TV shows and films that have featured Las Vegas

TV shows and films that have featured Las Vegas

Las Vegas is one of the most famous cities in the United States. It is therefore understandable that Sin City would feature in many television episodes and films. Not all of them have focused on the gambling aspect of Vegas, although most contain small elements of it.

We’ve taken a look at three times a TV show or movie has been located in Las Vegas. If you don’t fancy making a trip to a brick-and-mortar casino, you can try games like rainbow riches at online casinos.

The Simpsons

The Simpsons has featured episodes from all over the globe, including England, France, Brazil and China. But episode 10 of season 10, titled “Viva Ned Flanders”, sees Homer Simpson take his neighbour Ned Flanders to Las Vegas after Flanders wishes to become more impulsive.

While in Sin City, the pair stay at “Nero’s Palace” and play roulette, win some money and get drunk. They awake the next morning in the hot tub in their room, only to discover a couple of waitresses who they have married. In disbelief, Homer and Flanders believe it’s a scam; however, when their new brides produce the wedding video, the pair look astonished to discover it was all true.

At breakfast, Homer and Ned attempt to run away from their new wives, but are eventually surrounded by the hotel’s employees. They are thrown out of Nevada and their new wives tell them to never try and marry them again.

Last Vegas

Last Vegas is about three retired friends: Sam, Archie and Paddy, who are stuck in a rut in their respective lives. When their friend Billy, an entrepreneur who lives in California, proposes to his 31-year-old girlfriend, Lisa, his friends plan a trip to Vegas for his bachelor party.

The four friends check into the Aria Resort and Casino. While Paddy and Sam go off, Archie buys uses half of his pension fund to buy $15,000 of chips and heads to the blackjack table. When they return, Archie is up to $102,000 and the trio leave so as to avoid being accused of card counting.

Paddy, who’s trying to get over the loss of his wife, Sophie, a year previous, takes issue with the fact that Billy didn’t show up to the funeral. As it turns out, both Paddy and Billy were in love with Sophie and while she chose Billy, he told her that she was meant to be with Paddy.

In Vegas, the friends meet lounge singer Diana, who both Paddy and Billy take an interest in. After discovering that Sophie originally chose Billy, Paddy tells Lisa that Billy is calling off the wedding. With his wedding called off, the friends encourage Billy to go and see Diana. A couple of months later, Paddy and Archie receive a call from Billy and Diana to tell them they’re engaged. Sam doesn’t answer the call as he is busy with his wife.

Friends

Friends lasted for 10 seasons, but it was in the fifth season that we saw the six friends travel to Las Vegas. Joey travels to Sin City to film a movie; however, when the movie producer tells Joey there isn’t enough cash to fund it, he’s forced to become a Roman soldier at Caesars Palace.

Chandler, Monica and Phoebe take a trip to visit Joey, but on the flight over, Phoebe accidentally reveals to Chandler that Monica met up with her ex-boyfriend Richard. Following an argument, Chandler goes off, Monica goes to apologise and tell him she loves him, but gets drawn into a game of craps and begins a winning streak.

When Chandler sees Monica playing craps at a table, he packs his bag and intends to leave. When he passes the craps table again, Monica sees him with his bag and talks him out of leaving. He joins the craps table and Monica’s winning streak continues. Chandler then suggests that if she rolls an eight, the two should get married. The first die lands on four, while the second lands on the ground next to the table leg between four and five. The pair decide that it is a four.

They arrive at the chapel only to discover that Ross and Rachel, who had arrived on a later flight, had gotten drunk and ended up getting married at the chapel, leaving Monica and Chandler stunned.

Adventure Games That Made It Big in Vegas

Video games (as your Nan used to call them) have crossed over into many other genres in popular culture. There was a time – if you care to remember the days of Atari’s and ZX Spectrum’s – when games were just games; standalone titles with their own original plots, and let’s be honest here, generally basic gameplay.

How times have changed. Complex storylines, online play, 3D graphics and vast budgets have made gaming unrecognisable compared to those glorious and innocent early days (I’m still fond of Pacman!). It was way back in 1976 when the first game to be based on a movie was released – Death Race was an arcade game based on the cult 1975 film of the same name – and by the early 1980’s developing games from movies was all the rage. The likes of Tron, Alien and King Kong were all given the treatment for the Atari 2600, with Raiders of the Lost Ark becoming the first officially licensed game-from-a-movie in 1982. It was quickly followed by Star Wars and E.T., although the latter became an infamous flop and the subject of an urban legend.

The line between the two industries has become progressively blurred over the years, and the release of the Super Mario Bros. movie in 1993, heralded a new era where all of a sudden video games started to become the inspiration for films. Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat quickly followed, while classic games like Doom, Resident Evil and Tomb Raider were developed into movies in the early 2000’s. This trend shows little sign of stopping, with an eye-watering 30 plus games currently being made into movies. These include Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty, and if they’re as good as movies as they are as games, I can’t wait!

However, it isn’t just the film industry that has borrowed inspiration from gaming, and some of these well-known adventure titles have also made their way to the bright lights of Las Vegas. The Arcade and slots industry has always overlapped with the gaming industry (some software firms such as Konami actually develop both slot machines and video games), and it made perfect sense for slot-makers to latch onto the popular themes.

Better graphics and faster software have made today’s video slot machines much more of ‘gaming-like’ experience rather than a simple ‘one-armed bandit’ style slots experience. Animations and high-quality graphics have drastically changed the look of slots, and bonus games can take on a much more complex nature than ever before. Some of these games get pretty close to playing the real thing, and what’s more, you can win money playing them! It just doesn’t get much better than that, and below you can find five of the best adventure games that made it all the way to Vegas:

  1. Dungeon and Dragons

A classic; it’s as simple as that. A classic franchise of cartoons, books, toys, movies, and of course games. The Dungeons and Dragons: Fortress of Fortunes slot machine by software house, IGT, took the theme to Las Vegas in 2009 and it’s proven to be one of the most popular slots at land-based and online casinos.

It features five reels and twenty pay lines, and gives you the option to play as one of three warrior heroes. The background and sound effects behind the slot provide an air of fantasy, and wins are accompanied by mystical music. A free spins bonus game takes you into a dungeon with up to five levels where you can earn extra multipliers by defeating enemies with the roll of a virtual dice.

It’s an iconic game, but could be surpassed in the next few years, by an officially licensed slot from Konami Gaming Inc. The software giant and its Las Vegas subsidiary, KGI, signed an agreement with Hasbro to develop a Dungeons and Dragons game using the original cast of characters. The slot is aimed at land-based casinos and attracting a younger generation of players, and will feature two games – ‘Conquests and Treasures’ and ‘Enchanted Riches’ – in pods of 2, 3, or 4 machines. The pods will include high quality chairs, custom logos and a themed bezel with authentic designs.

  1. Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider was an iconic game of its time, and Angelina Jolie made the movie equally as iconic when it was released in 2001. The franchise has spawned books, comics, toys, and several sequel games, as well as a classic Vegas slot machine.

Microgaming is the software giant behind the slot machine, which features five reels, 15 pay lines and a max. bet of 75 coins. The Graphics are crisp and sharp, with symbols such as a tiger, gadgetry and Lara Croft herself earning the wins. There is a ‘Tomb Raider’ wild symbol which can substitute for other symbols to create winning combinations, and the game features two different bonus rounds. The scatter symbol is a gun-toting Lara Croft, and if she appears on 3, 4, or 5 of the reels she will launch the free spins round. There is also a bonus symbol, which is signified by a golden idol, and launches the tomb bonus round – a pick ‘em style game where you get to choose three from a number of idols to reveal three cash prizes.

The franchise is one of the most popular of the last 15-20 years, and changed the face of video gaming. It has taken Vegas by storm too, and become one of the most popular slot machines out there.

  1. Worms

Yes, that’s right. Worms. The brilliantly addictive game that is so simple in style but so engrossing to play. Well it’s also been made into an online slot, and it will come as no surprise to learn that it is incredibly popular.

Everything about the slot is as colourful and humorous as the original game, and it features many of the classic sound effects too. It has five reels and a whopping 50 pay lines, with some great animated symbols of the crazy worms with ridiculously large weapons. Remember waiting for supply crates to parachute down from the sky with new weapons? They’re here too, and are used as a bonus symbol to launch the feature round when three or more land on the reels. The bonus round lets you select one of three crates to win one of the three different bonus games. These are a ‘space trail bonus’, a ‘crate escape’ game, and a ‘free spins battle’ bonus; each of which could earn a top jackpot of $500.

There are other great little quirks like a hand grenade which drops onto the reels and explodes, turning another symbol wild; and the infamous shout of ‘incoming’ when two crates land on the reels and you await the third. With equally addictive gameplay, it’s no wonder this slot has become so popular among video gamers as well as casino regulars.

  1. The Dark Knight Rises

The Batman franchise has been around since video games and online slots were the vision of a distant future, with his first appearance coming in a 1939 comic book. However, the caped crusader has been the subject of numerous video games over the last twenty years on a huge variety of platforms, and he deserves a mention here as he remains one of the most popular figures in Las Vegas (on the slot machines, at least).

The Dark Knight Rises is an adaptation of the final instalment of Christopher Nolan’s dark trilogy, starring Christian Bale and Morgan Freeman. The game is a cutting edge video slot, which does away with standard reels and features 243 ways to win. The Graphics are superb and include real footage from the movie; while a bonus feature where Batman fights Bane rewards players with free spins and multipliers.

This is part of a new wave of slot machines which are moving away from the traditional ‘fruit machine’ style gaming, and incorporating much more interactive gaming features. It’s naturally popular in bricks-and-mortar casinos due to the popularity of the films, and it’s also made a big splash in the online world. It’s an absolute visual treat, and well worth checking out.

  1. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Well, if we’re talking about popular games it would be remiss not to mention the behemoth of the gaming world that is Call of Duty. It has arguably become the single most popular gaming series of all time, and continues to captivate the soldier inside all of us the world over. It should come as no surprise then, that there is a movie in the offing. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has sold over 13 million copies, and the slot machine by Cryptologic has proven to be just as popular in Vegas and online.

The game itself features amazing graphics and animations that are true to the original. Symbols include grenades, gas masks, and assault rifles, across the five reels and 25 pay lines. An animated marine scurries across the front of the reels on some spins, and plants a timed explosive which blows up various symbols, turning them wild and creating winning lines. On other spins a grenade rolls in front of the reels and the explosion causes the same effect. The wild soldier symbol is a nice touch as after the explosion it shows video footage from the game. All of this is before the excellent bonus game which features some great gameplay. It’s launched by landing three of the Call of Duty scatter symbols, and allows players to gain extra wins by targeting and shooting enemies on the battlefield. Up to four free games can be earned by hitting enemy soldiers, with bonus prizes for headshots; and a five-in-a-row kill streak earns an airstrike which rewards players with a multiplier for the free games.

Various other symbols also include game footage, and there is action on practically every spin in this game. Sound effects are perfect for the game, and there is that tense silence between spins before an explosion sets off a hail of gunfire – just like the real game when I play it!

Video Gaming Vegas Style

As seen on VegasSlots.co.uk, a recent change to the laws in Vegas means that casinos can now introduce more skill-based games alongside the archetypal slot machines. This is the industries attempt to convert ‘millennials’ from video gamers to casino goers; and it might just work. The aim is to introduce the skill element and link it to the prizes on the game, so a fast lap or a long kill streak will result in a bigger pay out. Rather than playing a game of chance, players will be able to use their skill at gaming to earn money – and that sounds like a perfect combination to me!

Blu-ray Review “Viva Las Vegas: 50th Anniversary”

Starring: Elvis Presley, Ann-Margret, Cesare Danova, William Demarest, Nicky Blair, Teri Garr
Director: George Sidney
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: August 12, 2014
Run Time: 85 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Man, I love Las Vegas. I cannot even think about the Sin City without screaming Elvis’ tune in my head. Elvis was not only a musical superstar, he was also a huge blockbuster draw in film and this was his biggest film. “Viva Las Vegas” is being re-released by Warner Bros in a brand new premium Digibook, which includes include rare behind-the-scene photos. Elvis shared the screen with the stunning Ann-Margret, who is a great companion for the King. This film is such a blast and really makes me want to book that flight to Las Vegas. If you are an Elvis fan (And don’t own Warner Bros previous release of this film) then this is a day one purchase.

Official Premise: In his highest grossing movie, Elvis shares the screen with Ann-Margret, easily creating the most electrifying teaming Elvis had on screen. He plays Lucky Jackson, a Grand Prix race driver working at a casino to raise cash for a new engine; she’s a hotel swimming instructor – and the romantic action revs up from their first meeting. George Sidney, who also directed Ann-Margret in Bye Bye Birdie, combines the hormonal heat wave with fascinating sights of ’60s Las Vegas. David Winters (West Side Story) choreographed the 10 musical song-and-dance scenes which also featured his dancers.

“Viva Las Vegas” was released WAY back in 2007 to a very impressive release back then. But yet for this release we still are getting a newly remastered transfer and a near perfect Dolby TrueHD 5.1. The soundtrack is so amazing include songs like the title track, “The Lady Loves Me”, Appreciation” and The King’s version of Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say.” The music is so important in this film and it is just absolutely amazing. For a film that is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary. It has never looked or sounded better. The detail in the 1080p transfer is outstanding and the songs are just perfectly balanced for this Blu-ray release.

Besides the amazing looking Digibook with some great rare photos, the rest of the special features aren’t really that stunning and worthy of the King. There is a commentary track from Steve Pond, rock journalist and author of “Elvis in Hollywood”. This guy knows Elvis better than Elvis did and it was very interesting to get some great insight about the film. Next up is “Featurette Kingdom: Elvis in Vegas”, which goes behind-the-scenes. Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included.

“Elvis: That’s The Way It Is” “Viva Las Vegas” 50th Anniversary Arrive as Premium Digibooks

Elvis: That’s The Way It Is – Two Disc Special Edition First Time on Blu-ray™
and Premium Digibook
Remastered Elvis: That’s the Way It Is Set for Special Screening August 16 at Orpheum Theatre in Memphis during Elvis Week

Viva Las Vegas 50TH Anniversary
New as a Premium Digibook

Burbank, Calif., April 22, 2014 – To celebrate Elvis Week, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release of two of “The King’s” fan favorites on August 12 as Premium Blu-ray™ Digibooks.

Elvis: That’s The Way It Is – Two Disc Special Edition, which was re-edited and remixed for its acclaimed release in 2000, will now debut on Blu-ray™ as a Premium Digibook, newly remastered, and with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. In celebration of its 50th Anniversary Viva Las Vegas will also be offered as a Premium Blu-ray Digibook. These Premium Digibooks include rare behind-the-scene photos and are available for $27.98 each (SRP).

This year’s Elvis Week will be held from August 9-August 17 in Memphis at Elvis Presley’s Graceland. As part of the festivities, the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown Memphis will host the world premiere screening of Warner Bros.’ newly-remastered Elvis: That’s The Way It Is. Fans in town for Elvis Week will be treated not only to the newly-remastered film, but will also get to experience an outtake performance or sequence never before seen on the big screen, along with some special on-stage surprises still to be announced. Tickets will be available for purchase on May 1, 2014 via Ticketmaster.com, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, at any Ticketmaster outlet or at the Orpheum box office. For more information on this or other Elvis Week events, visit Graceland.com.

About the Elvis Titles
Elvis: That’s the Way It Is Two Disc Special Edition Premium Digibook
With thousands of feet of materials including sequences added to capture with greater intimacy Elvis’ performances and his creative process behind-the-scenes, the previously released Elvis: That’s The Way It Is – Special Edition is now being made available as a Blu-ray™ two disc Special Edition Premium Digibook. Denis Sanders (Shock Treatment) directed this “rockumentary.” Academy Award® nominated[1] Lucien Ballard (The Wild Bunch) was the cinematographer, following the show’s development from rehearsal to stage.

Special Features:
Disc 1 (BD) 2001 Special Edition and Special Features:
Patch It Up: The Restoration of Elvis: That’s The Way It Is
12 Outtakes – song/nonmusical sequences
1970 Original Theatrical Version
Disc 2 (DVD) 1970 Original Theatrical Version and Special Features:
12 Outtakes – song/nonmusical sequences

Viva Las Vegas 50th Anniversary Premium Digibook
In his highest grossing movie, Elvis shares the screen with Ann-Margret, easily creating the most electrifying teaming Elvis had on screen. He plays Lucky Jackson, a Grand Prix race driver working at a casino to raise cash for a new engine; she’s a hotel swimming instructor – and the romantic action revs up from their first meeting. George Sidney, who also directed Ann-Margret in Bye Bye Birdie, combines the hormonal heat wave with fascinating sights of ’60s Las Vegas. David Winters (West Side Story) choreographed the 10 musical song-and-dance scenes which also featured his dancers. Songs include the high-roller title track, the stars’ duet on “The Lady Loves Me,” her sultry “Appreciation” and The King’s version of Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say.” The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 stereo.

Special Features:
· Commentary by Steve Pond, rock journalist and author of “Elvis in Hollywood”
· Featurette Kingdom: Elvis in Vegas
· Theatrical trailer

Elvis Aaron Presley
(1935 – 1977)
Elvis Presley was one of Hollywood’s top box-office draws, starring in 31 feature films and two theatrically-released concert documentaries over the course of his career. His music was as much a part of his box-office success as his good looks and charisma. In fact, some of his top-selling songs were from the movie soundtracks. Eleven of his soundtrack albums made it into the top ten on the Billboard Album charts and of those, four became number one hits. It is estimated that Elvis has sold over a billion records worldwide, more records than any other artist in record industry history, and even 30 years after his death, Elvis still conquers new legions of fans as even compilations of his RCA recordings, such as “Elvis 30 #1 Hits” and “Elvis 2nd to None,” have both topped the Billboard charts of best-selling albums.

More biographical information is available at the official Elvis Presley Web site, www.elvis.com.

 

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DVD Review “Last Vegas”

Actors: Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline
Directors: Jon Turteltaub
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: January 28, 2014
Run Time: 105 minutes

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

From the moment this was announced it was referred to as the senior citizen take on “The Hangover”. It doesn’t quite pack that comedic level of that film but it does come back with an all-star cast including Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline. The film has its moments with a few decent laughs but also misses a few as well. I still enjoyed watching this film but it is what I like to call a “one-timer”. I would recommend checking it out if not just to see this wonderful cast together and, of course, the beautiful Las Vegas. This makes me want to take the next trip to the sin city.

Official Premise: Billy (Michael Douglas), Paddy (Robert De Niro), Archie (Morgan Freeman) and Sam (Kevin Kline) have been best friends since childhood. So when Billy, the group’s sworn bachelor, finally proposes to his 30-something-year-old girlfriend (of course), the four head to Las Vegas with a plan to stop acting their age and relive their glory days. However, upon arriving, the four quickly realize that the decades have transformed Sin City and tested their friendship in ways they never imagined. The Rat Pack may have once played the Sands and Cirque du Soleil may now rule the Strip, but it’s these four who are taking over Vegas.

This DVD includes an UltraViolet digital copy as well, which is a nice bonus. In terms of special features there is some decent content but nothing spectacular and again the Blu-ray comes stocked with more. There is an audio commentary track from Director Jon Turteltaub & Writer Dan Fogelman, worth checking out if you love the film, I wasn’t really digging it. There are also three featurettes included. The film is “It’s Going to be Legendary”, which goes behind-the-scenes with main cast. “Four Legends” look at this ensemble cast. Lastly “The Flatbush Four” focuses on the character arcs of these four main characters.

Michael Beasley talks about the final season of HBO series “Eastbound and Down” and “The Last Vegas”

Michael Beasley has appeared on a number of television series and films ranging from “American Reunion” to “Flight” starring Denzel Washington. Michael currently plays the role of Jimmy Cliff on the final season of the hit HBO series “Eastbound and Down” and also has a role in the upcoming film “Last Vegas” starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Robert Di Nero. Media Mikes spoke with Michael recently about his work on the series and about some of his other upcoming work.

Adam Lawton: How did you first become involved with “Eastbound and Down”?
Michael Beasley: I had auditioned for the show a few different times prior to this season. Those auditions were for different characters though. This time around there was a few different roles that I auditioned for. They weren’t sure the show was going to come back as they were working on a deal with HBO at the time. Over the course of several months they brought me in to audition for a couple different roles and what ultimately happened was that two of the roles were combined in to the character of “Jimmy Cliff”. Being I was already a fan of the show I was very excited to get this role.

AL: What has it been like working with the cast and crew from the show?
MB: It has been amazing! This really was a dream job for me. Danny McBride, Jody Hill and everyone involved with the show treat you like family once you walk on the set. It was like I knew everyone for years. They created this energy that was very easy to work in while on set. They allowed us to really play with the characters was just great. From a comedic stand point just being able to watch Danny and Jody work was incredible. I couldn’t figure out hey they were able to come up with some of the stuff they did.

AL: Being you were allowed to work with the character a bit how much of what we see is you and how much is what you were given in the script?
MB: We work with great scripts. Basically if we feel we can add something that day to the scene they allow us to do that. A lot of the stuff people are seeing right now is improvisation but there is also a lot scripted material in there as well. There is definitely a balance of both.

AL: How has working on this series compared to that of “Magic City”?
MB: It was different in the sense that HBO allowed those guys to really push the envelope as it relates to their artistic work. I loved working on “Magic City” because I love that era. The clothing and fashion is really great. I thought that show was written really well and am kind of upset we weren’t able to do a third season.

AL: What can you tell us about your appearance in the film “Last Vegas”?
MB: I had auditioned for the role of a bouncer and when I first got on set I was making sure that I was minding my p’s and q’s because of who was all there. I didn’t want to mess things up. (Laughs) I made sure I got the scene down real well and I also did some improv as well. The director Jon Turtletaub loved what I did and the energy I had with everyone that he had production contact me about doing some more scenes. I started with just one scene and ended up doing 8 or 9. It was an amazing experience.

AL: For you personally what do you feel is the biggest difference working on features as compared to television sitcoms?
MB: Any set I go to I try and absorb everything. Each time I work I learn more and more about both sides of the camera. I want learn what the actors may need as well as what the directors may need as well. Everything is about team work so I want to be able to help everyone make the best product we can. Each set I am on I can take something from that to the next. I have been able to work with a lot of great people and have been able to take some great skills from those experiences.

AL: Do you have any other projects set to come out that we can be watching for?
MB: I just shot a film title “The Squeeze”. It’s a golf movie schedule to come out sometime in 2014. We did a lot of improv work while we were shooting that it should be really funny. I did a couple episodes of “Single Ladies” on Vh1 that will air in January and you can also see me in the pilot for “Line of Sight”.

Film Review “Last Vegas”

Starring: Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline
Directed by: John Turtletaub
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 1 hour 35 mins
CBS Films

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

1955. A fun time if you were a kid. We meet four of them: Billy, Paddy, Archie and Sam. Individually you might not notice them but together they formed a force called the “Flatbush Four!” 58 years later they get together celebrate the wedding of one of their own in Las Vegas. My how things have changed.

When your film boasts a cast that includes no less than (5) Oscar winners, and a Tony Award winner to boot, you’re off to a good start. Now grown up, news spreads that Billy (Douglas) has asked his MUCH younger girlfriend to marry him. That he popped the question while giving a eulogy at a friend’s funeral doesn’t seem to faze him. Archie (Kline) and Sam (Freeman) head to NYC to pick up Paddy (De Niro). Paddy’s wife has recently passed away. For reasons unknown Billy did not attend the funeral and Paddy is still angry with him. However, it isn’t every day that your 70-year old friend gets married for the first time. Soon the Flatbush Four are reunited in Sin City, where what happens there stays there.

I was trying to think if any other film had ever featured five Academy Award winners in major roles. All I could think of was 1972’s “The Poseidon Adventure,” though technically Gene Hackman won his Oscar (for “The French Connection”) during filming. “Last Vegas” boasts its four male leads and the still beautiful Mary Steenburgen as a lounge singer who catches both Paddy and Billy’s eye. Each character has a reason for being here. Billy, obviously, who’s the groom to be. Archie, who is afraid that he actually IS “old” – having previously had hip and knee replacement surgery can do that to a person. Sam, who since suffering a minor stroke some time ago is constantly babied by his caring but overbearing son. And Paddy, who needs this trip the most. He married his childhood sweetheart and after 50 years with one person it’s hard to adjust to something, and someone, new.

Each character is perfectly cast. These actors are masters at the tops of their game, with over 200 years of experience between them. And it is their experiences, both on and off screen, that allow them to deliver here. Whether they’re reminiscing about old times, judging a bikini contest with members of LMFAO or trying to pick up a Madonna-impersonator (Roger Bart, the Tony Award winner I told you about), the performances are true. Director Turtletaub, probably best known for his “National Treasure” films, keeps the story flowing smoothly while cinematographer David Hennings captures the bright lights and neon rainbows of Las Vegas.

 

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Free Passes to Advance Kansas City Screenings of “Last Vegas” [ENDED]

Media Mikes has teamed with CBS Films to give our readers an advance peek at the upcoming comedy “Last Vegas.” The story of three men meeting up in Las Vegas to celebrate the upcoming marriage of their last remaining single friend, the film stars Academy Award winners Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline.

There are two screenings you can attend:

Monday, October 28
AMC Independence Commons 20
Independence, Missouri
7:00 p.m.
For passes to this screening, go to: http://l.gofobo.us/DGXQjwkY

Wednesday, October 30
AMC Studio 30
Olathe, Kansas
7:00 p.m.
For passes to this screening, go to: http://l.gofobo.us/YOvF01Zf

Enjoy the show!

Blu-ray/CD Review “Jimmy Buffett: Welcome to Fin City – Live in Las Vegas 2011”

Starring: Jimmy Buffett
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Number of Discs: 2
Tracks: 15
Running Time:
Label: Mailboat Records

Blu-ray Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars
CD Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I have been a life-long Jimmy Buffett fan, although only seeing him live for the first time earlier this year. Living in Florida, there is also no shortage of Jimmy Buffett mentality but I will take more wherever I can. Jimmy Buffett is also a rare act that can constantly produce live albums and DVDs and still manage to excite fans and deliver a fantastic time worth re-purchasing. Jimmy Buffett concerts are unlike any concert I have ever been to. The energy is so unique and what better than to watch it from the best seat in the house! So crack open that Margarita mix, get that blender ready and party it out with Jimmy and friends.

This release marks the first time that Jimmy is available in high definition Blu-ray. If that isn’t enough this comes as a two disc set with a CD of the show as well. The concert featured here includes the best of from his 2011 Las Vegas shows. I am not sure why the entire concert wasn’t included though since all of his concert is really a best of. Also included on the Blu-ray only is a never before released music video of “Elvis Presley Blues”. I just love the fact that this come with both Blu-ray and CD, since one can stay in my car and one in my Blu-ray player! 24 hours of Jimmy Buffett.

It is funny because when I think of Vegas, I immediately think of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at the Flamingo Hotel. Las Vegas seems to be an awesome venue to catch one of his concerts. This concert contains combined performances from 2 incredible Saturday night shows at the MGM. The audio/video on the Blu-ray is just superb and makes you feel like you are there in the audience. Of course there is nothing like a live show, this will hold you over until Jimmy’s next go-round in your town. Inquirers who are curious about what a Buffett concert is like will enjoy this personal and intimate view. But obviously, hardcore fans of Jimmy, this purchase is a no-brainer.

Track Listing:
1. Viva Las Vegas
2. Brown Eyed Girl
3. License to Chill
4. Off To See The Lizard
5. Life Is Just A Tire Swing
6. Bama Breeze
7. Gypsies In The Palace
8. It’s Midnight And I’m Not Famous Yet
9. Knee Deep
10. Back Where I Come From
11. Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes
12. One Particular Harbour
13. Fins
14. Defying Gravity
15. Elvis Presley Blues (Blu-ray only)

 

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Interview with The Last Vegas’ Danny Smash

Danny Smash is the bassist for the rock band The Last Vegas. The band is set to release their second full-length album this coming year. Media Mikes had a chance to ask Danny a few questions about the upcoming release as well as what it was like working with Sybil Danning.

Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about the band?
Danny Smash: It’s always hard to accurately describe things when your on the inside looking out.  From my perspective I think were just five Midwest guys who are trying to be 1970s Aerosmith in 2011.  We come from the five piece mold cast from bands like The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, The New York Dolls, Guns n Roses, Alice Cooper, and of course the Jackson 5.  For some reason we get perceived as a hair metal band, but were actually much more 70s rock influenced.   I think its because most peoples last reference point for real rock n roll is the eighties so they place you in that category even if its not accurate. You’ll never find a bottle of aqua net in our van man!

AL: Tell us about the upcoming album?
DS: The new album was recorded right in here in Chicago with producer Johnny K(Staind, Disturbed, Megadeth). He has an awesome studio located literally five minutes from where we practice, so it was really convenient. We recorded 14 songs but we’ll probably send a couple of them down to the minors. Musically the album is a little less polished and a little more eclectic than our previous album “Whatever Gets You Off.”   There were a lot of different elements thrown in the rock caldron on this one. We have four songwriters so there’s a lot of perspectives and a lot of arguing. Were talking about a spring release.

AL: have you picked a favorite track from the album?
DS: My personal favorite is a track called Evil Eyes. The song has a really cool rhythm and vibe to it.  The song reminds me of “Nobody’s Fault” off Aerosmith’s  “Rocks” album. The song takes an introspective look into the mind of a stalker. Its heavy but you can shake your ass to it. Ass shaking + Stalker = #1 hit single???

AL: What was it like working with Sybil Danning?
DS: It was a really great experience to work with a legend.  She is such a professional.  When she turned on the acting button it was a very surreal moment.  I knew right then and there I needed to step it up.  She’s also a very kind, patient, and down to earth lady.  The whole experience exceeded all expectations.

AL: What are the bands upcoming plans for 2012?
DS: For 2012, The Last Vegas train wreck is focusing on international touring and our album release. We’ve been touring around America for the last three years, so its time to poison the minds of the rest of world.  Were getting the party started with a three-week tour of Spain in February.

CD Review: The Last Vegas “Other Side EP”

The Last Vegas
“Other Side EP”
Eleven Seven Music
Producer: Johnny K
Tracks: 3

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5stars

“Other Side EP” is the latest release from the band The Last Vegas. Based out of Chicago, IL the band blends a variety of rock sounds both new and old. The EP was produced by Grammy Nominated producer Jonny K who has worked with acts such as Disturbed, 3 Doors Down and, Staind. The EP is being released through Eleven Seven Music and features 3 new tracks available for free through the bands website.

Though the EP only features 3 songs each of those songs are packed with rock and roll goodness. If these 3 tracks are any indication of what’s to come with the bands full length release then we are all going to be in for a treat. The tracks reminded me of old school Gun’s N’ Roses but with a modern spin. “Other Side” was a personal favorite of mine as the track is a great all around rock tune that has a really great groove.

For free you really can’t go wrong downloading this EP. A lot of bands these days are releasing tracks for free and a lot of times there’s a reason they do so. Each of the 3 tracks contained on “The Other Side” are great representations of what the band has to offer.

Track Listing:
1.) Evil Eyes
2.) It Ain’t Easy
3.) Other Side