season: 4 out of 5 stars
    Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

    I am currently in the process of moving and recently canceled my satellite TV service in preparation of the move. So only having a Blu-ray player, Season Five of “Dragon Ball Z” couldn’t have arrived at a better time. It is funny you can fly through over 600 minutes of something when you have nothing else to do. Season Five includes episodes 140-165 of the classic anime series, uncut and presented in remastered high definition for the first time ever! I can’t wait for Season Six since that will include the Complete Cell Games. Oh baby! Can’t wait!

    Official Premise: As the battle with the Androids rages on, a fierce evil rises from the shadows: the monster known as Cell! Dr. Gero’s heinous creation is the ultimate weapon, a fighting machine built from the genetic material of the greatest warriors ever to walk the Earth!

    These episodes have undergone a frame-by-frame restoration to remove any blemishes, tape marks and foreign bodies from the film. Funimation has been consistently delivering for the fans on this series and this season is just as impressive. There are three audio tracks included, the Japanese audio and two English tracks: the U.S. English-language broadcast dub and a mix with English dialogue and Japanese music. These have also been re-mastered in the interest of noise reduction and superior sound quality.

    Episodes Include: Seized with Fear; The Reunion; Borrowed Powers; His Name is Cell; Piccolo’s Folly; Laboratory Basement; Our Hero Awakens; Time Chamber; The Monster is Coming; He’s Here; Up to Piccolo; Silent Warrior; Say Goodbye, 17; Sacrifice; Saiyans Emerge; Super Vegeta; Bow To The Prince; Hour of Temptation; Krillin’s Decision; Last Defense; Cell is Complete; Vegeta Must Pay; Trunks Ascends; Saving Throw; Ghosts From Tomorrow and The Cell Games.

    There are some decent special features as well included for this release. There is a great behind-the-scenes look with “Dragon Ball Z Retrospective Part Five”. There are two featurettes under “Inside Dragon Ball Z”. The first is an “Interview with Sonny Strait”, the voice of Krillin. The second is an “Interview with Stephanie Nadolny”, the voice of Goku’s son, Gohan. Lastly there is a Textless Opening & Closing Song and a U.S. Trailer included.

    Film Review “How to Train Your Dragon 2”

    Starring the Voices Of: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler and Cate Blanchett
    Directed By: Dean DeBlois
    Rated: PG
    Running Time: 102 Minutes
    20th Century Fox

    Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

    In a year void of anything new from the geniuses at Pixar, you’d think there would be an animated vacuum where the gap would be filled with shameless sequels and lazily written cash grabs (to be fair, there is the sequel to “Planes” coming out this summer). So it’s understandable if the average movie patron is worried that “How to Train Your Dragon 2” could wind up in that category. But I’m happy to say it defied my low expectations and soared to insanely creative heights with another superb story.

    It’s been years since the hairy, broad shouldered Vikings of Berk have made peace with the dragons they once feared. They’ve successfully integrated everything in their society with their newly acquired winged friends. Hiccup (Baruchel) continues to break the Viking stereotype by using his brain more than his brawn. He also seems more in sync with his dragon, Toothless. Despite these recent successes, Hiccup is a bit apprehensive because his father, Stoick (Butler), appears to be grooming him as his successor so that he can be the next chieftain of Berk. Hiccup doesn’t believe he’s ready and he’s more focused on scoping out new dragons and new lands.

    This constant thirst for more knowledge about the surrounding territory brings in a new threat. He comes across a dragon trapper, who tells him of Drago (Djimon Hounsou), a man who is amassing a dragon army. Drago views dragons as a scourge that he must eradicate by enslaving them. His quest for dominion over dragons sadly comes at the cost of human casualties along the way. Things are further complicated by a mysterious figure that seems to have a bigger attachment to dragons than Hiccup and appears to be at odds with Drago, but it’s uncertain if they’re a friend or foe.

    I was worried that a lack of Chris Sanders, director and writer from the first movie, might actually defang what momentum a sequel would have, but Dean DeBlois gets to fly this one solo and doesn’t hit any turbulent air. He keeps the merriness of our dragons intact. While the story goes on, dragons are constantly acting like playful dogs or cats in the background, giving them a more relatable quality when they are consistently acting like our affectionate household pets. The voice acting is once again spot on and having Cate Blanchett on board adds another flavorful spice of adventure.

    This movie continues the relationship building between Hiccup and Toothless, but creates a more substantial scenario for Hiccup to grow and better understand the relationships he experiences. There’s also some hefty emotional weight attached here, made heavier by some surprisingly mature content that shows DeBlois is not afraid of taking some risks to further enchant the audience. With so much plot to trudge through, other directors would have simply gotten lost or stuck to the ‘boy and his dragon’ cliché, but DeBlois gives the dragons just as much psychological depth than the humans.

    Visually, Dreamworks is going toe to toe with some of the best in the industry once again and holding nothing back. Viewers are definitely going to be swept away in every battle sequence and get lost in the flying sequences that are nothing short of incredible. While the first “How to Train Your Dragon” feels like a fantastic stand-alone movie, the sequel showcases the ability to create a living, breathing franchise that may actually have the wings and power to push forth. I say that because a third is in the works and after seeing how daring and original they are, it’s a safe bet to get your expectations out of the gutter and put them near the top for “How to Train Your Dragon 3” in 2016.

    Little Orbit’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2” Video Game Soars Into Stores Today

    Dragon Riders Take Flight on the Xbox 360®, Nintendo Wii™, Wii U™, 3DS™ and PlayStation® 3

    SANTA ANA, Calif., June 10, 2014 — Little Orbit, a worldwide video game publisher, unveils the   ultimate dragon racing experience with the release of How to Train Your Dragon 2 video games based on Friday’s highly anticipated 3-D animated film from DreamWorks Animation.   Developed by Torus Games, the game is now available on the Xbox 360®, Nintendo Wii™, Wii U™ and PlayStation® 3.

    Dragon trainers will put their skills to the test in this high-flying adventure featuring Hiccup and Toothless and other fan favorite dragon and rider teams, high-energy tournaments and all the fire-breathing fun as they explore the dynamic Island of Berk.  Along the way, players will face multiple challenges in this heroic quest as they play their way through an epic world of Dragons and Vikings.

    The How to Train Your Dragon 2  video game is one of the biggest and most exciting launches Little Orbit has ever had, and we are so excited for fans of this beloved franchise to take flight and experience the game,” said Matt Scott, President of Little Orbit.

    Eager fans should keep their eye out for Dragon-wrapped Redbox kiosk as How to Train Your Dragon 2 video games “take over” Redbox locations across the country beginning this week!  Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Wii U and PlayStation 3 rentals will be available throughout the summer at most Redbox locations.

    DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 is in theaters nationwide in just a few short days on June 13, 2014!

    To get the latest news on the How To Train Your Dragon 2 video games and more, follow Little Orbit on Twitter (@littleorbit) or visit the official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LittleOrbitGames

    The game is rated E-10 for Everyone 10+ by the ESRB.

    Win a DVD of “Curse of the Dragon Slayer” [ENDED]


    Media Mikes has teamed up with Phase 4 Films to offer (5) of our readers the opportunity to win a DVD copy of the new sword and sorcery film “Curse of the Dragon Slayer.” A film in the tradition of the popular HBO series “Game of Thrones,” “Curse of the Dragon Slayer” is directed by David Lyde and stars “Body of Proof” star Danielle Chuchran along with Richard McWilliams, Paul D. Hunt and James C. Morris.

    All you have to do is let us know below you’re favorite Medieval-themed film. Is it a classic like “Excalibur” or “Braveheart?” Or maybe something funnier, like “Monty Python and the Holy Grail?” (also a classic). Five random entries will be chosen and those five will win a DVD copy of this new film.

    This giveaway ends on Friday, June 6th.

    Synopsis: Keltus, a knight of the ruling Order, is on the trail of the Shadow Cabal — a group of Orc cultists. When his leads run cold, he must team up with an elf bounty hunter, Nemyt, and an infamous orc raider, Kullimon, to infiltrate the Shadow and try to thwart their evil purpose — to unleash the God of the Undead.

    Blu-ray Review “Dragon Ball Z: Season Four”

    Starring: Sean Schemmel, Stephanie Nadolny, Christopher Sabat, Daisuke Gōri, Mayumi Tanaka, Kenji Utsumi
    Director: Daisuke Nishio, Mike McFarland
    Number of discs: 4
    Rated: Unrated
    Studio: Funimation
    Release Date: May 13, 2014
    Run Time: 755 minutes

    Season: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
    Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

    FUNimation Entertainment is power housing through this series starting with the first at the beginning of the year and averaging about a season a month. Season Five is already set for release on June 24th as well. “Dragon Ball Z: Season Four” was personally never my all-time favorite. It follows the Garlic Jr., Trunks and Androids Sagas. This uncut collection features episodes 108-139 of the classic anime series, which are presented in remastered high definition for the first time ever.  These episodes have never looked better. If you are a fan of “Dragon Ball Z”, this is yet another impressive release! Keep them coming Funimation!

    Official Synopsis: Having returned victorious from their battle with Frieza, the Z-fighters can at last breathe a collective sigh of relief. But they won’t have long to rest. A new host of villains has appeared, ready to wreak havoc on the Earth – and Goku, the Z-Fighters’ greatest hero, is still missing!

    These episodes have undergone a frame-by-frame restoration to remove any blemishes, tape marks and foreign bodies from the film. Funimation has been consistently delivering for the fans on this series and this season is no different. There are three audio tracks included, the Japanese audio and two English tracks: the U.S. English-language broadcast dub and a mix with English dialogue and Japanese music. These have also been re-mastered in the interest of noise reduction and superior sound quality. This series has also received a precise shot-by-shot reframing to create “a modern HD widescreen presentation.” So quality is the key word here for sure.

    Like the seasons two and three, Funimation has stepped up from the first season and delivered some decent special features with this season. There is a two part interview series with “Inside Dragon Ball Z” featuring chats with Matthew O’Hara and Daniel Mancilla. There is also a feeaturette called “From the Vault” with a look into Goku vs. Vegeta and “The World of Dragon Ball Z”. Lastly there is also Textless opening and closing songs and trailers included.  I am holding that that we will be getting some commentary tracks on this series before we get to season 9, fingers crossed!

    Book Review “The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2”

    Author: Linda Sunshine
    Hardcover: 160 pages
    Publisher: Newmarket Press
    Release Date: May 6, 2014

    Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

    “The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2” follows in the path of “The Art of How to Train Your Dragon” and gives us tons of great concept sketches, preliminary drawings, architectural plans and digital showcases artwork that just shows how much work goes into a film like this. This book features more than 650 paintings, drawings, sketches, models, film stills, lighting studies, color keys, story boards, and photographs. Along the way, this book is also packed with commentary from all the principal filmmakers. There is also a great introduction by the writer/director Dean DeBlois and a foreword by Gerard Butler, the voice of Stoick. If you are a fan of the original film, then this is a must own for sure and will hold you off till the sequel comes out on June 13th!

    Official Premise: The official illustrated tie-in to the second chapter of DreamWorks Animation’s critically acclaimed, Academy Award® nominated How to Train Your Dragon trilogy is based on the characters in Cressida Cowell’s bestselling series. How does a movie of such imagination and magnitude come into creation? This celebratory edition leads Berkian aficionados through the journey: the story all begins with an incredibly talented team of artists, writers, engineers, animators, modelers, and tech wizards letting their creativity soar. Movie-goers will attest that the result is a stunning, original vision—bigger, better, and fiercer than ever—of an earth-shattering, fire-breathing sequel to the legendary story of Vikings and dragons in the frozen north.

    Author Linda Sunshine had authored many making-of books for films ranging from “Schindler’s List”, “Monsters vs. Aliens”, “Catch Me If You Can”, “E.T.” and “Saving Private Ryan”. She really succeeded in deliver a book that makes you want to run out and see this film immediately. Newmarket Press brings us yet another fine release. The images are so crisp and the colors are literally jumping off the pages. I honestly don’t know what it is about “How to Train Your Dragon” but it has this certain magic to it. I can’t explain it but when you watch the film and admire the animation, you are just left speechless. Well, this book really gets inside the sequel and packs that same type of magic. June 13th cannot come any sooner!