ROB HALFORD GETS IN THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT WITH ‘CELESTIAL,’ ANNOUNCES ARIZONA APPEARANCE

Without question, Rob Halford is one of heavy metal’s all-time great vocalists – as heard through his highly influential and groundbreaking work with Judas Priest. But over his career, he has also proven able to master a variety of other styles vocally – including holiday-themed music. And in time for this holiday season, Halford will be releasing an all-new album, entitled Celestial (released October 18th via Legacy Recordings), and a day later, will be signing CD or LP purchases of the album at FYE Arizona Mills at 2:00 P.M (in Tempe, Arizona). Details to follow closer to the event.

The album will also be available for pre-order on Rob’s artist store – with exclusive merchandise and a limited, autographed metallic-gold color version of the vinyl. 

Please visit the Rob Halford store here: https://RobHalford.lnk.to/D2CPR

Credited to Rob Halford with Family and Friends, the album mixes holiday classics with all-new compositions, and will appeal to lovers of traditional holiday music and headbangers alike. “The great thing about heavy metal is it’s got these kinds of multiple dimensions,” explains the man also known as the Metal God. “I think when you look at it from an outside point of view – if you’re not really familiar with the metal scene – it can look pretty intimidating. And it is a very strong, powerful experience. But it comes at different levels. I think the music that we’ve made on Celestial, for example, gives a display of that. Metal maniacs – as we call ourselves – are just as ready for the holidays as everybody else. And what we’ve tried to do with this music is to reach out to as many of those metal dimensions as we possibly can.” 

And judging from the “Rob Halford with Family and Friends” banner, Celestial sees Halford joined by a supporting cast of those very close to him – his brother (Nigel) on drums, his nephew on bass (Alex, son of Priest bassist Ian Hill), has sister (Sue) on bells, and twin guitar tandem of Robert Jones and Jon Blakey. 

Once all the contributors were in place, Halford “went away and listened to a lot holiday music and Christmas carols. Traditional stuff. 12 tracks – including original tracks that I’m particularly excited about. And in that way, because of the dimensions of each song and the messages of each song, I think we cover a really broad platform. To me, more than anything, I wanted it to have its own characteristics and be a little bit more different than the regular rock n’ roll Christmas album.”

Halford has certainly accomplished this goal, as evidenced by such standout originals as the album-opening title track, “Donner and Blitzen,” and “Protected by the Light,” as well as reworkings of such holiday standards as “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Joy to the World,” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” among other standouts. “‘Donner and Blitzen’ gets the snowball rolling for Celestial – a song full of excitement, love and hope,” says Rob. “You can hear and feel the power of Christmas time – energy roarin’ with rockin’ reindeers haulin’!” The video for ‘Donner and Blitzen’ can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkSYiKHhp0E

“I think the holidays for any family are a mixture of fun and excitement and apprehension of the whole event. The magic of it more than anything else. It’s just a beautiful time of year – which a lot of us wish would be for every day of the year. It’s a beautiful thing as far as bringing families together. So, what better way to celebrate it than with your family, friends…and music. You must have music at Christmas time.”

And with the arrival of Celestial, Rob Halford has certainly done his part.

‘Celestial’ tracklist:
 
Side A

1.       Celestial [new song]
2.       Donner and Blitzen [new song]
3.       God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
4.       Away In A Manger
5.       Morning Star [new song]
6.       Deck The Halls

Side B
1.       Joy To The World
2.       O Little Town Of Bethlehem
3.       Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
4.       The First Noel
5.       Good King Wenceslas
6.       Protected By The Light [new song]

FYE in-store details:

Date/time: Saturday, October 19th at 2:00 P.M        
Location: FYE Arizona Mills (5000 Arizona Mills Circle #612 – Tempe, AZ 85282)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT:
 
facebook.com/robhalfordlegacy

This Holiday Season, Tampa Bay, Florida Will Become More Enchanting Than Ever Before!

Enchant® Christmas is coming to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, bringing the World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze, a locally curated Christmas Market, and more 

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (August 19, 2019) – Florida, prepare for your most captivating holiday season event to date. Enchant Christmas is an immersive holiday light experience that will transport guests to a world of Christmas wonder, with trees up to 80 feet tall, larger-than-life ornaments, twinkling snowflakes and, of course, Santa in a glittering sleigh. Brighter and more heartwarming than your wildest holiday dreams, Enchant will make its Florida debut at St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, November 22 – December 29. The outfield will be transformed into a twinkling maze of stunning light displays and a Christmas Market stocked with over 60 local food and artisan merchant vendors. The infield will house an ice-skating trail adorned with spectacularly lit archways. Additionally, the RaysClub along with other premium areas will become available for VIP and private holiday party experiences. 

Enchant Christmas boasts five completely different and custom-designed Light Maze experiences, each individually based on Enchant-produced original stories that chronicle the beloved, yet mischievous elf, Eddie, whose Christmas adventures drive the physical maze experiences. The story coming to St. Petersburg this holiday season, entitled “The Great Search,” follows the tale of the disappearance of Santa’s reindeer just before Christmas Eve. As guests of Enchant, your charge is to search the 90,000 square foot light maze for all nine of Santa’s reindeer. In 2018, guests of “The Great Search” experience exclaimed “It was such a beautiful and magical experience! The lights and the sculptures were amazing” (J. Hansen/Google) and “MUST experience live to fully comprehend this magical experience! Fun for 3 generations of my family!“ (K. Lubahn/Google) Throughout the entire experience, guests will be captivated by truly larger-than-life light displays, children will revel in the magic, all the while surrounded by falling snow, hot cocoa in hand, with holiday music spreading the holiday spirit from start to finish.

“After overwhelmingly popular events in Seattle, Washington, Vancouver, Canada and Dallas, Texas, we are grateful for the opportunity to work with the Rays and to bring Enchant Christmas to the greater Tampa Bay community and beyond” said Kevin Johnston, founder of Enchant Christmas. “Enchant is a one-of-a-kind holiday experience… the lights, the sounds, the entertainment, the entire experience aims to wrap people in the holiday spirit. Every year I look forward to the awestruck faces as guests walk towards the maze for the first time. It is hard not to crack a smile when you see young and old in wonder – and that is what Enchant is all about.”

“The Rays are thrilled to host Enchant at Tropicana Field during the holiday season,” said Rays President Brian Auld. “Tampa Bay has not seen anything like this before, and it will leave a lasting impression on those who come to experience the holiday magic.”

Within Enchant Christmas, a world of Christmas wonder awaits holiday revelers in the form of these festive activities:

  • The Christmas Light Maze – “The Great Search” is the World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze taking guests through a twinkling wonderland in search of Santa’s missing reindeer
  • Christmas Market – Taste seasonal delights and shop for holiday gifts from dozens of local vendors showcasing home decor, jewelry, gourmet foods, and more. Vendor applications are still being accepted at EnchantChristmas.com
  • VIP Event Experiences – Tropicana Field’s Private Suites and Club Spaces will be transformed into exclusive rooms for holiday parties and special events. Enjoy all that the Enchant experience has to offer plus full service catering, and more. Enchant Christmas is now accepting reservations for Holiday Parties. To inquire, visit EnchantChristmas.com
  • Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus – Santa will take photos in his workshop with the children and he’s bringing Mrs. Claus who will be leading story time.  
  • Food and Beverage – Enjoy holiday-themed food and drinks that are sure to please everyone throughout the Concourse with a special bar experience on the field in the maze.
  • Ice-Skating Trail – Enchant features a magical Ice-Skating Trail adorned with spectacular light displays. Rent a pair of skates at the event and take a glide with your loved ones.
  • Live Entertainment – Guests will get into the spirit with nightly caroling throughout the venue and local busking-style musicians

CONNECT WITH ENCHANT CHRISTMAS
EnchantChristmas.com
Facebook – /EnchantStPetersburg
Twitter – @EnchantStPete
Instagram – @EnchantStPetersburg
#EnchantChristmas

ABOUT ENCHANT CHRISTMAS
Enchant Christmas is produced by Enchant Christmas LLC, a subsidiary of Enchant Christmas Light Maze and Market Ltd., a Vancouver-based, professional Christmas light company serving Canada and the U.S. since 2010.

ZURU Toys’ X-Shot Brand Takes Aim to Win the Holiday Season!

The holidays are right around the corner believe it or not, we are less than halfway to the season. X-Shot from ZURU Toys is looking to take the win for this holiday season. They have tons of great new products for kids of every age. If you are looking for the perfect gift, check out some of the amazing products below and get a jump start on the holidays.

X-Shot Fast Fill – Be the king of the backyard water battle with X-SHOT Fast-Fill, award-winning toymaker ZURU’s latest addition to the popular brand. The fastest filling blaster ever created with a superb blasting performance, the X-SHOT Fast-Fill’s tank structure allows it to be dunked and filled anywhere in two seconds. RapidSeal technology closes the blaster tank instantly allowing battlers to get back to the blasting action long before their opponents. Holding up to 24 ounces (700 ml) and reaching distances of 34 feet (10 meters), the X-SHOT Fast-Fill is designed for kids 5+, Available at Target and Amazon. Ages 5+, SRP $9.99

X-Shot Ninja No Rez – The power of X-Shot continues to grow with an exclusive partnership with the world’s #1 Fortnite Player, Ninja. Fortnite gamers can encompass Ninja’s skills with the extremely accurate X-Shot Ninja No Rez. This blaster allows foam fighters to fire 4 darts in just one round in no time with its automatic rotating barrel! No opponent resurrects when hit by this blaster. The elite accuracy of this blaster will up your game when firing away the included 8 Darts and sporting the Ninja inspired dog tags. Ages 8+, SRP $7.99. Available at Target.

X-Shot Ninja Quick Scope – The power of X-Shot continues to grow with an exclusive partnership with the world’s #1 Fortnite Player, Ninja. Bring to life your favorite gaming experience with the X-Shot Ninja Quick Scope. Now you will never miss an aim with this blaster’s attachable scope and “Break ‘n Load” action that allows you to take on targets outside of close combat range with extreme accuracy and power! This partnership combines the epic popularity of Ninja’s 40 million devoted fans with the innovative design and value of the X-Shot blaster range. With 12 reusable darts, a Bandana and dog togs included – you will be set to up your game! Ages 8+, SRP $14.99. Available at Target soon!

X-Shot Ninja Justice – Prepare to serve justice to all your opponents and be sure to mod it your way with the X-Shot Ninja Justice. The power of X-Shot continues to grow with an exclusive partnership with the worlds #1 Fortnite Player, Ninja. This partnership combines the epic popularity of Ninja’s 40 million devoted fans with the innovative design and value of the X-Shot blaster rang e. Made for a good time, the 12 attachable parts included in the pack, allow you to customize your own blaster. There are +1000 of different unique combinations possible to create the ultimate blaster for the ultimate Fortnite player. The package includes 48 Darts to fire away and a Ninja inspired bandana and dog tag to complete the look so you can up your game. Ages 8+, SRP $39.99. Available at Target soon!

X-Shot Ninja Laser 360 – The power of X-Shot continues to grow with an exclusive partnership with the worlds #1 Fortnite Player, Ninja. This partnership combines the epic popularity of Ninja’s 40 million devoted fans with the innovative design and value of the X-Shot blaster rang e. Up your game with unique accessories and an arsenal of customized blasters that promise to deliver supreme accuracy and power. UP YOUR GAME with the Laser360°. The new X-Shot range brings the ultimate laser tag experience and takes blasting fun to the next level. Players can team up or face off their opponents alone in intense laser battles. The multiple sensors integrated in the goggles of the players enable you to tag them from any direction. Pack includes: -2 laser blasters with unique features -360° -goggles with multiple sensors. Ages 8+, SRP $29.99. Available soon at retail!

X-Shot Ninja Turbo Strike – The power of X-Shot continues to grow with an exclusive partnership with the worlds #1 Fortnite Player, Ninja. This partnership combines the epic popularity of Ninja’s 40 million devoted fans with the innovative design and value of the X-Shot blaster range. Up your game with unique accessories and an arsenal of customized blasters that promise to deliver supreme accuracy and power. As perfect addition to your artillery, the Turbo Strike comes with a monstrous 20–dart & auto-rotating barrel and features the innovative ‘Slam-Fire’ rapid shot technology. Opponents stand no chance in close quarters and from the distance. Pack to includes: – Turbo Strike Blaster – 48 Darts – Bandana – Dog Tags. Ages 8+. SRP $39.99. Available soon at retail!

The Cure For Your Holiday Hangover, GWAR Live!

Human Scum! Once you have finished gorging yourself with plate after plate of holiday slop, your Lords and Masters GWAR summon you to worship their majesty live and in person on their final five tour dates of 2018. The run kicks off December 27th in Indianapolis, IN and wraps up on New Year’s Eve in Norfolk, VA. and features special guests Iron Reagan and Against the Grain. VIP upgrades are available HERE.

“HO! HO! HO! Merrrryyy What-ever-the-fuck! GWAR are coming and it doesn’t matter who has been naughty or nice, we will eat you all! This little holiday jaunt will be the last time you can see us this year! So come on out for some cookies, cakes, and decapitations, says the band.

In additional GWAR news, to make sure the digital airwaves stay polluted with the Scumdogs of the Universe, the band recently teamed up with GIPHY. So now you can send GIFs via Facebook, Twitter, Outlook, Slack, Tinder, and more to your so-called friends. GWAR even has some stickers available on Instagram Stories and Snapchat, so all those millennials can keep their fingers locked to their digital devices. Check out GIPHY.com/GWAR to see all the GIFs and Stickers.

GWAR W/Iron Reagan and Against the Grain:
12/27: Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue*
12/28: Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
12/29: Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club*
12/30: Philadelphia, PA @ North Seventh*
12/31: Norfolk, VA @ The Norva^

*No Stonecutters
^No Iron Reagan

For More Info Visit:
http://www.gwar.net
http://www.gwartv.com
http://instagram.com/gwar
https://twitter.com/GWAR
http://www.youtube.com/gwar
http://www.facebook.com/gwar
http://www.gwarbq.com
http://www.gwarjapan.net
http://www.metalblade.tv/tv

Romantic Rock Announces Third Annual Punk Rock & Paintbrushes Holiday Art Show

Romantic Rock Announces Third Annual
Punk Rock & Paintbrushes Holiday Art Show
Opening Night Reception on Saturday, December 15 in Los Angeles, CA

Exhibition to Showcase Pieces From Artists In The Music Community
Including Matt Skiba, Hunter Burgan, Soma Snakeoil,
Steve Caballero, Natalia Fabia, Matt Hensley and more!

Romantic Rock is pleased to announce that their Punk Rock & Paintbrushes Holiday Art Show will be returning to Los Angeles, CA for its third year. Celebrating the fine art of creatives who share a passion for both music and art, Punk Rock & Paintbrushes Holiday Art Show will feature artwork from Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio and Blink-182, Hunter Burgan of AFI, Soma Snakeoil, Warren Fitzgerald of The Vandals, Matt Hensley of Flogging Molly, Carla Harvey of Butcher Babies, Jennie Cotterill of Bad Cop / Bad Cop, Kevin Seconds of 7 Seconds, Mike Gallo of Agnostic Front, professional skateboarders Steve Caballero of The Faction, Mike Smith, and Christian Hosoi, artists Natalia Fabia, Paul Kobriger, The Mad Twins: Olya & Vira Ishchuk, Chris Shary and photographer Madison Stern. Each artist will have multiple original pieces, prints, and much more.

The opening night and artist reception will occur on Saturday, December 15th at Innerspace Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles. From 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. the Punk Rock & Paintbrushes Holiday Art Show will feature music throughout the night from resident DJs and special guest DJs including Noodles of The Offspring, Monique Powell of Save Ferris, Stacey Dee-J of Bad Cop / Bad Cop, and more! The event will also boast a full cocktail bar provided by Bulleit, a coffee cart, red carpet, photo booth, and more. This event is free and open to all ages, but RSVP is required. To RSVP, please visit: www.eventbrite.com/e/punk-rock-paintbrushes-2018-tickets-51212566164

Emily T. Nielsen, founder of both Romantic Rock and Punk Rock & Paintbrushes says, “Punk Rock & Paintbrushes is an incredible event to showcase these talented individuals through art and photography. We are taking their talent from the stage to the walls and showcasing it to the world. I am excited to work with each of these artists to support their art in our punk rock ways.”

“Last year’s Punk Rock & Paintbrushes event was amazing so when they asked if I wanted to DJ again this year I jumped at it,” says Noodles of The Offspring. “There’s going to be even more artists showing their work this year, and I’ll be DJing with Monique Powell and Stacy Dee. Great people, great art, and great music. It’s gonna be a blast.”

Butcher Babies vocalist Carla Harvey adds, “I love being a part of the Punk Rock & Paintbrushes family because of the sheer variety of art involved. You’ll find a fine art oil painting next to one of my glistening copic marker vaginas. The juxtaposition is what art is all about.”

A look at last year’s Punk Rock & Paintbrushes Holiday Art Show can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/249004910/adc8080569

Punk Rock & Paintbrushes will also be donating 10% of all sales during their December 15 opening night reception to The Sidewalk Project, a Los Angeles non-profit whose initiative is to enrich the lives of the Los Angeles’ houseless community. Through various mediums including art, music and film, The Sidewalk Project aims to be socially active in houseless communities around the world. They work directly on the street to share in a sense of connection and well-being. A video providing a more intimate look at The Sidewalk Project can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLMoZm9ddCA

Funds donated from the Punk Rock & Painbrushes Holiday Art Show will go directly to the streets and also assist with providing the art mural to Skid Row the very next day, working with houseless artists and the community at the “Holiday Sidewalk Party.” Punk Rock & Paintbrushes will also be raffling off a collaborative art piece created by PRPB artists, with all profits to benefit The Sidewalk Project. More information on the “Holiday Sidewalk Party” on December 16 can be found at: www.instagram.com/The_Sidewalk_Project

The Innerspace Gallery is located in downtown Los Angeles at 110 Winston Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013. The Punk Rock & Paintbrushes group art exhibition will also be open on Sunday, December 16 from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sponsors for Punk Rock & Paintbrushes Holiday Art Show include: KROQ, Bulleit, Stickevape, The Sidewalk Project, and Romantic Rock.

For more information, visit:
https://www.instagram.com/punkrockandpaintbrushes
https://www.instagram.com/romanticrock/
http://romanticrock.net/

98° Jeff Timmons Talks About The Groups 2018 Holiday Tour

Photo credit: Elias Tahan

Jeff Timmons is a founding member of the pop group 98°. Together with Justin Jeffre and brother’s Nick and Drew Lachey the group has sold over 10 million albums worldwide since their debut release in 1997. The group is currently out on a Holiday Tour which runs through December 22nd and Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Jeff about the tour, the possibility of new music, and what’s at the top of his wish list this year.

Adam Lawton: Tell us about the decision to bring back the holiday tour for a second year?

Jeff Timmons: It gives us a chance to get back out there and perform. Prior to the last holiday run we had done some summer touring and it was a pretty grueling schedule. Three of us have families so to be away from them is hard. This tour allows us to go out and perform while our kids are still in school and then when we are done be home with them for the holidays. This is really something different because there are not a lot of pop groups doing holiday tours. We have a real blast doing this and helping get everyone in the holiday spirit. Last year’s response was great and this year has been even better. This is something I see us doing for as long as we can.

AL: Was there anything you guys wanted to change from last year’s performance to help bring something different to the show?

JT: I think you always want to tweak things in an effort to make the show better for the fans and for things to move smoother. The overall format from last year is basically what we are going with. We have two albums worth of Christmas material that we do and of course we have to throw in our hits or it wouldn’t be fair to the fans. We don’t take each other too seriously so there is quite a bit of comedy going on. We are playing in smaller venues which allows for a more intimate setting and it gives us a chance to be a bit more theatrical with our performances. These shows are much different than a typical concert and that was really our plan.

AL: How much pre-production and planning go in to a tour like this?

JT: We do a lot of stuff via email. We know basically what songs we are going to pull from each album but then we also throw ideas back and forth of personal favorites that we might want to add to the list as well. From there we can figure out how long the show is going to be and we can start rehearsals. Being that we are all super busy we don’t have as much time as we would like to rehearse together. We generally have about seven to ten days to get everything together before that first show so each of us has to come in ready to go. Fortunately we have been together so long that we know each other very well and that defiantly helps.

AL: You have added a few more stop to this year’s run. How do you guys select which stops you want to add?

JT: A lot of it has to do with routing. We work with an agency that looks at all the logistics which go in to a tour and then things go from there. It never is really up to us. We always want to include each of our home towns and we really campaigned to include the Mid-West and a few other areas this time out. We missed some fans last year and we got a lot of responses about that so we are trying to make sure we hit those spots. We certainly are covering more area this year and we feel very positive about all the stops.

AL: Has there been any talks of new material and possibly more touring in the coming year?

JT: There have been some talks about recording some new songs. We are not sure if it’s going to be an album or an EP. With today’s technology you can be more single driven and stream it all over so we will have to see. As far as more touring goes with everything each of us has going on we have to see how we can balance all of that while being on the road. When we first started dipping our toes in the water to see if people still wanted to see us we weren’t sure what we were going to be able to do. With the reception having been and continues to be so great that presents a lot more possibilities so we just have to see what we can make work. What I can tell you is that we enjoy doing music together and there are going to be some new things on the horizon.

AL: Being the holidays are right around the corner is there anything special you have at the top of your wish list?

JT: This is going to sound corny but I just want to be able to home for Christmas. It’s a grind out here on the road and we miss our families. Fortunately we are able to build in some off days so we do get to see them but when you’re out there getting everyone excited for the season it makes you miss them more. The tour wraps up on December 22nd so we will get to be home and just enjoy our time with one another. I think that will be the best gift.

For up to date info on 98° you can check out their Instagram at @98degrees

2018 Holiday Season Gift Guide Kick Off!

Now is the time to start the holiday shopping for the 2018 season! I always like to try and be done before Thanksgiving that way we van enjoy the holidays and get to relax. At Media Mikes, we try to find the newest and coolest items to help you get the best gifts during the holiday season. 2018 is shaping up to be one of our busiest years to date with product coverage. Check out below for just a few of the must-own  products this year!

One of this year’s top items to keep an eye out for would be the MIQRO vaporizer. Da Vinci has already delivered amazing products and the MIQRO has an all zirconium ceramic vapor path and mouthpiece which allows you to draw the purest vapor you’ll ever taste in a vaporizer. What makes Da Vinci stand out is that these vaporizers they stand behind their legacy on perfecting the purest flavor. This vaporizer is 33% smaller than its predecessor and with a fully functional adjustable oven, this small vaporizer is sleek and simple!

While you are using your amazing MIQRO, would better way to relax than to kick back with a screening of “The Big Lebowski”. Well, get ready for this holiday season because there is an amazing 20th Anniversary Limited Edition debuting for the first time ever on 4K Ultra Combo Pack that also includes Blu-ray™ and Digital via the digital movie app Movie Anywhere on October 16, 2018, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The Big Lebowski 20th Anniversary Limited Edition is the perfect gift for any fan and the exclusive set includes a collectible bag, bowling ball pencil holder, polishing cloth and sweater packaging offering delivering the perfect gift for any fan.

Now if you want to win the holiday season, head over to Forever Collectibles (FOCO) because they  just released their first series of Bluetooth enabled ugly Christmas sweaters… That’s right I said, Bluetooth Ugly Christmas Sweater.Now if a sports fan, get ready to make that purchase because the time is now! The officially-licensed knitted NFL team light-up Bluetooth sweaters for the 2018 holiday season are a must have for all sports fans there are a ton of amazing professional and collegiate sports to choose from. I know the point of the “ugly sweaters” is to be ugly but these shirts look amazing as well as add a little extra cheese factor. The Bluetooth lighting is an amazing addition to the ugly sweater tradition. You are able to display blinking lights on front so you can light up the room and keep the party going all night!

Since the season is just starting off, this piece is only the beginning for us here at Media Mikes, we will have many more gift guides for you to check out this holiday season. Don’t get caught out of time and without a gift. Hopefully this gift guide allows you to get a jump on the shopping this year and makes your loved ones very happy in return!

Warner Bros.’ Classic Holiday Film “A Christmas Story” will be Featured in Frozen Spectacular Ice! During Christmas at Gaylord Palms!

ICE! and the resort’s mix of holiday entertainment runs November 16 through January 6.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – (July 17, 2018) – For the first time ever, beloved holiday film “A Christmas Story” will be recreated as a frozen, immersive attraction inside ICE!–the signature experience during Christmas at Gaylord Palms. During the holiday season, the Orlando-area resort welcomes guests to make memories amongst festive décor and a charming mix of Christmassy activities and shows, becoming “Everything Christmas in One Extraordinary Place” for the 52-day event, Christmas at Gaylord Palms presented by Pepsi.

CINEMATIC HOLIDAY CLASSIC IN ICE!

“A Christmas Story” has been a staple of holiday movie lists for years, but now guests can experience this holiday favorite in a whole new way inside ICE! presented by DEI. The hilarious family tale will come to life through hand-carved ice sculptures and displays, inviting guests to relive the film’s iconic scenes such as The Old Man’s Major Award, Aunt Clara’s pink nightmare and the ultimate triple dog dare at the school’s flagpole, and many more!

“We’re thrilled to see this Christmas classic brought to life inside ICE! for the first time ever,” said Johann Krieger, General Manager for Gaylord Palms Resort. “We know that ‘A Christmas Story’ has been a holiday tradition for so many people over the years, and we hope that guests can join us to make ICE! a part of their tradition as well.”

The ICE! attraction is crafted by artisans from Harbin, China, home of the world’s largest ice and snow sculpture festival, who travel more than 6,000 miles to hand-carve more than two million pounds of colorful ice, creating larger-than-life sculptures. This year, as guests explore the nine-degree attraction, they will discover more than a dozen fan-favorite scenes from “A Christmas Story,” along with the event’s two-story ice slides and the popular Frostbite Factory live ice carving showcase. The ICE! experience concludes with a separate area dedicated to a traditional Nativity created with crystal clear ice.

NEW EXPERIENCES

Award-winning buffet restaurant Villa de Flora will welcome special Christmastime friends during The Elf on the Shelf® Character Breakfast, where guests can join Santa’sOfficial Scout Elves for a fun and festive character breakfast. Kids and adults will enjoy a delicious buffet spread complete with classic breakfast favorites and live cooking stations, enjoying  special visits from Santa’s Official Scout Elves as they dine.

Gaylord Palms’ St. Augustine atrium will be home to a brand-new, dazzling light show when Dreams of Christmas makes its debut. This multisensory experience will feature a new musical score accompanied with millions of dancing, choreographed lights all around the resort’s six-story Christmas tree during nightly shows.

HOLIDAY FAVORITES RETURN

“Holiday thrills” take on a whole new meaning during Cirque Dreams Unwrapped, a 25-minute, action-packed experience, featuring soaring acrobatics, theatricality and imagination that will have guests on the edge of their seats. Cirque Dreams Unwrapped features new acts and performers each year to bring to life a magical and timeless Christmas wonderland, all imagined by Broadway director and renowned Cirque Dreams founder Neil Goldberg.

Guests exploring the meandering paths inside the resort’s Everglades atrium will find the Christmas Tree Trail, a display of nine magnificent trees provided by Balsam Hill. Sparkle the Elf, Santa’s chief Christmas Tree Decorator, has personally prepared these for display at Gaylord Palms. From snowmen and candy canes to reindeer and nutcrackers, each tree represents one of Sparkle’s favorite things about Christmas, with one even honoring the Florida-themed resort!

The immersive, interactive Reindeer Express Post Office returns this year, where everyone is invited to jot down their top Christmas wishes on a postcard before entering this special facility to launch their wishes off on a journey to Santa.

Festive Alpine Village will again be the central hub for holiday happenings. In addition to ICE!, the village is home to various attractions and shows, Photos with Santa, seasonal food and beverage options plus holiday retail locations, including a Build-A-Bear Workshop®, where imaginations soar. Guests choose from all kinds of furry friends to make and bring home, including the Gaylord Hotels-exclusive light-up Snowburst polar bear.

Gingerbread Decorating Corner returns, now located inside the brand-new Alpine Village Sweet Shop! Guests may select a gingerbread house or a themed cookie kit to enjoy a sticky and fun interactive experience, creating sweet souvenirs to take home. The Alpine Village Sweet Shop will offer additional candies and treats for purchase to decorate sugary masterpieces or to delight someone’s sweet tooth. The deliciously fun gingerbread pair, Cinnamon and Nutmeg, will also be available for toasty hugs and holiday photos.

Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Traditions brings the First Lady of the North Pole back to Gaylord Palms as she leads a half-hour interactive show. Guests enjoy classic holiday stories and a sing-a-long, plus a delicious finale as the holiday hostess presents everyone with warm cookies and a glass of cold milk.

Santa’s Snow Throw puts real snow in the hands of guests as they show off their pitching prowess by tossing snowballs at a variety of interactive targets created by Santa’s Elves. Bragging rights go to those with the best aim!

Snow Tubing sends guests zooming down an eight-lane tubing hill covered in real snow. This all-ages attraction offers both single and double tubes to accommodate children and parents.

The best way to experience all of Christmas at Gaylord Palms is with an overnight stay. One-night packages start at $250 plus tax, resort fee and parking. Packages include ICE! tickets for two (with option to add additional adults or children) plus a souvenir family photo. Overnight guests may also schedule a visit to ICE! during the daily hotel guest-exclusive Extra Cool Hour from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Make the holidays merrier and extend the package to stay for multiple nights! For additional information and to book packages or tickets, visit www.GaylordHotels.com .

Gaylord Palms Resort offers Christmastime field trips for schools, youth organizations and religious groups, customizable with educational or performance opportunities. Special ICE! ticket rates also are available to groups of ten adults or more.

For companies wishing to offer their staff an unforgettable holiday outing, Gaylord Palms offers the ideal “Everything Christmas” setting for onsite catered events with 10 to 3,000 guests, with or without an ICE! experience. To learn more about planning a holiday event, contact www.GaylordHotels.com.

Christmas at Gaylord Palms is open daily from November 16, 2018 through January 6, 2019 including holidays.

Gaylord Palms Resort offers a mix of entertainment year-round, creating a superior guest experience in one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Guests are welcomed into the resort’s 4.5-acre soaring glass atrium featuring winding waterways, lush gardens and animal habitats. Our extraordinary amenities include fine and casual dining, spa and shopping – all conveniently located within minutes of the Orlando area’s theme parks.

Learn more about the resort at GaylordPalms.com and stay connected with all the resort happenings by following @GaylordPalms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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About Gaylord Hotels
Gaylord Hotels®, part of the Marriott portfolio of brands, offers extraordinary environments with “everything in one place” – diverse dining options, a full –
service spa, pools, top-notch entertainment, shopping and more. Locations
include Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee; Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Florida; Gaylord Texan on Lake Grapevine, Texas; Gaylord National on the Potomac in National Harbor, Maryland; Gaylord Rockies in Aurora, CO, opening late 2018; and The Inn at Opryland in Nashville. For more information, visit www.GaylordHotels.com.
.
About Cirque Dreams & Neil Goldberg
Over 50 million people have experienced a Cirque Dreams show in theatres, casinos, theme parks, cruise lines, and on Broadway. For 25 years, Cirque Dreams shows have garnered the praise of critics around the country from USA Today, Associated Press and the New York Times to CNN,Today Show and Fox & Friends. Producer and Director Neil Goldberghas been declared “One of today’s leading theatrical impresarios” by The LA Times and “Uniquely ingenious” by the New York Daily News. The Cirque Dreams franchise is a globally recognized entertainment brand including, Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, Cirque Dreams Rocks, multiple Cirque Dreams Holidaze tours along with a return engagement to The Grand Ole Opry House, Cirque Dreams Unwrapped at Gaylord Palms Orlando Resort and Cirque Dreams & Dinner onboard Norwegian Cruise Line. Cirque Dreams recently joined VStar Entertainment Group o f quality family entertainment worldwide. For more information, visit www.CirqueProductions.com
About Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.
A CHRISTMAS STORY and all related characters and elements © & TM Turner Entertainment Co. (s18)
© Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
PEPSI is a registered trademark of PepsiCo, Inc.
The Elf on the Shelf® and ©2018 CCA and B, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Great online games to avoid the holiday blues!

During this holiday season, many people get what’s called the holiday blues. If you don’t get to share your holidays with a family or love ones, they can get a little down. I usually like to loose myself online and just browse around and play games. There are tons are great online games to pass the time and even in cases make you some of that holiday money back.

Whether you are a MMORPG video game players or someone that likes to hit the slots virtually. Here is one of the must visit sites, 888 casino bonus, which features everything from online casinos to roulette to automatic games. There are more than 200 games to choose from with HUGE jackpots and instant bonuses, in addition.

If you prefer MMORPG games, then you can check out another must play, Legend of Heroes, which is an online MMORPG and MMO game. This game has been out for a few years now and still drawing in a huge audience. So whether it be online gaming or guilding these are a few good ones to battle to holiday blues!

TPF Toys’ Peppy Pups Hit Stores in Time For Holiday Shopping!

Have you ever wanted a stuffed plush dog that actually walked around with you. Well, no lie, no gimmick. That is what the “Peppy Pups” does. It is kid powered dog toy that includes a collar and leash. You walk and the dog walks with you. It is simple and no batteries are needed. This is an awesome idea for a kids toy because it gets them up and on their feet and away from all electronic devices.

Here is some details about what is sure to be one of this holiday season’s hottest toys: “The only cuddly plush that can run, jump, wag its tail and interact with children like a real dog, TPF Toys’ Peppy Pups are brimming with personality and inviting cuddles with its fluffy tail and soft tuft of hair. Peppy Pups feature charming collar and bone tag, and branded paw pads. Eager to move and shake just like a real dog, Peppy Pups spring, bounce, jump, waddle and grove; turning heads as they go — no batteries needed!

Peppy Pups is the soft and cuddly friend your child has been looking for, without the responsibility or commitment of a regular puppy! This walking dog toy has pep and bounce in his step wherever your child decides to walk him, making him a lively, enthusiastic companion. Let your little one use the leash so he can walk-along in the park, on the sidewalk, or even in the house. With a fluffy white tail and a snuggly coat, Peppy Pup will be easy to love and cuddle, just like a real puppy. This little stuffed toy features a silly facial expression, and he can even perform tricks, like flips. Peppy Pup will be your child’s best friend.”

So if you are tired of your kids opening their presents this holiday season and then spending hours putting the toys together or not having the required thousand of batteries they need to operate them, then the Peppy Pups is a great solution for your shopping needs!

Related Content

Hasbro Toys Delivers the Best New Products for Holiday 2016!

Every holiday season, everyone scrambles to find the best toys and deals for the hottest gifts of the year! Hasbro has been around for nearly 100 years and they always deliver the best toys and products year after year. This hooliday season, I wanted to do a feature on just a few of their new toys to show you the best ideas for this holidays gift season.

If you have little ones, Hasbro has delivered the PLAYSKOOL CHASE N’ GO BALL POPPER Toy, which is a perfect for ages 9 months & up. It is a new update to the classic PLAYSKOOL BALL POPPER toy! It carries an approx retail price of $32.99. I have a nephew that will be spending many hours enjoy this joy for sure and it is also fun to see him enjoying a new version of a toy that I myself used as a kid.  Here is the official description: The CHASE N’ GO BALL POPPER toy features the same air-powered popping play that kids love with an exciting twist! For a giggling good time, parents or kids can swivel the trunk around to deliver even more unpredictable ball-popping action! The toy has several features that encourage little ones to stand, crawl, grasp, and even dance along to the elephant’s poppin’ tunes. With a slim, easy-to-store design and a convenient handle, this elephant is ready for fun anytime, anywhere!

Being a “grown-up” or not, there is one brand that I have always and will always love as a kid that this Transformers. Hasbro is behind of the year’s coolest toys for kids ages 3-7 and that is the TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS GRIFFIN ROCK FIREHOUSE HEADQUARTERS Playset. This toy is a blast for sure and should be guaranteed to delivers hours of entertainment. I wish I had a toy like this when I was little. At an approx retail price of $32.99, this could be yours this holiday season and your kid will be thankful for such a great gift. Here is the official description: Little ones can imagine all sorts of fun rescue adventures with the RESCUE BOTS team in their GRIFFIN ROCK FIREHOUSE HEADQUARTERS playset! When danger is near, kids can extend the rotating tower to get a full 360-degree view of the surrounding area, then use the two hidden-reveal projectile launchers to pretend put out fires! When it’s time to head out on the next big mission, little ones can gear up the CODY BURNS figure in rescue gear, help him hop on the rescue motorcycle and use the vehicle launcher to takeoff through the secret tunnel. Launcher is also compatible with vehicles from the RESCAN assortment. Raise the helicopter landing pad, extend the ground bridge, and swing out the control center platform to convert the firehouse into the RESCUE BOTS headquarters. Other big-adventure features include an extendible helipad, sliding fire pole, ladder, and a pull-out ground bridge to bring the set to life! Playset comes with CODY BURNS figure, fire gear, and rescue motorcycle.

Meet ELE NA OF AVALOR, Disney’s next Princess! Elena made her debut this past summer and since then she is already taking over the hearts of kids and their family. DISNEY ELENA OF AVALOR Doll is available this Holiday season and it should be a must for any lucky girl. Personally my daughter already had the costume for Elena and watches the show each week without fail. This doll will definitely make her feel like a princess. The detail on this doll is so amazing as well it is like she jumped right out of the TV. Here is the official description: This beautiful fashion doll will allow kids to imagine joining the Crown Princess on all of her magical adventures in the Kingdom of Avalor. The ELENA OF AVALOR doll comes dressed in ELENA OF AVALOR’s series-inspired adventure dress and includes a scepter, hairclip, belt, pair of earrings, and removable shoes. If you want to try and find the best deals you can check out sites like http://awesomecoupons.org – coupon website or you can always find products like this most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.

First all kids of all ages, who doesn’t love Nerf! Who doesn’t love having a shoot ’em up with their friends and family (especially around the holiday season) Hasbro is bringing us two new products. The first being the NERF DOOMLANDS DOUBLE-DEALER Blaster at a approx retail price of $39.99. This is an amazing blaster that includes two 12-dart clips and 24 DOOMLANDS darts and will be a blast to have battles with. Here is the official description: Defend the barren landscape with the possibility of taking down targets two at a time with the DOUBLE-DEALER blaster. This high-capacity blaster features two clear 12-dart clips, clear top design with visible firing mechanisms, and boasts pump-action firing with slam-fire capability. Each pull of the DOUBLE-DEALER blaster trigger fires two darts simultaneously!

The second Nerf product is the Zombie Strike Brainsaw Blaster.NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE BRAINSAW Blaster. Just the title alone sound like a blast! Running an approx. retail price od $29.99. This is a must have for anyone of any age. With all the hype around shows like “The Walking Dead”, this is a fun role playing blaster to enjoy with friends and family. Here is the official description: For the ultimate zombie hunter, the NERF ZOMBIE STRIKE BRAINSAW Blaster offers two ways to repel the hordes! Fire up to eight ZOMBIE STRIKE darts at the undead, and then finish the job with the spinning foam saw blade. Includes eight ZOMBIE STRIKE darts.

Yo-kai Watch has hit the US this year and has become the hottest brand since Pokemon. The latest release is the new Yo-kai Watch™ Model Zero, which is now available for an approx retail price of $29.99. This is literally one of my favorite new animes to hit the US in a long time. My daughter also really loves this as well including the collecting of medal and watches. This is the second watch released from this show and is easily a huge improvement over the first one. Here is the official description: Kids can watch favorite Yo-kai appear before their eyes with the new Yo-kai Watch™ Model Zero! Insert a Yo-Motion™ Yo-kai Medal into the Yo-kai Watch™ Model Zero, push the switch and a short animation of the Yo-kai character will project on a wall to show off their signature move.

The Model Zero uses new medals as well, which are Yo-Motion™ Yo-kai Medals. This holiday season you can purchase Yo-kai Watch Yo-Motion Series 1 Bling Bags Assortment to deliver a new way to summon your favorite Yo-kai. Personally these are so much cooler than the first watch and they add a lot of extra play for the kids to enjoy! Here is the official  description: Kids can expand their Yo-kai collection with a mystery selection of character medals. Each bag includes two character medals with three ways to play! Imagine summoning Yo-kai by inserting the medal into the Yo-kai Watch™ Model Zero, discover the wacky world of the Yo-kai by scanning the medal with the Yo-kai Land app, and collect Yo-kai medals and store them in the Yo-kai Watch™ Medallium Collection Book 2 (book and medals each sold separately).

So there you have it, these are just a few of Hasbro’s amazing new products for the 2016 holiday gift guide. There are many many more great products from Hasbro as well. I hope this helps make the craziness of the holiday shopping just a little bit easier. Feel free to sound off below with products that you would like to see us cover in the future installments or share your own stories of success as well! Happy holidays and thanks for reading!

Holiday Shopping Madness Begins

It is official Fall and even though it is not Halloween yet, the holiday shopping season has already started. As you are visiting your favorite stores, you will see how they are already transformed into Christmas themes and the shopping craze is getting geared up. Stores like Lowes, Cracker Barrel, Kohls and many others are already all decorated for the season to come with hopes to kick start the madness that occurs this time of the year.

Personally, I always find that the best way for me is to get started and be done BEFORE Thanksgiving. That was I can enjoy the holidays and not have to worry about gifts and able to actually enjoy the season itself. That was in between holiday shows and holiday cooking, there is time to relax and hit up some UK mobile casino sites online. If you are good also playing would be a good way to pay back those holiday bills also! I find that if I leave shopping to the last minute that I am missing the true feeling of the holidays and more time stressing, which I do through out the year enough.

If you are an online shopper, the who dynamic of shopping for the holidays has changed so much as well. I remember “kicking off” the holiday season on Black Friday morning at 5am waiting in those lines, but now the shopping starts anytime online with numerous deals throughout the Fall. So whether you are a smart shopper like myself or a last minute rusher, be sure to get ready because the season is here as we gear up for the most wonderful time of the year! Happy Holidays (in advance) and stay safe!

Looking for that last minute holiday gift idea?!

Parents, if you are looking for that last minute gift…check out the following items below:

Make Your Case
Create and design two real cell phone cases or design one of the four ready-made cases to match every mood and outfit! How does it work? Simple. Push the plunger into the Case Maker and fill your mold with your chosen color. Once the mold has set, you can bling a selfie, decorate your pet or favorite musician’s picture or more. Compatible with iPod Touch 5, iPhone 4/4s, iPod Touch 5/5c/5s and Samsung S3/4. Also comes with gems, stickers and design sheets. Available at all major retailers. Ages 8+. Price $24.99

Orbeez Body Spa
Need a little ‘me’ time? Just imagine what it’s like to sit in a luxurious room chair full of the soothing
softness of Orbeez! It’s an Orbeez fantasy come true! Ahh… sink into the calming comfort of the Orbeez Body Spa and recharge! The perfect holiday gift for young girls, the sophisticated Body Spa chair comes with 6,000 comforting Orbeez and a vibration device help her relax and melt the day away! Use the chair anytime, and add the Orbeez for a special spa touch! Available at Walmart, Amazon.com & Kmart – Ages 5-12. Price: $49.99.

Xploderz Mayhem
This holiday season, outlast and out-blast the competition with the new Xploderz Mayhem! The new firing system will change the way you shoot forever! It features a multi-shot auto firing system that fires an astonishing 120 rounds of ammo in 60 seconds! The Mayhem comes with an amazing 2,000 rounds of ammo! With a velocity of 100 feet per second, it’s 50 percent faster than any foam blaster. Reloading ammo only takes seconds with no mess to clean up. Available at all major retailers. Ages 8+. Price: $39.99

Enter to win our NCircle Entertainment Holiday DVD Giveaway [ENDED]

The holidays are right around the corner and Media Mikes is teaming up with NCircle Entertainment to bring you a fantastic new holiday DVD giveaway. We are happy to be giving away the following four DVD below. If you want to win this great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite NCircle Entertainment title. This giveaway will remain open until December 19th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Here are the DVD included in this giveaway:
The Snowman
A Very Awesome Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Holiday Show!
Octonauts: The Very Vegimal Christmas
Caillou’s Holiday Movie

The Snowman
One crisp, winter morning, a young boy wakes up to find a thick blanket of snow has covered the ground as far as the eye can see. Filled with excitement, the boy decides to build a snowman using a tangerine for his nose, coal for his buttons and eyes, and tops him off with a hat and scarf. Later that night, at the stroke of midnight, the snowman comes to life! The young boy and the snowman embark on a magical adventure of discovery where the snowman explores the young boy’s world and in return he takes him flying to his home in the North Pole. Based on Raymond Briggs’ book, The Snowman is a family classic for generations to enjoy.

A Very Awesome Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Holiday Show!
Join DJ Lance Rock, Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Plex and Toodee as they dance, sing and decorate the tree to prepare for the arrival of Santa Claus! Filmed live at New York City’s The Beacon Theatre, celebrate the season with the colorful cast of characters singing their hits, including “It’s Wintertime,” “Every Snowflake’s Different, Just Like You” and a holiday version of everyone’s favorite “Party in my Tummy!” The DVD includes special appearances by superstar Leslie Hall and the one and only Santa Claus!

Octonauts: The Very Vegimal Christmas
On this very merry DVD, join the Octonauts as they celebrate the holidays! The Vegimals’ plans for a Christmas feast aboard the Octopod are interrupted when the Octonauts become entangled in a gigantic blob of sea snot! The holiday excitement continues when the Octonauts travel to Professor Inkling’s childhood home, an undersea mountain, but soon discover that a rockslide has endangered the local creatures, including Inkling’s nephew, Squirt! Can the Octonauts rescue the creatures and save Christmas in time?

Caillou’s Holiday Movie
When winter comes to Caillou’s house, this curious 4-year-old tackles all kinds of big boy activities like helping Daddy shovel snow, making holiday presents for his family and even discovering how other little boys and girls around the world celebrate the season! Filled with magical moments seen through a small child’s eyes, this delightful story will enchant your entire family.

Media Mikes’ 2014 Holiday Film Preview

As you just spent the last few days fighting those “Black Friday” crowds, making sure that for years to come your children will know that you paid $10.00 less than anyone else for their JAWS Lego set, why not set aside some family time and take in a movie?

This time of year not only brings jolly Saint Nick around but also a lot of what the studios deem their “prestige” films – the ones to remember come award time.  Of course, they occasionally sneak in a couple of stinkers as well.  Here is a list of both for you to plan your next cinema visit.  As usual, thanks to our friends at the Internet Movie Database for some synopsis information and, as always, remember that this list is not all-inclusive and that the opening dates are subject to change depending on the whims of the studios and where you live.  Enjoy!

 

DECEMBER 

ESCOBAR:  PARADISE LOST

Starring:  Benicio Del Toro, Josh Hutcherson

Directed by:  Andrea Di Stefano

While vacationing in Columbia, a young man meets the woman of his dreams and soon finds himself introduced to her uncle, the infamous drug dealer Pablo Escobar.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Not a lot of buzz on this film but Del Toro did win an Oscar for his Supporting work in “Traffic.”

 

STILL ALICE

Starring:  Julianne Moore, Kate Bosworth and Kristen Stewart

Directed by:  Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland

When Alice Howland (Moore), a noted linguistics professor, begins forgetting words she learns she is in the early stages of Alzheimer.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Moore, a four time nominee, is generating great word of mouth for a fifth nod.

 

TOP FIVE

Starring:  Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson

Directed by:  Chris Rock

A comedian tries to make it as a serious actor when his reality-TV star fiancé talks him into broadcasting their wedding on her TV show.  Rock, who also wrote the film, promises this film to carry the edge of his stand up.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Adam Sandler also appears but who am I to dream?

 

WILD

Starring:  Reese Witherspoon and Gaby Hoffman

Directed by:  Jean-Marc Vallee

A chronicle of one woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent catastrophe.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Like Julianne Moore, Witherspoon, who already has a Best Actress Oscar for her work in “Walk the Line,” is getting great word of mouth.  Director Vallee guided both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto to Oscars last year in “Dallas Buyers Club” and earned a nomination himself for his editing of the film.

 

DECEMBER 12

DEMONIC

Starring:  Maria Bello and Frank Grillo

Directed by:  Will Canon

A police officer and a psychologist investigate the deaths of five people who were killed while trying to summon ghosts.  The story comes from James Wan (“Saw,” “Insidious,” “The Conjuring”) so hopefully this will be on the plus side of horror.

OSCAR CHANCES:  “Horror,” asks the Academy, “what is that?”

 

EXODUS:  GODS AND KINGS

Starring:  Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton

Directed by:  Ridley Scott

The defiant leader Moses (Bale) rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Edgerton), setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Bale has one Oscar (Best Supporting Actor for “The Fighter”) and a second nomination while director Scott has been nominated three times, including for “Gladiator.”  Look for a lot of technical nods.

 

INHERENT VICE

Starring:  Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin

Directed by:  Paul Thomas Anderson

In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles detective Larry “Doc” Sportello (Phoenix) investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.  Here’s a little trivia for you:  writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s production company is named Ghoulardi after the late night horror host his father, Ernie Anderson, used to portray on Cleveland television.  As a boy I loved Ghoulardi!

OSCAR CHANCES:  If Paul Thomas Anderson has made a bad film I’ve never seen it.  He and his casts are nomination magnets so look for plenty.

 

DECEMBER 17

THE HOBBIT:  THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

Starring:  Martin Freeman and Cate Blanchett

Directed by:  Peter Jackson

The final episode of director Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy.  As he proved with the “Lord of the Rings” films, Jackson is a master storyteller and this last chapter should be amazing!

OSCAR CHANCES:  Technical across the board.

 

DECEMBER 19

ANNIE

Starring:  Quvenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx

Directed by:  Will Gluck

OK, the synopsis really has nothing to do with the Broadway musical except that Annie (Wallis) is an orphan and eventually she will sing “Tomorrow.”  This is the one film that I’m torn on.  I loved the original show – at one time it was so popular that when you went to audition for a musical you were told that you COULDN’T perform “Tomorrow” – so I’m trying to go in with blinders.  That fact that director Gluck only has a few PG-13 teen comedies on his resume, and that he helped produce the still horrible memory “About Last Night” remake makes me sad.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Young Miss Wallis remains the youngest Best Actress nominee EVER for her work in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” while Foxx not only has an Oscar for “Ray” but kicked ass in “Dreamgirls.”  I’m not looking for any here but hopefully I’ll be surprised.

 

THE GAMBLER

Starring:  Mark Walberg and Brie Larson

Directed by:  Rupert Wyatt

A literature college professor and high stakes gambler runs afoul of a loan shark and his bodyguard-like gangsters while he has an affair with one of his students.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Can’t see any.

 

TURNER

Starring:  Timothy Spall and Paul Jesson

Directed by:  Mike Leigh

An exploration of the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric, British painter J.M.W. Turner’s life.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Spall (probably best known as the band manager in “Rock Star” and Peter Pettigrew in the “Harry Potter” series, is getting huge word of mouth for his work here.  Writer/director Mike Leigh has seven previous nominations.

 

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM:  SECRET OF THE TOMB

Starring:  Ben Stiller and Rebel Wilson

Directed by:  Shawn Levy

Larry (Stiller) spans the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.  The final film in the series sadly features the final performance of the great Mickey Rooney and one of the final performances of the beloved Robin Williams.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Technical?

 

DECEMBER 24

TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT

Starring:  Marion Cotillard

Directed by:  Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenn

Sandra, a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.

 

OSCAR CHANCES:  Cotillard is a past winner for “La Vie en Rose” and is always a threat to earn a nomination.

 

DECEMBER 25

AMERICAN SNIPER

Starring:  Bradley Cooper

Directed by:  Clint Eastwood

A Navy S.E.A.L. recounts his military career, which includes more than 150 confirmed kills.  Based on the life of the late Chris Kyle.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Everyone I’ve spoken to who has seen this predicts nods for Cooper, which would be his third year in a row, and Eastwood, who already has two directing Oscars on the shelf (“Unforgiven” and “Million Dollar Baby”).

 

BIG EYES

Starring:  Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz

Directed by:  Tim Burton

A drama centered on the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.  A true change of pace film for director Burton.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Waltz has two Supporting Actor awards (“Inglorious Basterds” and “Django Unchained”) while Adams has been nominated five times previously.

 

THE INTERVIEW

Starring:  Seth Rogen and James Franco

Directed by:  Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen

Dave Skylark (Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen) run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show “Skylark Tonight.” When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists.  This is the second film co-directed by Rogen and his writing partner Goldberg, after the very funny “This is the End.”

OSCAR CHANCES:  “Comedy,” asks the Academy, “what is that?”

 

INTO THE WOODS

Starring:  Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt and Johnny Depp

Directed by:  Rob Marshall

A witch (Streep) conspires to teach important lessons to various characters of popular children’s stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel.  Based on the Tony Award winning musical by the legendary Stephen Sondheim.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Did I mention Meryl Streep is in it?  Director Marshall helmed “Chicago” to the Best Picture Oscar in 2003.

 

SELMA

Starring:  David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo

Directed by:  Ava DuVernay

The film looks at the lives of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and President Lyndon B. Johnson as well as the turbulent civil rights marches of the 1960s.

OSCAR CHANCES:  A supporting cast of previous nominees (Tim Roth, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Wilkinson) and winner (Cuba Gooding, Jr) bode well for a possible nod.  Oyelowo was brilliant last year in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

 

UNBROKEN

Starring:  Jack O’Connell and Jai Courtney

Directed by:  Angelina Jolie

A chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II.  As a long time follower of Lou Zamperini’s story this is one of my most anticipated films of the year.

OSCAR CHANCES:  The academy loves a good bio-film!

 

 

DECEMBER 31

A MOST VIOLENT YEAR

Starring:  Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain

Directed by:  J.C. Chandor

In New York City 1981, an ambitious immigrant fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city’s history.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Both Isaac and Chastain are bright new stars in Hollywood.