DVD Review “Halt And Catch Fire: The Complete Second Season”

Actors: Scoot McNairy, Kerry Bishé, Toby Huss, Lee Pace, Mackenzie Davis
Rated: Not Rated
Studio: ANCHOR BAY
DVD Release Date: August 9, 2016
Run Time: 434 minutes

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

“Halt and Catch Fire” is really a hidden gem that not a lot of people know about. It is also features two of my favorite actors that also are hidden gems Scoot McNairy and Lee Pace. These actors are truly amazing! They have been in a lot of high profile projects but aren’t given the true credit that they deserve. They both turn any project them are in into gold. This show is one of them. Maybe it’s because, I work in the IT film but this show is a blast to watch. I love how this show has evolved since the first season as well. It is a really deep show and not for those looking for something light and distracting. I found myself really involved with this show and it’s characters. I really hope that season 3 is around the corner!

Official Premise: Halt and Catch Fire is about the costs of daring to dream big at the dawn of the Information Age. Season Two, which takes place in early 1985, centers on the rise of Mutiny, Cameron and Donna’s start-up company, which is built upon the most disruptive idea of the modern era the Internet. In short order, Joe, Gordon, and Bosworth, too, are caught up in the online wave remaking the tech landscape all around them, even as they attempt to heal old wounds and deal with the fallout of Season One. Halt and Catch Fire Season Two explores themes that tap directly into the modern zeitgeist such as the thin line separating genius from self-delusion, the fragility of human connection, and everyone s desire, especially in today’s tech-obsessed world, to leave a meaningful mark and do something that truly matters.

Even though Anchor Bay did not give this season a Blu-ray release like season 1 it still delivers some special features worth checking out. There are Inside Episodes for each of the 10 episodes included this season. There are two featurettes focusing the show’s background “History of Now” and “Joe’s Strategic Benchmarks”. There is also a “Tour of An 80s Startup”, this is a fun one! Lastly there is a “Set Tour With Lee Pace And Scoot McNairy”. Did I already mention that these two guys can do no wrong?! Check out “Halt And Catch Fire”!

Blu-ray Review “Planes: Fire & Rescue”

Starring: Dane Cook, Julie Bowen, Ed Harris, Curtis Armstrong, John Michael Higgins, Hal Holbrook
Director: Roberts Gannaway
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Run Time: 83 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When I saw “Disney’s Planes”, I enjoyed the film but it was hardy very memorable and not a favorite for sure. I really wasn’t running into the very quickly released sequel with any high expectations at all. I was surprised though that the sequel is quite better than the first film. It is action packed and very funny. If you enjoy the world of “Cars”, I mean what little boy doesn’t this should certainly keep them entertained and glued to the screen and parents can get a few laughs and enjoy as well. This film is another one that Disney has neglected to release on 3D Blu-ray after it’s 3D successful theatrical release. This would really look much cooler at home with that added dimension.

Official Premise: Bring home the thrill of a lifetime with Disney’s “Planes: Fire & Rescue”. This heart-pumping comedy-adventure features a dynamic crew of elite aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfires. When world-famous air racer Dusty learns that he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with a team of veteran firefighters; together, they battle a massive fire, and Dusty learns what it takes to be a true hero.

This sequel includes a solid voice cast including Dane Cook (“Planes”) as Dusty, Julie Bowen (“Modern Family”) as Dipper, Ed Harris (“Gravity”) as Blade Ranger, Captain Dale Dye (“Saving Private Ryan”) as Cabbie, Cedric the Entertainer (“Ice Age”) as Leadbottom, Erik Estrada (“CHiPs”) as Nick “Loopin” Lopez, Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) as Chug, Teri Hatcher (“Desperate Housewives”) as Dottie, John Michael Higgins (“Pitch Perfect”) as Cad, Hal Holbrook (“Into the Wild”) as Mayday, Stacy Keach (“Planes”) as Skipper, Regina King (“Ray”) as Dynamite, Anne Meara (“Night at the Museum) as Winnie, Jerry Stiller (“The King of Queens”) as Harvey and Wes Studi (“Avatar”) as Windlifter…whew…deep breath!

Disney is releasing this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD including Disney Movies Anywhere. I have been enjoying the Disney Movies Anywhere site but they need to get their asses in gear and get on board with Android systems. The 1080p transfer is very impressive. The colors are amazing and the animation is very crisp and sharp. Like I said, this would have been a lot better in 3D but we got to work with what we got. The The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 also sores high and really works great with the film and the films solid animated action throughout.

The special features are also a score for this release. There is a new exclusive animated short “Vitaminamulch: Air Spectacular”. as well as other shorts “Dipper” and “Smokejumpers”. There is a fun mockumentary called “Welcome to Piston Peak!” looking at the Piston Peak National Park and its aerial firefighting team. There is a funny “CHoPs” TV Promo. “Air Attack: Firefighters From The Sky” is a fun and entertaining behind-the-scene look at the real life inspiration for the film with Director Roberts Gannaway and Producer Ferrell Barron talking about the making of. There is a music video for Spencer Lee’s “Still I Fly”. Lastly, there are two deleted scenes included with filmmaker introductions.

Dave Lombardo talks about new album with Philm called “Fire From the Evening Sun”

Former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo is back with a brand new release from his band Philm. Titled “Fire from the Evening Sun” the album is a blending of music styles ranging from full on thrash to progressive rock and everything in between. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Dave recently about the bands sophomore release and their plans to take their unique sound on the road.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on how this album came together?
Dave Lombardo: We are a very productive group. We tend to do a lot of improvisations when we are together and we record those. From there we do what I call “trim the fat”. We take out all the pieces that don’t really work and only focus on the high points. From there we create the traditional elements of the song such as the verses and choruses. When we are done we like to the songs sit for a bit before Jerry goes in and works on the vocals. The material on the new album is songs that we have been working on since we recorded our first album “Harmonic”. A lot of these songs were written during the mix down of the first. How we go about our song writing is pretty interesting. There is not just one person who brings in material and they dictate how the song is to go. We are very collective.

AL: Can you tell us about the different style you guys took on “Fire from the Evening Sun” as compared to “Harmonic”?
DL: There are some production differences between the two. I also feel this album has a more straight forward and in your face approach related to the sound. With “Harmonic” that was a more laid back and experimental album. On the first record I let guys come in and play whatever that wanted. With the new record I feel like I had a little more say in making sure the songs were concise and aggressive. There are a lot of different approaches you can take when making an album. The next album we might decide to throw everyone a curve ball and do something completely different from the previous two albums.

AL: Do you prefer creating music out of improvisation as compared to more traditional approaches?
DL: It’s more fulfilling. When you do things this way it’s more organic and less thought. When you improvise you are creating on the fly. You have to come up with something really quick as there is really no time to think. You play what you feel. That’s how all of this music was created. These songs came from three people improvising with one another. I think doing things this way gives the songs a certain level of excitement.

AL: Being involved as an artist and a producer on both of the bands release do you ever find it hard balancing the two roles?
DL: It’s not difficult but I will take that producer hat off within the process but at the same time I have to be able to make decisions on issues as they come up. Having worked with so many amazing producers and song writers I am able to do what I do by consciously and subconsciously using their approach. The guys in the band know how I work and I will tell them before we start what I am feeling. Most of the time we are all on the same page and do what is best for the material.

AL: You brought in outside help to mix the album this time. Can you tell us about that decision?
DL: When you are a producer you have to step out and let others take control for a second to ensure things are not one sided. I brought in Robert Carranza to mix this album because I felt that the mix wasn’t where it should be. Robert did a great job and shortly after Tyler Bates offered to master it. It was actually Tyler’s idea to bring in Robert to do the mixing. I appreciated his input and was thankful for the advice.

AL: Tell us a little bit about the two singles the band has released thus far?
DL: We have released “Fire from the Evening Son” and “Train”. “Fire from the Evening Son” is a song we chose because it has a very thrash metal feel. I believe that’s what fans want from me. They want something aggressive in my drumming and my band. I think that’s what this song is about. The song has a great drive and shows our versatility. Both songs I think have that signature sound I am known for.

AL: When you take this material out on the road will there be elements of improvisation or will you be sticking to what is heard on the album?
DL: We are going to be doing what is heard on the album. We can certainly get up on stage and show people how improvisation is done but I don’t think they are ready for that yet. All the songs we are playing live are complete songs from the albums. We have 6 songs done for the next album. They don’t have words just yet so sometimes we will go out and do some of the new material for an encore. We play around on those and try some different things.

AL: Can you tell us what the tour plans are for you guys?
DL: I would like to start performing here in the States as soon we can. I would love to tour the world with this we just have to find a booking agent who is this with us whole heartedly. We have done four shows in Europe as well as some shows in Colombia and Ecuador. We also have some things planned for November as well.

 

Related Content

Book Review “Planes: Fire & Rescue – Dusty’s Big Job”

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: Planes
Board book: 24 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: June 3, 2014

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Today I have completed three reviews on various new releases all focusing around “Cars” and “Planes”. I know that I love this franchise because I could easily do ten more! “Planes: Fire & Rescue – Dusty’s Big Job” is a dive into the new film in the series, which comes out this July in theaters. This hardcover book is only 24 pages but it is still a great read for kids, who love the series.

The pages have that hard stock, so it is great for little flyers as well without worries of ripping the pages. This book follows the thrilling adventures of Dusty Crophopper and all his pals. Also includes with this release is the “Planes” Storybook Deluxe app for iPhone and iPad! I love how Disney includes these bonus app because they are really nice addition and make the book only more worth wild to pick up.

Book Review “Planes: Fire & Rescue (Read-Along Storybook & CD​)”

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Grade Level: 1 – 3
Series: Read-Along Storybook and CD
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: June 3, 2014

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I remember Read-Along Storybook releases but they were not on CD. I had a few when I was a very little kid on Vinyl and then after that cassette tape. I remember having “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” and “The Little Mermaid”. Now with a daughter of my own, who is starting to start reading, I am able help her read and at the same time have fun. “Planes: Fire & Rescue (Read-Along Storybook & CD​)” follows the thrilling adventures of Dusty Crophopper and all his pals. It is action packed with with music, sound effects, and character voices. Now only did my daughter love this but it was a real treat for daddy as well.

My daughter has watched the first “Planes” many times already now and she has a Dusty plane toy as well, so she is quite familiar with the characters. This was not only my first experience with Read-Along Storybook & CD since I was a kid but also my daughters. She really enjoyed listening to the book and being able to follow along. The character voices also help out a lot because she kept calling out “Dusty” when listening and following along. This was such a great experience and I am sure we will be revisiting this quite often over the next few month before we see the new film “Planes: Fire & Rescue” in theaters this Summer!

Firewind’s Gus G. talks about new solo album “I Am The Fire”

Gus G. is probably best known as the guitarist for heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne and for his own band Firewind. Gus can no add solo artist to his impressive list as in early March he will release his debut solo album titled ”I Am The Fire” via Century Media Records. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Gus recently about the new album and its creation.

Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about your new album “I Am the Fire”?
Gus G.: This is my first solo album and it features a lot of different collaborations with a variety of musicians. There are guest bass players, singers and drummers. It’s a bit of a different approach this time around especially if you compare it to what I have done with Firewind.  This solo album I wouldn’t even classify as heavy metal. I think it’s definitely more of a hard rock album. There a mixture of styles and it showcases a different side and background of my playing. You will hear a lot of acoustic and instrumental type sounds on this record.

AL: What made now the best time to release a solo album?
GG: We were on a break from Ozzy because he was out working with Black Sabbath and after our singer left Firewind in 2012 I had some ideas that I wanted explore however they didn’t really fit Firewind. After completing some prior commitments we decided to take a break while we searched for a new singer. This time off from both projects gave me the time to start working on these ideas while I was at home.

AL: Can you tell us about some of the guest appearances on the album?
GG: The main singer on the album is Mats Leven from the band Candlemass. He and I wrote 5 songs together and he sings on 4 of those. I did a song with the band Devour the Day which is actually the first single off the record titled. I also worked with Michael Starr from Steel

Panther and David Ellefson from Megadeth. There were a lot of people involved in the creation of this album. Jay Ruston who produced the album was very instrumental in bringing a lot of these guys in to the project. I took things track by track and Jay guided me through things.

AL: How did you go about putting the songs together for the record and did you make any adjustments to your guitar tone or playing?
GG: I mainly write the music. I will start from there and then go back and work on lyrics. I wanted to have people co-write with so I may have had a song title or something like that but for the most part I would send the tracks out and just tell whoever to surprise me. That’s really how we did things on this album. For the tone side of things I pretty much used all the same gear I normally use. I did experiment a little but you can still hear my sound and style on the record. I tried some new tones on this one and also id some acoustic guitar playing as well.

AL: Can you tell us why you chose “My Will Be Done” to be the first single release?
GG: I thought that track was going to be pretty suitable for radio. It has a sound that I think would fit well in to that format. I had hooked up with Devour the Day through my label and when I first heard their material it blew me away. When we started writing the song I knew it was going to one that was very strong and could be a single.

AL: Have you started to plan out any touring to help support the release?
GG: Yes. I will be starting out with some shows in Greece and then in May I will be tour with Marty Friedman called “Guitar Universe”. There have been talks about hitting some of the festivals this summer and I would love to tour the States as well.

AL: Has there been anything mentioned as to when you and Ozzy will start working together again?
GG: There has been nothing official yet. He is pretty busy with Black Sabbath and there is nothing I can really confirm. I don’t know a lot about that stuff. (Laughs) I know when he is ready we will all be there with him.

DVD Review “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Directors: Francis Lawrence
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Lionsgate
DVD Release Date: March 7, 2014
Run Time: 146 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

When I saw “The Hunger Games”, I plain out hated it. No, I have never read the books and have no interest in doing so either. I thought the movie was completely bland and watered down of what it could have been. It was also during a time when I was not a huge fan of Jennifer Lawrence. Well, thanks to “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle” that has changed and I have actually become a huge fan of Lawrence now. Unfortunately it only pains me more to say that this sequel could actually be worse the first film. Firstly, it is WAY too late at nearly two and half hours. Nothing happens for the first hour and then is so anti-climatic throughout the rest of the film that the cliffhanger ending just makes you slap your head in disgust.

Official Premise: Based on the best-selling second novel of Suzanne Collins’ award-winning trilogy, with a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy and Michael DeBruyn and directed by Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins as, against all odds, Katniss and her fellow tribute Peeta have returned home after surviving The Hunger Games. Winning means they must turn around, leaving their loved ones behind and embark on a “Victory Tour” through the districts. Along the way, Katniss senses a rebellion simmering – one that she and Peeta may have sparked. At the end of the Victory Tour, President Snow announces a deadly 75th Hunger Games that could change Panem forever.

Since this film was in such high demand (no idea why), we only were able to snag this on DVD. The DVD also comes with an HD Digital Ultraviolet copy. In terms of special features, the DVD once again gets the short end of the stick. There is an audio commentary track from director Francis Lawrence (not relation to Jennifer) and producer Nina Jacobson. No cast involved at all which is a shame since it could have added some life to this track. The only other real special feature are a few deleted scenes. Then there is a sneak peak of “Divergent”, which looks even worse than this film if that is possible. The Blu-ray release comes with a nine-part feature-length documentary called “Surviving the Game: Making Catching Fire”, so fans of the film should be sure not to miss that. I am sure I will still see “Mockingjay: Part 1 & 2” but I really hope they are a vast improvement on these first two.

Film Review “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth
Directed By: Francis Lawrence
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 146 minutes
Lionsgate

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I’m guilty of not being wowed by the first Hunger Games movie. I agreed with those who called it a repackaged “Battle Royale” for American teens. Regardless of my criticism I saw some potential. The potential wasn’t wasted, but was instead misguided and stumbled around until the characters entered the arena. Gary Ross, the man who brought “Dave” and “Lassie” to audiences during the 90’s, was not the right choice to direct the first chapter of the adolescent, bloodbath trilogy. Luckily for people like me and fans of books, the studio has found the right man for the job.

Some time has passed since the 74th annual Hunger Games and things have yet to improve in the life of our heroine, Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence). She’s continuing her tricky love triangle with fellow victor Peeta Mellark (Hutcherson) and hometown lover Gale (Hemsworth). She also suffers from memories of last years games while her mentor, Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), continues to sulk behind a bottle of booze. President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is still trying to weather the storm and keep Katniss in line by threatening her family and friends.

His plan is to have the two “lovers” embark on a victory tour to each district in the hopes of extinguishing any hopes of rebellion. The Capitol hands Katniss and Peeta some scripted speeches and touts them as the happy couple. With the threat of harm to their families, Katniss and Peeta know they have to play along, but once they start speaking from the heart, the somber crowds begin to show glimmers of hope and disobedience to the Capitol. So what is a President a to do? To declare that the 75th annual Hunger Games will draw from previous winners each in district. God bless those loopholes.

Sure we’re about to start treading the same ground and you can’t help but feel you’re watching a rehashing of the first movie, but “Catching Fire” has taken huge strides in every category. Director Francis Lawrence has delivered us a far more superior sequel that will leave you wanting more. His pacing and direction make every minute of this movie tense and each scene has sense of purpose towards the final moments. Even though were once again thrown into the gauntlet, poisonous fog and skilled killers pump up the action this time around.

The director is obviously the biggest change for this movie, but let’s just go ahead and admit that the foundation and glue of this movie is Jennifer Lawrence. Without her, Katniss wouldn’t appear to be so strong, but feel so fragile. The supporting actors like Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone and Lenny Kravitz are a fine addition, but they wouldn’t have as much purpose without the commanding presence of Lawrence. Her acting doesn’t smother any scene, but instead leads the way for others.

This time around we’re not presented with a couple of terribly presented moral questions, but instead the movie holds up a mirror to society. The very people who create the political ripples and waves are instead masqueraded as media darlings in the hopes of discarding their true meaning. The men behind the curtains hope to keep the ignorant, ignorant by presenting and talking to our heroes like they’re TMZ celebrities. And of course we have the typical bloodlust of the general populous. This dystopian world doesn’t seem so far, far away. “Catching Fire” is a thrilling movie that increases the stakes and expectations for “Mockingjay”. Let’s hope Francis Lawrence can keep distancing himself from the child’s play of the first movie and really deliver the exciting conclusion, “Catching Fire”, has set-up.

 

Related Content

Complimentary Passes to Orlando, FL Screening for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.

If you would like to enter for passes to the following advance screening:

Log on to www.GOFOBO.com/RSVP

Enter RSVP Code: MEDIAMA22S

Passes are VERY limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Screening Information:
Date: Monday, November 18th
Time: 9:30 PM (View the Live Stream from the LA Red Carpet Premiere); 10:30pm (Film Starts)
Place: Regal Waterford Lakes

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE is directed by Francis Lawrence, from a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy and Michael DeBruyn, based upon the novel “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins and produced by Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik. The novel is the second in a trilogy that has over 50 million copies in print in the U.S. alone. THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE opens on November 22, 2013. Lionsgate presents a Color Force/Lionsgate production.

Related Content

Book Review "Bizzy Bear: Fire Rescue! & Pirate Adventure"

Author: Nosy Crow
Illustrator: Benji Davie
Board book: 8 pages
Publisher: Nosy Crow
Release Date: February 12, 2013

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to Nosy Crow, I do not even think twice before picking it up.  I have grown to love these books.  I am new to the “Bizzy Bear” series but I think I have found a new favorite.  This book is also extremely interactive for kids.  My eight month old daughter had a blast not only listening to me reading it but also playing with it.  The book is jam-packed with interactive aspects like pulling and sliding.  It really takes the act of reading a book to a whole new level.  I highly recommend this.

Fire Rescue!: With chunky sliders to push and pull, this robust little board book is perfect for activetoddlers. Rich in visual detail and with touches of humor, it is sure to become a classic in the family library. Bizzy Bear is lending a hand at the fire station when he receives an emergency call summoning the team’s help. Join the fire fighters as they race to the rescue in this action-packed story for the very young!

Pirate Adventure: With chunky sliders to push and pull, this robust little board book is perfect for active toddlers. Rich in visual detail and with touches of humor, it is sure to become a classic in the family library. Today, Bizzy Bear is packing his ship, hoisting the Jolly Roger and setting sail on an exciting pirate adventure! Little readers will love helping Bizzy steer his ship, dig for treasure, and open the treasure chest.

Benji Davies has a wonderful vision and has provided some really fantastic illustrations. They are very colorful and easy-catching. He has worked on other volumes from the “Bizzy Bear” series. The only thing I wish is that it was longer than eight pages. Still though in those eight pages, it is very entertaining enough for maybe repeat readings. I also look forward to further installments in this series and also future books from Nosy Crow. Count me in!

Complimentary Passes to the Orlando, FL Screening for NBC’s “Chicago Fire” [ENDED]

To celebrate the premiere of NBC’s new fall show “Chicago Fire,” MEDIAMIKES.COM is giving you the exclusive opportunity to win a pass for two to attend an advance screening of the PILOT EPISODE at a local theatre. See it with a friend before anyone else!

The show stars Jesse Spencer, “House” and Taylor Kinney, “The Vampire Diaries” and it is from renowned, Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf (“Law & Order” brand) and creators Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, the writing team behind “3:10 to Yuma”.

 For your chance to receive event passes, log on to www.GOFOBO.com/RSVP

Enter RSVP code: MEDIAMXPQT Thursday, October 4, 7:30pm AMC Altamonte Mall Passes are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

http://www.nbc.com/chicago-fire/

From renowned, Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf (“Law & Order” brand) and creators Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, the writing team behind “3:10 to Yuma,” comes the high-octane drama “Chicago Fire,” – an edge-of-your-seat view into the lives of everyday heroes committed to one of America’s noblest professions. For the firefighters, rescue squad and paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51, no occupation is more stressful or dangerous, yet so rewarding and exhilarating. These courageous men and women are among the elite who forge headfirst into danger when everyone else is running the other way and whose actions make the difference between life and death. The pressure to perform on such a high level has a way of taking a personal toll, sometimes putting team members from the Truck and the specially trained Rescue Squad at odds with each other. Despite any differences, this is an extended family, and when it’s “go time,” everyone inside Firehouse 51 knows no other way than to lay it all on the line for each other. When a tragedy claims one of their own, there’s plenty of guilt and blame to go around. Lt. Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer, “House”), in charge of the Truck, tries to carry on, but butts heads with the brash Lt. Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney, “The Vampire Diaries”) of the Rescue Squad – and each blames the other for their fallen team member. Adding to the turmoil, Casey, unbeknownst to his colleagues, is in the midst of a separation from Hallie (Teri Reeves, “Three Rivers”). The firehouse also includes Battalion Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker, “Oz”), a fireman’s fireman who is confronted by important personal decisions, paramedics Gabriela Dawson (Monica Raymund, “The Good Wife”) and Leslie Shay (Lauren German, “Hawaii Five-O”), who share a close bond and team together to face some of the most harrowing situations imaginable, Peter Mills (Charlie Barnett, “Law & Order: SVU”), an academy graduate who is the latest generation in a family of firefighters, and Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg, “Sex and the City”), a seasoned veteran who loses his home to foreclosure and now must uproot his family to move in with his in-laws.

Chad Kichula talks about latest album “A Fire”

Singer/Songwriter Chad Kichula’s latest album “A Fire” was released in May of this year and Media Mikes had a chance recently to ask Chad a few questions about the new album and about his writing process.

Adam Lawton: What sparked your interest in music?
Chad Kichula: As far as I can remember I’ve always been interested in music. As a kid, I’d play old records that I’d find around the house, and I’d always have a radio on in my room. As I got older, I tried to figure out how to write and play my own music.

AL: Can you tell us about your new album?
CK: The new album is a mix of rockabilly and rock influences. It is mostly about my working life and what drives me. The album is a very blue-collar record.

AL: What is your writing process like?
CK: My process starts with an inspiration, which can come from any where these days. Sometimes good things happen, and the music meshes with the lyrical side. If it doesn’t, some parts get used later for future songs or it all gets thrown out. It’s kind of like spare parts from a car. After releasing 5 albums, I find that the more songs that I write, the harder it is to come up with something new.

AL: Do you have any music video in the works?
CK: We created some videos in the spring and then I started working on a new project. I do want to get some more live videos from shows this summer up on YouTube.

AL: Do you have any other thing in the works you can tell us about?
CK: We’re recording a new EP that should be ready for a late fall release. It’s pretty exciting. The single from this new EP is sounding really good.

Blu-ray Review “Chariots of Fire”

Directed by: Hugh Hudson
Starring: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers, Ian Holm
MPAA Rating: PG
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Running Time: 124 minutes

Blu-ray Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Film Score: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to sports movies, I am usually not the first one in line. Though for some strange reason, I have a soft spot for the Olympics. And “Chariots of Fire” is such a well-known film in that category. It is also the winner of four Academy Awards including Best Picture, which is quite impressive also. The story follows two British track athletes, one a determined Jew, and the other a devout Christian who compete in the 1924 Olympics. I have to admit prior to this release, I have never seen this but now quite glad I did. It really packs some really emotional and intense moments and topped off with great performances. Warner Bros wins again with this Digibook release of the film contains 36 pages of behind-the-scenes photos, production art, history and more. This is worth the purchase alone of this release.

This Blu-ray release looks very nice on Blu-ray. Warner Bros did a real nice job with the 1080p transfer and packs an very sharp DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track, which really captures the magnitude of the Olympics. This release also comes packaged with a soundtrack sampler featuring 4 songs from the Oscar-winning compilation. If all that isn’t enough there are two all new documentaries: “Paris, 1924: Birth of the Modern Games- David Puttnam” and “A Cinematic Champion”. Definitely worth checking out. There is a new interview with director Hugh Hudson as well as a commentary track from him. Additional documentaries included are “Wings on their Heels: The Making of Chariots of Fire” and “Chariots of Fire: A Reunion”. Lastly there are some deleted scenes and screen tests included as well.

Buy It 7/10 on Blu-ray™ Book http://bit.ly/LJprBc
Like us on Facebook – http://on.fb.me/WBEntFB
Follow us on Twitter – http://bit.ly/WBHETW

Premise: Winner of four Academy Awards(R) including Best Picture! The inspiring true story of British athletes competing in the 1924 Olympics. Ben Cross and Ian Charleson head a sterling cast of newcomers and veterans. The story, told in flashback, of two young British sprinters competing for fame in the 1924 Olympics. Eric, a devout Scottish missionary runs because he knows it must please God. Harold, the son of a newly rich Jew runs to prove his place in Cambridge society.

CD Review: Shadows Fall “Fire From the Sky”

Shadows Fall
“Fire From the Sky”
Razor & Tie
Producer: Adam Dutkiewicz
Tracks: 10

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

“Fire From the Sky” is the 7th release from Massachusetts metalers Shadows Falls. The album is the follow up to the bands 2009 release titled “Retribution”. “Fire From the Sky” is being released via Razor & Tie and features 10 new tracks that were produced by Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz.

Having followed Shadows Falls since the late 90’s it was great to hear that the band would be putting out a new album as the bands last release was in 2009. It goes without saying that I was quite anxious to dive in to the new material. The songs feature some really great playing and a heightened intensity however I really couldn’t find anything else that really grabbed me. In my opinion the song structures were very similar to those hear on the bands last 3. Producer Adam D. did a great job getting the most out of the songs and the albums intensity proves that. I really felt that a majority of the riffs on this album were a bit stock. There were a few tracks that did rise above the other on the album. “Divide and Conquer” was just a sheer metal track while the album’s title track “Fire From the Sky” had a brutal slugging feel to it which made you want bang your head and pump your fist

Long time Shadows Fall fans expecting something new and fresh with this release may not find what they are looking for. However if you can appreciate the album solely based on intensity and skill then you will surely want to pick up a copy of this album.

Track Listing:
1.) The Unknown
2.) Divide and Conquer
3.) Weight of the World
4.) Nothing Remains
5.) Fire From the Sky
6.) Save Your Soul
7.) Blind Faith
8.) Lost Within
9.) Walk the Edge
10.) The Wasteland

DVD Review “Fire on Conscience”

Directed by: Dante Lam
Starring: Leon Lai, Richie Jen, Wang Baoqiang, Vivian Hsu, Liu Kai-chi, Michelle Ye, Wilfred Lau
Distributed by: Vivendi Entertainment
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 105 minutes

Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This is packed with some really great no-holds barred action. I love me a good action film and director Dante Lam really delivers a good one. The fighting scenes in this film is very explosive…literally. Leon Lai known best for his film “Bodyguards and Assassins” really kick ass and takes names. The story was strong with only a small dip in the middle and a wicked strong ending. If you are a fan of John Woo-like action, this is a must for you.

The story follows Captain Manfred (Leon Lai) who is a crossroads in his life when he is assigned to the case of a lethal car accident and the death of a prostitute. He is assigned to work with Inspector Lee, in which they are complete opposites. They have to work together to get to the bottom of this case as they get swept up into the world of crime. The unlikely team finds that they have themselves dug very deep in it and need to find a way out…alive.

The special features include five great behind the scenes featurettes, which take us into the making of the action packed film. They are very interesting and totally worth watching, especially if you like the behind the scenes for an action film. There is also an international trailer included. What I like most about Vivendi Entertainment’s films is that they really support the QR scanning codes and they provide additional mobile features by scanning the code. It is really a neat feature that a lot of people are not doing yet.