Book Review: “Heavy Tales: The Metal. The Music. The Madness. As Lived By Jon Zazula”

“Heavy Tales: The Metal. The Music. The Madness.  As Lived By Jon Zazula”
Author: Jon Zazula/Harold Claros-Maldonado
Paperback: 193 pages

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“Heavy Tales” details the stories of how one Jonathan Zazula better known as Jonny Z who went from living on the streets of the Bronx in New York City to managing and releasing albums by some of the biggest artists in heavy metal music including Metallica, Anthrax, Testament and Mercyful Fate. Together, Jonny and his wife Marsha built a musical dynasty out of modest beginnings unmatched by any other underground heavy metal label. With a foreword written by Testament vocalist Chuck Billy, plus over 100 rare photographs unearthed from the Mega-Vault and photographer friends worldwide, “Heavy Tales” is the definitive American story of a family man with a dream, determined to prove to the world that heavy metal belonged on the stage, in your car, on the radio, and in your living room.

Growing up around the college town of Ithaca, NY you would always hear rumblings of the fabled Pyramid Studios and how all these heavy metal bands from the city would make the five plus hour drive just to record there. A name that was often attached along with that of bands like Anthrax, Testament and Raven was Jonny Z. It wasn’t until sometime later when I myself had the chance to record at Pyramid Studios that I would go back and dig a little deeper in to the lore that surrounds Mr. Jon Zazula. “Heavy Tales” filled in all the gaps, lapses and holes as it is the story right from the horse’s mouth. With the help of Harold Claros-Maldonado, Jon tells you about how his rough upbringing and  keen business sense put him at the fore-front of the heavy metal invasion of the mid-eighties and into early nineties where he help orchestrate the early foundations of cross over Rap-Metal. Just reading the candid stories about Metallica’s early days (Pre-“Master of Puppets”) would have been more than enough for me but Z takes it further recounting numerous concerts, trips and pivotal first time meetings which until now were stories only heard by select few and/or those who lived it.

Counting in at just over 190 pages “Heavy Tales” is a quick read that wastes no time getting to the good stuff. The book and its authors give you just enough background to nicely set the stage for the bulk of each story. I had no problem reading this book in one sitting and the various photographs included in the book were a nice touch. If you grew up during the time period the book covers and was in to heavy metal you undoubtedly have a record that Jonny Z had a hand in and now is your chance to hear his story.

 

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Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection First Time Ever on Blu-ray!

FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, A LANDMARK COLLECTION SHOWCASING THE LEGENDARY MONSTERS IN MOTION PICTURE HISTORY

UNIVERSAL CLASSIC MONSTERS: COMPLETE 30-FILM COLLECTION AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY ON AUGUST 28, 2018 FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Universal City, California, August 22, 2018 – Thirty of the most iconic cinematic masterpieces starring the most famous monsters of horror movie history come together on Blu-ray™ for the first time ever in the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection on August 28, 2018, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Featuring unforgettable make-up, ground-breaking special effects and outstanding performances, the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes all Universal Pictures’ legendary monsters from the studio that pioneered the horror genre with imaginative and technically groundbreaking tales of terror in unforgettable films from the 1930s to late-1950s.

From the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has been regarded as the home of the monsters. The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection showcases all the original films featuring the most iconic monsters in motion picture history including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Starring some of the most legendary actors including Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains and Elsa Lanchester in the roles that they made famous, these films set the standard for a new horror genre and showcase why these landmark movies that defined the horror genre are regarded as some of the most unforgettable ever to be filmed.

Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes a 48-page collectible book filled with behind-the-scenes stories and rare production photographs and is accompanied by an array of bonus features including behind-the-scenes documentaries, the 1931 Spanish version of Dracula, Featurettes on Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jack Pierce, 13 expert feature commentaries, archival footage, production photographs, theatrical trailers and more. The perfect gift for any scary movie fan, the collection offers an opportunity to experience some of the most memorable horror films of our time.

The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes Dracula(1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Werewolf of London (1935), Dracula’s Daughter (1936), Son of Frankenstein (1939), The Invisible Man Returns (1940), The Invisible Woman (1940), The Mummy’s Hand (1940), The Wolf Man (1941), The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), The Mummy’s Ghost (1942), The Mummy’s Tomb (1942),Invisible Agent (1942), Phantom of the Opera (1943), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), Son of Dracula (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), The Mummy’s Curse (1944), The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944), House of Dracula (1945), She-Wolf of London (1946), Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954, and includes a 3D version), Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955), Revenge of the Creature (1955 and includes a 3D version) and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956).

 

BONUS FEATURES:

  • Behind-the-Scenes Documentaries
  • 3D Versions of Creature from the Black Lagoon and Revenge of the Creature
  • 1931 Spanish Version of Dracula
  • Featurettes on Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jack Pierce
  • 13 Expert Feature Commentaries
  • Archival Footage
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailers

 

Film Review “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”

Directed by: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
Starring: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Geoffrey Rush
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Release date: May 26, 2017
Running time: 129 minutes

Mike G’s Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Yo-ho, Yo-ho, a pirate’s life for me! Honestly, I expect very little from this latest (and claimed final…yeah, right!) adventure in the series. But “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is a fun ride. I have been a fan of each of the films in this franchise. They are not perfect by any standards but they are entertaining for sure. Even though everyone loves Captain Jake Sparrow, my favorite part of these films have been the baddies…and in this film Captain Salazar steals the show. I would honestly recommend seeing this film just to watch Javier Bardem’s performance. He is an amazing bad guy. Everything from his flowing hair to his weezing as he speaks is just amazing! Even though claim as a the final adventures, this franchise still has steam left in it and I am on board for sure!

Official Premise: Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) feels the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost sailors led by his old nemesis, the evil Capt. Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it, he must forge an uneasy alliance with a brilliant and beautiful astronomer and a headstrong young man in the British navy.

I’ve read some reviews saying that “Dead Men Tell No Tales” tries to tell too much story and no character but I loved the back story that Salazar provides to the franchise and how it ties in with Jack Sparrow’s origin. The worst part of the film is no question the inclusion of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley’s characters. There combined five seconds on screen is surely laughable and worth nothing. Johnny Depp seemed a little tired in the role and just rolling with the punches but people love Jack Sparrow and he delivers some great laughs. There is even a nice little cameo from The Beatles’ Paul McCartney as Sparrow’s Uncle.

The visual effects are solid in this fifth entry. The zombie sharks were a bit of a let down and wasn’t the spectacle that I was hoping for, visually cool but they really didn’t do much. Co-director’s Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg took the film in a good direction and I enjoyed their spin on this franchise. I am curious to see where this franchise goes next after this film (which is sure to make another billion dollars for Disney). I just hope that they don’t pick up with the same old Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner love story again, been there done that. This is definitely a solid kick off though for this Summer and makes this film the first popcorn flick to catch. So grab some snacks, sit down and enjoy the ride!

Book Review: “Lonely Boy: Tales of a Sex Pistol”

“Lonely Boy: Tales of a Sex Pistol”
Author: Steve Jones
Da Capo Press
Hardcover 308 pages

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

“Lonely Boy: Tales of a Sex Pistol” recounts the life and times of Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones. Through the nihilistic songs, amphetamine-fueled music, and influential fashion that turned a one-time street urchin into a founding member of a genre-defining band “Lonely Boy” offers a truly in-depth portrait of one of punk’s founding fathers.

For anyone with even the smallest bit of knowledge related to Steve Jones and his band The Sex Pistols I don’t have to tell you what to expect from “Lonely Boy”. Sex, drugs and rock and roll it’s all here told directly from the man who lived and breathed it. Throughout the books 308 pages Jones takes the reader on a cringe worthy ride that starts off with detailed accounts of Jones traumatic childhood which was rout with abuse and neglect. As the book progresses the reader is treated to firsthand accounts of the early incarnation of The Sex Pistols and how it morphed into what the world would see as the band were made into the poster boys of punk rock for generations to come.

Not just your everyday run of the mill biography. “Lonely Boy” delves much deeper than other books in the genre. Jones forges straight on into rough waters as he recounts the events that would shape who he has become today. From the ups and downs his band The Sex Pistols created to his struggles with severe drug addiction this book is not for the queasy as it probably as real as one can get. At times I found the stories to wander and be a bit lengthy however pushing through there was always light at the end of the tunnel as each chapter blended nicely into the next. Also worth noting are the photos which are included in the book. Many of them were ones I had not seen before only adding to the books unique story and making “Lonely Boy: Tales of a Sex Pistol” is a must read for any and all music fans.

 

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DVD Review “My Little Pony Tales: The Complete Classic TV Series”

Voices of: Willow Johnson, Maggie Blue O’Hara, Kelly Sheridan, Laura Harris, Venus Terzo, Brigitta Dau, Lalainia Lindbjerg, Chiara Zanni
Directors: George Arthur Bloom
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Shout! Factory
DVD Release Date: April 28, 2015
Run Time: 285 minutes

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

“My Little Pony Tales” is one of the follow up series to the original 1980’s “My Little Pony” series. It aired in 1992 though only lasted one season. This is the first time that all 26 adventures are included in one set, thanks to Shout! Factory. My daughter is a big fan of “Friendship is Magic” series of the “My Little Pony” franchise. She recently took a liking to the “My Little Pony: The Movie” DVD release, also put out by Shout!, so she was really excited to get into this series.

Official Premise: Ponyland is full of excitement, if you know where to find it, and now all of your favorite My Little Pony Tales are finally collected in one amazing set! Join the 7 Pony Friends (Starlight, Sweetheart, Melody, Bright Eyes, Patch, Clover and Bon Bon) for 13 episodes of outrageous fun! Games, picnics, ice cream shops, roller derbies and even UFOs… nothing is off-limits when it comes to grand Pony adventures!

The quality of the episodes honestly aren’t spectacular. Like the Complete Collection of the original 1980’s “My Little Pony” series, released from Shout! last year, it is really subpar quality and not terribly impressive. The colors seem very muted and lacking the charm that is brought in “Friendship in Magic” series. There are no special features included on this collection other than the 26 episodes. Still I am curious to see what Shout! has planned next for “My Little Pony”.

Blu-ray Review “Tales From the Crypt / Vault of Horror: Double Feature”

Starring: Joan Collins, Dawn Addams, Peter Cushing, Tom Baker, Roy Dotrice, Michael Craig
Directors: Freddie Francis, Roy Ward Baker
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Shout! Factory
DVD Release Date: December 2, 2014
Run Time: 175 minutes

Films: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: N/A

“Tales From the Crypt” comics are one of the main reasons, I got into horror films when I was a kid. This 1972 adaption from the comics directed by Freddie Francis (The Creeping Flesh) was a great collection of horror films on film. It boasted a great cast including Joan Collins (Empire Of The Ants), Peter Cushing (Horror Of Dracula), Patrick Magee (A Clockwork Orange) and Sir Ralph Richardson (Rollerball). I remember the first time I saw this film by accident honestly since I thought it was a release from the HBO series and I am so glad that I did. Still holds up today for sure!

“Tales From The Crypt” Official Premise: When five unwary travelers with dark hearts stumble into a series of catacombs, they find themselves in a cavern with no way out. But the horror’s only just begun as a mysterious figure appears to reveal to each person the shocking events that will lead to their well-deserved, untimely (and unavoidable) demise. Tales From The Crypt is the original, gets-right-under-your-skin creepfest!

“Vault Of Horror” is a solid follow-up to “Tales From The Crypt” and is real draw in this release because it is available uncut for the first time on home video! It also packs a solid cast including Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Denholm Elliott (Raiders Of The Lost Ark), Curt Jurgens (The Mephisto Waltz) and Michael Craig (Mysterious Island). Like “Creepshow 2” was the “Creepshow”, it doesn’t top the first but this is a another great collection of classic horror stories, even though a little more cookie cutter.

“Vault Of Horror” Official Premise: Five unsuspecting hotel guests step into an elevator, which leads them into an underground vault. Trapped with no way out, each guest shares a gruesome tale of an encounter with death. But as the stories unfold, the men begin to suspect that their presence in the vault is no coincidence, and that the only way out…is death.

Scream Factory is behind this double feature release and it is a must for any horror fan that loves anthology films. Two great 70’s British horror films for the price of one. The 1080p transfers on both films are good. They are not outstanding but for the age of these films, the fact that they haven’t been fully restored, they look good. Same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio Mono tracks, which work well with the films scores. There are no special features included either but if you consider “Vault of Horror” as a bonus film, they are in good shape.

Book Review “Disney’s 5-Minute Minnie Tales”

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Grade Level: 1 – 3
Series: 5-Minute Stories
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date: October 7, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

If you have kids, you know how important bedtime is for your kids and most importantly you (to get a break). My daughter is at the stage now, at the age of two, that she loves reading books before she goes to bed. We have been sure to supply her with some great books to enjoy before slipping off into her slumber for the evening.

About 95% of the books that she chooses each night are usually Disney books (and now I can say even “Star Wars”, which she does choose, is also included). But her all-time favorite has always been Minnie Mouse. She is the queen of Disney and is always first choice when it comes to bedtime. I don’t know how but Disney must be reading my daughters mind because they just brought out the perfect bedtime book for any little girl.

“5-Minute Minnie Tales” is exactly what it describes itself as. You can join Minnie through 12 themed stories including joining Minnie as she goes for a sail, plans a picnic, has a sleepover, and more! With Each of these stories simply can be read in just 5 short minutes, which makes this a must have for any parent looking for a quick turnaround when it gets time for bed. Trust me it works!

 

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DVD Review “Tom Holland’s Twisted Tales”

Actors: Tom Holland, William Forsythe, Danielle Harris, AJ Bowen, Sarah Butler
Directors: Tom Holland
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
DVD Release Date: March 18, 2014
Run Time: 142 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: N/A

If you are not familiar with the name Tom Holland, he is the horror legend behind films like “Child’s Play”, “Fright Night”. We interviewed Tom back in 2010 and he mentioned this project to us then, so I have been following this project for a while. This series premiered on FEARNET as an anthology short series. It is consists of nine episodes and together add up to nearly 2.5 hours of tales. These vary from fun to clever to terrible. There is no scare factor behind these but it just comes down to what haven’t we seen already these days…but they are no question twisted. You can see if any of this fail it is due to budget, which looks to be virtually nothing on some of these. Nothing groundbreaking, we have some winners but mostly losers so make your own decision here. Hardcore Holland fans only.

“Fred and his GPS” was about a guy that has a chat with his GPS during his getaway after killing his wife. But find that his wife might not be through haunting him. It is a good way to kick off the film and AJ Bowen (“You’re Next”) is awesome as always. “To Hell With You” is your typical deal with the devil bit, which starts Danielle Harris (“Rob Zombie’s Halloween”) and William Forsythe (“Dick Tracy”) but a whole lot of fun. “Boom” stars Noah Hathaway (“The Neverending Story”) and puts him in a scheme to find out if his wife is cheating on him with his best friend…and he does it with a bomb. I liked this one quite a bit and it was quite clever. “Mongo’s Magick Mirror” is about a magician with a special trick. This one was not just bad, it was absolutely terrible. I love Ray Wise (“Twin Peaks”) but this one was almost impossible to watch.

“Bite” is about a drug that turns people into werewolves. Could have been awesome but relies too much on slow motion cuts. This one was also affected by terrible acting. “Shockwave” packs the best cast with Angelis Bettis (“May”), Amber Benson (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer”) and James Duval (“Donnie Darko”). It follows a group of people trying to survive after a nuclear blast hit the planet. Good twist but predictable. I think predictable is the key word for most of these. “Cached” is pretty cool about a guy that steals a dead man’s tablet and lives (or maybe doesn’t) to regret it. “Pizza Guy” is one of the better tales about a group that tries to summon of a demon. Lastly “Vampire Dance” is no question the most pointless entry and worst of them all, which ends this film on the worst possible note.

Blu-ray Review "Tales of the Night"

Directors: Michel Ocelot
Rated: Unrated
Studio: NEW VIDEO GROUP
DVD Release Date: January 29, 2013
Run Time: 84 minutes

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

When it comes to animation, especially Foreign animation, I am always drawn in. This film looked very interesting from its description and colorful presentation. The film itself though isn’t as exciting. I have to give it to Michel Ocelot though for delivering a unique approach to this animation process. The stories are told through the idea of shadows. Visually the film looks great especially on Blu-ray but I just wasn’t really drawn in with the stories. There are six “Tales” in this film:

1) The Werewolf
2) Ti Jean and the Belle-Sans-Connaitre
3) The Chosen One And The City Of Gold
4) Boy Tam-Tam
5) The Boy Who Never Lied
6) The Doe-Girl And The Architect’s Son

Official Premise: From the imagination of internationally renowned animator Michel Ocelot (Kirikou and the Sorceress, Azur & Asmar) comes a magical and visually stunning new film, delighting kids, families and animation fans of all ages. Silhouetted characters are set off against exquisitely detailed Day-Glo backgrounds bursting with color and kaleidoscopic patterns, as the film weaves together six exotic fables each unfolding in a unique locale, from Tibet, to medieval Europe, and even the Land of the Dead. In Ocelot’s celebrated storytelling, history blends with fairytale as viewers are whisked off to visit enchanted lands full of dragons, shape-shifting werewolves, captive princesses, and enormous talking bees – and each fable ends with its own ironic twist.

This release is delivered by New Video Group in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack.  The 1080p transfer in presented with an aspect ratio of 1.77:1. Like I said above it does look very sharp and the colors really jump out.  Though this film was originally released theatrically in 3D, but this release only includes a 2D presentation. I am very disappointed in this since I feel it would have added a lot to the film itself.  Note: This is the second time this year already that New Video Group released an intended 3D Blu-ray only in 2D, the other being “Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai”. The English dub audio track, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, works well with the format but I actually did prefer the original French language but its track is only presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0.

The special features are like the film a bit of a let down and are both in standard defition.  There is “An Interview with Filmmaker Michel Ocelot” talks about his process of creating this film. It is in French with English subtitles. “The Festival of Color: Storytelling Through Animation Featurette with Filmmaker Michel Ocelot” is an extra focuses on the work with a UNICEF event again chatting about the production.  Also again in  French with English subtitles. Lastly there is a U.S. Trailer included.

Blu-ray Review “Tales From the Crypt Presents: Ritual”

Cast: Jennifer Grey, Craig Sheffer, Daniel Lapaine, Kristen Wilson, Gabriel Casseus, Tim Curry
Director: Avi Nesher
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Miramax Echo Bridge
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Run Time: 106 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: N/A

Every since I saw “Tales from the Crypt Presents: Bordello of Blood” back in 1996, I was eagerly waiting for what was next. I heard about “Ritual” but it was shelved due to the ended of the show on HBO and other distribution issues. I waited and waited years to see this film till around 2001, when I believe I got a bootleg online. The result? Well, its just plain ‘ole “Tales from the Crypt” fun. This third film installment of the popular HBO series “Tales From the Crypt” is actually remake of the 1943 film “I Walked with a Zombie”.

Official Synopsis: Jobless after having her medical license revoked, Dr. Alice Dodgson (Jennifer Grey, Dirty Dancing) accepts an offer to travel to Jamaica and treat American Paul Claybourne’s (Craig Sheffer, A River Runs Through It) mysteriously ailing brother. But immediately upon her arrival, Alice finds herself immersed in the exotic rhythm and harmony of this foreign civilization…and besieged by the locals with terrifying tales of zombies and demonic possession. As her long-held faith in science clashes with her new experiences in the supernatural, Alice must ultimately submit to the strange native culture to save her patient, while fighting to escape with her own life. Also starring Tim Curry (Kinsey).

This is the first time that this film has been released on Blu-ray.  It looks good but not great.  The video is only presented with a 1080i transfer but then again this film has never looked perfect even on DVD (when it finally got poorly released).  The audio track is also a decent yet not stunning 2.0 Stereo track.  No special features are available on this release.  So I would really recommend this to the biggest hardcore fans of “Tales from the Crypt” but otherwise, it is not anything to write home about overall.  But for the low-price, you horror fans might consider this a guilty pleasure

 

Book Review “The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm”

Author(s): Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm
Editor: Noel Daniel
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Taschen
Release Date: October 4, 2011

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When you actually take the time and read into the work of the Brothers Grimm, you realize that they have created so many classics. This book consists of the most famous collections of tales from the Brothers Grimm. Included amongst the two dozen stories are classics like “Cinderella”, “Snow White”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Hansel and Gretel”. It always makes me step back and think about how much of an influence the Grimm stories have given us in our history. This all-new translation was specially commissioned for this publication by Taschen.

The most important part about the stories is the accompanied artwork. It is backed by some of the most famous illustrators from the 1850s to the 1950s, including Golden Age legend Kay Nielsen, bestselling author Wanda Gág, Walter Crane and Arthur Rackham, and 19th century German illustrations from Hermann Vogel, Otto Speckter and Viktor Paul Mohn. The book is also produced on a very impressive hard stock paper, which also compliments the colors in each image.

Another amazing reason to purchase this book is that it also includes fantastic silhouettes pulled from original publications from the 1920s. With my daughter on the way within in a few weeks of writing this review, I look forward to sharing these stories with her after she is born. It is a real treat for both adults and children alike. This collection will also make sure that people will always be able to loose themselves in fairy tales and take a journey in the minds of the Brothers Grimm.

Book Review “Tales From Development Hell: The Greatest Movies Never Made?”

Author: David Hughes
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Updated Expanded Edition
Release Date: February 28, 2012

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

In the past few months I have found myself becoming a very big fan of author’s David Hughes. His last book “The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made” is similar to this one but focuses in one genre. “Tales From Development Hell” is backed by amazing research and just proves that Hughes knows his films. When I first started to get into movies very deeply I always wanted “Jaws 5” to be made during the 90’s and I would constantly see the words show up development hell…and 20+ years still no “Jaws 5”. It is truly a writers, directors and stars worst nightmare where the scripts are written, actors hired and sets designed…but no production.

This newly updated and expanded edition includes two new chapters that are worth the purchase alone. The previously last chapter “The Incredible Shrinking Film” is expanded focusing in-depth on James Cameron’s then-planned remake of “Fantastic Voyage” and his journey.  The new final chapter which was added is called ” Tales from the Script”.  Since Hughes is an screenwriter himself he knows what it is like to go through development hell with a script.  In the chapter he focuses on his own Hollywood struggles and projects in limbo.  It is a very great chapter and is a breath of fresh air for all aspiring screenwriters.

I seem too learn something new with each of Hughes’ books.  In this one, I discovered that The Beatles were once in talks to star in “The Lord of the Rings”…The Beatles?! Also Clint Eastwood was once talked about starring in a planned “Batman” film.  Those two alone are impressive enough for me (and boy am I happy they never got made). Along with Hughes’ amazing research he also does a great job with getting interesting exclusive interviews with the writers and directors involved with some of these lost projects.  It is a true must for all movie buffs.

CD Review: Myrath “Tales of the Sands”

Myrath
“Tales of the Sands”
Nightmare Records
Producer: Kevin Kodfert
Tracks: 11

Our Score:  3.5 out of 5 stars

“Tales of the Sands” is the follow up album to Myrath’s 2010 release “Desert Call”. The North American release of “Tales of Sands” features 11 new tracks that were produced by Kevin Kodfert. The album is being released via Nightmare Records and continues to break new ground in what listeners have dubbed “Oriental Metal”.

“Tales of the Sands” features a variety on non traditional instrumentation that makes each of the 11 tracks quite interesting to listen to. Zaher Zorgatti’s vocals reminded me of a young Dave Draimen. With all the layers of instrumentation it was hard at times to decide what parts of the tracks I really wanted to listen to. This however was not a bad thing as producer Kevin Kodfert did a spectacular job as did Frederik Nordstrom who mixed the album. Each song in my opinion was crafted to showcase each instrument. Being of fan of melodic metal music “Tales of the Sands” has definitely made me a fan of Myrath. Songs such as “Dawn Within”, “Apostrophe for a Legend” and the album’s title track “Tales of the Sands” were tremendous pieces of work.

Myrath’s “Tales of the Sands” I felt was a really great album! Though the songs might be a little too involved to garner the attention of fans outside of the genre “Tales of the Sands” is still a great album that is definitely worth checking out.

Track Listing:
1.)    Under Siege
2.)    Breaking the Seas
3.)    Merciless Times
4.)    Tales of the Sands
5.)    Sour Sigh
6.)    Dawn Within
7.)    Wide Shut
8.)    Requiem for a Goodbye
9.)    Beyond the Stars
10.)  Time to Grow
11.)  Apostrophe for a Legend (Bonus Track- North America Only)

“Tales from the Golden Age’ is Now Available on SundanceNow.com

We are exciting to announce that TALES FROM THE GOLDEN AGE is now available to watch on SundanceNow.com.  The final 15 years of the Ceausescu regime were the worst in Romania’s history. Nonetheless, the propaganda machine of that time referred without fail to that period as “the golden age”…
Check out the film that was an Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival on SundanceNOW.com: http://www.sundancenow.com/film/tales-from-the-golden-age/745
Comic, bizarre, surprising myths abounded, myths that drew on the often surreal events of everyday life under the communist regime.  In these three clips from the film, sneak a peak at some of the characters that exemplify what life was like during an era when food was more important than money, freedom more important than love and survival more important than principles:

SundanceNOW.com is a place for anyone interested in independent films both American and worldwide – from the die-hard fans, who we hope will become active members of our community, to those interested in browsing our extensive list of different genres and sampling something new.