Worlds 2019 – Everything You Need To Know

League of Legends is the most popular esport on the planet and the World Championship is the biggest tournament of the year. Last year it broke records when 205 million people tuned in to watch Invictus Gaming triumph over Fnatic in the Grand Final.

The 2019 Worlds is edging closer and excitement is reaching a fever pitch among the dedicated community of LoL fans. Read on to learn more about this eagerly anticipated tournament.

When does the League of Legends World Championship take place?

The event begins with the play-in stage at LEC Studio in Berlin, Germany, from October 2-5. This sees 12 teams battling to reach the group stage. The top four out of this group of 12 will make it through to the groups.

The action then shifts to Verti Music Hall in Berlin for the group, which runs from October 12-20. The quarter-finals take place at Palacio Vistalegre in Madrid, Spain, on October 26 and 27, and the semis are held in the same venue on November 2 and 3.

AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France, will then host the Grand Final on November 10.

Last year the Worlds took place in South Korea and the viewership figures were enormous. The Grand Final enjoyed 205 million concurrent viewers, which is way more than big sporting events like the Super Bowl could muster, and 90 million concurrent viewers watched the opening ceremony.

It will be interesting to see if it remains as popular when the action takes place in Europe this year.

What format does the tournament follow?

There will be 16 teams competing in the group stage once the play-in has concluded. They are divided into groups of four, and teams from the same region are kept apart.

The group stage follows a double round robin format and each match is best-of-one. The top two teams in each group will progress to the knockout stage of the tournament. If two teams have the same win-loss record, whoever did better in the head-to-heads will advance. If they were even in the head-to-heads, they will play a tiebreaker to determine who progresses.

Group A looks really exciting, as it features European powerhouse G2 Esports, who won the Mid-Season Invitational earlier this year, along with Korean second seed Griffin and Cloud9 of North America. The fourth team will come from the play-in.

FunPlus Phoenix, who have dominated the Chinese LoL scene this year, should cruise through Group B after they were drawn alongside J Team and GAM Esports.

Group C is a real group of death. It features SK Telecom T1 – the most successful team in LoL World Championship history – plus last year’s runners-up, Fnatic, and Chinese heavyweights Royal Never Give Up.

Defending champions Invictus Gaming find themselves up against ah1 eSports Club and Team Liquid, who finished second at the Mid-Season Invitational.

The eight teams that progress to the quarter-finals will be drawn into a single elimination bracket, where all matches are best-of-five. Teams that win their group will be up against teams that finish runners-up in a different group. If a team has an off day in the knockout stage, there is no chance of redemption and they will be going home.

How can I watch the action?

The Worlds can be viewed on the official Twitch channel of LoL developer Riot Games. It offers multiple language streams, each with a different set of commentators.

The number of viewers has been steadily rising in recent years, and we can expect some massive figures this time around. LoL is 10 years old now, but it is still the most watched game on Twitch, and this tournament will be extremely popular.

Who are the big teams vying for glory at the 2019 Worlds?

You can find odds on the outright winner of the LoL World Championship here and it makes for fascinating reading. SK Telecom T1 were the favourites until they were drawn into that hazardous group, but they are now second in the betting.

FunPlus Phoenix are the new favourites and they will be surging with confidence after storming to victory at LPL Summer earlier this year. They seized their first ever title courtesy of a 3-1 victory over RNG in the Grand Final, and they will be really pleased with their group stage draw for the Worlds.

SKT have roared back to form this year after rebuilding a new team around superstar Faker, and they would probably be reinstalled as favourites if they make it through to the quarters.

G2 Esports, who have dominated Europe this year and clinched the MSI, are also near the top of the betting, along with defending champions IG.

Invictus were on fire at MSI, going 9-1 in the group stage, but they slumped to a surprise defeat against Team Liquid in the semi-finals, and they form has nosedived since then. Yet they remain one of the best teams in the world, and it will be interesting to see how they respond at the big tournament.

How much prize money is on offer?

The prize pool for the 2019 Worlds is $2.25 million. That pales in comparison to the $34.3 million up for grabs at Dota 2 event The International 2019 or the $30 million Fortnite World Cup.

However, it will become the third most lucrative esports tournament of the year, and the prestige associated with winning it is immense. It will also open up significant commercial opportunities for the winning team, as LoL is massively popular and big brands will be keen to be associated with the world’s best franchise.

Which teams have enjoyed the most success in LoL World Championship history?

The first Worlds took place in Jonkoping, Sweden, in 2011. It was an all-European affairm as Fnatic beat Against All Authority 2-1 in the final.

The action shifted to Los Angeles in 2012 and the Grand Final became a best-of-five event. Tapei Assassins secured a 3-1 victory over Azubu Forest that year.

Then began a lengthy spell of Korean dominance. SKT lifted the trophy in 2013, before Samsung Galaxy White won in 2014.

The next three finals featured only Korean teams, as SKT beat KOO Tigers in 2015 and Samsung Galaxy in 2016, before losing to Samsung Galaxy in 2017.

Yet that Korean dominance was broken last year, as all of its representatives were eliminated before the quarter-final stage. Fnatic were bidding for their second triumph, but they were beaten 3-0 by IG in the final.

It means we have had five winners from South Korea, one from China, one from Taiwan and one from Europe. North America is still seeking its first champion.

SKT is easily the most successful team in the tournament’s history, with three wins and one runner-up finish, and Faker is the most decorated player. It will be fascinating to see if he can lead his team to glory once more in 2019.

 

The World’s Greatest Pink Floyd Show, BRIT FLOYD, Announces the US Eclipse World Tour 2018!

A Chas Cole for CMP Entertainment presentation

NEW FOR 2018

The World’s Greatest Pink Floyd Show

BRIT FLOYD

Eclipse World Tour 2018

’45 Years of The Dark Side of the Moon’

Performing songs from Pink Floyd’s best-loved and biggest selling albums, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall and The Division Bell plus much much more.

 

Brit Floyd, the world’s greatest Pink Floyd tribute show returns to the stage in 2018 for a very special ’45th Anniversary’ retrospective of Pink Floyd’s iconic 1973 album, The Dark Side of the Moon.

Having sold in excess of 45 million copies and judged by many as the greatest rock album of all time, The Dark Side of the Moon was an ambitious psychedelic masterpiece that redefined rock itself and propelled Pink Floyd and its members to rock immortality.

Each night Brit Floyd will perform classic tracks from The Dark Side of the Moon alongside gems from Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall and The Division Bell plus lots more.

The Brit Floyd show has truly become a phenomenon, widely regarded as the world’s greatest live tribute to Pink Floyd. Faithfully recreating the scale and pomp of the final 1994 Division Bell tour, complete with a stunning million dollar light show, large circle screen and arch plus moving lights, lasers, inflatables and theatrics. A Brit Floyd show really is as close as fans will get to experiencing the magnificence of a Pink Floyd show live.

Tickets are on sale now:  http://www.britfloyd.com/tour-dates/225-not-america-2018

 

Web links

www.britfloyd.com

www.facebook.com/britfloydshow

www.youtube.com/britfloydshow

www.twitter.com/britfloyd

Concert Review “Distant Worlds: Music from FINAL FANTASY”

Distant Worlds: Music from FINAL FANTASY
Mahaffey Theater
Saint Petersburg, FL

I feel that Arnie Roth outdid himself with this show. I’ve seen another show that he produced and I liked this one even better. Every show is a little different. As they have over 300 songs to choose from over the Final Fantasy series, there is always a different selection. Some staples are at every show, though, with things such as the Prelude. You just can’t start a Final Fantasy show without that one.

This is a combination show. There is a live orchestra with a live chorus. The music is performed in time with a pre-recorded video showing clips of various Final Fantasy games. For example, if you’re listening to Final Fantasy VII music, you will see clips from the games as well as from the Advent Children movie. So, there isn’t much else to say about this show, because you just have to go yourself. I wanted them to keep right on playing when it was over. I can’t wait until the show is in town again. Go get your tickets. GO!

Unexpected Worlds Collide and All Boundaries Are Broken in “LEGO Dimensions”

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today released the story trailer for LEGO Dimensions, the upcoming entertainment experience that merges physical LEGO brick building with interactive console gameplay.  The game features an original story that combines characters and worlds from 14 of the most popular entertainment brands including DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, The LEGO Movie, The Wizard of Oz, LEGO Ninjago, Back to the Future, Scooby-Doo, LEGO Chima, Doctor Who, Jurassic World, Ghostbusters, The Simpsons, Portal and Midway Arcade.

In the game, there is an ancient planet at the center of the LEGO Multiverse inhabited by an evil mastermind, Lord Vortech. It is said that he who controls the Foundational Elements that this planet is built upon, controls all of the Multiverse. Lord Vortech has vowed to be that ruler, summoning characters from a variety of LEGO worlds to help him find these building bricks of LEGO civilization. Some have agreed, others have rebelled, and only the combined powers of the greatest LEGO heroes can stop him.

When a mysterious and powerful vortex suddenly appears in various LEGO worlds, different characters from DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings and The LEGO Movie are swept away. To save their friends, LEGO Batman, LEGO Gandalf and LEGO Wyldstyle journey to locations beyond their wildest imaginations, and they soon realize that Lord Vortech is summoning villains from across different LEGO worlds to help him gain control. As his power grows, worlds mix, unexpected characters meet and all boundaries are broken. Our heroes must travel through space and time to rescue their friends before the vortexes destroy all of LEGO humanity.

Launching September 27, 2015, LEGO Dimensions will be available for Xbox One, the all-in one games and entertainment system from Microsoft and the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation4 and PlayStation3 computer entertainment systems and the Wii U system from Nintendo.

Follow LEGO Dimensions at:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LEGODimensions
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LEGODimensions (@LEGODimensions)
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/LEGODimensions (@LEGODimensions)
Tumblr: http://LEGODimensions.tumblr.com

 

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Hollywood Undead Set to Perform at Both Festivals This Spring And Kick off World’s Loudest Month With Official Monster Energy Welcome to Rockville Pre-Party In Jacksonville

HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD
UNVEILS NEW VIDEO FOR “DAY OF THE DEAD”
TODAY AT WWW.WELCOMETOROCKVILLEFESTIVAL.COM AND WWW.ROCKONTHERANGE.COM
BAND WILL PERFORM AT BOTH FESTIVALS THIS SPRING
AND KICK OFF WORLD’S LOUDEST MONTH WITH
OFFICIAL MONSTER ENERGY WELCOME TO ROCKVILLE PRE-PARTY
IN JACKSONVILLE

Later this spring, fans can catch Los Angeles based hip-hop/metal veterans Hollywood Undead atMonster Energy Welcome To Rockville in Jacksonville, FL on April 25 and Rock On The Range in Columbus, OH in mid-May. In the meantime, the band is premiering their video for “Day of the Dead”at www.WelcomeToRockvilleFestival.com and www.RockOnTheRange.com.

In the Spence Nicholson-directed clip, Hollywood Undead appear as musical guests on a satirical version of a for-profit televangelism program.

Hollywood Undead’s J-Dog says, “A guy named Spence directed this video. He directed the ‘Everywhere I Go’ video too…Still one of our favorite videos. We came up with a really original idea for ‘DOTD’ and it came out amazing.”

“Day of the Dead” is the current single and title track from Hollywood Undead’s fourth studio album, due out March 31 via Interscope Records. Visit http://smarturl.it/HUDayOfTheDead to pre-order the album.

For more information on Hollywood Undead, visit www.hollywoodundead.com.

The fifth annual Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville takes place April 25 & 26 at Jacksonville, Florida’s scenic Metropolitan Park along the St. Johns River. Florida’s biggest rock festival kicks off the World’s Loudest Month festival series and features music on multiple stages, band autograph signings, interactive experiences, a Monster Energy viewing area with beverage sampling, and a variety of food and beverage options, including local gourmet food trucks and the debut of the new Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville Tequila World. 2014’s Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville sold out with 40,000 fans of all ages from around the U.S. and various countries in attendance during the two-day destination music festival. Tickets for Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville are available now at www.WelcomeToRockvilleFestival.com.

Hollywood Undead will get the party started Friday, April 24 with an exclusive performance at theMonster Energy Welcome To Rockville Official Pre-Party at Underbelly (113 E Bay Street) in downtown Jacksonville. The Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville Official Pre-Party is presented by Danny Wimmer Presents, Bud Light, Jack Daniel’s and Jägermeister. The party is free to all Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville ticket holders 21 and older. To gain access to the Pre-Party, ticketholders need to show their festival ticket at the Underbelly box office to get a Pre-Party wristband in advance. Wristbands are limited and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis beginning at Noon on Friday, April 24. Doors open at 8:00 PM for the Pre-Party and music starts at 9:00 PM.

Rock On The Range, America’s premier hard rock festival, returns to Columbus, Ohio’s MAPFRE Stadium, formerly Crew Stadium, May 15, 16 and 17, 2015 for its ninth year with a stellar lineup of top rock bands. The full weekend of non-stop rock will feature performances from many of the world’s most exciting bands on three stages over three days, plus the biggest Rock n’ Roll comedians in the ROTR Comedy Tent. The festival has sold out in advance for two years in a row, with 120,000 concertgoers on hand in 2014. ROTR Weekend Tickets are on sale now at www.RockOnTheRange.com.

Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville and Rock On The Range are part of the World’s Loudest Monthfestival series. Created by AEG Live, Danny Wimmer Presents and RockHouse Presents, The World’s Loudest Month features the biggest names in rock music performing in eight distinct U.S. concert atmospheres in April and May. Last year saw new attendance highs for the World’s Loudest Month festivals, with more than 368,000 fans turning out to see over 150 bands perform, proving that the hunger for rock and metal music in America is growing.

About Danny Wimmer Presents: Since 1995, Danny Wimmer has created, developed and produced events from the club level to some of the largest North American festivals. Founded in 2007 by industry veteran Wimmer, DWP produces some of the largest festivals in the rock and alternative landscapes. Never satisfied with the status quo, Danny Wimmer Presents strives to create memorable and fulfilling concert experiences leaving both consumers and partners with lasting and meaningful impressions.

www.DannyWimmerPresents.com

About AEG Live: AEG Live, the live-entertainment division of Los Angeles-based AEG, is dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance. AEG Live is comprised of touring, festival, broadcast, merchandise and special event divisions, fifteen regional offices, and owns, operates or exclusively books thirty-five state-of-the-art venues. The current and recent concert tour roster includes artists such as Alicia Keys, American Idols, Bon Jovi, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, Kenny Chesney, Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, The WHO, Trey Songz and Juanes. The company is also currently producing residency shows at The Coloseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas including Celine Dion, Rod Stewart and Shania Twain and is the exclusive promoter at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. AEG Live is also the largest producer of music festivals in North America from the critically acclaimed Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival to Stagecoach Country Music Festival and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. www.aeglive.com

About RockHouse Presents: RockHouse Presents is a boutique concert company specializing in talent buying for the best hard rock and alternative rock music events across North America. RockHouse, while serving as a co-executive producer for destination festivals Rock On The Range, Carolina Rebellion and the first annual Northern Invasion, also books, markets and curates such branded events as EdgeFest/Dallas, Xfest/San Diego, MMRBQ/Philadelphia, BFD/San Francisco and several other nationally known radio hosted shows across the country.

Jeff Lowe talks about the world’s first digital capture board, SMART kapp

Jeff Lowe is the VP Enterprise Sales & Marketing, SMART Technologies. SMART Technologies Inc., a leading collaboration company and global provider of visual collaboration solutions, recently announced a new product called, SMART kapp, which is the world’s first digital capture board. SMART kapp capitalizes on the company’s 20 year history as the inventor of the SMART Board® interactive whiteboard, their collaboration technologies and their patents. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Jeff about this amazing new product and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how you got started with at SMART Technologies and your role with the company?
Jeff Lowe: I have been at SMART for a little over two years now, after a career in large technology organizations like IBM and TELUS. SMART has two distinct business units, one is the K-12 and the other is corporate or what we call Enterprise market. I am head of sales and marketing for the Enterprise market. We help companies to collaborate better with their workers whether they are in the same office, same city or across the world.

MG: Give us the lowdown on creating the world’s first digital capture board, SMART kapp?
JL: When you look at what collaboration tools companies are using, almost every company uses dry erase boards and flip charts. They have been around for decades and haven’t changed much, if at all, while other tools have adapted greatly to how far we have come in technology. That is one side and the other is informal collaboration, which is really growing. It is the preverbal water cooler conversations and the meetings that happen in between meetings, this is where a lot of work is being done these days in corporation around the world. So we feel that due to these things there are new tools required to grow and advance.

MG: What are some of the features that you are most excited about?
JL: I would have to mention three. The first is the ability to capture what is written on the board in real-time. Often times what happens in a meeting is that people are jotting down their ideas and then that information then needs to be captured. This can happen via one of two ways, either someone has to come and write it up or people take a photo with their phones. It is often not an ideal way to capture that information. On the kapp board you can literally just hit a button and capture what is on the board in a high quality digital image like a JPG or PDF. The next one is to be able to share that with remote workers. How often during meetings do we have remote people on the phone, who are trying to follow a meeting but cannot see what is being written on the board, so they become disengaged. Sometime people will take a photo of the board and email it to the remote workers. What we are able to do with the kapp board is you can scan a QR code, which launches your email on your mobile phone that is paired with the board and you send an email which invites them to the kapp meeting. There is nothing that the remote worker even has to have installed. They open a browser and can watch in real time the annotations taking place on the board.

MG: Since it is glass; how resistance are we talking to scratches and other wear and tear?
JL: We have thought of that. It made with tempered glass. It is pretty heavy duty glass. One of the great things about glass is how easy it is to write on. It is very smooth and elegant. It also is easy to erase it. We all know how dry erase board have issues with old things left on there that can’t be erased. That all goes away with the glass surface.

MG: Are they any features that are going to be added in at a later time?
JL: Yes, that is a fantastic question Mike! This is version 1 and we are looking to launch the next version already with the next few months with shipping to begin start of the next year. Some of the features you will see is size. The current size is similar to a typical dry erase board or flip chart. We are looking to introduce one in the 80+ inch range. The second is colors. Right now, the color of the ink is only black. In the future we are planning on including other colors. We are also looking to expand features with the software application itself, for example things like print to text conversion and expanding on the number of concurrent users that can connect to a meeting, which is right now five.

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright talk about “The World’s End”

This Friday sees the US release of The World’s End, the final installment of Edgar Wright’s “Cornetto” trilogy. It’s the third comedy following 2004’s Shaun of the Dead and 2007’s Hot Fuzz, to star Simon Pegg (also co-writer of all three) and Nick Frost. While the films are standalone stories across wildly different genres, they’ve been consistently hilarious variations on common themes. Hence, more comparable to Cornetto flavors—a British ice cream that found its way into all three movies—than narrative installments. The trio of Pegg, Wright and Frost sat down in New York to discuss the completion of the trilogy with this apocalyptic pub crawl.

The movie centers on Gary King (Pegg) who is dead-set on reuniting his old schoolmates, now grown men, in an attempt at completing an epic pub crawl they left unfinished as youths in 1990. He faces the most opposition from his onetime best friend, Andy, played by Frost.

How would you each describe the other’s characters?
Nick Frost: I would say Gary King is a forty-one year old man stuck sadly in…1990, it never got better for him than that night. I like to think about Gary in the space between then and when we meet him. What he got up to. And what I think is getting pissed on a kibbutz a lot, being like a rep in Portugal in like a resort, maybe traveling to Australia, doing the same thing there. You know, I think he did a lot of drinking and a lot of fornicating and then he reaches a point where he, he was just sadly empty. And I think where we meet him…that gear that he wears in the film, I don’t think he wears it all the time. He’s like a general who’s going to commit suicide on telly and he puts all his gear on. He puts his gloves on and his medals. That’s his last hoorah and I think he has a suspicion that he knows he’s not coming back.
Simon Pegg: As an addendum to that I think there’s a lot of parallels between World’s End and Scent of a Woman. Gary is like Colonel Frank Slade.
Andy is you know this guy who was, who had his heart broken by his best friend when he was very young and has never been able to let go of that anger about that. And he’s moved away from it. He’s excelled in his job, he’s married and had children, he’s created a life for himself. He’s a success in many ways, maybe not emotionally to a degree. We find out things later on. But he’s a guy who has been let down by someone he loves and hasn’t addressed that yet. So when we meet Andy he kind of seemingly Gary’s enemy, they’re not friends anymore but really what underpins that enmity is a deep affection which we eventually learn the truth about.

Lauren Damon: In both Shaun and Hot Fuzz Simon was the more straight-laced character at the start of the film, was that reversal of roles fun?
Pegg:
It was yeah.
Frost: Yeah I mean those other roles, the central character is not always the craziest or the funniest even though Simon is incredibly funny, but this time it was. And it was always going to be Simon and I never look at it and think ‘oh why am I this again?’ It never feels like that. Its for the good of the film, but this was you know—Simon’s gonna laugh when I say this because I said it lots of but—[Pegg joins in in unison] We are actors!

The chance to play any different person or different character is what you want to do as an actor. And I’d kind of argue that Danny and Ed are very different characters. Ed is quite cynical and lazy and Danny is just a big, lovely labrador, you know? And so the chance to be a kind of hard knot and to be the kind of moral voice of the audience essentially at certain points in this film is a great challenge. And also I get to kick arse.

LD: And rip your shirt off.
Frost: That was the only thing I put my foot down. Edgar wanted me to rip my whole shirt off so essentially I would be topless for the second half of the film and I had to say no.
Pegg: Which was a relief because it was winter.
Frost: Well I’ve got quite a lot of tattoos so the coverage of tattoos would have been an issue. And also, it don’t look s’good!
Pegg: I beg to differ!
Frost: But it got cold it got up to minus ten at night when we were shooting.

All three men elaborated on the amazing stunt work in the film, choreographed by frequent Jackie Chan collaborator, Bradley James Allan:
Pegg: The important thing for us was that we, in all the fight sequences in the movie, we retained the characters. Often in films when you cut to action sequences, stunt performers have to take over and as such, the characters that the actors have created vanish slightly in favor of the action. What we really wanted to do was make sure that the characters were maintained throughout the action and that meant us doing it…And we always wanted it to be the case where it’s like we’re—particularly for Nick’s character—all this simmering rage that he has, all this resentment towards Gary, all this kind of dissatisfaction that he has with his own life it just bursts out of him like—we used to call him the Pink Hulk because he had a pink shirt on underneath—and Andy turns into the pink Hulk. And each of them have a different—like Gary fights one handed because he’s trying to protect his pint. Andy, you know, fights like a berserker. Paddy [Considine], because he’s a boxing fan, uses all these great big haymakers like a brawler. Martin [Freeman]’s always wriggling out of stuff—
Frost: Like a hobbit!
Pegg: Which he picked up from somewhere, I don’t know. So yeah, it was all very much there in the script.
Frost: Eddie [Marsan]’s the coward.
Pegg: Eddie hides under tables. Which is funny because Eddie’s pretty handy. Eddie’s got some good punches.
Frost: Yeah he is, he trains a lot to be a fighter.
Pegg: He’s a little East End boxer.
Frost: He does “Ray Donovan” so he spends a lot of time in the boxing ring
Edgar Wright: What we tried to do is not actually use like…If you have a scene in an action film and you have like there’s a waiter who looks particularly tall and muscly, you know that he’s going to go through a window at some point. So like you can kind of pick out, that’s a stunt man, that’s a stunt man, that’s a stunt woman. What we tried to do with this was have people you wouldn’t—when you see those five kids, you don’t expect it. They’re kids. And the lead guy is fifteen years old. So you don’t expect him to be in a fight. And then they do all of their own stunts… And that was something I said to Brad Allan, our choreographer. I did a scene in Hot Fuzz, I ended up cutting out of the movie because it didn’t really work, it was a scene where Simon arrested some kids and so I said ‘I really wanna do this fight scene, but do you think we could get teenage stunt men?’ He goes ‘Absolutely, we got circus schools, tumblers, gymnasts, martial artists…’ and so the kids in that sequence are from the ages of fifteen to twenty. And they’re amazing.

LD: Going way back to Lee Ingleby’s crew in “Spaced” [Wright’s 1999-2001 sitcom starring Pegg and Frost], through the hoodies in Hot Fuzz, do you just have a distrust of youths gathering anywhere together?
Wright:  think a central theme is no matter how young you think you are, there’s always someone younger. That fear of being usurped by the people like are sort of like ‘Oh my god, that fifteen year old is gonna kick my ass!’ The emasculation of being beaten up by somebody younger than you, I think it’s that kind of fear. I think once actually Nick in London got mugged by a bunch of teenagers which is like an extremely distressing thing because hey, you know, you might be twenty-eight but these fifteen year olds…they’re are gonna kick your ass! And it’s just a horrible horrible thing. I think it’s just a part of the nightmare of emasculation of being beaten up by teenagers, people fifteen years younger than you.

At what point in working with Edgar did the word trilogy come up?
Simon Pegg: I think probably on the Hot Fuzz press tour when we realized we had been able to make two films and those films were in essence connected. You know, sort of tonal sequels in a way, in that they were not directly sequels—not the same character stories obviously—but they were definitely variations on a theme. And we figured if we could possibly be able to do it again, we could wrap it up as a sort of nice Hegelian whole. As a threesome as it were. And do it again. So we refined the ideas we had started on. It wasn’t like we set out to make the trilogy. We would never be so arrogant as to assume we would be able to make three films.
Nick Frost: I think one was enough.
Pegg: Yeah.
Frost: I think we thought, being British filmmakers we were lucky to make one, you know. [laughter] It’s true!
Pegg: We didn’t think it would come out there, let alone here.
Frost: We thought, if we could sell it to Lufthansa and they show it on the flight, we’ll be lucky. And you know, we get a chance to make Hot Fuzz and then that seemed the logical thing to do really.
Wright added:  …The fact that Hot Fuzz was shot in my hometown so I’d had that experience of being back in my hometown very vividly. So it was very much preying on my mind and that’s where it starts to factor into this of the idea of the homecoming…But then we decided we would go off our separate ways and do separate projects and in a way I think we wouldn’t have written the same script six years ago. Because the nice thing is actually, not to get older, but to actually deal with that in movie. Shaun of the Dead, which we shot ten years ago is a film about he’s a twenty-nine year old about to turn thirty. And then in this film, they’re forty…I feel like when I watch a lot of the American “man child” comedies, sometimes I always think it’s kind of forced because there are people who–there’s that thing of being a big kid forever is always glorified– but never really scratches below the surface. In reality a lot of those actors are married and have kids and so I think it’s a good thing to do these movies and actually acknowledge that the characters are older. So I think in that way, me and Simon, it was great going away—it’s not like we didn’t see each other in six years, we’re like best friends– but it was the first time we’d written together in like five years.

Was it different coming back to write together after so long?
Wright: No if anything, I think it was easier in a way. I think out of the three, Hot Fuzz was the most difficult one to write. Because I think we realized that Agatha Christie is a genius and that murder mystery is really hard! We would have kind of the constant headache of trying to figure out the mystery plot…But the nice thing about this is we had the story, we had the plot and then like it was just like a huge outpouring of personal experience. Of like everything from our upbringing. Once you’ve got the story, I think the first thing that we did when we started talking about it was just start talking about personal experience. All of that stuff goes straight into the movie. So it is like, Shaun of the Dead too, but this one is definitely the most personal because so many themes of it are just straight from our experience. Everything from the sister [Sam, played by Rosamund Pike] is based on a real person…the bully is based on a really person. The experience of—I went back to my home town and a number of times after I’d left to live in London and I remember vividly one of the things that sparked the whole thing was going back to my hometown, going to a pub, and seeing your school bully, who didn’t recognize me. And I wasn’t sure whether he didn’t know who I was anymore or didn’t care. But the fact that he didn’t acknowledge me at all made me so mad. I didn’t want him to acknowledge me! And I certainly didn’t want to get into anything. But I was so mad because I was thinking ‘does he not recognize me, this guy?’ So things had just stuck. That’s something that happened like fifteen years ago, but it stuck with me. And so that’s what’s great about doing these films is that things you’ve been thinking about for a long time then just come flooding in. Then it just becomes like a whole like ‘this is the plot of the movie.’

Is this the end of the trio?
Wright: I think this, we thought would be nice to be a piece. It’s not like a trilogy in terms of they’re three of the same movie, it’s more like a triptych of three separate films that can be viewed separately or together. You know, separately they can be Kelly, Michelle and Beyonce, but together they’re Destiny’s Child.

LD: Who’s Beyonce?!
Wright: I don’t know! I don’t want to pick any favorites!

It might be a few years until we do another one. But this is not the end of us working together. Because we love working together so we’d like to do other stuff. But it might be something radically different next time.

The World’s End releases in the US on August 23rd, you can read our review of it here.

Film Review “The World’s End”

Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan and Martin Freeman
Directed By: Edgar Wright
Focus Features
Rated: R
Running Time: 109 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the fantastic ‘Cornetto’ trilogy, it’s don’t let Edgar Wright near your pub. Beginning with the climatic zombie destruction of The Winchester in 2004’s Shaun of the Dead through the collateral damage of all of Sandford’s local establishments in Hot Fuzz and now here in the eleven pubs leading to the twelfth and titular The World’s End, no barstool has been left unsplintered or unweaponized in one man’s struggle against a violent collective. It’s fitting that the oft tapped beer in this final installment is called Crowning Glory as Wright pulls out all the stops to deliver not only another great original action-comedy, but also a heartfelt conclusion to a trio of films that asked their audiences to face up to adulthood even if that also meant facing undead or intergalactic threats along the way.

In this case, the man on a mission is Gary King, a gloriously wild-eyed, drunken Simon Pegg. King brings us up to speed regarding an attempt him and his four mates made on their town’s Golden Mile pub crawl—five guys, twelve pubs, sixty pints. In 1990, they couldn’t complete their mission and King’s never lived it down. While his four friends have grown up into normal lives, King retains all the trappings of his youth from his Sisters of Mercy tee to the mix cassette in his car’s tape deck. Getting no reaction to his epic pub tale from his Alcoholics-Anonymous-like support group, Gary resolves to get his men back together for another try. He faces the harshest resistance from Andy (Nick Frost), his one time best friend, but having duped the other three men (Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan and Martin Freeman) to get on board first by lying about his complicity, Andy grudgingly joins in.

In their hometown, the friends find everything the same and yet strangely alien. The pubs    have lost their individuality, the town center marred by Modern Art (a statue that looks like Thor‘s Destroyer, which can’t be a good sign). Worst of all, none of the residents seem to recall or acknowledge any of Gary’s crew. Either the residents of the town are not themselves or they never really cared at all to begin with. The first of many illuminating realizations for Gary is that the discovery the residents really aren’t themselves because of a robotic threat is actually a relief compared to the alternative. At the very least, it keeps King’s crew united in battle right at the point in Gary’s desperate mission where they’re all just about to go home.

The action scenes are the most creative you’re likely to see this year with Gary’s other worldly opponents offering plenty of surprises while not being completely invulnerable (sometimes a problem in your summer action flicks). There’s a video-game like playfulness to a couple of the best sequences that I can only think were strengthened through Wright’s Pegg-and-Frost-free work on Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Similarly on the human side, every man brings their own skill set to the struggle from Andy’s simmering Hulk-like rage, to Gary’s one-handed defense of his glass of beer. It translates to the physical comedy actually maintaining the level of rapid fire laughs that Wright’s writing is known for.

In between the drinking and the brawls, the men gradually fall into the roles of their teenage selves in the group which allows for touching emotional moments as they confront their own unfinished business completely separate from the pub crawl. Particularly moving and early in the film is Eddie Marsan’s Pete reacting to the utter indifference shown to him by his once school bully.

Fitting for the film, I remember my own sixteen year old self doing my best to get the word out on Shaun of the Dead in my high school newspaper and am elated to report that this trio of films has never dipped in quality. What a relief that we’ve made it through so many other apocalyptic films  this year unscathed in order to get to Wright’s crowning glory.

Blu-ray Review “Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Best of Both Worlds”

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: April 30, 2013
Run Time: 85 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

For all “Star Trek: The Next Generation” fans, we all know that “The Best of Both Worlds” was one of the best arcs in the series. The classic two-part cliffhanger ended the third season and started the fourth season. This Blu-ray contains both parts of this great story blended into one seamlessly edited feature length film. The only issue with this Blu-ray is that since “The Best of Both Worlds: Part 1” was one of the best cliffhangers ever, putting the two parts together kind of takes a little bit of that away anticipation away. But I love this story and this new edit works quite well. Also “The Best of Both Worlds: Part 2” isn’t available until Paramount releases the “Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 4” on Blu-ray possibly later this year. But in the meantime fans can enjoy it in advance right here.

Official Premise: The powerful cliffhanger: The Best of Both Worlds Part 1 and 2 has been fully restored in brilliant 1080p HD and seamlessly edited together into one feature-length presentation…and the crew of the Enterprise is asked: How do you stop an unstoppable foe? The Enterprise team discovers the devastated remains of a Federation colony as an ambitious young officer joins the crew to confirm the presence of the deadly Borg. Soon after, Borg drones abduct Captain Picard, mutilating him horribly as they assimilate him into their collective. Commander Riker must take over as Enterprise captain as Steerfleet braces for an all-out battle to defend Earth. But the Borg’s power proves overwhelming, and resistance is futile. Will Riker be forced to destroy his former captain to save Earth and the Federation?

So I wouldn’t really consider this a double-dip since it does come with some great special features.  This is also the only place to watch the two-part edit since only Part 1 is available on the third season Blu-ray. Some fans also might want to only own the episodes in a feature-length format then the whole seasons. The Blu-ray presentation is pretty sharp as well with a nice Velcro snap half-cover slipcase, simple but nice touch. Another bonus to this release is that Paramount is including a UltraViolet digital streaming copy of the episodes. They are beautifully presented in 1080p with a stunning 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The episodes have never looked or sounded better. The special features include an audio commentary track with Cliff Bole, Mike & Denise Okuda and Elizabeth Dennehy. There is also a featurette “Regeneration: Engaging the Borg” and a Gag Reel included. These bonus features are also not available on the “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Three” Blu-ray release.

Win Passes to the Kansas City Screening of “Star Trek: the Next Generation – The Best of Both Worlds” [ENDED]

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED AND WINNER HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EACH WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

 

Last November, Media Mikes provided passes to a special in-theatre presentation of a celebration of the second season of the groundbreaking television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” This weekend we’ve teamed up again with Fathom Events and CBS Home Entertainment to bring the third season episode, “The Best of Both Worlds,” to the big screen.

One lucky fan will receive (2) passes to the Kansas City screening at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, 2013, at one of six Kansas City area theatres (AMC Barrywoods, AMC Independence, AMC Studio, AMC Town Center, Cinemark Merriam, Kansas City 18). Also presented that night will be an exclusive “behind the scenes” look at the making of “The Best of Both Worlds,” as well as the entire third season of the popular series.

“The Best of Both Worlds,” in which Captain Jean Luc Picard is assimilated by the Borg, consisted of two episodes – the season three finale and the first show of season four. The show has been remastered for the big screen and is considered one of the best “ST:TNG” episodes EVER!

The contest is simple. All you have to do to be eligible to win these passes is let us know your favorite “Star Trek: The Next Generation” character. Is it the brave and strong Captain Picard? The fully functioning android Data? Or are you strangely attracted to the beautiful Counselor Deanna Troi?

One random selection will be chosen at 8:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, April 21st. The winner will be notified by email. Only one entry per person please. Good luck!

For more information on the event: http://www.fathomevents.com/#!star-trek-best-of-both-worlds

3D Blu-ray Review "Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D (Limited Edition)"

Starring: Erica Linz, Igor Zaripov, Dallas Barnett
Director: Andrew Adamson
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Run Time: 91 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

I have always been a fan of Cirque du Soleil. I’ve seen numerous shows including “O”, “La Nouba”, “KÀ”, “CRISS ANGEL Believe and my favorite “The Beatles LOVE”. Each one is a unique experience and nothing compares to a Cirque show…nothing. So I was thrilled to see this film, especially in 3D. “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” is one visual trip. The last time I saw “Cirque du Soleil” in 3D was during the IMAX film from 2000 “Journey of Man 3D”. Of course this film is so much better than that film and really takes 3D to another level. The simple story in this film focuses on love at first sight and the fantastical happenings on the way to happily ever after. I just love the idea of that and it really hits a nerve with me. I highly recommend seeing this release, especially in 3D and get ready to be blown away with this visual spectacular film.

Official Premise: From the big top to the big screen, visionary filmmaker James Cameron and director Andrew Adamson (Shrek, Narnia) invite you and your family on an all new 3D adventure: “Cirque du Soleil Worlds Away”. A young couple who is separated, must journey through the astonishing and dreamlike worlds of Cirque du Soleil to find each other, as audiences experience the immersive 3D technology that will allow them to leap, soar, swim, and dance with the performers.

Paramount delivers “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” in a beautiful three-disc Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, as well as an Ultraviolet digital copy (in 2D). Since you know that James Cameron is involved expect that the 3D is going to look stunning. I am not mistaken, this film really is amazing looking with it’s 3D presentation. The depth is added so well that you literally find your dodging these performers as they fly around and perform this wonderful stunts. I have to say, the 2D transfer really can’t compare since this is really meant to be seen only in 3D. The music of Cirque du Soleil is also a very important part of their shows. I still, infact, still have my CD from when I saw “La Nouba”. This DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track is breathtaking just like the stunts performed in the film. The music really assists to tell the story and really transports you into this fantasy world.

The worst part of this release is the special features or lack there of. There are no 3D extras at all. There are only two short featurettes on the 2D disc. ”Making Worlds Away” is extreme short look into the production with the cast and crew. ”A Day in the Life with Erica Linz” features the actress talking about the film and working with both Cameron and Adamson. Lastly there is a “Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas Commercial”. Though not really a bonus feature but nonetheless a bonus, there is a coupon including a 20% discount offer on select Cirque du Soleil LIVE shows in the U.S. and Canada including “Amaluna”, “Quidam”, “TOTEM”, “Mystère”, “KÀ”, “CRISS ANGEL Believe”, “The Beatles LOVE”, “Zarkana” and “Zumanity”. So that is a little extra added bonus! I highly recommend “LOVE”!

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Book Review “Dinosaur Art: The World’s Greatest Paleoart”

Edited by: Steve White
Foreword: Philip J. Currie
Introduction: Scott D. Sampson
Hardcover: 188 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: September 4, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Growing up as a kid, dinosaurs have always thrilled me whether it is in pictures or movies. But there is something about looking through an paleoartist illustration of these creatures that is so breathtaking. This book is an awesome collection of work from various different paleoartist who specialize in blending science and art in order to reconstruct these ancient animals and their lost world. Edited together very well by Steve White, this book included illustrations and artwork from top of the top contemportary paleoartists. This is a must for all fans of dinosaurs.

I will give a break down of the artists in this book.  Mauricio Anton, Raúl Martin and Robert Nicholls are all known best for through work which has been exhibited all around the world  and in museums worldwide. John Conway has worked on various projects for the Discovery Channel and the American Museum of Natural History.  Julius Csotonyi has also worked with numerous museum exhibits, as well as National Geographic. Douglas Henderson was actually in the film “Jurassic Park” as ‘Dinosaur Specialist’.  Gregory S. Paul has also worked with the  filmmakers of Jurassic Park and several other TV series. He also has renamed several dinosaurs from working in the field. Todd Marshall is best known for collaborating with paleontologist, Paul Serono.  Luis Rey is the illustrator of “Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages.” Lastly John Sibbick has been illustrating dinosaurs for 30 years.

“Dinosaur Art: The World’s Greatest Paleoart” is filled with some truly amazing artwork, some of which have never before seen.  The illustrations range from digital to black and white drawings.  We get a really broad range of different artwork, especially since it is from so many different artists.  The art is also not limited to limited to just dinosaurs, there are also many other prehistoric mammals included. Note: be sure to take a peek behind the dust jacket for an amazing image of two silver dinosaur skeletons. Overall this book is highly recommended and another gem from Titan Books.

Titan Books

 

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Book Review “The Chappy Ferry Book: Back and Forth Between Two Worlds – 527 Feet Apart”

Written by: Tom Dunlop
Photos by: Alison Shaw
128 pages
Vineyard Stories
Release date: July 1, 2012

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

When most people hear the word “Chappaquiddick” I would venture to guess that, if they have any knowledge of history, they think about the night of July 18, 1969. On that night Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy drove his car off of the narrow Dike Bridge into Poucha Pond. While Kennedy survived the accident, his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned despite several attempts by Kennedy to rescue her. But Chappaquiddick is much more than a place in history. As I have in the past, thousands of people each summer make their way to the tiny island. And we all got there by way of the Chappy Ferry.

From a single row boat at the beginning of the 19th Century to the modern contraption that hauls both people and cars today, the Chappy Ferry has taken people from all walks of life the 527 feet from Edgartown, the main town on Martha’s Vineyard, to the tiny island that boasts less than 150 yearlong residents. Author Tom Dunlop has turned his almost lifelong fascination with the Ferry into an in depth look at how a 90 second voyage can turn into memories that last a lifetime.

Dunlop’s prose is beautifully accompanied by the dazzling photography of Alison Shaw. Many of her shots capture not only the workings of the Ferry but also the beauty of its watery highway. The Ferry has been used by fishermen, beach bathing enthusiasts, people looking to have their car repaired (the only business on the island is a combination general store/service station) and politicians (how do you think Senator Kennedy got his car TO the island. Incidentally, as he was heading to, and missed, the last scheduled ferry of the evening the Senator actually swam back to Edgartown). It’s also been used by Hollywood, co-starring in a key early scene in “Jaws.” And since I mentioned movies, an added bonus to this compendium is a 15 minute DVD entitled, of course, “The Chappy Movie.” The film, narrated by Dick Ebersol , was produced exclusively for the book by John Wilson.

CD Review: The Cory Smoot Experiment “When Worlds Collide”

The Cory Smoot Experiment
“When Worlds Collide”
Metal Blade Records
Producer: Cory Smoot
Tracks: 12

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“When Worlds Collide” is the posthumous album release from former GWAR guitarist Cory Smoot aka “Flattus Maximus”. Smoot passed away earlier this year while on tour with GWAR from a pre-existing heart condition. The 12 tracks contained on this album were originally intended for a concept album that was to feature a variety of guest vocalists however, due to time constraints this never happened resulting in Smoot recording all of the vocals himself. The album is now being released via Metal Blade Records under the name The Cory Smoot Experience. 100 percent of the proceeds from this album will go to the Smoot Family fund which was set up by GWAR and Metal Blade Records to support Cory’s wife and child.

Having talked with Cory about this album in the past I am so glad that we are finally getting to hear it. Packed with ripping guitar solos and guttural vocals each of the 12 tracks on “When Worlds Collide” are exactly what you would expect from one of the masterminds behind GWAR’s crushing sound. Turn the intensity up to 10 and the skill up to 11 and that’s what you are going to hear when listening to this album. The track “Brainfade” features some intricate acoustic work which I found to be really cool. I always enjoy when artists show a different side of their musicality. Another notable track from the album is “Countdown to Purgatory”. The track starts off with a 5,4,3,2,1 countdown and could easily be the soundtrack to an actual rocket launch. The song features a great build up which only adds to its excitement. The album features great production and despite the down tuned instruments all of the low end tonal characteristics are still present making the album that much heavier.

I encourage both fans of Cory’s work and those not as familiar with Cory’s previous releases to go out and get this album. All of the proceeds will be going directly to Cory’s family so not only will you be directly helping Cory’s family but in return you will get a crushing metal album. All hail Flattus Maximus!

Track Listing:
1.) The Blood Red
2.) Fortunate Son
3.) Religion is Fiction
4.) Rebirth
5.) Brainfade* acoustic riffing
6.) Mandatory Purgatory
7.) Countdown to Oblivion
8.) The Gauntlet
9.) When Worlds Collide
10.) Mutilation
11.) Hollow Tree
12.) Sloth Loves Chunk

Blu-ray Review “In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds”

Director: Uwe Boll
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Lochlyn Munro, Michael Teigen, Natassia Malthe, Heather Doerksen
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Running Time: 96 minutes

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

To start off, I am a fan of Uwe Boll’s films overall, they may not be the best but they are always fun to say the least. This film is very entertaining like its predecessor even though this film only carries a $7.5 million dollar budget compared to the first films $60 million dollars budget. There are less special effects but I feel that the story really picked up the slack in the film. The first film’s cast includes Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, Matthew Lillard and Ron Perlman and the sequel is only carried by Dolph Lundgren and Natassia Malthe. But that is what money can buy you and this film does good with what it has. Overall though if you are a fan of his films this one is definitely worth checking out.

In this story, we follow Granger, an ex-Special Forces soldier, who travels back through time help save a kingdom from its leader. Taken from modern day, he faces an age of sorcery and of course has to go up against dragons. Granger finds out that the two worlds are actually connected and that he needs to defeats the forces of darkness and fulfill an ancient prophecy before it is too late.

The special features are lacking a bit but at least they include two commentary tracks from the director Uwe Boll and writer Michael Nachoff. Uwe’s track is much better than Michael’s for sure. The next two featurettes are short and a little bit too quick. “Behind the Scenes of In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds” runs about 5 minutes and barely covers the production. “From Page to Screen: Writing In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds” is another short interview with writer Michael Nachoff about working on the film. It is working watching once but runs short as well.