Blu-ray Review “White Zombie (Cary Roan Special Signature Edition)”

Starring: Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, Joseph Cawthorn, Robert Frazer, John Harron, Brandon Hurst
Director: Victor Halperin
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: VCI Entertainment
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Run Time: 67 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Bela Lugosi is a legend in the horror business. He gave life and a face to the name Dracula that have lived on for over 80 years. “White Zombie” was a film it did just one year after “Dracula”. In fact, it was also claimed for being the very first zombie movie many many years before George A. Romero did it with “Night of the Living Dead” in 1968. The film has become such a classic among horror fans. The black and white atmosphere in this adds such character to the settings. This is no question best presentation available to date that I have ever seen. If you are a hardcore horror fan and have been holding out, this is the one you want to purchase.

Official Premise: Wealthy Plantation owner Charles Beaumont (Robert Frazer) turns to Voodoo Master Murder Legendre (Bela Lugosi) to lure the woman he loves Madeline Short (Madge Bellamy) away from her fiancé Neil Parker (John Harron), by turning her into zombie. Murders intention are to keep Madeline for himself. Neil seeks out Murder Legendre to break the Zombie spell and return Madeline to the world of the living.

VCI Entertainment has delivered this film under a Cary Roan Special Signature Edition with a new 4k HD transfer of his 35mm film materials. If anyone has seen the fairly recent Kino Blu-ray release of this film you probably haven’t seen the best of reviews. Well this one is not perfect either but it is a vast improvement in both the audio and video department for “White Zombie”. There is no mistaken that this film is still 80+ years old but they really did a solid job of delivering this film in fine form.

The special features on this release are honestly a bit of a let down. The only real extra is a brand-new 2014 audio commentary by Gary Don Rhodes, author of “White Zombie”. This one covers similar ground to Frank Thompson’s track on the Kino Blu-ray release but this is still very interesting and informative. Especially since the film is just over an hour, I was willing to throw it on again right after the first viewing and give it a listen. Other than the commentary track, there is a “White Zombie Theatrical Reissue Trailer”. a bonus “Dracula (1931) Trailer” and a Photo and Poster Gallery included.

Win a Special 20 Episode DVD of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” [ENDED]

It’s one of the greatest television series of all time, introducing viewers to Rob Petrie, his lovely wife, Laura, and the whole gang from “The Alan Brady Show.” Now Media Mikes has teamed up with Image Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment brand, to give (2) lucky readers a copy of the new compilation DVD release of “The Dick Van Dyke Show: Classic Mary Tyler Moore Episodes.”

The DVD contains 20 full length and unforgettable episodes featuring television icon Mary Tyler Moore.
Sit back, relax, and get ready to laugh as you join lovely Laura Petrie (Moore) and her husband Rob (Dick Van Dyke) in Carl Reiner’s groundbreaking, Emmy Award-winning series, consistently ranked among the top television sitcoms of all-time. This time, it’s all about Mary!

Episodes include must-see favorites Never Bathe on Saturday (Laura gets her toe caught in a bath spout), Coast to Coast Big Mouth (Laura blurts out a big secret on national TV), My Blonde-Haired Brunette (an insecure Laura disastrously dyes her hair), and many more timeless classics.

Complete Episode Listing:
• Oh How We Met the Night That We Danced
• My Blonde-Haired Brunette
• The Curious Thing About Women
• The Two Faces of Rob
• My Husband Is a Check-Grabber
• Ray Murdock’s X-Ray
• Laura’s Little Lie
• Very Old Shoes, Very Old Rice
• The Life and Love of Joe Coogan
• My Part-Time Wife
• October Eve
• Teacher’s Petrie
• My Mother Can Beat Up My Father
• Pink Pills and Purple Patients
• Never Bathe on Saturday
• Show of Hands
• Coast to Coast Big Mouth
• See Rob Write, Write, Rob, Write
• The Curse of the Petrie People
• Long Night’s Journey into Day

Special Features Include:

Audio commentaries with Carl Reiner and Dick Van Dyke on select episodes
Remembering “Oh, Rob!”
Original Commercials

All you have to do is register below and let us know which “Classic TV” show (1975 and before)
you’d like to see released on DVD. Two random readers will be chosen and will be notified by
email. This contest is open through noon on Sunday, April 20, 2014. Good luck!

 

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3D Blu-ray Review “Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (50th Anniversary Special)”

Starring: Matt Smith, David Tennant, Jenna-Louise Colemanm, Billie Piper, John Hurt
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: December 10, 2013
Run Time: 75 minutes

Special: 5 out of 5 stars
3D: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Just when you think that BBC’s “Doctor Who” cannot simple get any better, we get “The Day of the Doctor”, which is series’ 50th Anniversary special. The 75-minute 3D special stars Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt as various regenerations of the Doctor. It also brings back Billie Piper and another surprise guest from the “Doctor Who” history. This special is honestly not just a special it is a feature film. It is so well done and epic that it deserves to be treated like a theatrical feature, it fact it was actually in theaters, in 3D, broadcasted live at the same time the show aired on TV worldwide. Matt Smith has been such an amazing Doctor with his last episode around the corner this month with “The Time of the Doctor”. Tennant came back for the first time since season 4 and it felt like honestly he never left, so amazing. John Hurt was also such a blast playing the Doctor as well. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I literally cheered and also laughed out loud nervous time throughout.

Official Premise: Written by lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, Doctor Who: The Day of The Doctor sees the Doctors (Matt Smith and David Tennant) embark on their greatest adventure across space and time. In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion. All of reality is at stake as the Doctor’s own dangerous past comes back to haunt him. The special also stars Jenna Coleman (as Clara, the Doctor’s current Companion), Billie Piper (in a surprise role) and Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart, daughter of legendary Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.

This 50th Anniversary Special was given the real treatment from BBC with this release. It comes in a solid combo pack with Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD, that’s right the Doctor is in 3D for the first time. I have to admit, this was a really strong fit for the show. The first time we zoomed in the painting and it went 3D, I literally said “Wow” out loud.  I thought it was very well done and added a lot of character to this special. The 1080p transfer overall was very impressive and like I said the show feel like a movie, so everything is amped up. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track also works very well with the action and scale of the film.

In terms of special features, there is some decent content here. But to me the real draw of this Blu-ray has to be the 3D Blu-ray, no question.  There is a “Behind-the-Scenes Featurette”, which takes us on set and on location with interviews with Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman, David Tennant, Billie Piper, John Hurt and of course Steven Moffat. In “Doctor Who Explained”, we get the entire 50-year history in one 50-minute special. There are two mini-episodes including “The Night of The Doctor” and “The Last Day”. Lastly there are a trailer for San Diego Comic-Con and the tribute teaser for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary. I am curious if this special is going to be intergrated into future season releases and if so if they are planning to keep the 3D aspect, either way this would make a great holiday gift and a must watch and own for any Doctor Who fan!

Blu-ray Review “Pain & Gain: Special Collector’s Edition”

Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Rebel Wilson, Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub, Ken Jeong
Directors: Michael Bay
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: December 3rd, 2013
Run Time: 129 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I am feeling a little bit of deja vu here, I just reviewing “Pain & Gain” on Blu-ray only a few weeks ago. I was pretty taken back that it was completely bare-bones in terms of special features. So I think Paramount realized they made a mistake and are issuing this Special Collector’s Edition for the holiday season. The only draw for this release is that it includes about an hour of special features and a new (weaker) cover and also leaving out the DVD copy, otherwise it is same release.  Unless you are a die-hard Michael Bay fan and really need these bonus features, I would recommend a pass on this release.

If you want slightly more technical review, here is our review for the film and it’s original bare bones Blu-ray, which was released on August 27, 2013. I am honestly not a fan of double-dipping and the first release was really just a way for them to rush the film out onto Blu-ray fast. Since the draw for this release is the extras, so let’s get cracking on them, as are all bundled under “The A Game: Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain”. This consists of eight featurettes are can be viewed as a big one-hour documentary. The extra looks pretty in-depth behind-the-scenes on the production and also touches on true crime events as well. Since this is labeled as a “Special Collector’s Edition”, I would have wanted a bit more than just an hour of extras and there are still no commentary tracks included.

Here is a break down on the eight featurettes included. “Still a True Story: Ripped from the Headlines” looks into the real crime and being turned into a movie with reporter Pete Collins and the real Ed DuBois. “Back to Basics: Michael Bay’s Vision” is a love fest for Bay with himself and the cast talking about the film. “American Dreamer: Daniel Lugo” features Mark Wahlberg talking about his role. “Passion Player: Paul Doyle” is the same thing for Dwayne Johnson’s character. “Dirty Work: Adrian Doorbal” again does the same thing for Anthony Mackie’s role. “Victimless Crime: Victor Kershaw” looks into Tony Shalhoub’s character as well. “Diamonds in the Rough: Locations” talks about shooting locations in Miami. Lastly “The Real Deal: Law Enforcement” talks about the use of real police officers.

Blu-ray Review “Mickey’s Christmas Carol: 30th Anniversary Special Edition”

Directors: Burny Mattinson
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Run Time: 26 minutes

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

“Mickey’s Christmas Carol” is easily my favorite holiday special of all-time! Yes, I am serious. As a kid, I literally wore out our VHS copy, which we recorded off TV in the early 80’s. It is crazy to believe that this film is celebrating its 30th anniversary but I couldn’t be happier to have this film available in glorious Blu-ray. I have been getting very fed up with the ABC Family hack-job cut that they air each year, which cuts out various classic scenes. This Blu-ray is the complete and uncut special and has never looked better. I am looking to sharing this with my daughter each year with hopes that she can enjoy as much as I have for the last 30 years.

Official Premise: Mickey, Goofy, Donald and all their pals star in a heartwarming retelling of Dickens’ unforgettable holiday tale. Ebenezer Scrooge (Scrooge McDuck) is far too greedy to understand that Christmas is a time for kindness and generosity. But with the guidance of some wise ghosts (Goofy and Jiminy Cricket) and a bunch of newfound friends, Scrooge learns to embrace the spirit of the season. Share this wonderful holiday treat with the whole family.

This 30th Anniversary Special Edition gets the treatment from Disney delivering it as a combo pack including a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy. I can’t wait to use the digital copy, during our upcoming holiday vacation and it’s good to have just in case we wear out of the Blu-ray disc. Haven’t grown up with this film on VHS tape, this special has never looked better. 30 years old? Humbug! “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” is beautifully digitally restored. The character outlining is so crisp and sharp, as is the colors, which really pop so well.

In terms of special features, the only let down for me is that they didn’t include the fantastic “The Making of Mickey’s Christmas Carol”, which has been available only on Youtube (see below, it is a must watch). Otherwise the Blu-ray includes some fun extras, especially for kiddies. There are five bonus animated shorts, which all equally look amazing in HD. “Yodleberg” is the first (and all-new) Mickey Mouse short, which really aired on Disney Channel this Fall. There are also classic shorts including “The Hockey Champ”. “Pluto’s Christmas Tree”, “The Art of Skiing” and “Corn Chips”.

Also included is one of my favorite new features that Disney has been behind, which is the “Disney Intermission”, in which Mickey invites viewers to sing Christmas Carols with all his pals when the film is paused. This is such a great addition to the release and makes pausing fun. There are three songs to enjoy including “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”, “Deck the Halls” and “Jingle Bells”. I really hope that Disney continues this trend, since it is one of my favorites and added a lot to the Blu-ray. Do not miss this release for sure Disney fans!

Blu-ray Review “Street Trash: Special Meltdown Edition”

Actors: James Lorinz, Mike Lackey, Mark Sferrazza, Bill Chepil
Directors: James Muro
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Synapse Films
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Run Time: 102 minutes

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

I grew up watching Troma movies (and even appeared in one of them) at a way to young age. So growing up in the 80’s I was in love with the horror genre and all the “trash” that came out of it. “Street Trash” is a very unique film, since it aims to offend so much with its super-gore and bad taste but it ends up only entertaining. The special effects are all practical and really make me yearn for those days when everything wasn’t digital. There was a lot of hard work that went into making this film, especially on a low-budget and it is just pain fun. In the world of reboots and remakes, it is great to see something truly original. This is definitely not for the squeamish but highly recommend for all hardcore horrorhounds.

Official Premise: In the sleazy, foreboding world of winos, derelicts and drifters in lower Manhattan, two young runaways eighteen-year-old Fred (Mike Lackey) and his younger brother, Kevin (Mark Sferrazza) live in a tire hut in the back of an auto wrecking yard. Life is hard, but the most lethal threat to the boys is the mysterious case of Tenafly Viper wine in Ed’s liquor store window. The stuff is forty years old… and it’s gone bad. REAL bad! Anyone who drinks it melts in seconds, and it’s only a dollar a bottle!

Synapse Films has beautifully re-mastered this film in high-definition and gave it the love and attention that it deserves. The 1080p transfer with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation is very sharp and for a low-budget movie from the ’80s looks just plain awesome. It was taken from original camera negative and was meticulously restored. The colors in this film are very key and they really pop with this new transfer. The film has a certain cartoon feel to it and this really extenuates that positive. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is also impressive. It works very well with the dialogue and especially with the Vietnam War flashback. This track was created specifically for home theater systems and it sounds great. This is easily one of the best Synapse Films in the recent years.

Synapse went all out with the extras included the ability to create your own bottle of Tenafly Viper Wine with an exclusive label sticker included. The special features are stunning like the film itself. There are two commentary track included. The first is with writer/producer Roy Frumkes, which is super informative and fun. The second is with director James Muro, it is more technical and a little drier but still a tons of great info. “The Meltdown Memoirs” is an epic two plus hour multi-part documentary that really encompasses all aspects of the production. There is the original 16mm short film “Street Trash”, which inspired the film.
There is an “Interview with Jane Arakawa” from 2007 sharing her experience making “Street Trash”. Lastly, there are a few Deleted Scenes and Outtakes, as well as Promotional Teaser and Theatrical Trailer included.

 

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Image Entertainment Sets Date for Lewis Black’s Live Pay-Per-View and Video on Demand Special “Old Yeller”


The First Ever Live Comedy Special to Air Simultaneously on all PPV and VOD Carriers on August 24, 2013

LOS ANGELES (July 30, 2013) – Image Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE) brand, has set the date for the Pay-Per-View (PPV) and Video On Demand (VOD) Mega Comedy Event LEWIS BLACK: OLD YELLER – LIVE AT THE BORGATA. This will be the first ever live comedy special to air simultaneously on all cable, satellite and telco platforms including Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish, Cablevision, Charter Communications, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS and many others. The show premiers live on Saturday, August 24th at 9:30 PM EDT, followed by replays on those platforms. It is presented in both SD and HD.

In his ninth comedy special, Lewis Black tears into a country that is going nowhere at the speed of light. OLD YELLER weaves the riotous tale of a country that is so strung out on ADD that it can’t see straight. In his rabid attack, Mr. Black even turns on himself—and his entire generation. From cable television to the computer, from Facebook to Twitter, Mr. Black rages about the prison we’ve insanely created for ourselves. He snarls at the country’s failure to find alternative energy sources while creating cell phones out of the realm of science fiction. He mauls our nation’s leaders for their laughably inept handling of social security and health care—and failing to provide help on any level whatsoever. As Mr. Black puts it, “What are you going to do when the Democrats are dumb, the Republicans are stupid and the Tea Party doesn’t even know what day it is?” He takes what makes us crazy and makes it funny. It’s a night of live comedy you won’t forget. . . “but if you do, it’s probably because you’re taking a drug that lowers your cholesterol,” he adds.

The announcement was made today by Image Entertainment’s Chief Acquisition Officer, Bill Bromiley.

“We are proud to be the first to debut this groundbreaking comedy special simultaneously live on all cable and satellite providers,“ said Bromiley. “Audiences will have even more of an opportunity to see for themselves the genius of Lewis’ comedy.”

The deal was negotiated by Bromiley, Jonathan Saba, the executive in charge of production, and Michael Bayer on behalf of Image Entertainment and Jim Gosnell, President and CEO of APA, and Leon Dang on behalf of Lewis Black.

“We are excited to be a part of this comedy special that will utilize a largely untapped mode of distribution for standup,” said Gosnell. “This event will revolutionize the way audiences see live comedy, and there’s no doubt comedians will follow in its footsteps.”

Receiving critical acclaim as a stand-up, actor and author, Lewis Black has performed for audiences throughout Europe, New Zealand, Canada and The United States. In 2012, he performed eight sell-out shows at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway.

Lewis got his first big break in comedy back in 1996 when he created the segment Back in Black for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. It became one of the most popular and longest running segments on the show and also created a long and successful relationship with the network. Since then, Lewis has taped four specials for the Comedy Central Presents series, co-created Last Laugh with Lewis Black, presided over Lewis Black’s The Root of All Evil, and continues to perform Back in Black on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His popular appearances on Comedy Central helped to win him Best Male Stand-Up at the American Comedy Awards in 2001.

Increased exposure from The Daily Show eventually generated a record deal with Stand Up! Records. His first CD, The White Album, was released in 2000 to much critical acclaim. Lewis followed with eight more, six under the Comedy Central Records label. He has been graced with five Grammy nominations and two wins for his work. The first nomination came in 2006 for Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center Blues, the second in 2009 for Anticipation. In 2007 he won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album for The Carnegie Hall Performance and in 2011, his second for Stark Raving Black. His most recent release, In God We Rust (Comedy Central Records) was nominated for a Grammy.

Lewis filmed two specials for HBO, Black On Broadway and Red, White and Screwed. The latter was nominated for an Emmy in 2007. He had a regular feature for two seasons on Inside the NFL (for which he earned a Sports Emmy) and in 2006 was honored to be asked to participate in Comic Relief. In 2009 Lewis filmed his first feature length concert film, Stark Raving Black at the Fillmore Theatre in Detroit. The film had a limited run in theaters across the US and Canada in the summer of 2010. At the end of the theater run, premium movie channel EpixHD picked up the film for its channel along with the accompanying documentary Basic Black. Both are still aired regularly and can be found in the EpixHD on demand queue. 2011 found him producing his second full length concert, In God We Rust, which also still airs on EpixHD.

In the midst of a rigorous touring schedule, regular TV appearances and movie roles, Lewis has written three best selling books, Nothing’s Sacred (Simon and Schuster, 2005), Me of Little Faith (Riverhead Books, 2008) and I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas (Riverhead Books, 2010). All garnered critical praise as well commercial success and spent numerous weeks on the New York Times best-seller list.

Image Entertainment recently released The Numbers Station with John Cusack and Malin Akerman; Tomorrow You’re Gone with Stephen Dorff, Michelle Monaghan and Willem Dafoe; and Day of the Falcon with Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto and Mark Strong. Upcoming features include Evidence with Stephen Moyer and Radha Mitchell; Blood with Paul Bettany, Stephen Graham, Mark Strong and Brian Cox; The Colony with Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton and Kevin Zegers; and Paradise with Julianne Hough, Russell Brand, Octavia Spencer and Holly Hunter, written, directed and produced by Diablo Cody.

Concert Review “Unity Tour 2013” with 311, Cypress Hill and G.Love & Special Sauce – Kansas City, Missouri

The Unity Tour
311
Cypress Hill
G.Love & Special Sauce
Starlight Theater
Kansas City, Missouri
July 2, 2013

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

I have seen 311 more times than I can count on my fingers (unless I had Bill Cosby’s hands) and as always the only thing I can say after seeing them is AMAZING!!

The 2013 Unity Tour kicked off with G.Love & Special Sauce performing their smooth mix of bluesy, hip hop, and R& B stylings. They played a great set and started the night off perfectly. It was about 80 degrees and sunny and the crowd was in it from the start. Playing “Cold Beverages” had everyone in the audience holding there beers up, resulting in more spilling going on than drinking at that time. G.Love has been a staple in my music collection since college and they did not disappoint in my first time seeing them live.

As more people started filling in the seats I began seeing and smelling many different groups forming. I could only think “what an appropriate welcoming for Cypress Hill.” If you are not familiar with the name Cypress Hill you will be familiar with their largest hit, “Insane in the Brain.” You couldn’t go anywhere in the mid to late 90’s it seemed without hearing that song or
a reference to that song. They lived up to their billing and, after all these years, they still brought a fresh set and energized performance to KC.

As good as the opening performances were I noticed I could hear the sound of people rushing into Starlight as 311 prepared to come on stage. I thought I had seen Starlight packed before.. but not like this! They must have been at capacity by this time of the night and for good reason. 311 has and always will put on one of the best live performances you will ever see! During their annual 3/11 day concerts they’ve been known to play up to 84 song over a two day period. They put together a tight play list for this concert. From the opening “Omaha Stylee” to their encore of “Creatures (For a While),” they had the crowed riled up, jumping yelling, singing. I’d bet the majority of the crowd knew every word to every song… every word.

What separates 311 from other acts I have seen is they know what the fans want to hear. They have consistently put out records since 1993. They still have current singles on the radio but they don’t push all of their new material. Their set list spawns 20 years now and they hit every album, playing not only songs considered their greatest hits but songs that only the most die hard fans would know. There isn’t a new song they are trying out. It is just straight hits: “Down,” “All Mixed Up,” “Amber,” “Don’t Tread on Me,” “Logo,” and “Behind the Gray Sky.” While they can’t play every song (remember they’ve been known to do 80-plus songs at a concert) I never thought ” aw man they didn’t play that song.” I was as pleased with this concert as the others I’d attended.

This group of acts is something you shouldn’t sit on, They are hitting tons of cities and great venues, GO AND GET YOUR TICKETS! They will sell out everywhere and you will hear your friends just rant about the concert. Especially 7/21(West Palm Beach), 7/23,(Tampa) 7/27(Houston) and 8/3 (Chula Vista) when they pickup Penny Wise and Sublime w/Rome on those dates. Extremely jealous that I will not be around those cities on those dates.

You can check out all the tour dates at http://www.311.com/shows

They will have a different set list at all the cities so if you get to see them I would love to see your comments and their set list.

311 Set list:
1. Omaha Stylee
2. Sunset In July
3. Freak Out
4. Misdirected Hostility
5. Beautiful Disaster
6. Wild Nights
7. Random
8. My Stoney Baby
9. Come Original, Loco
10. Time Bomb
11. Applied Science
12. Amber
13. All Mixed Up
14. Wake Your Mind Up
15. Taiyed Hey You
16. Beyond The Gray Sky
17. Freeze Time
18. Visit
19. Down
20. Jackpot
21. Creatures

Blu-ray Review “Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special”

Created by: Seth Green, Matt Senreich
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Cartoon Network
Release Date: July 9, 2013
Run Time: 23 minutes

Special: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

I will never forget the first time that I saw “Robot Chicken”. I can still watch the first episode and belly-laugh throughout. This Emmy Award winning show has come so far over the last 8 years and 120 episodes. In this latest special no superhero is spared and no one is safe. If you are a fan of this show then this is a no-brainer. But if you have seen this special on TV and wondering why would you purchase this Blu-ray for only a 23 minute episode…well the answer is to get the additional 2+ hours of bonus content! It is easily makes this Blu-ray worth the purchase!

Official Premise: The special, which boasts an all-star cast as well as characters Robot Chicken fans have grown to love, provides a unique take on some of the most iconic superheroes from the DC Comics universe – along with others whose powers can’t really be called “super.” So what happens when Robot Chicken and DC Comics collide — who will survive with their super-dignities intact? NOBODY! In Robot Chicken’s hands, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and even Mr. Banjo could end up dead or naked or both or neither.

Like most “Robot Chicken” specials, this one features an all-star cast including series co-creator and executive producer Seth Green as Batman, Robin and the put-upon Aquaman; Neil Patrick Harris as Two-Face; Alfred Molina as Lex Luthor; Nathan Fillion as the Green Lantern; Megan Fox as Lois Lane; series and special writer/voice talent Breckin Meyer as Superman, plus Abe Benrubi, Alex Borstein, Clare Grant, Tara Strong, series co-creator and executive producer Matthew Senreich, series co-head writer/co-executive producer Tom Root, series director Zeb Wells and Kevin Shinick as co-producer, writer and narrator. This special goes all out and it shows!

Like I said this release really shines with its special features. There are two hours of bonus content created by the special’s producers. We get tons of great deleted sketches and outtakes. There are both writers and actors commentary tracks for the special. ”The Making of Robot Chicken DC Comics Special” is a great behind-the-scenes look. “Robot Chicken DC Comics Special’s Aquaman Origin Story” is a fun look at the most hated DC character. “DC Entertainment Tour” is a cool look into the offices. Lastly there are “Stoopid Alter Egos” and “5.2 Questions” to the creators.

"Special Forces" DVD Giveaway, in the Vein of "Zero Dark Thirty" [ENDED]

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED AND WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EACH WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

To celebrate the release of of “Special Forces”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway TWO copies of the film on DVD. 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 war film. This giveaway will remain open until March 8th 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.

In the acclaimed 2012 theatrical film, an elite French military unit takes on the Taliban in a desperate hostage rescue mission; it stars Diane Kruger (Inglorious Basterds, Farewell, My Queen) as kidnapped journalist Elsa Casanova and Academy Award® Nominee Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator, Blood Diamond) as the lead commando, Kovax. After the team manages to free Elsa, their radio is destroyed in a firefight. Now, deep behind Afghan enemy lines, the group faces the ultimate challenges of survival, honor and sacrifice as they try to outrun their pursuers through the treacherous mountains of the Hindu Kush.

CD Review “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Special Edition)

Composer: Howard Shore:
Original Release Date: December 11, 2012
Number of Discs: 2
Format: Special Edition
Label: WaterTower Music

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

If you are a fan of “The Lord of the Rings” scores, then I am sure that you do not even need my thoughts for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”.  This fits right in line with the past Middle Earth adventure scores from the master composer Howard Shore.  When I saw this film in theaters, I was literally blown away from the score and I am one to keep an eye out for a good score.  I love the blend that this score has between the action and the drama from the film.  I think it really captures the film very well and should leave any fan very satisfied.

The Special Edition of the soundtrack includes six bonus tracks that are not on the regular version. I have to say these tracks actually add quite a bit to the overall score and even include an additional track sung by the Dwarfs – “Blunt the Knives”. Also what is a Peter Jackson film, without an Extended Version? This soundtrack includes seven extended tracks as well. They really add to the scale of the film, especially on the first disc including “An Unexpected Party”.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” sounds unique from “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy while still visiting certain cues that hang on to that special feeling. I found myself smirking and repeating the certain tracks that had that aspect. I have to admit though, ever since watching the trailer over a year ago and hearing the Dwarfs singing “Misty Mountains” in Bilbo’s house. I have been obsessed with that song. It is literally my favorite track on the album that is not a orchestral piece. If you go with this album I highly recommend this Special Edition release for sure!

TRACK LISTING:
Disc 1

1. My Dear Frodo
2. Old Friends (Extended Version)
3. An Unexpected Party (Extended Version)
4. Blunt the Knives (Exclusive Bonus Track) – The Dwarf Cast
5. Axe or Sword?
6. Misty Mountains – The Dwarf Cast & Richard Armitage
7. The Adventure Begins
8. The World is Ahead
9. An Ancient Enemy
10. Radagast the Brown (Extended Version)
11. The Trollshaws (Exclusive Bonus Track)
12. Roast Mutton (Extended Version)
13. A Troll-hoard
14. The Hill of Sorcery Howard Shore
15. Warg-scouts Howard Shore

Disc 2:
1. The Hidden Valley
2. Moon Runes (Extended Version)
3. The Defiler
4. The White Council (Extended Version)
5. Over Hill
6. A Thunder Battle
7. Under Hill Howard Shore
8. Riddles in the Dark
9. Brass Buttons
10. Out of the Frying-Pan
11. A Good Omen Howard Shore
12. Song of the Lonely Mountain (Extended Version) Neil Finn
13. Dreaming of Bag End
14. A Very Respectable Hobbit (Exclusive Bonus Track)
15. Erebor (Exclusive Bonus Track)
16. The Dwarf Lords (Exclusive Bonus Track)
17. The Edge of the Wild (Exclusive Bonus Track)

Blu-ray Review “The Words: Extended Special Edition”

Starring: Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, Ben Barnes and Zoë Saldana
Directors: Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal
Rated: PG-13
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 24, 2012
Run Time: 97 minutes

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

“The Words” was not a film that I was interested in seeing in theaters. I do love Bradley Cooper and Zoë Saldana but it just didn’t interest me. The romantic thriller also does have a decent supporting cast including Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde and Ben Barnes. I was a bit plenty surprised this little film definitely kept you guessing until the very end. Not my favorite of the year but if you are bored on a Saturday night, looking for some great acting and an interesting story – then I would suggest checking this out. This special edition Blu-ray also includes an extended edition of the film, as well as the theatrical edition.

Official Synopsis: “There’s more than one way to take a life…” and there are no truer words. Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) has achieved his every goal: a loving wife, critical success and a best-selling novel. The only problem, he’s risked everything he values because his success is not entirely his own. Now, as his conscience starts to haunt him and his past wrongs are revealed, he uncovers the steep price that must be paid, throwing his whole world and relationship into jeopardy. The consequences may just affect the legacy of himself as well as those closest to him.

The Blu-ray itself doens’t break the barrier of the format but surely looks nice.  The 1080p transfer is crisp and looks clear.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks steals the show with the film’s score and delivered  packs the dialogue very clear as well. The special features really consist of only four featurettes.  They are decent but nothing amazing.  The first is a making-of with “Unabridged: A Look Behind the Scenes of The Words”.  The next is a chat with Bradley Cooper and the filmmakers in “A Gentleman’s Agreement”. Lastly there are also two character featurettes focusing on “Clay and Daniella” and “The Young Man and Celia”.  Since this film is really a character film it works well but I would have loved to seen a commentary track as well.

“The Muppet Christmas Carol: It’s Not Easy Being Scrooge Special Edition” Blu-ray Giveaway [ENDED]

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED AND WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EACH WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

© 2012 Disney

Debuting on Blu-ray™ + Digital Copy on November 6th, 2012

To celebrate the release of Disney’s “The Muppet Christmas Carol: It’s Not Easy Being Scrooge Special Edition”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway 5 copies of the film on Blu-ray™ + Digital Copy combo pack. 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 Muppets character.  This giveaway will remain open until November 16th 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.

Greetings, holiday movie fans and culture lovers, I am the Great Gonzo… or as I am better known to fans of this classic motion picture – literary legend Charles Dickens. Ready to laugh, cry, sing, frolic, cavort and enjoy yourself beyond belief!? Well, you’re in luck, because this Great Gonzo’s ‘From Chickens to Dickens” 20th Anniversary Edition of The Muppet Christmas Carol is guaranteed to put you in a holiday spirit that will stay with you forever – or at least until your Aunt Edna starts complaining that nobody is eating the fruitcake she brought… again!

Available for the first time ever on Blu-Ray™ with high-definition sound and picture, so you can enjoy even more of my blue-ness, not to mention the incredible spectacle of Kermit the Frog as Bob Crachit, Miss Piggy as Emily Crachit, Academy Award®-winner Michael Caine as Scrooge, wonderful song by Academy Award®-winner Paul Williams, and, of course, my pal Rizzo the Rat as… well, Rizzo the Rat. A heartwarming and hilarious holiday classic, told as never before by yours truly! Yule love it! Happy Holidays! GONZO

Special Features:

  • Disney Intermission — An all-new bonus feature. When the film is paused, fans can watch and ‘cluck-a-long’ to five classic holiday-themed songs performed by the Muppets Chickens and chums.
  • Audio Commentary — All-new audio commentary with fan-favorite characters, Kermit, Rizzo, Gonzo, and more, all reflecting on their experience making The Muppet Christmas Carol.
  • Frogs, Pigs and Humbug: Unwrapping a New Holiday Classic. A Behind the Scenes Look — Hosted by director Brian Henson, Gonzo and Rizzo fans go behind-the-scenes of the making of The Muppet Christmas Carol.
  • Blooper Reel — ‘On the Set’ bloopers from the set of the film.
  • Pepe Profiles Gonzo: ‘Portrait of the Artist as a Young Weirdo’ — A special look at the man, the myth, the legend the Great Gonzo, hosted by the one and only Pepe the King Prawn.
  • Christmas Around the World — Gonzo and Rizzo take a look at how Christmas is celebrated all over the planet.

Blu-ray Review “Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special”

Directed by: Tim Johnson
Starring: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, David Cross, Lucy Liu, James Hong
Jack McBrayer, Dan Fogler
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Dreamworks Animated
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Run Time: 25 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Firstly, I am stumped that this short was not included on “Dreamworks Holiday Classics” release. As a stand-alone release, I really think that it is a toss-up to purchase unless you are a really hardcore “Kung Fu Panda” fan. What is good about this short though is that it brings back ALL of the original voice cast. It also doesn’t specifically focus on Christmas, it keeps it on a generic holiday angle so it is available to a more wide-audience. When it comes down to it though, this is a fun short for the whole family that will make you smile and get in the mood for the holiday season!

Official Premise: In this hilarious action adventure, Master Shifu calls on Po to host the year’s biggest event – the Winter Feast, a special time of the year to celebrate family, tradition and the awesomeness of Kung Fu! Po and the Furious Five must team up to throw the best celebration the Valley of Peace has ever seen. Can Po pull off the perfect party, impress his heroes, and discover the true meaning of the Winter Feast?

“Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special” looks stunning on Blu-ray in its super sharp 1080p transfer. It also packs a really impressive Dolby TrueHD 7.1 surround track. Dreamworks did not cheap out on this at all. The special features are aimed at kids and are decent. There are various interactive features including “Learn to Draw Wo Hop”, “Kung Fu Panda Holiday Shuffle”, “Mr. Ping’s Noodle House” and “How to Use Chopticks”. I was hoping for a little more since this release just includes the 25 minute short but like I said decent overall.

Blu-ray Review “The Muppet Christmas Carol: It’s Not Easy Being Scrooge Special Edition (20th Anniversary)”

Starring: Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, David Rudman
Director: Brian Henson
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Run Time: 85 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
EXtras: 4 out of 5 stars

There is no film that I think about Christmas more with that “The Muppet Christmas Carol”.  It is one of my all-time favorites.  The music, the Muppets, the Christmas cheer…couldn’t ask for anything more.  This film has also never looked better on Blu-ray.  Disney really gave this film a really nice 20th anniversary edition release with this “It’s Not Easy Being Scrooge Special Edition”.  Although, this release only included the theatrical version and does not include the extended cut with the song “When Love is Gone”. I am sure this is going to upset many folks but it is what it is.  This does though include a very sharp digitally remastered 1080p transfer with 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.  I really though this was a nice upgrade for such a wonderful film.  If you are looking to get into the holiday mood, then cuddle up with some hot chocolate and get ready to sing-along with the Muppets.

I am going to turn this review over to Gonzo to give the official premise: “Greetings, holiday movie fans and culture lovers, I am the Great Gonzo.or as I am better known to fans of this classic motion picture-literary legend Charles Dickens. Ready to laugh, cry, sing, frolic, cavort, and enjoy yourself beyond belief!? Well, you’re in luck, because this Great Gonzo’s “From Chickens to Dickens” 20th anniversary edition of The Muppet Christmas Carol is guaranteed to put you in a holiday spirit that will stay with you forever – or at least until your Aunt Edna starts complaining that nobody is eating the fruitcake she brought.again! Available for the first time ever on Blu-ray with high-definition sound and picture, so you can enjoy even more of my blue-ness, not to mention the incredible spectacle of Kermit the Frog as Bob Crachit, Miss Piggy as Emily Crachit, Academy Award-winner Michael Caine as Scrooge, wonderful songs by Academy Award-winner Paul Williams, and, of course, my pal Rizzo the Rat as.well, Rizzo the Rat. A heartwarming and hilarious holiday classic, told as never before by yours truly! Yule love it! Happy Holidays!”

I am a big fan of this special featurets included on this Blu-ray. One of my favorite extras on this Blu-ray is the “Disney Intermission”. This is a brand new bonus feature, which activates when the film is paused and leads into five classic holiday-themed songs performed by the Muppets Chickens and chums. There is an all-new audio commentary with Muppets including Kermit, Rizzo, Gonzo and many more.  Highly recommended. “Frogs, Pigs and Humbug: Unwrapping a New Holiday Classic. A Behind the Scenes Look” is a vintage featurette hosted by director Brian Henson, Gonzo and Rizzo and gives a nice behind-the-scenes into the making of film. There is a funny blooper reel included form the the set.  “Pepe Profiles Gonzo: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Weirdo” is a funny featurette on Pepe the King Prawn. Lastly, Gonzo and Rizzo take the lead in showing us how the holiday is celebrated in “Christmas Around the World” feature.