Iron Maiden Announce 2019 North American “Legacy of the Beast” Tour

Iron Maiden Announce 2019 North American “Legacy of the Beast” Tour

IRON MAIDEN will bring the “Legacy Of The Beast” tour to North America in 2019 for an extensive series of arena and amphitheater shows produced by Live Nation, including a first-ever headline appearance at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. The tour will cover a total of 33 cities right across the U.S.A. and Canada, including Portland, Oregon where they haven’t played since 1987 on the “Somewhere In Time” tour, Hartford, Connecticut where they last played in 2005, and many other places not visited since the “Maiden England” 2012-2013 tour. The full list of dates is below.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, November 16 at 10 a.m. local time at As always, there will be an exclusive pre-sale for IRON MAIDEN fan-club members.

The band’s triumphant first leg of the “Legacy Of The Beast” tour opened in Europe earlier this year to outstanding critical acclaim, not just by the 750,000-plus fans who came to see the show but right across national press and rock media, including The Times (UK) newspaper calling it “an extraordinary show filled with world class theatrics… a masterclass in performance and staging.”

MAIDEN vocalist Bruce Dickinson comments: “We’re excited to return to North America and share the ‘Legacy Of The Beast’ tour with all our friends there! We’re immensely proud of this show and we’ve had great reactions from the many fans who came to see us in Europe earlier this year. The production is based on our mobile game ‘The Legacy Of The Beast’ which basically takes various incarnations of Eddie into many different MAIDEN worlds. This inspired us to put together a stage show to take our fans through different worlds and experiences set to appropriate songs. It is not that easy designing different worlds on stage and we put a huge amount of work into this to make it work and the end result we feel is our most spectacular and certainly the most complex show to date. We’ve got all kinds of crazy things going on, including a replica Spitfire plane dominating the stage during ‘Aces High’, tons of pyro, a giant Icarus, muskets, claymores and some truly marvellous flame-throwers which I have a hell of a lot of fun with, as you will see! And, of course, we have Eddie, as you’ve never seen him before, and absolutely loads of other surprises. I’ve had the time of my life playing with all these magnificent props on stage, it’s been fantastic, we can’t wait to bring this show to you!”

Steve Harris, bassist and founder member adds: “We gave a lot of thought to the set list for this tour as the songs needed to follow the narrative of the changing worlds of the stage show. We feel we ended up with a very strong and well balanced set mixing songs we haven’t played in many years, like ‘Flight Of Icarus’, ‘Sign Of The Cross’ and ‘The Clansman’ with songs we know the fans want to hear like ‘The Trooper’, ‘2 Minutes To Midnight’, ‘The Number Of The Beast’, ‘Fear Of The Dark’, ‘Run To The Hills’, ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ and others, reflecting the journey through the different themes of the show. The whole band is really enjoying this tour and we are really looking forward to seeing everybody again!”

Support on the 2019 tour comes from THE RAVEN AGE. Additionally, FOZZY will be guests for the Banc of California Stadium show in Los Angeles.

IRON MAIDEN “Legacy Of The Beast” 2019 North American tour dates:

Jul. 18 – Sunrise, FL – BB&T Center
Jul. 20 – Atlanta, GA – Cellairis Amphitheater At Lakewood
Jul. 22 – Charlotte, NC – Pnc Music Pavilion
Jul. 24 – Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live
Jul. 26 – Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center+
Jul. 30 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center*
Aug. 01 – Boston, MA – Xfinity Center
Aug. 03 – Hartford, CT – Xfinity Theatre
Aug. 05 – Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
Aug. 07 – Quebec City, QC – Videotron Centre
Aug. 09 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage
Aug. 10 – Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage
Aug. 13 – Buffalo, NY – Keybank Center
Aug. 15 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center
Aug. 17 – Pittsburgh, PA – Ppg Paints Arena
Aug. 19 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
Aug. 22 – Tinley Park, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Aug. 24 – Indianapolis, IN – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
Aug. 26 – St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center*
Aug. 28 – Winnipeg, MB – Bell Mts Place
Aug. 30 – Edmonton, AB – Rogers Place
Aug. 31 – Calgary, AB – Scotiabank Saddledome
Sep. 03 – Vancouver, BC – Pepsi Live At Rogers Arena
Sep. 05 – Tacoma, WA – Tacoma Dome
Sep. 06 – Portland, OR – Moda Center
Sep. 09 – Sacramento, CA – Golden 1 Center
Sep. 10 – Oakland, CA – Oracle Arena
Sep. 13 – Las Vegas, NV – Mgm Grand Garden Arena
Sep. 14 – Los Angeles, CA – Banc Of California Stadium
Sep. 17 – Phoenix, AZ – Talking Stick Resort Arena*
Sep. 19 – Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheater
Sep. 21 – Dallas, TX – Dos Equis Pavilion
Sep. 22 – Houston, TX – The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Sep. 25 – San Antonio, TX – At&T Center

* on sale starting 12 p.m. local time
+ on sale starting Monday, November 19 at 10 a.m. local time
No further cities will be added to this touring schedule.

For the 2019 shows, IRON MAIDEN will, in conjunction with the promoters, be implementing a partial digital ticketing system in as many venues as possible. This technology, being used by the NFL amongst others, is a progression of the paperless system that MAIDEN have been successfully using since 2010 and has worked well in lessening ticket scalping and the drain of prime tickets into the Secondary market.

Fans in the USA and Canada will once again be able to enjoy a Trooper VIP Upgrade package allowing early access to the venue, a pile of Trooper goodies, Trooper beers, food and a designated area to meet with other fans, plus the opportunity to win some great prizes. Packages will be available from, priced at $220 ($290 CAD for Canadian shows), with a 10% discount for IRON MAIDEN fan-club members.

Killswitch Engage Signs with Metal Blade Records; Kicks Off European Tour w/ Iron Maiden

Killswitch Engage signs with Metal Blade Records and Columbia/Sony Music Germany; kicks off European tour with Iron Maiden

Photo credit: John McMurtrie

Metal Blade Records is proud to welcome Killswitch Engage to its roster! Partnering with Sony Music Entertainment outside of North America, the band will be releasing their upcoming album in 2019 worldwide.

Metal Blade’s CEO/founder Brian Slagel comments: “I have been a huge fan and friend of Killswitch for a long time, so it is truly an honor to be able to work with them. So happy to welcome them to the Metal Blade family.”

Jesse Leach (vocals): “I’m beyond stoked to sign with the legendary Metal Blade Records and Columbia/Sony Music. It’s clear they truly understand and believe in what we do as a band, and we’re psyched to have them on our side. It’s an exciting new chapter for KSE and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Adam Dutkiewicz (guitar): “I’m very excited to say that Killswitch Engage will be joining forces with Metal Blade Records and Columbia/Sony Music! Super stoked to join the ranks with a long list of many epic metal acts, as well as a team of excellent human beings who truly have a genuine love for metal music. Here’s to an awesome future with awesome labels!”

Benjamin Voss, Senior A&R Manager Columbia/Sony Music Germany: “I am very happy and proud to work with such an amazing band like Killswitch Engage in the future. We are absolutely excited about releasing their new album on Sony Music outside North America.”

Currently finishing work on their upcoming album, Killswitch Engage have taken a break from recording to embark on a summer European tour with Iron Maiden. The trek will also see the band appear at various premier festivals (Sweden Rock, Graspop Metal Meeting, Hellfest, etc.), along with a few special headlining shows. Then in the fall, the band will be touring across Australia with Parkway Drive. See below for all dates!

Killswitch Engage tour dates
w/ Iron Maiden
May 26 – Saku Arena – Tallinn, Estonia
May 28 – Hartwall Arena – Helsinki, Finland
May 29 – Hartwall Arena – Helsinki, Finland
May 31 – Pustervik – Goteborg, Sweden ***
June 1 – Tele2 Arena – Stockholm, Sweden
June 2 – Rockefeller Music Hall – Oslo, Norway ***
June 3 – Trondheim Rocks @ Dahls Arena – Trondheim, Norway **
June 5 – Royal Arena – Copenhagen, Denmark
June 7 – Sweden Rock Festival – Solvesborg, Sweden **
June 9 – Rockavaria – Munich, Germany **
June 10 – Expo Plaza – Hannover, Germany
June 11 – Live Music Hall – Cologne, Germany ***
June 13 – Waldbuhne – Berlin, Germany
June 14 – Kwadrat – Krakow, Poland ***
June 16 – Akvarium Klub – Budapest, Hungary ***
June 17 – Novarock Festival – Nickelsdorf, Austria **
June 19 – Proxima – Warsaw, Poland ***
June 20 – Letnany Airport – Prague, Czech Republic
June 22 – Graspop Metal Meeting – Dessel, Belgium **
June 24 – Hellfest – Clisson, France **
June 25 – Den Atelier – Luxembourg, Luxembourg ***
June 26 – Geneva Arena – Geneva, Switzerland
June 28 – Rock in Rome @ Ippodromo Capanelle – Rome, Italy *
June 29 – Rock the Castle @ Villafranca Castle – Verona, Italy **
June 30 – Messe Freiburg – Freiburg, Germany
July 1 – GelreDome – Arnhem, Netherlands
July 31 – Metro Radio Arena – Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Aug. 1 – The Academy Dublin – Dublin, Ireland ***
Aug. 2 – SSE Arena – Belfast, UK
Aug. 4 – Aberdeen Exhibition & Conf. Centre – Aberdeen, UK
Aug. 6 – Manchester Arena – Manchester, UK
Aug. 7 – Genting Arena – Birmingham, UK
Aug. 10 – 02 Arena – London, UK
Aug. 11 – 02 Arena – London, UK
*=w/ Megadeth (no Iron Maiden)
**=festival off-date
***=Killswitch Engage headlining off-date

Killswitch Engage tour dates
w/ Parkway Drive
Oct. 25 – UC Refectory – Canberra, Australia
Oct. 26 – Hordern Pavilion – Sydney, Australia
Oct. 27 – Nex – Newcastle, Australia
Oct. 28 – Riverstage – Brisbane, Australia
Nov. 02 – Margaret Court Arena – Melbourne, Australia
Nov. 03 – Entertainment Centre – Adelaide, Australia
Nov. 06 – HBF Stadium – Perth, Australia

Formed in 1999 out of western Massachusetts, Killswitch Engage is often credited as one of the most influential metal acts in the last 20 years. Spending much of their career on the road, the band has enjoyed premium slots on major USA tours, including Ozzfest, Warped Tour, Taste of Chaos, Rockstar Energy Mayhem Fest, Music As a Weapon, and Trespass America, as well as countless international festivals around the globe. Having shared the stage with acts ranging from Rise Against to Slayer, the diversity and versatility of their touring is unparalleled. Their songs have been featured on Guitar Hero III, Rock Band, John Madden, the Resident Evil III soundtrack, and as entrance music for WWE wrestling champ CM Punk.

Twice Grammy-nominated, Killswitch Engage has sold over 3 million records worldwide, with The End of Heartache and As Daylight Dies both certified Gold in the U.S and Silver in the UK. The band’s latest album – 2016’s Incarnate – landed at #6 on the Billboard Top 200, #1 on the Current Rock Albums chart, and debuted at #1 overall in Canada, #5 in Australia, and #10 in both the UK and Germany – a testament to their international reach.

2018 will mark the end of the Incarnate album cycle, which saw the group reach new heights with its collection of anthems that set the heavy music world ablaze. Co-founders of Killswitch Engage – guitarist/backing vocalist Adam Dutkiewicz, guitarist Joel Stroetzel, bassist Mike D’Antonio, and lead vocalist Jesse Leach (who returned six years ago after a decade-long absence) – plus longtime drummer Justin Foley, are currently working on a new album, with Adam Dutkiewicz handling producer duties once again. Employing their usual unrelenting determination to continually release powerfully potent work, Killswitch Engage plans to deliver another trend-resistant, timeless record that feeds the soul, touches the heart, and strengthens the mind. Stay tuned for more news about this new album coming soon!

Killswitch Engage line-up:
Jesse Leach – Vocals
Adam Dutkiewicz – Guitar
Joel Stroetzel – Guitar
Justin Foley – Drums
Mike D’Antonio – Bass

Killswitch Engage online:


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Book Reviews “The World According to Iron Man” and “The World According to Thor”

Hardcover: 64 Pages
Publisher: Insight Editions
Release Date: April 21, 2015

Our Scores: 4 out of 5 stars

The World According to…

When I was younger I loved books that came with their own little hidden treasures, pull out letters or drawings from characters, something tangible from the world of the book. In this respect and more I suspect Insight Editions new “The World According to…” set of Avengers books will be greatly satisfying to the young Marvel fan.

Told from the point of view of one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, The World According to Iron Man (by Larry Hama and Marc Sumerak) and The World According to Thor (Sumarak) are fun introductions to Tony Stark and Thor Odinson, touching on all the aspects of their respective universes from origins, to villains and allies. Both boast bright, engaging illustrations (by Mirco Pierfederici for Iron Man, and Freddie E. Williams II for Thor) that warrant a closer look to catch some fun background action. You can spot Black Widow rebuffing Hawkeye at Stark’s party or, what I’m 98% positive is Disney’s Cinderella castle in the realm of Alfheim from our “Tour with Thor” (synergy, kids!)

When it comes to the Avengers, my personal favorite is Thor so that likely contributed to my enjoying his story slightly more, although perhaps his Asgardian exclamations–By Odin’s stamp collection!–simply jump off the page louder than Stark’s trademark sarcastic banter does. Author Sumerak also cleverly lets Thor give over narration of his tales to fan favorites The Warriors Three and Loki which contribute to filling out his “World” a little more than Stark’s. That said, the nifty special features that Iron Man’s book come with–Stark Industries Business Cards and Stocks, blue prints of the technology–would definitely excite the young reader looking to grasp onto a piece of the Stark empire. Perfect for the young fan who’s perhaps not exactly ready to square off with Ultron on the big screen.

Book Review “The Avengers Storybook Collection”

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Grade Level: 1 – 3
Series: Storybook Collection
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Marvel Press
Release Date: March 31, 2015

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

I wish I had a book like this when I was a kid. “The Avengers Storybook Collection” is a must have for any parent with young boys or even young fan girls for that matter! There is nothing like getting ready a story filled with heroism, adventure and action just before going to slip. These stories are fun, exciting and feature some of our favorite Marvel superheroes. Even though, my daughter is a little young for this one, she still loves it and already came name every character on the cover!

Official Premise: Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Falcon are Earth’s Mightiest Marvels-the Avengers! Join them as they work together to battle against sinister Super Villains such as Ultron, Thanos, the Masters of Evil,and more, to keep the Earth safe. Featuring 20 explosive stories of good vs. evil. Avengers assemble!

Let’s hope that this Storybook Collection is the first of many. There are literally an infinite collection of characters that they can include in future collections. This one has 20 stories included with all of the favorites like Iron Man and Captain America but I would love to be able to introduce my daughter to some of the lesser known characters as well. They could even do a female superhero only book OOHHHH OOHHHH or even better a villains only book. Who wouldn’t want to read a new story featuring everyone’s favorite Avenger villain, Loki! Fingers crossed!

Win a Digital HD copy of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Pumping Iron” [ENDED]

To celebrate the VOD release of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Pumping Iron”, available now on VOD, we are happy to be giving a digital HD code for the film. If you want to win this, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger film and be sure to watch the trailer below as well. This giveaway will remain open until December 19th at Noon, Eastern Time.

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) iTunes via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Everyone knows Arnold Schwarzenegger but do you know the whole story behind the man?

From Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach California to the showdown in Pretoria, amateur and professional bodybuilders prepare for the 1975 Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe contests in this part-scripted, part-documentary film.

Five-time champion Arnold Schwarzenegger defends his Mr. Olympia title against Serge Nubret and the shy, young, deaf Lou Ferrigno, whose father is his coach; the ruthless champ psyches out the young lion.

Sardinian Franco Columbu competes in the lightweight class; at home in Italy he solves a tight parking problem by lifting the car into place. Joe Weider is the marketer; Mike Katz and Ken Waller go for the title of Mr. Universe. Bodybuilding and a celebrity-to-be go mainstream.

Special Features:
· Still Pumping: Success in bodybuilding is a mental challenge as well as physical. In these newly recorded interviews, Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about the will power and focus you need to become a champion, and the mental attitude that has shaped his career.

· TheHard Science of Bodybuilding: Arnold Schwarzenegger and top bodybuilders give insights into the sport of bodybuilding and tips for building the body of your dreams.

Digital HD Review “Pumping Iron”

Actors: Lou Ferrigno, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Directors: George Butler, Robert Fiore
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Lionsgate
Run Time: 85 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Pumping Iron” is now available on Digital HD for the first time. This critically-acclaimed 1977 documentary that put the world of bodybuilding on the map and started the career for Arnold Schwarzenegger in Pumping Iron. This film still holds up today and is cool to see the ‘ole “Austrian Oak” in his prime again. This is a must own for any Schwarzenegger fan out there!

Original Premise: Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in this documentary about the 100 days leading up to the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest. Five-time former champion Schwarzenegger is pitted against shy newcomer Lou Ferrigno (TV’s “The Incredible Hulk”) in a showdown that is as mental as it is physical. With psychological warfare, intense determination, trash-talking, and the easy charm that would later catapult Schwarzenegger to stardom, “Pumping Iron” changed the world of bodybuilding forever and launched both men’s careers.

Even though this is a digital release, fans of “Pumping Iron” are going  to get much more than just the movie with never-before-released content in the US. There are two bonus features included additionally with the digital HD release. The first is “Still Pumping” is a group of newly recorded interviews with Arnold Schwarzenegger talking about his life and career. Also included is “The Hard Science of Bodybuilding”, which features Schwarzenegger and other top bodybuilders talking about the sport.

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Digital Film Review “Marvel’s Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United”

Starring: Adrian Pasdar, Roger Craig Smith
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release date: July 29, 2014
Running time: 71 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Even though the “Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United” wasn’t the best film of the year, Iron Man and Captain America are joining forces next in this all-new, original animated adventure, “Marvel’s Iron Man & Captain America: Heroes United”. The film is being release only on Digital HD, On-Demand and Disney Movies Anywhere, which is an interested move but also a nice way to give good use to their new streaming app.

The film sees the return of voice actors Adrian Pasdar and Roger Craig as they reprise their roles as Iron Man and Captain America, as they team up to stop Red Skull and Taskmaster from unleashing an army of Hydra Brutes in order to take over the world. Clancy Brown lends his voice to the villainous Taskmaster.

This is a decent improvement over the last film and does include some twists and a cool special appearance by one of your favorite Marvel Super Heroes. Iron Man and Captain America are both sharp and witty characters and play well together here. I am not 100% sold on this style of animation since it feels a little cheap and not as polished as you would expect from Marvel but it is still a decent film.

Blu-ray Review “Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United”

Starring: Adrian Pasdar, Fred ­Tatasciore, Dee Bradley Baker
Directors: Eric Radomski, Leo Riley
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Run Time: 72 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

After “The Avengers”, Marvel superheros have never been in higher demand! And who doesn’t love a great team up. Iron Man is obviously everyone’s favorite character and Hulk was the fan-favorite from “The Avengers”. This brand new animated film makes cinematic history and teams these two unexpected heroes together. The film is pretty jam-packed with action and great humor, which is a must for these two characters. Adrian Pasdar (“Heroes”) returns to voice Iron Man/Tony Stark and as does Fred Tatasciore (“Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.”) for the Hulk and wrapping it up Dee Bradley Baker (“Star Wars: The clone Wars”) introduces and gives a voice to our new villain Zzzax. Now that Disney owns the Marvel brand, I hope that we are going to be seeing many more of these in the coming months! Recommend for any Marvel fan…young or old.

Official Premise: In this action-packed teamup, the Invincible Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk come together to save the Earth from its greatest threat yet. When two HYDRA scientists try to supercharge a Stark Arc Reactor with Hulk’s Gamma Energy, they unleash a being of pure electricity called the Zzzax, and he’s hungry for destruction. Together, Iron Man and Hulk are the only force that stands in the way of the Zzzax’s planetary blackout. But first the superhero duo will have to get through snarling Wendigos, deadly robots and the scaly powerhouse, Abomination. Can two of Marvel’s mightiest heroes find a way to work together without smashing each other before time runs out?

What I like about this film the most is that it is being made by people who know superheros. Eric Radomski (TV’s “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man,” “Batman: The Animated Series”) was the Supervising Creative Director. The Executive Producers on the project are Alan Fine (“Marvel’s The Avengers”, “Thor”, “Iron Man 2”), Dan Buckley (TV’s “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man,” “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” “Marvel Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.”), Joe Quesada (TV’s “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man”) and Jeph Loeb (TV’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”). The film was also written by Henry Gilroy (“Batman: The Animated Series,” “Batman Beyond”) and Brandon Auman (TV’s “Iron Man: Armored Adventures,” “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”). So plenty of experience here!

“Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United” comes packaged as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy. Disney/Marvel has been using Digital Copy Plus now, which is a real treat! The 1080p transfer works wonderfully with the animation, which is quite sharp and very colorful. You can see the difference between the usual TV style animation and the quality feature film animation. There is a lot of detail but into making this look great. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 also delivers a huge HULK SMASH to your surround sound systems. It works very well with the non-stop action and sound effects as well.

In terms of special features, they are not outstanding but still cool and worth checking out. Firstly we get “Marvel Mash-ups”, which are three super cool shorts from old Marvel cartoons with new voice actors overdub scenes. Note, though if you pause the film you get “Marvel Inter-missions”, which includes even more hidden ones. The only other bonus feature is a chat between Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada and Ryan Penagos (Agent M on Twitter) about Iron Man and Hulk’s history together and other things Marvel. Definitely worth checking out also. No question, this will make a great gift this holiday season!

Film Review “Generation Iron”

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

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Film Review “Iron Man 3”

Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle
Directed by: Shane Black
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 2 hours 10 mins

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Bern, Switzerland. December 31, 1999. As the clock prepares to chime midnight to welcome in the new century Tony Stark is trying his best to occupy the time of a fellow scientist. A beautiful fellow scientist. As they make their way towards an elevator they are met by a quiet, disheveled man who introduces himself as Aldrich Killian. He extends his business card but the one-track minded Stark tells him to meet him on the roof in five minutes. Needless to say, he watches the Y2K fireworks alone.

Present day. While Stark spends his days in his workshop building new versions of his “Iron Man” suit (he’s currently on number 42), his former assistant/now love interest Pepper Potts is running things at Stark Industries. She is assisted by an overzealous Happy (Jon Favreau), Starks one-time bodyguard since promoted to head of security. Happy has an eye on a suspicious character loitering in the lobby (James Badge Dale). The gentleman is accompanying the tall, handsome stranger now talking with Pepper. Aldrich Killian.

Has it only been five years since “Iron Man” took flight and launched one of the most popular, both financially and critically, series of films ever made? In this version we find a Tony Stark who isn’t as cool and confidant as he was in the past. Due to the events featured in last summer’s “The Avengers” Stark is having the occasional nightmare. And panic attacks. And at a most inopportune time. It seems our government has drawn the raft of a terrorist who calls himself the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley in what should be an Oscar nominated performance). With Iron Man on hiatus, it’s up to Colonel James Rhodes to put on his War Machine suit in order to protect the President (William Sadler), though in a new patriotic spirit War Machine is now known as the Iron Patriot. When a series of executions and bombings begin to threaten the country Stark decides he needs to get back in the battle.

Packed with virtually non-stop action from start to finish, “Iron Man 3” is the best film in the “Iron Man” series and among the best Marvel-inspired films ever, thanks to a top-notch cast, an almost flawless script and one of the most surprising directing jobs I’ve ever seen. With the exception of a previous working relationship with Downey, who he directed in his debut film “Kiss Bang,” I could not understand how Shane Black was hired to direct this film. Black, creator of the “Lethal Weapon” series as well as such testosterone-fueled films as “The Last Boyscout” and “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” takes the reins from previous director (and now co-star) Favreau and gallops away with a film that excites and still packs a punch emotionally.

Downey, who pretty much invented the present day loveable smart ass, gives the film it’s emotional weight. As the Mandarin’s attacks get closer and closer to he and those he loves, Stark must react as only he can. As Pepper, Paltrow is much more than a minor character here and she runs with the new importance her character is afforded. Pearce is also strong in a role 180 degrees from anything he’s ever done before. Even though it’s been 30 years since Kingsley won an Oscar (for “Gandhi”) he continues to turn in outstanding work at a time in his career when others in his position are playing kindly grandfathers. As he approaches 70 Kingsley shows he’s got a few more surprises up his sleeve. The supporting cast (Sadler, Cheadle) really don’t have enough to do (the majority of Cheadle’s screen time is with his face obscured in the Iron Patriot suit) but that’s not the fault of either actor. The action sequences are entertaining as hell, with Black pulling off one of the greatest action sequences ever put on film, one that had the audience cheering when it was over. With the Boston Marathon bombing only a few weeks behind us, there is a chilling feel to the film, especially after one unaccompanied bomb kills everyone within a few yards of it. And, like the majority of the Marvel universe films, sit back and wait until the film ends to catch a little extra goodie or two after the credits.

Brandon Auman talks about writing “Iron Man: Rise of Technovore”

Brandon Auman is the writer of great TV shows like “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” and “Iron Man: Armored Adventures”. He also has done features like “Dead Space: Aftermath” and most recently “Iron Man: Rise of Technovore”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Brandon about “Iron Man: Rise of Technovore” and what we can expect next.

Mike Gencarelli: Since “Iron Man: Rise of Technovore” is animated, is the scale ever a concern when you are in the writing process?
Brandon Auman: Not really, the beauty of writing 2D is that you’re not as constrained as you are in live-action or CG animation. I really love 2D animation and I’m so glad that Japan is keeping it alive, they feel like the last bastion of hope on this front. TV Studios really want to move completely into CG and as it gets cheaper, they will. I fear 2D is a thing of the past. My favorite sections of the film are in 2D and it looks beautiful. Some may complain there is a lack of animation, but that’s very anime. Long pauses on beautiful drawings. If the paintings are cool, who cares?

MG: I loved that you incorporated The Punisher into the story; tell us about that decision?
BA: Everyone at Marvel loves the Punisher. I pushed for him early on, thinking the idea would get shot down, but everyone loved it. I was really excited; finally I get to write some Punisher action! He rarely makes appearances in TV animation, but when he does, he always comes off… well, not Punishing. More like the “Kinda” Punisher. Who can’t kill bad guys, but maybe shoot a billboard down on top of them.

MG: What do you enjoy most about working with superheroes and with the animation genre?
BA: I love everything about it. It’s just so much fun, it’s a total dream job. I haven’t really left the genre either, because now I’m story editing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Nickelodeon. They’re sorta superheroes. Well they’re ninjas, and the stories are smaller… but it’s close.

MG: What other new projects do you have in the works for Marvel animation?
BA: I have a few things happening there. I wrote a bunch of episodes on “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” that I’m excited about. I get to work pretty closely with Henry Gilroy, Todd Casey and Jeph Loeb, three awesome creative guys at Marvel. I was always a big fan of Jeph’s work, so it’s really exciting, and I’ve worked with Henry many times in the past, he’s terrific.

Megan Thomas Bradner talks about producing “Iron Man: Rise of Technovore”

Megan Thomas Bradner is the director of development and production at Marvel Animation. She has worked on TV shows like “Iron Man: Armored Adventures”, the “Marvel Anime” series and also producing the new feature film “Iron Man: Rise of Technovore”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Megan about the film and also the Marvel Universe.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your role on the film “Iron Man: Rise of Technovore”?
Megan Thomas Bradner: I am the director of development and production at Marvel Animation. I have been with the Marvel Anime almost since the beginning. I came on after it was premiered at Comic-Con and I have worked on all of the TV series since then.

MG: Having produced “Iron Man: Armored Adventures” and the “Marvel Anime” TV series; how did this feature film differ?
MTB: I appreciate that we have a little more time with the feature than we did with the TV series shows. With the TV series, we were under the gun.  When we worked on the animes they were all around the same time as each other. “Iron Man” was done around the same time as “Wolverine” and X-Men” was done around the same
time as “Blade”. With the feature, we had time to sit down and talk about the story and which characters we wanted to use.

MG: Do you think we could expect more feature films based on the Marvel Animes?
MTB: We love the Marvel Universe. I am a big fan myself. I would love to return to the anime series. We are currently seeing what is going to happen with that. But we also would love to do another movie. We had such a great experience on “Technovore”, so I would love to do it again!

MG: I think we need more Norman Reedus as “The Punisher”?
MTB: He was great. We are all big “The Walking Dead” fans and we thought that we would never be able to get him. But luckily he is a fan himself, so that was a pretty cool opportunity. I was able to watch in the recording booth and get to see him turn into The Punisher right before our eyes. So that was super cool.

MG: What is your favorite aspect about working with the “Iron Man” franchise?
MTB: The aspect that is so attractive about Iron Man is that he is that human character that you can identity with. He is not perfect. He is this guy, who had to built this suit around him in order to protect him since he has this damaged heart. He recognized that he has done something wrong (in the beginning) and tries to change. I think we can all relate to that.

MG: In the world Marvel universe, who is your all-time favorite character?
MTB: I would have to go with Jean Grey from X-Men. In this film “Technovore”, I am a big Pepper Potts fan. I would love one day to get her in the armor…maybe in the future.

Complimentary Passes to the Orlando, FL 3D Advance Screening for Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” [ENDED]


© 2013 Marvel

If you would like to enter for a chance to win passes to the following advance screening, please leave a comment below with why you want to see Marvel’s “Iron Man 3”? Winners will be chosen on a RANDOM BASIS on April 25th. ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON PLEASE! OTHERWISE ALL ENTRIES WILL BE DISREGARDED. The winners will be will notified via email. Good luck and hope to see you at the screening!

Monday April 29nd at 7:00pm
AMC Altamonte 18 – Altamonte Springs, FL

Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce & Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of “Tales of Suspense” (#39) in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with “The Invincible Iron Man” (#1) in May of 1968.

“Iron Man 3” is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures and DMG Entertainment. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing and Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard, Alan Fine, Stan Lee and Dan Mintz are executive producers. The film releases May 3, 2013, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

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Blu-ray Review "Iron Man: Rise of Technovore"

Starring: Norman Reedus, Matthew Mercer, Clare Grant
Directed by Hiroshi Hamasaki
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: April 16, 2013
Run Time: 88 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

With “Iron Man 3” a mere weeks away, who isn’t excited for anything “Iron Man” related.  This new animated film is arriving just in time to cash in on that demand. I was unaware but the film origins from Japan and is directed by Hiroshi Hamasaki, the genius behind great films like “Paranoid Agent” and “Highlander: The Search for Vengeance”.  The story comes from Brandon Auman, who knows the Marvel universe quite well with his experience on “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” and “Iron Man: Armored Adventures”.  The film is sure to leave hardcore fans very satisfied for sure.  It is action packed and very entertaining.

It also doesn’t hurt that it featuring tons of great Marvel superheroes besides Iron Man himself, including War Machine, Nick Fury, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and (my favorite) The Punisher. Speaking the characters, they are voiced by great talent including Matthew Mercer (“Resident Evil Damnation” & “Thundercats”) as Iron Man and Norman Reedus (TV’s “The Walking Dead”) as The Punisher. Reedus easily steals the show, I just would have loved to seen him more in the film.  Marvel/Sony, do I smell an solo “The Punisher” animated film with Reedus in the cards? You better! There are a lot of “Walking Dead” fans out there!  I hope that this is also only the beginning of a new chapter in the popular “Iron Man” franchise. I would love to see additional animated projects for sure.

Official Premise: Billionaire Tony Stark, in his Iron Man armor, prevents an attack from a mysterious new foe, but innocent bystanders are killed, including his best friend War Machine, Lt. Colonel James Rhodes. Detained for questioning by S.H.I.E.L.D., Iron Man escapes, determined to find the mastermind behind the attack. Pursued by Black Widow and Hawkeye, Iron Man enlists the help of the ruthless vigilante The Punisher. But can the Armored Avenger handle what he finds when he catches the person responsible and is forced to face his deadliest weapon, a biotechnology called Technovore that could wipe out all life on the planet?

Marvel Entertainment and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment delivered a very impressive Blu-ray release.  The film comes with the Blu-ray and also an Ultraviolet streaming digital copy, but where is the DVD disc?  The 1080p transfer is a thing of beautiful with the crisp animation and very sharp colors.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track was shaking my walls when I cranked it up, especially during the action scenes. The special features are a bit of a let down to this fun film.  There is an interactive art gallery, exclusive to the Blu-ray.  Besides that there are only two behind-the-scenes featurettes: “Tale of Technovore”, which looks into the production of the anime; and “S.H.I.E.L.D.: Protecting the Marvel Universe” takes into its the superhero organization in the comics and adapted in the film.


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