Win a Blu-Ray copy of “Spider-man: No Way Home.”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to give one random reader a chance to win a Blu-ray copy of one of last year’s biggest box office hits, “Spider-man: No Way Home.”


All you have to do is let us know below what upcoming super hero film you are most looking forward to.  Pretty easy.


One random entry will be chosen and notified by email.  This giveaway ends at 10:00 pm EST on Sunday, April 24th.



Film Review “Spider-Man: No Way Home”

Directed by: Jon Watts
Starring: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jamie Foxx, Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, Jacob Batalon
Distributed by Sony Pictures
Running time: 148 minutes

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The ending of 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, where our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man’s identity was revealed to the world by Mysterio, busted the doors open for an abundance of possibilities for what could happen to Peter Parker in his next outing. Spider-Man: No Way Home picks up quite literally right where Far From Home left off, with Peter scrambling through New York while its citizens are shouting either in support of him or straight-up attacking him. This leads Peter to the Sanctum Sanctorum, where he asks Doctor Strange for help to get the world to forget he’s Spider-Man. Things don’t go quite as planned, and from there, multiversal shenanigans ensue.

Like most people, I was incredibly excited for this film. It feels like the first true event film we’ve gotten as a collective since Avengers: Endgame. As more was revealed about who would be returning and how much the film would lean into the multiverse, it both got me more excited but a tiny bit more cautious – I hoped that the film wouldn’t lose sight on our central, MCU Peter Parker in the midst of all of these returning villains or sacrifice character and story for nostalgia. And while the film will certainly be nostalgic for anyone who grew up with Spider-Man like I did, it isn’t a film that is reliant on it for anything but telling a personal and truly ambitious Spider-Man story.

I won’t name specific names in case you’ve gone this far without knowing which villains are returning exactly – but the film does a great balancing act of making them exciting foils for Peter as well as narratively important to the themes. In fact, this might just have the most personal and interesting story for Peter Parker in the MCU so far. The crux of the film is him having the crushing realization of not being able to have everything he wants and still be Spider-Man despite how hard he tries to balance both of his lives. This is a common theme throughout the entire history of the character throughout various forms of mediums – but No Way Home does a fantastic job at making both an epic yet simultaneously personal story for Peter that truly advances and grows the character in dark, powerful, and important ways.

Tom Holland delivers his absolute best outing as Peter Parker/Spider-Man yet here, working with a seriously impressive script full of nuance and moments of real weight and consequences for Peter to grapple with. His chemistry with Zendaya has truly never been better, and the way he interacts with all the villains is as equally charming as it is poetic at times. This is sure to be a massive success, and I’m happy to say that I think it’ll deliver for all the people who have already bought tickets. The action is absolutely incredible from start to finish (see it in IMAX if you can!), the humor is on point, the characters and cast that play them are the best they’ve ever been, and it is far and away the best MCU Spider-Man movie, as well as the most ambitious live-action Spider-Man film thus far. A true love-letter to the character full of heart, ambition, darkness and a whole lot of fun.

Film Review – “Spider-man: No Way Home”

  • Starring: Tom Holland, Zendaya and Bennedict Cumberbatch.
  • Directed by:  Jon Watts
  • Rated:  PG 13
  • Running time:  2 hrs 28 mins
  • Columbia Pictures


Let me say right here at the outset of this review that I am not going to give any spoilers away.  Thank you for your attention.

 When we last saw our friendly, neighborhood web-slinger in “Spider-man: Far From Home,”  he, and the rest of the world, were shocked when Mysterio announced to the world that young Peter Parker was Spider-man.  Those of us in the audience knew it but now EVERYONE knows it.

So now, along with the pressures of starting his senior year of high school, worrying about what college will accept him – he has his heart set on M.I.T. – he has to deal with hundreds of people taking photos of him or hovering in a helicopter above his apartment building.  As things progress Peter discovers that his two best friends, M.J. (Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Babalon) are having their lives disrupted simply because they are close to Peter.  Hoping to make things better for his friends, Peter pays a visit to Doctor Strange (Cumberbatch) and asks him for a spell to make everyone forget he’s Spidey.  Well, not everyone.  The spell goes horribly wrong and the adventure begins.

 What you’ve read so far can easily be gleaned from the film’s coming attraction, so I haven’t given away any secrets.  And I won’t.  But DAMN, what a great film!


Though I enjoyed the earlier depictions of Spider-man by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, they always seemed a little too mature for the Peter Parker I grew up reading in Marvel Comics.  Tom Holland hit the nail on the head.  He gives both Peter and Spidey a certain innocent bravado, showing their best faces even when the doubt inside is eating away at them.

 As the film progresses, Peter/Spider-man not only have to deal with the police, the press and the public, but also with some villains quite familiar to fans but unknown to him.  Welcome to the Multiverse. 

As in the case of most films in the MCU, the cast is outstanding.  As I’ve already mentioned, I love Holland in the roles of Peter/Spider-man and he is equally matched by Zendaya and  Babalon.  I will admit here that Ned is one of my favorite characters in the series, his love and loyalty for Peter know no boundaries.  The rest of the cast is strong as well, from Cumberbatch to Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May to a variety of familiar faces from the Spider-verse. 

 The script is the perfect combination of humor and action, with a few emotional moments thrown in to remind us why we care for these characters.  The film is well paced by director Watts, and the 2 ½ hours of action seem to fly by.

 The MCU has had more gems than rocks over the years, with pretty much each hero (“Iron Man, Thor) hitting an occasional bump in the road.  Not Spider-man.  To me his series of films is head and shoulders the best of the stand-alone films.


Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “Spider-man: Far From Home”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Columbia pictures to give (5) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film “Spider-man: Far From Home.”

The film will be shown on Wednesday, June 26th at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas and will begin at 7:30 pm.

All you have to do is click HERE. (5) random entries will be chosen and will receive a pass for (2) to attend the film. This contest runs through June 24, 2019. On that date, those chosen will be notified by email. Screening is overbooked to ensure a full house. Seating is not guaranteed. Good luck!

“Spider-,man: Far From Home” opens nationwide on July 2, 2019.



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Marvel’s Spider-Man Launches Today on Playstation 4

Limited Edition Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4 Pro Bundle Available Now

WHAT: PlayStation, in collaboration with Insomniac Games and Marvel Games, announced today the global release of the brand new video game, Marvel’s Spider-Man, available exclusively for PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®4 Pro for $59.99 MSRP.

Marvel’s Spider-Man is a brand-new original, action-packed adventure for the famous web-slinger. Play as an experienced Spider-Man who has spent eight years behind the mask, defeating new threats as they emerge. Using his boundless acrobatic agility and active combat style, Spider-Man has mastered an evolved set of moves. Swinging through Marvel’s New York feels exhilarating, flying past iconic districts and Marvel landmarks.

“We’re deeply privileged to collaborate with PlayStation and Marvel Games. We’ve poured our souls into Marvel’s Spider-Manwith the hope of creating a compelling new take on the iconic wall-crawler that remains authentic to the character’s core,” said Bryan Intihar, Creative Director of Insomniac Games.

“It’s been thrilling to watch our three powerhouses – Marvel, PlayStation, and Insomniac, come together to make the Spider-Man game we’ve always wanted to play,” said Shawn Layden, Chairman of Worldwide Studios, PlayStation. “Today, fans will finally get the chance to jump into this new completely original adventure available only on PlayStation.”

Alongside the game’s release today, the limited edition Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4 Pro bundle is also now available and includes a customized Amazing Red 1TB PS4 Pro console, a matching DualShock 4 wireless controller, and the Marvel’s Spider-Mangame. This bundle is available for $399.99 MSRP.

WHEN:           Launches today, September 7, 2018

WHERE:         Available now at participating retail stores and digitally on PlayStation Store

3D Blu-ray Review “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Dane DeHaan, Jamie Foxx, Sally Field, Colm Feore
Director: Marc Webb
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Sony
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Running Time: 142 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
3D: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of stars

After the first “Spider-Man” in 2002, I was not a huge fan of the other two sequels, so when the reboot came around, “The Amazing Spider-Man”, I was not thrilled. When I finally saw it though, I was very pleasantly surprised, flawed but definitely a cool flick. So I had a some going into the second one. I have to admit, the film has got it all. This is what a Spider-Man flick should be like. It is a visual marvel and just a shit-ton worth of fun. There is a bit too much going on her but overall, it works out and makes this film a slick action-packed summer popcorn flick. The villains are good but since there are technically three of them in the film it gets a little crowded. Even though, I liked this film, though like the first one it is also a bit flawed and think Sony knows they need to reboot this series again if they want to keep everyone happy. More importantly, I say bring on the “Sinister Six” guys!!

Official Premise: We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important battle has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) finds that a greater conflict lies ahead. For him, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp.

Whether you like “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” it is easily one of the best Blu-ray’s release to date this year. Sony really knows how to deliver and amazing release for it’s films without fail. This film comes as a combo pack with a Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Digital HD copy. The 3D in this film is absolutely amazing. When I saw this in theaters, I was literally blown away. With the Blu-ray, I was curious how it was going to transfer to home release but holy smokes it is just as amazing. This 3D Blu-ray was the first film that I used on my Playstation 4 with the newly added 3D support on my also new curved 65′ TV and I literally was blown away by the presentation. The depth is outstanding and really works with the non-stop action scenes, especially the finale.

In 2D, this film also stands up, it loses that certain depth but it is still watchable for sure. So 2D or 3D, this film just has some unbelievable visual effects and looks just amazing. The clarity is perfect and the colors are so crisp. What I don’t like about this is that the box stated that this Blu-ray was mastered for 4K video but if you read closely it is only for the 2D, which is a bit of a downer to be honest.  For such a big film, I was expecting a 7.1 track but I remember Sony wasn’t as big on them, luckily the given DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless surround track is just perfect. From the action to the music to the dialogue, everything here is spot on and really makes this film even better.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” comes stocked with some great special features as well. They even have an audio commentary available on the 3D disc, as well as a trailer for the first film in 3D, so that is something at least. The audio commentary is with Writers Alex Kurtzman and Jeff Pinkner and Producers Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad. If you liked the film you need to listen to the track because it is quite entertaining and educational about the series.  Next up are nine Blu-ray exclusive deleted & alternate scenes with one of them has Peter meeting his father, so that is an interesting aspect that was not included in the film. These are available with optional commentary from Director Marc Webb. “The Music of Amazing Spider-Man 2 with Director Marc Webb” has the director talking about the score and working with Hans Zimmer. There is a music video for “It’s On Again” by Alicia Keys.

The real winner of this release is “The Wages of Heroism: Making The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, which is over 100 minutes long and comprised of six parts looking into the making of the film. The first is “Lessons Learned: Development and Direction”, which goes into the characters and design. “Heart of the City: Shooting in New York” talks about the city being a character of its own. “Triple Threat: Attack of the Villains” simply looks into the films baddies. “A More Dangerous World: Transforming Goblin and Electro” did a little deeper into the work taken to create these characters. “Bolt from the Blue: Visual Effects” goes into the visual effects used for many of the film’s major scenes. Lastly “Spidey Gets His Groove Back: Music and Editing” looks again into the film’s music and how it works with the film.

Marvel’s Spider-Man Play Set Swings Into Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes

With the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo beginning today, Disney Interactive is officially announcing the latest Play Set to appear in Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) – Marvel’s Spider-Man Play Set. Please check out the new gameplay trailer for a first look at new characters coming to the Play Set and Toy Box 2.0.

The Spider-Man Play Set will feature a storyline which follows the Green Goblin as he tries to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. once and for all. After capturing Venom to extract and clone symbiotes from him, he hires Mysterio to be his second in command and wreak havoc on the Marvel universe. Players will fight the spreading symbiotes and face Mysterio and Green Goblin in in the sewers, labs and skies above Manhattan.

Key highlights for the Spider-Man Play Set include:

  • Play Set: Playable characters include Spider-Man, Nick Fury, Iron Fist, Nova and Venom with additional appearances by White Tiger, Black Cat and Luke Cage. Players will be tasked to destroy the cloned symbiotes and advance to fight Mysterio.
  • Toy Box: Spider-Man, Nick Fury, Iron Fist, Nova and Venom will be playable in the all-new Toy Box 2.0 mode of the game, along with all characters previously released for Disney Infinity. Players will be able to use these characters, plus hundreds of Marvel and Disney-themed items, locations, props and vehicles, to create new adventures in customized worlds. Once players complete the Spider-Man Play Set, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Hover Car, S.H.I.E.L.D. Sky Cycle, Daily Bugle Building and more will be unlocked and can be used in Toy Box.

The Spider-Man Play Set will be available in retail stores this fall. Additional Play Sets and characters will be announced in the coming months.

About Disney Infinity
Disney Infinity is an interactive gaming platform where players have unprecedented freedom and endless opportunity to create stories and play experiences starring the beloved characters from across the worlds of Disney. Building on the success of last year’s initial launch, Disney Interactive announced that Disney Infinity’s next chapter, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, will hit stores this fall. In the all new game, players use real-world interactive figures to activate original storylines (Play Sets) in the virtual game worlds of popular Marvel franchises and create new adventures with other Disney Infinity characters in the Toy Box mode. For more information, visit

PlayStation 3 Video Game Review “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

Platform: Playstation 3
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Genre: Action
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Beenox

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Look Out! Here comes the Spider-Man…again. While I enjoyed the film “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, as any video gamer knows the game adaptations next to always disappoint. Unfortunately, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” suffers the same fate. The game feels rather lazy and not very exciting. Pretty much feels like the took the last game, tweaked it a little and slapped a “2” on it. Like this film which is fading fast from theaters, I also see myself not going back to revisit this game anytime soon.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” allows you to free-roam through New York City web-slinging from here to there. Before the game play even started, I was let down to find that the story doesn’t even follow the movie. It is follows a more generic Spider-Man story that lightly includes the film’s villains and a few other characters that aren’t even in the film. The controls are decent but I found myself continuously referring to the options since there are a ton of different commands for each buttons.

Speaking of generic story, the same goes for the combat. I felt like I was just attacking, blocking and web shooting my way through each battle once I got a hang of the controls. The visuals are decent and probably the best part of the game. Who doesn’t love web-slinging through the city. My wife walked in at one point and said “This is a game?”, so I guess it looked good enough for her. I did keep running into some issues with the video jumping on some cut scenes but nothing major. Overall, I enjoyed this game the first time and less and less thereafter. So unless you are a hardcore Spidey fan, I would probably steer clear.

Film Review “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore, Campbell Scott, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field
Directed by: Marc Webb
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Running time: 142 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

After “Spider-Man 3“, which was probably one of the worst films I have ever seen, I really wasn’t screaming for another Spider-Man film. At first I was hesitant but overall I was very impressed with 2012’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” and thought it left great potential for a new rebooted franchise. Well, I was not disappointed at all with “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, which kicks things into high gear and delivers a very strong sequel for this web-slinging action hero.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” dives deep into even more back story for the story of Spider-Man and what happened with his parents. I feel that it connects a lot more dots that the past films have left out. It really fleshes out the story much more and sets this franchise up for much bigger things. There is already a third film set for release in 2016, as well as a fourth for 2018…but wait there is still more, in addition, “Sinister Six” and “Venom” spin-off films have also been announced. So the future is very bright for Spider-Man and I will be first in line!

The story picks up with Peter Parker (Garfield) and his on/off girlfriend Gwen Stacey (Stone) graduating high school and going on to college. Peter finds himself haunted by Gwen’s father (Leary) since he asked him to keep Gwen out of Spider-Man’s life. In the process of figuring out his love life, Spider-Man is called to face-off against the likes of Electro (Foxx), who is transformed into an electric monster during an accident at, guess where, Oscorp. Also following the death of his father Norman Osborn, Harry (DeHann), also old friend of Peter Parker, returns from boarding school to take over the company but ends up falling right into his father’s evil ways. So it is up to Spider-Man, as always, to save the day while also dealing with his personal love situation and old friends.

I was really blown away with the visual effects in this film. This film that costed over $250 million to make and you can literally see where every single penny went in use. A few of the scenes were so epic that literally, I just said “Wow” out loud in the theater. The 3D effects also really add a lot to the film, especially in the many action scenes, which are all eye-popping. When it comes to Sony, they have always been the best when it comes to adding the third dimension to their films. From Spidey swinging through the streets of NYC to the electricity being shot through the air, I even found myself forgetting to blink afraid it miss anything.  I would no question recommend seeing this on the biggest screen possible, preferable IMAX 3D.

When I kept seeing reports of “new villains” popping up for this film, I was hoping this wasn’t going to be like another “Spider-Man 3” with too many villains but this was very well balanced. The main focus is on the character of Electro, which developed very well. Jamie Foxx does a great job of adding a lot of emotion and feeling to this already electric character. Next, Dane DeHann really steps into the shoes of Harry Osbourn’s and goes head first in for a complete transformation. We have definitely not seen the last of him in this role luckily. Eat your heart out James Franco, this guy can actually act. I had the privilege of chatting with this young talent actor a few years ago (click here) and he is going to do big things (obviously, this being one of them). Paul Giamatti also has a fun cameo as the villain Rhino in this film. Didn’t get to see much of him but I hope we will in future films.

Of course, I haven’t forgotten Andrew Garfield who has done things with the character of Spider-Man that Tobey Maguire could have never done.  He is funny and really adds a lot of charm to the character. I think he was meant for this role and in this sequel has he has settled in quite well. Same goes for Emma Stone, who is so sharp and strong in this sequel. The only main downfall for me was that I felt that there was just a little too much focus on their romance throughout. I felt like it broke up the flow a bit but since it does comes together in the end it balances itself out. Overall “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is fun, action-packed and a great way to kick off the 2014 summer season! Also be sure to stay after the credits for a very surprising crossover (possible mutant of nature) appearance!


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DVD Review “The Amazing Spider-Man”

Actors: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott
Directors: Marc Webb
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: November 9, 2012
Run Time: 136 minutes

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

When I received “The Amazing Spider-Man” to review, I was both excited and disappointed. I had missed the film in the theaters due to the birth of my daughter. So I have been highly anticipating this release. The film was originally released in theaters in 3D and IMAX. So I was not thrilled to find a standard DVD to review. Would anyone even buy just the DVD anyone especially with all the Blu-ray combo packs that are released? Either way let’s get to the film itself. It was actually pretty freaking kick-ass. The plan to reboot this series has worked and now I also can’t wait for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” in the summer of 2014.

When “Spider-Man” came out in 2002, it was something new and really kicked off the whole superhero phase that we are in today. The sequels, well are a different story, I was never a big fan of them. In general, I was not never a fan of Tobey Maguire specifically in the role of Peter Parker. He spent more time crying, moaning…and even dancing (boy, I wish I skipped “Spider-Man 3”). “The Amazing Spider-Man” really did the franchise up right. I actually wish in fact that this was the first in the series and replaced the first three.

Andrew Garfield was quite awesome as the web-slinger and really owned it. Emma Stone was also very charming in the role of Gwen Stacy, count me in. Denis Leary was a nice addition to the series, as well. Let’s get to the topic of the villain, The Lizard was an interesting choice but I feel that it really worked out. I am a big fan of Rhys Ifans (and have even rode a rollercoaster ride with him) and he also nailed this role. The film had some good comedy but wasn’t campy at all. There was a real darker feel to the story as well, which I enjoyed. Not as dark as “Batman Begins” but still a good re-start for the franchise.

When I saw “Spider-Man 2 & 3”, I thought it had way to much special effects and lack of stories. This film was packed with special effects but were all effective and worked well with the film. It would probably be even better on Blu-ray and in 3D. A few other aspects that I enjoy from the reboot was the finding of the mask and even his web shooters. “The Amazing Spider-Man” also featured the best Stan Lee cameo yet out of any superhero film yet.

The special features are quite disappointing. There is much more included on the 3D/2D Blu-ray combo packs. Yes there are even 3D extras, which is also extremely rare. But all we get here on this release are less impressive. There is an audio commentary track from the filmmakers. There are a few short deleted scenes and stunt rehearsals. Lastly there is a production art gallery, which focuses on The Oscorp Archvies. OVerall, I give high thumbs up the film but highly recommend skipping this DVD release and picking up the 4-disc combo pack for sure!

Kevin Shinick talks “MAD”, “Robot Chicken” and “The Avenging Spider-Man”

Kevin Shinick is the known best for being the showrunner/writer/main voice talent/voice director on the animated TV series “MAD”, as well as the writer/voice actor/creative director on “Robot Chicken”. He has been nominated for an Emmy on this work for two shows. He also recently co-produced and narrated the “Robot Chicken DC Comics Special”. Kevin took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about those two roles and also what else he has planned like releasing this first issue of “The Avenging Spider-Man” with Marvel.

Mike Gencarelli: How does it feel to be nominated two years in a row for the Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program Short-format, last year for Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken and this year MAD?
Kevin Shinick: I couldn’t be more excited. Especially since this is our first Emmy nomination for MAD and I know how hard we all work on the show to keep it funny and topical. It’s also surreal, because the last time I won it was for working with my friends on Robot Chicken and this year I’m up against them. But to prove how familial it all is, Seth is actually the main voice in the MAD episode that’s nominated for the Emmy and I just got finished doing more voices for them for their next season. So there’s good blood all around. Although that being said, please vote for MAD.

MG: Out of all the hats you where on “Robot Chicken”, as a writer/voice actor/creative director, what is your biggest challenge?
KS: Being Creative Director over at Robot Chicken meant following a sketch from its inception all the way until you saw it on TV. This meant making sure the costumes, sets and designs all matched what we were thinking about in the writer’s room, so that was the most time consuming, but it also prepared me for running my own show over at MAD. There I’m a producer, writer, director and voice talent and everything in between. In the end I’d say the writing is still the most fun, although also the most demanding. And doing voices is always a blast no matter what show I’m on.

MG: Tell us about working on “Robot Chicken DC Comics Special” on Adult Swim, where you are the co-producer and voice the Narrator and other characters?
KS: As I mentioned before, the Robot Chicken guys and I are really like family so despite the fact that I’ve left to create my own show, I always keep at least one foot in that world. And because my schedule is so tight with MAD it doesn’t leave me time to work on the actual series, but I do make time for the RC specials. And in this case, it was even more rewarding because it also meant working with another great friend of mine, Geoff Johns. It was his idea to do an all DC Comics special and so when we all came back together it was like the perfect storm. And I think you’ll definitely get a sense of the fun we had doing it when it airs tonight. Also, the chance to play the narrator which was originally played by the great comedian/actor Ted Knight was a dream come true.

MG: How do your tasks of showrunner/writer/main voice talent/voice director on “MAD” differ than your work on “Robot Chicken”
KS: It’s very similar, but the tone is different. Essentially the network was looking for a show like Robot Chicken that wasn’t so dark and could air during prime time hours. So right off the bat we’re aiming for a younger demographic. Second, Robot Chicken has a great time focusing on retro things like He-Man and such while MAD tries to stay topical and poke fun at things that are out there currently.

MG: Tell us about MAD’s upcoming Halloween & Christmas Specials and what are we in store for?
KS: Last year’s MAD’s Halloween special is the episode that is nominated for an Emmy this year and it was definitely an awesome episode. So this year I wanted to top it. So far I’m really excited with the bits we came up. Starting off of course with our movie parody, FrankenWINNIE. A spoof of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, only Christopher Robin has to reanimate his beloved Pooh after a horrible accident had destroyed him. It’s coming out great and is some of the finest stop motion I’ve seen.

MG: Not only animated cartoons, tell us about your comic work as well with releasing your first Avenging Spider-Man #12 comic for Marvel?
KS: Again, it seems to be a superhero September for me. Yes, my Avenging Spider-Man #12 comes out this Wednesday, September 12th. I’m incredibly excited for this because I think it’s something that’s going to blow your mind. Not only is Spidey teamed up with everyone’s favorite mercenary, Deadpool, but you’ll also see Spider-Ham and a few other crazy characters from Spidey’s past who will probably not lend the help the webhead is hoping for.

MG: Tell us how you ended up guest staring on NBC’s Grimm and tell us about your experience?
KS: I’ve always been an actor as well, but with so much going on in my writing world there’s not always time to do both. But lately I’ve tried to make time for each because I’m equally passionate about my acting. The Grimm episode was just an audition I got, but when I read the role and saw that this guy was secretly a Porcupine Man I thought, “I have GOT to get this role.” Luckily the universe felt the same. And the cast and the crew were really great so it was a fantastic experience from top to bottom.

MG: You are also planned to guest star with Alfred Molina, Ving Rhames and Jamie Bamber on David E Kelly’s medical drama pilot for TBS, “Monday Mornings”, tell us about that?
KS: I can’t talk too much about that now, but it will air in January and it’s a great medical drama from the wonderful mind of David E. Kelly.

MG: Lastly, what’s the deal about this date with Angelina Jolie?
KS: Ha! This is one of those things that’s surreal in hindsight, but at the time was just a lovely evening. I was performing on Broadway in a production of The Seagull with Jon Voight ages ago and he and I had become close, so when he said to me, “My daughters coming to town. How would you feel about taking her to dinner?” I said, “Sure.” Not knowing this was the same woman who would later become People Magazine’s Sexiest Woman Alive, let alone a great actress. So the moral is, never say no to Jon Voight 🙂

CD Review “The Amazing Spider-Man” Soundtrack

Composer: James Horner
Label: Sony Classical
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Tracks: 20
Running Time: 73 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to “Spider-Man” the score is very important. The film is a big-budget super-hero action film but it also has a very senitive side to it, especially with this film going back to the beginning. Danny Elfman composed the past scores from “Spider-Man 1 & 2” and they are pretty amazing. But this one comes pretty close for sure and definitely trumps all over the mess that is “Spider-Man 3“. James Horner is one of my favorite composers, I mean the guy scored freaking “Titanic”, one of the best scores ever! He really delivered a score that I totally not expecting and I ended up really enjoying it.

“The Amazing Spider-Man” definitely ranks up their as one of Horner’s best compositions. It is powerful yet original and has this really unique feel. It definitely portrays the super-hero angst and action without coming off as a loud and pushy with over-the-top orchestrations. Some of the tracks really bring the action and but their is also a very soft side to the score, especially with the piano in “Ben’s Death”. “Metamorphosis” was also an incredible track. For powerful yet subtle tracks like “Making a Silk Trap”, I feel it completely captures the essence of the genre.

Fans of super-hero comic book movies will definitely want to give this score a listen, especially if they enjoyed the film. James Horner really captures the film in his score and I think it shows. . This is also one of those scores that gets better and better with each listen, so Danny Elfman get ready to move over. I also want to comment that the score really does not rush itself, it runs well over 70 minutes and that is definitely a major plus for me personally.

Track Listing:
1. Main Title – Young Peter
2. Becoming Spider-Man
3. Playing Basketball
4. Hunting for Information
5. The Briefcase
6. The Spider Room – Rumble in the Subway
7. Secrets
8. The Equation
9. The Ganali Device
10. Ben’s Death
11. Metamorphosis
12. Rooftop Kiss
13. The Bridge
14. Peter’s Suspicions
15. Making a Silk Trap
16. Lizard at School!
17. Saving New York
18. Oscorp Tower
19. “I can’t see you anymore”
20. Promises – Spider-Man End Titles

“The Amazing Spider-Man” Cast Interview Series

One of the world’s most popular characters is back on the big screen as a new chapter in the Spider-Man legacy is revealed in The Amazing Spider-Man™. Focusing on an untold story that tells a different side of the Peter Parker story, the new film stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, with Martin Sheen and Sally Field. The film is directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay written by James Vanderbilt, based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad, and Matt Tolmach are producing the film in association with Marvel Entertainment for Columbia Pictures, which will open in theaters everywhere in 3D on July 3, 2012.

Media Mikes had a chance to chat with a few of the film’s cast over the last few months including Chris Zylka (Flash Thompson), Martin Sheen (Uncle Ben), Max Charles (Young Peter Parker), Miles Elliot (Billy Connors) & Rhys Ifans (Dr. Conners/The Lizard). Enjoy the interviews!

Chris Zylka

Martin Sheen

Max Charles

Miles Elliot

Rhys Ifans

Miles Elliot talks about working on “The Amazing Spider-Man”

Miles Elliot plays the role of Billy Connors in “The Amazing Spider Man”, the son of Spider-Man´s arch nemesis, Dr. Connors aka The Lizard. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Miles about the role and what it was like behind the scenes of the film.

Adam Lawton: How did you become interested in acting?
Miles Elliot: I had done some work with a music theater group where we put on “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat”. I was just part of the ensemble but I started talking to other people in the production who had appeared in various films and television shows. I asked them how I could start doing that and then I asked my parents about it. They told me if it was something that I really wanted to do I could go ahead and do it. I have been acting now for about two and a half years.

AL: What was it that interested you in auditioning for “The Amazing Spider Man”?
ME: At first I didn’t even know what film the role was for. The movie was only listed as a teen action film. I did a scene where my characters dad gets mad at me. After that we found out they were casting for “The Amazing Spider Man”. As things got bigger and bigger I realized that I had gotten into a really big movie. Things just kept getting more exciting as they went on.

AL: What was the audition process like?

ME: I had to do a couple auditions. After the first one the lady who was running it chased me down after I left and asked me if I would talk/meet with another casting person. When I went to meet with this other lady she was on the phone and told me we would have to meet a different time. I said “that went well”. When I went back I ended up reading with director Marc Webb and I got the part.

AL: Can you tell us about your character?
ME: I play Billy Connors who is the son of Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard which is played by Rhys Ifans. I have about 3 scenes in the film and I am just your normal everyday kid whose dad is a lizard.

AL: What was it like working on the set?
ME: When I got there I thought everything was really big. There were just trailers all over the place. I was amazed that there was even one for me. This was my first time ever experiencing that. Even the catering was big. I remember one night they had lobster, crab and there was even an ice sculpture. I got to meet Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone which was also really great.

AL: What was it like being able to watch such a great group of actors work?
ME: It was cool! On one of the nights I got to watch them shoot a scene where Spider Man jumps off a parking garage. They had all this stuff going on to make the scene happen and it was great to be able to watch that. Another night I was on set they had a bunch of green scenes set up to shoot Andrew swinging back and forth.

AL: Can you tell us about some of your other work?
ME: I recently finished a project in May titled “Camp”. The film is about a camp for troubled kids and my character Eli gets paired up with a reluctant counselor who is there just for the money. It was a fun shoot as we shot in the Sequoya National Forrest for three weeks. I will also be on an episode of Disney’s “Austin & Ally” as well as “The Mentalist”.


Film Review “The Amazing Spider-Man”

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans
Directed by: Marc Webb
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 2 hrs 16 mins

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Even in this age of Hollywood re-boots, it seems odd that, only five years after “Spider-man 3,” a new Spidey-flick, with a new, but familiar, origin story would be made. But the powers that be at Columbia, seeing how well the “Batman” franchise has done, have given us a darker look at Peter Parker and company.

We first meet Peter as a four year old (Max Charles). He’s in the middle of playing a game of hide and seek with his father, Dr. Richard Parker(Campbell Scott). While looking for his dad he discovers that someone has made a shambles out of the doc’s office. Discovering the damage, the good doctor gathers up his wife, young Peter and a leather briefcase. He rushes over to his parents house and asks them to look after Peter. In a final moment, Dr. Parker tells Peter the words he will always try to obey: Be Good.

Other then this prologue, “The Amazing Spider-man” is a pretty much by-the-(comic) book telling of the story most people know. Peter (Garfield) is accidentally bitten by a spider who has been exposed to radiation and begins to take on that creatures characteristics. He also has a crush on a girl from school – Gwen Stacy (Stone) – and uses his superior smarts to meet a doomed fellow braniac. This time it’s his father’s old lab partner, Dr. Curt Connors (a well cast Ifans). He still lives with his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field), who dote on him as if he were their own child. However, circumstances and bad luck combine to pit Peter – and his alter-ego, Spider-man, in a battle that will affect those he knows and loves.

First the good stuff. The casting here is top notch. Garfield, so good in “The Social Network” and just winding up a run where he appeared opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Willy Loman on Broadway as Biff in “Death of a Salesman, gives Peter a dimension that wasn’t really stressed in the original trilogy – darkness. Like Timothy Dalton playing James Bond, some fans may not realize that this is how Peter is in the comic books. He’s not your friendly neighborhood web slinger…he’s a revenge bound vigilante. And this is how he is regarded by the public, including a local police Captain (Denis Leary) who also happens to be Gwen’s father. Garfield is solid in the role and should grow even more comfortable in what I’m sure will be a sequel or two. Stone does what she can in what is really a small supporting role and Ifans is very surprising in a dramatic role. And kudos to both Sheen and Field for making Uncle Ben and Aunt May three dimensional characters with emotions…not just kindly old people.

Now the not so good stuff. There is almost too much background filler here. Even though he goes out of his way to let the public know he’s doing good things Spider-man is still deemed a bad guy. If the public isn’t rooting for him why should we? Peter is shown carrying a camera around and often gets bullied for it. However, he goes to a SCIENCE High School…seriously, how bad could the “bullies” be? The visual effects are fine, especially when Spidey is flitting from building to building, but the advertised 3D was nothing spectacular. And there was a great point of view (POV) segment when Spider-man first learns to use his webs for swinging but, sadly, it wasn’t utilized more. The transformation of Dr. Connors to the Lizard is pretty impressive, as is the Lizard as an enemy. James Horner’s score is played loudly but not very memorable. And no J. Jonah Jameson?? Stop the presses!