Interview with “The Propaganda Poet,” Bear Wolf



Bear Wolf is many things.  A teacher.  A musician.  A writer.  And, most importantly – to me anyway – my brother.  He has spent the summer on the road, sharing his talents and promoting his new book of poetry -.   He joined me recently during a stop outside of Philadelphia.


Michael Smith:  Tell us a little bit about your tour.


Bear Wolf:  So I have many performing personas and I’m out on the road right now supporting a book and CD of my poetry.  I go by “Propaganda Poet” for my poetry.  The tour started out in New York City at the Nuyoricans Poets Café where I was part of an event called “Two Venues, One Mic.”  It’s really a great idea where two different poetry venues simultaneously have two curated open mics.  Each venue has their ZOOM hooked as well so when one venue is featuring live readings the other venue is watching on the big screen.  It goes back and forth.  This edition was with a venue in Japan.  We were simultaneously doing poetry with a venue in Japan.  They’ve done Paris.  They’ve done London.  The next one they’re working on is in Italy.  Because of having a lot of my stuff on line over the past couple years I’ve been able to share my work with people from all over the country.  Putting this tour together was pretty easy since I already knew a lot of the people involved.  I’ve done a few shows in New Jersey as well and now I’m on my way to the AWP Writer’s Conference in Philadelphia to perform with another group of poets that I’ve met on line.  Then it’s on to a couple of Busboys and Poets spots in Baltimore and Washington D.C., which is a chain of venues that are being revitalized now that everything is opening up again.

MS:  What is the name of your latest book?

 BW:  My book is called “2020 D/Vision.”  It’s my response to the pandemic.  Not just the COVID pandemic but all of the other pandemics we’re dealing with like racism and systematic oppression and the American Dream that is not fully attainable for everyone because we don’t all start from the same spot.  For the past two years Mother Earth has essentially sent us to our room.  While I was there I contemplated and wrote a couple of books.  “2020 D/Vision” is available on Amazon.


MS:  So what exactly goes on at a poetry recital?  In my mind I’m picturing the movies of the 60s that had the hip poet up on stage snapping his fingers and addressing the audience.  Or Mike Myers in “So I Married an Axe Murderer.”  What does it entail?  Do you just go up on stage?  Do you have music in the background to set the mood?

 BW:   The sweet thing about open mics is that you really never know what’s going to happen.  It’s pure creativity across the board.  The one I did last night in New York City had comedians, musicians, poets…it’s actually very much like you’re picturing; the old beat poets of the 60s and 70s in Soho and San Francisco.  This art has just carried on.  Artists who are not recognized on a large scale can still go up there and do their thing.  And it’s really supportive.  Even the on-line open mic community is very supportive. 

 MS:  What are the crowds like?  Pretty packed?

BW:  Their very well attended.  People are really hungry to get out of the house now.  They really contribute to the atmosphere.  And it’s a wide spectrum of poetry.  You get social justice poetry…erotic poetry.  It’s really one of the best and broad cultural things you can experience. 


MS:  Does your CD feature you reading your poetry?  Music to read your poetry by?


BW:  It’s both.  It’s called “Haiku, Tanka & Senryu, Oh My!”  A friend of mine, C.K. Shmallowell, composed some great electric dance music, but with a jam-band feel to it.  He gave me the audio tracks and I re-mixed them and put the poetry on top of them. 


MS:  What’s next?


BW:  This is my second tour this year.  Earlier I did a tour of the South.  And I just completed a CD of covers and mash-ups where I mixed my poetry in as well.  It’s my first attempt at doing everything.  Drums, guitars, vocals.  The whole nine-yards.  It’s going to be available on Soundcloud.  I just finished my next book called “Word Tornadoes.”  That manuscript is under review.  My ultimate point with all of this is to get to a point where this is all I do.  I can put together workshops and lessons and basically be a freelance teacher.    I want to get the message out that poetry is alive and well and thriving.   


TO PURCHASE A COPY OF“Haiku, Tanka & Senryu, Oh My!”   CLICK HERE


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



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).



  • 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


Blu-ray Review “Wolf Creek 2”

Actors: Gerard Kennedy, John Jarratt, Ryan Corr, Philippe Klaus
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Image Entertainment
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Run Time: 106 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Maybe I am getting old but torture films really don’t do it for me anymore. “Wolf Creek” was a 2005 Australian horror film that has collected a bit of a cult classic. I saw it once and completely forgot about it, to be honest. I wasn’t really expecting or hoping for a sequel. Well, either way here it is and it is more brutal and violent that the first film, but like I said that doesn’t necessarily mean a good thing. I could be losing my taste for the unnecessary “violent” gore, violent being the key word. John Jarratt does play a good baddie though with the infamous local killer Mick Taylor. I just personally would have left this as the one film.

Official Premise: Lured by the promise of an Australian holiday, exchange student Paul visits the notorious Wolf Creek Crater. His dream Outback adventure soon becomes a horrific reality when he encounters the site’s most infamous local, Mick Taylor (John Jarratt). When Paul attempts to flee, Mick pursues him across a hostile wasteland and eventually drags him back to his underground lair. After seeing the true magnitude of Mick’s monstrosity, Paul’s only hope of surviving, where no one has before, will be to use every ounce of cunning to outwit the man behind the monster.

Image is releasing this film as a Blu-ray combo pack with a DVD also included. The 1080p transfer is actually quite impressive. I loved the way the film was shot and it was quite gritty yet also sharp. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track also worked well with the action and bone-breaking violence (if you like that short of thing). In terms of special features, there is only two quick extras included. “Creating a Monster: The Making of Wolf Creek 2” is a look behind-the-scenes into the making of the film. Lastly there is a few deleted scenes included under “Butcher’s Cut”.

Blu-ray Review “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, PJ Byrne, Rob Reiner, Jon Favreau and Jean Dujardin
Directors: Martin Scorsese
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: March 25, 2014
Run Time: 179 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

“The Wolf of Wall Street” is definitely not a film for everyone. It is controversial, edgey and 1 minute shy of three hours in length. In fact, the film has also set the all-time record for the use of the f-word in a film, clocking in at 506 times. This is the fifth collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio and these guys just keep making gold. Leo is supported by a fantastic supporting cast including Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, PJ Byrne, Rob Reiner, Jon Favreau and Jean Dujardin…whew, what a cast. I really had a blast with this film. It is vulgar and sometimes (or a lot) offensive but it is quite the ride and it brought me back to watching Scorsese’s equally epic “Casino” on double VHS tapes…that’s right kiddies back when a three hour movie couldn’t find on one Blu-ray. So love it or hate it but this film is a blast and I sugguest you take it like that and not literally like they are trying to support these characters behavior but point out how fucked up that business was in the 90’s (and probably still is).

Official Premise: Revered filmmaker Martin Scorsese directs the story of New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio). From the American dream to corporate greed, Belfort goes from penny stocks and righteousness to IPOs and a life of corruption in the late 80s. Excess success and affluence in his early twenties as founder of the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont warranted Belfort the title – “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Money. Power. Women. Drugs. Temptations were for the taking and the threat of authority was irrelevant. For Jordan and his wolf pack, modesty was quickly deemed overrated and more was never enough.

Paramount delivered “The Wolf of Wall Street in a combo pack including Blu-ray + DVD + HD Digital Ultraviolet copy. The 1080p transfer is absolutely amazing. You can see Scorsese’s vision the way this film was shot and it just looks great. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track works so well with the film’s madness and amazing music heard through this film. The soundtrack is actually a favorite of mine as well from the year. The biggest downfall personally for me is the special features. There is literally only one extra included called “The Wolf Pack” It is the basic behind-the-scenes look with interviews from Scorsese, Dicaprio, Hill and a few other cast and crew. This extra is also only on the Blu-ray. The DVD comes bare bones. I would have loved to see a commentary track from any other the amazing cast or director from this film. This release is the case of the film being rushed out on Blu-ray to make it for post-award season.

PJ Byrne reflects on his role in “The Wolf of Wall Street” and his new show on CBS “Intelligence”

PJ Byrne is known best for his scene stealing roles in films like “Final Destination 5”, “Horrible Bosses” and most recently in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street”. He is also the voice of Bolin in Nickelodeon’s hit animated show “The Legend of Korra”. PJ is not only a great actor but also a great personal friend and Media Mikes got to chat with him about about his role in “The Wolf of Wall Street” and his new show on CBS “Intelligence”, which premieres on January 7th.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how you got involved with “The Wolf of Wall Street”?
PJ Byrne: Having gone to Boston College as finance major, this was one of those movies that I had been tracking for a while. I wanted to make sure that I got an audition for this film. Mr. Scorsese wasn’t going to be at the auditions and they would be held in New York not Los Angeles, so I decided to put myself on tape and improvise my own monologue. So I came up with this monologue with me calling up a guy and finding out that he passed away from his wife and I end up selling her like $100,000 dollars’ worth of stock, just to show how manipulative these guys where. Mr. Scorsese saw it, loved it and asked me to come out to New York to audition. So I went there and was freaking out but he is just the coolest guy there is man. He put me at ease, I improvised some more and next thing I know I am in the movie and for the part I wanted, which was even better.

MG: What was it like working a legendary director like Martin Scorsese?
PJB: It was a really special experience. He is this great iconic director that if you are lucky you get to work with as an actor. The thing with these iconic directors is that they are also great communicators. They give you the confidence to go out and do anything you want but at the same time they also prepare you so well during that process. At the end of the day, he realized that he wasn’t in from of the camera we were and he just let us do our thing. That was the greatest gift that he could give. The trust he gave me and confidence he gave me to sort of unleash because a lot of the things I did was improvised, which is a scary world in its own but I have been doing it for a while now. It is also scary in the sense that these guys are extremely unethical and crazy guys, so I have to leave PJ at the door and go in and become this character.

MG: How can you address the reactions about people saying that the film is glorifying these characters?
PJB: You want people in America to know how bad these guys are, so you want really get into these characters and portray them correctly. So if anyone ever calls you on the phone, be aware since these people are out to get your money. This is a great way to tell people to be very aware and to raise your radar and in this film, we do it in an interesting way. Removing the fact that this is an artistic movie, we really break down what these guys are doing and how they are taught to sell. Not saying that all guys that sell you stocks are bad but this movie is aimed to raise your awareness to watch and realize who is handling your money. If I learned anything in college is that, first, there is no such thing as a free lunch and second, no one cares more about your money than you do. I think it is important for people to watch this movie so it is seared into their brain.

MG: How does it feel to be called a “scene stealer” in your films?
PJB: I guess it is flattering to be called that but I do not go into a scene thinking that I am going to steal this scene. I think it is a lot of preparation, especially when you are improvising. I did all my work and I know my character. If you wanted me to sell a cupcake, I was so prepared for this guy and I could have sold anything in that moment, using “Wolf” as an example. So that is one thing, the other is coming armed with not necessarily jokes but different approaches to the role. Let’s say I prepared like twenty things and I only use two, I am still fully armed and ready. The third piece of preparing is being ready to roll with it and see where any of it goes. What you prepared might not be useful at all since the director and actors might be thinking about something else. But since you know the character so well, you are ready to go any which way. In the film, there is a bunch of stuff that I prepared for and then there are other parts we just went with. I had no idea that Jonah (Hill) was going to do the part of “Don’t look him in the eyes” and we ended up just riffing off that. I had that horrible line the first time that we see Margo (Robbie) and the line that came out of my mouth even scared me, which was “She is so hot, I would let her give me AIDS”. As horrible as that line is that is exactly who these guys were though. It is inappropriate because the time period is inappropriate with AIDS but is something that is going to stick in your head. This goes back to the idea of glorifying them; this was there to show that these are bad dudes and to be wary of them. So it is not just about scene stealer, it is about being prepared when going into a role.

MG: Let’s talk about your new TV show on CBS called “Intelligence”, tell us what we can expect?
PJB: After doing “The Wolf of Wall Street” and I have done a lot of comedies, you can’t plan this but I have always thought in the back of my head that I would love to do a drama. This came along and everything worked out and I feel just blessed to be a part of it. Everyone involved is really cool and I love the premise. This show is great mixture of “Homeland” meets “The Bourne Identity”. Being a guy that loved watching James Bond as a kid and in this I get to be the Q character a bit was very appealing. I also have this family relationship since Josh’s character who is considered a brother to me and having that conflict there was also interesting.

MG: Can you give us a run down about your character, Nelson Cassidy?
PJB: I am a computer genius in the show. I can do anything that Josh’s character can do on the computer…except he can do it 1.6 billion times faster because he has a microchip in his brain. So that is very annoying to me. My father created this chip and Josh’s character and he looks to him as his own son as he is a brother to me…except Josh is incredibly handsome and I am not as good looking, so that is a point of contention. I can get into fights but he is a trained Delta Force guy, so he can kick ass better than me…and that is annoying. So there is a lot of that brotherly jealously going on if you will [laughs]. But he is my brother and I have his back and we are always there for each other and that is a cool part of the show. When you have that family aspect when working on a show and you play a scene with a person you know or a co-worker you have to be more delicate. But when it involves your brother you can go from 0 to 10 right away and to me that is much more interesting. Another aspect of the character that I love is that I am not just behind a computer; I actually get to be put into the field. I had to shoot guns, save people and pull bombs out of bodies, so it is awesome from that perspective. The last aspect that I loved about the show is that I am like the person at home watching being thrown into this world where Josh’s character is the complete opposite and trained to be in this world. Meghan Ory’s character Riley is Secret Service, so she is also trained to be in this world. Same goes for the character Lillian, who is played by Marg Helgenberger. I just happen to be this super genius and by default I was just thrown into this world. So I do not know how to be a “super-agent” and I had to slowly transition into it and I found that to be a lot of fun to play out.

MG: What else do you have going on for 2014?
PJB: I’ve got this show right now. So this is the first time that I haven’t had to do pilot season, which is a little scary but still comforting. I get to go off now and go into the movie world. I got something brewing but I can’t say officially yet. I have a little window now to shoot something because if the show gets picked up then we go back to work in June. Then I still have “The Legend of Korra”, which is coming back for its third season and let me tell you…it is awesome! We are currently doing ADR and I have seen it all and fans are going to freak out since it’s that good. I am so proud to be a part of that show. So for now be sure to tune in to “Intelligence” on CBS and watch out for some other great projects in the works this year.

Film Review “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Rated: R
Running time: 2 hours 59 mins

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Earlier this month Paramount Pictures announced to film exhibitors that “The Wolf of Wall Street” would be the last film they will release on 35 mm. The digital age is here and from now on film is no more. My only thoughts is that they saved the best for last.

Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) is a man on his way up. He has gotten caught up in the Wall Street boom of the mid 1980s and taken a job at a firm where he soon hopes to be making big bank. He is taken to lunch by, and under the wing of, the firm’s owner (McConaughey) and it is here that he learns the important part of Wall Street: you’re not making THEM money, you’re making YOURSELF money! When the Market crashes on Black Monday, Jordan finds himself out of work and searching the want ads. He applies to a firm that he learns is located in a strip mall. The main staple being sold are penny stocks…companies on the way up (allegedly) that consumers can get for pennies a share. Learning that his commission is 50% of what he sells, Jordan follows his mentors advice and makes himself $3000 on his first deal. Soon he decides to form his own firm, taking a few of his co-workers with him. Among them is Donnie Azoff (Hill, once again back in Oscar territory). Together they start a company where the money rolls in, the drugs roll out and Dwarf tossing is a competitive sport!

Based on the memoirs of the real-life Belfort, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is a humorous, depraved and intriguing look at the excess of the 1990s and the effect it had on people. When we first meet Jordan, his voice over tells us that he made $49 million last year. But he’s not proud of that fact, he’s annoyed. Another $3 mill and he could have said that he made a million dollars a week. Poor guy! As portrayed by DiCaprio, Belfort is a fun loving guy who is more than happy to share the wealth…and drugs…and hookers. His firm becomes so successful that competitions are held between prospective employees before they are even seen for an interview. DiCaprio has done his best work with Scorsese (this is their 5th collaboration) and he knocks it out of the park here. If a fourth Academy Award nomination (and first Award) aren’t forthcoming the Academy and I are going to have a stern conversation. From emotional highs to dramatic lows to some incredible physical comedy, DiCaprio gives Belfort something he probably didn’t have in real life: a soul. Hill is excellent as the nebbish Azoff. Also turning in great supporting work is Kyle Chandler, as an FBI agent on Jordan’s trail, Jean DuJardin as Jordan’s Swiss compatriot and, in a rare on screen appearance, Rob Reiner, who plays Jordan’s father.

Technically, this is Scorsese at his best. Is there a better storyteller working today? Armed with his usual sidekicks, including film editor Thelma Schoonmaker, Scorsese has fashioned another masterpiece, just in time for the holidays. In my humble opinion, this is the best film of 2013.

Blu-ray Review “The Doobie Brothers: Live at Wolf Trap”

The Doobie Brothers: Live at Wolf Trap
Blu-ray (also available on DVD, CD, and vinyl)
Eagle Vision
Total Running Time: 166 minutes (including extras)

Our Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

From the opening motorcycle revving to the closing bows, “The Doobie Brothers: Live at Wolf Trap” makes a solid two-hour case for why the Doobies stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the greatest bands of the classic rock era. The two-hour show is packed with iconic hits that never seem dated: “Long Train’ Runnin’”, “Take Me In Your Arms”, “Jesus is Just Alright”, “Black Water” – the list goes on and on. Filmed in 2004 at Virginia’s Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, the band immediately launches into a groove that combines elements of rock, country, bluegrass, blues in a way that is always appealing and flat-out fun. And, as the closing credits roll, one question is clear: Why aren’t the Doobie Brothers in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?  They’re looooong overdue.

The 2004 Tommy Johnston-led line-up draws almost exclusively from the band’s LPs from the 70’s that featured Johnston on lead vocals and guitar. Songs from the considerably mellower Michael McDonald era of the 1980’s are almost entirely absent – a respectable move given that McDonald’s “ya mo’ be there” vocal is such an inseparable earworm trademark. The sole McDonald track performed at the Wolf Trap – “Takin’ It to the Streets” – is handled vocally by founding Doobie, Pat Simmons, and the Brothers’ touring bassist, Skylark. The result is a live version that is equally as good if not better than the original version. It also provides the energetic bassist some center stage time that he so richly deserves. In fact, if there’s an intoxicatingly awesome performance to watch on this disc, it’s his.

Despite the fact that the concert is from almost a decade ago and has been available on DVD for  nearly as long, it truly shines on this first-ever Blu-ray issue given that the show was filmed using 10 high-definition cameras. While the overall program does suffer some from rapid-fire editing, the picture is always crisp and clean and the colors are perfectly balanced. The disc defaults to a LPCM stereo audio track that often buries the lead vocals so much that they’re almost inaudible in various spots. Switching over to the vastly superior DTS Master HD mix provides a much more even mix that utilizes the surround channels very effectively.

The disc also suffers from other technical issues that should have been corrected before this disc made it to market. The biggest problem is the extreme difference in sound levels between the live concert itself and the bonus features that are included, which include “backstage pass interviews” (which is more-or-less a sampler from the “Listen to the Music” documentary released late last year) and interactive links that appear during the concert that allow the viewer to jump into interview segments that directly pertain to the song being performed. While this audio glitch isn’t a big deal for the former, it’s hugely frustrating to have to crank up the volume to hear what Johnston and Simmons are saying and then, as a result, return to the concert footage now at deafeningly-loud sound levels. Some simple equalization and basic mixing would have gone a long way. It’s also somewhat annoying that the distracting talking head icons that appear at the bottom left corner of the screen to indicate the availability of the in-concert interview clips can’t be turned off completely.

Technical issues aside (they’re the only reason I’m docking this one by a full star), this is an amazing disc that showcases a legendary band in peak form. Now 40+ years on down the track, the Doobie Brothers’ long train is still runnin’ as strong and as powerful as ever.

Blu-ray Review “Lone Wolf and Cub: Complete 6-Film Collection”

Director(s): Kenji Misumi, Buichi Saito, Yoshiyuki Kuroda
Actors: Tomisaburo Wakayama, Akihiro Tomikawa
Distributed by: AnimEigo
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Running Time: 507 minutes

Films: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1 out of 5 stars

Animeigo delivers once again in 2012. They are releasing “Lone Wolf and Cub: Complete 6-Film Collection” in its original unedited, uncut presentation, which have also been remastered on HD from new prints. To top things off they are in their original Japanese language with English subtitles. Included in the set will be 1972′s “Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance”, 1972′s “Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx”, 1972′s “Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades”, 1972′s “Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril”, 1973′s “Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons” and 1974′s “Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven in Hell”.

Earlier this year, Animeigo released “Shogun Assassin – 5 Film Collector’s Edition” which included the “Shogun Assassin”, “Shogun Assassin 2: Lightning Swords of Death”, “Shogun Assassin 3: Slashing Blades of Carnage”, “Shogun Assassin 4: Five Fistfuls Of Gold” and “Shogun Assassin 5: Cold Road to Hell”. They were cut together from The “Lone Wolf and Cub” series and presented only in English dub. The “Lone Wolf and Cub” release is a much better way to view these film, no question.

These films show their age a little bit in their high-def transfers but I feel that any noise on these films just add texture to the films themselves. Since they have been completely reconstructed from new prints, overall the 1080p 2.35:1 transfer looks sharp. The audio included is the original Japanese LPCM mono tracks, which is actually a great thing and work very well with these. The special features are…well…there really isn’t any. There are some production notes and trailers but that is all. Lastly, the case presentation is also not as nice as the release for “Shogun Assassin – 5 Film Collector’s Edition”. But nonetheless, hardcore fans of the “Baby Cart” series are going to need to get this release.

Here are the official premises for each of the six-films:
“Sword of Vengeance”: Betrayed by the fiendish Yagyu, Ogami Itto and his son begin their bloody journey towards revenge. Their first commission: to save the life of a Daimyo and kill the traitors and ronin that plot his death.

“Baby Cart at the River Styx”: The Evil Yagyu Retsudo sets a band of deadly female Ninja on Ogami’s trail. Meanwhile, Ogami must kill a traitor who seeks to sell a Clan’s secrets to the Shogun — a traitor guarded by three men known as “The Gods of Death!”

“Baby Cart to Hades”: After undergoing torture to demonstrate his honor and buy the freedom of a girl about to be forced into a life of prostitution, Ogami is hired by his very-impressed torturers to kill a corrupt governor. The governor figures out he’s the target when Ogami turns down the governor’s own commission, and the body-count soon starts rising to monumental proportions!

“Baby Cart in Peril”: Ogami is hired to kill a tattooed female assassin, but the job is not as straightforward as it seems. Meanwhile, Gunbei Yagyu, disgraced by Ogami in a duel before the Shogun, happens upon Ogami’s son Daigoro, and sees his chance for revenge. In the end, Ogami will have to defeat a horde of Yagyu warriors before he can face his arch enemy, Retsudo Yagyu!

“Baby Cart in the Land of Demons”: 5 warriors challenge Ogami to duels. Each has 1/5th of his usual fee, and 1/5 of the information he needs to complete his new assignment. Ogami has to be skillful enough to not only kill them, but kill them in such a way as to allow them to tell him what he needs to know, or he’s not the man for the job. His mission is to kill a mad Daimyo before he destroys his clan — a Daimyo guarded by a legion sworn to give their lives in his defense, even though they’ve just hired Ogami to kill their master!

“White Heaven in Hell”: The final film, and the final confrontation between Ogami and Retsudo. With most of his family already dead at Ogami’s hands, Retsudo launches one last plot to destroy him, and when that fails, unleashes the fury of every remaining member of the Yagyu Clan. Outnumbered 5000 to 1, Ogami might be in a little over his head (and thus, lose it!) this time!

Check out video for Texas in July’s latest song “Cry Wolf” and pre-order the upcoming album now!

Texas In July has just premiered a brand new track today, called “Cry Wolf” from their self-titled album that will be out on October 9. This is the very first song revealed off of the new album. Texas In July is the follow up to their Equal Vision Records debut, One Reality, which was released in April 2011 and debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard New Artist/Heatseekers Chart and also placed on the Billboard 200, Rock, Independent, and Hard Rock charts. The band has just returned from a tour in Australia, and will next headline a Canadian tour with support from labelmates Glass Cloud, before heading out on the full US Unshakeable Tour supporting For Today this fall. They will close out the year on a UK/European tour as direct support to Miss May I this winter. All upcoming tour dates can be seen here. Pre-orders for the new album also launched last week, with each bundle coming with an instant digital download of “Cry Wolf”.

Pre-order link –


Blu-ray Reviews “Code of Silence & Lone Wolf McQuade”

Directed by: Andrew Davis / Steve Carver
Starring: Chuck Norris, Ralph Davis, Henry Silva, Bert Remsen, and Mike Genovese / David Carradine, Leon Isaac Kennedy, Robert Beltran
MPAA Rating: R / PG
Distributed by: MGM Entertainment
Release Date: July 17, 2012
Running Time: 101 / 108 minutes

Blu-ray Scores: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to Chuck Norris, I can honestly never have enough. MGM dug into their archives and have delivered two classics from the films of Chuck Norris, “Code of Silence” and “Lone Wolf McQuade”, which is easily one of his best films. These films really represent true 80’s action and show the rise of the badassness of Chuck Norris. Plus in “Lone Wolf McQuade”, if Chuck isn’t enough we had the also fellow Kung-fu master David Carradine. Even though these releases feel like a cash in to time with “The Expendables 2”, if you are looking for a fix of Chuck Norris in high definition, I would recommend these very reasonably priced Blu-ray.  They aren’t the best releases but it’s enough to give your Blu-ray player a nice roundhouse kick.

In “Code of Silence”, Chuck stars as Eddie Cusack, a Chicago police officer whoaims to take down a drug gang.  When two rival gangs go at each out, it is up to Cusack to take let since no one at the police force is willing to help him since he who broke the code of silence by testifying against a fellow cop. His only help is a  police robot called “Prowler” that assist Cusack in taking down the gangs.

In “Lone Wolf McQuade”, Chucks plays legendary renegade Texas Ranger J.J. McQuade.  That name alone is bad-ass enough for me. He is quick with his gun but more lethal with his black belt! McQuade comes face to face with big-time kingpin and also martial arts expert, Rawley Wilkes.  McQuade must face his biggest challenge in order to save his daughter.

The video quality on both “Code of Silence & Lone Wolf McQuade” are very impressive.  I would even go as far to say that they look awesome on Blu-ray. The 1080p transfers are quite good and are presented in a sharp 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The sound on the other hand is good but nothing amazing with its DTS-HD MA Mono audio track.  If you are looking for extras, look elsewhere.  These releases are totally very lacking extras. The Blu-ray’s only come with each film’s original theatrical trailer, presented in standard definition.  Fans of Norris should not miss out on these releases, nonetheless.

DVD Review “Teen Wolf: The Complete Season One”

Directors: Russell Mulcahy, Toby Wilkins, Tim Andrews
Starring: Tyler Posey, Crystal Reed, Holland Roden, Tyler Hoechlin, Linden Ashby, Jill Wagner, Eaddy Mays, Melissa Ponzio
Episodes: 12
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Running Time: 522 minutes

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

When it comes to “Teen Wolf”, there is really only one version the 80’s film with Michael J. Fox…and well maybe Jason Bateman in “Teen Wolf Too”, just for fun. This MTV version of this franchise feels a lot like a Twilight-infused version of the series.  The first episode is rather hard to get through and the series doesn’t particular get much better from there.  It is not unwatchable but definitely not a show that I would brag how good it is to watch.  The show will probably be loved by it’s core audience teenage girls or crazy “Twi-moms”.  Either way I will stick to the 80’s for “Teen Wolf”

This series takes us back to the beginning, unrelated 80’s franchise, of how one night will forever change or transform (literally) one teenager’s life.  Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) gets bit by a werewolf bite which introduces him to amazing supernatural powers. He has to deal with everyday angst in High School, keep his identity a secret while dealing with being a werewolf. “Teen Wolf” stars some of a hip young cast, including Tyler Posey (Scott McCall), Crystal Reed (Allison Argent), Tyler Hoechlin (Derek Hale) and Holland Roden (Lydia Martin).

For a DVD set, this contains some decent special features. There is an Extended Finale for “Code Breaker”. There is a bunch of Deleted, Alternate and Extended Scenes, as well as a Gag Reel. There is also a Behind-The-Scenes featurette. The cast provide commentary on select episodes. Teenage girls will go crazy for the Shirtless Montage. “Following The Pack: Meet The Cast Of Teen Wolf” introduces this new young cast and feature them talking about the show. Lastly there is footage from the red carpet in “Teen Wolf: Working The Red Carpet”. If you are a fan of this show, this set is for you definitely and don’t forget to tune into season two June 3rd 2012.

Season One Episodes:
“Wolf Moon”, “Second Chance at First Line”, “Pack Mentality”, “Magic Bullet”, “The Tell”, “Heart Monitor”, “Night School”, “Lunatic”, “Wolf’s Bane”, “Co-Captain”, “Formality” and “Code Breaker”

iPhone Game Review “Sea Wolf”

Format: iPhone
Version: 1.2
Price: $1.99
Coastal Amusements, Inc.

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

“Sea Wolf” is a remake/reboot of the classic Midway 1976 arcade game. The news isn’t all good though, this update has quite a few problems on the iPhone. The game play is decent but I had a big problem with the controls and the stability of the game itself. The controls are mostly motion-based but I found that it was too restricted and didn’t allow total control. Also when you have to shoot the planes coming at you, you need to use your finger on the screen and end up blocking your shooting view.

In the game you take control of a World War II submarine and your goal is to sink enemy ships with torpedoes and also shoot down enemy planes with your turret guns. Overall the game is definitely easy to just pick and jump right in. It does have a lot of action and levels to play. But the weak color design makes the game feel very repetitive after a short time.

Version 1.2 was recently updated to address bug fixes and stability but I feel that there is still some major bugs hiding away. During game play, I have experienced the game constantly crashing and when you resume playing the graphics are all scrambled. This forces you to have to start a new game and entirely lose your saved state.