CD Review: “Invasion” John 5 and the Creatures

“Invasion”

John 5 and the Creatures

Producer:  Barry Pointer

Tracks: 10

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Guitarist John 5 and his band The Creatures (bassist Ian Ross, Drummer Logan Miles Nix) are back with a brand new studio album titled “Invasion”. The fourth studio release from the Los Angeles based trio features 10 tracks produced by Barry Pointer which plunge listeners head first into the twisted, musical mind of guitar virtuoso/front-man John 5.

Just when you thought guitarist John 5 had taken his unique mixture of “Hee-Haw” infused shred as far as it could possibly go the former Marilyn Manson/K.D.Lang/Rod Stewart guitarist flips the switch to show listeners that all previous accounts were just the catalyst to “Invasion”. From the eerie opening sound-scape “Invasion” to the robotic “I Am John 5” and the quirky “Zoinks” listener’s senses are put through the wringer before being pushed even further with the twang-tastic, “Howdy” and the pedal steel laden “Cactus Flower” both of which showcase 5’s strong country influences. On the back end of the album are tracks like “I Want It All” and “I Like The Funk” both of which are doused with enough funky textures and tones that they will have the one and only George Clinton scratching his head.

You don’t have to be a guitar player to enjoy the music contained on “Invasion”. From over the top molten distortion to funkified wah worbles and sparkly cleans the latest offering from John 5 and the Creatures is a hodge-podge of musical influences which explode out of your speakers with reckless abandonment. Despite “Invasion” not being the most cohesive collection of songs from the group the album does give listeners a wide pallet to choose from making it worth checking out.

Track Listing:

1.) Invasion

2.) I Am John 5

3.) Midnight Mass

4.) Zoinks!

5.) Howdy

6.) Crank It/Living With Ghosts

7.) Cactus Flower

8.) I Want It All

9.) I Like The Funk

10.) Constant Sorrow

DVD Review “Steel Panther: British Invasion”

Directed by: Daniel E Catullo III
Starring: Steel Panther
Guitar Anarchy Studios
Mixing: Jay Ruston
Rated: N/A
Concert Feature: 90 min
Special Features: 60 min

Our Score: Concert- 4 out of 5 stars
Special Features- 5 out of 5 stars

“British Invasion” is the long awaited DVD/Blu-Ray release from the spandex clad band Steel Panther. Release dates for this film go back as far as March of 2010 however the wait is finally over. There are two versions of the film being released in the U.S. on Oct. 22nd with the first being a 2 disc DVD version that will have the concert and special features on two separate discs along with a 16 page color booklet. The Blu-Ray release of the film will feature all of the same material and packaging but contained on a single disc. Shot on location in London, England at the famous Brixton Academy director Daniel E Catullo III (Nickelback, Rush, Godsmack) does a great job capturing all the hairspray filed hijinx as the concert was shot on 16 HD cameras which give the film a really stunning look.

I have been waiting patiently since the first announcements of this DVD were released over 2 years ago so when I finally received the Blu-Ray version of the film for review I couldn’t wait to see what was in store. Satchel, Michael, Lexxi and Stix deliver with every song and cheesy choreographed dance move as they make their way through the 90+ minute set shot during one of their sold out shows at London’s Brixton Academy. Lots of jokes and scantily clad women fill in the empty spaces making this a hysterical watching experience. At times the music does seems a bit too crisp and clean for a live recording however it’s not enough where it distracted my attention. The only other negative I could really find was that because of the film being shot during the highly successful “Feel the Steel” tour the set does not include any songs from the group’s latest release “Balls Out”. However the band does a good job making up for that during the bonus features.

The Special Features portion of the disc was chocked to the brim with over 60 minutes of bonus material. The first is a hysterical 40 minute documentary which takes you behind the scenes of the band known as Steel Panther. Next is a video of the bands performance from this year’s Download Festival which not only features performances of “Just Like Tiger Woods” and “17 Girls in a Row” both off of the “Balls Out” album but a very special guest vocal performance by Corey Taylor of Slipknot on the bands song “Death to All But Metal”. Closing out this portion of the disc are several deleted scenes that even though were obviously staged still managed to garner a number of laughs.

Great laughs and great music is what you find on Steel Panther’s “British Invasion”. So do yourself a favor. Pick up a copy of this film, tuck the little ones away for the night and get prepared to ROCK!!!

Main DVD:
1.) Eyes of a Panther
2.) Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin’
3.) Fat Girl
4.) Hair Solo
5.) Party All Day
6.) Hell’s on Fire
7.) Stripper Girl
8.) Asian Hooker
9.) Turn Out the Lights
10.) Girl From Oklahoma
11.) We Want Pussy
12.) Community Property
13.) The Shocker
14.) Death to All But Metal

Bonus Disc:
40 Min. Documentary
Deleted Scenes

Download Festival 2012:
1.) Supersonic Sex Machine
2.) Community Property
3.) Just Like Tiger Woods
4.) 17 Girls in a Row
5.) Death to All But Metal (Feat. Corey Taylor)

Blu-ray Review “Starship Troopers: Invasion”

Directed by: Shinji Aramaki
Starring: Leraldo Anzaldua, Luci Christian, Melissa Davis, Justin Doran, David Matranga
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Running Time: 89 minutes

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

“Starship Troopers: Invasion” is finally a true sequel to “Starship Troopers”. It took them four films to get it right. This is also the first of hopefully many CG-animated within this franchise. The series is way too ambitious to be done live-action without a very large budget and works very well computer-generated. They were also smart to include plenty of boobs, gore and plenty of wits, which is what made this series great. The story takes a little while to get started and it has it problems but this is what this series needed, some mindless kick-ass action.  “Invasion” also brings back series favorite characters including Carl Jenkins, Carmen Ibanez and of course Johnny Rico, though they are not reprised by their original cast. Casper Van Dien does serve as an executive producer to the film but that is all. Fans of the series should definitely check out this film and will not be disappointed.

From Sony’s official synopsis: “A distant Federation outpost Fort Casey comes under attack by bugs. The team on the fast attack ship Alesia is assigned to help the Starship John A. Warden stationed in Fort Casey evacuate along with the survivors and bring military intelligence safely back to Earth. Carl Jenkins, now ministry of Paranormal Warfare, takes the starship on a clandestine mission before its rendezvous with the Alesia and goes missing in the nebula. Now, the battle-hardened troopers are charged with a rescue mission that may lead to a much more sinister consequence than they ever could have imagined.”

Sony’s Blu-ray release looks fantastic with the CG-animation in its 1080p transfer within its 1.78:1 aspect ratio.  I meanm the film was made with computer, so I always feel that CGI films should look the best on Blu-ray.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is extremely explosive and sounds fantastic through the film’s many action sequences.  The special features are also very impressive as well.  There is an audio commentary track from director Shinji Aramaki.  But the real star of the disc is a massive in-depth “The Making of Starship Troopers: Invasion” series of featurettes. The feature is broken up into numerous aspects of the film’s production including Character Design, Motion Capture, Powersuits, Bugs, Ships, Animation, Backgrounds, Compositing, Music and lastly a Gag reel.  I really though these were very informative especially the featurette on the motion capture.  Lastly there is a Blu-ray exclusive extra for the conceptual art gallery.