Wednesday, December 28, 2016

RIP George Michael




Another legend for those of my generation died three days ago and this one hurts deep.  For me growing up in the 80's, three of my favorite singer/songwriters were Michael Jackson, Prince and George Michael.  It is unbelievable to me that all three of them are no longer with us and that we lost two of them in 2016.

I was 10 years old when Wham's Make It Big album came out and from the moment George Michael said "Jitterbug" on their hit Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, I was hooked.  As great as he was in Wham!, it wasn't until he went solo that I really started to appreciate his talent.

His pop masterpiece, Faith, ended up selling over 10 million copies in the US alone with six top five hits of which four reached number one.  The album is an 80's classic that mixes pop, funk, jazz and soul.  My favorite song on the album is Hard Day which has a killer bass line.  In 87/88, this album along with Michael Jackson's Bad album, was what I listened to most.

The crazy thing is, as big of a fan as I was, it wasn't until he released Listen Without Prejudice that I realized how awesome he was.  After the huge success of Wham! and Faith, George found himself overwhelmed by the glitz and glamour of the business and he decided to change everything.  He told the record label he would no longer put out albums for the mass audience, he would not tour to promote the album and that he wouldn't be in the music videos.  Basically, he wanted the music speak for itself.  Listen Without Prejudice was a more mature and socially conscious album compared to what he did in the past.  While the industry and many of his fans didn't like this change, I was blown away with the album and the decision he made for his career.  He wanted to do it his way and if the industry didn't like it, that was fine with him.  My favorite song from this album is Waiting For That Day.

While the rest of George Michael's career was hit and miss here in the States, he was still huge in his native England and Europe where he continued to sell millions of records.  I continued being a fan, always waiting for new music.  His 1996 album, Older, was a pretty solid with the song Spinning The Wheel being my favorite on the album and his final studio album, Patience, had some good songs on it as well.

In the end, I obviously admire George Michael for his talent, but I also admire him for his strength.  It took guts to stand up to the music industry the way he did knowing it would cost him millions of dollars.  It took guts to be outspoken about AIDS victims and research during a time when people were still ignorant about the disease.  It took guts to come out of the closet after years of playing the sex symbol role to women.  It took guts to release the song Shoot the Dog in 2002 calling out Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George W. Bush for their war on Iraq.  It took guts to open up to the world regarding his battle with depression and drugs.  The man may have not always made the best decisions, but he always owned whatever he did and I liked that about him.

Some of My Favorites:


Wham!:  I'm Your Man


Hard Day off of Faith


Waiting for the Day off of Listen W/O Prejudice


Spinning the Wheel off of Older



Freeek off of Patience


White Light (a song written after he almost died of pneumonia in 2011)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Weekend Box-Office



While there a numerous new movies being released this Christmas weekend, you can expect Rogue One to once again dominate the box-office.  Last weekend, Rogue One had the third biggest opening of 2016 with a 155 million.  It has since since pulled in a ton of money each day this week as well because word-of-mouth is strong with this one.  Last year, The Force Awakens dropped only 40% its second weekend and I expect Rogue One to fall a bit more than that.  Look for around a 45% drop this weekend and for Rogue One to pull in around 80-85 million this Christmas weekend.

So, what are some of the new movies opening this weekend?  It starts with the animated Sing which is pulling in a 71% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.  It has been a month since Disney's Moana came out, so kids need something to watch this weekend if Rogue One is too scary for them.  Look for Sing to pull in around 45 million this weekend.

The other major releases this weekend are Assassin's Creed (20% fresh), Passengers (32% fresh) and Why Him? (42% fresh) which are all getting horrible reviews.  Why would anyone want to see those movies when you can seen Rogue One for a first, second or third time?  Get your priorities straight! 

Happy Festivus!
Happy Christmas!

Go see Rogue One.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Rogue One Box-Office Update



After breaking the 2016 Thursday night preview record, Rogue One ended up with 71 million its first day.  That falls short of Batman v Superman's first day (81 million) and Captain America 3's first day (75 million).  The movie did pull in a solid "A" at Cinemascore, so word-of-mouth is strong.  Rogue One is now on pace to pull in 160-165 million this weekend which will be the third biggest opening weekend of the year behind CA3 (179 million) and BvS (166 million).

Friday, December 16, 2016

Music Review: Kings of Leon - Walls



A little background on my relationship with Kings of Leon.  I discovered them back before they had any success.  Back in 2003 when their debut album came out, I stumbled across it and really liked their southern style of rock.  I even saw them play in Los Angeles back when they were still playing small venues.  I was really happy that KOL found so much success as I felt their music warranted it.  However, like with many bands who find success, that success can change a band and that is what happened with KOL.  Don't get me wrong, I have liked every album they have put out, but they have lost a bit of their edge due to commercial success.

Walls is really a continuation of their last couple albums; some good songs, some mediocre songs and all of it over over-produced.  Early KOL albums had a much more raw feel to them and now they are way to polished.  That said, there are some very good songs on this album.  For example, I really dig Waste a Moment, Reverend and Walls - all damn good songs.  The album starts off great with its first four songs, the next several songs are average and then it ends with a good song.  While Walls doesn't live up to their first few albums, it has enough good songs to keep me listening to it.




GRADE:  B-

  

New Movie Friday: 12.6.16



Sorry Will Smith, but there is only one movie opening this weekend that matters and that is Rogue One.  The first spin-off of the Star Wars franchise is set to dominate the box-office, but don't expect The Force Awakens type of numbers.  I've seen predictions for this movie from 155-180 million and I think it will definitely end up on the higher end.  Last night the movie pulled in an excellent 29 million from Thursday night previews which is tops for 2016.  Batman v Superman pulled in 27.7 million and Captain America 3 pulled in 25 million.  Those movies opening weekends were 166 for BvS and 179 for CA3.  After Thusday night, Rogue One is set to beat both those movies for sure.  Reviews have been very strong with an 85% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and word-of-mouth will be very strong as expected.  Look for Rogue One to pull in 180-190 million this weekend, which will be the top opening of 2016.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Music Review: Scorpion Child - Acid Roulette



This year has been a really good year for rock bands with a retro 70's style and I couldn't be happier.  So far this year we've had Wolfmother, StoneRider and Rival Sons (to name a few) who all fit in that category and now Scorpion Child.  It is only fitting that Scorpion Child comes from Austin Texas which is one of the best music cities in the United States.  Scorpion Child joins The Sword and Jonathan Tyler as one of my favorite rock artists from amazing city.

Scorpion Child's debut came out in 2013 and I really enjoyed it, so I had pretty big expectations for this album and overall it lived up to them.  Stylistically, this album has a Deep Purple and Rainbow feel to it.  Great guitar work, organs and the vocalist has classic rock range.  Standouts on the album include Acid Roulette (w/ a killer organ solo), Addictions and She Sings, I Kill.  If you are a fan of bands like classic Deep Purple, Rainbow or Led Zeppelin, Scorpion Child offers you something new in that style of rock. 

 


GRADE:  B+

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Music Review: Rooney - Washed Away



One genre of rock music I love is power pop.  From The Beatles to The Raspberries to The Cars to Weezer, I love it.  Rooney fits in this category with their British Invasion style of rock that is catchy as hell.  Rooney's lead singer is Robert Schwartzman who is actress Talia Shire's son and actor Jason Schwartzman's brother.  I became a fan of Rooney when I heard their first single, I'm Shakin', back in 2003 and I've been a fan ever since.  Schwartzman ended the band back in 2011 to do some solo stuff that was a different style of music, but he reformed the band in 2016 with new members and released this new album.  I will admit, I was a bit pissed that he didn't reunite the original band as I am a huge fan of Rooney guitarist Taylor Locke, but I got over it.

New members or not, Rooney's Washed Away follows in the tradition of their earlier work.  The songs are super catchy with nice hooks and great melodies.  The first half of the album is especially strong and while the second half of the album is not as good, it is still enjoyable.  I am really diggin' the songs All the Beautiful People, My Heart Beats 4 U and Washed Away which are all great examples of power pop.  There is no doubt that Robert Schwartzman can write a song that gets stuck in your head and this album is filled with them.  It is great to have Rooney back. 




GRADE:  B

Monday, December 12, 2016

Music Review: The Cadillac Three - Bury Me In My Boots



I'll be the first to admit that I don't like country music.  I just don't connect with it musically or lyrically, but The Cadillac Three are one of the few exceptions to this rule.  For a little history in how I even discovered this band, we go back to 2010 and my favorite album of that year.  My favorite album of 2010 was the self-titled debut from the band American Bang.  This album was produced by Bob Rock (Metallica, Motley Crue) and I really like their Kings of Leon style of southern rock.  Unfortunately, the album didn't find success and the band called it a day.  Soon after that, three of the guys from American Bang decided to start what I call a country grunge rock band called The Cadillac Three.  I gave their 2012 debut a chance and I really liked it.  Their 2016 release, Bury Me in My Boots, continues where the debut left off with some badass country grunge rock.

Bury Me in My Boots consists of some great tunes with a lot of groove.  My wife, who likes country music, says that this band sounds similar to a lot of country rock artists, but when she played me those artists, I don't hear the similarities.  The Cadillac Three have a unique style to their songs that puts them on another level in my opinion.  They are also really sharp with their lyrics and I really like the way the lead vocalist sings the songs.  Songs that are really worth checking out include The South, Party Like You and Drunk Like You.  When all is said and done, my biggest compliment to this band is that they can get a guy who doesn't like country music to listen to their albums over and over again.




GRADE:  B+



Friday, December 2, 2016

Music Review: Crobot - Welcome to Fat City




Crobot is a band from Pennsylvania that offers one of the coolest mixes of rock styles out there.  Imagine stoner rock mixed with some funk rock and then mixed with some soulful lead vocals.  Their debut album came out in 2014 and it impressed me immediately.  Their second album, Welcome to Fat City, impresses me as well.

If there is one word to explain Fat City, that word is energy.  Crobot has so much energy on their albums if you allow the music to consume you, it can be a bit exhausting.  In some songs, the riffs and choruses can almost feel overwhelming, but that is really the charm of Crobot.

Songs like the title track, Easy Money and Right Between the Eyes are perfect examples of what makes Crobot feel frantic and enjoyable at the same time.  One of these days, I'm going to see this band live and I am expecting that to be an insane experience.




GRADE: A-

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Music Review: Biffy Clyro - Ellipsis



I discovered Biffy Clyro back in 2013 and their album Opposites became my second favorite album of that year.  This Scottish band has done very well in the UK and some of that success has reached the States.  What I really like about Biffy Clyro is that their music features a sophistication that many rock bands don't have.  Some of their songs feature smart arrangements and time changes which demonstrates their creativity.

Ellipsis is a very tight album.  What I especially like about the album is that really is the tale of two halves.  Half of the album is more angry and has more energy, while the other half is more mellow.  Some of the songs that really rock include Wolves of Winter, Animal Style and On A Bang.  On the more mellow side, I really dig Medicine and People.  While the album is not as good as their last album, it is still a strong album.







GRADE:  A-



Friday, November 18, 2016

New Movies: 11.18.16



There are four new movies opening this weekend in theaters nationwide, but only one of them is worth talking about when it comes to the box-office.  The first in what may be many Harry Potter spin-offs opens this weekend and is set to dominate the box-office.  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a prequel to the Harry Potter franchise and it is ready to pull in some serious money.  The movie is pulling in a good 74% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, but it must be noted that makes it the lowest rated movie of the Harry Potter franchise at that website.  Will the fan base care critics don't like it as much as the previous movies?  No way because they'll love it.  Don't expect Fantastic Beasts to open as big as the last several Harry Potter movies did, but it will still be huge.  Look for Fantastic Beasts to open to 90 million this weekend and then to take advantage of the Thanksgiving week holiday.

Friday, November 11, 2016

New Movies Friday: 11.11.16



Doctor Strange dominated the box-office last weekend and it should hold on to the top spot this weekend as well.  Look for the Doctor to pull in around 40 million this weekend.

The first of two major releases this weekend is the highly acclaimed Arrival which is currently 94% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes.  The movie is set to have a pretty good opening weekend and its box-office legs should be strong due to great word-of-mouth.  Look for Arrival to pull in 20-25 million this weekend.

The Christmas holiday starts early this year with the movie Almost Christmas.  This holiday comedy is set to take advantage of people who need a laugh and want to get started on their holiday spirit early this year.  The movie is pulling in a poor 41% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, but holiday movies are generally critic proof.  Look for Almost Christmas to pull in around 15 million this weekend.



Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Five Thoughts on the 2016 Presidential Election Results




So after taking some time to process the surprising Trump victory last night and watching the response from people today, I do have some thoughts and questions to share.

1. I don't like the "Not My President" thing people are doing.  If Republicans had to suck it up and accept President Obama, why shouldn't Democrats with Trump?  It just seems stupid to me.  Whether you like him or not, he is your President for the next four years.

2. The Dems have nobody to blame for this loss but themselves.  They knew how disliked Hillary was by the general public, but they forced her through the primaries anyways.  They knew she came with a lot of baggage, but they forced her through the primaries anyways.  They knew she came with skeletons in her closet, but they forced her through the primaries anyways.  The reality is, there were far superior options Dems could have gone with (Bernie, Warren, Booker, Newsom), but the party backed Hillary because they felt they owed her something.  In my opinion, this was their biggest mistake.

3. The second major mistake is that Dems forgot about white people.  Dems have been working so hard to build support among minority voters over the years, they have completely ignored white voters.  This is especially true with the white working class.  FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver said that Trumps gains vs Romney in 2012 was among the white working class and that was the difference in this election.  While the white population continues to decline, it seems to me that Dems have decided to focus more on other groups of voters and they ignored the white vote.  This cost them dearly in this election because there are still a ton of white people in the country and they are pissed because they feel "their country" is being taken away from them.  They showed up big time in this election and they did so for Trump.

4. How are Trump supporters going to respond when Trump doesn't actually try to have Hillary arrested?  I think most people understood that was something he said just to gain votes, but a majority of his supporters really believe it.  There is no way in hell that happens.  So how are his supporters going to react when they realize Trump lied about that?

5. How are Trump supporters going to respond when Trump doesn't build the wall at the Mexican border?  Mexico has already said they are not paying for it and the United States can't afford to do it.  The Washington Post estimated that the wall would cost up to 25 billion dollars to build.  The US can't afford that, Mexico can't afford it and won't do it; so how will his supporters react when they realize Trump lied about that too?


In the end, last night was really entertaining, even if the result made me feel sick to my stomach.  I did giggle at all the experts who were just dumbfounded by what they were witnessing.  The people at CNN all looked like a deer caught in the headlights as the results started to turn Trumps way.  I think what I will take away most from this election is the amount of people in my life that I now have little to no respect for.  I saw so many of them turn on their own beliefs and principles in this election that I am embarrassed for them.  When the (R) next to a candidates name means more than a persons own beliefs, religion or whatever, you realize those people had very little character in the first place.

Friday, November 4, 2016

New Movies Friday: 11.4.16



October was a pretty weak month for movies at the box-office, so it is nice to enter the holiday release season.  This weekend starts the holiday release schedule with a bang featuring three new movies.

Marvel is back again with Doctor Strange.  The movie is pulling in a very solid 90% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, so people are going to love this movie, but don't expect an opening similar to Marvel's biggest hits.  The Doctor Strange character isn't as big as some of their other characters, so that will mean this movie pulls in less than 100 million this weekend.  I've seen predictions anywhere from 70-90 million, so I'll go in the middle.  Look for Doctor Strange to pull in around 80 million.

This past summer The Angry Birds Movie came out and it seemed like the movie was coming out too far past the Angry Bird peak.  The movie opened to 38 million and ended it's run with 107 million domestically.  This weekend's Trolls also feels like it is coming out too far past the Trolls popularity peak, but unlike Angry Birds, Trolls is getting good reviews.  A check over at Rotten Tomatoes show the movie is pulling in a solid 75% fresh rating, so that should help Trolls do a bit better than Angry Birds did.  Look for Trolls to pull in around 40 million this weekend.

The final film of the weekend is the Mel Gibson directed, Hacksaw Ridge.  Ridge is the first movie Gibson has directed in 10 years and it is pulling in a very good 87% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.  This movie is being called a potential Oscar contender, but it is a movie that will need long legs at the box-office to be a hit because it will have a so-so opening.  Look for Hacksaw Ridge to pull in around 14 million this weekend.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Music Review: The Dead Daisies - Make Some Noise




The Dead Daisies is a band that originally started as a rock based jam band in Australia back in 2012.  The band was made up of various seasoned rock musicians who were known for touring with various bands like Whitesnake, The Rolling Stones and Guns n Roses.  Early on, the band had constant revolving members, but they eventually put out a debut album.  In 2014, John Corabi joined the band for a tour and by the end of the tour the band decided to solidify its line-up with Corabi on vocals.  Corabi being involved in this band is when I got interested in them.  For those who don't know, John Corabi is the singer/songwriter who took over as the lead singer of Motley Crue for their brilliant 1994 self-titled album.  I've been a fan of his ever since.  His songwriting and vocals are simply killer.  He has fronted several bands and even released a solo album over the years, but it really feels like he has found his home with The Dead Daises.

With Corabi in place, The Dead Daises quickly released an album in 2015 and while that album was pretty good, it felt a bit rushed.  Their newest album, Make Some Noise, doesn't feel rushed at all and it really shows how great this band can be.  Anybody who knows Corabi's lyrics and music can just hear his influence on this album and that is a great thing.  The album starts with the lead single called Long Way To Go, which is a great rock song that describes how we as human beings haven't progressed the way we should have by now.  Other songs on this album that I really dig are We All Fall Down (my favorite from the album), Make Some Noise and Mine All Mine.  The entire album features great hooks and Corabi's great rock vocals.

The Dead Daises are touring the entire planet to promote this album and I'm sure that is a classic rock show worth checking out.  Hopefully I will see them if they come back to the States.





GRADE:  B+

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Walking Dead - Season 7 Ep 1 Thoughts




Wow.  I mean, wow.  Like all Walking Dead fans, I've been waiting to see who Negan was going to kill with Lucille and this episode was just explosive.  I won't put any spoilers here, but I will write that the scenes were perfectly done.  The acting, by everyone was incredible.  Yes, the special effects and gore were top notch, but it was the acting that made these scenes so powerful.  The emotion that Andrew Lincoln portrayed as Rick, without even saying a word, was incredible.  Jeffrey Dean Morgan's portrayal as Negan is probably one of the most badass 'bad guy' performances ever.  This episode was emotional, raw and it lived up to the hype.  I don't read the comic books, so I don't know what is ahead for Rick and Negan, but I can't wait to find out.  Honestly, I think this episode was so good, I don't know how the remaining episodes this season can live up to it.

The best show on television.  No question.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Nomination Thoughts




The new list of nominees have come out for the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and here they are:

Pearl Jam
Tupac Shakur
Depeche Mode
Electric Light Orchestra
Jane's Addiction
Janet Jackson
Journey
The Cars
The Zombies
Yes
Bad Brains
Chaka Khan
Chic
J. Geils Band
Joan Baez
Joe Tex
Kraftwerk
MC5
Steppenwolf

From that list, I'd vote for Pearl Jam, Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), The Cars and The Zombies.  I wouldn't mind Journey and Yes getting in there, but in my opinion, I'm not sure the rest deserve it.   Also, this would be an excellent time to mention that bands like Judas Priest, Motley Crue and Iron Maiden are well overdue for nominations to the Hall of Fame, but the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame has never given metal the respect it earned and deserves.  It would also be an excellent time to mention that rap does not deserve a place in the ROCK N ROLL Hall of Fame; so screw the Tupac nomination.

They do have a fan vote for this years group, so if you'd like to cast your vote, go here:

Monday, October 17, 2016

Music Review: David Bowie - Blackstar




David Bowie is obviously a legend and his death earlier this year was a major loss to all music lovers.  My favorite era of Bowie is his 70's glam era, but his career is filled with great and memorable songs.  What makes Blackstar so interesting is that Bowie made this album knowing that he was going to die soon.  This makes some of the lyrics on this album cryptic and emotional.

Musically, Blackstar is really unlike anything anyone else is doing.  For example, the song Blackstar is an almost 10 minute song that almost feels like you are in a dream as you are listening to it.  Then there is Lazarus which is lyrically a commentary of Bowie's upcoming death and the music in the song is just amazing.  The guitar and the saxophone at the end of the song is just incredible.  Another favorite of mine on the album is Girl Loves Me which is a song that I love because of the way Bowie sings it and the great beat and rhythm to it.  There are a couple songs on the album that I enjoy, but they don't do much for me, but overall this is a great album.  

While we miss Bowie, this is a special album for him to go out on.



GRADE: A-




Friday, October 14, 2016

Corey Feldman Performs on the Today Show Again!!!



I can't believe I missed this, but our good buddy Corey Feldman was on the Today Show again yesterday and he performed!  If you remember, Corey performed in September on the Today Show and it was so bad, it went viral.  Here he is back at it again, but this time he is doing a "serious" song and trying to redeem his past performance.  I will say, at least this time, there is no horrible dancing, but dear lord, this is one shitty song.  You can tell he is attempting to try to hit the Michael Jackson emotion of Man in the Mirror and Earth Song, but he just doesn't have the voice for it and this song sucks donkey balls.  It was a good try though.  I do have to wonder, what the heck is up with this stupid hood thing he keeps wearing?  It is almost as dumb as this song.

Anyways, watch the video and enjoy Corey doing his "best".

New Movies Friday: 10.14.16




This weekend, there are only two movies coming out this weekend that will make noise at the box-office.

Who are you? (she fearfully asks)
I'm the accountant. (he mumbles)

The Accountant looks to take the number one spot this weekend with a movie about the most badass accountant ever.  Unfortunately, the reviews for the movie are below average as the film is pulling in a poor 50% at Rotten Tomatoes.  That shouldn't slow the movie down though as Affleck has become a big enough star to open this one around 20 million this weekend.

Kevin Hart mixes a movie and his stand-up routine in Kevin Hart: What Now?.  Hart has become a big box-office star, but this movies R-rating will keep this movie from opening as high as his movies have in the past.  The movie is pulling in good reviews with a 79% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and that should help the movie open around 15 million this weekend.

Looking for horror movies to watch as Halloween approaches?  Go here for our 31 recommendations.




Thoughts on the Rogue One Trailer



I have to start this off by writing that I am looking forward to the new Star Wars movie - Rogue One.  The teaser and full trailers make the movie look fun and I'll take any movie that is part of the Star Wars universe I can get.  What comic book movies are to some; Star Wars movies are to me.  If we are going to get a Star Wars movie of some type every year for years to come, I'm down with that.  Despite those feelings, I have to admit that I am not as excited about Rogue One as I was Episode VII or I am about Episode VIII.  As good as Rogue One may be, I will miss lightsaber battles and the Skywalkers involvement in the story.

As for the trailer, I like seeing Darth Vader walk around, though I doubt he is in the movie much and the action scenes look great.  I do have one question though?  What the hell is up with all the English accents?  I keep waiting to see Paul McCartney in the movie.

Anyways, Rogue One is a movie I'll see opening weekend, but I'm not going to see it the first showing I can like I did  with Episode VII.  Of course, ask me on December 15th and I may say otherwise.

Reverb Interviews Butch Walker



Reverb recently did a 10 minute interview with my favorite singer/songwriter, Butch Walker, regarding one of his songs off of his latest album, Stay Gold.  It is a great interview that includes a performance of the song Ludlow Expectations.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Music Review: Airbourne - Breakin' Outta Hell




Now that the legendary AC/DC has become a touring cash grab with only one original member left, it is time for a new band to take their place and who better to do so than Airbourne?  Like AC/DC, Airbourne is from Australia and there is no doubt that AC/DC is their biggest influence.  I have been a fan of Airbourne ever since their debut album in 2007 and I have been singing their praises to every AC/DC fan I know.

Breakin' Outta Hell is Airbourne's fourth album and like its predecessors, it is a kick ass rock n' roll album.  In the same way AC/DC fans always knew what they were going to get with each new album, the same can be said for Airbourne fans.  This album is filled with AC/DC style riffs, screechy lead vocals and in your face choruses.  In fact, regarding the vocals, there were a lot of AC/DC fans who wanted Airbourne's lead singer to take over vocals for Brian Johnson, but AC/DC brought in Axl Rose instead.  Lyrically, this band goes the classic 70's and 80's rock route.  Name another band out there that can do a song about going to hell and another song about breakin' out of hell on the same album?  They also have songs about rock n' roll never being too loud, drinking and sex.  I mean, this is AC/DC style sleaze rock at its finest.  Songs that will make you want to bang your head include Breakin' Outta Hell, Rivalry and Down on You.  Like AC/DC, Airbourne is an unapologetic rock band and I wouldn't have it any other way.




GRADE:  A-





Monday, October 3, 2016

Thoughts: Kim Kardashian Robbed in Paris




Let me start this off by saying that I am glad Kim Kardashian is okay.  She has two young children who need their mom and the fact that she is able to get back home to them is the most important thing.  That said, there are some things that piss me off about this situation and it isn't that she was robbed.

You can call the United States the best country in the world if you want to, but the fact that this no talent hack is famous pisses me off.  The fact Kim is able to travel to Paris with 10 million dollars worth of jewelry in her suitcase pisses me off.  In the United States, we have homeless on the street, we have people who go bankrupt due to healthcare costs, we have millions that need food stamps because they can't get a living wage and this "celebrity" has this type of wealth?  Isn't this a perfect example of everything wrong with this country and our society?  This woman travels with 10 million worth of jewelry, which is most likely just a fraction of what she has at home, and people think this is okay?  That type of indulgence is sickening.  The fact that this no talent hack makes the type of money she does is disgusting.  

Chris Rock once said, "If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets."  This event gave you a glimpse into how rich these rich people are and it should piss you off.  And not to go full on political here, but this Kardashian world is exactly who Donald Trump is.  He was born into extreme wealth and that is all he has ever known.  You could probably find 10 million in change between his seat cushions of his couch.  How can a person who has only known this type of wealth relate or understand the rest of us?  He can't.  I bet if you took Trump to the gas station, he'd have no idea how to fill his tank.  I bet if you took him to a grocery store, he'd have no idea how to buy food.  The Kardashians and the Trumps of the world are the problem.  They are the ones who need to change their way of thinking and living, not the 99.9% rest of us.

I am happy to report that one good thing did come from this robbery.  Kanye West was performing a concert when the robbery happened and when he got word of it, he cancelled the rest of the show.  This is great news because Kanye West's music sucks as much as Donald Trump's hair.

31 Horror Movies To Watch In October



Oh sweet, wonderful and evil Halloween.  You are so special.  I look forward to you all year long.  Not only is Halloween my birthday, but October truly is the start of the holiday season.  Now, I am a horror movie fanatic, so I watch horror movies all year long, but in October, they are a little more special.  This year I decided to compile a list of 31 horror movies that I feel should be watched in October.  These movies are guaranteed to get you in the Halloween spirit.  I was sure to include some classics along with some movies that are only a few years old to make sure I wasn't limiting the list to just certain eras.  This list is in alphabetical order.


A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

The Elm Street series is the most successful slasher film series ever.  The reason why is because Freddy Krueger is the only killer to have personality.  While Krueger became funnier later in the series, in the first film, he was dark and sinister.  It is a joy watching Krueger torment his victims in a way Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees can't.  He's an evil little tease.

Bram Stroker's Dracula (1992)

Francis Ford Coppola directed this amazing adaption of the Bram Stroker novel and it is the last great film of his career.  This movie is part horror story, part love story and it works on both levels.  The movie excels with its incredible special effects, set design, costume design and one of the best musical scores ever.  The acting by everyone other than Keanu Reeves is excellent and Coppola does a great job behind the camera.  In my opinion, this is the best Dracula film ever made.


Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

This sequel to the original Frankenstein came out four years after the original and the advancement in special effects and sound is very impressive.  While the movie isn't as good as it predecessor, Boris Karloff's performance as the monster is really special as the monster speaks in this one.  The movie also added a great humor element to the movie which I really enjoyed.


The Changeling (1980)

No, this is not the movie of the same name starring Angelina Jolie.  That 2008 film has nothing to do with this 1980 Canadian horror classic.  If I had to choose, The Changeling is my favorite haunted house story.  It's plot is a great mystery and the scares are all suspense based.  The movie also has the greatest seance scene ever filmed.


The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring is a haunted house story that mixes elements of The Exorcist and Poltergeist.  In my opinion, a good haunted house story is difficult to pull off and The Conjuring does so perfectly.  The movie has great acting, a killer musical score and Jame Wan proves himself to be the new master of horror with this movie.


Dawn of the Dead (1978)

While it is Romero's Night of the Living Dead that started the zombie genre as we know it, it is this sequel that is the best zombie movie ever made.  I can't imagine anyone would have ever thought that a zombie movie could ever be over 2 hours and work, but this movie does.  There is no other zombie film that has influenced The Walking Dead more than Dawn of the Dead.


Dead Alive (1992)

Before Peter Jackson became an Academy Award winning and blockbuster delivering director, he made some horror movies and the best of those is Dead Alive.  This is a horror movie that never takes itself seriously and it blends over-the-top gore with comedy in a way that is very enjoyable.  Any movie that has a character killing zombies with a lawnmower is worth watching in October.


Dracula (1931)

This is the movie that really started the horror film genre in the United States.  It also began the amazing string of Universal horror movies of which four are on this list.  The Gothic look of this movie still holds up today, but it is Bela Lugosi that makes this movie so great.  When people think of the Dracula character, it is Lugosi's Dracula they think of first.


The Evil Dead (1981)

Before the aforementioned Dead Alive, there was Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead.  It also mixed over-the-top gore with humor in a way that made for a great horror experience.  Along with the over-the-top gore, there is Bruce Campbell great over-the-top performance that is just gold.  Bruce Campbell is groovy baby.


The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist is not only the best horror film ever made, it is one of the best movies ever made.  Enough said.


Frankenstein (1931)

The same year Universal released Dracula, they released Frankenstein.  This movie caused people to run out of the theater and one scene in particular bothered audiences so much, they had to cut it out.  I saw this movie on the big screen a couple years ago and that was an awesome experience.  The main musical theme for this movie is amazing as well.


Friday the 13th (1980)

The success of the film Halloween created a new genre of slasher films and the Friday the 13th series became one of the most successful ever.  The first film in the series is by far the best and it has a nice twist to its story that will surprise those new to this 80's classic.


Halloween (1978)

Arguably the most influential horror movie of all time and the most obvious choice for people to watch during October.  The story, the suspense and the musical score make it a perfect horror movie experience.


Halloween II (1981)

By the time Halloween II had come out, there had been several other slasher films that had come out and found success.  You can see their influence on this movie as it was a little more gory than what the original was.  Luckily, the movie still had that Halloween magic and Jamie Lee Curtis was as great as she was in the original.


Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

In my opinion, Halloween 4 is the best of all the Halloween sequels.  The reason why is because the makers of this movie went back to what made the original so good, suspense.  The movie has the same look and feel of the original and it's ending is awesome.  Several years ago, I saw Halloween 4 on the big screen and the film holds up just as well as the first one does.


The House of Devil (2009)

This film was written and directed by Ti West and it is a film that I instantly fell in love with.  This is a horror film that it is all about atmosphere.  It is a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat because of the feeling of impending doom that surrounds lead character.  It is a movie that reminds me of Rosemary's Baby, which is one of my favorite horror movies.


Insidious (2011)

Director James Wan makes the list again with the excellent Insidious which is a movie you think is going to be a haunted house story, but instead it turns out to be a movie about a haunted child.  Again, Wan casts the film well and scares are great.  The music score is amazing and the Darth Maul looking demon is killer.


The Lost Boys (1987)

The Lost Boys is more of a horror/comedy than a horror film, but it is a must watch.  The movie stars Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Jason Patrick and Kiefer Sutherland.  In a world of Twilight vampires, it is great to be reminded that vampires can be badass.  The movie is filled with great humor, performances and a real fun story.  Finally, there is only one time in history that the mullet actually worked and it was on Sutherland's character in this flick.


The Omen (1976)

The story of the anti-christ being born and protected by evil forces is one of the best horror films ever.  The movie has an excellent cast which features Gregory Peck who is just awesome in the movie.  The plot, characters and scares are just top notch.  The movie also features a music score that won the Academy Award for best score.


Pet Semetary (1989)

There have been many horror movies based on books by Stephen King, but none are better than Pet Semetary.  I recently showed this movie to my oldest daughter and I was shocked to see how well this movie holds up.  The movie's plot will suck you in, take you on a wild ride and scare the daylights out of you.  Lesson learned from this one, cremate your pets.


Poltergeist (1982)

On this list I've had what I feel is the best haunted house movie (The Changeling) the scariest (The Conjuring) and now it is time for the most fun.  Poltergeist is a blast because the characters are so fun, the special effects are great and the story really works.  While it didn't make this list (maybe next years?), Poltergeist II is also a fun one to see.


Pumpkinhead (1988)

Pumkinhead was horror movie that was released in theaters and was pretty much ignored by audiences; however once it hit VHS, the movie became an 80's cult classic.  This movie is directed by Stan Winston who is one of the greatest special and make-up effect creators in film history.  The Pumpkinhead creature looks amazing and the movie is pure 80's horror greatness.


Return of the Living Dead (1985)

While Romero's Dead series are the greatest zombie movies for zombie purists, Return of the Living Dead is the most fun.  This was the first time a movie had fast running zombies and it also has zombies that talk!  The movie is filled with great scenes and humor.  If you ever wanted to find out why zombies have to eat human flesh, this movie has your answer straight from the zombies mouth.


Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Horror fans and critics both consider the 70's the greatest horror decade in film history and Rosemary's Baby is the movie that is considered the film that started that decade for horror.  This is a movie that builds its tension around the main character by the feeling of impeding doom and when the climax occurs, the movie really delivers.


Saw (2004)

Here is James Wan's third film on this list.  The original Saw is the movie that started the "torture porn" genre of the 2000's, but it was easily the best of any of these extreme gore films.  The story was great and it had a great plot twist that nobody could see coming.  While the sequels that followed were hit and miss, the original Saw was a great horror film that changed the genre forever.  It was also James Wan's first movie, so it also gets credit for jump starting an excellent career.


Scream (1996)

Scream is the horror film that rejuvenated the horror genre in the 90's.  It was also the movie the re-energized Wes Craven's career.  The movie was a fresh take on the slasher genre that also paid tribute to the movies that came before it.  The opening sequence featuring Drew Barrymore just might be the best opening sequence in horror film history.


The Shining (1980)

While Stephen King hates the movie and the movie doesn't have much in common with his book of the same name, Kubrick's adaption is excellent.  The movie is scary, weird and beautiful, but it is Jack Nicholson's performance that makes the movie so good.  Watching Nicholson go from a loving husband/father to a madman is a great ride.


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Imagine being a horror fan in the 70's and getting The Exorcist in 1973 and then The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1974.  These were two horror films that were so brutal, people ran out of the theater while watching them.  Chainsaw Massacre introduced Leatherface and his chainsaw to the world and it has been buzzing ever since.


Trick r Treat (2007)

While the movie Halloween takes place on Halloween, the greatest movie about the Halloween holiday is Trick r Treat.  This movie tells a bunch of different stories that all intersect on Halloween and then come together at the end.  The movie also talks about some of the rules that are important to follow on Halloween...or else.


The Wicker Man (1973)

If you don't think a horror musical can work, you obviously have seen this cult classic.  Christopher Lee stars in this movie as a cult leader and he is just fantastic.  The songs are awesome (in a cheesy way), the movie has a ton of great nudity, but the best part is the ending.  Seriously, it is awesome.


The Wolfman (1941)

For me, The Wolfman is my favorite of the classic Universal horror films.  Lon Chaney Jr. is great in it, Evelyn Ankers is gorgeous and Maria Ouspenskaya as the gypsy is freaky.  The story is great and I love the make-up in this film.



So there you go.  You have your movies to watch.  Get watching.