CD Review: Baroness “Gold & Grey”

“Gold & Grey”

Baroness

Abraxan Hymns

Producer: David Fridmann

Tracks: 17

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Heavy Metal band Baroness returns with their fifth studio album titled “Gold & Grey”. The album which was released on June 14th is the follow to the bands popular 2015 release “Purple”. Featuring 17 brand new tracks from the Georgia based group and produced by David Fridmann “Gold & Grey” is the first release via the bands own Abraxan Hymns label. The release is also the first to feature guitarist Gina Gleason who joined the group in 2017 after the departure of Peter Adams.

Right from the start “Gold & Grey” showcases why Baroness is at the fore front of progressive heavy metal. With tracks like “Front Toward Enemy” and “I’m Already Gone” laying the foundation in the albums opening minutes with thick over driven guitars and singer John Baizley’s signature soaring vocals listeners are quickly immersed in a bevy of sonic goodness. As the album progresses so does the diverseness of texture and tones. Tracks like “Tourniquet” and “Blankets of Ash” feature spacey vocals and layered acoustic guitars while the songs “I’d Do Anything” and “Emmett-Radiating Light” feature piano rich sound scapes which seep deep in to your inner core making for a nice mixture of dark and light.   

The latest offering from Baroness takes listeners on a musical vacation that some may never want to come back from. Brimming over with emotional subject matter and robust instrumentation “Gold & Grey” is another notch in Baroness’s musical belt. The addition of guitarist Gina Gleason I feel has really taken the band to the next level. Not only does Gleason’s playing compliment the band nicely but so do her backing vocals which compliment Baizley’s leads. Despite “Gold & Grey” having a few too many slow moments for my liking the songs that weren’t balls to the wall rockers were still enjoyable making this an album I would certainly recommend checking out.

Track Listing:

1.) Front Toward Enemy

2.) I’m Already Gone

3.) Seasons

4.) Sevens

5.) Tourniquet

6.) Anchors Lament

7.) Throw Me an Anchor

8.) I’d Do Anything

9.) Blanket of Ash

10.) Emmett- Radiating Light

11.) Cold-Blooded Angels

12.) Crooked Mile

13.) Broken Halo

14.) Can Oscura

15.) Borderlines

16.) Assault on East falls

17.) Pale Sun

BARONESS UNVEIL GOLD & GREY VIA NPR

https://www.npr.org/2019/06/10/729219388/first-listen-baroness-gold-grey

17-TRACK ALBUM ARRIVES THIS FRIDAY

IN-STORE TOUR UNDERWAY

Baroness’ highly-anticipated album, Gold & Grey, is streaming now via NPR (https://www.npr.org/2019/06/10/729219388/first-listen-baroness-gold-grey).

The 17-track release which arrives this Friday is described by NPR as “…Baroness has redigested every sound of the band’s career thus far and synthesized it into something greater. Gold & Grey is the sound of a band becoming a universe unto itself.” Mojodubbed the album “an epic beast,” Stereogum referred to it as “anthemic” and MetalSuckssaid the collection “perfectly encapsulates how Baroness excel at reaching shining peaks and descending into gloomy valleys.” Baroness have recently been featured on the covers of Decibel MagazineKerrang! and Loud!, while Revolver will debut a series of collectible covers later this month.

“This is the most clear representation of the artistic vision I have for the band that we’ve ever done,” explains singer/guitar player John Baizley. “Where Purple was me lyrically trying to work out how to adjust to a new normal, I think Gold & Grey is a more grown-up and more subtle collection of words that reflect how I am trying to deal with the longer term effects of having experienced so many terrible things. I choose to use the band as a place where I can take all of this stress, pain, anxiety, all these realities, and make them something good.”

Baroness is in the midst of a tour of Northeastern U.S. independent record stores, performing acoustically this evening at Philadelphia’s Creep Records, with a full band performance slated for Brooklyn’s Rough Trade on release date. A South American tour is slated for later this month, followed by both North American and European treks.

Tour dates:

June 10 Philadelphia, PA Creep Records

June 11 Fords, NJ Vintage Vinyl

June 12 Babylon, NY Looney Tunes

June 14 Brooklyn, NY Rough Trade

June 15 Poughkeepsie, NY Darkside Records

June 16 Boston, MA ONCE/Newbury Comics

June 19 Mexico City, Mexico MX at Lunario

June 21 Santiago, Chile Blondie

June 22 Buenos Aires, Argentina Uniclub

June 23 São Paulo, Brazil Fabrique Club

July 11 Lancaster, PA The Chameleon

July 12 Poughkeepsie, NY The Chance

July 13 Huntington, NY The Paramount

July 14 Hartford, CT Webster Theatre

July 16 Buffalo, NY Town Ballroom

July 17 Pittsburgh, PA Mr. Smalls Theatre

July 19 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall

July 20 Detroit, MI The Majestic

July 21 Indianapolis, IN Deluxe at Old National Centre

July 23 Palatine, IL Durty Nellie’s

July 24 Des Moines, IA Wooly’s

July 26 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room

July 27 Lawrence, KS The Granada

July 28 St. Louis MO The Ready Room

July 30 Nashville, TN Cannery Ballroom

July 31 Birmingham, AL Saturn

August 4 Baton Rouge, LA The Varsity Theatre

August 5 Atlanta, GA Buckhead Theatre

August 6 Tampa, FL The Orpheum

August 7 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Culture Room

August 9 Orlando, FL Plaza Live

August 10 Jacksonville, FL 1904 Music Hall

August 11 Charleston, SC The Music Farm

August 13 Charlotte, NC The Underground

August 14 Asheville, NC The Orange Peel

August 16 Richmond, VA The National

August 17 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Sound Stage

September 23 Newcastle, UK O2 Academy

September 24 Glasgow, UK O2 Academy

September 26 London, UK O2 Academy Brixton

September 28 Bristol, UK O2 Academy

September 30 Birmingham, UK O2 Academy

October 1 Manchester, UK O2 Apollo

October 3 Belfast, UK Ulster Hall

October 4 Dublin, IE Olympia Theatre

October 6 Paris, FR L’Olympia

October 7 Luxembourg, LU Rockhal

October 9 Madrid, ES La Riviera

October 10 Lisbon, PT Coliseum

October 12 Barcelona, ES Razzmatazz

October 14 Milan, IT Fabrique

October 29 Warsaw, PL Torwar Arena

October 31 Prague, CZ O2 Universum

November 1 Berlin, DE Mercedes-Benz Arena

November 3 Stuttgart, DE Schleyerhalle

November 5 Zurich, CH Hallenstadion

November 7 Frankfurt, DE Festhalle

November 8 Munich, DE Olympiahalle

November 10 Leipzig, DE Arena Leipzig

November 11 Hamburg, DE Barclaycard Arena

November 14 Cologne, DE Lanxess Arena

November 17 Vienna, AT Stadhalle

November 19 Amsterdam, NL Ziggo Dome

November 21 Antwerp, BE Lotto Arena

November 27 Helsinki, FI Hartwall Arena

November 29 Stockholm, SE Tele2 Arena

Photo courtesy of Baroness

Baroness is John Baizley (vocals/guitar), Gina Gleason (guitar), Nick Jost (bass) and Sebastian Thomson (drums). Baroness received a GRAMMY® Award nomination for the song “Shock Me” (from the 2015 album, Purple) in the “Best Metal Performance” category. Purple saw worldwide praise with Pitchfork saying it features “some of the biggest, strongest songs Baroness has ever written” and Mojo proclaiming “Baroness have delivered their masterpiece.” The album received numerous year end accolades including “Shock Me” at #10 on Entertainment Weekly’s Top 40 Songs of 2015, #6 on Pitchfork’sBest Metal Albums of 2015 and #7 on Rolling Stone’s 20 Best Metal Albums of 2015. The band’s catalog of studio recordings is: Gold & Grey (2019), Purple (2015), Yellow & Green(2012), Blue Record (2009), Red Album (2007), A Grey Sigh in a Flower Husk (Split LP, 2007), Second (EP, 2004) and First (EP, 2004).

Baroness Release “Gold & Grey” on June 14 Via Braxan Hymns

BARONESS RELEASE GOLD & GREY ON JUNE 14 VIA ABRAXAN HYMNShttp://smarturl.it/baroness-goldandgrey
BAND RELEASE “BORDERLINES” VIDEO; NORTH AMERICAN TOUR UNDERWAYhttps://youtu.be/tQX_oVVORFU
Gold & Grey album cover; original painting by John Baizley
Baroness release their eagerly-awaited new album, Gold & Grey, on June 14 via Abraxan Hymns.

The band has simultaneously released a video for the song “Borderlines” (https://youtu.be/tQX_oVVORFU), which saw its live performance debut at Baroness’s tour kick off last Friday in Houston.

“Our goal is, was, and will always be to write increasingly superior, more honest and compelling songs, and to develop a more unique and challenging sound,” offered Baroness founder, guitar player and vocalist John Baizley. “I’m sure we have just finished our best, most adventurous album to date. We dug incredibly deep, challenged ourselves and recorded a record I’m positive we could never again replicate. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to know Sebastian, Nick and Gina as both my bandmates and my friends. They have pushed me to become a better songwriter, musician and vocalist. We’re all extremely excited for this release, which includes quite a few ‘firsts’ for the band, and we’re thrilled to be back on tour to play these psychotic songs for our fans. Expect some surprises.”

While Gold & Grey found the outfit once again working with Purple producer Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Mogwai), sequestering themselves at Fridmann’s remote upstate New York Tarbox Road Studio, the 17-track album ushered in two significant changes: a decidedly different recording process and guitar player Gina Gleason’s debut on a Baroness recording. The band, who tracked portions of the vocals, guitars and overdubs in Baizley’s home-basement studio, another first for the band, eschewed their normal routine of entering the studio with meticulously detailed plans and instead opted for a looser, more improvisational approach that resulted in the band’s most collaborative and emotionally evocative release to date.

“On Gold & Grey we have taken some unexpected paths on a labyrinthine sonic adventure. We accepted sounds and styles that have not appeared on previous Baroness albums, and I’m excited to welcome our fans into our new lair,” added drummer Sebastian Thomson.
“Having the chance to create music without any preconceived boundaries was both liberating and intimidating,” explains guitar player Gina Gleason. “As we pushed past our fear and comfort zone, the four of us connected in a way that allowed us to create freely, uplift one another and build the unique sonic world that is Gold & Grey. As a longtime Baroness listener, it is exciting to have created something new while still maintaining a deep love and understanding of the band’s roots. To say that the making of this record was quite a journey would be an understatement. We are beyond excited to share this experience and music with everyone!”

Baroness tour dates (co-headline w/Deafheaven; Zeal & Ardor open on all dates):

March 14 Anaheim, CA House of Blues Anaheim

March 16 Berkeley, CA The UC Theatre

March 18 Portland, OR Roseland Theater

March 19 Seattle, WA The Showbox

March 20 Vancouver, BC Vogue Theatre

March 22 Edmonton, AB Union Hall

March 23 Calgary, AB The Palace Theatre

March 24 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory

March 26 Salt Lake City, UT The Complex

March 27 Denver, CO The Ogden Theater

March 29 Minneapolis, MN Skyway Theatre

March 30 Madison, WI The Sylvee

March 31 Chicago, IL Riviera Theatre

April 2 Toronto, ON Danforth Music Hall

April 3 Montreal, QC Corona Theatre

April 5 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom

April 6 Worcester, MA The Palladium

April 7 Albany, NY Upstate Concert Hall

April 9 Cleveland, OH Agora Theater

April 10 Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore

April 12 New York, NY Terminal 5

April 13 Philadelphia, PA Decibel Metal & Beer Fest (The Fillmore Philadelphia)

Photo credit: Pam Strohm

Gold & Grey track list:

  1. Front Toward Enemy
  2. I’m Already Gone
  3. Seasons
  4. Sevens
  5. Tourniquet
  6. Anchor’s Lament
  7. Throw Me An Anchor
  8. I’d Do Anything
  9. Blankets of Ash
  10. Emmett-Radiating Light
  11. Cold Blooded Angels
  12. Crooked Mile
  13. Broken Halo
  14. Can Oscura
  15. Borderlines
  16. Assault on East Falls
  17. Pale Sun

Album pre-orders (http://smarturl.it/baroness-goldandgrey) are available now with various limited-edition vinyl and merch bundles available as well as digital pre-orders that include an instant download of “Borderlines.”

Foo Fighters Tour Support Confirmed for Concrete and Gold North American Tour

FOO FIGHTERS

CONCRETE AND GOLD NORTH AMERICAN TOUR 2018 SUPPORT CONFIRMED FOR BOSTON, CHICAGO, SEATTLE &
TORONTO STADIUM DATES

Dinosaur Jr., Speedy Ortiz, The Joy Formidable, The Struts, Gang of Youths & More To Join On Select Dates

#CALJAMDAD FLYAWAY SWEEPSTAKES LIVE NOW AT http://smarturl.it/CalJamDad

Foo Fighters have confirmed an array of additional support acts for the upcoming North American leg of the tour. Friends joining the Foos on the rock and roll stage include FF influences Dinosaur Jr., current tour mates The Struts, indie darlings Speedy Ortiz, powerhouse rock quartet The Beaches, and handpicked bad ass local bands The Monsieurs, Melkbelly, and Touched by Ghoul. The Joy Formidable and Gang of Youths will join for the tour’s fall arena dates.

The North American leg of the Concrete and Gold Tour kicks off in three weeks, on July 6 at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Washington D.C., and crisscrosses the US and Canada through mid-October with stops in major cities Toronto, New York, Boston, Chicago, Vancouver, Denver, and San Bernardino, where the band will play their only Los Angeles-area show as the headliners of Cal Jam 18.

The breakdown of guests on Foo Fighters’ July and September marathon stadium rock extravaganzas will be:

July 12 — Toronto — Rogers Centre:
The Struts
The Beaches

July 21— Boston – Fenway Park:
The Struts
The Monsieurs

July 22 — Boston – Fenway Park:
Dinosaur Jr.
Speedy Ortiz

July 29 — Chicago, IL — Wrigley Field:
The Struts
Melkbelly

July 30 — Chicago, IL — Wrigley Field:
TBA
Touched by Ghoul

September 1 — Seattle, WA — Safeco Field
TBA
The Joy Formidable

As already announced, The Struts support on the tour’s July and August arena dates, with The Joy Formidable taking over in September and Gang of Youths opening in October.

Foo Fighters fans are invited to make the band’s final Southern California appearance of the Concrete and Gold Tour a family affair: Enter the #CalJamDad Flyaway Sweepstakes by going to http://smarturl.it/CalJamDad to upload a photo of your #CalJamDad in your life—or of yourself if you’re a dad–and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a trip for two to Cal Jam 18. What better way to celebrate Fathers Day than to win a chance to join Foo Fighters and their custom-curated lineup featuring an exclusive appearance by Iggy Pop and Post Pop Depression (Joshua Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen, Dean Fertita, Matt Helders), Tenacious D, Garbage Greta Van Fleet, Silversun Pickups, Manchester Orchestra, Krist Novoselic’s new band Giant In The Trees, Slaves (UK), Gang of Youths, Black Mountain and more…

For further updates on the 2018 Concrete and Gold Tour, continue to check www.foofighters.com.

Foo Fighters are Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear and Rami Jaffee.

FOO FIGHTERS
CONCRETE AND GOLD
North American Tour 2018

07/05-15/18 – Ottawa, ON – RBC Bluesfest
07/06/18 – Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion
07/07/18 – Philadelphia, PA – BB&T Pavilion
07/09/18 – Quebec, QC – Festival de Quebec
07/12/18 – Toronto, ON – Rogers Centre
07/14/18 – Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
07/16/18 – New York, NY — Madison Square Garden
07/17/18 – New York, NY — Madison Square Garden
07/19/18 – Pittsburgh, PA – PPG Paints Arena
07/21/18 — Boston, MA – Fenway Park
07/22/18 — Boston, MA – Fenway Park
07/25/18 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH (Cleveland) – Blossom Music Center
07/26/18 – Noblesville, IN (Indianapolis) – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
07/29/18 — Chicago, IL — Wrigley Field
07/30/18 — Chicago, IL — Wrigley Field
09/01/18 – Seattle, WA — Safeco Field
09/04/18 – Edmonton, AB — Rogers Place
09/06/18 – Calgary, AB — Scotiabank Saddledome
09/08/18 – Vancouver, BC — Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
09/10/18 – Portland, OR — Moda Center
09/12/18 – San Jose, CA — SAP Center
09/14-16/18 – San Diego, CA – KABOO de mar
10/5-6/18 – San Bernadino, CA – Glen Helen Regional Park — CalJam18 (with Iggy Pop/Post Pop Depression, Tenacious D, Garbage, Greta Van Fleet, Silversun Pickups, and more; Friday Night Party with Billy Idol, Bridget Everett, Mexrrissey, others)
10/08/18 — Phoenix, AZ — Talking Stick Resort Arena
10/10/18 — Denver, CO — Pepsi Center
10/12/18 — Kansas City, MO — Sprint Center
10/13/18 — St. Louis, MO – Scottrade Center
10/15/18 —Detroit, MI — Little Caesars Arena
10/17/18 — Milwaukee, WI – Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center
10/18/18 — St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center

Foo Fighters “Concrete and Gold” Available for Pre-Order

FOO FIGHTERS
CONCRETE AND GOLD
AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW HERE 
HARD ROCK EXTREMES AND POP SENSIBILITIES COLLIDE ON NINTH OPUS
OUT SEPTEMBER 15 ON ROSWELL RECORDS / RCA RECORDS

“I wanted it to be the biggest sounding Foo Fighters record ever. To make a gigantic rock record but with Greg Kurstin’s sense of melody and arrangement… Motorhead’s version of Sgt. Pepper… or something like that.”

So speaks Dave Grohl of the mission statement made manifest in Foo Fighters’ ninth epic, the aptly-titled Concrete and Gold, due out September 15 worldwide on Roswell Records / RCA Records and available for preorder now.

Just as Foo Fighters’ anthem of the summer “Run” “opens as a dreamy, slow burner then… quickly turns heavy as thunder” (BILLBOARD) with its “huge triumphant chorus” (STEREOGUM), Concrete and Gold marries some of the most insanely heavy FF riffs ever with lush harmonic complexities courtesy of a first time team-up with producer Greg Kurstin (Adele, Sia, Pink).

This unlikely alliance came about through a bizarre sequence of surprise musical obsessions and chance encounters: Listening to the radio during a drive roughly four years ago, Grohl first heard “Again and Again” by Kurstin’s band The Bird & The Bee—“It blew my mind… it was so much more sophisticated than anything I’d ever heard and I became obsessed.”

Some months later, Grohl would randomly spot and fanboy out over “the guy from The Bird & The Bee!” a/k/a Greg Kurstin. The two became fast friends over common musical loves with Grohl learning that his new favorite band had been on hiatus due to Kurstin’s workload as a producer.

While Foo Fighters recorded and released Sonic Highways, broke some bones and packed stadiums and arenas on one of the top five grossing tours of 2015, and gifted fans with the St. Cecilia EP, “Greg was becoming one of the biggest producers in the world,” Grohl recalls.

With the writing and recording of the next Foo Fighters album on the horizon, Grohl was eager as always to find fresh challenges for the band: “So I think maybe Greg is the guy that we ask to be our producer because he’s never made a heavy rock record before and we’ve never worked with a pop producer.” Darrel Thorp (Beck, Radiohead) was soon enlisted to mix and engineer. This collective conceived a blueprint of the new record as “Motorhead’s version of Sgt. Pepper… or something like that,” secretly booking into Hollywood’s esteemed EastWest studios to consummate this marriage of extremes… or as Grohl puts it: “Our noise and Greg’s big brain and all of his sophisticated arrangements and composition.”

Months, sounds and stories (more on those soon, promise) and so many guitars later, the 11-Grammy-winning, 25+ million-record-selling, last great American stadium rock band had completed its most ambitious album ever—which naturally begat another insane challenge: How to celebrate music & throw the ultimate “backyard party for 50,000 people”…

What came to Grohl in that vision will become reality October 7 when Foo Fighters’ CAL JAM 17 takes over Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, CA. In addition to being Foo Fighters’ biggest ever one-day U.S. headline, in the spirit of the original California Jam, this daylong marathon of eating, drinking and rocking features an absolutely unfuckwithable lineup: Queens of the Stone Age, Cage The Elephant, Liam Gallagher, The Kills, Royal Blood, Japandroids, Wolf Alice, Bob Mould, The Struts, Bully, Circa Waves, Babes in Toyland, Adia Victoria, Fireball Ministry, The Obsessed, Pinky Pinky, Starcrawler, White Reaper… And in addition to 12 hours of rock and roll good times, Cal Jam 17 offers camping, carnival rides, a water park, attractions, a mobile recording studio & so much more. On Friday night, October 6, campers will also experience the world’s best Go-Go band Big Tony & Trouble Funk, an outdoor movie theater and many other surprises. Camping space is limited, so act fast.

 

The full track listing for Concrete and Gold is:

1. T-Shirt
2. Run
3. Make It Right
4. The Sky Is A Neighborhood
5. La Dee Da
6. Dirty Water
7. Arrows
8. Happy Ever After (Zero Hour)
9. Sunday Rain
10. The Line
11. Concrete and Gold

Concrete and Gold was written and performed by Foo Fighters, produced by Greg Kurstin and Foo Fighters, and mixed by Darrell Thorp.

Foo Fighters are Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear and Rami Jaffee.

October-December U.S. Tour Dates On Sale To The Public June 29 at 10am Local Time
Visit https://www.foofighters.com/ For Information On How To Sign Up For Pre-Sale Access

FOO FIGHTERS
Concrete and Gold U.S. Tour 2017
Dates in BOLD On Sale June 29 10am Local Time

OCTOBER 7 – San Bernardino, CA – CAL JAM 17 @ Glen Helen Regional Park with Queens of the Stone Age, Cage The Elephant, Liam Gallagher, The Kills, Royal Blood, Japandroids, Wolf Alice, Bob Mould, The Struts, Bully, Circa Waves, Babes in Toyland, Adia Victoria, Fireball Ministry, The Obsessed, Pinky Pinky, Starcrawler, White Reaper, Big Tony & Trouble Funk and more

OCTOBER 12 – Washington DC – The Anthem (SOLD OUT)
OCTOBER 14 – Richmond, VA – Richmond Coliseum
OCTOBER 15 – Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Coliseum
OCTOBER 17 – Columbia, SC – Colonial Life Arena
OCTOBER 18 – Knoxville, TN – Thompson-Boling Arena
OCTOBER 20 – Cincinnati, OH – U.S. Bank Arena
OCTOBER 21 – Lexington, KY – Rupp Arena
OCTOBER 23 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
OCTOBER 24 – Memphis,TN – FedExForum
OCTOBER 26 – Birmingham, AL – Legacy Arena at The BJCC
OCTOBER 28 – New Orleans, LA – Voodoo Music + Arts Experience
NOVEMBER 7 – Madison, WI – Kohl Center
NOVEMBER 8 – Champaign, IL – State Farm Arena (* Public On Sale Thursday, July 13 10am Local)
NOVEMBER 10 – Des Moines, IA – Wells Fargo Arena
NOVEMBER 11 – Sioux Falls, SD – Denny Sanford PREMIER Center
NOVEMBER 13 – Wichita, KS – INTRUST Bank Arena
NOVEMBER 15 – Tulsa, OK – BOK Center
DECEMBER 1 – Fresno, CA – Save Mart Center
DECEMBER 2 – Sacramento, CA – Golden 1 Center
DECEMBER 4 – Spokane, WA – Spokane Arena
DECEMBER 5 – Eugene, OR – Matthew Knight Arena
DECEMBER 7 – Nampa ID – Ford Idaho Center
DECEMBER 9 – Billings MT – Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark
DECEMBER 10 – Casper WY – Casper Events Center
DECEMBER 12 – Salt Lake City UT – Vivint Smart Home Arena

 

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Blu-ray Review “Gold”

Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez, Corey Stoll, Bryce Dallas Howard
Directors: Stephen Gaghan
Rated: R
Studio: LIONSGATE
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Run Time: 121 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

For the talent involved you would have thought that a film like “Gold” would have gotten a lot more notice. This film stars Matthew McConaughey (“The Dark Tower”), Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World”), Corey Stoll (“House of Cards”), as well as veterans Stacy Keach (“American History X”) and Bruce Greenwood (“Star Trek”). Talent-wise this film is a score. I enjoyed watching it, thought it would be a film that I would never see again for sure. Not my kinda movie.

Official Premise: “Gold” is the epic tale of one man’s pursuit of the American dream — to discover gold. Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey stars as Kenny Wells, a prospector desperate for a lucky break, who teams up with a similarly eager geologist, and they set off on an amazing journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. Getting the gold was hard, but keeping it would be even harder, sparking an adventure through the most powerful boardrooms of Wall Street.

“Gold” comes in a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD included.  The 1080p transfer is typical. Doesn’t stand out. Doesn’t suck. Looks solid enough. Same goes for thhe DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, which delivers great sound especially for the title track by Iggy Pop and Danger Mouse. The special features includes an audio commentary with director Stephen Gaghan as well as a deleted scene, a featurette on the film’s locations and a behind-the-scenes look at Matthew McConaughey’s character.

Media Mikes 2016 Fall/Holiday Movie Preview

Labor Day has come and gone, and unless you’re dressing up as a ghost, you better not be wearing anything white! With the end of summer comes the beginning of fall and the start of Hollywood’s “Prestige Movie Push!”

We’ll take a look at what the studios hope are their best bets to fill the multiplexes and bring home the Oscars. Once again, a big thank you to our friends at Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) for some synopsis information. Opening dates noted are subject to change at the whim of the studios. Enjoy!

OCTOBER 7

THE 13th

Documentary
Directed by: Ava DuVernay

The director of “Selma” gives us an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality.

OSCAR CHANCES: Will surely make the short list.

THE BIRTH OF A NATION

Starring: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer
Directed by: Nate Parker

Set against the antebellum South, the film follows Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities – against himself and his fellow slaves – Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.

OSCAR CHANCES: After last year’s #OSCARSOWHITE controversy, the early buzz on this film almost guaranteed a bounty of nominations. However, it was recently revealed that writer/director/star Nate Parker and his co-writer, Jean McGianni Celestin, were accused of raping a fellow college student in 1999. Though Parker was not found guilty and Celestin had his conviction overturned, their alleged victim committed suicide. Not sure how this news will affect the Academy voters.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

Starring: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett and Justin Theroux
Directed by: Tate Taylor

In the film, being compared to “Gone Girl,” a recently divorced woman
takes the train to work every day and imagines the lives of a young couple she
sees every day. Things get weird when the young wife disappears.

OSCAR CHANCES: Blunt is already getting raves for her performance.


OCTOBER 13

MASCOTS

Starring: Christopher Guest, Parker Posey and Jane Lynch
Directed by: Christopher Guest

Simply described as “a look into the world of competitive mascots,” this is the latest opus from the great Christopher Guest. Sadly, unless I missed it, this is the first of Guest’s films that does not include Eugene Levy.

OSCAR CHANCES: Possible screenplay nod.

 

OCTOBER 14

THE ACCOUNTANT

Starring: Ben Affleck, J.K. Simmons and Anna Kendrick
Directed by: Gavin O’Connor

A forensic accountant un-cooks the books for illicit clients. What I like about the trailer is that Affleck seems to be a young genius. Maybe this is his chance to play Will Hunting?

OSCAR CHANCES: Maybe.


KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW?

Starring: Kevin Hart
Directed by: Leslie Small and Tim Story

Kevin Hart performs his comedy in front of 50,000 fans.

OSCAR CHANCES: No.


OCTOBER 21

AMERICAN PASTORAL

Starring: Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning and Ewan McGregor
Directed by: Ewan McGregor

In 1968, a hardworking man, who’s been a staple in his quaint community for years, watches his seemingly perfect middle class life fall apart as his daughter’s new radical political affiliation threatens to destroy their family. Based on the novel by Philip Roth.

OSCAR CHANCES: Adapted screenplay?

IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE

Starring: John Travolta, Ethan Hawke and Karen Gillan
Directed by: Ti West

A mysterious stranger and a random act of violence drag a town of misfits and nitwits into the bloody cross-hairs of revenge. Ethan Hawke’s second western this season and John Travolta in a cowboy hat for the first time since “Urban Cowboy.” Yee-hah!

OSCAR CHANCES: Sadly Western’s very rarely get recognized.

JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK

Starring: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders
Directed by: Edward Zwick

Jack Reacher must uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy in order to clear his name. On the run as a fugitive from the law, Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever.

OSCAR CHANCES: Director Zwick has helmed three of my favorite films (“About Last Night,” “Glory” and “Legends of the Fall” but only has an Oscar for co-producing “Shakespeare in Love.” It’s about time this man was recognized, though I don’t think it’s going to be for a Jack Reacher film.

A MONSTER CALLS

Starring: Liam Neeson, Felicity Jones and Sigourney Weaver
Directed by: J.A. Bayona

A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mom’s terminal illness.

OSCAR CHANCES: Visual effects.

TYLER PERRY’S BOO! A MADEA HALLOWEEN

Starring: Tyler Perry
Directed by: Tyler Perry

Madea winds up in the middle of mayhem when she spends a haunted Halloween fending off killers, paranormal poltergeists, ghosts, ghouls and zombies while keeping a watchful eye on a group of misbehaving teens. I’m scared.

OSCAR CHANCES: I’m going to go out on a limb and say “no”

OCTOBER 28

INFERNO

Starring: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones
Directed by: Ron Howard

When Robert Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks, and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot. The second Felicity Jones film in as many weeks.

OSCAR CHANCES: Sorry, Tom, but your nomination this year is coming from “Sully”

 

NOVEMBER 4

BLEED FOR THIS

Starring: Miles Teller and Aaron Eckhart
Directed by: Ben Younger

The inspirational story of World Champion Boxer Vinny Pazienza who, after a near fatal car crash, which left him not knowing if he’d ever walk again, made one of sport’s most incredible comebacks.

OSCAR CHANCES: Both Robert DeNiro and Hillary Swank won Oscars for portraying boxers so never say never. Hell, Stallone got nominated…TWICE!

DOCTOR STRANGE

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams and Mads Mikkelsen
Directed by: Scott Derrickson

A neurosurgeon with a destroyed career sets out to repair his hands only to find himself protecting the world from inter-dimensional threats.

OSCAR CHANCES: Visual effects.

HACKSAW RIDGE

Starring: Andrew Garfield and Sam Worthington
Directed by: Mel Gibson

WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people and becomes the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Mel doesn’t appear in this one but his dead-ringer son, Milo, does.

OSCAR CHANCES: Gibson (Mel, not Milo) already has an Oscar for directing so you never know. I’m sure people have forgotten what all of the hub-bub was about concerning him a few years ago.

LOVING

Starring: Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton
Directed by: Jeff Nichols

Back in the dark ages, Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, are sentenced to prison in Virginia in 1958 for getting married. Apparently they had nothing better to do in Virginia at the time.

OSCAR CHANCES: Acting, picture.

TROLLS

Starring the voices of: Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake
Directed by: Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn

Remember those little plastic things with long hair that you used to put on the end of your pencil? When I was a kid we called them Kewpies but apparently they are Trolls and they have their own movie. Good for them!

OSCAR CHANCES: Maybe best hairstyling?

NOVEMBER 11

ARRIVAL

Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve

A linguist is recruited by the military to assist in translating alien communications.

OSCAR CHANCES: Picture, director, acting.

SHUT IN

Starring: Naomi Watts and Jacob Tremblay
Directed by: Farren Blackburn

A heart-pounding thriller about a widowed child psychologist who lives in an isolated existence in rural New England. Caught in a deadly winter storm, she must find a way to rescue a young boy before he disappears forever.

OSCAR CHANCES: Unsure, but young Mr. Tremblay should have been nominated last year for “Room.”

USS INDIANAPOLIS: MEN OF COURAGE

Starring: Nicolas Cage and Tom Sizemore
Directed by: Mario Van Peebles

The harrowing true story of the crew of the USS Indianapolis, who were stranded in the Philippine Sea for five days after delivering the atomic weapons that would eventually end WWII. If you saw “Jaws,” this is the tale that Quint tells. Other “Jaws” related facts: this was the original idea for “Jaws 2.” Also: Mario Van Peebles starred in “Jaws the Revenge.”

OSCAR CHANCES: To me it looks like a “made for TV” movie. How about Emmy chances?


NOVEMBER 18

THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN

Starring: Hailiee Steinfeld, Blake Jenner and Woody Harrelson
Directed by: Kelly Fremon Craig

High-school life gets even more unbearable for Nadine when her best friend, Krista, starts dating her older brother. Is that weird? When I was in high-school I wanted to date my best friend’s older sister. Hopefully Stevie Nicks got some money from this.

OSCAR CHANCES: Nada

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Jon Voight and Ezra Miller
Directed by: David Yates

The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards 70 years before Harry Potter reads his book in school. Even though Harry Potter and his pals are less than 20 years old it seems like they’ve been around forever.

OSCAR CHANCES: Visual effects, music (the great James Newton Howard)

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA

Starring: Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams
Directed by: Kenneth Lonergan

An uncle is forced to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies.

OSCAR CHANCES: Both Affleck and Williams have been nominated in the past so I’m not ruling anything out.

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS

Starring: Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal
Directed by: Tom Ford

An art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a veiled threat and a symbolic revenge tale. November is Amy Adams month.

OSCAR CHANCES: Across the board


NOVEMBER 23

ALLIED

Starring: Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

In 1942, an intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war. Cotillard isn’t married so maybe we can look forward to reading about “Bradarion” soon.

OSCAR CHANCES: Pitt, Cotilliard and Zemeckis have been there before.

BAD SANTA 2

Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates and Tony Cox
Directed by: Mark Waters

Fueled by cheap whiskey, greed and hatred, Willie teams up once again with his angry little sidekick, Marcus, to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve.

OSCAR CHANCES: I thought Billy Bob deserved a nod for the first film but I’m going to say no.

MOANA

Starring the voices of: Dwayne Johnson, Alan Tudyk and Nicole Scherzinger
Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker, Don Hall and Chris Williams

A young woman uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled island. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui.

OSCAR CHANCES: Animated feature, original song

RULES DON’T APPLY

Starring: Warren Beatty, Lily Collins and Ed Harris
Directed by: Warren Beatty

An unconventional love story of an aspiring actress, her determined driver, and the eccentric billionaire who they work for. Beatty has been wanting to do a Howard Hughes-based film since the 1970s. Not sure if this is what he had in mind back then but, after a 15-year absence, it’s great to see him both in front of and behind the camera.

OSCAR CHANCES: Only two people have been nominated in the same year for acting, directing, writing and producing the best picture: Orson Welles and Warren Beatty. And Beatty did it TWICE!


NOVEMBER 25

LION

Starring: Dev Patel, Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman
Directed by: Garth Davis

A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.

OSCAR CHANCES: Many


DECEMBER 2

LA LA LAND

Starring: Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone
Directed by: Damien Chazelle

From the creator of “Whiplash” comes a film about a jazz pianist who falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles. And it’s a musical!

OSCAR CHANCES: Early film festival buzz say’s this may be the film to watch (both on screen and at awards time!)


DECEMBER 9

MISS SLOANE

Starring: Jessica Chastain
Directed by: John Madden

An ambitious lobbyist faces off against the powerful gun lobby in an attempt to pass gun control legislation.

OSCAR CHANCES: Actress. Madden directed the Oscar-winning “Shakespeare in Love.”

OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY

Starring: Jason Bateman and Jennifer Anniston
Directed by: Josh Gordon and Will Speck

When his uptight CEO sister threatens to shut down his branch, the branch manager throws an epic Christmas party in order to land a big client and save the day, but the party gets way out of hand.

OSCAR CHANCES: Zip

DECEMBER 16

COLLATERAL BEAUTY

Starring: Will Smith and Keira Knightley
Directed by: David Frankel

A tragic event sends a New York ad man on a downward spiral.

OSCAR CHANCES: I’ve already had to apologize to Will Smith twice for doubting he’d get nominated for “Ali” and “The Pursuit of Happyness.” There won’t be a third. Good luck Will.

FENCES

Starring: Denzel Washington and Viola Davis
Directed by: Denzel Washington

An African American father struggles with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s and coming to terms with the events of his life. Based on the August Wilson play.

OSCAR CHANCES: YES!

THE FOUNDER

Starring: Michael Keaton and Patrick Wilson
Directed by: John Lee Hancock

The story of McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc. You may look at your next hamburger differently. Keaton is said to be so good that they pulled the film from it’s original release date.

OSCAR CHANCES: Keaton

A KIND OF MURDER

Starring: Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel
Directed by: Andy Goddard

In 1960s New York, Walter Stackhouse is a successful architect married to the beautiful Clara who leads a seemingly perfect life. But his fascination with an unsolved murder leads him into a spiral of chaos as he is forced to play cat-and-mouse with a clever killer and an overambitious detective, while at the same time lusting after another woman. This will be a day of decisions for Patrick Wilson fans.

OSCAR CHANCES: Don’t see any

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

Starring: Felicity Jones, Jimmy Smits and Warwick Davis
Directed by: Gareth Edwards

Or, as I like to call it, “Episode 6.5” The Rebellion makes a risky move to steal the plans to the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow. Holy crap! The Death Star, Leia’s family, Darth Vader AND Wicket the Ewok? I’m already in line!

OSCAR CHANCES: Visual effects, make up.

DECEMBER 21

20th CENTURY WOMEN

Starring: Annette Bening, Elle Fanning and Laura Wiggins
Directed by: Mike Mills

The story of three women who explore love and freedom in Southern California during the late 1970s.

OSCAR CHANCES: Can anyone tell me why Annette Bening hasn’t won an Oscar yet? Didn’t think so. Keep your fingers crossed.

ASSASSINS CREED

Starring: Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard
Directed by: Justin Kurzel

When Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, he discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society. This synopsis seems so crazy considering the cast. I wonder if the two leads made the same mistake Bill Murray did when he thought “Garfield” had been written by one of the Coen brothers!

OSCAR CHANCES: Fassbender elevates everything he’s in so I’m not saying no!

PASSENGERS

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt
Directed by: Morten Tyldum

A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 90 years early. It’s so weird to see Lawrence in a movie at the end of the year NOT directed by David O. Russell. Oh well, there’s always next year.

OSCAR CHANCES: Visual effects, technical stuff

PATRIOTS DAY

Starring: Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Monaghan
Directed by: Peter Berg

An account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis’s actions in the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists behind it. Sounds better than what I thought it was – knowing Wahlberg is a huge New England Patriot fan I thought it was about a day with Tom Brady. The third film by Wahlberg and director Berg and second this year.

OSCAR CHANCES: Oh yes.

SING

Starring the voices of: Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson
Directed by: Garth Jennings

A koala named Buster Moon has one final chance to restore his theater to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.

OSCAR CHANCES: Animated film….maybe.

DECEMBER 25

GOLD

Starring: Matthew McConaughey and Bryce Dallas Howard
Directed by: Stephen Gaghan

An unlikely pair venture to the Indonesian jungle in search of gold. When he was outrageously thin in “Dallas Buyer’s Club” McConaughey still looked good. In this one he’s bald and….dammit!

OSCAR CHANCES: No sir.

WHY HIM?

Starring: James Franco and Bryan Cranston
Directed by: John Hamburg.

A dad forms a bitter rivalry with his daughter’s young rich boyfriend. Based on a story by Jonah Hill. Somebody needed money.

OSCAR CHANCES: I’m ashamed that I have to include those words with this film.

DECEMBER 28

PATERSON

Starring: Adam Driver
Directed by: Jim Jarmusch

Set in the present in Paterson, New Jersey, this is a tale about a bus driver and poet.

OSCAR CHANCES: Love Jarmusch. Maybe a witting nod.

Film Review “Woman in Gold”

Starring: Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds
Directed by: Simon Curtis
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1 hour 49 mins
The Weinstein Company

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

It’s amazing the things you never know, even when you know some things. As someone with a vague interest in art, I was familiar with the famous painting referred to as “Woman in Gold” (actual title – “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer 1”) painted by Gustav Klimt. What I found amazing about the painting is that the artist not only used oil paints, but actually used thin pieces of actual gold. But it’s the story that takes place after the painting is completed that makes up the well-crafted “Woman in Gold.”

The film, through flashbacks and the periods’ modern day, tells the story of Maria Altman, an Austrian girl who is forced to leave her home country as the Nazi’s come to power. Maria has a favorite aunt, Adele (Antje Traue), who dotes on her constantly. Maria loves her and loves admiring the painting of her, which hangs in their home. We also meet modern-day Maria (Mirren, in a performance that should be remembered come Oscar time). Maria is hoping to have the painting returned to her. It currently hangs in the Austrian State Gallery, having resided there since it was stolen by the Nazi’s in the 1940’s. When the country’s Minister of Arts refuses to return it, Maria asks the attorney son of a friend of hers (Reynolds) to help her. The rest, as they say, is history.

Sharply directed by Simon Curtis, the film is an intriguing mystery as, little by little, more and more information comes across the viewer’s desk. As we watch Maria (both of them) we learn what events made them the woman they are. We learn of the injustices felt not only by Maria but by the family she left behind. We also learn of her plight in the United States. With her attorney’s help, Maria finds a way to sue the Austrian government in the hopes of righting a 60 year wrong. Mirren is at the top of her game here, making you understand with only a few words or gestures the horrors Maria felt about those times and still feels today. The only drawback of the film is Reynolds, who is almost TOO subdued in his portrayal. But don’t let that opinion detract you from seeing it. The story the film tells is too important to miss.

Comic Images’ Limited Edition Gold Lamé Plush C3PO Giveaway [ENDED]

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED AND WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EACH WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

In honor of San Diego Comic Con this week, Comic Images and Media Mikes are teaming up to giveaway one of their brand new limited edition first-ever C3PO Super Deformed Plush. This is a 14” limited edition Super Deformed Plush made of gold lamé that will only be available at Comic Con and Celebration.  This is a special and super rare giveaway for the biggest “Star Wars” fans.

If you would like to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know your favorite quote from “Star Wars” seriesThis giveaway will be open until Friday July 27th at Noon, Eastern Time and is only open to residents of the United States. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out a winner and alert via email.

If you are hitting up SDCC this year but sure to visit the Comic Images booth (#2913B), where Yoda, Darth and Chewy join Spidey and Frankenstein to rein supreme in all their geekdom.  For more information about Comic Images product line, visit www.ComicImages.com.

Tracey Gold and Bug Hall and Director Griff Furst talk about Syfy’s “Arachnoquake”

If you are a fan of SyFy, they you must be a fan of their original movies. This summer, the month of June is packed with new great films. “Arachnoquake”, Syfy’s Saturday original movie, premiered on Saturday, June 23 and is one hell of a fun ride. It stars Tracey Gold (“Growing Pains”) and Bug Hall (“The Little Rascals”) and is directed by Griff Furst (“Swamp Shark”, “Lake Placid 3”). Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Tracey, Bug and Griff to discuss the film and their experience working on it.

Mike Gencarelli: First question is for Tracey and Bug. What did you guys like most about taking on a role in a movie like this?
Tracey Gold: I’ll start. Well, I would just have to say working with the cast and crew on the movie. I think it was just one of the better productions I’ve done. It was easy. It was fun. It was well organized. Everybody got along. It was a subject matter that was obviously, liked, I mean it has albino spiders…and it was just a lot of fun and a really great group of people.
Bug Hall: Yes, I think that was definitely perk number one for me as well, you know. The cast, crew and Griff and everyone at Syfy was great. And I liked that we were all on the same page going into it. My very first question to Griff was, how funny is this thing? He was right there with me saying “We’re going to hit every moment for comedy that we have”. This thing is comedy at heart and that was to me the most exciting part was really getting to be funny and getting to just sort of run with jokes and have a lot of fun with it.

MG: Can you talk about the scene that you had the most fun with while shooting?
TG: Yes, I think the scene I had the most fun with was when we got to jump off the big boat and into the water. Then we all had to scramble up onto the ground. There were also some funny moments with it and Ethan Phillips which were hysterical and made us laugh. I like doing stuff like that when they say okay we’re not going to use stunt doubles or something, you guys can do it and I think that’s always like, just kind of so fun. Brings out the kid in us.
BH: Yes. Exactly, I’m a big kid at heart and any moment that I have to fire guns or, you know, tuck and roll, I’m a kid in a candy store and, you know, to me that is – that was the biggest appeal. A lot of the comedy stuff was – felt so good when we were finished though, you know. Like, going through it I’m always nervous because I don’t feel like I’m funny most of the time. But then as soon as it’s done, you know, you feel so good about it. I had a moment with Luck Johnson in a grocery store. I know when we were finished with the scene me and him were just elated, you know, we really felt like we nailed it and we were really happy with it and I felt like it was a big payoff. So, the comedy was a big appeal.

MG: Bug, do you feel that your nickname was factor into being cast int this film?
BH: As far as it factoring into me being cast, yes, I like to think that, it definitely played a part, right. I mean, Bug’s doing a movie about bugs. It certainly can’t hurt.

MG: Griff, you’ve been working, quite a bit with these creature features, like “Lake Placid 3” and “Swamp Shark”. What do you enjoy most about this genre?
Griff Furst: Well, I’ve always been a fan of creature and horror and sci-fi. What I’m enjoying most about is that these movies don’t take themselves too seriously. So, as long as you have actors who are down to experiment and to play with the humor in it and to kind of almost be aware of the situations that they’re in but still playing it for keeps and playing it seriously. That’s always really fun because you still get to do what you love to do but it’s all about having a good time and making sure that the audience in turn has a good time watching it as well. There’s not millions and trillions of dollars at stake and but that’s part of the fun with it.

MG: Tracey and Bug, as your co-stars in the film are huge giant bugs, what would you say is your biggest challenge working on this film?
TG: Sure, for me I had never done anything like this. So I remember when I read the script I was like, okay this is like funny, right? So it was an adjustment for me, we’re really like reacting to something that’s not there. But then that’s true acting. You get to use your imagination and that’s what made it so fun. So we had an idea of what the spiders looked like and probably in all of our heads it was slightly different. So, it’ll be interesting to actually see the way it really is. But it was a challenge and it was fun.
BH: Yes, I think the challenge of not having them there was probably more difficult than I expected going into it and it was just a lot of talking, you know. There was a lot of talking from scene to scene about what we were seeing and where it was and how big it was and what it was doing. You know, just to really kind of have that placeholder locked down and make sure we were all on the same page.
TG: To make sure we’re looking at the same thing.
BH: Right, A lot of Xs on apple boxed. But again, that was part of the appeal. It was a lot of fun just kind of letting the imagination run and really having fun with it. I can’t stress the having fun with it aspect of it enough. I mean, that was goal number one and we accomplished that.

MG: You guys have any room for any improv during the production?
BH: The cast and Griff there was, you know, it was always, you know, always open to whatever, you know, we wanted to throw out, especially with comedy, you know, you kind of have to just go with what, you know, what you’re feeling and what feels funny at the moment. And a lot of times what’s funny on the page, you know, doesn’t quite read and so you tweak it and you, you know, you bend it a little bit and you make, you know, you make the funny happen. So there was a lot of great moments where we just kind of ran and just played off each other.
GF: And also the character types that were listed in screenplays were actually quite different than a lot of the folks we ended up casting on purpose because it’s just interesting to go opposite. So we found out that, you know, there was some differences between Bug’s character and Lucky Johnson’s character so then that allowed more of this improve and kind of experimenting with their personalities and it’s not in the script, which didn’t originally call for that kind of personality. So, definitely a lot of improv.

MG: It sounded like you have a lot of fun with this obviously. Were there any times when you just kind of couldn’t keep a straightface because it’s something so silly?
TG: Many…
BH: Absolutely. Yes, especially those late nights when you’re starting to get delirious and it just really occurs to you what you’re doing. We definitely had quite a few moments of the giggle fits that had to be subsided.
GF: There’s a great blooper reel…
TG: I think that’s always fun.