DVD Review “My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Season Two”

Actors: Tara Strong, Ashleigh Ball, Tabitha St. Germain
Directors: Jayson Thiessen
Number of discs: 4
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Run Time: 570 minutes

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

Season two is a very important season for “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic”. If you are not aware but this show is a cultural phenomenon. After the first season of this show, it developed quite the following and it wasn’t just little girls. Bronies formed, which are male fans of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic”. There has been conventions like BronyCon and this show has really exploded and became very popular. It is also the last season that was under Lauren Faust as the creative director and executive producer for the show.  I see why people enjoy this show and I am sure that my daughter will love this show as she grows up.

Official Premise: The studious Twilight Sparkle may have learned the true meaning and value of friendship through the amazing bonds she’s formed with every pony in Ponyville, but the lessons keep on coming! Join Twilight Sparkle and her friends – Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Apple Jack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity and little Spike – as they embark on one crazy adventure after another, leading to the greatest wedding Equestria’s ever seen. And you’re invited!

Shout! Factory has been behind this series since day one and has delivered great releases. I would have love to see this show get a nice Blu-ray release though since it is very colorful and is already shot for HD. The special features included on this season are decent but nothing amazing. There is a live stage reading for “Hearth’s Warming Eve”. There is the cast panel from San Diego Comic-Con 2012. Lastly there are sing-alongs for the kids and downloadable coloring sheets included. I would have loved to seen more focus on the fan base and on the production side but hardcore fans should still enjoy what is here.

Blu-ray Review “Magic Journey to Africa”

Actors: Eva Gerretsen, Raymond Mvula
Directors: Jordi Llompart
Rated: Unrated
Studio: IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
DVD Release Date: April 23, 2013
Run Time: 49 minutes

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

Every year when Earth Day comes around, I always find myself in the mood to watch documentary films like “Magic Journey to Africa”. I never had the privilege of seeing this film in theaters, where it was made for giant-screen format theaters and presented in 3D. Unfortunately, The Blu-ray does not included the 3D transfer of the film. You can tell that this film was shot with that added depth and feels like it is lacking that magic on this Blu-ray release. Nonetheless, it is still fun for the whole family to enjoy, it runs less than an hour so you might want to consider that as well.

Official Premise: A magical and extraordinary world opens before your eyes in this dazzling giant-screen spectacle. On the wings of imagination, an adventure-loving young girl finds herself exploring the mysteries and amazing wildlife of untamed Africa! Spectacular aerial photography captures lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras and a multitude of strange and magnificent animals. The breathtaking landscape pulses with life – the lush rainforests, untouched coastline, ancient red sand dunes and even the culture of a remote native village. A fantastic journey awaits your whole family in a place like no other, a place where dreams and magic come alive.

Image delivered the Blu-ray release in 2D only but it still packs a very sharp 1080p transfer   I sure that this would have looked amazing on the big screen since it was film in that format but still very impressive for a Blu-ray. The audio included is a very nice DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track.  When it comes to these nature documentaries, the score is always very important to drive the story and it succeeds here.  In terms of special features, there are three  making of documentaries with bonus behind-the-scenes footage and trailers included. It may not be a lot but it is still quite impressive in terms of quality.

John de Lancie talks about his roles in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic"

John de Lancie is known for his role of Q in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Recently John was introduced to the world of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” voicing character Discord. Since then he teamed up with Michael Brockhof in order to make “Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony” to showcase this unbelievable fan base behind this show. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with John to look back on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and also his work with “My Little Pony”.

Mike Gencarelli: Looking back on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, what was your favorite part of playing such a great character like “Q”?
John de Lancie: I guess mostly the reaction. Everybody liked him a lot. It has been a long time but he wasn’t iconic when I started but he was iconic when I left. The reaction was more intense than the actual doing of it.

MG: Are you surprised that it is still so well-received and respected all these years later?
JDL: Yes it is phenomenal. “Star Trek” is a phenomenon. I don’t know of any other shows that keeps on giving like this one has over the years. A lot of people feel that I sort of came on full blown and that other characters slowly developed over the years. Maybe that is the case to the extend that I was used to playing characters that were like that. You didn’t have a very long time to establish who you were, so you had to come on strong.

MG: Do you have any experiences that stand-out from working on the show?
JDL: I don’t have one favorite moment…I have many favorite moments. But what was fun about this show was that you knew that you were on the set making cultural history or if nothing else TV history. It was a show that was really culturally important. People referred to it and it became a way to talk about anything futuristic – it would be “Star Trek-like”. So it was great.

MG: “Q” was always one of my favorites. He was bad but also threw you for a loop occasionally.
JDL: Well that is what I intended. He is very naughty and somewhat dangerous. You were left never quite knowing what would happen. But it was a lot of fun. He is the one person you would invite to the dinner party but really make sure that the guests can handle him [laughs].

MG: You are hitting the convention scene this year, what do you enjoy most about meeting fans?
JDL: I love meeting fans. I find myself talking to kids, who see me at the age of their fathers…if not older. Some of them are even third generation fans. Which is actually is pretty amazing and honestly really unheard of.
MG: I am a second generation, my father got me into it and now I have a daughter that is 9-months old and she already has a “Star Trek” jumper.
JDL: That is what I am talking about and it is really amazing.

MG: On the complete other side of the spectrum, tell us about voicing Discord on “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic”?
JDL: It started with me being asked to do a voice over for “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” and I said sure. So I read the script and have never heard of it before. But I thought it was well-written and fun. I have done characters like this before but I didn’t know that they wanted a Q-like character. I didn’t think of it as that at first and I just did it as it was written. Then about three months later, I was on the computer and I thought I got spammed. I had about 300-400 emails and they all had the subject of “My Little Pony”. So, I reach a bunch of them and then asked my wife what she knew about “My Little Pony”. She reminded me I did a voice for it about three months ago, which I totally forgot about. She told me it was a cartoon for little girls. But let me tell you these emails were not from little girls [laughs]. So that was the beginning of it.

MG: How did you get involved with “Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony”?
JDL: It just so happened that Michael Brockhoff came over my house the night I got those emails and I told him about the story. He laughed and I agreed I didn’t get it either. Why would 20 year old guys be interested in “My Little Pony”? He asked me if I would want to do a documentary about it and I say “Oh my God, no way”. So that weekend, I had to go up to Vancouver on a job and some kids came up to me and asked me to sign pictures of Discord. I say kids, I mean 20 year olds. They are the typical geeky fans that I recognize from “Star Trek”. So, I asked them all a lot of questions and still I didn’t quite get it. But as they explained me to more and more what the show was about, it started to click. The show has the elements of harmony, being kind, generous, loyal and tolerant. I thought what is the problem with that? So now I had a face to put to what a Brony was. Mike sent me a link the following week for a Fox News, whom I am not a fan of, piece of this trend. It trashed the idea of Bronies calling them “a bunch of homosexuals, living at home on food stamps and disability watching cartoons in their parents at day in their parents basement”. That made me upset because it is not true. This is typical of Fox News. Have we really gotten to the place in our society that we are so threatened by everyone, that if we have 20 year old guys watching cartoons intended for girls, which is about being kind, loyal, generous and tolerant that we are going to demonize them and turn them into something that they are not. So that is when I called Mike back and said “I’m on board with the documentary, let’s do it”.

MG: Tell us about how you ended up with the Kickstarter campaign?
JDL: I asked Mike how was he going to fund this projects and he said through Kickstarter. I asked him how much he needed and he said about $60,000. He asked me if I could get myself into one of the conventions for BronyCon and I said “Yes”. The deal was that we were going to shoot for two days with two cameras, edit for about six weeks and that would be it. So yeah, instead of $60K, we got $322K. At that point, I was blown away. We’ve shown this film to people in the business and they just go “Wow, you’ve put a lot into this” and that was out intent. So when you see this film, I think you will be impressed.

DVD Review “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic – Adventures in the Crystal Empire”

Actors: Tara Strong, Ashleigh Ball, Tabitha St. Germain
Directors: Jayson Thiessen
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Run Time: 120 minutes

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

When I showed this title to my wife, who grew up with the original 80’s series, the first thing she said is she hated the way the animation looks. I understand where she is coming from but I kind of like of the Japanese anime feel to this new rebooted series. Watching this show with my six month old daughter, she couldn’t take her eyes off the screen. It is like a color and noise explosion for the kids.

There are four episodes includes from “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” series, including “The Crystal Empire Part 1 & 2, Sonic Rainboom, Luna Eclipsed and “It’s About Time”. Though on the same day that this is being release “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic- Season One” is also being released, I would just recommend that one since you get 26 episodes of 5 for only double the price. At the time of writing this review they have aired 57 episodes and are into season three, so Shout Factory better get a move on releasing season two quickly!

Official Premise: In Adventures in the Crystal Empire, a magical empire has suddenly appeared in the arctic north of Equestria, and Princess Celestia needs Twilight Sparkle and her friends to find a way to protect it. While her friends try to keep the Crystal Ponies occupied at the Crystal Faire, Twilight Sparkle searches for the hidden Crystal Heart that is the key to keeping their empire safe from harm!

The show itself is extremely colorful and very eye-catching for kids. The DVD is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and with 2.0 Stereo audio track. If you are looking for more “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”, the series is currently airing on The HUB TV Network. So check it out! The special features are a little light for a kids release but include a coloring sheet and sing-along.

Author Dallas Clayton talks about new book “Make Magic! Do Good!” and being called the new Dr. Seuss

Dallas Clayton is a children’s book author of “An Awesome Book” series, as well as his new book “Make Magic! Do Good!”. He is also being called the new Dr. Seuss. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Dallas about his work and what we can expect next.

Mike Gencarelli: What is it about being a children’s author that drives you?
Dallas Clayton: I like being able to share ideas with people who are open, welcoming and in many ways innocent. Also I like having maximum fun at all times.

MG: How does it feel to be considered the new Dr. Seuss?
DC: Flattering. A bit overwhelming at points, but ultimately exciting. I mean, really that’s something I’m never going to be, that dude was a massive force not unlike the Beatles or Jordan. I can only hope to be the best version of myself.

MG: Tell us where you got inspiration for latest book “Make Magic! Do Good!”?
DC:  Make Magic! is just about sharing small simple inspirational silly poems with kids and adults. It’s a real mixed bag of fun thoughts that swirl up in my head coupled with colorful drawings that maybe in some small way can make people’s days a bit brighter.

MG: How does “Make Magic! Do Good!” differ from “An Awesome Book” series?
DC:  Make Magic! is a collection of poems, 50 poems whereas the books in the Awesome Book series are just linear books. One poem vs. 50 poems. When you think of it that way, it’s a steal really!

MG: Tell us what we can expect from upcoming “Awesome Book of Love!”?
DC: Mega radness? I dunno, it’s a book about the idea of love. The concept of what it means to be in love. Ultimately my love poem to the world.

MG: What else do you have in the cards upcoming?
DC: Two books over the next two months, plus three books next year, touring, working on a ton of film and TV stuff, just making as much as possible and trying to hug everyone everywhere.

Michael Roark talks about working on “Magic Mike” and NBC’s “Revolution”

CREDIT: Marc Cartwright

Michael Roark’s latest film “Magic Mike” was recently released on Blu-ray/DVD. Michael also has guest starring appearing on NBC’s new show “Reovolution. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with him about his role in the film as well as some of his other upcoming projects.

Adam Lawton: How did you become attached to the role of Ryan in “Magic Mike”?
Michael Roark: At the time I was living between Florida and Los Angeles. The film was shot in Florida and my South Beach reps. were able to get me a few reads with the casting people. We kind of went back and forth because I don’t think I was really what they were looking for but, I ended up getting a call out of the blue offering me the part. It was great getting to work with such an amazing cast. It was a little surreal when I sat down and looked at who was working on the film.

AL: Did you have any reservations about the role knowing what the film was about?
MR: I had zero reservations about working on the film. My characters focus was more of a love interest than one of the dancers. Essentially this film is a comedy. There are some dramatic sequences in it and there were some things that I think Steven Soderbergh wanted to push but it’s not a very racy film. Some people may have been disappointed by that but I think it made for a more interesting flick.

AL: What was it like working with such a great cast?
MR: Channing Tatum is very natural and a generous guy. It is really clear why people love to work with him and why he works so much. Olivia Munn is hilarious! I had a great time working with her as she is just a riot. It was an all around great set. I wasn’t there as long as some of the others but the time I had there was fantastic.

AL: What can you tell us about working on the new series “Revolution”?
MR: My episode of “Revolution” aired on Oct. 29th. That show has really started to pick up steam and people are connecting with it. Steve Boyum directed this particular episode and as far as my character Sean goes he is a very edgy type of guy. He’s the type of guy that you don’t really know if he can be trusted or not. It was a fun role to play not only because it was well written but I had nice little fight scene.

AL: Is Sean a character we will be seeing more of in later episodes?
MR: I think the potential to see Sean down the line is definitely there. I am always the last one to know sowe will have to wait and see. The story line was left open so there is a good possibility he could return. I hope he does. Working on the show was really fun.

AL: Can you give us an update on the new Showtime series “Banshee”?
MR: “Banshee” is probably one of the coolest projects I have worked on to date. There are just no rules with what they are doing on that show. There have been some trailers released but they haven’t revealed too much just yet. I can tell you that the episode I am in was shot in a maximum security prison. The things that happen in this episode are very intense. I can picture this show being a hit as there are a lot of great people involved.

AL: Do you have any other projects coming out that you can tell us about?
MR: “Rizzoli and Isles” is returning in late October and I will be guest starting in the season 3 finale of that on TNT. “The Following” will be coming out soon which that show has Kevin Bacon in it so you can’t ask for much better than that. “L.A. Dirt” is a feature film I did which has some really great original music in it by Travis Tritt and Tracy Lawrence. This has been a great year and a lot of cool things have come my way.

Blu-ray Review “Magic City: The Complete First Season”

Directed by: Mitch Glazer
Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kelly Lynch, Danny Huston
Distributed by: Anchor Bay
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Running Time: 419 minutes

Season: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Magic City” is a fresh new series thanks to STARZ. It was created by writer and executive producer Mitch Glazer (“The Recruit”, “Scrooged”). Fans of the series can rejoice since the second season of “Magic City” is set to air on STARZ in 2013. Anchor Bay Entertainment is behind this great release, which includes all 8 memorable episodes of this sizzling mob drama. “Magic City” also packs an impressive cast with Jeffrey Dean Morgan (“Watchmen”), Danny Huston (“30 Days of Night”) and Kelly Lynch (“The L Word”). The show has a really impressive sets, some amazing cinematography and one hell of a score. I can’t wait to see where this show goes with its second season.

Dangerous and decadent, “Magic City” begins in 1959, in Miami’s Miramar Playa Hotel where hotelier Ike Evans (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Watchmen, Texas Killing Fields) is conjuring up ways to finance his dream. He has essentially sold his soul to the devil: mob boss Ben “The Butcher” Diamond (Danny Huston, The Kingdom). Ike’s wife Vera (Olga Kurylenko, Quantum of Solace), a former showgirl, and his three children think he is an honorable man, but he just can’t break his pact with the most notorious criminal in town. So Ike’s life is a façade: his home and his business must be kept separate – but does he have the sleight of hand to pull it off?

The Blu-ray presentation both look and sound amazing for this show and really shines. The special features are very impressive for this season release. The features include various behind-the-scenes featurettes. The first is a basic all around production featurette “Starz Studios: MAGIC CITY”. Next up “The Cars of MAGIC CITY”, explores the period cars used for the show. “The Style of MAGIC CITY” looks into the shows fashion. “Building An Empire” looks into the show’s set design. “The Golden Age of Music” dives into the shows period’s music. Lastly, in “Miami Beach: The Real MAGIC CITY” takes a look at the real city and the filming locations.

 

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Blu-ray Review “The Magic of Belle Island”

Director: Rob Reiner
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Virginia Madsen, Madeline Carroll, Emma Fuhrmann, Nicolette Pierini, Kenan Thompson
Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 109 minutes

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

“The Magic of Belle Island” is one of those rare gems that gets quietly released each year that no one has seen but everyone should.  It is easily one of my favorite films of 2012. It is also one of the best directorial efforts from Rob Reiner, who reunited with Morgan Freeman again after “The Bucket List”. The film just has this “Rob Reiner” feel to it, which is just so recognizable.  Freeman is so amazing in this film and really nails this role. He is funny yet very deep. Besides Freeman, Emma Fuhrmann really steals the show for me personally.  She is going to be big and real fast, mark by words. We had the chance to interview her earlier this year about this role, read her interview here.  I highly recommend this film to everyone in the family.

Synopsis: Freeman plays Monte Wildhorn, a famous Western novelist whose struggle with alcoholism has sapped his passion for writing. He takes a lakeside cabin for the summer inpicturesque Belle Isle, and befriends the family next door – an attractive single mom (Madsen) and her young daughters – who help him find inspiration again.

The Blu-ray presentation is very respectable and impressive.  The 1080p transfer looks clean and sharp but overall not really given much of a challenge since the film is a very simple straight forward dramedy.  Same goes for the audio track, it works perfectly with the notable “Reiner” music and score and delivers clean dialogue.  The special features are great as well as the film.  There is an amazing audio commentary track with both Rob Reiner and Morgan Freeman.  I highly recommend this fun track.  There are a few deleted scenes, nothing that would have made the film better but worth visiting.  There is a the typical EPK-style behind-the-scenes  feature “HDNet: A Look at”.  Lastly there is the theatrical trailer included.

Justin Willman talks magic and working on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars”

Justin Willman is the host of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars”.  His first passion is magic and currently has a web-series on The Nerdist Channel called “Magic Meltdown” and also has an on-going “Tricked Out Tour”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Justin about working on “Cupcake Wars” and get some cool behind-the-scenes stories.

Mike Gencarelli: What do you enjoy most about hosting “Cupcake Wars”?
Justin Willman: I love being a part of the show since it has such a wide fan base. Of course there are the adults that love watching “Cupcake Wars”. It is one of those few shows that has a broad family appeal that parents can watch with their kids since it has a little something for everybody. I really like broad appeal and being able to expand my own fanbase to a really wide one.

MG: How did this opportunity come up for you work on this show?
JW: I was a correspondent on “The Rachel Ray Show” for a couple of years, which was my first regular hosting gig. Through that I was exposed the culinary world. I would cover different food events for her. I never had any connection between the food world before and between you and me…I can’t cook [laughs]. Through that I was able to get into the world and when this audition came along, I was in the right place at the right time.

MG: You seem to have a lot of fun on the show; any cool behind-the-scenes stories?
JW: Let me think here. The show is very dramatic but you can see at times we are having a lot of fun and we really do. I get to hang out with Florian and Candace all day. They are sitting all day, actually they sit and I am standing while they bake. We got to become really close friends and have a lot of fun. I think the one behind-the-scenes nugget that I can give you is that Florian is not intimidating in person as he is on the show. He takes cupcakes very seriously but he is just a big teddy bear.

MG: Did you wear the kilt the whole episode during the Disney/Pixar “Brave” episode?
JW: The whole time! It was one of the most comfortable outfits. I was able to move around very freely. The kilt had a little built in pocket in the front, which was perfect for my phone. When we weren’t rolling I was able to catch up on emails and Angry Birds.

MG: You get to eat any of the cupcakes?
JW: One of my most commonly asked questions is “Do I get to eat the cupcakes”. I don’t on camera. But Candace will rarely finish her own cupcake. usually I get to eat whatever she doesn’t eat. If it is a great cupcake, I have to try it but if it is horrible sometimes I have to try that also just to see.

MG: When can we expect some new episodes of “Cupcake Wars”?
JW: We should be airing news episodes currently every Sunday. Then are shooting now for our seventh season with 13 more episodes coming this Fall!

MG: Tell us about your new series “Magic Meltdown”?
JW: Obviously I have been doing magic since I was 12. It is my first passion and it is what I love doing most. The Nerdist channel, which hosts “Magic Meltdown”, gave me this chance to do this street magic series with a comedic edge to it. It was a chance to finally put out my own brand of comedy magic. It has been great. We have done 6 episodes so far out of 15. New episodes air every Friday.

MG: Tell us about your on-going “Tricked Out Tour”?
JW: Honestly, there is nothing that makes me happier than performing on stage for a live audience. This Fall, I have a couple of tour stops. Next year, I am putting together a whole theater tour, hopefully all over the country. Coming to a theater near you! I hope all the “Cupcake Wars” fans come out and get a chance to meet me in person.

Film Review “Magic Mike”

Starring: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer and Matthew McConaughey
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hour 50 mins
Warner Brothers

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

In the first few minutes of “Magic Mike” the audience is given a great piece of advice: If you meet a woman whose name is similar to a car, flower or stone, don’t ask what she does for a living.

“Magic Mike” is a modern look, with a sometimes retro feel (the film opens with the mid 1970’s Warner Brothers logo), into the world of male entertainment. Mike (Tatum) is a 30 year old “entrepreneur” who dances for dollar bills in the hopes of raising enough money to fund a business making furniture. He also works construction, details cars and pretty much anything he can to keep the cash coming in. One day at work he is saddled with supervising Adam (Pettyfer), a clueless young man who shows up at the job site in tennis shoes. Mike gives Adam a ride home after work and invites him to meet him later at his second job. Adam is surprised to learn that Mike is a male dancer but, promised a good payday at the end of the night, accepts a job at the club as the dancer’s assistant…getting props and costumes ready. As fate would have it, one of the dancer’s misses a cue and Adam is thrust out on stage. He very nervously entices the crowd and soon finds himself on the roster, advertised as The Kid!

At first look you wouldn’t expect to see Steven Soderbergh’s name attached to a project like this. But it’s only his skill behind the camera that gets the film through its clunky parts, which is really the parts of the film that don’t take place in the club. Based in part on Channing Tatums real-life experiences during his eight months of “dancing,” the story is really about Mike’s efforts to better himself. Tacked on romance (Mike has a thing for Adam’s sister) and a drug-dealer subplot often stop the film in its tracks, which is a shame because the action on stage and behind the scenes is fun to watch. McConaughey is the most fun, playing a character named Dallas. Dallas owns the club and hopes to expand from Tampa to Miami. He’s also the Mr. Miyagi of male dancing, giving advice to anyone who will listen. It’s clear McConaughey is having fun with the role and that enjoyment radiates off the screen. Tatum continues to grow as an actor. He builds on the comedic goodwill he earned with this year’s “21 Jump Street” and also proves himself one hell of a dancer. Where the other actors in the film have occasional flash Tatum is a one man dance recital.

Emma Fuhrmann talks about working with Morgan Freeman & Rob Reiner in “The Magic of Belle Island”

Emma Fuhrmann stars opposite Morgan Freeman in the upcoming Rob Reiner film “The Magic of Belle Island”. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Emma recently about her role in the film.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the film “The Magic of Belle Island”?
Emma Fuhrmann: The film is about Morgan Freeman’s character Monty who moves in next door to where my family lives. My character becomes very intrigued by Monty and seeks his help with a few things. In the end our lives are changed by happens over the course of the summer. It’s about our journey together.

AL: Can you tell us a little more about your role?
EF: My character’s name is Finnegan O’Neil. She is the middle daughter in a family with three girls. She is sort of the tom boy type and likes to be outside.

AL: What was it that interested you in the role?
EF: My agent had sent me the script and after reading it I thought the character would be cool to play. I live in Texas so I ended up doing a video audition. Around 2 or 3 weeks later I got a call from my agent saying that Rob wanted to see me. I flew to New York and a couple hours after the audition while waiting in the airport I found out I was offered the role.

AL: What was your first response when you found out you had gotten the role?
EF: I wanted to scream but I couldn’t scream because I was in the airport. I just started crying.

AL: What was it like working with Morgan and Rob?
EF: It was such an amazing experience. Everyone was so nice. I remember one day Rob and Morgan were singing all these songs together and it was really funny. They were actually really good singers.

AL: Was there anything difficult about the role?
EF: I had to yell at Morgan in one of the scene and it seemed kind of weird that I was yelling at Morgan Freeman. The rest of the scenes were pretty easy as I am a little like my character.

AL: What do you think you learned from working on this film?
EF: I learned a lot from watching Morgan. He would stay in character all of the time even when we weren’t shooting. He played his character so well. I learned that it’s important to always stay in character. It’s help a lot. It was really fun watching those guys work.

3D Blu-ray Reviews “3D Magic Forest & Mystic Mountains”

Directed by: Marton Prech
Distributed by: Ultimate 3D Heaven
Release Date(s): October 1, 2011 (Magic Forest) / June 14, 2012 (Mystic Mountains)
Run Time: 70 minutes (Magic Forest) / 140 minutes (Mystic Mountains)

Our Scores: 3 out of 5 stars

I enjoy watching 3D Blu-rays and I enough watching beautiful landscapes. Put them both together and you get both “3D Magic Forest & Mystic Mountains”. These Blu-rays are very simple yet unique. They take you on a very tranquil and relaxing journey through some amazing landscapes. There is no narration or speaking in either of these films just relaxing spa-like music from Szabolcs Kovi. The music is definitely relaxing, perhaps too relaxing.

“3D Magic Forest” takes us through a visual journey of the Hungarian National Park Bukk. The film runs just shy of an hour and looks great in 3D. “3D Mystic Mountains” run about 40 minutes as well and focuses on Austria’s beautiful mountains and lakes. Ultimate 3D Heaven released these films in beautiful full 1080p with 24 FPM. This really adds to the scenary. I do not think this would be as interesting if it wasn’t in 3D, since it really makes the visuals pop.

While I was watching the television, I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching a scrolling screensaver. I do not see myself ever visiting these locations so it was cool to get a chance to see them in 3D. Each Blu-ray includes full versions of Blu-ray 3D, Green-Magenta and Red-Cyan Anaglyph (3D Glasses Not Included). So even if you don’t have the new cool 3D TV’s, it also works with old school red/blue glasses but not as cool for sure.

Book Review “The Art of Walt Disney: From Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdoms and Beyond”

Author: Christopher Finch
Hardcover: 504 pages
Publisher: Abrams; New edition
Release Date: October 1, 2011

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Walt Disney has been a major influence on my life. I grew up watching the films and still today adore them all. I really look forward to sharing them with my soon-to-be daughter (due May 23, 2012). In fact, I even moved from NY to FL, just to be closer to the parks. This book is honestly the ultimate tribute to the art of Disney and The Walt Disney Company. This is not a new release though, the original edition was published in 1973 and since then there has been many revised and expanded editions released in 1975, 1995, 2004, and now 2011. If you are a Disney fan and don’t own this book, I highly recommend it. If you own past revisions, I would still recommend it because there is so much content added into this latest edition that it completely makes it worth wild.

The newest edition of the book covers the ever changing and expanding history of The Walt Disney Company. Author Christopher Finch didn’t just slap a few new pages and re-released this. He literally updated every chapter to showcase the achievements of The Walt Disney Company in not only filmmaking but also theater, and theme parks. There are a few new chapters though, focusing on mostly Pixar Animation Studio and the new work from Walt Disney Animation Studio like “Tangled”, as well as updated theme park information.. There are also new extensive interviews CEO, John Lasseter, and president, Ed Catmull. This also includes a foreword by John Lasseter. John is such a legend and has aided so much to the Disney legacy with his work over the years.

For a book that was published originally almost 40 years ago, this still relevant and still packs new information even for super fans like me. That is the other thing actually, even though the film is called “The Art Of”, it isn’t just colorful photos. It comes jam-packed with endless thorough information, I enjoyed that the most. You can really tell that author Christopher Finch is a super fan himself. I really looks forward to future revisions of this book. The Disney company will continue to grow throughout the years and will always have special place in my heart.

When you think about art and animation, Disney is the first to come to my mind. They are easily the most successful and influential in the business. This book contains some really amazing concept art, animation drawings and archival materials. Even if you have seen previous editions of this book, this edition literally contains hundreds of new images capturing, well…The Art of Walt Disney.  Let me just tell you how beautiful these images look.  Abrams did an amazing job with this release and delivers the highest quality images.  Whether you are reading this book for yourself or introducing it to your children, it is a great way to keep the Disney legacy going.

Film Review “Magic Trip”

Directed by: Alex Gibney / Alison Ellwood
Starring, Ken Kesey, Jerry Garcia, The Grateful Dead, Neal Cassidy, Allen Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac
Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running time: 90 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

In 1964, Ken Kesey, author of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” set off on a legendary, LSD filled cross-country road trip on an old psychedelic painted school bus. On the trip they filmed it to make a movie, which never saw the light of day. This film is made up of the original 16mm color footage shot by Ken and the group called ‘the Merry Pranksters’, mixed with interviews. It is really interesting to embarks on this fun drug-infused trip and joining this group travel across country.

The film is documentary about Kesey and the Merry Pranksters during their 1964 cross-country bus trip in a bus to the World’s Fair. Of course they all realize that the trip is more about the journey itself then to the 1964 World’s Fair. Along the way Ken and his group meet up with many different people including the newcomer musicians, The Grateful Dead, author of “On the Road”, Jack Kerouac and LSD defender Timothy Leary.

The music in the film is amazing, especially if you are a fan of the 60’s it will be right up your alley. I really enjoyed the footage of the World’s Fair as well. The film is also well paced, which is key since a group going on a bus trip might get boring after a while. This is film delivers a fun trip.