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.   

What makes ‘The Killing’ the best heist movie of all time?  

Heist is a genre which over years has proven to be one of the most loved genres. From the primitive movies like ‘The Asphalt Junction’ to the recently released ‘Ocean’s 8’, heist movies have always drawn the crowd to the theatres. Other great movies like the ‘Oceans Eleven’ and ‘Reservoir Dogs’ are some of the most acclaimed movies of all time unbounded by there genre. Presenting a heist movie requires precision in cinematography, star-cast and gripping plot. This makes it even more difficult for heist movies to actually meet the standards of a good heist movie.

Just like live blackjack dealer is for the online casinos, the movie with the name ‘The Killing’ proved itself to be the most important part of the heist genre. In the very initial days of this genre catching recognition, the world witnessed a heist masterpiece in the year 1956. Here is discussing what makes ‘The Killing’ the best heist movie of all time.

 

Director gives it all

‘The Killing’ is a movie directed by one of the most meticulous directors of all time, Stanley Kubrick. But instead of being the proof of his great works and vision, this movie is actually the path maker for the veteran director. Stanley created this piece of art when he was just a couple of small movies old. He himself calls ‘The Killing’ to be his first mature feature film. Stanley gave his all, comprising of cinematography, visualizing screens, placing objects and subjects in the screen to perfection. But what he gave the most is his determination. The determination to create a feature that will stand out of the blue and make a name of its own.

Plot means applause

Director Stanley Kubrick knew that only a great plot brings genuine applause from the watchers. Heist is a genre which requires great twists-n-turns and wow factor as its primary element. He came up with a plot that had both. A race track robbery had the elements of suspense, twists and style, all included in it. The possibility of anything going out of the plan as decided by the main character Johnny Clay kept the nerves running fast.

The look and feel

Although the movie has become old for current times, the locations where the movie is set maintains the look and feel of the movie. Set in exotic locations like San Mateo, Venice, Bay Meadows Racetrack and California, the movie perfectly depicts the glorious 1950’s in black and white noir.

The way the film unfolds

A great suspense thriller movie is the one which leaves its audience guessing and thinking. The Killing is one of those immersive movies where the audience know what can happen but will keep on guessing how. Kubrick puts his pieces in the right place but only when the story demands. Before the right time, any extra information is left untold.

Assembling the right cast for characters

Not just for a heist movie but for any genre, the choice of getting the right actors to play the role is extremely crucial. The actor is the character the audience see on the screen and not what the writer or director had imagined in their heads. However, this movie made this point to perfection by choosing actor Sterling Hayden as the main lead. The tough guy face and pouting lower lip are convincing enough to depict priorly that he is the real gangster. Gravel voice and emotionless expression further add to his stiffness required in a gang leader. Apart from the lead, other characters also do their part considerably well. Choosing the right person for the characters can be seen clearly when a real wrestler was hired for the role of the same. Other significant characters include Fay (Johnny’s girl), Marvin Unger(Johnny’s old friend) and several others. All the characters are introduced and have been given their credit adequately.

Conclusion

All the elements that are necessary for a good heist movie were met as early as the 1950s in this movie. The accurate blend of factors like crime, suspense, thrill, twist ‘n’ turn and right direction gave this fame it has now held for over 50 years. The movie was a trendsetter and hence rightfully deserves the title of being the best heist movie.

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.

Best Gambling Movies of All Time

When it comes to movies, Hollywood draws inspiration for numerous sources, including gambling. In fact, there are dozens of classic gambling movies to choose from covering a broad range of gambling-related topics. From big budget movies with an all-star cast, to smaller independent films and biographical stories, there is no shortage of great gambling movies out there. 

The Cooler

The Cooler stars William H. Macy as Wayne Kramer, a man whose bad luck means good things for shady casino owners. He is hired to ruin the luck of players on a winning streak, but this soon changes and he becomes a lucky charm to the very players he is hired to sabotage. This doesn’t sit well with his casino employers and things start to take a turn for the dramatic. Featuring a stellar cast and a superb performance by Macy, this is a fun yet insightful look at the topics of luck and superstitions at casinos.

Rounders

Featuring Hollywood heavyweight Matt Damon in his younger days, Rounders is based on an entrepreneur who resorts to poker to pay his university tuition. Featuring an all-star cast, including Edward Norton and John Malkovich, the film is a stunning portrait of the gambling culture, including the strategy and banter that takes place at the poker table.

The Gambler

The Gambler tells the story of a gambling addict and university professor, played by the brilliant James Caan. The film tackles some serious issues as the titular character’s life plunges into danger as his addiction gets worse. This is a beautiful, intense movie that will appeal to gambling purists and highlights the dark side of gambling and addiction.

The Cincinnati Kid

This classic stars the legendary Steve McQueen. The Cincinnati Kid is an up-and-coming gambler who gets the chance to play high roller of the day, Lancey Howard. As his reputation as serious competitor grows, the Kid meets a love interest and this distraction threatens to blow his chances of winning. Watch not only for the excellent performances by for the thrilling finale.

21

Based on a true story, 21 is a tale of a maths professor, played by Kevin Spacey, who trains a group of talented students known as the MIT Blackjack Team to could cards at some of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas. The movie takes audiences on an epic, incredible journey as the group of youngsters trick their way into some massive wins. Expect lots of thrills and jaw-dropping moments.

Casino

Finally, Casino is likely the most famous gambling movies and stars Hollywood superstars Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone. The film depicts the seedier side of Las Vegas, where the mob controls Sin City’s gambling industry.  Casino is a thrilling masterpiece with some incredible performances and some of the most intense and harrowing scenes in film history. Another must-watch for all casino and movie lovers.

If you are in the mood to join the exciting and rewarding world of online gambling, sign up here to NoviCasino and enjoy hours of fun and entertainment at one of the best casinos on the internet.

 

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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

Website

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Time to Play Online Lotteries

Evеrуthіng frоm bаnkіng tо rеtаіl ѕhорріng hаѕ gаіnеd аn online counterpart оf ѕоmе sort. Nоwаdауѕ, еvеn thе lоttеrу саn bе played online. It mау ѕоund ѕtrаngе tо уоu іf уоu аrе a long-time рlауеr іn уоur fаvоrіtе lоttеrу, but thіѕ іѕ rеаllу thе nеxt step tо playing thе lottery. In аddіtіоn, рlауіng lоttеrіеѕ оnlіnе hаѕ аdvаntаgеѕ thаt еvеn уоur lucky lоttеrу ticket ѕеllеr wоuld nоt bе аblе tо gіvе уоu.

Thе еаѕіеѕt wау tо play

Whу nоt bеt оn оnlіnе lottery sites? Aftеr аll, іt іѕ thе еаѕіеѕt аnd mоѕt convenient wау tо рlау аnу tуре оf lottery. Nоw уоu саn рlау аt thе biggest lоttеrіеѕ іn thе United Stаtеѕ – Mеgа Mіllіоnѕ аnd Pоwеrbаll – оvеr thе Internet. In fасt, уоu саn рlасе bеtѕ оn thе bіggеѕt lоttеrіеѕ іn thе world, frоm thе comfort оf уоur hоmе computer. All уоu nееd іѕ a сrеdіt card аnd аn Intеrnеt соnnесtіоn, аnd уоu’rе good tо gо.

Bеѕt оddѕ online

Hеrе іѕ оnе bіg rеаѕоn whу уоu ѕhоuld play оnlіnе іn thе lоttеrу: уоu саn hаvе fаr bеttеr оddѕ thаn аt a rеgulаr rеtаіlеr. If уоu’rе scared оf thе tеnѕ оf millions оf dоllаrѕ thаt lоttеrіеѕ gіvе уоu rеgulаrlу, thіѕ іѕ thе easiest wау tо іmрrоvе уоur оddѕ wіthоut spending аn extra реnnу.

Mаnу оf thе ѕіtеѕ thаt аllоw уоu tо рlау thе lоttеrу оnlіnе аlѕо оffеr thе option оf distributing bets wіth ѕоmе оf уоur оthеr users. It wоuld work basically thе ѕаmе wау уоu wоuld bе оfflіnе: уоur mоnеу gоеѕ tо a соmmоn betting ѕеt, whісh іѕ uѕеd tо buy a set оf number соmbіnаtіоnѕ. But thе оnlіnе vеrѕіоn оf ѕуndісаtеd betting іѕ muсh, muсh bigger аnd mоrе еffесtіvе thаn іtѕ predecessor.

Cоnѕіdеrіng thаt уоu wоuld jоіn juѕt a dozen оthеr people іn rеаl life, оnlіnе lottery sites соuld соnnесt уоu tо a virtually unlіmіtеd numbеr оf реорlе. Thіѕ translates іntо lаrgе unіоn bеtѕ аnd, соnѕеquеntlу, drаѕtісаllу improved lоttеrу odds. In rеаl life, thіѕ improvement іn odds саn bе аѕ great аѕ аlmоѕt 10,000%! All thаnkѕ tо thіѕ grеаt combination оf lоttеrу аnd internet tесhnоlоgу.

In rеаl life, уоu wоuld hаvе tо find a rеlіаblе реrѕоn tо асt аѕ уоur bеttіng mаnаgеr аnd уоur unіоn’ѕ mоnеу. On thе Intеrnеt thоugh, уоur mоnеу gоеѕ dіrесtlу tо thе website, whісh mаnаgеѕ thе trаnѕасtіоn fоr уоu. Evеn іf уоu nеvеr mееt thе реорlе уоu’rе соmmunісаtіng wіth, іt’ѕ ѕtіll a pretty ѕаfе dеаl.

A totally nеw game

If уоu’vе bееn рlауіng уоur fаvоrіtе lоttеrу game fоr ѕоmе tіmе, уоu mау bе іn thе mood tо mаkе a ѕmаll сhаngе. Thе Internet іѕ реrfесt fоr thіѕ рurроѕе. Dо уоu wаnt to play nеw lоttеrу gаmеѕ? Onlіnе lоttеrіеѕ оffеr уоu thе орроrtunіtу tо рlау gаmеѕ frоm аll thе сrоwdеd рlау corners оf thе wоrld. Aсrоѕѕ thе Atlаntіс (Nаtіоnаl Lоttеrу оf Grеаt Brіtаіn) tо thе Pасіfіс (Lotto оf Japan), уоu wіll nоt bе wіthоut nеw орtіоnѕ.

Thе Internet opens uр a nеw dіmеnѕіоn оf lоttеrу рlауіng fоr уоu. Yоu саn сhооѕе tо play lоttеrу games at lottery sites frоm a brаnd nеw соuntrу, оr уоu саn distribute bеtѕ wіth dozens оf реорlе tо gіvе уоur сhаnсеѕ a much-needed boost. It’ѕ a whоlе nеw wау оf рlауіng thе lоttеrу, аnd іt’ѕ аll dоnе оn thе Internet.

“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!

“Monster Jam: Triple Threat Series” Rolls into Orlando for Very First Time: Athletes & Trucks Revealed

Orlando, FL — April 3, 2018 — Feld Entertainment, the worldwide leader in live family entertainment, announces that tickets for the all new Monster Jam® Triple Threat Series will be available on pre-sale this week for the August 18, 2018 tour stop in Orlando, FL at Amway Center. The new season will bring motor sport fans to the edge of their seats with adrenaline-charged, high-flying, four-wheel excitement that is fun for the entire family and is unlike anything ever seen at the stadium style events.

Monster Jam has been coming to Orlando to the Camping World Stadium for more than 30 years. The Triple Threat Arena Tour debuts in Orlando for the first time and is an entirely different format than Orlando fans have seen at the stadium. This upcoming tour will feature eight of the most talented Monster Jam drivers competing on three vehicles during the competition. Orlando fans will witness a fierce battle for the championship with each competitor using customized high-powered vehicles: Monster Jam Speedsters, Monster Jam ATVs and the famous Monster Jam trucks closer to the action than ever before. The eight athletes all competing in individual racing and skill competitions and overall event championship are:

1. Grave Digger – Tyler Menninga
2. Max D – Colton Eichelberger
3. El Toro Loco – Kayla Blood
4. Scooby Doo – Myranda Cozad
5. Zombie – Bari Musawwir
6. Soldier Fortune Black Ops – Tony Ochs
7. Megalodon – TBA
8. Monster Mutt Rottweiler – TBA
*Note: Trucks & Drivers are subject to change

Show Times for Saturday, August 18, 2018:
1:00pm show (Pit Party from 10:30am – Noon)
Pit Party to take place inside the venue on the arena floor
7:00pm show

Media Mikes is excited to be provided a special discount for our readers: Save $5 off select seats with code 5BLOG. Not valid on VIP seating. Hurry for the best available seats! Code expires August 17, 2018.

Unexpected, unscripted and unforgettable, Monster Jam takes center stage in the world’s most iconic venues like Amway Center, sporting meticulously manicured dirt tracks created with the sole purpose of pushing these perfectly engineered, larger-than-life trucks to the limit.

Monster Jam is one of the only sports where male and female world-class drivers, some generational rivals, are equals competing for the same championship on the same track. Following racing, just like the show at Camping World Stadium, Monster Jam fans in every city will have the chance to vote for the truck winner in the donut, wheelie and freestyle competitions by real-time, in-arena fan voting on their smartphones. This tour features two female athletes among the eight total competitors.

Tickets will go on pre-sale to Feld Preferred members on April 10, 2018 at 10:00AM ET. The public on sale will take place on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 10:00AM ET. All tickets are reserved. Pit Party passes are available for purchase in advance as well via the Venue Box Office, Ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000. Subject to facility fee, plus convenience and handling charges. Amway Center is located at 400 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32801. For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740, or e-mail
groupsales@feldinc.com. To be one of the first to know about any other promotions and gain access to the best seating in the arena, sign up to become a Feld Entertainment preferred member at FeldEntertainment.com.
For more information on a Monster Jam near you, please log onto MonsterJam.com or follow us via our social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

About Feld Entertainment, Inc.

Feld Entertainment® is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that uplift the human spirit and bring people together. Properties include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, Sesame Street Live! and Marvel Universe LIVE! Across the brand portfolio, Feld Entertainment has entertained millions of families in more than 75 countries and on six continents. Visit feldentertainment.com for more information

I am a Feld Entertainment Blogger Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and other exclusive opportunities.

 

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Guess who had a good time at the Kansas City Crypticon??

PHOTOS BY DAN LYBARGER

A few years ago I wrote a very scathing review of the Kansas City Crypticon Convention.  I felt my review was honest and it was based on not only my own observations but those of people I spoke with, both convention guests and attendees.  While I continued to attend each year, I didn’t write anything about the show because I didn’t want it to look like I was uncaring or that I was just looking to continually kick the organization.

 

 

 

 

Last year the show left the nasty hotel (recently torn down by the city) it called home and headed an hour north up Interstate 29 to the birthplace of Jesse James:  St. Joseph, Missouri.  I wasn’t able to attend last year because of a previous commitment that weekend but this year I decided to check it out.  And what I discovered was a pretty cool con.

The show was held at the St. Joseph Civic Center, and I thought the layout was perfect.  The bottom, open middle section was set up for the dealers.  Whereas in Kansas City the dealers rooms were always cramped and hard to navigate, here they were a breeze to explore.  Plenty of room, and a nice selection of goods.  The upper level was devoted to a few dealers and ALL of the celebrity guests.  The area was bright and clean and every celebrity had a very nice banner, as opposed to the construction paper and magic marker creations from the past.

And the celeb lineup was first class.  As this is mostly a horror-themed convention, the guest list was perfect.  Linda Blair from The Exorcist.  Nick Castle and P.J. Soles from Halloween.  William Kaat from Carrie.  And, for fans of more recent horror, you couldn’t do any better than “American Horror Story’s” Dennis O’Hare.  These guests, and about a dozen more, greeted fans and many of them (especially the Halloween gang) seemed to have a steady line at their tables.  Autograph/photo op prices were pretty reasonable as well, which is always a good thing at one of these events.

One of my “bucket list” celebs – William Kaat. He shared some great stories with me.

Congratulations to the people behind the Crypticon conventions.  You’ve done an amazing job in transforming your show from one of the worse in the Midwest to a destination event.  I look forward to next year.

No hard feelings?  🙂

Ahoy Mateys! “Adventure Time: Pirates of Enchiridion” Launches July 17th on Nintendo Switch™, Playstation®4, Xbox One™, and PC

Hilarity Ensues in The Latest Launch Trailer Featuring the Swashbuckling Gang

LONDON – July 17, 2018 – Outright Games today announced that much-anticipated open world adventure game, Adventure Time: Pirates of Enchiridion, is available starting today on Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4, Xbox One™ and PC for $39.99.  Based on Cartoon Network’s award-winning TV series, Adventure Time, the game is rated E10 for Everyone and is  available at retail locations and first-party digital stores in the US starting today, July 17th and will launch globally July 20th.  

The latest side-splitting adventure will have gamers setting sail as they play as Finn, Jake, BMO and Marceline to explore fan-favorite kingdoms and meet the beloved characters from Cartoon Network’s popular TV animation series, Adventure Time.

The game starts with a flooded Land of Ooo, in which familiar kingdoms are cut off from each other by rising waters. In their newly constructed boat, named Jeff, Finn and Jake set sail to investigate what the junk went down.

During their adventures, Finn and Jake will recruit friends to join their crew, jump into swashbuckling fights, interrogate characters for clues, and traverse the new and dangerous sea to locations across Ooo.

Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion Gameplay Features Include:

  • Freely explore the Land of Ooo
  • 3D visuals that match the art-style of the show
  • Playable fan-favorite characters: Finn, Jake, BMO, and Marceline
  • An original Adventure Time story, voiced by the series’ voice cast.
  • Tactical combat
  • Hero progression
  • Pirates – “Shiver me timbers!”

Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion is now available in the US on Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4, Xbox One™ and PC on July 17, 2018 and July 20, 2018 globally.

                                                                # # #

About Outright Games:

Founded in 2016, and based in the UK and US, Outright Games is a family business making family entertainment. We are passionate about creating great games with quality licenses, as we understand the value of brands, and the relationships they share with consumers. We use our expertise to create high-quality video games, combined with our ability to distribute on a global scale. Wherever the Outright Games logo is found, you can feel assured that the game will be suitable and fun for the whole family to play together.

www.OutrightGames.com

About Cartoon Network:

Cartoon Network is Turner’s global entertainment brand and the # 1 animation network in the U.S., offering the best in original content for kids and families with such hits as, Adventure Time, The Powerpuff Girls, Steven Universe, We Bare Bears and The Amazing World of Gumball. Seen in 192 countries and over 400 million homes, Cartoon Network inspires the next generation of creators and innovators by engaging its audience at the intersection of creativity and technology. Its award-winning pro-social initiative, Stop Bullying: Speak Up is an acknowledged and often used resource for kids and adults looking for tools that can assist in dealing with the ongoing issue of bullying.

Cartoon Network is part of Turner, a WarnerMedia company, a global entertainment, sports and news company that creates premium content and delivers exceptional experiences to fans whenever and wherever they consume content. These efforts are fueled by data-driven insights and industry-leading technology. Turner owns and operates some of the most valuable brands in the world, including Adult Swim, Bleacher Report, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, ELEAGUE, FilmStruck, Great Big Story, HLN, iStreamPlanet, Super Deluxe, TBS, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), TNT, truTV and Turner Sports.

It’s Time to “Answer That Question, or Take the Physical Challenge,” As Nickelodeon Brings Back “Double Dare” in Brand-New Series!

Double Dare Returns This Summer for a New Generation of Trivia, Stunts, Wringers, Hamster Wheels and Nose Picking

BURBANK, Calif.–April 25, 2018–Nickelodeon is bringing back the original kids’ game show Double Dare this summer with 40 brand-new episodes, giving a new generation of fans the chance to compete in the messiest and most physically challenging competition of their lives. With Double Dare remaining an iconic touchstone for its original millennial audiences, the new version will feature the gameplay and challenges they remember, as well as appearances from blasts from the past and stars from today.

Double Dare features two teams competing to win prizes by answering brain-bending trivia questions, completing messy, physical stunts and ultimately facing the infamous obstacle course–the human hamster wheel; the classic gigantic mouth; the wringer; and the iconic Double Dare nose.

Double Dare premiered on Oct. 6, 1986, on Nickelodeon, and ran from 1986-1993, making it the network’s longest running game show. Shortly after its debut, Double Dare became one of the most popular original daily programs on cable television. The series went into syndication in 1988, and was later revamped as Super Sloppy Double Dare in 1989. The show also ran on broadcast television as Family Double Dare in 1988, followed by new versions on Nick, including Double Dare 2000.

About Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon, now in its 39th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 90 million households and has been the number-one-rated kids’ basic cable network for 22 consecutive years.

 

 

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Film Review “A Wrinkle In Time”

Directed by: Ava DuVernay
Starring: Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Storm Reid, Levi Miller, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Pine.
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios
MPAA Rating: PG
Running time: 109 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

I have to admit I saw “A Wrinkle in Time” with no previous notion that it was a best selling book series. I had no idea what it was about. I knew it had a stellar cast including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Chris Pine…and a story of a strong female lead. That was enough for me. This film marks the first film to cost over $100 million to be directed by a woman of color, neAva DuVernay. Now that is an important milestone, unfortunately that doesn’t guarantee that it will be a good movie though. I rarely find myself saying “Damn, I wish this film was longer” but with “A Wrinkle in Time”. I felt like I wanted more. More backstory, more depth with the characters and the magic that they are controlling in the film. Packs a solid heart and delivers beautiful and sometimes trippy visuals but feels rushed and scattered by the end.

Here is Disney’s official one-liner for those who aren’t familiar with the book “From visionary director Ava DuVernay comes Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and, ultimately, the triumph of love. Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s own light.”

It’s weird even though Oprah Winfrey has her constant talk show and is everywhere always, I really never really think of her as an actress. She really didn’t do anything special here but I enjoyed her character. Reese Witherspoon personally is not a favorite actress of mine. She is cute in the film and pretty funny, so that was a nice surprise. Mindy Kaling is someone I honestly, can’t stand watching but they used her very well in this film quoting popular quotes of history and culture primarily as her only dialogue. So she ended up being cute and didn’t annoy me as usual. Chris Pine felt like he was channeling his inner Flynn from “TRON”, which is not a bad thing. This guy just rules in anything he does. Storm Reid is easily the winner here. She stole my heart and I really think she has a long career in Hollywood as she grows up. Same goes for Levi Miller. I saw him in “Better Watch Out” last year and I knew he has promise. His character was also well done and very likable.

This film does pack some really solid visuals, my only issue was that it really felt like a green screen. I felt the exact same way about “Oz, the Great and Powerful”. It was kind of a little too CGI for me. Parents be wary, I probably wouldn’t recommend this film for kids under the age of 10 due to content and a few disturbing scenes. I didn’t expect this film to have a dark side like it does but it is intense and definitely adds in a good way for the adults to enjoy but just be weary of the little ones. This is not all pretty colors and rainbows.

So overall,  this isn’t a terrible move by any means. I can’t say that I am disappointed since I had no expectations. But I can definitely say that I have thought about this movie since seeing it and how important of a message it carries despite the fact that it wasn’t perfect. It features a strong female and how she embraces herself in order to save her father. It is a great story overall, I just wish the film didn’t get lost trying to wow so much with the visuals. I would still say that this is worth seeing in theaters at least to catch the whole trippy ride. Just pace yourself for a slow moving, slightly confusing yet heart filled journey.