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A DYING MACHINE: Mark Tremonti On Bringing His Latest Creative Endeavor To Life!

A DYING MACHINE: Mark Tremonti On Bringing His Latest Creative Endeavor To Life!

Mark Tremonti takes on his most ambitious project to date with “A Dying Machine.”

Every lasting legacy remains rooted in an undying urge to grow. After two decades at the forefront of all things guitar, a GRAMMY® Award win, 40 million-plus units sold between Alter Bridge, Creed, and his eponymous Tremonti, and countless other accolades, Mark Tremonti once again summited an uncharted creative peak in 2018. For the very first time, the guitarist and singer crafted an immersive concept and accompanying novel for Tremonti’s fourth full-length album and first for Napalm Records, “A Dying Machine.” The undeniably power record serves as the first concept album of Tremonti’s career and the music is inspired by a story that came to Mark while on the last Alter Bridge tour. During that time, the epic title track “A Dying Machine” was born. The story, which has been handcrafted into a full-length work of fiction (now available for pre-order at www.marktremonti.com) authored by Mark Tremonti and John Shirley, takes place at the turn of the next century where humans and fabricated beings called “vessels” are trying to co-exist.

Since the worldwide release of “A Dying Machine” via Napalm Records on June 8th, the album has stormed the US sales charts giving the group their fourth Top 10 on the Independent Current Album Chart. The album also landed at #2 on the Top Hard Music Albums, #3 on the Record Label Independent Current Album, #7 Top Internet, #12 Top Current Artists and #57 on the Billboard Top 200. The album also shot up the iTunes chart hitting #3 on the Top Rock Albums and #6 on Top Overall Albums when it was released. Hot on the heels of their impressive chart debut Tremonti, comprised of Mark Tremonti on vocals/guitars, Eric Friedman on guitars/backing vocals, and Garrett Whitlock on drums, have also announced they will be touring the US later this year as special guests for their friends in Seether. 

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Mark Tremonti to discuss the latest exciting chapter in his career. In the interview, the focus on the origins of “A Dying Machine,” the challenges encountered during the creative process and what lies in store for fans in the near future.

Before we get to everything you have going on currently, let’s go back to the beginning. How did music first come into your life?

When I was really young, I was drawn to the guitar. It was something that I absolutely needed to get my hands on! When I did, I just went to songwriting route right off the bat. I have been creating, as much as I can, since I was 11 years old!

One of the hardest working men in rock.

Pursuing one’s passion professionally is a huge step to take for any young person. Did you have any reservations about taking the plunge?

No, I never had any reservations. I always played it safe. When I was in high school and college, I was always on top of my school work, in addition to practicing my guitar as much as possible. I went to college for about 4 to 5 years before we got the record deal. When we got the deal, I just had to drop out and go chase the dream at that point. I could always go back to school, but I couldn’t always go back to a record deal. So, that’s the decision I made at the time.

You make it all look so easy when you take the stage. When do you feel you came into your own as a performer and become comfortable in your own skin?

[laughs] I think I’m still trying to do that more and more every day! Back when I first started, I was very timid on stage. There comes a point where you just don’t think about what you’re doing, and you enjoy it. Nowadays, it’s just like the switch goes off. When I go out on stage I’m a completely different person then I am when I’m off stage. It’s kind of like putting up a wall. It protects you. It’s kind of like how some people don’t like to hear their own voice or see pictures of themselves. When you get on stage, you can’t feel that way. You just gotta let it all out and not worry about it. It takes years to develop that, but like I said, it’s like a light switch going off. When I am on stage I turn into a character and I’m not really myself.

You’ve come so far in the past 2 decades in the business. What do you consider the biggest obstacles that you’ve overcome?

I think the biggest obstacle we’ve ever had to get past was the breaking up of Creed and the birth of Alter Bridge. It was definitely not an easy transition and we fought for our lives and careers at that point. We fault for 12 or 13 years before we felt we had a very solid foundation. It was a tough time, but I think it built us all and made us a stronger unit.

What goes into fueling your creative fire, so to speak?

I just like to set moods. A lot of times, I just have to be alone and get into the flow of whatever it is I may be feeling at the moment and see what happens. It’s almost like catching lightning in a bottle! You never know when it’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen, or what type of mood you’re going to be in. You just have to adapt!

There’re a lot of people out there who look to you as an inspiration. What do you consider the keys to longevity in the music business?

I think it comes down to being passionate about what you do and working hard at it, along with never getting comfortable. This is something I’ve always loved doing, so it’s never been an effort for me to write the next song or work on the next guitar technique. It’s something I truly enjoyed doing. My advice to anyone out there would be to be passionate about what you’re doing and work hard!

You’ve certainly worked hard on the latest release, “A Dying Machine.” Tell us a little about how the ball got rolling for your concept record.

I had been working on a few songs before I came across the title track. Once I came up with the title track, I discovered that I really enjoyed telling that story within the song, so I started to write another song to continue that story. At that point, I thought, “maybe I will do a three or four song, miniature concept record.” Once I got there and finished with that, I just kept on going until the whole record was a concept. That was a new concept for me and I really enjoyed it!

Wow! It sounds like it was a very organic process from start to finish.

Yeah, it just kind of landed in my lap. I was never a fan of concept records in general. I had a couple of concept records in my collection when I was younger, but it wasn’t because of the concept. I never even really knew what the concepts were, I just had the records. It was never something on my radar to do. For a few years now, I’ve had this ambition to write a book and get it published. I felt it would be a huge accomplishment and it was something I put on my list of things to do before I left this planet. When this album came together, I thought, “No time like the present to go ahead and try to do this!” That’s why I took on the challenge of taking on the record and the book.

Tell us a little bit about your typical songwriting process. How did the writing process for “A Dying Machine” compare and contrast to what you’ve done in the past?

Each song is a little different. A lot of songs on this record, if I wrote something I enjoy, I would set some type of drum loop and write to that. The idea was to come up with as many parts as I could in at any given sitting. Then, I will come back to those parts and filter through to see if I could tie them together. On this record, it was a little different because I make sure that each song was completed before I moved on to the next song. Usually, I will write in pieces and parts and kind of jump between the songs. I might even write songs that aren’t going to be only record for two more records from now. I never force myself into forcing a song to be done but on this record I did. I made sure each song was completed before I moved on because it needed to follow a plot because it was the concept of a book. I needed to have the songs for specific reasons. It was a fun challenge and a new way of working for me. Some songs were more difficult to nail down than others. There were things that made it tougher and easier at the same time. When you have a concept record, you have a goal but, in having a goal, you have to be able to make it makes sense. You can’t just be vague with your songs. You have to go to the direct route. When you’re going into a new song, sometimes it’s good to have that purpose, but other times it made it more difficult.

You joined forces with John Shirley, your co-writer, for “A Dying Machine.” How’d the two of you cross paths?

When I first decided to do the book, I started putting pen to paper and try to do it myself. Over the years I have bought and studied all kinds of books on how to write novels, develop characters and so on. I didn’t have a lot of practice of actually doing it, only practice at studying how to do it! [laughs] When I actually got around to doing it, it was a very slow-going process and I questioned myself a lot. It was at that point I decided to look into ghostwriters. A thought occurred to me that my agent, who books us in The States, works for UTA (United Talent Agency) and they have a literary department. So, I called him up and told him the story and what I was looking to do. I asked him if he could find somebody that I could partner up with on the project. You hear about people getting ghost writers and writing stories with them and whatnot, but I wanted a partner so you’re not writing in a vacuum, and you can bounce ideas off each other and move forward from there. I think we went through about nine different authors before we got to John Shirley. All the authors they send my way worked great and all were great writers, but you can kind of judge somebody’s voice and storytelling by just reading a few chapters of their work. Once I came across John, I knew it was perfect! He specializes in where technology is going in his writing and does TED Talks about the future of technology. I knew that when I explain the story to him, he could make it make sense scientifically, which really helped out a lot.

The “A Dying Machine” novel from Mark Tremonti and John Shirley is available for pre-order!

What was the process for working together on the book?

It was very similar to writing an album, believe it or not. The first thing I did was tell him the story about 10 different times from start to finish. Every time we would get on the phone, there would be things missing. Finally, I said, “Why don’t we come up with an outline. Could you write me a short outline of how you see the story after I’ve told it to you?” I was looking for two or three-page thing, but he turned in a 28-page outline! [laughs] We went through that outline for a couple weeks to make sure every detail was on track. Once that was taken care of we started with Chapter 1. We talked about what was going to happen at the beginning of the story, he would get off to writing and turn into me what he had written. I would go through it and give my input. We did that chapter by chapter for 21 or 22 chapters of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed doing it!

What do you feel you brought out in each other creatively through the process?

You know, one thing that really stands out is that when we first started working together, it was very formal and professional. As we got going, we both fell in love with the story. We really respect each other and became great friends through the process. We have never met in person, but we have talked on the phone hundreds of times. I’d talk to him every single day! Now that the book has been turned into the printer I really miss talking to John! I’ve been constantly thinking about another story that we could work on together. I loved working with him.

That’s so cool to hear! I know you said this was something you wanted to try once but it seems like you might be eager to take another stab at it!

I would love it. When we were finishing up the project, I was excited that we were finishing it up, but I was kind of sad that it was coming to an end. I would say that of anytime in my career, this has been the most satisfying artistic endeavor I’ve been a part of. Doing the book and the album has allowed me to use my imagination to the fullest and that is very, very satisfying.

What are the biggest challenges you encounter during the creation of both the book and the album?

Telling the complete story was a big challenge. It was all very natural and the more natural you can be the better because the less hard it will be and the more right you know it is. If you have to force something, you know it’s not right. I think one of the toughest things I encountered was when I was initially writing the album. That was just getting lucky with your imagination and saying, “Okay, this is what the next plot twist could be and that’s what this next song is going to be about.” Then you finish that song and think, “Where is the story going to go from here? What’s next?” Then you have to write a song about that. The biggest challenge was opening up my mind and imagination to tell a story.

You’ve done the concept album and the novel. Any interest in turning “A Dying Machine” into a major motion picture?

That would be the ultimate dream come true! It’s something that the people at UTA are already discussing. When I was looking for this partner in the writing of the book, I told them the story and they told me that sometimes when artists turn in ideas for books it doesn’t necessarily end well. They said, “Sometimes when you have a musician or an actor who wants to write a book, you have to let them down softly. Sometimes they should stick to their craft.” Then they said that they really love this idea and really wanted to see it through. The head of their movie department was very excited about it and was talking to me about the possibilities of TV or movies. It really blew my mind that they were even considering that, so I’m really happy about that. I would really love to be as involved as I could, if that happens.

What remains on your creative bucket list now that you’ve knocked a few things off?

It’s hard to say! Those were the most far stretching goals I had. I still haven’t gotten the book published. I wrote the book with John and we’ve self-published it. We’re doing a limited run so that we can then go out and try to shop it to a publishing house to put it in bookstores. We still haven’t gotten to that point yet, so the book is still not totally checked off my list! I say the peak of my ambitions and goals at the moment would be to, like you said, get this thing on the screen somehow.

The album, “A Dying Machine,” is in stores now. Where can people go to get their hands on the book?

They can go to www.fret12.com or www.marktremonti.com. Like I said, we’re just doing a limited run of a few thousand books to start. We’re taking that approach because if you print too many of them the publishing house is like, “Well, you’ve already sold all of these books. Why would we want to sign you up and sell your books for you?” That’s why were keeping it so limited.

You’ve come a long way since starting out as a musician. How do you feel you’ve most evolved along the way?

It’s hard to say. I feel like you’re always evolving as a songwriter and are always trying to reinvent the way you are approaching the song. That’s been the biggest challenge for me overall. As a guitar player, I think my guitar playing has changed a lot over the years. If you listen to one of the songs off “My Own Prison” and one of the songs off “A Dying Machine,” I would hope you would see a big, big difference between the playing styles. Lyrically, I think you gain more and more confidence over the years. I always say, “if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse!” [laughs] you just have to keep on pushing and flexing your creative muscles along the way.

The music business is always changing. What’s the best way for us to lend support to you in this day and age?

Really, the best thing to do is to come out and see a show. It’s not all about CD sales these days, we’ve got vinyl of all different sorts and I love for people to check out the book. I love for people to not only enjoy the record but hear what the record is all about in it’s long form. Definitely check out the website and see when we’re touring near you. We love for you to come out and see us. We loved meeting everybody in person and we always stay at the end of shows to talk with everyone and sign shirts and whatnot. That’s probably the best way to support us.

It seems like the rest of your year is going to be jam packed! Give us a taste of what’s to come in the near future.

We’ve been over here in Europe for about seven weeks and we are headed home later this week. We just got done with the Iron Maiden tour which has been fantastic! We’re going home and taking five weeks off before heading back out on tour in the United States with Seether. After that, we’ll come back over here to Europe for a November tour. In January, we will probably do a short run in The States. Who knows from there! We will just keep on touring. I’m not sure where yet but we will probably tour through the fall of next year and then Alter Bridge will be on deck!

Awesome, man! You always have irons in the fire! Thanks for taking time out of talk to me today and I wish you continued success!

Thank you so much, man! I look forward to talking to you again soon! Take care.

Tremonti’s “A Dying Machine” is available now! Pre-order the book at marktremonti.com and fret12.com. Follow the continuing adventures of Mark Tremonti on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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First Trailer Released For Robert Rodriguez’s Visually Stunning ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Film

First Trailer Released For Robert Rodriguez’s Visually Stunning ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Film

20th Century Fox has debuted the official, action-packed trailer for ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL from visionary filmmakers James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez starring Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley and Keean Johnson! Check out the kickass first look at the film below!

ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL will be in theaters everywhere on July 20, 2018 in 3D & IMAX!

Synopsis: Visionary filmmakers James Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY) create a groundbreaking new heroine in ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an action-packed story of hope, love and empowerment. Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita (Rosa Salazar) is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic. When Alita awakens she has no memory of who she is, nor does she have any recognition of the world she finds herself in. Everything is new to Alita, every experience a first. As she learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield Alita from her mysterious past while her street-smart new friend, Hugo (Keean Johnson), offers instead to help trigger her memories. A growing affection develops between the two until deadly forces come after Alita and threaten her newfound relationships. It is then that Alita discovers she has extraordinary fighting abilities that could be used to save the friends and family she’s grown to love. Determined to uncover the truth behind her origin, Alita sets out on a journey that will lead her to take on the injustices of this dark, corrupt world, and discover that one young woman can change the world in which she lives.

ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL Official Channels
OFFICIAL WEBSITEAlitaBattleAngel.com

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‘Blade Runner 2049’ To Hit Blu-ray, 3D, DVD & 4K Ultra HD On January 26th

‘Blade Runner 2049’ To Hit Blu-ray, 3D, DVD & 4K Ultra HD On January 26th

See what critics are calling “the best movie of the year” when “Blade Runner 2049” arrives onto 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD. From Oscar-nominated director Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”) comes Alcon Entertainment’s science fiction thriller “Blade Runner 2049.” Sure as it is to delight ‘Blade Runner’ fans, this stunningly elegant follow-up doesn’t depend on having seen the original.

The film stars Oscar nominees Ryan Gosling (“La La Land”) as K, and Harrison Ford (the “Star Wars” films, “Witness”), reprising the role of Rick Deckard.  The main international cast also includes Ana de Armas (“War Dogs”), Sylvia Hoeks (“Renegades”), Robin Wright (“Wonder Woman”), Mackenzie Davis (“The Martian”), Carla Juri (“Brimstone”), and Lennie James (“The Walking Dead”), with Dave Bautista (the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films) and Oscar winner Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”).

Blade Runner 2049” was produced by Oscar nominees Andrew A. Kosove & Broderick Johnson (“The Blind Side”) and three time Emmy winner Bud Yorkin & Cynthia Sikes Yorkin.  Multiple Oscar nominee Ridley Scott (“The Martian,” “Gladiator”), who directed the first “Blade Runner,” is an executive producer.  Bill Carraro served as executive producer and unit production manager.

Blade Runner 2049” will be available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack for $44.95, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack for $44.95, Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99 and DVD for $28.98. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the theatrical version in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc also featuring the theatrical version. The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in 3D hi-definition, hi-definition and standard definition; the Blu-ray Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in hi-definition on Blu-ray; and the DVD features the theatrical version in standard definition. The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack include a digital version of the movie in Digital HD with UltraViolet.  Fans can also own “Blade Runner 2049” via purchase from digital retailers beginning December 26th.

4K Ultra HD showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.

Additionally, all of the special features, including interviews with filmmakers, featurettes, and deleted scenes, can be experienced in an entirely new, dynamic and immersive manner on tablets and mobile phones using the Warner Bros. Movies All Access App, available for both iOS and Android devices. When a Combo Pack is purchased and the digital movie is redeemed, or the digital movie is purchased from a digital retailer, the Warner Bros. Movies All Access App allows users to watch the movie and simultaneously experience synchronized content related to any scene, simply by rotating their device. Synchronized content is presented on the same screen while the movie is playing, thus enabling users to quickly learn more about any scene, such as actor biographies, scene locations, fun trivia, or image galleries. Also, users can share movie clips with friends on social media and experience other immersive content. The Movies All Access app is available for download on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

The Blu-ray discs of “Blade Runner 2049” will feature a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar; however, Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.

Blade Runner 2049” will also be available on Movies Anywhere. Using the free Movies Anywhere app and website, consumers can access all their eligible movies by connecting their Movies Anywhere account with their participating digital retailer accounts.

SYNOPSIS

Three decades after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard, a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS

Blade Runner 2049 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, 3D Blu-ray and Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special features:

  • Designing The World of Blade Runner 2049
  • To Be Human: Casting Blade Runner 2049
  • Prologues: 2036: Nexus Dawn
  • Prologues: 2048: Nowhere to Run
  • Prologues: 2022: Black Out
  • Blade Runner 101: Blade Runners
  • Blade Runner 101: The Replicant Evolution
  • Blade Runner 101: The Rise of Wallace Corp
  • Blade Runner 101: Welcome to 2049
  • Blade Runner 101: Joi
  • Blade Runner 101: Within the Skies

Blade Runner 2049Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:

  • Blade Runner 101: Blade Runners
  • Blade Runner 101: The Replicant Evolution
  • Blade Runner 101: The Rise of Wallace Corp
  • Blade Runner 101: Welcome to 2049
  • Blade Runner 101: Joi
  • Blade Runner 101: Within the Skies

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS

On Dec 26, “Blade Runner 2049” will be available to own for streaming and download to watch anywhere in high definition and standard definition on favorite devices from select digital retailers including Amazon, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others. On January 16, “Blade Runner 2049” will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

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Guillermo del Toro Expands ‘Trollhunters’ Universe With ‘Tales of Arcadia’ Trilogy Series

Guillermo del Toro Expands ‘Trollhunters’ Universe With ‘Tales of Arcadia’ Trilogy Series

Guillermo del Toro is brining ‘Tales of Arcadia’ to Netflix.

Guillermo del Toro has announced that the world of Trollhunters will expand to become a trilogy of series called Tales of Arcadia.

On the surface, Arcadia appears to be a slice of timeless Americana, but it is no ordinary town.  It lies at the center of magical and mystical lines that will make it a nexus for many battles among otherworldly creatures including trolls, aliens and wizards.  DreamWorks Trollhunters, the first installment in the Tales of Arcadia trilogy, will be followed by two additional series 3 Below in 2018 and a final chapter Wizards set to debut in 2019.

Following Trollhunters, DreamWorks 3 Below will focus on two royal teenage aliens and their bodyguard who flee a surprise takeover of their home planet by an evil dictator and crash land in Arcadia. Now on the run from intergalactic bounty hunters, they struggle to blend in and adapt to the bizarre world of high school all the while attempting to repair their ship so they can return and defend their home planet.

DreamWorks Wizards brings together the three disparate worlds of trolls, aliens and wizards who have found themselves drawn to Arcadia. The final chapter of the Tales of Arcadia culminates in an apocalyptic battle for the control of magic that will ultimately determine the fate of these supernatural worlds that have now converged.

Premiering in 2016 to critical acclaim, Trollhunters introduced audiences to the seemingly quiet town of Arcadia and an ordinary kid who embarks on an extraordinary adventure in a hidden world right beneath his feet featuring the voices of Anton Yelchin, Kelsey Grammer, Ron Perlman, Steven Yeun, Anjelica Huston and more. The first season lead the Creative Arts Daytime Emmys with six wins, more than any other program, including writing for an animated program (Marc Guggenheim), directing (Rodrigo Blaas, del Toro), casting (Ania O’Hare, Mary Hildalgo) and a voice acting win for Grammer.

DreamWorks Trollhunters is created and executive produced by del Toro with Marc Guggenheim (Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow), Rodrigo Blaas (Alma) and Chad Hammes (Dragons: Race to the Edge) and Christina Steinberg (Rise of the Guardians) serving as executive producers.  Dan Hageman (The Lego Movie, Ninjago) and Kevin Hageman (The Lego Movie, Ninjago) serve as co-executive producers.

www.netflix.com/trollhunters
www.netflix.com/3below
www.netflix.com/wizards

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THE NEW MUTANTS: First Trailer For Gloomy ‘X-Men’ Spin-off Revealed!

THE NEW MUTANTS: First Trailer For Gloomy ‘X-Men’ Spin-off Revealed!

There’s Something New to Fear. Kick off Friday the 13th with the official trailer for THE NEW MUTANTS. The film is directed by Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) and stars a cast featuring Anya Taylor-Joy (Split, The Witch) as Magik, Game Of Thrones‘ Maisie Williams as Wolfsbane, Charlie Heaton as Cannonball, Henry Zaga as Sunspot, and Blu Hunt as Mirage.

THE NEW MUTANTS will hit theaters everywhere on April 13, 2018!

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Monsters Exist: A Review of ‘Kong: Skull Island’ On Blu-ray!

Monsters Exist: A Review of ‘Kong: Skull Island’ On Blu-ray!

Giant monster movies, or Kaiju films, are my bag! You put an enormous creature on the big screen and I’m probably going to eat it up. Hell, I’m still waiting for a proper sequel to Cloverfield. So you know that as soon as I heard there was a King Kong reboot heading our way it took a lot for my head not to explode. Sadly, when Kong: Skull Island hit theaters I was unable to make it out. Now, with Kong coming to bluray/digital I had a chance to sit down and take in the giant primate’s greatness! Join me as I take on Warner Bros newest release, Kong: Skull Island!

Kong opens in 1944, smack dab in the middle of World War 2. Two fighter pilots, on opposite sides of the conflict, crash land on a mysterious island. The two continue their fight on foot until their skirmish is broken up at the site of the title’s gigantic creature. Flash forward 30 years and we open on scientist Bill Randa (John Goodman) attempting to convince government officials of the existence of an unexplored island in the South Pacific. Under the guise of scientific geological exploration, Randa leads a military and research team (headed by Tom Hiddleston, Samuel Jackson, and Brie Larson) on a dangerous excursion through hidden land. As you can guess things go “not so according” to plan and the group must fight to escape the many inhabitants of “Skull Island”.

Let me start out by stating that this is not your run of the mill King Kong film. While there are brief moments of the “beauty and the beast” storyline seen in the origin story Kong films this is a mile a minute adrenaline rush. Honestly, this film closely resembles a Vietnam War film, which made the Southeast Asian country the perfect shooting location. This influence could even be seen in the film’s promotional art; one particular poster is a purposeful copy of classic war film, Apocalypse Now. Director, Jordan Vogt-Roberts places our characters in the trenches of an all-out battle between goliaths. That’s mainly where this film differs from the others before it. For example, while there are moments of terror in the Peter Jackson film, nothing compares to the “man vs beast” match ups we have in this latest incarnation.

This leads me to the visuals. This is, hands down, one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. Each scene delivers a specific color pallet that draws the audience in. Not to spoil anything, but there is a particular scene that takes the color green and creates one of the craziest action sequences of all time. All of the color I wanted to see in Suicide Squad, can be seen in Kong! Along with the visuals, the music creates the perfect set piece for war. The mixture of Henry Jackman’s score and 60’s/70’s rock takes the audience through a range of emotions including hope and dread.

Now let’s talk the disc itself, and what everyone who has already seen the film is thinking about, EXTRAS! I’m here to tell you that this release does not disappoint. There are multiple making of/behind the scenes featurettes on the creation of Kong himself and shooting in Vietnam. There are also quick looks at Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson in their perspective roles. The feature I wanted to talk about most is the Monarch Files 2.0. This is a feature that continues over from the 2014 Godzilla bluray. Monarch is, of course, the agency put in place to deal with these “massive unidentified terrestrial organisms”. There are multiple parts to these files and each part deals with a specific aspect of the island and its inhabitants. It truly reminds me of the ghost stories on the Thir13en Ghosts DVD (2001). If you want more on the lore of these films, here’s where you’re going to get it. Along with these features we have very informative Director’s Commentary and various Deleted Scenes.

This is, in no doubt, my favorite Kong film since the original 1933 classic. While the other films are enjoyable in their own way, this is the only movie to truly capture the size and power of colossal primate. As a matter of fact, Kong is much more than a giant ape, he’s a god. That’s what’s brought to the screen here. If you want a fun, giant monster movie then look no further than Kong: Skull Island.

About The Writer: 
Dylan Lyles – Staff Writer
The Phenomenal Dylan Lyles is an obsessive fan of cinema, pro wrestling, horror, vinyl, and comic books. Bursting from the womb in 1992, Dylan’s surrounded himself with all things geek culture. Earliest memories include Wrestlemania 11, ‘The Death of Superman,’ and Jason popping out of the water. You may see him sharing his opinion on just about everything on the internet or maybe even working the MonsterMania Con on the east coast. You love him and he loves you!
Twitter: @thedylanlyles

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SPECIES Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Set To Be Spawned By Scream Factory On July 11th!

SPECIES Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Set To Be Spawned By Scream Factory On July 11th!

Beauty can be deceiving. Loyal fans of the popular sci-fi terror classic SPECIES know well that evil lurks beneath the beauty go unnoticed, especially in the form of a seductive alien-human hybrid.  Directed by Roger Donaldson (The Bank Job, The Recruit) and produced by Frank Mancuso, Jr. (Stigmata, Friday the 13th Part II), SPECIES stars Ben Kingsley (Shutter Island), Michael Madsen (The Hateful Eight), Alfred Molina (Feud), Forest Whitaker (Arrival), Marg Helgenberger (CSI) and introducing Natasha Henstridge (The Whole Nine Yards). Charged with pulse-pounding suspense and thrills, the film features ingenious special effects from Richard Edlund (Star Wars).  On July 11, 2017, Scream Factory™ is proud to present SPECIES Collector’s Edition 2-Disc Blu-ray set. This definitive collector’s edition features new 4K scan of the film and contains insightful bonus content.  A must-have for movie collectors, sci-fi horror enthusiasts and loyal fans, SPECIES Collector’s Edition Blu-ray also includes a collectible slipcover featuring newly rendered artwork and a reversible cover wrap featuring original theatrical key art.

Avid fans and collectors please take not: Order from ShoutFactory.com and get a FREE 18″ X 24″ poster featuring our brand new artwork, available while supplies last! Also get it shipped Two Weeks early!

When a beautiful human-alien hybrid (Henstridge) escapes from observation, scientist Xavier Fitch (Kingsley) dispatches a crew of experts to find her before she is able to fulfill her horrific purpose: to mate with unsuspecting men and produce offspring that could destroy mankind. As her deadly biological clock ticks rapidly, Fitch and his team are hurled into a desperate battle in which the fate of humanity itself hangs in the balance!

SPECIES Collector’s Edition Bonus Content:

Disc One:

  • NEW 4K scan of the film’s inter-positive
  • Audio Commentary with Natasha Henstridge, Michael Madsen and director Roger Donaldson
  • Audio Commentary with director Roger Donaldson, make-up effects creator Steve Johnson, visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund and producer Frank Mancuso Jr.

Disc Two:

  • NEW Afterbirth: The Evolution of SPECIES featuring interviews with director Roger Donaldson, cinematographer Andzej Bartkowiak, production designer John Muto, composer Christopher Young, creature designer Steve Johnson, chrysalis supervisor Billy Bryan and “Sil” creature supervisor Norman Cabrera
  • From Sil To Eve – an interview with actress Natasha Henstridge
  • Engineering Life
  • HR Giger At Work
  • The Making Of Species: The Origin, The Concept, The Discovery
  • Designing A Hybrid
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Alternate Ending
  • Photo Galleries (Production Design, Creature Designs, Film Stills, Behind the Scenes photos, posters and lobby cards)

Shout! Factory will continue to present the on-going SCREAM FACTORY™ home entertainment series in 2017 with specific release dates, extras and key art.  Meanwhile, fans  are encouraged to visit the Scream Factory main website (www.screamfactorydvd.com), follow them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ScreamFactoryDVD) and Twitter (www.Twitter.com/@Scream_Factory) or to view exclusive video content on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/ScreamFactoryTV/Home

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ALIEN DAY Returns On April 26th! Special Fan-Focused Activities Announced!

ALIEN DAY Returns On April 26th! Special Fan-Focused Activities Announced!

Alien Day returns on April 26, a nod to planet LV-426 from the iconic ALIEN films, as the countdown continues for the highly anticipated new chapter in Ridley Scott’s groundbreaking ALIEN sci-fi thriller, ALIEN: COVENANT, releasing in theaters worldwide beginning May 10. Cast members from ALIEN: COVENANT will join fan-focused festivities including a live streaming event, an interactive trivia challenge, worldwide screenings, all-new product launches, special reveals and more.

*  ALIEN DAY livestreaming event at Fox Studios in Los Angeles: Beginning at 10 a.m. PDT on all ALIEN social channels and on the newly launched ALIEN Universe Hub (www.AlienUniverse.com), fans can interact with the cast via a question and answer session as well as view multiple behind-the-scenes segments highlighting the making of ALIEN: COVENANT.

*  Global One-Night Screening Event – Screenings of Ridley Scott’s original 1979 ALIEN starring Sigourney Weaver and his 2012 follow-up PROMETHEUS will be held across the globe on ALIEN DAY.  At participating RPX Regal Cinema U.S. theaters and worldwide partners, fans can watch these sci-fi thrillers and be treated with exclusive content from ALIEN: COVENANT and a one-of-a-kind commemorative item. Participating locations will be listed on www.AlienUniverse.com.

*  The “MU/TH/UR of all ALIEN Trivia Challenges”: Returning for only 24 hours on www.AlienUniverse.com, Fox will unveil a new quiz every 4 hours and 26 minutes. Fans will answer a series of rapid-fire questions for a chance to win a VIP trip to Ridley Scott’s upcoming Imprint Ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood and incredible prizes.

*  Fan Art Contest: Submissions for a Fan Art Contest are now open at AlienUniverse.com.  The chosen artwork will be transformed into a limited edition t-shirt premium available with the purchase of the ALIEN: COVENANT Blu-Ray and 4K Ultra HD, exclusively at Wal-Mart stores and Walmart.com. Pre Order will start on May 19.

Fans can own the complete ALIEN Universe on Blu-ray featuring four limited-edition Mondo ALIEN movie poster cards. Available exclusively at Wal-Mart and Walmart.com on April 18.

Fans should stay tuned for product announcements, limited edition releases and exciting unveils to take place in the weeks ahead and through the theatrical premiere of ALIEN: COVENANT. Among the key licensees joining the ALIEN DAY celebration: Dark Horse Comics, Audible, Titan, NECA, Hallmark, PPW Toys, Cool Props, Funko and more.

Fox Consumer Products is also partnering with multiple retailers including BoxLunch, FYE/TWE, Books-A-Million, and Spencer’s Gifts, which will showcase exclusive ALIEN franchise merchandise, celebrating the day with in-store activations, and social media sweepstakes.

And look out for a special ALIEN DAY broadcast message from Madame Tussauds with further details of a terrifying arrival at one of their iconic locations this summer.

For more information on all ALIEN DAY activities, go to www.AlienUniverse.com. Fans can also join the #ALIENDAY conversation on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

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Netflix Unveils First Look At Duncan Jones’ Futuristic Thriller ‘Mute’

Netflix Unveils First Look At Duncan Jones’ Futuristic Thriller ‘Mute’

Netflix has unveiled the First Look at the highly-anticipated futuristic thriller Mute.  Enter the captivating world of visionary filmmaker Duncan Jones, featuring Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux and newcomer Seyneb Saleh.

Duncan Jones, the creative mind behind the cult-hit Moon and Source Code, returns to his creative roots with this original and gripping story set in an immersive universe.

Synopsis:
Set in the near-future, Leo (Alexander Skarsgård) is a bartender living in the pulsing city of Berlin.  Because of a childhood accident, Leo lost the ability to speak and the only good thing in his life is his beautiful girlfriend Naadirah (Seyneb Saleh). When she vanishes without a trace, Leo’s search for her takes him deep into the city’s seedy underbelly.  A pair of wise-cracking American surgeons (Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux) are the only recurring clue and Leo is forced to take on this teeming underworld in order to find his love.

The Netflix original film is directed by Duncan Jones and written by Jones and Michael Robert Johnson.  Stuart Fenegan serves as producer and Charles J.D. Schissel and Trevor Beattie serve as executive producers. The film will launch in all territories where Netflix is available in 2017.

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GHOST IN THE SHELL: Limited Steelbook Packaging With Exclusive Mondo Artwork Arriving March 14, 2017!

GHOST IN THE SHELL: Limited Steelbook Packaging With Exclusive Mondo Artwork Arriving March 14, 2017!

‘Ghost In The Shell’ Steelbook

The groundbreaking anime film Ghost in the Shell arrives on Blu-ray + Digital HD with limited-edition Mondo key art in collectible Steelbook packaging from Anchor Bay Entertainment on March 14, 2017. The groundbreaking anime celebrated the 25thanniversary of the original Manga in 2014. Directed by legendary anime director Mamoru Oshii, Ghost in the Shell questions human existence in the fast-paced world of the information age, this award-winning, cyber-tech thriller has established itself as one of the leading Japanese animation films of all time.

A female cybernetic government agent, Major Motoko Kusanagi, and the Internal Bureau of Investigations are hot on the trail of “The Puppet Master,” a mysterious and threatening computer virus capable of infiltrating human hosts. Together, with her fellow agents from Section 9, they embark on a high-tech race against time to capture the omnipresent entity.  Ghost in the Shell took the world by storm in the mid-90’s, exhibiting a new dimension of anime with unprecedented, mesmerizing cinematic expression. Seamlessly merging traditional animation with the latest computer graphic imagery, this stunning sci-fi spectacle challenged the boundaries of mainstream animation with detailed artistic expression and a uniquely intelligent story line. Veteran director Mamoru Oshii skillfully creates the ultimate anime experience in this futuristic masterpiece based on the groundbreaking comic book by Masamune Shirow.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Season 1 and Season 2 previously only available on DVD will be arriving on Blu-ray for the first time on February 21, 2017. Ghost in the Shell  will be available on Blu-ray  from Anchor Bay Entertainment on March 14, 2017 for the suggested retail price of $34.99.

To learn more about the film, please visit www.anchorbayentertainment.com.

ABOUT ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT
Anchor Bay Entertainment, a Lionsgate company, is a leading independent home entertainment company that acquires and releases a wide array of theatrical and home entertainment content, including STARZ Original series, children’s programming, fitness (Anchor Bay Fitness), sports and specialty films on Blu-ray™ and DVD formats. The company has long-term distribution agreements in place for select programming with The Weinstein Company, AMC Networks and RADiUS, among others.

GHOST IN THE SHELL Blu-ray™ + Digital HD
Street Date: March 14, 2017
Pre-book: February 8, 2017
Catalog #: BD64909
UPC: 013132649092
Run Time: 82 Minutes
Rating: Not Rated
SRP: $34.99
Format: English: Dolby 5.1 DTS-HD
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 1:78:1g
Audio: Subtitles: English, Japanese

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