Blu-ray Review “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

Actors: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang
Directors: Gareth Edwards
Rated: PG-13
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Run Time: 133 minutes

Film: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” was a very risky film in the “Star Wars” universe but it also paid off 10x. I want to start with I commend the director Gareth Edwards for taking on such a challenging project and yet still come out looking like a rock star leaving even the most hardcore “Star Wars” fans satisyed. This film is a great stand alone to the series which tells a very important story seperately like still keeping the big universe in its eye sight and giving us perfect cameos of characters like Darth Vader and even Princess Leia (via CGI). An obvious must see for any “Star Wars” fans and let me tell you it gets better and better with each viewing.

Here is the film’s premise: Jyn Erso, a Rebellion soldier and criminal, is about to experience her biggest challenge yet when Mon Mothma sets her out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. With help from the Rebels, a master swordsman, and non-allied forces, Jyn will be in for something bigger than she thinks.

The Blu-ray presentation of “Rogue One” is nearly flawless. The 1080p transfer looks perfect and the “Star Wars” “universe has never looked sharper. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 audio track delivers a flawless sound for this film and packs a helluva punch! With every blaster to droid sound to John Williams score, the sound is just perfect. The film comes in a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital HD copy.

The special features are decent and worth checking out. Not perfect like everything else on this release but still impressive. There is a collection of featurettes focusing on all aspects of the production. “A Rogue Idea” takes the film getting started from the idea pitch. “Jyn: The Rebel” looks at the lead character in this story. “Cassian: The Spy” focusing on Diego Luna character. If you can guess which the next featurette is focused on with “K-2SO: The Droid”, who stole the show. If you are catching the drift here the characters are all covered in featurettes and even the Empire has its own assorted one. Lastly there are featurettes on the digital effects and Rogue cameos.

Film Review “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”

Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson and Jeremy Renner
Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 131 minutes
Paramount Pictures

Our Score: 4.5 out 5 stars

If you haven’t heard yet, Tom Cruise hangs off the side of a plane for his latest movie, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”. The 53-year-old actor, who’s been known for doing his own stunts, figured the best way to hook you from scene one is to jump on to a plane and dangle for life as it climbs through the area. The kicker is that this is done without the use of special effects, just a good ol’ camera mount to capture his unterrified expression as he soars into the air. If the first five minutes of “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” doesn’t hook you in, you apparently don’t like action movies.

Cruise is reprising his role as Ethan Hunt, the mastermind, physically unlimited, and fatigueless spy operating with the Impossible Mission Force (IMF). Before his suspicions about a global terrorist network, called the Syndicate, can be confirmed, they reveal themselves to him and capture him. Using his mind, fighting prowess, and in general luck, he escapes from his unfamiliar and mysterious captors only to be a fugitive from his own country. While he was busy being beat up nearly tortured, the U.S. has disbanded the IMF and now is after Ethan for treason. That’s a lot of exposition in the first 10 minutes, but it’s handled quite well without overloading the viewer’s processing senses.

A lot of the exposition in this movie is masterfully done, without too many lingering questions of whom, what, where, when and why. The finer details could be scrutinized, but the general plot is intricately laid out in a simplistic and fun fashion. As the story progresses, Ethan Is helped by various people to help him find out who heads up the syndicate. There’s Brendt (Renner), the inside man at the CIA, who lets Ethan know when the CIA is hot on his trail. Then there’s Benji (Simon Pegg), the computer geek who’s called into justify absurd gadgetry. Then there’s the mysterious double crossing former agent known as Ilsa (Ferguson). There’s other characters that crop up and add to the mix, but their sudden appearances are a joy upon watching.

To break up the constant tension is some much needed comic relief, provided by nearly every character, but in heavy does by Benji. Tom Cruise is charismatic, but he seems more in sync when his partner in crime throughout Europe arrives, Benji. Simon Pegg, who’s had some experience in comedy and action, is a perfect outlet for what everyone in the audience is thinking, “How the hell did you just do that?”

Just like previous installments in the “Mission: Impossible” movie series, there’s lots of twists, turns, fake face pulling off, neat gadgets, and all the other things that have actually been missing from all the latest Bond movies, which isn’t a bad thing. There are actually plenty of comparisons between both movie series, but the major difference right now is tone. While the Bond series seems to be aiming for a growing character study and keeping Bond emotionally resonant, “Mission: Impossible” seems to be going for what early Bond was like, exhilarating action and non-stop fun.

For every moment you think “Mission: Impossible” is going to let up, it pushes harder on the throttle without giving you a moment to breathe. Small to big action sequences are done with precision; creating tension despite the fact we know that Ethan will be fine. Those moments of tension are created by characters constantly discussing the longevity of Ethan, who flirts with death and laughs at danger. Of course those might just be a hint at whomever will take over Ethan’s place when Cruise becomes too old. But right now, Tom Cruise is still an action star not to be messed with.

Free Advance Screening Passes for “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” [ENDED]

In the Orlando, FL area? Want free advance tickets to an advance screening? Well then, click here and good luck because these are going to go very fast! Also do me a favor and if you get thinks send some thanks below!! Studios like that and will hook us up with more screenings!

Location:
Regal Cinemas Waterford Lakes 20 IMAX
Date & Time:
July 27, 2015
07:30 PM

With the IMF disbanded, and Ethan (Tom Cruise) out in the cold, the team now faces off against a network of highly skilled special agents, the Syndicate. These highly trained operatives are hellbent on creating a new world order through an escalating series of terrorist attacks. Ethan gathers his team and joins forces with disavowed British agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who may or may not be a member of this rogue nation, as the group faces their most impossible mission yet.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is set for release on July 31st, with Christopher McQuarrie directing Tom Cruise alongside fellow franchise veterans Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames and new additions Rebecca Ferguson (Hercules), Sean Harris (Prometheus) and Alec Baldwin (Still Alice).

Jourdan McClure talks about directing horror film “Rogue River”

Jourdan McClure is the director of the recent horror film “Rogue River”.  The film is a great entry into the genre, it doesn’t re-create the wheel but it kicks some major ass.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Jourdan about his new film and what he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you tell us how you got involved with “Rogue River”?
Jourdan McClure: I had the story but I needed someone with the ability to take the screen play in the direction it needed to go. I turned to Kevin Haskin, who I had known before and he then brought in Ryan Finnerty, who is another talented screenwriter. Together they created this little world of contained nastiness that “Rogue River” became.

MG: How do you feel this horror film differs from others that are out there?
JM: I think the film is a bit more hyper-realized in terms of its color and photography. I really wanted to pay attention to the aesthetics of the film. We knew going in that we weren’t making the most original plot. We really wanted to play with the idea that execution was going to be key. This film relies more on atmosphere and tension.  The thought of something really fucked up happening inside this surreal environment was what we were after. I also wanted the craziness of what was going on to look really pretty. For me this was a great way to start with this being my first film.

MG: What was the biggest challenge on the shoot?
JM: Pre-production was very short on the film combined with this being my first movie made things a little difficult, but we were just running on adrenaline. The weather was pretty tough as we had a stretch of days that the temperature was about 9 degrees. I felt bad for the actors who had to be out in that working while I watched wearing a parka.

MG: What do you enjoy most about the horror genre?
JM: The horror genre incorporates everything. You can throw drama, comedy and or action into these types of films. I love when a movie tries to just be a movie. It takes you to a place you may not necessarily be able to go while adding in some real life elements. I like the idea of stylized fiction. Horror is great because you can be thrown in to hell and at the end of the film you can walk out. It’s like when someone cuts you off while driving and you want to stab them in the face. Being a horror directo,r I can write a scene like that, have it acted out and not get arrested. (Laughs)

MG: What other projects do you have coming out?
JM: I have a film titled “Children of Sorrow” which stars Bill Oberst Jr. The film involves a girl who loses her sister to a cult. The film is a POV movie. So you will see the story from each of the characters. It’s not a found footage film, but it takes aesthetics from that. This is a much more sinister film than “Rogue River”.

Zachery Bryan talks about producing horror film “Rogue River”

Zachery Bryan is known best for his role in the TV series “Home Improvement”.  He is currently spending his time working on his production company, Vision Entertainment Group. Their latest film is titled “Rogue River” and is a excellent entry to the horror genre.  Media Mikes had a chance to discuss the film with Zachery and find out what Vision has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you become involved with producing “Rogue River”?
Zachery Bryan: I was a child actor for quite a few years and then made the transition into adult acting. My producing partner, Adam Targum, and I were at a Dodgers game talking back and forth about what we wanted to be doing and we were a little frustrated with the creative side of our business. We decided to start Vision Entertainment Group. Right off the bat, we found a script that we attached a director to and sold that project to Lionsgate. We were not very involved on the physical side of that project. For the next project, we raised the money and produced it ourselves. We found a phenomenal investor and we started looking for scripts. “Rogue River” was one that came very quickly to us. We liked this script for a few different reasons. The price point of the film was pretty reasonable as we didn’t want to start with a large budgeted film. We actually filmed it in the Rogue River area of Oregon. We also liked it because it was a script that wasn’t reinventing the wheel from a plot stand point. There were some original set pieces however. This had all the “it’s” that we needed. We are really excited for the film to be coming out.

MG: How would you categorize the film?
ZB: It is definitely horror genre. Our log line would be that the lead character has lost her father and takes his ashes to spread at the Rogue River. Things ultimately go wrong and she ends up being held captive. The film has quite a few twists and turns.

MG: What do you like most about working in the horror genre?
ZB: It’s good from a business sense as there is a great demographic out there. Horror has an extremely strong and dedicated fan base. The film will make its way out there and people will hopefully see it.

MG: What was the biggest challenge of working on the film?
ZB: From a production stand point, I would have to say the weather. We filmed from November in to December in Southern Oregon…and it was freezing. We had things breaking all the time due to the weather. Other than that things went really smooth.

MG: Having grown up in the TV business with “Home Improvement”, how do you compare from producing?
ZB: They are both so different. Acting is much more emotional. Producing is long hours and you are with the project from start to finish and sometimes even longer. I like producing because I like making decisions. I look at it as you are the painter not just the paintbrush. You get to work on every aspect of the project not just one specific part.

MG: What do you have planned next to produce?
ZB: Our next film titled “The Grief Tourist” is not horror at all. This film is a very art house type film about a guy obsessed with following serial killers. The film stars Michael Cudlitz and Melanie Griffith.

DVD Review “Rogue River”

Directed by: Jourdan McClure
Starring: Bill Moseley, Michelle Page, Lucinda Jenney, Art Alexakis, Chris Coy, Michael Cudlitz
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Lions Gate
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Running Time: 81 minutes

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

I watch a lot of horror films and I usually see a lot of the same. “Rogue River” easily stands out among the rest. It is so brutal yet extremely subtle. The film stars Bill Moseley, who is such a horror legend. He does a lot films where he plays the crazy psycho but this one really stands out as some of his best recent work. If you are looking for a great tribute to slow-burn horror this would be the film for you. This has it all character development and yet stills delivers the thrills and the gore. Kudos to first time director Jourdan McClure as well, can’t wait to see what he does next. The film is produced by Vision Entertainment Group, co-owned by Zachery Bryan (TV’s “Home Improvement”) and if they keep it up with film’s like this they are going to be a force to reckon with.

While heading out into the isolated wilderness of Oregon to scatter her father’s ashes, Mara meets Jon, who offers to give her a ride after she discovers her car has been towed by the local sheriff. She would soon regret this decision as she becomes abducted and cannot leave after attending dinner. That is only in the first few minutes of the film though, the crazy shit starts happening when she is thrust deep into their madness and needs to find a way out before it is too late.

The film was only released on DVD, not Blu-ray unfortunately, though looks good in its widescreen presentation. The audio is impressive with its Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The special features are decent starting with a fun cast and crew commentary track. There is also decent behind-the-scenes featurette called “Rogue River: A Look Inside the Madness”. There is also a mix of deleted and extra scenes with “Rogue River: The Extra Bits”. Lastly there is also a trailer gallery included. Horror fans overall this is a MUST WATCH!

“Immortals” 3D Glasses Giveaway from Rogue Eyewear [ENDED]

THANK YOU FOR ENTERING, THE CONTEST HAS ENDED. WINNERS HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AND NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EVERY WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

To celebrate 3D release of “Immortals”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway a pair of amazing 3D glasses from Rogue Eyewear. If you would like a pair of these glasses, please leave us a comment below or send us an email and let us know your favorite 3D film you’ve seen in theaters. This giveaway will be open until Monday November 28th at Noon, Eastern Time and is only open to residents of the United States. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Movie Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

The 3D Rogue Glasses is powered by Marchon3D, the latest advancement in 3D eyewear. They can be used for viewing 3D movies in the theater, watching passive 3D televisions, 3D laptops and even passive 3D gaming systems. Most importantly, the winner of this giveaway can take them to go watch IMMORTALS in 3D!

Description:
Classic metal unisex tear drop aviator fitted with M3D patented curved 3D lens technology. Rogue3D case and Microfiber cleaning cloth included.

 

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