DVD Review “Red Dust (1932)”

Cast: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Gene Raymond, Mary Astor
Director: Victor Fleming
Distributed by: Warner Archive
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 83 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Prior to receiving this review DVD, I have never seen this fantastic film before. But I surely know the names of Victor Fleming, Clark Gable and Jean Harlow and I would never say no to check out some of their work.  This film was originally released in 1932.  The film looks absolutely amazing for a film that..get ready…80 years old.  Wow, that is absolutely amazing.  The film is already so sharp and well done.  Films are not made like this any more and this one is such a classic.

Thanks to Warner Archive, yet again for finally releasing this film on DVD.  It is not just a drop off on DVD either, this film is newly remastered. Boy, does it look amazing for an 80 year old film.  It is also beautiful presented in 4X3 full frame and its original aspect ratio of 1.37:1.  Warner also delivers the original mono track, which suites the film perfectly. Lastly, there is a trailer included on the disc as well. If you are looking for a classic MGM studio film on a rainy day, I highly recommend picking this up.

Premise: From the first moment wisecracking Vantine (Harlow) takes refuge on the plantation run by Carson (Gable), he sizes her up as an easy mark for his virile charm. But when a research engineer (Gene Raymond) and his elegant wife, Barbara (Mary Astor), appear on the scene, Carson falls hard for the beautiful Barbara, discarding Vantine as nothing more than a “cute little trick.” The steamy rivalry between the women soon boils into a jealous rage – with violent consequences. Oscar®-winning Best Director Victor Fleming (Gone with the Wind, 1939) deftly orchestrates the script’s tense drama and hilarious erotic comedy, helping Gable and Harlow turn Red Dust into pure gold.


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Film Review “Red Lights”

Directed by: Rodrigo Cortés
Starring: Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy, Joely Richardson, Elizabeth Olsen, Toby Jones, Leonardo Sbaraglia
Distributed by: Millennium Entertainment
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 113 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Hold on a sec, a paranormal thriller/horror film with Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy? Where do I sign up? This little film has flown under my radar this summer with big budget superhero movies taken the spotlight. “Red Lights” deserves some major attention.  It is extremely well-done and really delivers from the moment it starts through the its shocking ending. I am a big fan of Rodrigo Cortés, especially after his film “Buried”. He is really able to do a lot in a film with not much. Cillian Murphy also gives an amazing performance and really carries this film.

The film follows psychologist and paranormal investigator, Margaret Matheson, (Weaver), and her physicist assistant, Tom Buckley (Murphy) as they aim to disprove the paranormal experiences with science and technology. When they get involved with investigating a famous psychic, Simon Silver (De Niro) things get a little too hot and they find themselves in deeper than they expected. Is Silver a true psychic medium or just another fraud?

“Red Lights” does a great job of blending its horror, thriller and drama aspects all together to one entertaining film. It has some good spooks but isn’t full blown horror. With the televisions and cinemas being flooded with films about paranormal activities and ghost huntings, this will probably be filed in with the rest but is actually able to stand on its own. It is not only well directed and executed but also packed with impressive performances, I highly recommend checking this film out.

Blu-ray Review “Red Scorpion”

Directed by: Joseph Zito
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, M. Emmet Walsh, Al White, T.P. McKenna, Carmen Argenziano
Distributed by: Synapse Films
Release Date: June 12th, 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running time: 106 minutes

Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Synapse Films is the company behind this amazing new Blu-ray release for “Red Scorpion”, the action-packed controversial cult classic. This isn’t just your typical Blu-ray release, it is a very impressive 2K high-definition transfer featuring the uncensored version with new footage never before seen in the US. Dolph Lundgren really nails this performance along with M. Emmet Walsh, who is also great. The action in the film is so over-the-top and contains some amazing gore special effects from Tom Savini. If you are fan of 80’s action, this is a must purchase.

Dolph Lundgren plays Nikolai, a Russian Spetznaz agent, who is assigned to murder the leader of an African rebel movement. When he is sees what is going on with the guerrilla faction, he is sympathetic to their cause and falls through on the assassination plans. Due to this he is caught by the rebels and left for dead in the desert. He survives and seeks revenge against his former employers.

The Blu-ray presentation is incredible. Synapse has not let us down yet with their releases. The 1080p transfer is just amazing and also includes its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The audio tracks included are DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, which both are very impressive. This release also comes in a two-disc set, which a Blu-ray and a DVD of the film. Also like all Synapse films, there is a great liner notes included on the Making of “Red Scorpion” by Jérémie Damoiseau. There is also a reversible cover included, I had a hard time deciding which I wanted to display.

The special features are also very impressive. There is a fun and informative audio commentary with Director Joseph Zito and Mondo Digital’s Nathaniel Thompson. “Hath No Fury – Dolph Lundgren and the Road to Red Scorpion” is a basic behind-the-scenes featurette, which goes into the film’s production. “Assignment: Africa” is a decent video interview with Producer Jack Abramoff. “Scorpion Tales” is another video interview with Make-Up Effects Artist Tom Savini. There is also some really cool rare On-Set Behind-the-Scenes footage, great insight and trip back in time. There is an animated still gallery included. Lastly there is Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots included.

Anthrax’s Dan Spitz talks about new band Red Lamb with Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine

Dan Spitz is best known as one of the founding member of the thrash metal group Anthrax. Together with Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, Dan has put together a new band called Red Lamb. The band is set to release a new video in the coming months and Media Mikes had the chance recently to talk with Dan about the project and the premise behind it.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about your new band Red Lamb?
Dan Spitz: Red Lamb is the first thing I have ever done full bore outside of Anthrax. I am charging forward with this project the same way I did with Anthrax. We are trying to break new ground as there is a purpose behind this band. Because of that purpose the music its self took a long time to create and get its sound. This music is different from my past but still reminiscent of me. This was a fresh start for me. This is a collaborative effort between me and Dave Dave Mustaine of Megadeth. He came in one day to hear what I was doing and really took hold of it. This is I think the first thing he has ever done outside of Megadeth. He really wanted to be a band member more than a co-producer or co-lyricist. Dave known’s my family so he has sort of a personal stake in this material. He knows the purpose of the band.

AL: Can you elaborate more on the purpose behind the band?
DS: Around the world we have a problem with Autism. Previous generations saw Autism however it wasn’t in every neighborhood. It’s now infiltrating everywhere. My wife and I have identical twin boys who are both Autistic. There is a song on the album titled “Puzzle Box” which will be are next release that we just finished a video for. I hope to change the world through music by bringing awareness around the world that this is a serious problem. We aren’t asking for people to send us money to give to a certain charity. We want to just bring awareness around the world. The CDC just released a statistic that 1 in 56 boys born with have autism. That is crazy! What will we do when everyone grows up and can’t function in a normal job? We pull no punches and I am living this hear every day with my kids. That’s what Red Lamb is here to do. Once the machine roles we will be doing something on a permanent basis.

AL: What will be the actual premise of the video?
DS: The “Puzzle Box” video is really going to be like a mini movie. Our singer Donny is a video producer so I was kind of blessed to have him in the band. He was able to take my idea and show what we live each day as a family. We are going to show to the world what it is like to live with Autism. My family are all in this video. We also filmed at the Autism Speaks walk. We filmed all kinds of important people and things that will be included in the video. I am not here preaching but everyone needs to just wake up. If you look on Facebook people are writing in about how they are affected by Autism. It’s a really moving video. There are people in the movie and sports industry that have been standing up for Autism for years but there has never been anyone in music that has done anything. People often wonder why it has taken me so long after leaving Anthrax to do something new. Now people will get to see what goes on in my house on a regular basis. Every 30 seconds there is a crisis going on. To write and record is very difficult. Eventually I had to leave and live at Dave’s studio to be able to finish work on this project. Things are that hard where I had to completely remove myself. It’s time everyone see’s what’s going on.

AL: What can you tell us about your work on the film “Goat”?
DS: That film has some really cool people in it. Ice-T is the film and it’s funny because he used to be a huge Anthrax fan. A friend of mine is making this film and it is now completed. The song “One Shell in the Chamber” which will appear on the Red Lamb album made it into thefilm. We started writing stuff and decided that parts of that song fit really well. There is some other stuff in the can for other movies my friend has made also. The High School I went to produced quite a few people who have gone on to do things that have really changed the world. We were either friends or we played against them in battle of the bands contests. We all hung out. The guy who did this film is one of those people. Some of the other people I hung out with now put on some of the biggest shows on Broadway. I have had beers with some pretty cool people. (Laughs)

AL: What other stuff do you have going on right now?
DS: At this point I do plan on doing a bunch of things. Red Lamb is taking up most of my time right now. Once this video is done and out then the object is to go out and play. It will be time. We started a little while ago putting things together so I can get back on the stage. I have been away for awhile so it will be great to get back to where I belong. I took some time off from music to clear my head and during that time I realized what I was here to do. I’m back doing it and I don’t plan to stop. I also am currently working of some stuff with Chris Vrenna from Marilyn Manson which is turning out really cool.


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Blu-ray Review “The Red House”

Directed by: Delmer Daves
Starring: Edward G. Robinson, Lon McCallister, Judith Anderson, Rory Calhoun
Distributed by: Film Chest Media Group
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Running time: 100 minutes

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

I would like to thank Film Chest Media Group for releasing this classic 1943 film restored on Blu-ray. Before receiving this film, I was not aware of this gem. It is a slow release thriller that packs a fantastic conclusion. It not only looks and sounds great on Blu-ray, it still holds up as a film itself almost 70 years later. I also really enjoyed Miklós Rózsa (“Ben-Hur”) haunting score as well, which rally drove the film. The film itself has been digitally restored in high definition and transferred from original 35mm elements.

This 1947 thriller stars Edward G. Robinson (“Double Indemnity”) as a farmer with a wooden leg trying to keep his family from uncovering a mysterious red house. After need help around the farm his hire’s his adopted daughter Meg’s friend Nath to come help with chores.  When Nath decides to take a short cut home through the woods, Pete warns him to stay out and clear of the red house.   Of course this only makes Meg and Nath more curious and decide to ignore his warnings and begin exploring.  As they get closer to the truth about what the deal with the red house is, it might be too late.

The high definition 1080p B&W transfer looks really sharp and clear. The special features even include a before-and-after restoration demo, which is short but shows how much better the film looks. The film is also presented in full screen with an aspect ratio of 4×3. The sound on the film is also notable packing a great DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track. There is a commentary track included from author William Hare, who talks about film noir aspects of “The Red Room”. Also within this combo pack is a DVD of the film, the original 35mm trailer and an original movie art postcard.

DVD Review “Red vs. Blue- Season 9”

Directed by: Burnie Burns, Matt Hullum
Voices: Matt Hullum, Gustavo Sorola, Geoff Ramsey, Joel Heyman, Burnie Burns, Shannon McCormick, Jason Saldana, Yomary Cruz, Kathleen Zuelch
Distributed by: New Video
MPAA Rating: Not Rating
Running Time: 120 minutes

Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Halo” has this huge universe that has been built around it over the years. I am sure that in order to truly appreciate “Red vs. Blue”, you need to be a MEGA huge fan of “Halo”. Well, I am not but I still enjoyed it…for the most part. This release contains the ninth season of the series. The season depicts two separate stories. The first one in uses the “Halo: Reach” engine in machinima style and continues after the finale of “Revelation”. The other part is presented with CGI and it’s storyline follows after the “Blood Gulch Chronicles”.

What I enjoyed about this season is that it really packed some decent action but was also very funny. The recorded dialogue is pretty sharp and witty. I have to saw though the machinima style is cool but definitely limited to its potential. The CGI scenes are freaking awesome but there really isn’t enough of them to make this rock. I would have loved to see more for sure. The one part that I had a issue with was the jumping between storylines…got a little confusing. From what I read about “Revelation”, in this season the machinima and CGI are not blended and each one actually represents a different timeline in the “Red vs. Blue” storyline.

The special features on the disc make this purchase worth wild for sure. First off we have commentary from directors Burnie Burns and Matt Hullum. It is fun and worth checking out. There are additional special videos and PSA’s from the series, which are short but definitely fun. The outtakes are also very funny and is a great addition. There are also deleted scenes and they are good but not great. The cast interviews worth a look also especially since you get to meet the people behind the voices. Lastly there are behind-the-scenes features which give some great insight into the production, probably the best feature.

CD Review: Candlelight Red “The Wreckage”

Candlelight Red
“The Wreckage”
Label: Imagen Records
10 Tracks
Total Length: 30:48

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When I received this album to review, I was unfamiliar with the band. I did some research and found only a little bit of info as this band is fairly new and this is their first album. Well let me tell you this album is freaking intense. I am glad I hear about these guys for sure. They are heavy and remind me of a mix between From Autumn to Ashes mixed with Bullet for My Valentine (two of my favorite bands BTW). If you love hard rock, this is a album you must check out.

One of my favorite tracks right off the bat is “The Wreckage”. All of the songs are all fast, catchy and really rock hard. The album is a little short but I feel that it still delivers some punch. “Medicated” is so loud and fast. The song is easily my second favorite on the album. Overall there is not a bad track on the album and that is usually hard to say (besides the “Intro” which is just 46 seconds). I say this is a great debut album and I can’t wait to see what this band is going to deliver down the road.

Track listing:
1. Intro
2. The Dirt
3. Closer
4. Gone Forever
5. The Wreckage
6. Bend and Break
7. Scream
8. Medicated
9. In Your Hands
10. She’s Got The Look

Lucasfilm’s “Red Tails” Behind-the-Scenes Video – “We’re all in this together”

Check out the new behind-the-scenes video from the production of Lucasfilm’s epic action film “Red Tails” below.  “Red Tails” comes out January 20, 2012 and stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howardm Daniela Ruah, Bryan Cranston, Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Ryan Early, Method Man and Elijah Kelley.




Interview with August Burns Red’s Dustin Davidson and JB Brubaker

Media Mikes had a chance recently to talk with JB Brubaker and Dustin Davidson from the band August Burns Red about all the great stuff the band has going on this fall and next year.

Adam Lawton: How did you guys get involved with the iMatter festival?
JB Brubaker: We played the festival for the first time last year. I’m not sure how everything actually worked out.  We were contacted about playing the show last year and being it isn’t too far from our home in Pennsylvania., so we loaded up the trailer and came up to play. They asked if we would be willing to play again this year and we were happy to come and do it.  We had such a great time the previous year and the festival is for a good cause.

AL: You guys were on Warped Tour this summer and then had a few weeks off. What do you have planned next tour wise?
Dustin Davidson: We are off until the middle of October. We head over to Japan for a festival and then from there we go to Germany and do a full European tour with A Day to Remember.

AL: Have you guys toured overseas before?
DD: Yeah we have been over there multiple times.
JB: We have been over there I think around 10 times or so. So we are pretty familiar with it over there.

AL: How does tour overseas compare to touring here in the states?
JB: The U.S. is much more comfortable. The buses you get in Europe are somewhat smaller than here and they pack you in pretty tight.
DD: There are usually two bands per bus.
JB: The buses are almost always double-decker buses which makes the ceilings pretty low which makes it so you can’t stand up all the way. The buses aren’t great over there but it does beat sleeping in a van.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands most recent release titled “Leveler”?
JB: The album came out on June 21st and it’s our fourth full length record on Solid State. You could call it our most ambitious release to date. While we are still a metal band we have started to include other styles of music a little bit. We have sort of branched out of the metal core box more so than we have in the past. I think that has been a result of us being bolder as well as getting better at our instruments. We wanted to explore some other sounds besides the thrash riffs and break downs. We still love those but sometimes its fun to do other stuff as well.
DD: Adding new things makes it so we aren’t making the same record every time.

AL: I you had to pick a band you wanted to share a stage with who do you think it would be?
JB: That’s a tough questions because there are so many great bands to choose from.
DD: I would like to share a stage with either Blink 182 or Jimmy Eat World. I love those bands and grew up listened to them. I would be there singing every song!
JB: I would say the Arcade Fire. They are an awesome band that isn’t in our world of music at all. It would be pretty crazy if we did get to play with them. I think they are awesome and they are a great live band.

AL: Any great road moments you can share with us?
JB: There have been so many. The one that sticks out most recently was from this summer’s Warp Tour. We were in Pomona, California all the bands were hanging out waiting for bus call and our sound guy runs up to the bus to tell us there are two people really going at it behind the trailer. A bunch of us go out to look and sure enough about three buses down there is a guy and girl just going at it. It was pretty wild and I guess something you would expect. We generally don’t see that type of stuff on tour!
DD: We never see that stuff happening!

AL: Other than the European tour is there anything else you guys have going on?
JB: I am currently writing for a release that I can’t say too much about. But I can say that it’s going to be a specialty release that won’t be out until probably next year. We also are in the works of putting together a North American headlining tour that will start in January.


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Film Review “Red State”

Directed by: Kevin Smith
Starring: Michael Parks, John Goodman, Michael Angarano, Kyle Gallner, Melissa Leo, Stephen Root
Distributed by: Lionsgate
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 88 minutes

Out score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Man, I really wanted this movie to be freaking amazing. Ever since I heard about Kevin Smith doing a “horror movie” I was really psyched. Well firstly let me clear the air saying that this is not a horror film. It features the horror from the actions of a religious cult, but it ends there. It has a lot of tension and action it in so I think it falls more on that genre. I honestly couldn’t write this review right after watching it because I wasn’t sure what I thought about the film overall. I have been a fan of Kevin Smith since ’94 and I have been a fan of his work up to “Jersey Girl”, that’s right I liked that film. I was not a fan of “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” and I never even saw “Cop Out”. I was hoping that this was going to be a turn for the better. But like Kevin Smith said in the behind the scenes for “Red State”, he is retiring and doesn’t care about his film career. So why should we? Does this mean that Kevin Smith sucks as a director…hell no. Don’t get me wrong, I think that this is prob his most smartly directed film since “Clerks” but I just didn’t dig it.

The story follows three boys who go out one night looking for sex and end up the prisoners of a cult religious group, the Five Points Church. This group of religious followers we find out are more like terrorists with an bunker under the church and a room full of guns. They have prisoners locked up awaiting judgement and they are mission is to punish them for their crimes of being homosexuals. There is a lot of preaching and then all hell breaks out when the cops and the government gain wind on this operation. The group let by Pastor Abin Cooper as they fight the law in pursuit of their holy mission.

I have to say one thing is that the acting in the film is really intense and notable. Michael Parks as Pastor Abin Cooper gives one heck of an profound performance and leave you with your mouth open. John Goodman as Special Agent Keenan kicks some ass with his serious and troubled character. It was not a mistake that Melissa Leo won the Oscar for “The Fighter” this year, the woman knows how to act. Even though it is directed well by Kevin Smith, it is shocking…it is controversial…it is intense, but overall I just didn’t get into it. The film jumps from religious blabbering to intense thriller to all out action film…just too much to process in one sitting. If I would have written this review immediately after watching it my score would have been a lot lower…so maybe it is not as bad as I say it is but either way disappointed. Could I watch it again?…maybe but I wouldn’t be jumping on that train anytime soon. Fans of Kevin Smith, might want to check it out since it is like nothing he has ever done but otherwise interest in this film is probably going to be scarce.

LucasFilm’s “Red Tails” Theatrical Trailer and Teaser Poster

Check out the theatrical trailer and official teaser poster for Lucasfilm’s epic action film Red Tails. A high-flying action epic inspired by the heroic exploits of the first all African-American aerial combat unit, Red Tails will launch on January 20, 2012, released by Twentieth Century Fox. Produced by Rick McCallum and Charles Floyd Johnson, the gripping WWII action movie is directed by Anthony Hemingway (“Treme,” “The Wire,” “Battlestar Galactica”).

1944. As the war in Europe continues to take its toll on Allied forces, the Pentagon brass has no recourse but to consider unorthodox options — including the untried and untested African-American pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, they are given the ultimate chance to show their courage. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies to fight for their country — and the fate of the free world.

Lucasfilm’s “Red Tails” Will Take Flight on January 20, 2012

Leslie Odom Jr, Michael B. Jordan, Nate Parker, Kevin Phillips, David Oyelowo and Elijah Kelley portray some of the heroic Tuskegee Airmen in a scene from Lucasfilm’s epic action film Red Tails, in theaters January 20, 2012.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (July 29, 2011) – A high-flying action epic inspired by the heroic exploits of the first all African-American aerial combat unit, the Lucasfilm Ltd. production of Red Tails will launch on January 20, 2012, released by Twentieth Century Fox. Produced by Rick McCallum and Charles Floyd Johnson, the gripping WWII actioner is directed by Anthony Hemingway (“Treme,” “The Wire,” “Battlestar Galactica”).

“I am humbled and honored to direct the story of the Tuskegee Airmen – heroes who have paved the way so others could have the opportunity to pursue their dreams,” said Hemingway. “To be selected by George Lucas and Rick to direct this film was more than my wildest dreams come true. It’s been a blessing to work with them, along with the amazingly talented artists at Industrial Light & Magic. I’ve grown a lot on many levels from this experience. As director, I had the fortune to work with a highly skilled crew from the Czech Republic, U.K. and the U.S., along with a remarkably talented group of actors. The resonant beauty, strength and dedication of our heroes is reflected in the powerful ensemble cast.”

Red Tails stars Oscar® winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire), Oscar nominee Terrence Howard (Crash), Emmy® winner Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), Nate Parker (The Secret Life of Bees, The Great Debaters), David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Tristan Wilds (“90210”), Grammy® Award winner Cliff Smith aka Method Man (“The Wire”), Kevin Phillips (Pride), Rick Otto (“The Wire”), Lee Tergesen (Monster), Andre Royo (“Heroes”), Grammy-Award winner Ne-Yo (Stomp the Yard), Elijah Kelley (Hairspray), Marcus T. Paulk (Take the Lead), Leslie Odom Jr. (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Michael B. Jordan (“Friday Night Lights,” Chronicle) and Daniela Ruah (“NCIS”).

“I’ve wanted to do this film for a great many years,” said George Lucas, executive producer of Red Tails. “So it is especially gratifying to see it all come together. It has been a real pleasure to work with Anthony and the extraordinary cast on a project that we all passionately believe in. The Tuskegee Airmen were such superb pilots that it was essential for us to create visual effects that would live up to their heroism and put audiences in the cockpit with them. They were only in their early 20s when they performed these amazing feats,” Lucas added. “They became the best of the best—the top guns. It is an honor to bring to the screen a story inspired by their heroics.”

A trailer for the film will appear on www.Yahoo.com at 10am PDT Friday.


1944. As the war in Europe continues to take its toll on Allied forces, the Pentagon brass has no recourse but to consider unorthodox options – including the untried and untested African-American pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, they are given the ultimate chance to show their courage. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies to fight for their country – and the fate of the free world.