Win a Family (4) Pack to the Kansas City Screening of “My Spy”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at STX Entertainment to give (25) readers the chance to win a family pack of (4) passes to attend the Kansas City screening of the new comedy “My Spy.”

The film will be screened on Wednesday, March 11th, at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas and will begin at 7:00 pm.

All you have to do is click HERE. The first (25) readers to do so will receive a family pack of (4) passes to attend the screening. This is a first come/first serve giveaway. Once all allotted passes have been claimed the giveaway is ended. Good luck!

Film Review “Spy”

Starring:  Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham and Jude Law
Directed by:  Paul Feig
Rated:  R
Running time:  2 hrs
20th Century Fox

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

As much as I love Melissa McCarthy, I learned with last summer’s “Tammy” that she is so much funnier when surrounded by a great comedic cast.  Nothing against Susan Sarandon but I think the last time I consistently laughed at a film she was in was 1977’s “The Great Smokey Roadblock!”  That being said, with the cast appearing on-screen with Ms. McCarthy in “Spy,” she has herself another classic.

When the film begins we are introduced to the suave Bradley Fine (Law), the kind of secret agent that pauses to make sure his hair looks good after he gets physical with the bad guys. But, as everyone knows, you’re only as good as the people around you, and Fine is working with one of the best – Susan Cooper (McCarthy).  Coop’s job is to watch Fine’s back electronically and talk him through his mission, alerting him to on-coming baddies and the closest secret exit.  While working on a case together something goes horribly wrong and Fine is killed.  Susan is devastated.  However, when her agency needs someone to go out into the field – someone unknown to the enemy – Susan is given the chance.  World diplomacy may never be again.

A true comedy adventure, “Spy” is Melissa McCarthy at her best.  There are very few comedians, man or woman, that have her physical and comedic skills.  As she frequently changes disguises (and names), she becomes that character completely.  Again, she is aided by a great ensemble cast, including Law, Rose Byrne (her “Bridesmaids” co-star), Allison Janney, Bobby Cannavale and British funny lady Miranda Hart.  But the comic secret-weapon here is action star Statham, who plays an over the top version of his normal screen hero.

The script, by director Feig, is full of classic situations, both comedic and dramatic.  Some of the set pieces, including car chases and gun battles, are well staged.  The fact that he is directing and co-writing the upcoming “Ghostbusters” re-boot tells me that film is in more than capable hands. 

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DVD Review “I Spy: The Complete Series”

Actors: Robert Culp, Bill Cosby
Number of discs: 18
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Shout! Factory / Timeless Media
DVD Release Date: June 24, 2014
Run Time: 4100 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

It pains me to say that when I first think about “I Spy” today, the terrible 2002 film starring Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson comes to my mind first. The better version of “I Spy” is no question the 1965 television series starring Robert Culp and Bill Cosby. For the first time ever, Shout! Factory and Timeless Media are releasing the complete series on DVD. All 82 episodes are here spread out over 18 discs for the award-winning series. These two secret agent intelligence operatives Kelly Robinson (Robert Culp) and Alexander Scott (Bill Cosby) are still just as sly and funny as ever. This show has not lost it’s class at all and was a blast to revisit with the complete series on DVD.

This show originally aired on NBC from 1965 to 1968. It was not only popular but also critically acclaimed, winning numerous awards including 1967 Golden Globe for Best Dramatic Series, three consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor for Bill Cosby and the Primetime Emmy® for Outstanding Musical Composition for Earle Hagen. “I Spy” also included some very memorable guest-star performances from Gene Hackman, Jim Backus, Ron Howard, Boris Karloff, Martin Landau, George Takei, Don Rickles and Eartha Kitt, who was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for her role.”

“I Spy” was a great blend of comedy and drama. The chemistry between Culp and Cosby was great. The show also aired at the peak of secret agent genre, mid 60’s, following on the heels of the hugely successful James Bond films. At the time every studio was trying to deliver their own brand of secret agent TV shows, films etc. Luckily, this show was one of the ones that stood out. Also I learned some interesting information about this show that it was banned from certain in the South due having an African-American (Bill Cosby) in a leading role. This was an interesting time in TV but it was also a very entertaining time.

Each episode is presented with its original full frame 4×3 Broadcast ratio. All 4,100 minutes or over 68 hours of television. They also each come with a Dolby 2.0 track, which delivers for the show. The episodes aren’t perfect but they are decent. If you were looking for a complete 4K restore, you will be disappointed but the episodes are still looking good for a show that premiered almost 50 years ago. There are no additional special features included here, which personally is a bit of a let down because I am sure they could have scrounged up some old featurettes or commentary tracks from previous releases.


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Blu-ray Review “John Le Carré’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

Directed by: John Irvin
Starring: Alec Guinness, Michael Jayston, Anthony Bate, George Sewell, Bernard Hepton
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Distributed by: Acorn Media
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Running Time: 324 minutes

Mini-Series: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I was not a fan of 2011’s remake of “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” at all and thought it was completely confusing and boring. The original 1979 mini-series on the other hand is a lot more entertaining and stars the wonderful Alec Guinness (“Star Wars”) in the lead role. I think it was the fact that this complex and in-depth story was spread out over 5+ hours instead of being crammed into a 2+ hour movie. There is just something that is so classy about the PBS aired British series. In this American re-cut “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”, the series is spread out over six episodes.

The mini-series reveals that a mole has infiltrated the Circus, code name for the British Secret Intelligence Service. Agent George Smiley (Guinness) gets the job of find out who can be the mole and finds that it can only be one of four men who sit at the very highest level. Throughout this task of digging through the world of Cold War-era espionage and also his own past. Alec Guinness really nails the heart of John le Carré’s character and gives a new view to the definition of a spy.

This new HD transfer comes packed with sharp and bright 1080p transfer. The audio overall is decent but only boasts a Dolby Digital 2.0 track. Overall this Blu-ray release is not the best restoration ever but if you are a fan of the series, it is worth checking out and it definitely expands on the issues that the past DVD releases have had.

The special features are impressive including some new extras for this release. There is a very interesting exclusive interview with John le Carré, author of the book, who talks about the mini-series and his book. There is an all-new interview with Director John Irvin talking about the production and its cast. There are eleven of deleted scenes that were a part of the original series, which was cut down from seven episodes to six. It is also exclusive to this Blu-ray release. The production notes are included in text format and gives some interesting information about the series. There is a glossary of main characters and terms, which comes in very handy with this film, I would recommend printed them off the internet and keeping on you while watch. Lastly there are cast filmographies and John le Carré biography included.

Blu-ray Review “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

Directed by: Tomas Alfredson
Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Mark Strong
Benedict Cumberbatch, David Dencik, Ciarán Hinds, Simon McBurney
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release date: March 20, 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 127 minutes

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

I do not think I have been as confused during a movie as I was with “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”.  I even found myself rewinding back to try and figure it out.  I know the film was a spy picture with a lot of surprises but this was a little too much for me.  It was not the worst movie I saw last year though, it packed some really fantastic performances.  Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt really brought their A-game and really transformed into their characters.

This is the second film from director Tomas Alfredson, who previously directed the original Swedish horror film “Let the Right One In”.  The film is a takes place in 1973 London during the height of the Cold War.  It is also based on the best selling novel by John le Carre. It focuses on an attempt to capture a Russian mole inside Britain’s MI6 organization. It goes wrong and it is up to Smiley (Oldman) to get to the bottom of it.  But who can be trusted?

The Blu-ray itself though is very impressive posting an really clear and sharp 1080p transfer with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is also impressive especially during the films action scenes.  This release besides the Blu-ray disc, also comes packaged with a DVD of the film and an Ultraviolet digital copy.  The Blu-ray also takes advantage of the following cool features: pocketBLU app and BD Live.

The special features are worth checking out despite enjoying the film or not.  It is packed with great interviews from actors Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Tom Hardy, irector Tomas Alfredson and screenwriter Peter Straughan.  Each interview runs about 7-8 minutes give or take.  There are five deleted scenes, short and totally about 6 minutes.  There are also four short featurettes, including “Smiley”, “Inside the Circus”, “Shadow World” and “John Le Carre”.  Lastly there is also a photo gallery and teaser and full trailers included.

Film Review “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

Starring: Gary Oldman, John Hurt and Colin Firth
Directed by: Tomas Alfredson
Rated: R
Running time: 2 hours 7 minutes
Focus Features

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

1973. During the height of the Cold War, an attempt to capture a Russian mole inside Britain’s MI6 organization. When the operation goes horribly wrong, the head of MI6, known as “C” (Hurt) announces his retirement. “What about Smiley,” he’s asked. “Smiley is leaving with me,” is the reply.

Based on the best selling novel by John le Carre’, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is a very faithful adaptation of the story. Filmed previously as a seven part mini-series that starred the great Alec Guiness as Smiley, the new version gives Oldman, one of film’s greatest chameleons, a rare starring role. And he certainly makes the most of it. Oldman has played a variety of characters from a rasta-style pimp to Lee Harvey Oswald and he has always managed to get inside the character and make them believable. The same here with George Smiley. His face almost hidden by oversized glasses, Smiley is the anti-James Bond. He is quiet and intellectual in his pursuits. The action here is spare. This is a thriller that you have to pay attention to. You will be rewarded for your efforts.

Director Alfredson, who created the original horror hit “Let the Right One In” proves that he doesn’t need vampires and blood to keep the audience on the edge of its seats. He keeps the story flowing smoothly, aided in part by an incredible supporting cast. Hurt. Firth. Toby Jones, Ciaran Hinds. Every actor down to the smallest part has been properly cast. Special mention is due Mark Strong, who resembles a cross between fellow actors Stanley Tucci and Elias Koteas .

New Poster and Trailer for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

Based on the classic novel of the same name, the international thriller is set at the height of the Cold War years of the mid-20th Century. George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a disgraced British spy, is rehired in secret by his government – which fears that the British Secret Intelligence Service, a.k.a. MI-6, has been compromised by a double agent working for the Soviets. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy opens on December 9th.

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