Film Review “Stuck In Love”

Starring: Greg Kinnear, Lily Collins and Jennifer Connelly
Directed by: Josh Boone
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hr 37 mins
Informant Media

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

A young man daydreams in class, staring at the beautiful girl sitting next to him. His thoughts appear on screen. Yes, he is a writer. One day he hopes of achieving the level of his idol, Stephen King. But first he has to write something.

A true ensemble piece, “Stuck In Love” is a well intentioned film that comes across at times more as a novel then a movie. This could be due to the fact that first time writer/director Boone wanted to be a writer. He too has a thing for Stephen King so it’s obvious that the daydreaming young man, Rusty (Nat Wolfe) is his alter ego. Rusty’s father, William (Kinnear) is a successful author and his sister, Samantha (Collins), has just sold her first book. To the same company that publishes King. As Thanksgiving approaches the three begin preparations for their dinner. William sets an extra place for his ex-wife, Erica (Connelly) who left him three years ago and is re-married. William is convinced that she will one day return. Samantha hasn’t spoken with her mother for over a year, fueled by the sadness her father feels. Things aren’t helped by the fact that William will occasionally drop by Erica’s house and peer into the windows. When he sees her fighting with her new husband he’s emboldened, but then quickly deflated as they make up and embrace. Rusty is looking for love, Samantha is dead set on avoiding it. And William is willing to wait for it to return.

A little heavy-handed at times, “Stuck in Love” is saved from the maudlin pile by its stellar cast. Kinnear is quite vulnerable here, a man who lost his will for writing when his wife left. As his children, Wolfe and Collins play well off of each other like water and oil, though they have more in than they may want to admit. Both discover, in their own ways, their first loves, and they are changed by the experiences. As Kate, the object of Rusty’s affection, Liana Liberato is often heartbreaking. Her life hasn’t been easy and it’s hard for her to accept the fact that Rusty loves her for HER, not for the ulterior motives others have in the past. Samantha meets a fellow member of one of her writing classes, Louis (Logan Lerman). He is the opposite of Samantha, or so she thinks. But he eventually finds a way to get under the armor she’s put up around her.

Two subplots throw the film off track. One, concerning Louis’ ill mother, feels like an afterthought and really just a way to get the young couple to connect. Another introduces us to Kristen Bell as a married woman who stops by periodically for some “friends with benefits” action with William. I’m sure if this had been a book these points may have been expounded on but, as they are, they’re really mild interruptions of the main story. Maybe Boone will take the time and publish it some day.

CD Review: As They Burn "Will, Love, Life"

As They Burn
“Will, Love, Life”
Victory Records
Tracks: 11

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“Will, Love, Life” is the debut Victory Records release from French metal band As They Burn. The group’s line up consists of vocalist Kevin Trevor, Hoby Arinoky- guitar, Fabio Meschini- guitar, Ronald Pastor- bass, Milton Bakech- drums and Bastien Jacquesson on machines. Together the group brings their own unique blend of modern nu-metal spread across 11 all new tracks mixed by Jason Suecof (All That Remains, Trivium, Motionless in White).

If Slipknot was to come out today minus the masks and crazy samples you would have As They Burn. The band’s music is brutally aggressive and features intricate melodic undertones that provide a solid structure for the songs to take shape around. Tracks such “Isis” and “When Everything Falls Apart” jump right out of your speakers almost severing your eardrums with their sheer power while tracks such as Vision Part 2” and “Frozen“Z(h)ero” feature more laid back arrangements that while melodic in approach still have the power to jump up and bite you at any moment. Vocalist Kevin Trevor covers a lot of ground as he is able to take his voice from a stomach churning growl to an eerie drone while the rest of the band is equally technical. When you think of Paris, France you may not think of heavy music however As They Burn sets the record straight with their approach to the ever growing genre.

Track Listing:
1.) Medicine 2.0
2.) Origin
3.) Dream Collapse
4.) The Conscious Man
5.) Isis
6.) Frozen Vision Part 1
7.) Frozen Vision Part 2
8.) When Everything Falls Apart
9.) Z(h)ero
10.) F.R.E.A.K.S.
11.) Sons of Shiva

Billy Joel's "She’s Got A Way: Love Songs" CD Giveaway [ENDED]


To celebrate the release of of Billy Joel’s “She’s Got A Way: Love Songs”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway TWO copies of the CD. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email indicating your favorite Billy Joel song. This giveaway will remain open until February 24th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to residents of the United States only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

She’s Got A Way: Love Songs, a new collection of 18 essential love songs drawn from three decades of recordings by music legend and composer/singer songwriter, Billy Joel.
This is a perfect distillation of the artist’s expressions of love and romance over the course of his life and career. The album brings together some of Billy’s finest and most heartfelt performances, iconic hits playing alongside under-appreciated deep catalog selections.

She’s Got A Way: Love Songs are the love songs, ballads and sentimental favorites comprising a dream Billy Joel playlist for old and new romantics alike, bringing new context to classics like “Just the Way You Are,” “Honesty” and “She’s Always a Woman” while rediscovering forgotten masterpieces like “Travelin’ Prayer” (the b-side of the “Piano Man” single), Billy’s version of “Shameless” (a #1 country smash for Garth Brooks), and the haunting instrumental “Nocturne” (from 1971’s Cold Spring Harbor).

She’s Got A Way: Love Songs – track listing
Travelin’ Prayer (single from Piano Man – 1973 – #77 pop single)
The Night Is Still Young (single from Greatest Hits – Volume I and II – 1985 – #34 Hot 100)
This Is The Time (single from The Bridge – 1986 – #18 Hot 100, #1 AC)
She’s Got A Way (Live) (single from Songs in the Attic – 1981 – #23 Hot 100, #4 AC)
Temptation (track from The Bridge – 1986)
Nocturne (track from Cold Spring Harbor – 1971)
Until The Night (from 52nd Street – 1978)
She’s Right On Time (from The Nylon Curtain – 1982)
You’re My Home (b-side of single from Piano Man – 1973)
Just The Way You Are (single from The Stranger – 1977 – #3 Hot 100 – Grammy Record of the Year and Song of the Year)
She’s Always A Woman (single from The Stranger – 1977 – #17 Hot 100, #2 AC)
State Of Grace (from Storm Front – 1989)
Honesty (single from 52nd Street – 1978 – #24 Hot 100)
This Night (b-side of single from An Innocent Man – 1984)
Shameless (from Storm Front – 1989 – #1 country song for Garth Brooks)
An Innocent Man (single from An Innocent Man – 1983 – #10 Hot 100, #1 AC)
All About Soul (Remix) (single from River of Dreams – 1993 – #29 Hot 100)
And So It Goes (single from Storm Front – 1989 – #37 Hot 100)

Brian “Head” Welch talks about reuniting with Korn and Love & Death’s first album "Between Here & Lost"

Brian “Head” Welch is a founding member and former guitarist of the multi-platinum selling hard rock band Korn. Welch left the group in 2005 and embarked on a solo career releasing his first album “Save Me From Myself” in 2008. More recently Brian is back with a new band called Love & Death who recently released their first full length album titled “Between Here & Lost”. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Brian about the new and as well as the recent announcement of him re-joining Korn for several shows.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on the process of the new album?
Brian Welch: I and our bass player Valentine started writing and working with producer Jasen Rauch in 2011. We worked off and on until we finished it last year. The album came together in bits and pieces but it was more of a group effort. When I started as a solo artist I hired the band and we just became friends. From there we all talked and decided we wanted to make an album together and have things be more of a group project.

AL: All the songs were written collectively then?
BW: Yes we all wrote them together. We also had some help lyrically from a few outside writers as well. This was the first time I had ever brought in someone from outside the group to work on songs. I have to say I loved it! There are times when other people hear different things that you didn’t and a lot of the time it’s really good. I enjoyed the experience. Lyrics aren’t my strongest thing so bringing in some other guys really helped a lot.

AL: For you personally what was the hardest part about transitioning back to a group setting after being a solo artist for a few years?
BW: Letting the producer take over. The solo album was all about what I was feeling and what I wanted out of the album. With “Between Here & Lost” I just handed everything over as I didn’t want that producer type role. Jasen was just awesome and I would highly recommend him to anybody. He is really good at making good things great! Everything was new this time around which made for a really creative environment.

AL: This was the second time you had worked with Jasen correct?
BW: Yes. We did an EP with him last year that came out in April. Things were very comfortable being that we had worked together before. Jasen is a guitar player also and has this great ear for making riffs sound up to date and tweaking them to sound really great.

AL: What prompted the idea of covering Devo’s “Whip It”?
BW: I was trying to think of the weirdest New Wave song I could do and that one came to me. I remember those guys as being the weirdest guys on MTV back in the day. It seemed like everyone knows who Devo is because they are so weird and those hats. I wanted the song to be something everyone was familiar with. At first the other guys in the band thought the idea was pretty stupid. When I played them the music and the idea it changed their minds and they thought it could work. It was really fun.

AL: What can you tell us about the bands new video for the song “Abandoning”?
BW: The video just came out within the past week or so and it was cool shooting it as we got to work with Daniel Davison from Underoath/Norma Jean. Being he is a musician he just gets it so the shoot went really good.

AL: Can you tell us how things came about for you to be joining Korn at this year’s Rock on the Range Festival?
BW: I went to a show of theirs last May and ended up jamming a song with them on stage. It was very last minute but it felt so good and it was very emotional. Right after that Munky, the other guitar player asked me if I wanted to come back and do some shows with them. I told him that I didn’t think now was the right time but I would think about it. I just started thinking about how awesome and emotional it was for everybody. I started getting advice from other people and they were all leaning towards this being the right time. This door obviously opened for a reason and there will be some reconciliation going on that needs to happen. I went back to the guys and said let’s do it. Everyone was very agreeable and things came together pretty easily.

AL: Is there any chance drummer David Silveria will be back as well?
BW: No. David has really said some crazy things online about personal things and he’s not in a place where people would really want him around. That happened before I talked with them but I guess the things he said were really crazy. Those guys were in a band together for so long so I don’t know, but for now it’s just not going to happen.

AL: Have you and the guys from Korn started rehearsing yet?
BW: We have been getting together off and on but we will be starting to get things going more in the next couple of months. It’s going to be a lot of fun to play those old songs again. The times we have been together so far have been nothing but positive between everyone. It’s like nothing negative ever happened between any of us. Things were never really crazy between any of us as there were just a few things said here and there. We never had hate for one another as I love my old friends and it feels good to connect again.

AL: Is thing going to be just a short run of shows or will you be fully re-joining the band?
BW: We are going slowing with things right now. We don’t want to rush things and we also aren’t sure how far we want to take it. Anything is possible at this time but we are being really careful not to move to fast and have something happen. Even if I was to fully re-join Korn I will still keep doing Love & Death.

AL: Does Love and Death have any shows lined up in support of the new album?
BW: Yes. We will be heading out on the road starting Feb. 22 for a month long run with Thousand Foot Krutch. We will be hitting everything from Texas to the east coast. After that we have some weekend shows planned and after those there is a chance we will be doing some opening slots for Korn over in Europe. Those details are still being worked out.

AL: In the past few years you have done things like releasing a solo album, writing a book and now you are doing Love & Death and working again with Korn. What do you think has been the most rewarding thing to come out of your time away from Korn?
BW: I would probably have to say my faith. That is really the foundation of my life and it helps me in every way. My book was very liberating and cleansing to my soul. I was able to poor out all of that garbage and live the new life I was given. It’s funny when you find faith like I did as everything turns around for good. Even the bad and ugly stuff gets turned around to use for good purposes. It’s so cool to be able to think back about all your past screw ups and see how now they are now being used to help people. It’s the coolest thing ever.

To check out Love & Hates new video “Abandoning” and to also see a full list of tour dates be sure to check out Brian’s official website at


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Zelda Williams talks about the film "Noobz" and her love for video games

Zelda Williams is daughter of actor and comedian Robin Williams. She co-stars in the new film “Noobz” alongside Jason Mewes, Blake Freeman, Matt Shively, Moises Arias and Casper Van Dien. She is also known for appearing in Nintendo’s television commercials for the Nintendo 3DS game “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Zelda about how she got involved with the film, her love of gaming and what she has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: How you were approached to co-star in “Noobz”?
Zelda Williams: It was like any audition really. I met the director and talked with him about what I liked about the character and the idea to get paid to play video games [laughs]. The cast/crew are really a fun group. With them being such gamers as well, it was like looking for a kindred spirit. So it was a lot easier having that aspect in place.

MG: Tell us about preparing for you role of Rickie?
ZW: [laughs] Thankfully it was pretty easy. Pretty much everyone in the film played a more debauched version of themselves in real life. Rickie is sarcastic and silly but pretty much fairly normal, actually. It was interesting to play the straight man to everyone else goofing off. I really enjoyed it. Especially being able to be the chick gamer in it was also quite fun. Otherwise [laughs], there really wasn’t much prep needed.

MG: Being a gamer yourself, what are you currently obsessed with in the video game world?
ZW: I like playing “Assassins Creed”. I don’t play as much when it is the busy season in L.A. because you can just lose yourself. I was one of those people that would play for 8-9 hours and it doesn’t help you be productive. I still loves games though.

MG: Having a father like Robin Williams, do you feel that comedy comes natural?
ZW: No, not at all [laughs] I think I am really happy that I got his wits. I am quick and snappy but funny is a hard gig. I am happy that I don’t have to be the goofy funny one. I am not speaking a mile a minute and expected to make people roll in their seats. There is a lot pressure in that and it is something that I have avoided for a while. Growing up with comedy, I have an enormous amount of respect for it but is not something that I set out to do.

MG: How was it hosting of the live show “The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses”?
ZW: It was wonderful. I met them because of the Nintendo commercials I did and they asked me if I would be interested in hosting. I had no idea that they had a symphony behind this show, besides seeing it at E3 briefly a few years ago. It was fascinating to me but also scary as hell. I have really bad stage fright. But it was really wonderful. Music has such a connection with nostalgia. It was also great to see parents, who are fans of the game, now bringing their kids. Fans were attending all dressed up. People wouldn’t have assumed that when this game originally came out in the 8-bit world that it would played in front of an audience with a full symphony orchestra. It is interesting to look back and just think that they would have had no idea!

MG: I also a big fan of your Nintendo commercials for “The Legend of Zelda”
ZW: It is actually quite funny; doing the Nintendo commercials we actually had the opposite backlash than you would have expected. I really loved working with Nintendo and I think they are such wonderful people. A lot of people loved those commercials. But the gaming community took the other side of it and immediately starting complaining that I was pretending to be named after the game etc. It was very bizarre since half of the community went up in arms about it. But I found it very funny. They are the same people that I don’t think want to see comedians and fun people acting like gaming competitors in “Noobz”. I get it that the gaming community is very elitist but it is just really funny to me.

MG: Are you able to talk about your role in the third season of MTV’s “Teen Wolf”?
ZW: I am not sure I am able to talk about that just yet. I am good friends with Colton (Haynes) and he let that out a little early [laughs]. But next time we talk I will be able to discuss that more.

MG: Can you tell us about your film “Never”?
ZW: “Never” is a wonderful film. Thanks to Kickstarter, it got its post-production funded. I have never had a project do that and I think it is really great. I have a lot of faith done in crowd-funding if it is done properly. The film itself is really different from projects like “Noobz” or “Teen Wolf”. I play a lonely lesbian character living in Seattle, who is in a band. I get to sing three songs in the film. But it is not a musical though; it is more like “Once” where there is a reason why they are singing. But in this film, a straight guy falls in love with her. They become best friends and that’s where things get complicated. So a lot of it has to do with dealing with their friendship and feelings.

MG: What else you have for 2013?
ZW: The rest of 2013 is just working and writing. I am now writing scripts. I am very lucky to have found the team that I did to work with, since they are pushing them along well. Hopefully I will be going into production on one of my scripts soon.


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Blu-ray Review "To Rome With Love"

Actors: Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, Penélope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page
Directors: Woody Allen
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: January 15, 2013
Run Time: 112 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

After “Midnight in Paris”, which was a favorite film of 2011, I was wondering how Woody Allen can top himself. Well I guess I set myself up for disappointment, and everyone seems to feel the same way. There was a certain bit of charm and magic that he is missing in “To Rome with Love”. It is not all bad though, especially with the film’s all-star cast including Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page and the man himself Woody Allen. It is really a fabulous cast and everyone delivers a really swell performance. The story is very sweet and romantic but like I said it just a felt a little off. It was nice though to see Roberto Benigni back in the rat race. Overall if you are a fan of Woody Allen, I wouldn’t miss it just try and put “Midnight in Paris” out of your head.

Official Premise: The story is told in four independent vignettes about four characters whose adventures change their lives forever: an average Roman wakes up one day to find himself a well-known celebrity; an American architect revisits the streets on which he used to live as a student; a young couple on their honeymoon are pulled into separate romantic encounters; and an American opera director tries to turn a singing mortician into a star.

There is something amazing about the way that Woody Allen writes his films. His dialogue is so extremely clever and fast moving. It always makes you think and never ceases to entertains. I am dying to see what he has cooked up for “Blue Jasmine” next year starring Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard and Michael Stuhlbar. The Blu-ray looks great with its 1080p transfer and it’s depiction of Rome. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track works great with the dialogue and the fantastic score. The special features are almost virtually missing. There is one behind-the-scenes featurette called ““Con Amore: A Passion for Rome” which looks into the production with cast and crew interviews with Alec Baldwin, Penélope Cruz and Greta Gerwig.

Book Review "Guess How Much I Love You: Colors"

Author: Sam McBratney
Illustrator: Anita Jeram
Board book: 14 pages
Publisher: Candlewick
Release Date: January 22, 2013

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Now that I have a 7 month old daughter, I have realized the importance of board books.  The Nutbrown Hares are such a cute bunch of characters.  They are simple books yet they are still educational.  This edition focuses on “Colors”.  It is very short running only 14 pages but is very good way for kids to learn about colors.  My daughters favorite color (or so we think right now) is green and she really lit up when that page came around in this book.

Official Synopsis: Is there a color that Little Nutbrown Hare doesn’t like? Here’s a beautiful red flower to sniff, a blue-winged bird to make friends with, yellow daisies to pick, and a leaping green frog to chase. But when it comes to brown, that’s a color to love, not just like — especially if it’s related to Big Nutbrown Hare!

The author of the book is Sam McBratney, who is behind the “Guess How Much I Love You” series and teamed up again with Anita Jeram, who is the illustrator of these storybooks.  There is something about Anita’s illustrations that I just love and I know my daughter appreciates very much.  These board books really deliver a lot in a very small amount of space.  I can’t wait till the next chapter is released. If you have young babies or toddlers, then I highly recommend this to entertain and still learn.

Book Review “Bear in Love”

Author: Daniel Pinkwater
Illustrator: Will Hillenbrand
Reading level: Ages 2 and up
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Candlewick
Release Date: August 14, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“Bear in Love” could have been a cute title to release around Valentine’s Day. Our friendly bear finds that he might have a secret friend that is leaving him surprises. The story is very sweet and funny as well, thanks to the notable authro Daniel Pinkwater. Will Hillenbrand’s subtle yet effective illustrations really deliver. I will be highly recommend this book to all the family’s I know, since it is a must have!

Premise: “One morning, the bear finds something just outside his cave. It is orange and long and pointy and has bushy green leaves at one end. And it’s sweet and crunchy! Where did it come from? Did someone leave it for him? Then there are two more of the sweet crunchy things the next morning! The bear knows that someone nice is leaving him these treats. If only he could discover who it is! Should he leave something tasty in return?”

I hope that this is the first in a series of books with Bear, hint hint Daniel! I feel that he is a alternative to Disney’s Pooh and just as cute. I will be keeping an eye out for more of Hillenbrand’s illustrations since I was a big fan. I could see some of the drawnings blown up and frame even! Candlewick delivers yet another fantastic children’s book and thanks to them to reference “Jaws”, my daughter is going to need a bigger book shelf.

CD Review: Otherwise “True Love Never Dies”

“True Love Never Dies”
Century Media
Producer: Jay Baumgardner
Tracks: 14

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“True Love Never Dies” is the debut release from the hard rock band Otherwise. The 5 piece Las Vegas based band consists of Adrian Patrick- Lead Vocals, Ryan Patrick- Guitar/Vocals, Flavio Ivan- Bass/Vocals, Corky Gainsford- Drums/Vocals and Vassilios Metropoulos- Guitar/Vocals. “True Love Never Dies” is being released via Century Media Records and was produced by acclaimed producer Jay Baumgardner (Godsmack, Bush, Papa Roach).

A straight forward rock album is what you get from the debut release from Otherwise. Standard straight forward production allows the 5 piece band be just that. The no frills album gets right to the point. Producer Jay Baumgardner created a solid mix which gives each of the 14 songs an intense musical feel. Tracks such as “Die For You” and “Scream Now” feature catchy sing along choruses while songs like “I Don’t Apologize (1000 Pictures)” and “Soldiers” feature slightly softer arrangements which showcases the bands diversity.

Though I found the album to be a little generic in its approach it was still an enjoyable listen. Otherwise is not reinventing the hard rock wheel with their debut release but who cares! Each of the 14 songs showcased a band that appears to have a bright future in the ever changing rock world. “True Love Never Dies” is a good foundation and I will be curious to see what is next for Otherwise.

Track Listing:
1.) I
2.) Die For You
3.) Lighthouse
4.) Scream Now
5.) Don’t Be Afraid
6.) Vegas Girl
7.) II
8.) Silence Reigns
9.) I Don’t Apologize (1000 Pictures)
10.) Crimson
11.) Full Circle
12.) Soldiers
13.) III
14.) Heaven

Blu-ray Review “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies”

Starring: Ben Lewis, Anna O’Byrne
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Distributed by: Universal Studios
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Running Time: 121 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

When it comes to “The Phantom of the Opera” it is a hard act to follow. So pretty much it doesn’t matter how good “Love Never Dies” is, it will be hard to compare to its predecessor. Luckily, it doesn’t disappoint and still captures some of the charm. I really enjoyed the show’s music and it’s production scale was out of this world. The sets on this show spared no expense and looks beautiful…even on Blu-ray, you still feel like you are there. If you are fan of “The Phantom of the Opera” and expect the same kind of magic, you might be disappointed. But if you are open-minded and looking for a stunning wonderful journey revisiting the wonderful story, you will enjoy this quite a bit.

“Love Never Dies” takes place in the year is 1907, 10 years after the Phantom’s disappearance from the Paris Opera House. He has started new in New York, where he setup show living in Coney Island. In this new electrically-charged world, he has finally found a place for his music to soar. The Phantom still yearns for his love, Christine. When she travels to New York and perform at a renowned opera house the Phantom lures Christine in a final attempt to win her love.

If you have ever been a Broadway film, there is nothing like seeing a live production. Of course luckily Blu-ray is the closest way to experience this. With shows like “Love Never Dies”, it is presented in beautiful 1080p transfer with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Since this is a musical, the audio presentation is very important and sounds amazing with its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. The special features on this release are lacking with only one behind the scenes feature “The Making of Love Never Dies”, running just shy of 15 minutes. It features not only cast and crew but also Andrew Lloyd Webber focusing on the musical’s extensive production.

Film Review “The Ghastly Love of Johnny X”

Directed by: Paul Bunnell
Starring: Will Keenan, De Anna Joy Brooks, Reggie Bannister, Creed Bratton, Kevin McCarthy
Production Company: Ottermole Moving Picture Co.
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 106 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love the old school 50’s sci-fi films? Well this one will transport you back to that wonderful time.  “The Ghastly Love of Johnny X” is a fantastic tribute to that genre. It is able to compliment it so well without coming off as spoofing it. If that wasn’t cool enough, this is a musical…that’s right a full off break-into-song musical. One question: Where can I buy the soundtrack?  Backed with stylized musical numbers, snappy dialogue, and beautifully photographed in black and white, this is a guaranteed fun time for all.

The film follows Johnny X (Keenan) and his gang The Ghastly Ones, from outer space, who get banished to planet Earth. They are hunting a woman named Bliss, who stole Johnny’s suit, but not just a normal suit…a resurrection suit.  The suit has magical powers that can control the will of others  for anyone that wears it.  Johnny gets caught up with show promoter, King Clayton (Bannister), who also needs the suit to insure that legendary rock star Mickey O’ Flynn completes his big comeback concert. Things go array when Mickey drops dead, gets resurrected and heads out on the town undead.

Will Keenan really delivers another fantastic performance as Johnny X. He is suave, slick and has a lot of fun with the role. Horror fans will love seeing Phantasm’s Reggie Bannister, playing the cigar smoking King Clayton and he also sings…which is a great bonus! But wait there’s more!!! The late Kevin McCarthy, “star of 56’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, appears in his last role just adds to the 50’s classic and tribute from that era.

Paul Bunnell, who not only directed this but also co-wrote and co-produced, it really feels like a labor of love. I am glad there are people like him out there who are still making films from original ideas. “The Ghastly Love of Johnny X” is having its world premiere at this year’s Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, California, on March 3rd and then hitting the festival circuit soon, so make sure not to miss this one. It is guaranteed to be an instant midnight cult classic.


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Blu-ray Review “The Love We Make”

Directed: Albert Maysles, Bradley Kaplan
Starring: Paul McCartney
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Run Time: 90 minutes

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

I expected a lot from “The Love We Make” especially since it was directed by Albert Maysles, who did “Gimme Shelter” along with Bradley Kaplan. I felt that it was very slow moving and dragged out. Even though I could listen to Paul McCartney talk all day, it just doesn’t feel focuses in its message. The best part of the film is when Paul’s friends cameo like David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, James Taylor and Jim Carey. Honestly you are probably better off just watching the DVD of “The Concert For New York City”, since this is not much more revealing.

The film follows Paul McCartney as he travels through New York City the days following the World Trade Center events in 2001. The main purpose of the film documents the planning and execution of “The Concert For New York City”. The second half of the film primarily features clips from the benefit concert and some exclusive backstage moments with the talent involved.

The sounds is DTS-HD Master Audio but it really didn’t jump out at me as being extraordinary. Since the film was also show in 16mm black and white with color clips from the concerts, the Blu-ray video is grainy and is not a good fit. Lastly, there are no bonus features on the disc either which could have been a redeeming factor.

Blu-ray Review “Crazy, Stupid, Love”

Starring: Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling
Directed by: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Distributed: Warner Brothers
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 118 minutes

Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Crazy, Stupid, Love” is definitely well written and reminds me of the way I felt when I left the theaters for “Love Actually” (which is my favorite romantic comedy of all-time). I am not the biggest fan of Steve Carell and Julianne Moor, who are obviously the stars, but they are not too bad in this. The saving grace though is Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, who I absolutely love. They are both fantastic. Also notable supporting role needs to go to the simply hilarious Josh Grobon. I was not a major fan of Ficarra and Requa’s first film “I Love You Phillip Morris” but this one is definitely a good improvement.

The Blu-ray picture is decent but isn’t anything special since it is just a comedy.  It is clear though and the sound also is notable plays a nice balance between the score and the vocals. The special features included on this are actually pretty baron and does not even include a commentary from this high profile cast. The main extra is about 12 minutes of deleted scenes. Don’t get me wrong though these are some really great laugh-out-loud scenes which could have been put in the film but probably cut to keep it under two hours. The next extra is definitely passable called “The Player Meets His Match”, waste of time. The next one is fun but nothing special called “Steve and Ryan Walk Into a Bar”.

Synopsis: At fortysomething, straight-laced Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is living the dream: good job, nice house, great kids and marriage to his high school sweetheart. But when Cal learns that his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), has cheated on him and wants a divorce, his “perfect” life quickly unravels. Worse, in today’s single world, Cal, who hasn’t dated in decades, stands out as the epitome of un-smooth. Now spending his free evenings sulking alone at a local bar, the hapless Cal is taken on as wingman and protégé to handsome, thirtysomething player Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). In an effort to help Cal get over his wife and start living his life, Jacob opens Cal’s eyes to the many options before him: flirty women, manly drinks and a sense of style that can’t be found at Supercuts or The Gap. Cal and Emily aren’t the only ones looking for love in what might be all the wrong places: Cal’s 13-year-old son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), is crazy about his 17-year-old babysitter, Jessica (Analeigh Tipton), who harbors a crush on Cal. And despite Cal’s makeover and his many new conquests, the one thing that can?t be made over is his heart, which seems to keep leading him back to where he began.


Related Content

“Politics of Love” Premieres On Demand and DVD From Codeblack Entertainment


Brian White, Mallika Sherawat, Academy Award®* Nominee Ruby Dee AndLoretta Devine Lead A Sensational Cast In The Irresistible Film

Politics of Love Will Premiere On Demand September 1 And Debut On DVD September 13 From Codeblack Entertainment

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA – Opposites attract and sparks fly in the bi-partisan romantic comedy Politics of Love. After an initial theatrical release set to begin in August,
Politics of Love will premiere on Comcast and Time Warner Cable’s Video On Demand systems September 1st and on DVD September 13th from Codeblack Entertainment. Politics of Love features hot new stars on the rise Brian White (Tyler Perry’s forthcoming feature Good Deeds) and Bollywood bombshell Mallika Sherawat (Murder). Sherawat, an accomplished Indian actress with a trailblazing attitude and fearless commitment to confronting social stigmas, is known for pushing boundaries and taking risks with the roles she chooses while at the same time bridging cultural divides. White is not only known for his work on stage, television and film but also for his activism within the community and dedicating his time and efforts to empowering youth though his charitable organization Black Carpenter. Politics of Love also stars Loretta Devine (For Colored Girls, Crash, “Grey’s Anatomy”), Oscar Nominee* Ruby Dee (American Gangster) and Gerry Bednob (The 40 Year Old Virgin).

The world’s hottest election gets even hotter when a sexy, savvy African-American conservative Republican, Kyle Franklin (White), meets a beautiful Indian-American Obama campaign volunteer, Aretha Gupta (Sherawat) and sparks fly inside and outside of the office. As the campaigns intensify, can the power of love conquer all for this mismatched pair of lovers in the electrifying days leading up to Election Day?

With a compelling message about the need for unity and understanding—both in politics and relationships—Politics of Love strikes a chord whether you’re a conservative, liberal or somewhere in between. The film will be available On Demand through digital cable and satellite TV (check your local listings), and on DVD for the suggested retail price of $19.97.

Politics of Love can be seen in select theatres August 26.


Politics makes strange bedfellows, but never stranger than when a sexy, savvy, African-American conservative Republican reluctantly falls for his Democratic counterpart: a beautiful Indian-American Obama campaign volunteer. Sparks fly, tempers flare, heads turn, and romance blossoms for his mismatched pair of lovers in the frantic and intoxicating days leading up to Election Day. Can the politics of love conquer all?



Street Date:   September 1, 2011

Cable Carriers: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, DirectTV, Echostar IPVOD, Cable Vision, Verizon V-Cast, TVN, Charter, AT&T U-Verse

Language: English

Running time: 89 minutes

Rating: NR



Price: $19.97

Street Date: September 13, 2011

Order Date:  August 9, 2011

Catalog Number: CM3274

Language: English

Running time: 89 minutes

Rating: NR


Related Content

Film Review “Crazy, Stupid, Love”

Starring:  Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling
Directed by:  Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Rated:  PG 13
Running time:  1 hour 58 mins
Warner Brothers

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Fans of the television program “The Office” (the US version) were pretty sad this season when Steve Carell left the show.  After seven successful seasons Carell decided to do what countless actors have done before:  make that successful transition from tv star to MOVIE STAR!  In the past Carell has done some solid work in comedies like “The 40 Year Old Virgin” and “Anchorman,” as well as showing some serious chops in “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Dan In Real Life.”  Many actors before Carell have taken that big step.  From Clint Eastwood, Ryan O’Neal and Tom Selleck (good choice) to Shelly Long and David Caruso (not so good), many have taken that great leap only to land hard.  Not Carell.  As a man who must learn how to deal with all that life throws at him after his wife asks for a divorce, Carell gives, in my opinion, the best performance of his career.

Cal (Carell) and Emily (Moore) have been married for two plus decades.  One night at dinner, unable to decide what they want, Cal suggests they count down from three and then say it out loud.  Cal is floored when Emily orders “a divorce.”  He moves out of the house, leaving behind two very sweet children, Molly (Joey King) and Robbie (Jonah Bobo, truly the emotional heart of the film).  While drinking away his sorrows in the local singles bar Cal is befriended by Jacob (Gosling), who can see in Cal a defeated man who needs to discover life again.  While helping Cal Jacob is mystified by a beautiful woman (Stone) who resists his advances.  By the time the film is over, everyone will have, hopefully, found what they were looking for.

Brilliantly written by Dan Fogleman, “Crazy, Stupid, Love” is the perfect romantic comedy and the best one to come along since “Love Actually.”  The characters are fully developed and as you watch them you can easily identify them as someone you know.  It also helps that the film is perfectly cast.  As I mentioned above, the sky is the limit for Steve Carell on the big screen.  He proves himself a true romantic leading man here, as well as a fine actor.  Same with Gosling.  So great in heavier roles like “Half Nelson,” which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor and “Blue Valentine,” which criminally didn’t,  here he gets to have a few laughs, some at his expense.  Like Matt Damon before him, Gosling is beginning to become one of my favorite actors to watch on screen.  Moore and Stone are also strong characters, a rarity in this genre’.  The supporting cast, including Kevin Bacon, Marisa Tomei, Analeigh Tipton and a hilarious Josh Grobin, help the film maintain it’s fast pace.  But it is young Mr. Bobo that surprises with a performance that belies his 14 years.  His Robbie, more than anyone else in the film, has a handle on what love is and how it should be. And everything is held together by the strong direction of Ficarra and Requa, who crafted last year’s “I Love You Phillip Morris” with a deft hand.  No sophomore slump here!

In a summer of romantic comedies both good and bad, it’s nice to see that Hollywood saved the best for last.