Friday, September 30, 2016

New Movies Friday: 9.30.16




Tim Burton is back with what should be his biggest hit in four years.  Along with his new movie, there are three other new movies opening this weekend.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is set to win the weekend and to give Tim Burton his first number one movie since 2010.  The movie is getting a pretty good 62% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and buzz on the movie has been pretty strong.  Look for Peculiar Children to pull in around 35 million this weekend.

The next new release, Deepwater Horizon, tells the true story of the real life oil rig disaster of 2010 and focuses its story on the survival stories of those on that rig that horrible day.  The movie stars Mark Wahlberg who has a nice string of hits to his name.  The movie is pulling in a strong 80% fresh rating and an opening of around 20 million should occur.

Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Kristin Wiig star in a comedy that has been delayed well over a year from being released.  That is never a good sign.  A check over at Rotten Tomatoes shows Masterminds is pulling in a poor 41% rating, so don't expect much from this flick.  Look for Masterminds to pull in 5-6 million this weekend.

The final release is also the best reviewed movie of the weekend.  Disney's Queen of Katwe has an excellent 92% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and is a movie that appears perfect for families.  The downfall is that it isn't getting that wide of a release, so that will hurt its box-office numbers.  Look for the Queen to pull in around 3 million this weekend. 

Music Review: Rival Sons - Hollow Bones



You know what pisses me off?  When a US rock band, that kicks a ton of ass, is virtually ignored in their own country, yet they are big in Europe and England.  It is just more proof that the music scene in the US is just crap.  Well, thank the saints that Rival Sons are doing well in other countries because that is why we keep getting new albums from them every couple of years.  Hollow Bones is Rival Sons fifth album and once again, this band has hit it outta the park.

If you want to hear an album from a new band that sounds like it comes right out of the 70's, this is the the album for you.  Stylistically, the Rival Sons have been compared to Led Zepplin, Bad Company and Deep Purple and you can hear that in this album.  Some of the songs on this album that really kick ass include Hollow Bones Part 1, Tied Up and the fantastic Hollow Bones Part 2.  Without a doubt, Hollow Bones Part 2 will be one of my favorite songs of the year.  This album is filled with riffs that groove, incredible vocals and solid guitar work.  While this album does have a bit of a different feel than some of their past albums, it is worth a listen for any rock n roll fan.




GRADE:  A



Monday, September 26, 2016

Presidential Debate Drinking Game



Tonight is the night for an epic battle.  No, I'm not talking about Monday Night Football, I'm talking about the first Presidential Debate of 2016.  The battle between Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, also known as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, should make for quite a show.  It is already clear that the losers of tonight's debate are the American people, so instead of frowning on the fact that one of these two people will be our next President, let's make the debate fun for ourselves.

MAKE THE DEBATE'S FUN AGAIN!

I decided to come up with a drinking game for all America (and the world) to participate in tonight which will make the debate much more pleasing for all of us watching.  I've seen other drinking games posted on social media, but with most of them, their partisan leanings are clear.  They either have an extra dig towards one or the other candidates.  We need a non-partisan drinking game that focuses on the game, rather than pushing one's agenda.  Also, there has to be realistic actions taken by these two that causes a person to have to take a shot.  For example, you can't say to take a shot every time one of them lies because that will lead to death for all those playing.  You also can't say to take a shot every time they deflect the question because again, you will die of alcohol poisoning.  These are just things we know they are going to do, because it is done during all Presidential Debates.  So, here it is what I've come up with:

You must have a drink to take a shot with.  This doesn't mean you get take shots of beer or a wine cooler, get something that is going to have some kick, otherwise, what the hell is the point?

Take a shot anytime Hillary says/mentions:  
Bankruptcy, Trumps Taxes, Coughs (the action, not the word), Russia, Trump University, Trump's Twitter Activity, Mexico Not Paying For The Wall 

Take a shot anytime Don says/mentions:
Benghazi, Hilary's Emails, The Wall, China, Clinton Foundation, Hillary Speaking Fees, Hilary's Health

I think these are good options to start with and adjustments can be made for each debate.  Finally, here is where I say:  Don't drink and drive, drink responsibly, drink water, yadda...yadda...yadda.

One more thing, if you are one of the people who voted for one of these tools in the primaries, you are a dumbass and shouldn't be allowed to vote again.  Ever.





Friday, September 23, 2016

New Movies Friday: 9.23.16



There are two new major releases this weekend and it is the remake The Magnificent Seven that is poised to rule the box-office.  This is a remake of the 1960 classic which itself was an American remake of the 1954 Japanese classic, Seven Samurai.  While I seriously doubt anyone was hoping for a remake of this movie, it seems like the studio did it right with this one.  To start, the actors in the movie are legit.  Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke are just three of the excellent actors in this movie.  Next, Director Antoine Fuqua is a good director who is well known for his killer movie, Training Day.  The movie is getting a decent 63% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences will like this movie way more than critics do.  Why?  Critics can't help themselves from comparing the movie to the original and Seven Samurai, while audiences will judge it on whether they enjoyed it or not.  I've seen projections for this movie anywhere from the high 30 millions to the low 50 millions so I'll go in the middle.  Look for The Magnificent Seven to pull in around 45 million.

The final major release is the animated movie Storks.  It has been awhile since kids had a good animated movie to check out in theaters, so Storks should benefit from that.  A check over at Rotten Tomatoes shows the movie is getting a so-so 59% fresh rating, but that won't matter to kids and families.  Look for Storks to pull in around 33 million this weekend.

  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Music Review: Billy Talent - Afraid of Heights



I was lucky enough to discover Billy Talent back in 2003 when their debut album came out and I have been a huge fan ever since.  They are one of those bands that have a style that is all their own.  There aren't really a lot of bands out there that have such a unique style, that no other band sounds like they do, but Billy Talent falls into that category.  A couple others who come to mind are Def Leppard and Alice in Chains.  As for Billy Talent's style, it is hard rock with a punk twist that then adds a heavily harmonized anthem chorus that is just infectious.

Afraid of Heights is the fifth album by Billy Talent and they once again have given their fans a kick ass album.  Every year this band has released an album, it has made my 'best of' list for that year and this album will do the same.  There is not a bad song on this album.  Some of my favorites are The Crutch, Ghost Ship of Cannibal Rats and Horses & Chariots.  The other reason this album is so good is that their lyrics have meaning.  I love that this band has something to say.  Not only does this album rock, but it gives you serious things to think about too.  Billy Talent is a big band in their native Canada and they should be that big everywhere. 








GRADE:  A

Friday, September 16, 2016

Corey Feldman on The Today Show



It is hard to believe that Corey Feldman was once a superstar.  His peak was a long time ago, but you gotta give him credit for keeping on, keeping on.  That said, there are questions that have to be asked about his performance today on The Today Show.  First, how did Feldman get this gig?  Was The Today Show desperate for performers or something?  Heck, I've reviewed a ton of albums this year by artists who deserve a chance to be on The Today Show - put one of them on!  Second, what the heck is up with this song?  What is he trying to do here?  Is this a Justin Bieber type of thing or something?  I don't listen to popular radio, but if this is an example of what is getting played on it, oh dear lord!  I made fun of this song a while back here, but watching him perform it just makes it worse.  Why?  Because you can tell he really thinks it is good.  Third, this performance is hilarious.  I have no idea who choreographed this for him, but that person should be shot immediately.  Finally, Feldman, I don't care how good of friends you were with the King of Pop back in the day, you have to stop trying to be him.  Michael Jackson could dance, you can't.  Michael Jackson could sing, you can't.  Michael Jackson had musical talent, you don't.  Just give it a rest dude.  Please.

Corey Feldman was a pretty good actor as a kid and teen.  I wish some cable channel show or something would give him a chance at acting again.  He might be able to show what it was that once made him a star because this is just painfully bad.

New Movies Friday: 9-16-16




It has been 17 years, but fans of the The Blair Witch Project are finally getting the type of sequel they always wanted.  The cool story behind the film is that the studio kept the making of the new Blair Witch under wraps and surprised fans with news of the movie coming out at this past Comic Con.  It was a big shock for horror industry.  As for the film, it is a direct sequel to the original and fans are happy about that as well.  What will hurt the movie is that it has been 17 years since the original came out and except for the hardcore fans, was anybody really wanting another one?  That is difficult to determine.  Reviews from horror website critics are overwhelmingly positive, but with general critics included, the movie is pulling in a poor 42% fresh at rating at Rotten Tomatoes.  Look for Blair Witch to pull in 19-21 million this weekend.

Blair Witch isn't the only sequel coming out this weekend whose predecessor was released 10+ years ago.  This weekend also brings us the third Bridget Jones movie with Bridget Jones's Baby.  Neither of the Bridget Jones movies were huge hits in the US, but after world-wide totals, they were very successful.  A check over at Rotten Tomatoes shows the movie is getting good reviews with a 77% fresh rating, so fans of the series will be happy.  Look for Bridget Jones's Baby to pull in around 14 million this weekend.

The final new movie of the weekend is Oliver Stone's latest film, Snowden.  There was a time an Oliver Stone film would be a guaranteed hit at the box-office, but that time is in the past.  The movie is getting so-so reviews at Rotten Tomatoes with a 57% fresh rating, so look for Snowden to pull in around 7 million this weekend.   

Friday, September 9, 2016

New Movies Friday: 9.9.16



This past Labor Day weekend officially ended the summer movie season and now it is time to start getting the movies that hope to be recognized this upcoming award season.  To start this off, Academy Award winners Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks team up to bring the true story of Captain Sully who landed a plane on the Hudson River and saved the lives of everyone on the plane.  Sully is pulling in solid reviews with an 81% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and after a month of comic book movies and horror films, people are ready for a good emotional drama.  Look for Sully to pull in 28-32 million this weekend.

For the last two years, the African American market has been successfully targeted with two thrillers that star mostly African American casts.  2014's No Good Deed and 2015's The Perfect Guy both opened to 25 million and became nice profitable hits.  This year When the Bough Breaks hopes to follow that same pattern.  The only thing hurting the chances of this thriller hitting these same numbers is the huge success of horror film Don't Breathe the last two weeks.  It may be a bit too soon for a movie like this as the thriller/horror audience has been recently satisfied.  The studio knows that reviews for this movie are going to be horrible, so they haven't let critics see it yet, which is why it currently has no Rotten Tomatoes rating.  Look for When the Bough Breaks to pull in around 20 million this weekend.

The final film opening this weekend is the animated film, The Wild Life which tells the story of Robinson Crusoe from the animals point-of-view.  The movie is getting piss poor reviews with a 18% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and the film has no hype going for it.  The lack of hype makes sense as we have had a summer filled with animated movies.  I think even kids need a break right now.  Look for The Wild Life to pull in 4-5 million dollars.  

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Music Review: Butch Walker - Stay Gold




If you've paid attention at all to things I've posted over the years you'd already know my favorite singer/songwriter is Butch Walker.  While most people don't know who he is by name, chances are that you know his work.  He is one of the biggest producers and songwriters in the music business today.  He has written and produced for artists such as Pink to Weezer to Fall Out Boy to Panic! at the Disco to Taylor Swift to Keith Urban and more.  When he is not writing and/or producing for other artists, he puts out his own stuff and tours the country like a madman.

What I love about Butch Walker is that every solo album sounds different than the last.  While his music is all rock based, he changes things up every album based on how he is feeling at the time.  Last year, his album Afraid of Ghosts was #8 on my Top 10 Albums of 2015.  That album was a more mellow and somber album that dealt with his reflections after the death of his father.  It was a beautiful album that felt like an emotional hit to the gut.  With Stay Gold, Butch took inspiration from 80's era Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, so the mood of this album is much more upbeat.

Stay Gold has a nice mix of songs which includes great rock tunes like the title track, East Coast Girl and Irish Exit.  The song that I really love is the mellow, Descending, which is a duet with Ashley Monroe and it is just amazing.  Other songs I'm really liking are Wilder in the Heart, Mexican Coke and Ludlow Expectations.  I'll be seeing Butch perform twice this month, and I can't wait to hear these new songs live.




GRADE:  A






Thursday, September 1, 2016

Music Review: The Treatment - Generation Me



When you hear about a band that has been asked to open tours for bands like KISS, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, UFO and Slash, it catches your attention.  I read about The Treatment and all the hype they were generating at the Classic Rock Magazine website a couple years ago and liked what I read.  This band from England has been generating buzz in their home country and they were starting to create some buzz in the US too.  I meant to check their albums out earlier, but I didn't get around to it until their new album, Generation Me, came out this year.

What makes this new album interesting for their longtime fans is that this is the first with a new lead singer, Mitchell Emms.  I have no idea why the band changed lead singers for their third album, but Emms has a classic hard rock vocal that suits the music.  In fact, there are moments on this album where Emms reminds me of a young Sebastian Bach from his Skid Row days.  Their guitar style reminds me a bit of AC/DC and that with the solid vocals makes for a fun rock n roll album.

Songs like Let It Begin, The Devil and Bloodsucker are smokin' hot rock tunes and the song Backstreet Heartbeat is a radio friendly rock song that is very good.  There are a few songs on the album that are so-so, but overall, this is a good rock album.  Now I just have to get their first two albums.





GRADE:  B