TREMONTI TO RELEASE FIFTH STUDIO ALBUM MARCHING IN TIME ON SEPTEMBER VIA NAPALM RECORDS

New Solo Album By Guitarist/Songwriter Mark Tremonti Now Available For Pre-Order https://smarturl.it/MarchingInTime 

World-renowned guitarist/songwriter Mark Tremonti is back with his fifth album from his solo band, Tremonti. The new album, entitled Marching In Time, is scheduled for global release on September 24th via Napalm Records and is available for pre-order beginning today.

Mark Tremonti is no stranger to storytelling. Throughout his years with top-charting bands Alter Bridge and Creed, and most recently his solo band, Mark has never strayed from his love of writing memorable songs. With the upcoming fifth album, Marching In Time, the band looks to continue this trend while exploring their love for heavy music, drawing from current events from the last year to form the basis of each song. While its predecessor, A Dying Machine, was an overall concept album seeped in darker sentiments and story, the vibe of Marching In Time is different – emerging as a charging rock/metal offering that takes the listener on 12 individual journeys. Marching In Time is now available for pre-order here: https://smarturl.it/MarchingInTime

From the driving drum beat of opener “A World Away” to the epic closer “Marching In Time,” the new album is a reflective look at the world around us today. Tremonti’s unmatched musicianship bleeds through the album, showcased on tracks like “Thrown Further,” “In One Piece” and the thought provoking “Would You Kill.” Alternatively, the band displays their softer side on pensive tracks “The Last One Of Us” and “Not Afraid to Lose.” Epic title track “Marching In Time” tells the story of a father having a child during a global pandemic and how he prepares for life during that time – something Mark Tremonti recently experienced in his own life – while upcoming single “If Not For You” shows the evolution of the Tremonti sound in 2021.  Marching In Time was produced longtime friend and collaborator Michael “Elvis” Baskette – the producer Mark has worked with exclusively since 2007. 

The track listing for Marching In Time is: 
1. A World Away
2. Now and Forever
3. If Not For You
4. Thrown Further
5. Let That Be Us
6. The Last One of Us
7. In One Piece
8. Under the Sun
9. Not Afraid to Lose
10. Bleak
11. Would You Kill
12. Marching In Time
Marching In Time will be available in the following formats*:
-CD Digipak       
-Digital Album   
-2LP Gatefold Black       
-2LP Gatefold Marbled White / Black + Bonus Track (Band Store Only – limited to 500)-2LP Gatefold Sun Yellow + Bonus Track (Band Store Only – limited to 500)
-2LP Gatefold Crystal Clear + Bonus Track (Band Store Only – limited to 500)
-2LP Gatefold Pink Transparent (Napalm Mailorder Only – limited to 500)
-Die-Hard Edition: 2LP Marble Transparent Black + Guitar Pick + Print (Napalm Mailorder Only – limited to 500)   
-Deluxe Box: Flag, Wristband & More! (Napalm Mailorder Only – limited to 500)
*Additional formats will be available via individual retailers.

Tremonti will hit the road in advance of the release of Marching In Time, starting on September 3rd in Pryor, OK at Rocklahoma with longtime friends Sevendust. The tour will make stops in Kansas City, MO, Sayreville, NJ, Flint, MI and Joliet, IL, to name a few, before wrapping on September 26th in Orlando, FL. All tour dates, ticket information and VIP packages can be found at www.marktremonti.com.  

Highest Rated Casino Movies of All Time

The gambling industry has inspired tons of films, including Casino Royale, whose applause has refused to die down years later. It makes sense that this industry would present as much material as it does to Hollywood, thanks to its endless drama.

Speaking of the industry, have you been trying to find an online casino with the $1 mark as the minimum deposit and failed miserably? They are the hardest to find unless you have a dedicated and legit site supplying the information. You will even get $1 deposit free spins if you keenly follow this site for all your gambling needs. They review legitimate sites that offer the best casino games in NZ. 

Now, we listed 6 of the best casino movies of all time in no particular order.

21

21 is based on the true story of the MIT Blackjack Team as told in Ben Mezrich’s book, Bringing Down the House. The cast was highly criticized, but the movie remains one of the greatest of its kind. Ben, a mathematics major at the prestigious MIT is accepted to study at Harvard, but the $300,000 fee is too much for him.

He applies for a scholarship that would cover his entire tuition and stipend. Despite having high scores on all his tests, Ben still faces stiff competition and the director makes it clear that the scholarship will go to the applicant that dazzles him. An MIT professor, Micky Rosa, invites Ben to a challenge solving the Monty Hall Problem, which he handles easily and successfully. Micky invites Ben to a team of experts that apply card-counting and discreet signaling at blackjack games to make substantial profits at casinos.

The team continues its clandestine operations that are fueled by fierce competition amongst them and rivalry. It ends with nasty breakups, and the film ends with Ben narrating the entire story to a dumbfounded scholarship director.

Molly’s Game

Molly Bloom is your young and beautiful Olympic-class skier by the day and runner of high-stakes poker game options by night. She runs her gigs noiselessly and easily discreetly until one night 17 FBI agents get to her, wielding menacing weapons and demanding that she surrender. Her list includes business titans, Hollywood loyalty, and unknown to her, the Russian mob. Her world changes all at once as she is now forced to start defending herself against known and unknown enemies. She is deserted by all except her defense lawyer, Charlie Jaffey, who quickly learns there is more to the Olympian than what he reads on the tabloids.

Rounders

Matt Damon plays Mike McDermott, a talented if corky poker player. At one of his games, he plays a Russian mobster and loses his $30,000 bankroll in a single hand. This shakes him to the core, and he promises his girlfriend and fellow law student Jo that he is done. His only focus now is getting his law degree.

He is doing okay and focused on his studies until an old friend, Lester “Worm” Murphy, is released from prison. In a bid to help Mike pays his debts off, Worm engages in reckless games that eventually get them both in trouble. Mike’s education is affected, and Jo ends their relationship. The movie revolves around Mike trying to get his life back after Worm wrecks it completely. It has remained to date one of Damon’s best movies.

Casino

This 1995 film features Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein and Joe Pesci as Nicky Santoro. Mafia associate Sam is sent to Las Vegas to sun one of the casinos owned by the mafia. Sam doubles the casino’s profits that are skimmed by the mafia before taxes are paid. As the operation heats up, Joe is Nicky is dispatched to Vegas to protect the skimmer, Sam, but he is banned from every Nevada casino due to his explosive temper.

Sam falls in love with a dancer and former prostitute, Ginger McKenna, and together they start a family. Issues arise that drive McKenna to heavy drinking and drug use. Sam later starts hosting a TV show that gets him in trouble with the mafia at home and Nicky for making himself so public. This film follows two things that are known to go together since the beginning of time; gambling and the mafia.

Hard Eight

Philip Baker Hall, who plays Sydney in this film, is a senior gambler who meets a forlorn young man, John, who strikes a conversation and odd friendship. John needs money for his mum’s burial, and Sydney offers to take him to a Las Vegas casino to gamble it. They get the money and Sydney takes in John as his protégé, two years later. John, unsophisticated and not nearly as intelligent as one would want, is the exact opposite of Sydney, but the latter is determined to form a fatherly bond with him. The movie takes viewers through mistakes made by John and Sydney’s struggle to make him a better man of his protégé.

Last Vegas

This film is about four childhood friends; Sam, Archie, Paddy, and Billy that are now elderly and living totally different lives. Robert De Niro, who plays Paddy, lives a bitter life after the death of his wife, Sophie, while the rest are either divorced or remarried. Billy, who is still in touch with the old gang, finds an old bottle of scotch that they all stole in their childhood, and he gathers them all for a get-away in Las Vegas to celebrate. They have their squabbles while at those Las Vegas casinos and try to solve issues long-forgotten, during which Archie gambles away his pension money, $15,000. He quickly turns to $102,000, to his friends’ surprise. The gang goes down memory lane, Paddy heals from his bitterness and finds love again, and eventually, they all return home after making their fair share of mistakes.

Watched Any of them?

If you haven’t watched these movies, you are missing out on humor, suspense, and lessons on gambling. Check them out whenever you can.

EVERY TIME I DIE RELEASE TWO NEW TRACKS

“A COLOSSAL WRECK” & “DESPERATE PLEASURES”

LIVESTREAM EVENT DECEMBER 19

Photo Credit: Chuck Abbott

Buffalo-based hardcore heroes Every Time I Die share two powerful new tracks “A Colossal Wreck” and “Desperate Pleasures.” Produced and mixed by Will Putney (Body Count, Kublai Khan, The Ghost Inside), the tracks offer a glimpse at the band’s forthcoming ninth studio record.

According to vocalist Keith Buckley, the tracks are “two sides of the same reactionary coin. While ‘A Colossal Wreck’ looks around at the current state of the world and says ‘life is a punishment and only the worst of us thrive’ and, ‘Desperate Pleasures’ takes a more optimistic approach and renounces the nihilistic/accelerationist attitude of the voice that came before. It says that without hope, even in the face of such universal anguish, only death is certain and to give up now when those around us need it most is a treacherous act of pure cowardice. That said, I’m not sure which is worse, bein-g a coward or being a cynic. Probably a coward. At least cynics have a sense of humor.”

CHECK OUT “A COLOSSAL WRECK” & “DESPERATE PLEASURES”

Acclaimed for their energetic and intense live shows, Every Time I Die have announced a live stream event for December 19 @ 2pm PT/5pm ET. Tickets for “Every Time I Die’s Online Telethon Extravaganza” can be purchased at https://tidathon.com.

The Buffalo, New York band have been forging their own musical path for over 20 years. Since establishing in 1998, the band has released eight studio albums; Last Night in Town (2001), Hot Damn! (2003), Gutter Phenomenon (2005), The Big Dirty (2007), New Junk Aesthetic (2009), Ex Lives (2012), From Parts Unknown (2014), and Low Teens (2016).

Every Time I Die is Keith Buckley (vocals), Jordan Buckley (guitar), Andy Williams (guitar), Steve Micciche (bass), and Clayton Holyoak (drums).

5 Most Popular Gaming Symbols of All Time

Slot machines have a long and illustrious history, with the first coin-operated examples dating back to the late 19th century.

While modern games boast digital displays, lots of reels, plenty of paylines, eye-popping graphics and a wide variety of themes, their mechanical precursors were necessarily limited by the technology of the time.

Even so, the symbols that were used during the early days of the industry are still widely recognized and replicated in the modern era. You can even find out what different slot machine symbols represent and get an appreciation for how the iconography has evolved over the decades.

As this market is enjoying double digit growth at the moment, now is the perfect time to familiarize yourself with the most popular and enduring symbols found on games, as well as the reasons that they are used.

Image Source: Pixabay

Lucky Number 7

Well known for its lucky status, the number 7 is a gaming symbol that you can reliably encounter in a huge array of different titles in the 21st century.

Aside from the fact that it is considered to be a fortunate figure by those with a superstitious learning, the proliferation of 7 as a symbol was helped along by the fact that the first slot machines featured symbols pulled from playing cards.

There are many other lucky numbers, depending on the cultural background you consider, but 7 still stands as a staple symbol and as such is often associated with major jackpot payouts.

Face Cards

Once again tied into the origins of slot-based gaming, playing card-inspired symbols are still widespread at the moment. While you might still find symbols related to specific playing card suits, it is the face cards that get much more attention; specifically the Jacks, Kings and Queens which most people will be familiar with.

Initially these symbols were nearly universally found on slot machines because the aim of the game was to line up the reels in such a way that you could create a solid poker hand and win a prize for your efforts. While the explosion of different symbols in the interim has allowed for a much greater number of possible winning combinations, this legacy is still reflected in the prevalence of face card symbols seen on current games.

Cherries

In some parts of the world slot machines are known as fruit machines, and it is easy to see why given that fruit-based symbols are commonly implemented across the board.

Of the various juicy options, the most common is the cherry, usually represented as a twin pair of fruits attached by a luscious green stalk.

The precise origins of fruit symbols is not known, with some claiming that they directly represented the prizes that would be awarded to winners before cash payouts were widely available. However, it seems likely that the real reason for their use is that they are easy to identify, as well as being attractive and eye-catching from a distance to help draw in the punters in a barroom setting, which was the natural home of such machines.

Bells

Another symbol that has survived for over a century and still makes a plethora of appearances today is the bell. Like cherries and other fruit symbols, a bell can be represented on the reels in a very alluring way. This symbol also marked the start of the move away from playing card symbols as machine makers aimed to simplify the mechanisms and thus make it possible to automate payouts.

The bell symbol even helped to inspire the name of one of the most popular vintage slots, the Liberty Bell. The fact that this symbol was also popular in the US already thanks to its connotations of independence and freedom helped to add to the appeal.

BAR

If you have ever seen a slot machine in the flesh or via an online casino, you will probably have seen the classic ‘BAR’ symbol used. In amongst the fruits, playing cards and bells, this might seem like an unusual inclusion.

Interestingly enough this symbol has a pretty intriguing backstory behind its inclusion on the majority of slot machines. It first started out as the logo of a chewing gum manufacturer, which included its branding to reels because it both made many of the machines and also offered its products as a prize at a time when cash-based wins were banned in many places. The shape of the logo was bar-like, and players began referring to it as ‘BAR’, which eventually caused the branding to be replaced by the symbol we know today.

The Best Casino Movie Scenes of All Time

In films gambling is often shown as part of the plotline to illustrate a certain degree of tension. Someone is playing a game of poker and the stakes are high… Or there is a roulette spinning, all eyes on the ball and the protagonist questioning the bet just made.

The presence of gambling scenes does not dictate a specific genre. There are romantic comedies, action films, and thrillers. Let’s have a look at 5 of the best scenes from casino themed movies down below.

Poker, pokies, roulette, blackjack, dice…

There surely is a great way to get your hands on all the most scene-worthy games like roulette, blackjack, video poker, and pokies all in the same place. These are all offered at Televega casino, Australia’s favourite place to gamble. But sometimes you just feel like kicking back and watching a good movie.

When it comes to poker, there aren’t that many films that perfectly capture the essence of the game. But there are a few good ones where you can appreciate the build-up of tension.

In most cases, you’ll find the best casino movies featuring blackjack, roulette, craps, and pokies. Probably because these are easier to understand for the audience that may not be familiar with the hierarchy of poker hands.

Molly’s Game

This film was released in 2017 and tells the story of Molly Bloom. Getting seriously injured during a pre-game qualifier, she takes a year off and moves to LA.

Following some waitressing at a club, she starts running an underground business. The business involves setting up poker games for celebrities, business titans, and the like.

The new job isn’t exactly a career soar. But Molly steps up in the new world and starts running her own games. The film follows her down the rabbit hole of underground poker games.

Throughout the movie, you are left guessing whether Molly will come out on top, with poker adding more depth.

The best scene is the one with Harlan, the guy who “played poker, while the others were gambling” getting bluff by Bad Brad, the worst player. The scene comes commented by the movie protagonist, which lets even less experienced poker fans appreciate the drama.

Casino Royale

The 2006 movie Casino Royale is one of the most famous movie casino scenes. Agent 007 a.k.a. Daniel Craig is on another mission. Poker comes up, as it often happens in movies trying to hike up the sense of tension.

Up against a dangerous terrorist and eyeing the pot with 120 million, James Bond proves yet again he’s always one step ahead of the opponent. Perfectly tense and deliciously nerve-racking, this one is a must-see. The pressure of the real game is portrayed to perfection. As a result, the viewers gain a better understanding of the real atmosphere at the table.

Ocean’s Eleven

Ocean’s Eleven is an illustration of how the gambling theme can become an excellent setback for an action-packed masterpiece. George Clooney’s character is after robbing three Las Vegas casinos in one take.

One of the most iconic scenes is the one with Clooney joining Pitt at the poker table. “What’s the first rule of poker?” – “Leave emotions at the door.”

Even if you aren’t a fan of those two guys and their indirect verbal square off, the tips offered by Pitt to his disciples are worth hearing. Just to brush up on the basics.

And if you start missing Ocean’s Eleven right after watching, there are two sequels and a spin-off.

Casino

Made in 1995, this is the kind of movie that you may still have on VHS as a memory of the time long gone. This one is a must-see and must-rewatch if you have trouble remembering the cowboy scene.

In that scene, a cocky cowboy feels like putting his feet up during a game of blackjack.  Predictably, he gets dragged out and thrown through the door and out, literally. Respect and all that, to be expected in a movie featuring De Niro and Pesci.

Besides that, the movie is filled with masterfully-captured casino scenes.

Indecent Proposal

Released in 1993, this one has a few memorable scenes featuring roulette and dice. Indecent Proposal is about a couple of high school sweethearts who find themselves in a difficult situation. Hoping to score a big win to realize a fantasy real estate project, they end up losing everything.

As everyone knows, relying on a casino win to build your life up is never a good idea.

There are two interesting scenes worth mentioning. One when they lose their money playing roulette. The other one with Demi Moore kissing the dice before rolling out a seven (with stacks of chips at stake).

Final words

There are many gambling-themed movies out there, but only a few ones worth rewatching. Hope all the five movies listed above make it to your personal list of favorites.

Are these the Top 5 Casino Movies of all time?

Throughout cinema history, the role of the casino has been an important one. Setting the scene for power struggles, deception, intrigue and of course, winning big. Here are some of the top 5 casino movies of all time.

Casino

The epic crime drama Casino is the leader of the pack when it comes to the top ranked casino movies. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the film teams Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone as we follow De Niro’s character Ace through his career running the Mafia fronted Tangiers Casino in the ever-evolving gambling industry of Las Vegas. The film has been a fan favourite since 1995 when it also won critical acclaim on release, seeing Stone secure the Golden Globe for best actress for her role as Ginger McKenna along with an Academy Award nomination. Inspired by real people, the Casino story continues to mesmerize and thrill.

Casino Royale

Nothing brings to mind a casino setting more than a James Bond movie and Casino Royale is top of the list when it comes to 007 casino show-downs. This 2006 film sees the famous MI6 agent come face-to-face with terrorist financier and money launder Le Chiffre, played by the mercurial Mads Mikklesen, who Bond must bankrupt in a high-stakes poker game. Poker expert Thomas Sandbrook was on hand for filming and the scene is shot with meticulous accuracy and detail, so if you are looking for some No Limit Texas Hold’Em tips, this is the movie to watch. With all the excitement of a real-life poker game, Casino Royale really brings to the big screen the adrenalin rush of gambling in a lavish casino setting. The scene is the epitome of casino chic and Bond girl, Vesper Lynd, brings more than just money to the table, providing a rarely seen meaningful female love interest for Bond, which continues the Casino Royale story arc into Quantum of Solace.

The Hangover

Unlike the previous two films on the list, The Hangover doesn’t quite bring to mind the same level of casino sophistication and high rollers. Instead, the film focuses on a group of regular joes and what happens when a night of bachelor party casino fun goes awry. Outrageous, slap-stick and unapologetically crude, The Hangover is a great casino movie for those after the more hilarious side of Sin City. Featuring unexpected cameos, a missing groom, a bizarre baby subplot and even a tiger, this comedy became a star vehicle for the then relatively unknown Zach Galifianakis as well as one of the highest grossing film of its release year, 2009. The first of three films of the same name, The Hangover is the perfect gross-out comedy and has a plot that will keep you guessing.

Ocean’s Eleven

The original heist franchise began all the way back in 1960 before being revived in 2001 by director Steven Soderbergh. The 1960’s film cast the Rat Pack, synonymous with casinos and Las Vegas, in this high-speed caper about a group of friends trying to steal millions from an unsuspecting casino boss. George Clooney and Brad Pitt star in the remake and their natural onscreen chemistry helps to create a film that is both light hearted and technically sound, satisfying critics and fans alike. Since then, Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven followed up with two sequels, creating the Ocean’s Trilogy, and even brought an all-female ensemble cast together for the 2018 release, Ocean’s 8.

The Sting

Following on from their success in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting sees Paul Newman and Robert Redford bring their incomparable partnership to the screen once more as a pair of grifters looking to outsmart the Mob. Inspired by real-life con artists, Fred and Charley Gondorff, The Sting is as exciting today as its 1973 release. The title pays homage to that pivotal moment when a con cashes in and takes money from his unsuspecting target or mark. Although the plot may be a little complex for some, all the twists and turns give rise to plenty of jaw-dropping gambling moments with stakes staying high until the very last frame of the film.

Conclusion

Casinos have always been and will most likely be forever an exciting and popular element for movies. But actually, it is also the other way around, meaning that Casino-Software Developer more and more create games which are based on popular movies and/or franchises, just like for example Batman: The Dark Knight. This Casino-Slot has literally gone through the roof targeting the fans of the Batman-Franchise. If you want to know more about the Slot, you can read an in-depth review about the game on www.top10-casinosites.net.

As you can see, the movie- and the gambling-branch kind of synergize with each other. Hollywood knows to use the exciting and kind of mysterious atmosphere of Casinos for their movies, just as casino businesses target fans of movies with slot games which are much more interesting than the usual classic casino slots we all know, because of implementing movies.

Minecraft is now the most popular game of all time!

Created by Swedish developer Markus Persson and first released in 2011, Minecraft has now become the most successful game of all time. Microsoft purchased the game in 2014 and it has now become the best-selling game of all time and is available for purchase at just $20 USD. This is following over 180 million copies worldwide and over 110 million players actively playing the game each month. This gives an indication of the following of the game, which sees fans regularly picking up their Minecraft t shirt at Popgear. This is just one of many examples of the loyal fan base to the game.

Source: play.google.com

So what exactly is Minecraft?

The game sees players travel and explore a 3D pixelated world, in which they build structures and can battle against other players and computer generated opponents. You can also team up with other players in the same world. There are a number of different game types available but the most popular is survival mode. This covers players using the available resources in order to build the world around them and survive. Another option is creative mode, in which players have unlimited resources available to them. There is also a Java edition option in Minecraft.

Minecraft has now become available across a number of different platforms including the Xbox 360. This was released in 2012 and broke the sales record on the day with 400,000 players worldwide. It was then also released on the PS3 and had surpassed one million sales in just five weeks. Minecraft is now available across the likes of PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

The sales and success of the game has been remarkable and has resulted in the game picking up a number of awards. This included it winning numerous Editor’s Choice awards for the Innovative and best single player Indie. Following the release of the game and the original success, the game also won awards at the Game Developers Choice awards in 2011. It won the Best Debut game, Best Downloadable game and the Innovation award. These all gives further examples of the popularity and success of Minecraft from the off.

Moving to more recent times and the game has also placed sixth in Time’s best video game list of all time. This is why it now stands as one of the greatest and most influential games of all time.

There has also now been four further spin-off releases of the game. The first of these is Minecraft: Story Mode. This became available in 2015 and was released across all platforms, including Windows, PS4 and Xbox One. Minecraft Classic was another of the spin-offs and was released in 2019 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the hugely successful game. This covered an updated version of the original.

Minecraft Earth was also released last year by Microsoft and covered many of the same aspects from the original game. Finally, Minecraft Dungeons is set to be released in the coming months and is another exciting spin-off of Minecraft.

Time to Help Choose the Winners of the 2019 Media Mikes Awards

Award season is in full bloom and once again it’s time for the readers of Media Mikes to vote for their film favorites for the 2019 Media Mikes Awards.

Last year over 3,000 readers submitted their choices in the following categories:

  • BEST PICTURE
  • BEST DIRECTOR
  • BEST ACTOR
  • BEST ACTRESS
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
  • BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Members of the Media Mikes staff will vote on the following categories:

  • BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
  • BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
  • BEST MUSICAL SCORE
  • BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Votes can be submitted either through our Facebook page or by email. Emails can be sent to MikeS@Mediamikes.com Votes can be submitted through February 5, 2020, with the winners announced on Friday, February 7th.

Random voters will be chosen to receive some great 2019 movie swag!

Book Review: “A Long Time Ago In a Cutting Room Far, Far Away”

  • A LONG TIME AGO IN A CUTTING ROOM FAR, FAR AWAY
  • Author:  Paul Hirsch
  • Hardcover
  • 384 pages
  • Published by Chicago Review Press Fo

A few years ago I had the pleasure of hosting a test screening for director John Hancock’s film, “The Looking Glass.”  After the film, as I drove John, his wife Dorothy Tristan (the film’s star and co-writer) and film editor Dennis O’Connor back to their hotel, I was amazed by the conversation between the director and editor.  They discussed certain scenes in the film, curious whether they had gone a beat too long or perhaps not long enough.  What impressed me the most was that even the suggestion of removing ONE FRAME of film – 1/24th of a second – could have a true impact in how the film was presented.

Armed with this very limited knowledge, I was eager to read the new book “A Long Time Ago In a Cutting Room Far, Far Away,” written by Academy Award winning film editor Paul Hirsch.  Where to begin?

The book is a rare inside glimpse into the careers, and minds, of three of the most acclaimed filmmakers of their time:  Brian De Palma, George Lucas and John Hughes. 

Mr. Hirsch got his start with De Palma, editing the director’s first five features, including “Phantom of the Paradise,” “Obsession” and “Carrie.”  It is while editing “Carrie” that he is shown photographs from a currently-in-production space opera called “Star Wars.”  Impressed with what he’s seen, Mr. Hirsch secretly wishes he could work on “Star Wars.”  His wish is granted when Lucas invites him to help edit the film alongside co-editors Marcia Lucas (George’s wife) and Richard Chew.  Soon Mr. Hirsch realizes it’s just him on the project and his stories about the finalization of the film, right down to the color of Darth Vader’s light sabre, are amazing. For his work on “Star Wars,” Mr. Hirsch, Mr. Chew and Ms. Lucas were awarded the Academy Award for Best Film Editing.

The book is written in a very simple style.  Not a lot of technical jargon, just great stories told to you as if Mr. Hirsch was sharing them over dinner.  There are many chapters devoted solely to one film, including “Carrie” (we learn about De Palma’s love for the split-screen), “Star Wars,” “The Fury,” “Blow Out,” “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “Ray” and so many more.  A veritable journey down the Yellow Brick Road to revisit some of the most popular and influential films of the past four decades.

If you’ve always wondered about how a film is put together, or just want to learn some behind the scenes secrets of your favorite films, then this is the book for you!  You can order “A Long Time Ago In a Cutting Room Far, Far Away,” which will be released on November 5th, by clicking HERE.   

GWAR Announce “Gwar vs Time” Kickstarter Campaign

Calling all bohabs! Gwar Launch New Kickstarter Campaign for “GWAR vs Time” deck building game

Players will get to go and conquer and kick butt throughout the entire history of the greatest band of all time!

“Gwar vs Time” is an exciting dual-resource deck building card game for 3 to 5 players, featuring your favorite GWAR characters. items, and locations, as well as their enemies, from throughout the band’s decades-long history.

If you’re a GWAR fan but don’t play these types of games, it’s pretty easy to learn. If you’re not a GWAR fan (which are called Bohabs), but you’re a gamer, it’s a fun game and you just might be a Bohab when you’re done.

Features

  • Art by GWAR! Some never seen before! You must have it! (Includes key characters, such as Balsac the jaws of Death, Beefcake the Mighty, Berserker Blothar, Jizmak da Gusha, Oderus Urungus, and Flattus and Pustulus Maximus!)
  • Includes key villains, such as Techno & Sawborg Destructo, Cardinal Syn, the Master, Boss Glom, and Mr. Perfect.
  • New things from the GWARniverse! Made up by these guys and GWAR!
  • Mechanics for things to do when it isn’t your turn!
  • Optional depth for more serious gamers
  • More or less family friendly, or at least teen friendly, while still being GWAR.

Click Here to Back it on Kickstarter.

The Best Heist Movies of All Time

The classic heist movie has been a staple genre in Hollywood for decades. A close-knit team of criminals planning to make off with the haul of their lives. Sounds familiar, right?

Yet despite the fact that most modern heist films are all based on this similar premise, that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable. There are certainly a few films that stand out from the crowd, not to mention standing the test of time incredibly well. We’ve grouped together three main categories – the bank heist, the casino heist and the gang heist – and selected the most honourable mentions within each. Let’s dive straight in.

The Bank Heist – Reservoir Dogs

A heist movie like no other, it’s easy to forget that Reservoir Dogs was Quentin Tarantino’s first foray into the world of directing. In many ways it set the tone for Tarantino’s reputation as an auteur: unconventional, violent and unique. When you think of the standard heist movie, you think of three main sections: the plan, the execution and the aftermath. Reservoir Dogs almost completely does away with the ‘main’ second section, jumping between the events before and after the heist.

In doing so, we get a completely different take on the characters involved, their motivations and their allegiances. It’s a film where, for the most part, the action takes a back seat to the dialogue. We’re also still hoping for that Vega Brothers movie that’s long been talked about.

The Casino Heist – Ocean’s Eleven

Arguably the film that sparked the entire heist movie trend, Ocean’s Eleven was an immediate sensation upon its release back in 1960. Of course, the younger among us may be more familiar with the 2001 remake, starring the likes of George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. The remake stands on its own as a modern classic, transporting us back to the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip. We get a more in-depth look at the way modern casinos operate, specifically the Bellagio, The Mirage and the MGM Grand. It’s hard to find a more thrilling setting than that.

More recently, the legacy of the Ocean’s series has even reached beyond the silver screen into the rapidly evolving world of iGaming, with sites offering a range of heist-inspired games that draw on elements from Ocean’s Eleven, perfect for any film fan looking to get a taste of the casino heist thrill for themselves.

The Gang Heist – Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Another debut film from one of the most important British directors of the past few decades, Guy Ritchie. The film helped launch the careers of the likes of Jason Statham and Vinnie Jones, not to mention Ritchie himself. Interesting to think that it might not have been made if it wasn’t for a little help from Tom Cruise.

Loaded with unforgettable characters and a great soundtrack, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels follows the path of a group of young schemers on a mission to repay the £100,000 they lost to an East London card-shark. It’s one of those films that leaves the audience wondering just who will come out on top.

So, there we have it, three top movies from three main genres of heist film. We’d be tempted to say we’ve seen it all, but the evolving nature of the heist movie probably means there’s much more to come.

Prog-rock Pioneers Crack the Sky To Play New York City for the First Time in over 20 Years, April 20 at the Loft at City Winery

NEW ALBUM LIVING IN REVERSE AND CAREER RETROSPECTIVE CRACKOLOGY WERE RELEASED AUGUST 24, 2018

LIVING IN REVERSE CRACKED THE CHARTS WITH THEIR HIGHEST CHARTING DEBUT IN 40 YEARS

L to R: Bobby Hird, Dave DeMarco, Joey D’Amico, John Palumbo, Rick Witkowski, Glenn Workman
Photo Credit: Rei Perri

Prog-rock pioneers Crack The Sky, whoRolling Stone Magazine calls “…the Best U.S. Prog Band You’ve Never Heard,” return to New York for the first time in over 20 years to play a special show at The Loft At City Winery Saturday April 20, 2019.  “For the last 20 years, our New York-area fans have had to travel south to come see us, so we are all very excited to finally bring the party to them,” said the band.  “We couldn’t be more thrilled to play for them and return to New York City after all of these years. It’s long overdue!”

On January 1, 1976 Stephen Holden of Rolling Stone magazine called the debut album by Crack The Sky “…one of year’s most impressive debuts.”  Now, some 40 years later, the band cracked the charts with their highest charting debut in 40 years with their new studio album Living In Reverse.  It charted at #7 Heatseekers, #31 Independent Current Albums, and #40 Top Current Albums.  The band also released Crackology, a collection of 12 career favorites.  Both came out on August 24, 2018 on Loud & Proud Records.

Living In Reverse showcases 12 new genre-defying Crack tracks that Vintage Guitar calls “…heavy Beatlesque pop” including “Talk Talk” – the lyric video was included in the recent Rolling Stone feature, “RainingRain” which Billboard Magazine premiered, and Living In Reverse” which Relix premiered.   The retrospective Crackology chronicles a dozen of the best re-recorded gems as culled from the band’s rich and storied 40-year catalog. Goldmine Magazine said, “…on both albums, Crack the Sky surges with the vitality and energy of a young band, bringing so much ‘crack’ to the older songs that Crackology sounds just as fresh as Living in Reverse.”  Vintage Guitar said “…Crack The Sky is rockin’ better than ever.”

Tickets for their April 20 New York show are on sale now through The Loft At City Winery here.

Crack The Sky is
John Palumbo – Lead Vocals, Guitars, Keys
Rick Witkowski – Guitars & Vocals
Joey D’Amico – Drums & Vocals
Bobby Hird – Guitars & Vocals
Glenn Workman – Keyboards & Vocals
Dave DeMarco – Bass & Vocals

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“TOPGOLF” – A waste of time and money

 

Last year my wife gifted my son and I gift cards to the new-to-Kansas City attraction known as TOPGOLF..  TOPGOLF is basically an elevated driving range with various targets which you can hit to score points while competing against your friends.  Sounds fun, I know, but the constant hassles are not worth the energy and time spent.

Depending on where you live, the hourly rates may differ from the ones in KC.  Here the cost is $25 an hour if you go before noon, $35 an hour between noon and five o’clock and $45 an hour after five.  We got there at 11:30 a.m. and were sent to one of the elevated tees.  We were going to play for two hours (thinking since we were there before noon that the cost would be $50.00) but learned that, even if you’re there before noon, once the clock strikes “12” the price goes up.  Not wanting to pay $60 we elected for play for 90 mins at a cost of $42.50.

My son “signed in” to the game and his name appeared on the screen.  We tried to “add a player” but were unable to.  I finally signaled one of the employees and he came over.  We explained the situation and he said that I’d have to pay $5.00 to add my name.  I told him we had already paid for the time and he told me that there is also a $5.00 charge to come in.  It reminded me of the old casinos here in Kansas City -when they first opened you had to pay a $15.00 “docking fee” to go inside.  That’s right…you had to give them money for them to allow you to spend your money!  I agreed to pay the five bucks and we began hitting balls.

At TOPGOLF, if you want a ball you have to wave your club over a sensor, which then has a machine spit a ball out.  Sadly for us, you had to wave your club over the sensor repeatedly…sometimes five or six times…before a ball came out.  The constant wait for a ball obviously ate into our time.  Also, we would alternate our shots but sometimes, even though I was noted as the player up, after I hit the ball it would suddenly change to my son and award him the points.  At 12:15 everything stopped and a message on the screen told us we had 15-minutes left to play.  As we had signed up for 90-minutes we were surprised to see this.  After a few minutes I tracked down the same employee.  Again he came over and pushed some buttons.  “You only paid for an hour,” he told us.  “No,” I said, “we requested 90 minutes.  The cost was $42.50.”  Again, he had to push some buttons.  The whole exchange probably took another five minutes off of our playing time.  I mentioned that and he shrugged.  It was obvious he could care less.  I jokingly said to my son, “well, this isn’t going to look good in my write up.”  As if I had flicked a switch, he immediately showed some interest in us, asking if there was anything he could do for us.  I told him “no.”  A few minutes the manager approached us and asked the same thing.  I explained to her all of the problems we had had and how we had probably lost 15-minutes of our time to glitches.   Obviously she felt that, despite hearing about all of the problems we had had, none of them qualified for the “something I can do” request to be followed up with actually doing something.  No “I’m sorry, let me extend your time” or “I’m sorry, let me get you a pass to come back another time.  Like the previous employee, she just shrugged.  She walked away, we finished up and left.

Maybe when everything is working properly TOPGOLF is a fun time.  But if I’m going to drop $45, I’m going to play 18 holes.

 

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

 

DVD Review “Muppet Babies: Time To Play!”

Voice Cast: Matt Danner; Melanie Harrison; Dee Bradley Baker; Ben Diskin; Eric Bauza; Jessica DiCicco; and Jenny Slate
Number of discs: 1
Rated: Not Rated
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: August 14, 2018
Run Time: 92 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Growing up in the 80’s, I was a huge fan of the original “Muppet Babies” series and when I heard that the show was being re-imagined for Disney Junior audience, I couldn’t have been happier, now with a 6 year old of my own to enjoy. Let me start with the fact that my daughter honestly has never been a fan of The Muppets at all, so I was hesitate introducing this show. Let me tell you from the moment that theme song hit her eyes lit up and she was hooked. Since her first viewing, this show has people her favorite to watch, she has seen each episode numerous times now.

The voice cast is legit for this re-imagination. There is some amazing talent brought in here for this show including Matt Danner as Kermit the Frog; Melanie Harrison as Piggy; Dee Bradley Baker as Animal; Ben Diskin as Gonzo; Eric Bauza as Fozzie Bear; Jessica DiCicco as a brand-new Muppet Baby, Summer Penguin; and Jenny Slate as Miss Nancy. Disney went all out for this one and delivered for the parents as well as kids.

“Muppet Babies: Time To Play!” is the first volume DVD released for this The episodes included “Sir Kermit the Brave/Animal Fly Airplane”; “Super Fabulous vs. Captain Icecube/Piggy’s Time Machine”; “The Great Muppet Sport-A-thon/You Say Potato, I Say Best Friend”; “Hatastrophe/Fly South”; and even two bonus episodes “How Kermit Got His Groove/One Small Problem” and “Playground Pirates/The Blanket Fort”.

There are also 10 “Muppet Babies: Show & Tell” Shorts with each of the characters. Other special features include The Great Muppet (Short) Musical and 6 Music Videos including “What’s So Scary About The Dark?”; “Never Have To Say Goodbye (To The Summer)”; “Get Back In The Game”; “Good Things Come To Those Who Wait”; “You Can Be A Dancer”; “Muppet Pirate Shanty”. Honestly I was impressed to see so many special features on a kids DVD but this one is jam packed! Can’t wait for future volumes!