CD Review: Masked Intruder “III”

“III”

Masked Intruder

Pure Noise Records

Producers: Roger Lima/Mike Kennerty

Tracks: 12

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Masked Intruder return with the follow up release to their 2016 EP “Love and Other Crimes” simply titled “III” the album consists of 12 brand new tracks which were produced by Roger Lima (Less Than Jake) and Mike Kennerty (All American Rejects) at The Moat House in Gainesville, FL. “III” is the bands second release and first full-length album to be released via Pure Noise Records.

Intruder Red, Yellow, Blue and Green are back terrorizing your neighborhood with their latest album “III” but, have no fear Officer Bradford is in hot pursuit attempting to retrieve your valuables. Packed full of tongue and cheek lyrics and pogo ensuing punk rhythms “III” is an enjoyable listen from beginning to end. Tracks like “No Case” and “I’m Free (At Last)” are spewing over with energy and laughable subject matter while tracks like “All Of My Love” and “Stay With Me Tonight” cover more emotional topics set perfectly against the bands signature pop-punk style.

If you had a chance to catch the band on one of their many recent tours then you already know just how fun the band is live. “III” captures that same energy and enjoyment over the course of its twelve tracks giving you that same experience listen after listen. The only thing missing is a partially dressed Officer Bradford as the colorfully masked four piece have taken their musicality to another level with their latest offering.        

Track Listing:

1.) No Case

2.) Mine All Mine

3.) All of My Love

4.) Just So You Know

5.) I’m Free (At Last)

6.) Please Come Back To Me

7.) B & E

8.) Maybe Even

9.) Not Fair

10.) Stay With Me Tonight

11.) Dream a Little Dream

12.) I’ll Be Back Again Someday

Masked Intruder Release “III” Nationwide Tour w/ The Interrupters

MASKED INTRUDER NEW ALBUM III OUT NOW 
NATIONWIDE TOUR WITH THE INTERRUPTERS 
TICKETS 
ON SALE NOW

Masked Intruder’s new album /// is out now through Pure Noise Records. Fans can purchase the record here: www.maskedintruderband.com.

The band previously released the singles “All Of My Love“, “No Case” and “Please Come Back To Me” and are currently on a North American tour with The Interrupters. For a full list of dates, please see below. 

For the new album, the band – Intruder Blue, Intruder Green, Intruder Red and Intruder Yellow – recruited lead producer/engineer Roger Lima (who also plays bass in Less Than Jake) as well as co-producer Mike Kennerty (who plays guitar in some band called The All-American Rejects) and recorded the album at Lima’s studio, The Moat House in Gainesville, Florida.
“Our songs aren’t just about the feelings and situations that they describe but they’re supposed to hopefully help other people think about and reflect about their own situations,” Intruder Blue summarizes. 

Whether it comes to stealing hearts or wallets, Masked Intruder have upped their game on Masked Intruder III and it seems as if even Officer Bradford can’t hold them back, although we’re sure he’ll try.

The band’s most infectious album to date is now available at www.maskedintruderband.com

Follow Masked Intruder

Website: www.maskedintruderband.com 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/maskedintruder 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/maskedintruder1 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/maskedintruder 

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/29Clcdv

For more information: www.purenoise.net

MASKED INTRUDER RELEASE NEW SONG “PLEASE COME BACK TO ME” Album “III” Out In March.

MASKED INTRUDER RELEASE NEW SONG
“PLEASE COME BACK TO ME”
LISTEN NOW ON ALTPRESS.COM

NEW ALBUM III OUT MARCH 1, 2019
THROUGH PURE NOISE RECORDS

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER AT
WWW.MASKEDINTRUDERBAND.COM

UPCOMING U.S. TOUR WITH THE INTERRUPTERS
KICKS OFF FEBRUARY 27 TICKETS ON SALE NOW

Today, Masked Intruder have released a new song called “Please Come Back To Me”. Fans can listen to it now exclusively on AltPress.com. The song is taken from their upcoming new album III out March 1 through Pure Noise Records.

They previously released the first single and music video for “No Case”, which can be seen here: https://youtu.be/Ro72ES3e3Bo

For the new album, the band – Intruder Blue, Intruder Green, Intruder Red and Intruder Yellow – recruited lead producer/engineer Roger Lima (who also plays bass in Less Than Jake) as well as co-producer Mike Kennerty (who plays guitar in some band called The All-American Rejects) and recorded the album at Lima’s studio, The Moat House in Gainesville, Florida.

“Our songs aren’t just about the feelings and situations that they describe but they’re supposed to hopefully help other people think about and reflect about their own situations,” Intruder Blue summarizes.

Whether it comes to stealing hearts or wallets, Masked Intruder have upped their game on Masked Intruder III and it seems as if even Officer Bradford can’t hold them back, although we’re sure he’ll try.

The band’s most infectious album to date is now available for pre-order at www.maskedintruderband.com.

Track Listing

  1. No Case
  2. Mine All Mine
  3. All of My Love
  4. Just So You Know
  5. I’m Free (At Last)
  6. Please Come Back To Me
  7. B & E
  8. Maybe Even
  9. Not Fair
  10. Stay With Me Tonight
  11. Dream a Little Dream
  12. I’ll Be Back Again Someday

Masked Intruder kick off a nationwide tour with The Interrupters on February 27. Tickets are on sale now and a full list of cities they hit can be found below.

Masked Intruder – Upcoming Tour Dates
w/ The Interrupters

February 27 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren
March 1 – Dallas, TX – Trees
March 2 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
March 3 – Austin, TX – Mohawk
March 4 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
March 7 – Destin, FL – Club LA
March 8 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution
March 9 – Tampa, FL – The Orpheum
March 10 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
March 12 – Richmond, VA – The National
March 15 – Asbury Park, NJ – The Stone Pony
March 16 – Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore
March 17 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
March 19 – Quebec, Canada – Imperial Bell
March 20 – Montréal, Canada – Club Soda
March 22 – Toronto, Canada – Danforth Music Hall
March 23 – London, Canada – London Music Hall
March 24 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
March 28 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Smalls
March 29 – Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe at Old National Center
March 30 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
April 1 – St. Louis. MO – Delmar Hall
April 2 – Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall
April 3 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater
April 5 – Denver, CO – The Ogden Theatre
April 6 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot

Follow Masked Intruder
Website: www.maskedintruderband.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/maskedintruder

Kevin Smith talks “Clerks III” and “Tusk” during 2013 New York Comic Con

Media Mikes had the pleasure of attending the AMC “Comic Book Men” panel held during this year’s Comic Con Convention in New York on Oct. 10-13. The panel featured show creator Kevin Smith along with cast members Brian Johnson, Walter Flanningan, Ming Chen and Michael Zapcic. Though the panel was originally meant to discuss season 2 of the hit AMC show the audience quickly turned it into their opportunity to grill Smith about a few of his other upcoming projects, namely “Clerks III” which Kevin had this to say.

Kevin Smith: “Clerks III” is currently going well enough to where the script is done and we are just waiting on finding our money. In an effort to keep my mind off of worrying about finding money for that movie I wrote this film titled “Tusk”. That is what I am going to be doing next. In a few weeks I will be heading to North Carolina to start filming. The film stars Justin Long and Michael Parks and it’s basically about a kid trying to turn another kid into a walrus. The film is based off of a UK add on a Gumtree website where there was actually a guy who made up this hoax about a person looking for someone to wear a walrus costume they made. The hoax was done by a guy named Chris Parkinson who we reached out to and actually made a producer on the film. Without his dopey idea I wouldn’t have come up with this. So while waiting on the money for “Clerks III” which I wanted to take to Sundance as it will be the 20th anniversary of the first “Clerks” films things were looking less and less likely so I wrote this stupid walrus movie. I wrote it in about 20 days under the mindset of not really wanting to make a movie but if I had to what would I want to see. I loved Michael Parks in “Red State” so I just built this around him with the idea that it would make it easy for me to sit on set for weeks and weeks as I would get to watch Michael work. When I got the script done it was like pornography and Michael Parks. (Laughs) We just pushed the ideas we had and thanks to some really good weed we said “fuck it” and tried pretty much everything. Over the next couple of months this film started to become more real than “Clerks III”. This is a much smaller scaled film that is easier to get in and out of. “Tusk” has now taken the place of “Clerks III” at Sundance this year as I thought fans would want to see something different rather than just more “Clerks”. We will still be doing “Clerks III” however not until March or April of 2014. I hope to have it done for the 20th anniversary as the original film came out in October of 1994. All of the crew from “Comic Book Men” will be in this film as could most of the people here in this room. “Clerks III” is going to be a massive fucking movie! I say that without a hint of irony.

Blu-ray Review “The Hangover Part III”

Actors: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong
Directors: Todd Phillips
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: October 8, 2013
Run Time: 100 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

When I saw “The Hangover”, I thought it was one of the funniest, craziest comedies I have ever seen.  I never thought to myself though, “Man I really want a sequel!” Well money speaks for itself since the first film brought in a boat load of it.  The sequel was a carbon copy of the first film and was quite terrible. I know they say if something works the first time don’t change it but it was no fun.  So when I saw they were making a third film to “complete the trilogy”, I steered very clear. I have to admit though they actually did it up right this time (sort of). I think if they would have made this film the first sequel people wouldn’t have abandoned this franchise.

Official Premise: It’s been two years. Phil, Stu and Doug (Cooper, Helms and Bartha) are happily living uneventful lives at home. The only member of the Wolfpack who’s not content is Alan (Galifianakis). Still lacking a sense of purpose, the group’s black sheep has ditched his meds and given in to his natural impulses in a big way-which, for Alan, means no boundaries, no filters and no judgment… until a personal crisis forces him to finally seek the help he needs. What could possibly go wrong? When the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.

The film feels very epic and large. I have to admit, I wasn’t on the floor laughing but overall I enjoyed the film. They attempt to tie everything up from the first two films, which feels a little forced including bringing back characters like Jeffrey Tambor, Heather Graha and Justin Bartha (who I don’t think speak one word). Zach Galifianakis and Ken Jeong are the highlight of the film. I have never been a fan of Ed Helms and who doesn’t just love Bradley Cooper. I would have liked to see more of Melissa McCarthy. She was funny but not over-the-top and could have added a lot more.

Warner’s delivered an impressive release with this Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet combo pack. The 1080p transfer is sharp and very impressive. Normally for a comedy, I would say that it doesn’t really push the standards of Blu-ray but this film does and it looks great. It also showcases really well all the various different locations from the desert to Mexico and (of course) Las Vegas. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 score is absolutely amazing and really feels like a huge action film and not like a comedy.

The special features are a bit of a let down though to be honest. “Replacing Zach: The Secret Auditions” is a short collection of secret auditions with director Todd Phillips. “The Wolfpack’s Wildest Stunts” show the cast/crew working through the films stunts and action sequences. “Zach Galifianakis in His Own Words” talks briefly about his role. “Pushing the Limits” talks about shooting with animals and children. “Inside Focus: The Real Chow” is Ken Joeng being Ken Joeng. There is a one minute “Action Mash-Up” montagte. Lastly there are three short extended scenes and tons of funny outtakes.

The Hangover Part III is available on Blu-Ray Combo Pack 10/8/13 at http://bit.ly/GetHungover

 

Film Review “The Hangover III”

Blu-ray Review “Psycho III: Collector’s Edition”

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Diana Scarwid, Jeff Fahey, Roberta Maxwell
Director: Anthony Perkins
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Run Time: 93 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

You would think by the time you made it to the second sequel of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece “Psycho” that it would be past its prime but that is not the case here.  Anthony Perkins returns yet again in his iconic role, in fact he also directs the film as well. He is joins by Jeff Fahey, who I have always loved from this film. The film takes place one month after the events of “Psycho II” and is very clever and an all around fun ride. Despite that the film became the lowest grossing film in the “Psycho” franchise, though it was still followed by the TV movie, “Psycho IV: The Beginning”. If you are a fan of this franchise or horror in general, Scream Factory has done it again, delivering another great release.

Official Premise: The Bates Motel is once again the site of something evil as the rehabilitated Norman attempts to help a disturbed young woman, Maureen Coyle (Diana Scarwid, Mommie Dearest), who has left the convent because she can’t find any proof that God exists. Maureen bears a striking resemblance to one-time Bates Motel guest Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) which puts Norman on edge. At the same time, a nosy reporter is snooping around town looking into Norman’s past. Suspense, terror and black comedy worthy of the master himself are in hearty supply in the most shocking Psycho of them all!

Like “Psycho II”, Scream Factory really delivered a fantastic release for this film. The Blu-ray’s 1080p transfer with an aspect ratio of 1.84:1 is very impressive and despite some grain looks great overall. Same goes for the audio tracks, like “Psycho II” this film also contains both DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 aiming to showcase the film’s original sound design and a supped up DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Carter Burwell took over the duty for the score from Jerry Goldsmith and does a solid job and it sounds great here, no questions.

The special features included some great new extras and just like “Psycho II” are worthy of this collector’s edition as well. To kick them off there is an audio commentary with writer Charles Edward Pogue and hosted by Red Shirt Productions’ Michael Felsher, must listen for any fan of the series.”Watch the Guitar: An Interview with Jeff Fahey” is a great new feature with the actor reflecting on his role. “Patsy’s Last Night: An Interview with Katt Shea” talks about working on her role and working with Anthony Perkins. “Mother’s Maker: An Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Creator Michael Westmore” talks about the effects in the film. “Body Double with Brinke Stevens” talks about her work on the film. Lastly there are trailers and still gallery included.

Blu-ray Review: “Scanners II: The New Order / Scanners III: The Takeover – Double Feature”

Starring: Liliana Komorowska, David Hewlett, Deborah Raffin, Valérie Valois, Yvan Ponton, Steve Parrish
Director: Christian Duguay
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Run Time: 199 minutes

Scanners II: 3 out of 5 stars
Scanners III: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1/2 out of 5 stars

“Scanners” is one of my favorite horror flicks and one of the best films from David Cronenberg. The film was so unique, still holds up today and has spawned two sequels. “Scanners II” is a standalone from the 1981 film and has a different cast but still similar story. It has a hard act to follow-up but is a pretty decent film. The same can’t be said for “Scanners III”, which is not the greatest film but it still fun to watch (or at least it was when I was kid). Sort of reminds me a “Jaws 3-D”, terrible yet I still always watch it. This double feature is brought to us by Scream Factory, who is really coming to the aid of horror fans in need of obscure horror titles this year.

“Scanners II” Official Premise: Sequel to David Cronenberg’s 1981 feature, about a fringe group of humans who have developed telepathic powers. When a corrupt police commander (Yvan Ponton) decides to use the scanners to help take over the city, he convinces evil scientist Dr Morse (Tom Butler) to help him. Morse has plans to use a new mind-controlling drug on the telepaths, but has not reckoned with a rogue scanner who is determined to stop them.

“Scanners III” Official Premise: Second sequel to David Cronenberg’s 1981 horror, about a group of telepathic people, known as ‘scanners’, operating on the fringes of human society. Young Helena Monet (Liliana Komorowska) has exceptional telepathic abilities, but when she tries an experimental drug developed by her father she turns into a deranged killer, using her abilities to cut a murderous swathe to the top of her father’s pharmaceutical company. On her quest to dominate the world, Helena takes over a television station, and the only man who can stop her is her scanner brother Alex, recently returned from honing his skills in a Thai monastery.

Scream Factory delivered this double feature in a combo pack with Blu-ray and DVD of both films. “Scanners II & III” each located on one Blu-ray disc and one DVD. The transfers of these films are good but not out of this world. These films were never shot were not given a new touched up transfer for this release, so they both show their age a bit. Nonetheless, they both deliver what they need to in order to make the presentations worth checking out. They each come with a DTS-HD Master Audio track, which also work for what each film delivers. In terms of special features though there is no much hear except for Theatrical Trailers. But I am sure that some of you will just take “Scanners II” and consider “Scanners III” an optional bonus feature.

Blu-ray Review “Hatchet III”

Actors: Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, Zach Galligan
Directors: BJ McDonnell
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Dark Sky Films
Release Date: August 13, 2013
Run Time: 81 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The horror genre is easily my favorite out of all types of movies. When I first saw Adam Green’s “Hatchet”, I was blown away.  The film was so gory, in-your-face and did not apologize at all, I loved it. When I saw the sequel, the gore was there but the film itself was not as great. So I was hesitant going into this latest chapter of swamp monster Victor Crowley, but it was totally kick-ass. This was not directed by Adam Green, though he did write the screenplay. It marked the directorial debut of acclaimed cameraman BJ McDonnell, check out our interview with him here. If you weren’t a fan of “Hatchet II”, I recommend you still give this a chance.  They really took the good and the bad of the last film and improved on it. You get a fast, fun and did I mention gory crazy ride here!  Recommended for any true horrorhound! Just be warned it is not for the queasy!

The film packs an amazing genre cast including Danielle Harris and Kane Hodder returning to their roles. Kane Hodder actually gives his best performance Victor Crowley performance to date, he really put a lot into him this time. Also starring are favorites Zach Galligan (“Gremlins”), Caroline Williams (“Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”), and Derek Mears (“Friday the 13th”, “Predators”). That’s right, be sure to expect an epic Jason vs Jason stand-up with Mears and Hodder.  It is a fanboys dream and it is very sweet. I think that why this film succeeded is that director BJ and his team are really just fans of classics 80’s horror and they made a film that they would want to watch. I hope that this doesn’t conclude the series of “Hatchet” because I would love to see more.

Official Premise: Concluding the saga begun in Adam Green’s hit 2006 thriller, HATCHET III follows the vengeful Marybeth (Halloween’s Danielle Harris) as she continues seeking out a way to destroy Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder, Friday the 13th), a hulking, seemingly-invincible sociopath rampaging through a sleepy Louisiana swamp. While a heavily-armed team of mercenaries takes to the bayou surrounding Crowley’s home, Marybeth finds herself begrudgingly teaming up with a local policeman (Gremlins star Zach Galligan) and his ex-wife (Caroline Williams, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) – an expert on the maniac who may have uncovered the secret to ending his murderous rampage once and for all.

Dark Sky Films released this unrated director’s cut of “Hatchet III”.  The Blu-ray presentation is very impressive for the low-budget horror title.  The 1080p transfer is crisp and really work even in the extremely dark setting the film takes place in.  The gore is well represented, in fact this film actually made me look away at point and that is a first in a while.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track works with the action scenes, including every chainsaw, bone breaking effects etc. The special features are impressive like the film itself.  There are two commentary tracks, the first is with Writer/Producer Adam Green, Director BJ McDonnell, Cinematographer Will Barratta, and Make-Up Effects Artist Robert Pendergraft.  It is a blast to listen to and definitely a must for fans of the film. There is also a cast commentary track again with Adam Green, BJ McDonnell and adding in Kane Hodder this time. Next up there are three featurettes covering everything in the production including, “Hatchet III: Behind The Scenes”, “Raising Kane” and “Swamp Fun”.

 

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BJ McDonnell talks about directing “Hatchet III”

BJ McDonnell made his directorial debut on the kick-ass horror film “Hatchet III”. He is no stranger to films though having worked as camera operator on over 100 films including “Star Trek Into Darkness”, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, “Battle Los Angeles” and Rob Zombie’s “Halloween”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with BJ about stepping into the director’s chair and taking over this fun horror franchise.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us what made you make the switch from working as stedicam/camera operator to directing?
BJ McDonnell: Adam (Green) knew that I wanted to start directing movies. When I got to CA, I went to film school and started working as a camera operator. I love working as a camera operator but my goal was get start directing. When the chance came up for “Hatchet III” and Adam wasn’t going to do it, he was quick to ask me since I worked on the first two as camera operator. I thought it would be a perfect stepping stone.

MG: What was your biggest challenge stepping into this role?
BJ: Being on the set is very comfortable for me now. I am used to working with actors and the crew since I am in that environment all the time. My issue was separating myself to focus on setting up the shots and making sure that I was getting the right performance from the actors. The post-production stuff was very tough. Our editor, Ed Marx, was awesome though. He is great. But the whole thing was a long process.

MG: What do you think makes the “Hatchet” franchise so unique?
BJ: These films are made just to be fun. These are meant to scary people or make them feel queasy with the gore and violence or just have fun. It is a real testament to the horror films of the 80’s. It is a fun sit back and watch a monster tear people up into shreds. They are also just fun movies to make. It is like a rollercoaster ride…

MG: I agree! From the moment that shotgun goes off…BANG!
BJ: That is one of the things I wanted to do. I wanted to make sure that this film flowed fast and that no one got bored throughout certain parts. I wanted to make it a good fast paced ride that would keep your interest that whole time. I think we accomplished that.

MG: Do you feel you had a grip of the franchise having worked on “Hatchet I & II”?
BJ: You look and see what happened with the other ones. There is advantages and disadvantages. You get to see what people’s comments are from the first two films and improve on that. A lot of the comments, I actually agree with. One was that “Hatchet II” didn’t get going till about 45 minutes in and I agree. So I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen with this one. There is the disadvantage with people that don’t like the “Hatchet” films to begin with. You got to take the good with the bad and say “Hey I made a fun movie, I hope you enjoy it”.

MG: The gore is super graphic and even goes beyond the second film; tell us about amping that up this time?
BJ: We all came up with the kills together – myself, Adam and Robert Pendergraft. We each had our own ideas what we wanted to do and we collaborated the whole time while the script was being done. I wanted to make it as gory as I could, which is tough to do when you do not have that big of a budget. That is also why some of the kills are so fast since they didn’t work as well as they should have and there are quick cuts. All in all it works out in the end and I think it still came out cool.

MG: What was it like working with all the great genre talent?
BJ: We had Kane and Danielle already on board. I worked with Kane going back to “The Devil Rejects” years ago. He is a great bud of mine. I worked with Danielle going back to Rob Zombie’s “Halloween”, so I knew her from that. It is good because everyone was family like. Derek Mears, I knew him “MacGruber”. He is just a great guy and true friend. Never worked with Zach Galligan before but he was a choice of mine to cast because I love “Gremlins”. He brought a lot to the table and had tons of great ideas. I hope to work with him again. I can go on and on, I just love this cast! It was like working with friends.

MG: I loved the Mears/Hodder face off.
BJ: That was planned on purpose, obviously. I think it was actually supposed to happen in the second film but Mears was working on “Predators”, I believe. We always wanted to do it and put Jason vs. Jason up against each other since it has never been done. Those guys are friends and they loved doing it, so it was just the right time.

MG: What do you love most about the horror films?
BJ: The thing about horror that I like is that you don’t have to play by all the rules. In horror you can do whatever you want. Like with Victor Crowley, he is a ghost so you can do whatever you want. So since he is a repeater, he will come back again and again. Plus with horror you have a fan base that is like no other. You do not find that with other genres. There isn’t a romantic comedy fan base. Horror fans are really great.

MG: Now that you got your feet wet directing, what is next?
BJ: There are two scripts being written right now that I will be working on. One is a 90’s action film, written by Jason Trost, who is a good buddy of mine and also in “Hatchet III”. The other is spy movie with a psychological twist. I am trying to go with something that is more action based for a second film and then probably going back to horror.

Film Review “The Hangover III”

Directed by: Todd Phillips
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis
Rated: R
Running Time: 1 hour 40 mins
Warner Brothers

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

In this third and mostly likely last “Hangover” installment, the Wolfpack brings back the brilliant, priceless and overwhelming hilarity that made the first film such a success!

After the death of Alan’s (Galifianakis) father (Jeffrey Tambor) and following 4 years of the Wolfpack befriending Alan and seeing his crazy, crazy ways, Alan’s friends and family stage an intervention, hoping to help Alan cease being a 42 year old child. He agrees, but on one condition… Phil (Cooper), Stew (Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha) must take him on the short 2 hour drive to his new treatment facility. It’s only a 2 hour drive…what could go wrong?

A short while into their drive they are ambushed by a gangster (John Goodman) who tells them that their friend Mr. Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) has stolen $21 Million worth of his gold and he is taking Doug hostage until they find their “friend” and his gold.

There are no black out hangovers or bachelor parties in this movie. There are no tigers or face tattoos either. This movie is a comparable film to the first “Hangover” but not in the same way as #2. They do not use any of the same jokes; it is not the same film set in a different country. The jokes are fresh, the timing perfect and I found myself being completely surprised and caught off guard just like the original “Hangover.”

Since this movie ends the trilogy, the many unsolved problems from the original are all wrapped up in this film. You didn’t think you could actually black out, end up in a hospital, steal money from a Chinese gangster, marry a hooker, steal a tiger and in the next 48 hours have the whole thing blow over did you?

“Hangover 3” uses the same recipe for success as many Todd Phillips films have done before. He allows the comedians to use comedy. They are not just speaking lines they are acting as comedians. Back from the first film are Mike Epps, Heather Graham and baby Carlos. New to the series are Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) and new antagonist John Goodman (who I think should be in every movie). Those two plus an abundance of Ken Jeong scenes makes this movie a must see! I usually reserve my $10+ for a movie ticket for something that I can’t get at my own house: lots of 3D action or an overwhelmingly visual film, but I would pay to see this movie again and I advise you to do the same.

The original “Hangover” was something that audiences hadn’t been subjected too in a comedy for quite some time, causing outbursts of laughing fits in the theater to where you couldn’t always here the next line being spoken. There were times I just couldn’t believe what I just saw or what just took place. This movie has THAT. This is an original movie that could have been called “Hangover 2” and we could have just skipped the 2nd one all together.

This is a movie that you need to enjoy with many people. Friends or strangers, the more the merrier. I shared many a good laugh and exchanged looks with a man that looked like Santa Claus sitting next to me. I even had to give him a drink of my Coke after he started choking while laughing.

Blu-ray Review “The Hangover Part III”

Audio Book Reviews “Kingdom Keepers II-V”

Author: Ridley Pearson
Performed by: Christopher Lane, MacLeod Andrews
Publisher: Brilliance Audio on MP3-CD
Edition: Unabridged
Discs: 6, 10, 9, 11
Release Date: August 26, 2008, April 6, 2010; April 5, 2011; April 3, 2012
Running Time: 7 hours, 12 hours, 10 hours, 13 hours

Overall Series Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Flashback to November 2005 in Walt Disney World,  I am on my honeymoon with my beautiful newly wed wife. We are strolling around the Magic Kingdom shops and I come across a rather interesting book titled “Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark”.  And that was my first introduction to the world of Ridley Pearson.  I believe I finished the book before I even got home from the honeymoon and hungry for more.  I also went around and spreaded the word to my entire Disney family, who is also now hardcore fans of the series and Pearson’s work. “Kingdom Keepers II:” Disney at Dawn” arrived in 2008.  The book was a fantastic continuation of the series of Finn and his friends.  With the series on a hot streak the third installment as was up next “Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow” only two years later in 2010. Since the third book Ridley has been releasing a new episode every year with “Kingdom Keepers IV: Power Play” in 2011 and “Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game” in 2012. This series not only gets better with each book it also reveals all new mysteries, adventures and villains that our heroes and their DHI’s have to face. A must have for an Disney fan!

The first “Kingdom Keepers” on audio book was performed by Gary Littman and the second book was performed Christopher Lane.  Both books were well performed don’t get me wrong
but he third book was is performed by MacLeod Andrews and easily became my favorite of all the performers. In fact MacLeod also has continued with the series straight through the latest fifth book in the series “Shell Game”. I like the fact of keeping it uniform especially when it comes to audio books.  When you listen to MacLeod you will understand what I mean.  He is very animated and really gives a voice to these characters. His performance also feels very theatrical, which I believe stems from his background of working on numerous stage production in New York. I believe that in order to deliver a convincing and also entertaining job for a book reading that you need to be able to get behind as well as into the characters. As the series also progress within the third book through the fifth book, it also get more epic and ambitious. This is where MacLeod really steps up and delivers the action, the comedy and the drama all mixed together very well.

Brilliance Audio has been behind this series since the first book and have delivered impressive productions throughout the series. “Kingdom Keepers II: Disney at Dawn” in book form is 384 pages, while the audio book is about 7 hours long. I have always loved the second book and Lane goes a good job with his performance. “Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow” in book form clocked in a 560 pages, which is a nice length especially of young adult book. The book is performed by Macleod in just over 12 hours over 10 compact discs.  The book edition of “Kingdom Keepers IV: Power Play” closes out with 448 pages.  The audio book runs 10 hours over 9 compact discs. Lastly, “Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game” totals up 560 pages in the book edition, while the audio book runs the longest at 13 hours and 17 minutes and over 11 compact disc. Here are the packaging dimensions for each audio book: “Kingdom Keepers II: Disney at Dawn”, “Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow” and “Kingdom Keepers IV: Power Play” are both: 7 x 5 x 1.5 inches, while “Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game” comes in a smaller and more concise packaging 5.5 x 5 x 0.5 inches. I have to say that I prefer the slimmer packaging since it stands better without the added Styrofoam. Also inside each of the three boxes are the same content, which are the varied number of discs in white paper sleeves, so you are not loosing anything due to the smaller packaging. Am I allowed to say “Brilliant job Brilliance Audio!” 😉 Can’t wait till the audio book of “Kingdom Keepers VI: Dark Passage” coming Fall 2013.

“Kingdom Keepers II: Disney at Dawn” Official Premise: It’s supposed to be a happy day at the Magic Kingdom – the teenage holographic hosts have returned. But things go very wrong when a sudden lightning storm disrupts the celebration, and Amanda’s mysterious sister, Jez, disappears. The only clue is the sighting of a wild monkey in the Magic Kingdom during the storm. The mystery deepens as Finn is contacted by Wayne, an old man he hasn’t heard from in months. Wayne tells Finn that there’s trouble at the Animal Kingdom: the evil Overtakers have gained control of one of the computer servers that will be used to operate Daylight Holographic Imaging there. That means if any of the holographic hosts fall asleep, they will go into comas – permanently. Filled with action and brimming with the same meticulous detail as The Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark (also available in audio from Brilliance Audio), this second audiobook in the series – Disney at Dawn – is the result of hands-on research behind the scenes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. Younger and older listeners alike will get a glimpse into a second Disney kingdom. The wild rides have only just begun, and the clock is ticking. How long can the teens keep themselves awake in their quest to find their friend – and what happens if they fail?

“Kingdom Keepers III: Disney in Shadow” Official Premise: When Disney Imagineers installed hologram guides for the Magic Kingdom using teenage models, they had no idea the technology might backfire. But backfire it did: some nights when the kids go to sleep, they wake up in one of the Disney parks as holograms. The five teens have twice thwarted evil plots masterminded by Maleficent; but now Finn, Philby, Willa, Charlene, and Maybeck have another problem: Wayne, their mentor and head Imagineer, has mysteriously gone missing. Concerned that Wayne has been abducted by the Overtakers, the kids pick up a major clue from a close friend, Jess, whose dreams (nightmares, really) often accurately predict the future. This time, the clues from Jess’s dream lead the kids into Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Each clue seems tied to the last, and with the stakes growing ever higher, what starts out as a puzzle ends up as a fight for their lives. As they quest for a sword, take rides on Soarin’ and Maelstrom, have life-and-death encounters with a giant snake, and attempt to stop Maleficent, the Kingdom Keepers not only begin to decipher deeper meanings in the clues, but discover new truths about themselves and their ever-growing friendships.

“Kingdom Keepers IV: Power Play” Official Premise: Just when life for the five Kingdom Keepers is beginning to settle down, an intriguing video suddenly appears on Philby’s computer at school. It’s a call to action: it seems that the Overtakers, a group of Disney villains, are plotting to rescue their two captured leaders, who were hidden away by Disney Imagineers after a recent violent encounter at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. A staged attack by some mysterious new Overtakers at DisneyQuest confirms the Keepers’ fears. One of their own, Charlene, has been behaving oddly. Has she tired of her role as a Keeper, or is there something more sinister at play? When she’s caught sneaking into Epcot as a hologram — which is strictly against the group’s rules — Finn and Philby know the Keepers must act. The Keepers have so many puzzles to solve: has the impossible occurred? Have the Overtakers created their own holograms? Have they found a way to “jump” from the Virtual Maintenance Network onto the Internet, and if so, what does that mean for the safety of the Parks, and the spread and reach of the Overtakers? Are they recruiting an army of kids for their evil purposes? Trouble looms as the Kingdom Keepers struggle to differentiate friend from foe and battle new and increasingly dangerous enemies, all the while knowing they may be nearing a point of no escape.

“Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game” Official Premise: As the five Kingdom Keepers enter high school, everything is about to change. The Maintenance Base that controls all four parks in Disney World is under attack by the Overtakers, a group determined to change Disney forever. Relationships between the Keepers are no longer as simple as they once were. In fact, nothing is as simple as it once was. An after-hours visit to Typhoon Lagoon is a game changer. The Keepers lose one of their most valuable supporters. But there’s work to do. . . . The Disney Dream leaves Port Canaveral on a historic cruise to Los Angeles with a special treat in store for guests: the Disney Host Interactive teenage guides are on board. Finn, Maybeck, Charlene, Willa, and Philby join celebrity guests as the DHI experience moves to one of the most advanced cruise ships in the world. But all is not right belowdecks. Strange things are happening. Unexplained phenomena. Only the Kingdom Keepers know the truth behind their invitation to be in attendance: nearly every Disney villain is aboard the ship, including Maleficent. The Overtakers have infiltrated the cast and crew. And no one knows what they have planned. The Dream sets sail filled with enthusiastic guests and crew. But not for long. Maleficent takes over a video screen and warns the guests of trouble to come. With the ship arriving at the beaches of Castaway Cay—its first of many exotic ports of call—the Kingdom Keepers are under attack; back home the Base is threatened and about to fall. The Overtakers have expanded in ways never foreseen, and it’s clear they intend to use this element of surprise to accomplish what has eluded them so far: victory. But not if Finn Whitman and friends have anything to say about it.

Uwe Boll talks about “Assault on Wall Street” and “In the Name of the King III”

Uwe Boll is the director of films like “House of the Dead”, “Postal, “In the Name of the King” series and “Bloodrayne” series. Uwe is releasing his most personal and impressive film to date called “Assault on Wall Street”. The film stars Dominic Purcell, known best for TV role in “Prison Break”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Uwe again about his upcoming films and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how you got attached to “Assault on Wall Street” aka “Bailout: The Age of Greed”?
Uwe Boll: I developed it also as a producer. I was basically very pissed with the bailouts that the banks got away with. The movies that were made about the financial crisis where not showing the other side of the story. None of them were focusing on the people that actually lost everything. I wanted to also turn it into more of a revenge thriller, sort of a mix of “Falling Down” and “Death Wish”. Everything came together and I felt that it ended up being a very strong movie.

MG: Did you face any issues shooting an anti-Wall Street film in NYC?
UB: The problem was that when I went into casting a lot of the actor’s agents I asked had problems with the role. They were concerned with the fact if someone then actually went out and shoot up bankers for real then I would have been setting their character as a role model. I told them that it was only a movie and you have to take risks in your life otherwise you will never do anything. I thought it was a story that was worth telling. I have to say though we ended up with the perfect guy, Dominic Purcell. This is his best movie. He carried the movie very well as the lead actor.

MG: The film is one of your most mature and focused film; how does it compare for you to your past films?
UB: I do compare it to one of my other recent films “Rampage”, for example. A lot of my other movies are cold and this one sticks out since I spent a lot of time with the drama. The main character and his wife in the film have a great relationship. [SPOLIER ALERT] I don’t know one person who has watched the movie that wasn’t almost crying when she commits suicide. I think this is the first movie I did where the emotion part actually exists in a way. My video game based movies are more genre films. The other movies are more violent at times and let’s say more clinical. This one is more touching and emotional.

MG: You also reunite with Dominic Purcell in “In the Name of the King III”, tell us about that production?
UB: We went and shot the movie in Bulgaria. We focused it again on time travel but taking place mostly in medieval times. I like working with him so much and I want to continue working with him. At first he wasn’t a big fan of the fantasy aspect of the film. Then when we shot it, we brought in a lot of dry humor and made it fun. I think you will really be surprised how well that it turned out. But it is not done yet though, we are currently working on the CGI phase of the film.

MG: Did you ever think that you would be making a third film, after the first?
UB: No, not at all. Like with “Bloodrayne”, we did three films and with “King” I think now after this it will be the end of it. I do not see a need to really precede with this series after this film. I think it is a good ending and brings the films together. For me I just love shooting movies. If I am able to shoot a film like “In the Name of the King” then I do it. I am not the kind of the director that waits three years for his passion project. I try to make a passion projects like “Assault on Wall Street” but in between I take advantage of other opportunities if I can get funding together.

MG: Speaking of sequels, are you done with the “Bloodrayne” series or can we expect a fourth film?
UB: We developed a fourth one taking place in the present time. But Majesco Games pulled the plug saying that they do not want anymore movies. I couldn’t believe it because the games were never as popular and I feel that our movies were much bigger. Before I got into a lawsuit with Majesco, I dropped the ball and decided to not make it. I would like to do another though to finish the “Bloodrayne” story. Maybe Majesco will change their minds in the future. A lot of the times video game companies change management and maybe we can reactivate our relationship one day.

MG: How did you get attached to produce “Legend of the Red Reaper”?
UB: With “Legend of the Red Reaper”, I am only working with the film during post-production. I wasn’t involved with the shoot. Tara Cardinal, the producer,  actress, director, she did everything on this film. I saw a rough cut of the movie, which was about two and half hours. Inside that cut, I saw a movie and said that we would have to cut it out of it. So now we are in the finishing process now.

MG: Tell us about what we can expect from the anthology film, “The Profane Exhibit”?
UB: The producer David Bond contacted me and showed me the first segment from the film, which was so violent. He asked me if I wanted to act as the sales company to assist in selling the film but also at the same time shoot a segment myself for the film. There are twelve segments from different directors. My segment was based on the Fritzl case, which happened in Austria a few years ago. Basically a guy was keeping his own daughter locked up in the basement for like 20 years. For my segment, I focused on one day in his life of that guy. It is very creepy. The movie should be finished in August/September and we already have invitations from over 25 film festivals around the world. People are really excited and want to see what we came up with this film.

MG: Next up you are directing “Suddenly” again reuniting with Ray Liotta, Dominic Purcell and Michael Paré; tell us about what we can expect?
UB: We shot this already. Yes, it is funny because I worked with Dominic Purcell and Ray Liotta again. I love working with the same actors because I know them already and we are able to get the job done quickly. This is a remake of the Frank Sinatra film of the same title from the 50’s. In the original, Sterling Hayden was the Sheriff and Frank Sinatra was the bad guy. In this film Dominic is the bad guy and Ray Liotta is the sheriff. It is about the assassination of the president and takes place in one day. We shot in Vancouver, Canada in the snow. I even hired an Obama double to play the President, so we almost get to shoot the real Obama [laughs]. It is is post-production now and is almost finished.

Marilyn Ghigliotti reflect on her role in “Clerks” and on news of “Clerks III”

Marilyn Ghigliotti is best known for her role of Veronica in “Clerks”. With the director, Kevin Smith, announcing that “Clerks III” will be his final film, Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Marilyn about the news and reflects on her role in the original “Clerks”.

Mike Gencarelli: How can you reflect on Kevin Smith’s latest news to make “Clerks III” his last film?
Marilyn Ghigliotti: Well, it would be great. I think a lot of people really want to know what is happening with the characters anyway. I do not know if Veronica would be brought back or not – it would be really nice if she was. I am constantly asked that question about a third film. I was just lucky enough to work on the first film and play that character that everyone loves. In the same respect, I like the fact that fans are curious but I only know the same as them right now [laughs].

Mike: Why do you think these characters resonate going on 20 years now?
Marilyn: I think because they are believable. Everybody can relate to these characters. I am thinking because Kevin Smith had a lot of things against him but he beat the odds and was able to make this film possible without a studio. Since then it has just grown over the years. I have even had a nine year old girl come up to me and said that she loves the film [laughs].

Mike: Reflecting back on “Clerks”, at what point did you realize that this little film wasn’t going away?
Marilyn: It was when we were all at Sundance, which is when Miramax bought. Brian (O’Halloran) and I knew that the meeting was going on and we waited on pins and needles to see what was going to happen. When we got word it was bought by Miramax, where were really excited. Even then though, we didn’t know what to expect but we knew it was going to be a little more than we anticipated.

Mike: Do you have a highlight of working on that film?
Marilyn: All of it really. Next year is 20 years since it was filmed, so it is quite a long time. It was just a great experience. I remember we went in very late to shoot and at the time I was working at a salon as well. So I would be lucky to get an hour or two sleep after shooting before going off work. During shooting we got to meet the town drunk that would come in and buy cigarettes very late. We had hot bagels that we weren’t really suppose to have. So things like that.

Mike: Did you have any challenges with the sharp and quick dialogue for Veronica?
Marilyn: Oh yeah! I kind of trip-over my tongue naturally. You can even see, during the scene when Dante is painting Veronica’s nails. Kevin had enough film that he probably could have done a few more takes but I just kept tripping over my tongue. Even though, I come from theatre, which includes a lot of lines to memorize for a stage performance. For me learning lines is always a stressful thing. I want to be able to say them correctly as they are written.

Mike: Did you ever get approach for a role in “Clerks II”?
Marilyn: No, it never did. I did get to go to the premiere out in Red Bank though. I can see why she wasn’t in the film. But I could also could have seen a little cameo with her in it as well. There are many possibilities that I can see for Veronica in “Clerks III”. I know that Kevin writes his stories on how he is feeling at that moment, so it could have nothing for my character as well. But I am still hoping.

Mike: Besides acting, telling us about your work as a make-up artist?
Marilyn: Before I started acting, I was a practicing hair stylist in a salon. At a certain point, I was looking for something new. I was always interested in the entertainment field growing up, in some respect. I always wanted to take dance lessons as a kid and used to always watch musicals. I just ended up falling into it and I am happy I did. My parents brought me up telling me to get an office job or become a secretary to have financial security. Nothing against my parents but I am glad that I fell into this.

Mike: Tell us about what you have planned for next year?
Marilyn: There is one project called “Geek USA” that came about from the sound guy, Phil Bladh, who I worked with on “Alien Armageddon”. It was based on his prom when he was in High School. I was originally supposed to play his mom but there was a scheduling conflict. So I just play a store clerk and hopefully the scene isn’t cut [laughs]. It was fun though! I also just did a day on Neil Johnson’s latest film “Starship: Rising”. He was the director of “Alien Armageddon”. It was only one day but I love getting to work with him and he puts me in these roles that you wouldn’t normally expect to see me in. So, that was fun to do and I like getting to show range.

Blu-ray Review “Cinderella II: Dreams Come True / Cinderella III: A Twist in Time”

Starring: Jennifer Hale, Tress MacNeille, Rob Paulsen, Corey Burton, Holland Taylor, Susanne Blakeslee
Directors: Frank Nissen, John Kafka
Number of discs: 3
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 20, 2012
Running Time: 73 / 70 minutes

Cinderella II: Dreams Come True: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Cinderella III: A Twist in Time: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

How can you follow up to wonderful and timeless story of “Cinderella”. “Cinderella II: Dreams Come True” is a poor excuse for a sequel to one of the best fairy tale stories ever. The animation really is poor and really shows it’s direct-to-video roots. To be honest, I wouldn’t purchase this if it wasn’t in a combo pack. “Cinderella III: A Twist in Time” is a much better follow-up.  It delivers a really nice twist on the classic story and also packs some really fun songs. This film does make this release worth the purchase and I would just take “Cinderella II”, as a bonus feature.  In terms of delivery, “Cinderella II & III” are presented on one Blu-ray disc, while each film is also available on their own individual DVD. Overall, I would recommend this for probably only hardcore Disney fans!

“Cinderella II: Dreams Come True”: As a newly crowned princess, Cinderella quickly learns that life at the Palace – and her royal responsibilities – are more challenging than she had imagined. In three heartwarming tales, Cinderella calls on her animal friends and her Fairy Godmother to help as she brings her own grace and charm to her regal role and discovers that being true to yourself is the best way to make your dreams come true.

“Cinderella III: A Twist In Time”: Princess Cinderella is living a charmingly perfect life until her stepmother gets her hands on Fairy Godmother’s magic wand. With a wicked spell that turns back the clock, she erases the Prince’s memories of the girl he met at the ball and shatters Cinderella’s happily ever after! Jaq and Gus scurry to save the day before time runs out. But was it all really just a dream in Cinderella’s heart, or will true love triumph over all?

Despite being pretty bad, “Cinderella II: Dreams Come True” still looks the best it ever has on Blu-ray with its 1080p transfer and its 1.66:1 aspect ratio. “Cinderella III: A Twist In Time” also looks fantastic with its 1080p transfer and its 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Both films also sport a nice DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track. The special features do not add much to this release. There is a feature called “Becoming a Princess” which is included in a two-part feature. The 1st Edition is with “Cinderella II” and 2nd Edition is with “Cinderella III” and both are new features for this release. They takes you through princess school and the process of being transformed into a Disney Princess. “Musical Magic” looks into the songs in the “Cinderella 2”. Lastly, there is a music video for the song “Put It Together”.

Book Review “The Art of Assassin’s Creed III”

Author: Andy McVittie
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: October 30, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

The “Assassin’s Creed” video game series is one of the most unique available today.  The first game launched in 2007 and since then the first four Assassin’s Creed games have sold more than 38 million units worldwide.  The franchise quickly established itself one of the best-selling series ever. My only question is WHERE IS THE MOVIE ADAPTION? There has been a lot of hype and anticipation behind the arrival of “Assassin’s Creed III”.  This book is an exclusive art book to showcase the wonderful art that has gone into making this new installment.

If you are fan of this franchise, I cannot stress how this book is a must have.  One of the factors that makes “Assassin’s Creed” so successful is that it has some of the most original and deep art matched with storytelling in the business. The book is authored by Andy McVittie, who has been working in the video games industry for more than twenty years. He is known best for his work in well-known magazines like  Nintendo Official Magazine and PlayStation Plus.  So he knows his video games and his passion is shown throughout this book.

What makes “Assassin’s Creed III” unique in the franchise is the introduction of a  new assassin and takes place in a revolutionary world. So this book is a perfect introduction to this character and the new world that the story takes place in.  If you are hardcore fans, you are going to be drooling over the new interactive cityscapes and frozen winter landscapes showcased in this book.  Also revealed are the new threats from the natural world including weather systems that affect actual affect gameplay.  Also fans will be happy to know that all these has been perfectly and (most importantly) historically recreated by the Ubisoft studio. So get ready to completely immerse yourself in this book, since “Assassin’s Creed III” to certain to be the biggest and best yet in the series.