It was said that in the last 72 hours Eddie’s ongoing health battle went massively downhill — doctors discovered his throat cancer had moved to his brain as well as other organs.
Eddie has been battling cancer for well over a decade. Our sources say he’s been in and out of the hospital over the past year — including last November for intestinal issues and recently underwent a round of chemo. Though he was a heavy smoker for years, he believes he developed throat cancer from a metal guitar pick he used to frequently hold in his mouth more than 20 years ago. Nevertheless, he continued to attend concerts and rehearse music with his son, Wolfgang, who became Van Halen’s bassist in 2006.
Eddie formed the classic rock group in Pasadena in 1972 with his brother, Alec, on drums, Michael Anthony on bass and David Lee Roth singing. Eddie served as the main songwriter on their self-titled debut album in 1978 which launched the group into rock superstardom in the ’80s. Van Halen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and Eddie is widely considered one the greatest guitar players of all time.
On September 8, 1998 my son Phillip, his friend Bobby and I drove from Kansas City to St. Louis to take in that evening’s Cardinals/Cubs match-up. We witnessed baseball history when J.D. Drew hit his first career home run. I’ve told this story for over two decades.
Most people know Todd MacFarlane as the creator of the popular SPAWN comics and his amazing toys. He is also a huge baseball fan. We learn that as the film begins with McFarlane bidding almost $3 million to purchase a baseball. But not any baseball. This is the ball hit by Mark McGwire for his 70th home run, at the time a new record. The summer of 1998 was a big one for baseball. After the players strike in 1994 caused the cancellation of the World Series for the first time in history, the game began to draw fans back in 1995 when Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken, Jr. played in his 2131st consecutive game. But the summer of 1998 is the one that drew fans, old and new, to the game. It was the summer McGwire and Chicago Cub Sammy Sosa swung their way into the history books.
“Long Gone Summer” not only chronicles both players assault on Roger Maris’ then-record of 61 home runs in a season, but the effect the challenge had on America. People that had sworn off baseball after the strike left a bitter taste in their mouth began to pay attention to the game again, while people who had never shown interest began to watch. Having been in Camden Yards when Ripken set his milestone I was already a fan so I followed the exploits of McGwire and Sosa daily, ensuring that ESPN’s SPORTCENTER was a must-see every night.
As the film follows McGwire, Sosa and, for a time, Ken Griffey, Jr, it also talks with some baseball fans who are household names, among them Bob Costas and George Will. Also interviewed are Roger Maris’ sons, as well as Cardinal’s broadcasters Jack Buck (though archival footage) and Mike Shannon. The race had a personal feel to Shannon, who had been a Cardinal teammate of Roger Maris in the mid 1960s.
But the big voices here belong to the two players themselves. McGwire explains his lifelong desire to hit the ball far while Sosa talks about the fun he had. What they don’t talk about are the accusations that both were using performance enhancing drugs. In fact, in a show that runs almost 1 3/4 hours, PED’s are not mentioned until the 45 minute mark, when a container of Androstenedione is spotted in McGwire’s locker. He brushes the questions off, noting that Andro is available over the counter. It’s almost another 45 minutes before the subject comes up again.
Of the two players, McGwire comes off the best. He is insightful in looking back at what he describes as both the best, and worst, time of his life. Sosa, speaking perfect English – when he testified before Congress he had to have his attorney read his statement, as he felt his English wasn’t strong -is more concerned with relaying the fun times he had that summer. Archival interviews with both – again with Sosa speaking English like a native – gives a look into the love and respect Big Mac and Slammin’ Sammy had for each other. As the season ends, McGwire finishes with 70 home runs, Sosa with 66. Sosa would hit 63 the next year and Baroid Bonds would hit 73 in 2001. By then, the PED cat was out of the bag and, in the almost 20 years since Bonds, no one has hit 60 home runs in a season.
Given an opportunity to confirm whether or not he juiced, Sosa will only say that “Everybody was doing them.” After years of denial, in 2010 McGwire admitted to using PED’s. His admission and apology seemed sincere to me. So much so that I can tell you that, on September 8, 1998, my son Phillip, his friend Bobby and I drove from Kansas City to St. Louis to take in that evening’s Cardinals/Cubs match-up. We witnessed baseball history when Mark McGwire hit his 62nd home run of the season over the left field fence, directly below where we were sitting. No disrespect to J.D. Drew, but this story is more exciting.
“Long Gone Summer” airs this Sunday night at 8:00 pm EST on ESPN and will stream directly afterwards on ESPN+.
Halong Bay is certainly one of Vietnam’s famous tourist destinations. Considered one of the 7 natural wonders and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Halong Bay is in the northern province of Quang Ninh and 160 km from the capital Hanoi. This is certainly one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen in my life, with more than 1,600 stone islands that seem to float in emerald waters.
The best way to find out this paradise is to travel by boat, which can be one or three days between islands. Most travelers who travel don’t know that one of the routes might be through Bai Tu Long Bay, which is also part of the Halong Island set, but because it is located a little further north and further away from the harbor where it is located. Cruise ships leave, turns out to be a tour that is less explored and therefore where you will find more untouched scenery without the excess of boat tours.
How to get there
To get to Halong Bay, the best way is to go to the capital – Hanoi – and book a cruise. The journey from Hanoi to Halong takes 4 hours, and most of the transfers stop at an NGO where poor or sick Vietnamese learn and sell local handicrafts. It is worth seeing the masterpiece and it is impossible to leave without a souvenir. Enjoy snacks and hydration for the rest of the trip to the harbor.
If you don’t buy a cruise in Hanoi,
you can also go by bus to Halong and stay there. The bus departs from Gia Lam
station with prices between 5 and 10 dollars. Another alternative is to rent a
private transfer or shuttle bus.
When to go
The best months to visit northern Vietnam are February and March, when there is
less rain. We went in September and were lucky with the weather.
There are day trips around the island, but I certainly don’t recommend it. We
took a two-day and one-night cruise, and I admit that we left with a “I
want more” taste, because there are many islands with beaches, observation
spots, caves, floating fishing villages, so much to navigate. But if you have
numbered days on your trip, and also don’t want to spend a lot, this tour is
sufficient and a great value for money.
What must be taken
The cruise cabin is quite comfortable but small. So avoid carrying too much
luggage. Be sure to bring a bikini or swimsuit to get to the sea, comfortable
hiking clothes (if you visit caves and observations) and a cool night coat.
Preferably waterproof clothing, because there is always a risk of rain.
Sunscreen, cover and repellent are always needed!
The ship has a socket to recharge the device, but forget the living. You will
not have internet signal all the time. Enjoy to enjoy the view and relax.
Which voyage should be chosen
Hundreds of companies offer tours. From ships carrying more people at lower
prices, ships focus on young people, with parties and drinks released, to more
luxurious ships, with fewer cabins and, obviously, more salty prices. Prices
will vary greatly, from $ 60 to $ 500, depending on the number of days (most do
not exceed two nights) and the luxury of the ship.
Our itinerary was by Bai Tu Long Bay cruises.
Which made us more isolated from most of the boats that make the tour and,
therefore, with incredible landscapes just for us. We boarded around noon, and
after settling into the cabins, we were greeted with a wonderful lunch. In the
afternoon we took a kayaking tour of even more disconcerting landscapes,
stopping at a deserted beach on Cap La Island.
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS PAPA ROACH, I PREVAIL AND ICE NINE KILLS
4x Platinum, 6x Gold record selling rock juggernaut FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH have announced their long awaited eighth studio album, titled “F8” today. The album will be released globally on February 28th, 2020 and is available for pre-order now.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH have amassed over 3 billion streams to date, over 2 billion video views andare the 3rd biggest artist in the hard rock space measured by total consumption (sales and streams) – surpassed only by Metallica and AC/DC. Newly signed to Better Noise Music, they’ve garnered 22 top 10, hit singles over the last few years. Today, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH also premiered the debut single from F8,“Inside Out” one of the most personal songs that the band has released to date. Watch the official lyric video HERE. Fans who pre-order the album digitally will receive an instant download of “Inside Out” along with two other new tracks before the release on February 28th. The album will be available in the following formats: CD, digital download, mastered for iTunes download, double gatefold vinyl and picture disc vinyl. The band also curated special F8 merchandise bundles of albums with exclusive t-shirts, hoodies and more available for pre-order now as well.
Says FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Zoltan Bathory, “We had an extremely successful, yet tumultuous couple of years as a band. We didn’t just weather the storm but came out on the other side better than ever. It was a focused sober group recording, our most important album to date and without a question it shows. This album represents rebirth, progression, transcendence both personally and musically.” Vocalist Ivan Moody adds, “This record to me is ‘absolution’ – everything I’ve done in my life has led up to this moment.”
F8 was produced by FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH with long time producer KEVIN CHURKO (Ozzy Osbourne, Disturbed, Slash, etc). See the full tracklisting for F8 below.
TRACKLISTING FOR F8:
Living The Dream
A Little Bit Off
Bottom Of The Top
To Be Alone
Mother May I (Tic Toc)
Darkness Settles In
This Is War
Leave It All Behind
Brighter Side Of Grey
Making Monsters (BONUS)
Death Punch Therapy (BONUS)
Inside Out (Radio Edit) (BONUS)
The new album F8 follows FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH’S hugely successful 2018 release, And Justice For None, which debuted in the Top 5 around the world and became the #1 streaming Hard Rock/Heavy Metal album of that year. They’ve built a rabid, global fanbase by creating a unique sound that blurs the line between rock and metal, which has never been more apparent than on their upcoming eighth studio album F8 and their upward trajectory doesn’t seem to waver.
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH also announced today that they will kick off the 2nd leg of their current U.S. arena headline tour in April 2020, featuring special guests Papa Roach, I Prevail, as well as highly acclaimed newcomer Ice Nine Kills. The tour is co-produced by FRANK PRODUCTIONS and LIVE NATION. See all dates below.
VIP presale, artist presale, and cyber monday presale begins today at 10:00 AM (local time). Citi is the official presale credit card of the tour. As such, Citi cardmembers will have access to purchase U.S. presale tickets beginning Tuesday, December 3rd at 10:00 AM (local time) until Thursday, December 5th at 10:00 PM through Citi’s Entertainment program. Local promoter venue and radio presales will kick off on Thursday, December 5th at 10:00 AM (local time). Tickets will go on-sale to the general public beginning Friday, December 6th at 10:00 AM (local time).
Papa Roach have been one of the leaders in alternative rock for nearly 26 years. The two-time GRAMMY-nominated band have sold over 20 million records worldwide, garnered over 2 billion streams to date, and charted over 14 Top 5, hit singles and six #1 hit singles including “Last Resort” (2000), “Scars” (2005), and most recently, “Born for Greatness” (2018). Their 10th studio album, Who Do You Trust? marks a paradigm career shift for the band, with singles “Who Do You Trust?” and “Elevate” having steadily remained in the Top 10 at Active Rock Radio. For more information on Papa Roach, please visit https://www.paparoach.com
I Prevail’s 2016 debut album, Lifelineswas one of the most successful debut releases for a hard rock band in the last decade in terms of sales and streams, with nearly 600,000 copies sold to date. The GRAMMY nominees’ sophomore album, Trauma tells the complicated story of what the band went through to get to where they are today. For more information on I Prevail, please visit http://iprevailband.com
ICE NINE KILLS has built a growing legion of fans with their horror-inspired soundtracks and theatrical live performances. Their new hit single “A Grave Mistake” landed in the Top 10 Rock Radio charts. They were named SiriusXM’s ‘Future Five’ Breakthrough Artists of 2019. Following a world tour, the band released The Silver Scream: Final Cut. For more information www.iceninekills.com
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH are currently touring U.S. arenas before heading to Europe right after the holidays for their nearly sold out arena run with very special guests Megadeth andglobal breakout rock sensation Bad Wolves. Information on all tour dates including links to tickets and VIP packages can be found HERE.
A few years ago I had the
pleasure of hosting a test screening for director John Hancock’s film, “The
Looking Glass.” After the film, as I
drove John, his wife Dorothy Tristan (the film’s star and co-writer) and film
editor Dennis O’Connor back to their hotel, I was amazed by the conversation
between the director and editor. They
discussed certain scenes in the film, curious whether they had gone a beat too
long or perhaps not long enough. What
impressed me the most was that even the suggestion of removing ONE FRAME of
film – 1/24th of a second – could have a true impact in how the film
Armed with this very limited
knowledge, I was eager to read the new book “A Long Time Ago In a Cutting Room
Far, Far Away,” written by Academy Award winning film editor Paul Hirsch. Where to begin?
The book is a rare inside glimpse
into the careers, and minds, of three of the most acclaimed filmmakers of their
time: Brian De Palma, George Lucas and
Mr. Hirsch got his start with De Palma, editing the director’s first five features, including “Phantom of the Paradise,” “Obsession” and “Carrie.” It is while editing “Carrie” that he is shown photographs from a currently-in-production space opera called “Star Wars.” Impressed with what he’s seen, Mr. Hirsch secretly wishes he could work on “Star Wars.” His wish is granted when Lucas invites him to help edit the film alongside co-editors Marcia Lucas (George’s wife) and Richard Chew. Soon Mr. Hirsch realizes it’s just him on the project and his stories about the finalization of the film, right down to the color of Darth Vader’s light sabre, are amazing. For his work on “Star Wars,” Mr. Hirsch, Mr. Chew and Ms. Lucas were awarded the Academy Award for Best Film Editing.
The book is written in a very
simple style. Not a lot of technical jargon,
just great stories told to you as if Mr. Hirsch was sharing them over
dinner. There are many chapters devoted
solely to one film, including “Carrie” (we learn about De Palma’s love for the
split-screen), “Star Wars,” “The Fury,” “Blow Out,” “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off,”
“Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “Ray” and so many more. A veritable journey down the Yellow Brick
Road to revisit some of the most popular and influential films of the past four
If you’ve always wondered about how a film is put together, or just want to learn some behind the scenes secrets of your favorite films, then this is the book for you! You can order “A Long Time Ago In a Cutting Room Far, Far Away,” which will be released on November 5th, by clicking HERE.
Long Layered Hair Styles We All Want to Copy In 2019
feature that makes long layered hair styles so admired by women with long hair
is that they look fantastic though simple. If you have grown your hair hoping
to style it in layered style and now you are wondering where to begin, don’t
worry; you are reading the right page.
Not all women can manage to have long locks. Some lengths are genetically determined, and they rarely grow past their shoulders. Others can grow it but managing it is another different story-it is a burden to them. If you are in this last category, long layered hair are the best way to go. You can let your locks grow to any length you need without feeling a lot of weight if you choose the best haircut. Here are some envious options you should choose.
This is the best option for any lady with elongated hair and needs a sleek, stylish, and glam haircut that offers movement and volume. The use of different layers is what makes this layered hair style unique. The short layers are only used to frame the face, and the rest of the layers are maintained medium length. It is easy to achieve a style that you will love.
2. Medium Black and Brown Swoopy Layers.
This long U-shaped haircut reveals density and
thickness in an extra-ordinary manner. By including long layers, you can give
your hair sleek and refined look, while the short and choppy pieces improve
texture and body. It is a fantastic hairstyle ideal you can ask your stylist on
your next salon visit. We are sure you would love it.
3. Short, Mid, And Elongated Layers.
you want to give a different look to your long locks, opt for layers. Tell your
stylist to give you short, medium, and elongated layers all over the length of
your manes. The varying lengths of the layers enhance movement and dimension of
your hair, and hence that makes it easier to work on. You may also include some
messy ponytails, buns and shaggy braids if you feel like.
4. Long Waves.
Without layers, long locks can appear lifeless and heavier than usual. Layers show off the texture of extended locks in a surprising and natural way. And the best thing is that you can opt for myriad ways to style them and give some life to those long locks. That can be done by beginning with some informal beach waves.
5. Long Layered Hair.
Rock this look by telling your stylist to style both long and short layers, like on Pinterest. Extreme layers are best for thin hair since they boost volume and movement. This look will make your ponytail unique. However, you need to be precise about what you need for the best results.
6. Voluminous Bangs and Messy Curls.
accomplish this voluminous hair style; you want to utilise barrels of varying
sizes when curling your tresses. Alternate the directions as you curl. You will
get an amazing style without going too overboard. For sensual touch, opt for
shaggy side bangs by styling the curls backward and teasing the crown.
7. Straight Layered Hair.
Extended hairstyles are effortless to create and very versatile. You can simply opt to style your hair into a bun when you don’t have time to style it in the morning or just maintain it simple and straight. Besides, the V-shaped hairstyle boosts the movement for the thick hair. For ladies with straight locks, you want to utilise deep conditioner and allow them some minutes to dry after washing. The tresses will appear lustrous with minimal effort. If you have curly manes, use a large round brush to blow-dry them. Don’t apply a lot of hair spray as this may make it look scrunchy.
8. Shorter Strands.
hair styles are suited for long hair. However, when it comes to this style, it
takes a dramatic turn by revealing hair of varying lengths. With different layers,
creating a simple ponytail is not like taking a walk in the park. As such, you
may need to choose a cut if you are hoping to coif one. However, there is a
bright side for this haircut; you can include highlights for a serious look.
One of my many jobs as a teenager in Tampa involved getting up early on Saturdays and walking the few blocks to the Palma Ceia Country Club. The earlier the better. There those of us that assembled would hang out around the clubhouse and ask arriving golfers if we could carry their bags. On a good morning, you could end up with $10 (including tip) for four hours work. That’s right, I’ll admit it. I was a looper.
Full of interesting golf history and some fun interviews, “Loopers: The Caddie’s Long Walk” is an interesting take on what was once seen as a menial job that has blossomed into a handsome way to make a living for some. The film looks at golf, and it’s caddies, in both Scotland (the birthplace of the game) and here in the states. We visit the world famous St. Andrews course, founded in 1552! That’s right, golf has been around for over 400-years. The history of the caddie is also explored, running from the three basic caddie rules (Show Up, Keep Up, Shut Up) to the origins of the name looper (a round of 18 holes was called a loop). We also get a glimpse at some of the more famous caddies to ever carry a bag, including the caddies that worked at Augusta National, home of the Masters. I found it ironic that these young men were so vital to a golfer’s success, yet theirs were the only black faces on the course until Lee Elder played there in 1975 (blacks were not allowed to join the club until 1991).
A particularly poignant sequence examines the relationship between golfer and caddie. Living as I do in Kansas City, I was happy to see local boy made good Tom Watson talk about the two-plus decades he spent with his caddie, Bruce Edwards. The men remained friends until Edwards passed away in 2004 from ALS. We also meet other well known caddies, like Steve Williams (Tiger Woods’ ex-caddie) and Carl Jackson, who caddied for Ben Crenshaw in almost 40 tournaments in their partnership.
The film is narrated by former looper Bill Murray, who immortalized the caddie as Carl Spackler in “Caddyshack.” Murray relates some of his own experiences as well as narrates, lending his particular sense of humor to the film.
With the beginning of summer upon us, before you head out to the course give “Loopers” a look. And watch out for those kids hanging out in front of the clubhouse!
Media MIkes has teamed up with their friends at Lionsgate Films to give (35) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film, “Long Shot,” starring Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron.
The screening will be held on Monday, April 29th at the Cinemark Theatre in Merriam, Kansas and will begin at 7:00 pm
All you have to do is click HERE. The first (35) readers to do so will receive a pass for two to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. Once the allotted passes have been claimed the giveaway has ended. Good luck!
“This is a return to the very beginning, to the time before Pete started writing our songs, to a time when we were a teenage band playing soul music to small crowds in church halls”
Roger Daltrey 2018
“It shows Roger at the height of his powers as a vocalist”
Pete Townshend 2018
Polydor/Republic Records are proud to announce that legendary Who frontman, the ‘rock vocalist’s rock vocalist’ Roger Daltrey is returning on June 1st with a brand new studio album ‘As Long As I Have You’.
Daltrey has sold over 100 million records including 9 US & 10 UK top ten albums and 14 UK top ten singles. He’s played over well over 2000 gigs in a career spanning over 50 years including venues such as Woodstock, Monterey Pop, Glastonbury (twice), Hyde Park (four times), The Isle Of Wight (three times), Desert Trip, Shea Stadium, The Superbowl half time show and Live Aid to name but a very few.
Roger has raised tens of millions of pounds for charity all over the world and was awarded a CBE for his work with The Teenage Cancer Trust and is in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, the UK Music Hall Of Fame and has lifetime achievement awards from The Brits and from The Grammys
‘As Long As I Have You’ was produced by Dave Eringa, best known for his work with the Manic Street Preachers and on Roger and Wilko Johnson’s album ‘Going Back Home’ and features Pete Townshend’s inimitable guitar on seven tracks as well as guest performances from Mick Talbot on keyboards (Dexys, The Style Council) and Sean Genockey on lead guitar who has worked with Suede, Shame and The Proclaimers).
Work on ‘As Long As I Have You’ was started shortly after the top 5 gold selling ‘Going Back Home’ was released and continued during breaks on The Who’s record breaking 50th anniversary tour ‘The Who Hits 50’.
The album is a mixture of self-penned tracks such as Certified Rose and the soulful ballad ‘Always Heading Home’ along with songs that have inspired Daltrey over the years including Nick Cave’s ‘Into My Arms’, ‘You Haven’t Done Nothing’ by Stevie Wonder, Stephen Stills’ ‘How Far’ and the title track originally recorded by Garnet Mimms in 1964; the year that Daltrey, Townshend, Entwistle and Moon changed their name from The High Numbers and became The Who.
Roger Daltrey on ‘As Long As I Have You’ “This is a return to the very beginning, to the time before Pete [Townshend] started writing our songs, to a time when we were a teenage band playing soul music to small crowds in church halls. That’s what we were, a soul band. And now, I can sing soul with all the experience you need to sing it. Life puts the soul in. I’ve always sung from the heart but when you’re 19, you haven’t had the life experience with all its emotional trials and traumas that you have by the time you get to my age. You carry all the emotional bruises of life and when you sing these songs, those emotions are in your voice. You feel the pain of a lost love. You feel it and you sing it and that’s soul. For a long time, I’ve wanted to return to the simplicity of these songs, to show people my voice, a voice they won’t have heard before. It felt like the right time. It’s where I am, looking back to that time, looking across all those years but also being here, now, in the soulful moment”
Roger will be headlining the Royal Albert Hall on March 22nd in aid of The Teenage Cancer Trust.
ROGER DALTREY ‘AS LONG AS I HAVE YOU’ RELEASED JUNE 1st 2018
As Long As I Have You How Far Where Is A Man To Go? Get On Out Of The Rain I’ve Got Your Love Into My Arms You Haven’t Done Nothing Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind Certified Rose The Love You Save Always Heading Home
Actors: Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, Makenzie Leigh
Directors: Ang Lee
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Run Time: 113 minutes
Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars
Ang Lee’s latest film, “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” was one that came and went so fast, but no one even noticed. Especially with a supporting cast including Co-starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, Vin Diesel and Steve Martin. I mean are you serious? This film was also the first 4K presentation of the film to be showed at 60 FPS…but watching it on Blu-ray you are missing most of the “experience”. The 4K Ultra HD (with 3D) is where this film would shine more…but we did not receive that version to feature. If you can get your hands on that edition, it is worth watching one. Not anything that I would see again but I did enjoy the performances.
Official Premise: The story is told from the point of view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn) who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing battle in Iraq and is brought home temporarily for a victory tour. Through a sequence of flashbacks, the truth about what really happened is revealed – contrasting the realities of the war with America’s distorted perceptions of heroism.
The standard Blu-ray’s 1080p transfer with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track are still both impressive not faults there at all but when you look at the potential of this film it is like watching it on VHS tape. You missing a lot of the purposeful detail. The special features are not great either. There are a few deleted scenes and four featurettes included about the production. Again, the 4K Ultra HD disc has more content.
Starring: Idris Elba, Naomie Harris
Directed by: Justin Chadwick
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by The Weinstein Company
Runtime: 146 Minutes
Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” is an inspiring, powerful and thought provoking film about the life of Nelson Mandela. Beginning with his boyhood in the fields in South Africa, to his rise as a lawyer in Johannesburg, his 27 years in prison on Robben Island and culminating in his release to become the first black president of South America.
Nelson Mandela (Idris Elba) was born in 1918 and after growing up and reaching manhood, he left his village in South Africa and became educated and a lawyer. His job was to protect the citizens of Johannesburg. Because of the city and, really, the country’s huge racial boundaries, very similar to America’s at that time he felt a greater need not just to protect the citizens in court but before either of them ever made it to court. As one man he is little; he cannot accomplish anything. But, with a group of followers that started small but became many, he was strong. Along with his wife Winnie (Naomie Harris) they orchestrate demonstrations throughout the city, again similar to the ones brought about during the U.S racial wars. They refused to ride segregated buses and would ride the trains for whites only. Rather than use fire hoses, as their American counterparts, as a means to restrain the demonstrations the government-run police would use bullets, killing men, women and children at will. When the government became violent the demonstrations became violent, with bombings and looting.
Eventually Mandela and his men are caught and prosecuted as terrorists against the government and given the penalty of death. Mandela’s last words to the court were that racial equality was a dream he believed in — and one he would die for. To make a point the judge instead sentences Mandela and his compatriots to life in prison on Robben Island, South Africa’s version of Alcatraz. Even here, without a newspaper or television, he fights for the rights of the prisoners. He works to get the prisoners pants (they currently wear shorts). Mandela knows that little wins will earn you respect no matter where you are. He is completely oblivious to the outside world, which for the first 15-20 years of his imprisonment are filled with more race wars, bombings and killings. His wife Winnie, the leader of the ANC (African National Congress — this wasn’t really a political party it was more of a guerilla party for the rights of all men) has given up on trying to win the war for equality but is merely acting out in violence and hate.
Unaware of the changing climate in the outside world Mandela has no idea that a worldwide equal rights movement is happening… with him as the centerpiece for equality and freedom. When his daughter turns 16 it’s the first time he has ever met her. She comes to visit him in prison and brings him a “Free Mandela” button. She explains to him that though they never met and he never met the millions around the world he is still looked to as a leader.
The rest of the movie is pretty much what we all know from our history lessons. Mandela was given a pardon by the newly appointed president of South Africa, FW De Klerk; before this he was “imprisoned” in a house with his family while he worked with De Klerk on human rights. Upon his release he was elected president, the first black president of South Africa and the rest is all history.
Though the film seems to be a little on the long side I only found a few scenes where it dragged. The message is so inspirational that I didn’t really care that much that it dragged on. It’s a great story of hope and the performances are fantastic. I saw Elba in “Pacific Rim” this summer and this performance made me completely forget about that movie. He does such a great job from his tone of voice to capturing Mandela’s gait, nailing the performance.
Award voting season is coming upon us, and I expect Elba, Harris and the film to receive recognition for the great portrayal of the Mandela family and for educating the many people who see this as the behind the scenes story of Nelson Mandela and his walk to freedom.
Jodi Long co-stars as Ok Cha Sullivan on TBS’ “Sullivan & Son”. The show is created by Steve Byrne and Rob Long. The show was also already picked up for a second season for 2013. Jodi took out some time to chat about her role on the show and her stories from season one.
Mike Gencarelli: What drew you to work on “Sullivan & Son” Jodi Long: I got the script and thought it was just so funny. I think we talk about race and make fun of being political correct. I think it is a conversation that America needs to have, look at and laugh at. Everyone has some kind of predjuice. Our cast has this big mixture of this multi-racial and ethnic and that is what this country is built on. You don’t see that sort of thing a lot on TV but it is the reality of our world.
MG: How do you stay serious after giving some of your hysterical lines? JL: The thing is I do have the best job in show business. We get to laugh all week. You come into work and some have on a laugh pin-stripped shirt and these guys will go off and go five-minutes each on this shirt. So then we get the scripts and Steve and I just have a blast. So much of my stuff is with him and he can’t keep a straight face. We really have to rain it in for the audience, because during rehearing we are always laughing.
MG: What would you say has been your highlight of season one? JL: The highlight for me has just been working with these great people all the way from Vince (Vaughn) to our prop people. I am being completely serious. There is so much love on this set, it is phenonomal. The energy is just so positive. The episode when I set up Steve on an online dating service and that was a really fun episode for me in particular.
MG: Any cool behind the scenes stories you want to share? JL: I got a really good one, it happened on shooting out last episode of the season. We had this one guy that was an extra on our show since the pilot, a very nice 90-year old gentleman named Maurice, who always has this veteran hat on. So we got talking one day and I asked him why didn’t he come to the cafeteria to eat one day. He told me that he didn’t like to eat too much before a show, so I thought that was really cool. So the last episode they gave him a few lines and we were all excited. I asked him if he was excited and he told me that his wife was going to be so excited. I asked him why he was still going this at the age of 90 and he said it was better than sitting on home and waiting to die. I just really liked this guy. The day he did his lines, I asked him if he was having a nice day and he told me “Jodi, I think this has been the best day of my life”. He said “I have felt so encouraged or supported before”. He said that in the thirty plus years being a extra that he was NEVER upgraded to a day-player. So I was so excited to have known that and it was just so sweet. This just proves how great this show really is. I have never told anyone in the press this, so you are the first.
3 Inches of Blood
“Long Live Heavy Metal”
Century Media Records
Producer: Terry “Sho” Murray
Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars
“Long Live Heavy Metal” is the newest album from the Canadian heavy metal band 3 Inches of Blood. The bands 5th full length album was produced by Terry “Sho” Murray and is being released via Century Media Records. The group consists of Cam Pipes, Justin Hagberg, Shane Clark and Ash Peason. Together the band blends a variety of both new and classic metal techniques while still forging new ground.
Vocalist Cam Pipes could be describes as half Halford and half Dickinson as his vocals ring out in the highest of falsetto ranges while tracks like “Look Out” and “Storming Juno” are drenched with dual guitar chugging, and sweeping solo passages.
Though a majority of the songs on “Long Live Heavy Metal” have a more vintage sound and structure, Tracks like “Dark Messenger” and “Die for Gold” feature a unique blend of the two which makes the latest release from 3 Inches of Blood quite an entertaining listen.
1.) Metal Woman
2.) My Sword Will Not Sleep
3.) Leather Lord
4.) Chief and the Blade
5.) Dark messenger
6.) Look Out
7.) 4000 Torches
8.) Leave it on the Ice
9.) Die for Gold
10.) Storming Juno
11.) Men of Fortune
12.) One for the Ditch