Lord Of The Rings Will Become Precious To A New Generation If The Rings Of Power Lives Up To Expectations

It has been a very positive few years for fantasy fans of all genres. The almost endless supply of Marvel and DC Comics content, albeit with a more family friendly angle, added to the substantial growth of the Star Wars universe has provided people with ample viewing opportunities. Of course, there is a deeper, darker and murkier level to fantasy and following on from the success of the Game of Thrones television adventure, House of Dragon has become a new chapter in that franchise in recent times, and building on the massive success achieved by the Lord of the Rings film series, J.R.R. Tolkien’s inspired creation has now arrived on the small screen.

The Rings of Power follows the well trodden prequel format, and is set thousands of years before loyal fans were first introduced to the build up events in The Hobbit. But in an effort to ingratiate a new generation of fans, as well as seeking to not disappoint long standing lovers of the original book series, whilst all the faces might be new, some well known characters are back such as Gil-galad, Galadriel, Elrond and Gimli and we get the opportunity to delve deeper into their histories, their stories and what ultimately becomes the origins of the relationships and character traits in the future that we are far more familiar with.

The first series has not yet fully aired and an online casino like this one is well placed to spin the roulette wheel on how the show will be eventually greeted when we reach the end of the opening set of episodes, but with it believed that Amazon will make it the most expensive television show in history, with a reported minimum $1 billion investment into its production, scenically it is already hitting the mark for viewers, but it is a slow and more intriguing start as you decipher your way around a world you think you know well, but actually do not.

This is largely to be expected though as we get introduced to a new time, new characters and inevitably see a new and unknown side to those who are more familiar. Although everyone – unless totally new to this universe – knows ultimately where the plot is heading, with so many nods to the future to be made in the writing to tie up the accepted historical cannon, four episodes in, you can already sense the bread crumbs being laid for future events and the seeds of potential alliances being planted, but there will certainly need to be a lot of patience shown as the series arc properly formulates itself.

With it expected that the initial plan is for The Rings Of Power to run for at least five seasons, it is probably fair to assume that those newer to Middle Earth will sense a greater feeling of pay off more quickly that those who have experienced the books, or even just the films. For long term fans and lovers, it is probably not going to feel right until certain life arcs are established, and we better see those characters matching our existing expectations given how important they are to become, whilst the newer characters in the world become who they need to be for this spin off to truly hit the mark.

The plot itself might well be inevitable given we know the future, much like the aforementioned House of Dragons, but from what I have seen so far, the joy is going to be in the journey and the twists and turns traveled to create the world we know lies ahead.

SD GUNDAM G GENERATION CROSS RAYS Brings in Even More Timelines with Added Dispatch Mission Set 4

SD GUNDAM G GENERATION CROSS RAYS continues to explore more timelines and eras from the legendary GUNDAM universe with the launch of its March update, Added Dispatch Mission Set 4, available now. BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. has posted a new trailer outlining the new content available in the update, including a mission from After War Gundam X Next Prologue: “With you, if it’s with you.”

The full lineup of dispatches coming as part of SD GUNDAM G GENERATION CROSS RAYS Added Dispatch Mission Set 4 includes:

  • “With you, if it’s with you” from After War Gundam X Next Prologue
  • “Rising on Earth Mission!” from Gundam Reconguista in G
  • “The New School of Master Asia Aura of Royalty Mission!” from G Gundam
  • “Kio’s Decision: Together with the Gundam Mission!” from Gundam AGE 

Each new mission will include new units, BGMs, characters and more. In addition to this new content in DLC #4, the video also details the content that was made available as part of Sets 1-3. All of the content from Sets 1-4 is included as part of the SD GUNDAM G GENERATION CROSS RAYS Season Pass.

To see how SD GUNDAM G GENERATION CROSS RAYS brings together even more of these iconic moments from the GUNDAM universe, you can view the trailer for Added Dispatch Mission Set 4 at the following YouTube link:

SD GUNDAM G GENERATION CROSS RAYS bridges four iconic eras within the MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM universe, spanning MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM WING, MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM SEED, MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM 00 and MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS, all culminating to deliver the ultimate tactical RPG experience. Leveraging the series’ unique “Development,” “Design” and “Capture” mechanics, tacticians will battle for the principles of hope, freedom, reformation and instinct as they pave the way for a new era of Gundam. The game is available now on STEAM® for PC.

Concert Review: “Generation Axe” Rochester, NY

“Generation Axe”
Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Yngvie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt, Tosin Abasi,
Saturday, December 1st, 2018
Kodak Performing Arts Center, Rochester, NY

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

“Generation Axe” made a stop in the flour city on December 1st as part of the super group’s current US tour. Fresh off a successful tour of Asia the guitar dominant tour featuring Steve Vai, Yngvie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi is total emersion in to all things guitar. From head spinning solo performances to face melting group jams “Generation Axe” packs a punch like no other.

Given the reputation of the five guitarists who make up “Generation Axe” going in you can sort of guess what you are going to be in for however, it isn’t until you see the thirty plus Marshall amplifiers and various other gear that adorns the stage does it really sink in that “this might get loud”! From the opening notes of the Focus song “Hocus Pocus” (which featured all five talents shredding out of the gate) to the closing notes of Deep Purples “Burn” some three and a half hours later the near capacity crowd which filled the Kodak centers multi level venue were left slack jawed the near entire time. The performance moved rather smoothly as each of the five featured guitarists performed some of their more notable material before switching off with one of the other players. Animals As Leaders, Tosin Abasi opened the solo portion of the night with a furry of slap-tastic notes and uniquely timed transitions setting the stage nicely with songs from his bands catalog such as “Woven Web” and the popular “Physical Education”. Though he may have been the lesser known of the five Abasi let his music and technique speak earning him an impressive response from the audience.

Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt would take the stage next opening with the always fun to sing along to “Get The Funk Out”. Nuno interacted sporadically with crowd and at one point teased them with the opening of the ballad “More Than Word” which he quickly stopped and joked that he would not be playing that tonight. Probably the most impressive of Bettencourt’s session was the piece “Extreme Melody” which was taken from a You Tube fan compilation consisting of all of his solos. Before leaving the stage Nuno invited the bearded berserker Zakk Wylde up to play on “Sidewayst” which then gave way to the Ozzy Osbourne/Black Label Society guitarists own solo portion. Wylde’s set consisted mostly of Black Sabbath songs such as “NIB” and “War Pigs” before being closed out with an amazing rendition of Gary Moore’s “Still Got the Blues”. Wylde’s set was pure energy and crowd interaction as the golden haired front-man left the stage several times to jam in the audience and at one point even made his way to the over-hanging balcony to jam for the higher up fans. Steve Vai (the man behind Generation Axe) would follow taking the stage with a lighted guitar to the tune of “There’s a Fire in Here”. Vai’s solo portion was quite brief in that it only consisted of three songs however the man with six fingers delivered tenfold.

Closing out the solo portions of the night was “The Maestro” Yngvie Malmsteen. Doused in a glow of red the long haired leather clad shredder from Sweden took listeners on a neo-classical voyage courtesy of his signature fender Stratocasters and wall of Marshall amps. From “Into Valhalla”, “Apreggio From Hell” and, “Paganini’s 4th Adagio” Malmsteen kept his foot on the gas and did not let up one bit. The night ended with a handful of songs featuring the entire line up. Easily my favorite from the three was the group’s all guitar rendition of the Queen track “Bohemian Rhapsody” complete with falsetto breakdowns. This alone made the ticket worth the price of admission. The night was closed out by Deep Purples “Burn” featuring Yngvie on vocals and I have to say it was nice to hear something from Purple’s catalog other than “Highway Star” or “Smoke on the Water”

“Generation Axe” is a great night of guitar playing and music. Vary rarely do you get to see two of these performers in the same place at the same time let alone all five. Equally impressive is the groups backing band consisting of Bassist Pete Griffin, Keyboardist Nick Marinovich and drummer JP Bouvet. The band performed a wide range of complex material the entire night never missing a beat and gave the five virtuoso guitarists the perfect foundation to build on. If “Generation Axe” is coming to your town get you and/or that loved one tickets to the show as you won’t be disappointed.

Set List:
1.) Hocus Pocus (Full Group)
2. Tempting Time (TA)
3.) Woven Web (TA)
4.) Physical Education (TA)
5.) Get The Funk Out (NB)
6.) Midnite Express (NB)
7.) Extreme Melody (NB)
8.) Sidewayst (NB/ZW)
9.) Into the Void (ZW)
10.) NIB (ZW)
11.) War Pigs (ZW)
12.) Still Got the Blues (ZW)
13.) There’s a Fire in Here (SV)
14.) The Animal (SV)
15.) For the Love of God (SV)
16.) Into Valhalla (YM)
17.) Baroque & Roll (YM)
18.) From A Thousand Cuts (YM)
19.) Apreggio From Hell (YM)
20.) Far Beyond the Sun (YM)
21.) Badlinere (YM)
22.) Paganini’s 4th Adagio (YM)
23.) Trilogy Suite Op 5 (YM)
24.) Black Star (YM)
25.) The Star-Spangled Banner (YM)
26.) Frankenstein (Full Group)
27.) Bohemian Rhapsody (Full Group)
28.) Burn (Full Group)

Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt & Tosin Abasi to Stage Second Generation Axe Tour.


32-Date Run Begins November 7 At The Fox Theater in Oakland, CA
and Wraps December 18 At The Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA – General On-Sale Begins July 13

Los Angeles, CA — The term “supergroup” gets thrown around on a regular basis these days, however, GENERATION AXE undisputedly brings together some of the greatest guitarists of all time. Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt, and Tosin Abisi once again will join together to tour North America to stage 32 appearances across the country. Beginning on November 7 at the Fox Theater in Oakland, CA, the run will return to markets where the inaugural tour was celebrated and hit several new cities for the first time. The general on-sale goes live July 13.

Steve Vai offers, “The Generation Axe show is a unique performance of five fiercely talented guitar players coming together to create a 6-string extravaganza that is sure to amaze and delight.” Each tour stop will include a variety of collaborations by the five players, including everyone performing together as one cohesive band with a rhythm section including Pete Griffin (Dweezil Zappa, Stanley Clarke, Edgar Winter) on bass, Nick Marinovich (Yngwie Malmsteen) on keys, and JP Bouvet on drums. Vai, Wylde, Malmsteen, Bettencourt and Abasi will perform songs from their various catalogs and join forces on some well-known songs (as well as probably a few unexpected, unearthed gems). Vai shares, “The Generation Axe experience goes way beyond simply gathering five guitar greats on one stage to jam. The idea was to create a seamless show with one backing band and 5 completely accomplished and astonishing guitarists that take to the stage in various configurations, performing some of their solo music and merging together as cohesive co-creators of lushly orchestrated guitar extravaganzas. Guitar Jams like this can get really messy when there is no organization and my idea was to create parts for everybody to play in harmony and off each other so it’s not a mess of noise. This worked out remarkably well. There are places where everyone is playing together in wild harmony.”

Making this rare tour experience even more special, Generation Axe VIP packages will be offered, giving fans access to these guitars masters and exclusive one-of-a-kind memorabilia. A front row package (including a meet & greet), a meet & greet package, and a VIP tour package will be available. For more information, visit www.generationaxe.com.

Many artists fit easily into a single category, while Steve Vai remains unclassifiable. He is a virtuoso guitarist, visionary composer, and consummate audio producer who sculpts musical sound with infinite creativity and technical mastery. He is one of the most in-demand, versatile, eloquent and soulful guitarists in the business. The GRAMMY Award-winner has sold over 15 million albums and toured the world as a solo artist, a member of G3, and with Frank Zappa, Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth, and Whitesnake. Vai launched his successful solo career with the release of Flex-Able in 1984 and has written, produced, and engineered all of his solo albums. He has appeared as a guest artist on more than 40 albums and created music for blockbuster films, best-selling video games, national sports franchises, and corporate brand initiatives. Vai has earned honorary doctorates from Berklee College of Music and Musicians Institute. For more info, visit: www.vai.com.

GRAMMY Award-winner Zakk Wylde’s legendary career includes a lengthy tenure with Ozzy Osbourne in which Wylde co-wrote and recorded several albums, including the multiplatinum No More Tears, Osbourne’s largest selling solo album featuring the classic hit single, “Mama, I’m Coming Home” and the bulk of the double platinum 2002 set, Ozzmosis. With Osbourne, Wylde has played on countless world tours and television appearances, with his signature bullseye Les Paul in tow. Wylde has his mitts imprinted on Hollywood’s Rock Walk of Fame; guest-starred alongside Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston in the movie “Rockstar”; and even momentarily joined Axl, Slash and Duff in Guns N’ Roses. But nothing offers the pure expression of Zakk Wylde’s animalistic “id” like Black Label Society, the stomping, heavy, bluesy, recklessly unhinged hard-rock-metal quartet who are quick to rip up a solo as to dip into a piano-fueled anthemic ballad. For more info, visit: www.zakkwylde.com.

When Yngwie J. Malmsteen hit the scene in the early 80s, he turned the entire guitar world upside down. Never before was guitar playing like his ever heard. Drawing inspiration from his love for Baroque and Romantic classical music, Malmsteen employs classical violin techniques such as four and five octave arpeggios, pedal notes, and harmonic minor, diminished and Phrygian scales, flawlessly delivered at mind-boggling levels of speed and clarity. In doing so, he has singlehandedly created a brand-new style of guitar playing and composing that is still derived from today. In addition to having written and produced 35+ neoclassical rock albums, Malmsteen composed and orchestrated the “Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra,” which he recorded with the prestigious Czech Philharmonic in Prague, conducted by Yoel Levy of Atlanta Symphony fame. Malmsteen subsequently performed the piece live with the New Japan Philharmonic and the Taipei Symphony, among others. Malmsteen has received numerous Grammy nominations, hundreds of magazine covers, dozens of Reader’s Poll and Composer of the Year Awards, a plaque on the Rock Walk of Fame, signature model guitars, amps, pickups, strings, picks, pedals, microphones, and more. TIME Magazine placed him as one of the top ten guitarists of all time. Some 35 years and 25 million+ album sales later, Yngwie shows no signs of slowing down. For more info, visit: www.yngwiemalmsteen.com.

Guitar virtuoso, singer-songwriter, and record producer, Nuno Bettencourt rose to international prominence as a guitar player with the GRAMMY-nominated, Boston-area band EXTREME, one of the most successful rock acts of the early to mid-1990s selling over 10 million records worldwide. Musically, EXTREME is dominated by Bettencourt’s blistering guitar riffs, often with funky, syncopated timing, and incendiary, high-speed rock/metal solos. Bettencourt penned the acoustic ballad “More Than Words” that went to #1 on the Billboard charts and “Hole Hearted” that reached #4. He has released multiple solo albums as well as with bands he founded including Mourning Widows Population 1, Dramagods and Satellite Party. Bettencourt has written, produced and performed with many legendary artists including Rihanna, Steven Tyler, Paul McCartney, Janet Jackson and many others. For more info: www.nunobettencourt.com.

Oluwatosin Ayoyinka Olumide Abasi, better known as Tosin Abasi, is a Nigerian American guitarist known as the guitar player and founder of the instrumental progressive metal band, Animals as Leaders. Abasi’s compositions of intricate music have garnered critical acclaim in a few short years. Abasi is part of the breed of new contemporary players who are raising the bar on the concept of electric guitar virtuosity. His approach to the guitar stems from a passion for advanced techniques and harmony. Using 7-, 8-, and 9-string guitars have allowed Abasi to create a highly unique and individual sound. For more info, visit: www.facebook.com/ animalsasleaders

Generation Axe – A Night of Guitars is produced by Copeland International Arts and is booked by CAA. For additional information visit: www.generationaxe.com.

Confirmed appearances include:
11/07 Oakland, CA Fox Theater
11/08 Anaheim, CA City National Grove
11/09 Las Vegas, NV The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
11/10 Tempe, AZ Marquee Theatre #
11/11 Albuquerque, NM El Rey Theater
11/13 Denver, CO Paramount Theatre – Denver
11/15 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theatre
11/16 Salina, KS The Stiefel Theatre
11/17 Tulsa, OK Brady Theater
11/18 Des Moines, IA Hoyt Sherman Theatre
11/19 Cincinnati, OH Taft Theatre
11/20 Grand Rapids, MI 20 Monroe Live
11/21 Detroit, MI Fillmore Detroit
11/23 Medford, MA The Chevalier Theater
11/24 Niagara Falls, NY The Rapids Theatre
11/25 Kitchener, ON Centre in the Square
11/27 Bethlehem, PA Sands Bethlehem Event Center
11/28 Port Chester, NY Capitol Theatre
11/29 Albany, NY The Palace Theatre
11/30 Atlantic City, NJ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City – The Theater
12/01 Rochester, NY Kodak Center
12/03 Greensburg, PA The Palace Theatre
12/04 Westbury, NY NYCB Theatre at Westbury
12/05 Richmond, VA The National
12/08 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
12/09 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
12/10 Davie, FL Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
12/11 Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd Hall
12/13 Austin, TX The Moody Theater
12/14 Dallas, TX The Bomb Factory
12/16 Salt Lake City, UT The Complex – Rockwell
12/18 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern
# – Nuno Bettencourt not appearing


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Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Seven”

Starring: Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis
Rated: TV-PG
Number of discs: 6
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: December 9th, 2014
Run Time: 1182 minutes

Season: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This is it folks, this is the final season of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Paramount has done an outstanding, I repeat outstanding job of releasing this wonderful series on Blu-ray. Season seven is no less of an amazing season that is predecessors. The two-part episode “Gambit” was a high point for sure. “All Good Things” is easily one of the best episodes and one of Patrick Stewart’s most powerful performance as Picard. This season was tied up very well series. Now that we are done here, I hope Paramount has plans for Blu-ray releases of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Voyager” next. Finger crossed!

Official Season 7 Premise: In this Emmy-nominated final season, Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner) confronts an alliance between his sinister duplicate and the unstoppable Borg, Lt. Worf (Michael Dorn) guides his son in becoming a warrior, and Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) faces a time-shattering confrontation with the mysterious, god-like Q in a landmark finale that won science fiction’s prestigious Hugo Award.

Like I said, Paramount has delivered this series each time with outstanding Blu-ray after Blu-ray release. “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Seven” is no different. These 1080p transfers for these episodes nothing short of amazing. Top that with a flawless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track for each episode and Trek fans will be nothing but thrilled. These episodes have been through a fantastic restoration which involved returning to the original film elements and it was worth every single second of effort because this release is great.

Like the previous six seasons, Paramount has also delivered some amazing special features. There are commentary tracks by Brannon Braga on “Parallels”, as well as “Lower Decks” with René Echevarria and Mike & Denise Okuda and “Preemptive Strike” with René Echevarria, Naren Shankar, and Mike & Denise Okuda. There are a few other new features including “The Sky’s The Limit: The Eclipse of Star Trek: The Next Generation”, which is a must watch. There are two “In Conversation” features, first called “The Directors” and second called “Lensing Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Lastly, there are seven “Archival Mission Logs”, a Gag Reel and over 20 deleted scenes for 18 of the final episodes. 

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 6”

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: June 24, 2014
Run Time: 1175 minutes

Season: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 43.5 out of 5 stars

The sixth season of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” is easily one of my favorites. Each of the show’s characters have been developed so well by this point. This show was also airing the same time as “Deep Space Nine” but this season was still one of the most strongest of the series. Patrick Stewart really delivered some of his best performances with the following episodes “Chain of Command, Parts 1 and 2”. Also season six includes several well-known recurring characters, most importantly being Montgomery Scott, the Enterprise engineer from the Original Series, who is found alive and adjusting to the twenty-fourth century. This is also the second to last of the seasons, which means that most likely later this year this “Star Trek: The Next Generation” will be available complete on Blu-ray.

Here is the episode list for this season: Time’s Arrow, Part II; Realm of Fear; Man of the People; Relics; Schisms; True-Q; Rascals; A Fistful of Datas; The Quality of Life; Chain of Command, Part I; Chain of Command, Part II; Ship in a Bottle; Aquiel; Face of the Enemy; Tapestry; Birthright, Part I; Birthright, Part II; Starship Mine; Lessons; The Chase; Frame of Mind; Suspicions; Rightful Heir; Second Chances; Timescape and Descent, Part I. Brent Spiner’s dual performance as Data and his father Dr. Noonien Soong in “Birthright” are fantastic. Of course like I said above, the two part episode “Chain of Command” is literally one of the best arcs. Also Riker (Jonathan Frakes) copes with a bizarre identity crisis that pits him against himself in “Second Chances”.

Like the five seasons before this one, Paramount has consistently delivered this series with amazing releases. These episodes are newly remastered within their 1080p transfers.  The visual effects look better and overall the show just feels much sharper.  Since this show was shot on video and the special effects were set in their masters. They really went to town and delivered an impressive release yet again. Same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track, which is a such a treat for this series. I literally just got a new 7.1 surround sound system and I couldn’t help but turn it up to 11.

The special features are a step up again and deliver some great extras. There is are three audio commentary track included. The first is with Ronald D. Moore and Mike & Denise Okuda on “Relics”. Next is an audio commentary with Ronald D. Moore and Mike & Denise Okuda on “Tapestry”. Lastly there is an audio commentary with James L. Conway and Jonathan West on “Frame of Mind” . There are a few “Archival Mission Log” over first five discs focusing on “Mission Overview Year Six”, ” Bold New Directions”, “Departmental Briefing Year Six: Production and Dan Curry”, “Special Crew Profile: Lt. Cmdr. Data”, “Select Historical Data” and “Inside Starfleet Archives: Sets and Props”.

There are brand new deleted scenes on the following episodes Time’s Arrow, Part II, Relics, True Q, Ship in a Bottle, Face of the Enemy, Tapestry, Birthright, Part II, The Chase and Rightful Heir. The real star of this release is easily the brand new, three-part documentary “Beyond the Five Year Mission – The Evolution of Star Trek: The Next Generation” featuring fascinating interviews with cast and crew. Lastly there are episodic promos on each on the six discs and a new gag reel included.

Film Review “Generation Iron”

Starring: Phil Heath Narrated by: Mickey Rourke
Directed by: Vlad Yudin
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1 hour 46 mins
American Media

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When you ask most people about the 1977 film “Pumping Iron,” if they remember it at all they tell you it’s about body building. Actually, it’s about so much more. In fact, the physical feat of lifting weights and working out take a back seat to the mental toughness also needed to win the title of Mr. Olympia. No one remembers any of the poses Arnold Schwarzenegger struck to win the contest, but they do remember the mind games he played with Lou Ferrigno, so much so that Lou was a loser before he even took the stage.

Body building has changed in the past 60 years. In 1953 a young man from Scotland named Sean Connery placed 3rd in the Mr. Universe contest (the Mr. Olympia contest did not begin until 1965). Six decades later director Vlad Yudin has brought fans of the event into the future, following 2011 Mr. Olympia winner Phil Heath as he trains to defend his title in “Generation Iron.”

Narrated by Mickey Rourke, the film is an in-depth look at a year on the lives of Heath and the contestants who hope to unseat him. They come from all over the world, and have nick names that begin with “The” (the Dragon, the Beast…Heath is called “the Gift”). They train hard and with purpose. In an interview Schwarzenegger likens body building to being a sculptor. You can look at the body, see what needs to be done on a certain part and, with the help of specialized machines, mold that part much like an artist with a chisel. Heath’s main competitor here is Kai Green, a massive man with a single braided lock of hair that he wears like Samson. It is as much a part of his performance as his muscles.

Yudin gets into the psyches of his subjects. Their ups and downs, highs and lows. The need to do well in competitions not only for personal glory but for the sponsorships that feed their families and keep them in the gym. You begin to judge yourself as the film moves on to the main event, and the final showdown is a nail biter to the very end. Even if you haven’t been to the gym in years, make an appointment to check out “Generation Iron.”

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season 5”

Starring: Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis
Rated: TV-PG
Number of discs: 6
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: November 19, 2013
Run Time: 1182 minutes

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

Season 5 is an important one in the history of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. During it’s production, we had the passing of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry. The show includes some amazing episodes including “Cost of Living”, “A Matter of Time”, “The City on the Edge of Forever” and “Conundrum”, “Time’s Arrow” and of course “Unification”. I might even go as far as say that season five has some of the best episodes of the series.  The show was really on auto pilot for this season and they really just had some amazing arcs. Seven episodes from this season were also nominated for eight different Emmy awards as well. Two more to go Paramount let’s finish with a bang! Keep them coming!

Official Premise: Star Trek: The Next Generation Season Five never looked more stunning than it does on Blu-ray with 1080p high definition picture. Experience enhanced visual effects rebuilt from the original elements and surround yourself with the digitally remastered 7.1 sound (or choose the original broadcast audio). You’ll feel like you’ve plunged into the 24th century for some of the series’ most thrilling moments, including the epic two-part episode “Unification” as Capt. Picard (Patrick Stewart) pursues a rogue Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy) into enemy Romulan territory. Discover all-new, never-before-seen bonus features as you join the USS Enterprise on the ultimate voyage.

The 26 episodes from season 5 are: :”Redemption Part II”, “Darmok”, “Ensign Ro”, “Silicon Avatar”, “Disaster”, “The Game”, “Unification Part I”, “Unification Part II”, “A Matter of Time”, “New Ground”, “Hero Worship”, “Violations”, “The Masterpiece Society”, “Conundrum”, “Power Play”, “Ethics”, “The Outcast”, “Cause and Effect”, “The First Duty”, “Cost of Living”, “The Perfect Mate”, “Imaginary Friend”, “I, Borg”, “The Next Phase”, “The Inner Light”, “Time’s Arrow Part I”.

Like the past four seasons, Paramount has really given a whole lotta love to this series. These episodes are newly remastered within their 1080p transfer. In fact, this series has improved its look throughout each season. The visual effects look better and overall the show just feels much sharper. Same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track, which is a such a treat for this series.

In terms of special features, I felt a little let down though for past season. There are audio commentaries tracks on “Cause and Effects”, “The First Duty”, “I, Borg” and “The Inner Light”. There are only three featurettes included. The first focusing on the season with “Requiem: A Remembrance of Star Trek: The Next Generation”. The second looks into the show’s tunes with “In Conversation: The Music of Star Trek: The Next Generation”. The last looks at the man who created it all with “What He Left Behind: The Roddenberry Legacy”. Rounding out the rest there are Archival Mission Logs, Deleted Scenes, Episode Promos and a Gag Reel included.

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Unification”

Starring: Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis
Rated: TV-PG
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: November 19, 2013
Run Time: 85 minutes

Episodes: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of stars

If you are a fan of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, “Unification” is one of the fan favorite episodes since it brings back Leonard Nimoy to reprise his iconic role of Spock. I remember the first time I saw this episode and it has always left an impact with me. It is such an amazing two part story and one of my favorite arcs. If you follow the recent Blu-ray releases for “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, Paramount has been individually releasing each season’s cliffhanger finale. It may seem like a double dip but for us hardcore fan it is a must own to have these great episodes together and packed with exclusive extras!

Official Premise: The epic two-part story seamlessly unified into one feature length presentation! Leonard Nimoy reprises his iconic role as Spock and joins the crew of the Enterpriser in this fan-favorite double episode! When the Federation calls for help in locating an ambassador suspected of defecting, Picard is troubled to learn that Spock is the one who has vanished. Seeking information from Spock’s ailing father, Sarek, and unlikely help from the Klingons, Picard and his crew find the ambassador pursuing a personal mission on Romulus: a Vulcan/Romulan reunification. But though the Romulans claim to support the same goal, their motives are not what they seem.

The two unified episodes look amazing (as always for this series) with its newly remastered 1080p transfer. It is also backed with a phenomenal DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track, which really makes this arc feel like a epic movie. For a Blu-ray only consisting of two episodes, the special features are quite impressive. There is an audio commentary track with Jeri Taylor and Mike & Denise Okuda. There is a great behind-the-scenes look with “From One Generation to the Next: The Making of ‘Unification'”. Must see for any fan of the show and might I add only available on this Blu-ray release. Lastly there is an deleted scene, which was restored to HD and episode promos for each part.

Vlad Yudin talks about graphic novel “Headsmash” and film “Generation Iron”

Vlad Yudin is a Russian born writer, director, producer, who started his film career with films as “Big Pun: The Legacy”, and “The Last Day of Summer” which starred Nikki Reed of “Twilight fame”, and DJ Qualls from “Road Trip”.  Vlad has just made his move in to the realm of graphic novels with his book “Headsmash”.  A story of betrayal and revenge set in a fictional yet violent world. Media Mikes caught up with Vlad after his successful appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con to discuss the book as well as some of his other current projects.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on “Headsmash”?
Vlad Yudin: “Headsmash” is the story of a young orphan super sent to live in the worst orphanage in this fictional which is run by various mod syndicates with the largest one being the Horde. The Horde has infiltrated every aspect of the city and has pretty much control of everything. Smash ends up being adopted by Maurice who is the head of the Horde and groomed to be one of the group’s top lieutenants. While out on a mission Smash is attacked and basically left for dead. Upon surviving the attack and returning to the city Smash finds out that his wife has been taken along with their unborn son who plays an important role in the story. In order to save his family Smash starts taking this special serum which helps him on his quest for revenge.

AL: How did the idea for the book present itself?
VY: It was a combination of things. Sometimes when you start on a story you might have the basic story line happening and then you build in the characters and other times you have a character in which the story is centered around. In this case we had the character of Smash so we constructed everything around him. Each twist the story takes is directly related to his character.

AL: The book has a trailer which is narrated by Bill Paxton. How did he become involved in the project?
VY: We did a three part prelude/trailer which sets up the story. One part talks of the prophecy, one part talks about the serum and the last talks about Maurice and Smash’s relationship. Bill narrated this story playing the character of Maurice. Bill Paxton is an amazing actor and it was really cool to bring him in to this role as a villain. I don’t think he is someone seen in this type of role. He has this great voice and did a really great job. Bill got in to the character and took it very seriously which was great to see.

AL: Can you tell us about the talks of this story becoming a film?
VY: We have just finished writing the screen play version. The story is going to be pretty much the same but there were a few things that we need to adapt to make it work on screen. We are taking our time with and hope to have it into production sometime next year.

AL: Do you find any similarities between graphic novel writing and script writing?
VY: Yes. When you create a graphic novel you essentially are creating story boards. You have to take in consideration the shot in the same you do when you are working off a shot list for a film. The way you construct a scene before its captured on film is very similar to how you would when writing a graphic novel.

AL: Can you tell us about some of the other projects you have in the works?
VY: I am happy to say that our film “Generation Iron” which is a film about modern day body building is currently playing in theaters both here in the States and also in Canada. This film is basically the follow up to the 1975 film “Pumping Iron” which was produced Jerome Gary who also produced this new film. The film is doing great and I hope people continue to go see it.


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Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Four”

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, LeVar Burton, Marina Spirtis
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Run Time: 1180 minutes

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

Who doesn’t love the cliffhanger for “The Best of Both Worlds”? Captain Picard turned into a Borg…NOOOOOO!!!! It is the best in the franchise no question and left many fans screaming (including myself). Season four starts off with the conclusion episode and really kicks off the season with a bang. Due to the success and fan’s response to that cliffhanger formula it was reused throughout the rest of the series, including this season’s finale “Redemption”. Season four also marked the historic 100th episode of the show and the series passing the original series, which only had three seasons. The season some classic moments including a funny Robin Hood spoof with Q, Wesley Crusher leaving and the return of Denise Crosby as her own half-Romulan daughter! Season three really set the stands for this one and season four really takes the show into a great direction. If you are a fan of the show, do not miss this release.

Like the past three seasons, Paramount has continued to deliver fantastic releases for this show. “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Four” delivers the show in glorious 1080p transfers of each episodes. These episodes look stunning, especially for being over 20 years old. Top that with a flawless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track for each episode and Trek fans will be nothing but thrilled. Alternate audio tracks also include an English Stereo Surround, French Mono, Italian Mono, Castilian Mono, German Mono and Japanese Mono tracks. These episodes have been through a fantastic restoration which involved returning to the original film elements and it was worth every single second of effort because this release is great.

Paramount not only delivers a wonderful audio and video presentation, they also knock your socks off with great special features. The first five discs include a few extras where disc six is jam-packed. There are two audio commentary tracks including Rob Bowman and Mike and Denise Okuda on “Brothers” and Ronald D. Moore, Brannon Braga, and Mike and Denise on for “Reunion”. There are six “Archival Mission Log” featurettes, including “Mission Overview Year Four”, “Selected Crew Analysis Year Four”, “New Life and New Civilizations”, “Chronicles from the Final Frontier”, “Departmental Briefing Year Four: Production”, “Select Historical Data” and “Inside the Star Trek Archives”. These are Mission Logs are very informative and really cover all aspects from the show’s production and legacy.

Disc six from us a bunch of great high def extras. “In Conversation: The Star Trek Art Department” is a 68 minute discussion with Special Makeup Effects Artis Doug Drexler, Production Designer Herman Zimmerman, Scenic Art Supervisor Mike Okuda, Visual Effects Supervisor Dan Curry, Technical Consultant Rick Sternbach, and Deep Space Nine Scenic Artist Denise Okuda. Great new feature and a must-see for any fan of the show. ”Relativity: The Family Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation Part 1: Homecoming and Part 2: Posterity” features cast and crew focusing on all aspects of the from the stories to the fandom and together they run to about an hour of great content. Lastly there is a nearly four minute Gag Reel and a collection eight deleted scenes.

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation, Redemption”

Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: July 30, 2013
Run Time: 86 minutes

Episodes: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

I personally cannot get enough of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Timed with the recent release of Season Four on Blu-ray, this two-part, “Redemption” is the season four finale and season five premiere. It is being released as a standalone similar to the “Best of Both Worlds” release with two episodes edited together for seamlessly. If you love these episodes like myself then you will be able to see the extended episode like never before. This cliffhanger is so epic and one of my favorites as we get to follow Captain Picard and Lieutenant Worf as they fight to end a Klingon Civil War. Currently the episode “Redemption, Part 2” is not available on Blu-ray, until Season Five comes out later this year. I would think that this release would be aimed for the hardcore Trekkies out there. It looks like we are seeing a trend now with these episodic feature length releases but  but for me this is a no-brainer for sure.

Like the series on Blu-ray, this also comes stocked with a very impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 and of course the original Dolby Digital 2.0 for those “Star Trek” purists that prefer the original broadcast audio tracks. The 1080p high definition transfer is nothing show of superb. Paramount did a beautiful job getting this series ready for its high-def close up. The special features are decent and unique to only this release. There is an Audio Commentary with Ronald D. Moore and Mike and Denise Okuda chatting about the episodes. There is decent length 30 minute featurette called “Survive and Succeed: An Empire at War” talking about the production of the episode from all aspects. Lastly there is two episodic promos for each episode. So you need to give props to Paramount since they could have just dropped these episode on a barbones disc and you know we still would have bought it, so the special features are a nice bonus to this release.


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Keanu Reeves and Mark Mann talk about working together on “Generation Um…”

Keanu Reeves is known for his films in franchises like “The Matrix” and “Bill & Ted”. In this film “Generation Um…”, he plays a much different role within this character piece. Mark Mann is the writer and director on the film, which is his feature film debut. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Keanu and Mark on the film and what we can expect.

Click here for our interview with Adelaide Clemens & Bojana Novakovic

Mike Gencarelli: Mark, tell us how did “Generation Um…” come about for you?
Mark Mann: Alison Palmer (Bourke), the producer on the project, gave Keanu the script to look at as a friend at first. He liked it and said he wanted to meet with me. We had a coffee and it was sort of monumental coffee. We riffed creatively for a bit and found out that we got along well. We shared visions for the characters and the story. So after that he decided to do the film, which was great. He was perfect for the role. So we went out and made a movie [laughs].

MG: Keanu, what was it that really drew you to the role of John?
Keanu Reeves: I liked so many things about the character. What stuck out for me was the writing, the structure, the humor, the humanity and the way the story was told. With John, in particular, I had a great sympathy for him. He felt like a character that was hyper-aware. He was trapped in his past, maybe with his confidence or trapped in his life.  He was seeking a connection, a friendship or something that we might think of as simple but is fundamental to life. I felt like a lot of people could relate to him. I also felt that since this took place in New York and it was more personal and I liked that.

MG: Any challenges with shooting in New York?
KR: [laughs]
MM: I had no issues whatsoever [laughs]. New York is a great place to shoot. Just because you are shooting there doesn’t mean that it is going to behave any different than New York does. It seems to add attention to the frame. We were using New York in a somewhat unorthodox fashion, with shooting in the park, running down streets, driving over bridges and staring at trains. In general, I think that New York tolerates you if you shine at the end of it all.

MG: Keanu, this is a real change from some of your past action driven films; was it a challenge taking on this character piece?
KR: I wouldn’t really say a challenge but more of an opportunity. What struck me was getting a chance to actually shoot the footage that John does in the film. That was a very unique situation for me and it was something that I really appreciated and enjoyed. The trust that Mark put into me was great. He was like “Ok Keanu…go shoot!” We shot on Super 16 with a lot of wide angle lenses and fixed perspectives. So we get to learn about John through the camera but also get to learn about the other characters from John’s perspective. For me that was very unique, fulfilling and a fun opportunity.
MM: What was interesting about that, as well, you will notice in the film that he bundles that into the character. You watch the character developing his own feelings through the camera itself.

MG: Mark, what was your biggest challenge taking on your first feature film?
MM: I would have to say just making a film. It is an impossible pursuit. Once you start getting into it there are so many things going on at the same time. It is like you are one with the inside of your head with little tentacles extending out sort of taking of the form of all these different people all handling various tasks. It is impossible…
KR: No it’s not [laughs].
MM: Yeah it was easy. It was like butter [laughs].

MG: Keanu, I loved the chemistry between you and your leading ladies, Adelaide Clemens and Bojana Novakovic. What did you do to form that bond between the three of you for this film?
KR: We started with the audition process. Mark went on search for Violet and Mia. Luckily, I was a part of that process. He asked me to videotape the actresses that came in to meet on the project. It happened with both Bojana and Addy that there was a nice simpatico between us and we got along right away. They were interesting and loved the material. As me moved forward in rehearsal and just hanging out, everyone seemed to be on the same page. We just got along really great, so that was really cool. Mark really let me in and be a part of the creative process and I really appreciated that as well.
MM: That was part of the fun though. The film ultimately is what happens between the people making the film. It was just great. Having Keanu, Adelaide and Bojana together work through it all in rehearsals and then turning on the camera and watching them do it was amazing.

MG: Mark, you also wrote the screenplay. How much did it change throughout the production?
MM: The script was god. It was bible. It didn’t change.
KR: Urgh…writers and directors, they say that the script is god. [laughs]
MM: [laughs] If you asked me the question as a director, I might have a different answer but in terms of writing you have to have a moment when you can be a writer. That is what writers do.
KR: It was just really a great script. One could think that it was improvised since the words are just so great.
MM: There are also a lot of moments of silence in the movie and I had to try to push it into direction. But there were these long moments with Keanu, Bojana and Adelaide where they are just there and they are doing what they are doing. That is not something you can write. It was very exciting to see them take the implications that I wrote and then completely bring it to this magically level where they were and just embodied these characters.
KR: Human animal footage [laughs].

Adelaide Clemens & Bojana Novakovic talk about roles in “Generation Um…”

Adelaide Clemens & Bojana Novakovic are co-starring in “Generation Um…” along with Keanu Reeves. You may know Adelaide from the film “Silent Hill: Revelation” and upcoming film “The Great Gatsby”. Bojana Novakovic has been in films like Sam Raimi’s “Drag Me to Hell” and M. Night Shyamalan’s “Devil”. Media Mikes had a chat with these two beautiful Australian actresses about their role in the film and also working with Keanu Reeves.

Click here for our interview with Keanu Reeves and Mark Mann

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about what drew you each to your roles in “Generation Um…”?
Adelaide Clemens: I think right off the bat for me, it was when I read the script. I thought it was a very dense piece and the characters were really well written. Mia to me was very intriguing. She has this sort of dark past and I liked exploring that.
Bojana Novakovic: I was also drawn by the script. Like Adelaide said, the density of what happens. Also I liked the richness of the characters lives and how much is actually going on without there being plot points. I find that fascinating. I love character pieces. I found it also scary to work on something that was this intimate. It required a lot of authenticity, honesty and commitment…and I really enjoyed that. I think it is an actor’s wet dream actually. Then of course there was the fact that Keanu (Reeves) was attached to the film, which just interested me a little bit [laughs].

MG: I loved the chemistry between the three of you in the film. What did you do to form that bond for this film?
BN: I think that is thanks to the way that Mark (Mann), the director, wanted to work. We just hung out for two weeks, rehearsed and talked about the roles. When Adelaide and I got to meet Keanu, we were both at first a little bit intimidating about meeting a superstar. We tried to play it very cool, but we realized that he was also incredible excited about the film like us. We were able to engage with him on a really intimate, visceral and committed level. So it was really great. The way we worked together was really reflected in the film.
AC: It is interesting how the dynamics between characters came together. I remember during the rehearsals, we were all very passionate about this piece. There were some challenging aspects of the film and we did all the preparation necessary to make sure we weren’t losing our shit when we went on set [laughs].
BN: I think we also surprised ourselves with the terrain we covered ourselves. Like how intimate we were willing to be with each other. I am not just talking about physical, which of course exists in the film but also emotional, honesty and work ethics between the three of us. Actually the four of us, Mark was like a fourth character since he was very present when we were shooting.

MG: When I spoke with Keanu, he told me he has a blast shooting with the camcorder himself. Did you enjoy working with that handheld aspect of the film?
AC: It was very interesting to break down the barrier of the typical shoot. When you are on a film you hear “Action” and you hear “Cut”. It was a new territory there with him since he was always filming. It allowed us to be vulnerable. Then it allowed that vulnerability on the camcorder to transfer to the screen. I thought it was very interesting.
BN: I also felt like the camera exposed us more, like what Adelaide was saying. It was really fun getting to perform to the camera, that way you don’t have to worry about actually performing. You don’t have to about ignoring the camera. So it actually takes the acting out of it. It was awesome.

MG: With Mark Mann writing the script, as well as directing. Do you feel you had much freedom with your characters?
BN: Oh, we had a lot of freedom. I think the whole thing came together with the four of us together in a room and collaborating on these people’s backgrounds. Who they are? Where did they come from? The actual characters formed once we came together. They can’t exist without this story. It was a collaborative process on every level. My decisions were absolutely based on who Adelaide and Keanu were and what they offered to their own characters.
AC: Yeah, we were encouraged by Mark to find our own rhythm and to inject it into these characters, which I think was fantastic. It went against the typical nature since we were able to shape our own characters. Mark also wrote the script in a way that mimics the way that we all speak, which made it even easier.

MG: Adelaide, going from films like “Silent Hill: Revelation” to “The Great Gatsby”, where does this film lie for you in terms of a challenge?
AC: I shot this film long before I shot “Silent Hill”. We did this film two and half years ago. It was an incredible different kind of experience. Like I said we were all very passionate about the material. I had room to work with the script and  of course working with Bojana and Keanu also helped. We all did the work together and really invested in this project. I am very fortunate and happy to see the way that things turned out the way they did.

MG: Being from New York, I know that sometimes the city can have a life of its own. Any cool stories from filming in New York City?
BN: I actually ended up with a bunch of bruises. We don’t know where they came from but they appeared all over my body. I remember I went out doing what I call research one night; Mark told me check out what a party girl would do in New York to get into character. We also did go to a strip club. But one night I was out just observing people and I saw a guy riding a bicycle in a tuxedo. I yelled at him and said “You look fantastic!” Later that night around 2 am, I was waiting for a taxi and wasn’t able to get one. It was that kind of Saturday night in New York. So I started talking with the guy who I yelled to in the tuxedo and he ended up giving me a ride on his bicycle from all the way across town. Then he tried to get my number and I gave him a fake number [laughs]. If he is out there somewhere…maybe I do want you number. I felt bad because he was a cool guy.
AC: I remember we had a crazy thunderstorm one night. The entire sound tent was lifted up and then smashed down. We just had an amazing experience. It was a very intimate crew. I remember one night we needed to get some photos taken and instead of just taking them, Keanu said that there was a photo booth on 2nd and A Street and that we should do there. Mia, Violet and John together are not particularly well behaved together.
BN: [laughs] Yeah, so we were in this booth with Keanu Reeves and we were slamming him against the wall.
AC: Yeah, the public was just around, watching us and seeing it happen. But you know it was New York so no one really cared. But it was really fun.
BN: It was really fun and we had a great time.

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Three”

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, LeVar Burton, Marina Spirtis
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: April 30, 2013
Run Time: 1181 minutes

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

When I first watched the third season of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, I was blown away. “The Best of Both Worlds” was one of the best storylines to come out of this series. I saw it long after it was originally aired and I have known about this arc but it still shocking and holds up as one of the best cliffhangers on TV. Overall, the whole series in general really running on all cylinders and kicking ass. The cast and the writers are settled in their roles and really delivered their best performances. Also available the same day is “Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Best of Both Worlds” for the mega “Star Trek” fans who are looking for a new edit of that fantastic storyline into a new-feature format. This is another very impressive release from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount. They have been giving this series nothing but love since they started releasing these seasons. If you love this series, then this release is a must-buy!

“Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Three” delivers absolutely perfect 1080p transfers of each episodes. These episodes don’t just look good. They look stunning. Top that with a flawless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track for each episode and Trek fans will be nothing but thrilled. I wonder what Gene Roddenberry would have thought if he could have seen his creation presented like this. Alternate audio tracks also include an English Stereo Surround, French Mono, Italian Mono, Castilian Mono, German Mono and Japanese Mono tracks. If you have seen these episodes on TV or DVD, this give you the show like you have never seen it before due to this fantastic restoration which involved returning to the original film elements.

The special features are quite impressive for this season. The newly produced high definition extras (found mostly on disc six) include an all-new featurette called “Inside The Writer’s Room”, which is moderated by Seth MacFarlane. He leads a panel and a great discussion on the creation of the show’s acclaimed third season with some of today’s best science fiction television writers including Ronald Moore, Brannon Braga, Naren Shankar and Rene Echevarria. There is an entirely new multi-part documentary called “Resistance is Futile – Assimilating Star Trek: The Next Generation”, which really dives into the behind-the-scenes on the making of Season Three. There is a very nice tribute to Michael Piller, which includes never-before-seen interviews with cast, crew and more discuss his lasting influence on the “Star Trek” franchise. Rounding out the high-def extras is a new gag reel for fans, which is located on disc five.

Additional extras included are spread out over the six discs. There are four “Archival Mission Logs” including “Selected Crew Analysis Year Three”, “Mission Overview Year Three”, “Departmental Briefing Year Three: Production” and “Departmental Briefing Year Three: Memorable Missions”. There are four all-new audio commentary track spread out on the release. Disc one features a commentary track from Ron Moore on “The Bonding”. Disc three features features a commentary track from Ron Moore and Ira Steven Behr on “Yesterday’s Enterprise”. Disc four features the last two audio commentary tracks. The first is with Rene Echevarria and Mike & Denise Okuda on “The Offspring” and the second is with Ron Moore on “Sins of the Father”. If you are looking for audio commentary on the episode “The Best of Both Worlds: Part 1”, you should check out the stand-one release mentioned above. Lastly, there are also episodic promos available for each of the 26 episodes.


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