Sunday, September 15, 2019

Alice Cooper | Breadcrumbs EP | 2019 Review

Alice Cooper - Breadcrumbs 2019 Artwork (earMusic)

The living legend and master of shock rock, Alice Cooper, is back with his newest release, The Breadcrumbs EP.  This 22 minute collection of (mostly) covers is a love letter to the Detroit guitar rock sound that Cooper and his original band members built their legendary career on.  With contributions from the Detroit classic rock elite, Cooper's take on these songs have a bounce and feel that calls back to his early 70's heyday.  

Things kick off with an updated take on the 2003 Eyes of Alice Cooper track "Detroit City."  While this new version has more energy than the original track, the lack of a definitive chorus hurts it.  If the original chorus would have been included instead of inside references to the title city, this could qualify as a classic Alice track.  The only other original Alice Cooper track on this collection is the new "Go Man Go" which is penned with the MC5's Wayne Kramer.  It's a nice uptempo rocker that outshines "Detroit City 2020" in most ways.  

Bob Seger's "East Side Story," Suzi Quatro's "Your Mama Won't Like Me," Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels' "Devil With a Blue Dress On" and the MC5's "Sister Anne" round out this 6 song collection.  Cooper's take on these songs are both fairly faithful and completely Alice Cooper in all respects.  In particular "East Side Story" and "Your Mama Won't Like Me" perfectly fit the character that Cooper has portrayed for decades.  Bob Ezrin's production helps to give it that authentic Alice Cooper feel.  

The Breadcrumbs EP is not meant to be a serious release.  In fact, it's only physical release is a limited edition (to 20,000 vinyl copies).  It's meant as an extension of Cooper's side project, The Hollywood Vampires.  It's a musician paying respect to a sound that he was both inspired by and helped to create. 

This EP is a perfect way to tide fans over until the next official release.  It's good to see Cooper doing what he wants to do.  He's under no pressure to be Alice which in turn should help to make the next Alice Cooper album even better.  

Check out the EP now on all digital platforms including Spotify and iTunes.  For hardcore fans, the limited edition vinyl release is available HERE.  

Friday, September 13, 2019

Disney Vs. Sony: The Fight For Spider-Man

Every day there's a new story on social media and random websites claiming to have some inside information regarding the departure of Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  The simple fact is that as of right now, no one knows what's going to happen.  For the moment, Spidey is out.  

What we've heard is that Disney sought 50% of the profits from future Spider-Man movies and Sony walked.  Then we've heard it was Sony who offered Disney 30% of profits if they include Venom into the MCU.  We've also heard that Sony offered to sell the rights to the wallcrawler back to Disney for a cool 10 billion dollars.  

Did any of this happen?  To some extent, probably.  The two companies have no doubt been negotiating.  They both know that they each have a lot to lose by not working on the deal and keeping Spidey where he belongs.  Who loses more?  Let's take a look.

The MCU doesn't necessarily need Spider-Man.  That's been proven over and over again.  However, the difference is that this time, Disney doesn't have their two biggest hitters to rely on.  With Iron Man's and Captain America's story arcs over, Peter Parker/Spider-Man was being positioned as the new face of the MCU going forward.  He was being put in line to become the next Iron Man.  Literally.  That was literally a plot point of Spider-Man: Far From Home.  Without this fan favorite character to help usher in the New Avengers, will fans relate to the team as much?  Only time will tell.  However, there will always be that question regarding the fate of "the kid."  

Sony has had recent success with their Spider-Man less spider-verse.  Into the Spider-Verse is one of the best spider movies ever.  Yes, it's animated, but it's still a fantastic story.  Venom, while not necessarily a fan favorite, made a LOT of money.  Not MCU/Spider-Man money, but a lot nonetheless.  Now they feel that Tom Holland's Spider-Man fighting and/or teaming up with Tom Hardy's Venom will get them over the hump.  They may not be wrong.  If they can keep the creative team behind the two previous MCU films in tact (minus Kevin Feige of course), then they may be able to keep it together for at least another film.  The real problem is what happens to all of this version of Spider-Man's history?  He's so deeply entrenched in the MCU that it'll be hard to separate.  They won't be able to mention the Avengers.  Or Tony Stark.  Or Thanos.  Or the "blip."  Both of his previous villains were Stark creations.  How is this going to work?  How are they going to retcon it without destroying what's been built before?  It's possible that Sony can pull it off.  It's just going to take an amazing effort from all parties involved to not let it become an Amazing Spider-Man 2 or Spider-Man 3. 

Ultimately before it's all said and done, we'll see Spider-Man back in the MCU where he belongs.  Despite both of these companies having legitimate claims, they'll come to a mutually beneficial arrangement.  There's time to work things out considering how much of the MCU's phase 4 is cosmic based.  We're not going to be spending too much time on Earth to even worry about that post credits shocker from Far From Home.  Have faith true believers.  It'll happen.

What do you think is going to happen?  Hit up the comments below and sound off!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Required Viewing Prior to Avengers Endgame

With less than 2 weeks left before the release of the hotly anticipated Avengers: Endgame, let's take a look at a couple of films in the series that must be watched in order to get more out of the 22nd film in the series.  Let's face it, most people don't have time to watch 21 films in order to get the most out of Endgame.  I've whittled it down to 4 movies that should get you caught up and give you enough introduction to each of the characters so you won't be too lost.  Obviously, if you have more time, watch more of the movies.  The more you watch, the more you'll get out of what promises to be one of the biggest movies of all time.  But, if you can only squeeze in a couple, make it these.

Marvel's The Avengers (2012)

Endgame is going to focus on the core original Avengers.  This 2012 crossover is the first time the team assembled.  It does a great job of introducing us to the personalities and relationships between the team.  While it focuses mostly on Iron Man and Captain America, the rest of the team gets their time to shine.  Marvel's the Avengers also features the strongest villain from phase one of the franchise, Loki.  There's also the post credits scene that introduces Thanos to the world.  A lot of the ideas that will be paid off in Endgame are rooted firmly in this flick.  

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

While this is considered the weakest of the team movies, it's within this one that the team really starts showing the cracks.  Age of Ultron introduces us to Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Vision.  Two of the three of them play big parts in the team's future.  Thor finds out about the Infinity Stones and gives a brief synopsis of what they are to the team.  You also have Tony Stark's Witch inspired vision of the future that influences his decisions throughout the rest of the series.  While Ultron isn't the strongest villain in the series, he's still a compelling antagonist that isn't necessarily wrong with his motivations.  I think this movie is actually much better than it's given credit for.  

Captain America:  Civil War (2016)

Civil War is a must watch prior to Endgame.  This one shows the team splitting into two and explains why things are the way they are in Infinity War and beyond.  The premise behind this one involves registration of the super heroes following the aftermath of major battles that the Avengers were a part of.  Half of the team decides to sign while the other half doesn't want to have their hands tied by red tape.  While this informs the initial split, it's the revelations during the third act that turn this deeply personal.  Civil War introduces us to both Black Panther and Spider-Man.  This one is also directed by the Russo Brothers who also helmed Infinity War and EndgameCaptain America: Civil War is an action packed superhero film that is also incredibly emotional.  This one's a must watch.  

Avengers Infinity War (2018)

This one is a no-brainer.  If you're going to see Endgame, you've gotta know what got the team in the position they're in.  How did they lose.  What happened to everyone?  Who doesn't feel good?  Infinity War is a non stop flick that is an absolute necessity.  The ending of this one is just soooo good.  Even if you've seen it, you need to rewatch it just to get back into the headspace of the characters and the universe.  Infinity War is the cap on the set up.  Endgame is the payoff.  You can't truly enjoy one without the other.  

So, what do you think?  Do you agree or disagree with these picks?  Sound off in the usual place.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Avengers Endgame Predictions

Well, there's only a couple of weeks left until the most anticipated movie of all time is released.  Avengers Endgame is the culmination of 22 movies and 11 years.  We've been promised that it'll be a game changer.  With how Infinity War went down, we've got to believe it.  There's also the fact that a lot of the original actor's contracts are up.  

So, what's gonna happen?  I want to use this as a chance to give out some predictions based on what little information we've been given so far.  It'll be fun to look back at this article after release and see how much I got wrong.  Also, if you've got any predictions, leave them in the comments!  

1.  The Dusted Heroes Return.  Let's start with an easy one.  We pretty much know this is going to happen because Spider-Man: Far From Home is to be released shortly after.  We also know Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Black Panther 2 and Dr. Strange 2 are in the works.  This one's a definite.  

2.  Thanos Wins Again.  I think there's going to be at least 2 showdowns with Thanos.  There will be an early fight where the Avengers get defeated again.  I base this on the early release clip of the team talking in Avengers AQ and Captain Marvel arrogantly states that they didn't win because they didn't have her.  After seeing Captain Marvel, we know she's ridiculously powerful.  However, I think she's going to underestimate the power of the gauntlet and it's going to lead to the team's 2nd defeat and also my next prediction.  

3.  Captain America Dies.  During the team's second rematch with Thanos, I believe that Captain America will die.  Whether he stays that way once they have the power of time travel remains to be seen.  I do think that there will be time travel and that Thor will get his Mjolnir back.  During the battle with Thanos, Captain America will prove his worthiness and he'll lift the hammer in battle against his cosmic foe.  While it may help to save the team, he'll be a major casualty.  

4.  Time Travel Via The Quantum Realm.  This one is pretty much another no brainer.  We know there will be some time travel shenanigans here.  Ant-Man will play a major part since he's the main connection to the Quantum Realm in the MCU.  The team will revisit the Battle of New York from the first Avengers movie in order to capture two infinity stones before Thanos has the chance.  We know from leaked set photos that there are scenes from the Battle of New York in the movie.  However, we don't know if they're flashbacks or the result of time travel.  My vote goes to Time Travel!

5.  Thanos is defeated by Ant-Man going up his butt and expanding.  Because it's gotta happen, you know?

And that's it.  It'll be interesting to see what happens.  Personally, I cannot wait until April 25th.  I'm so pumped up to get emotionally wrecked during this one!  Once the movie comes out, I'll give my spoiler free review.  We'll also revisit these predictions to see which ones were accurate.  I know I nailed number 5!

Don't forget to leave your predictions in the comments.  It'll be fun to see who nails what!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy 2019 every one!  I want to take a second to thank everyone who has been a part of our little community over the last year.  In 2018, I managed to pick up 1,194 subscribers to the YouTube channel!  That is incredible.  It's also why I've neglected this web site.  I've spent almost every night doing live streams and building the community over there.  It's been working.  Slowly, but surely.  I can't thank you guys enough for all the growth over there.  I plan on 2019 being another big year over on the channel.  

I also launched my Patreon after having people ask me to.  I was thrilled when a few people jumped on board almost immediately.  That is incredible.  It means so much that these guys are willing to support my dumb ideas.  I hope they like their little perks.  And yes, I still owe a video to a couple of people.  It's coming!  

Now, as for 2019, my plan is to continue doing the things we've been doing.  I have plans to start a couple of new video series'.  I plan to keep on collecting POPs and just having a good time.  At least, that's the goal.  It's nice to have an outlet from my frustrating personal life.  So, yeah, thanks for that.  

So, thank you for making 2018 a success despite the fact that it shouldn't have been!  It's been appreciated.  I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions.  However, this year, I've made a small personal one.  My goal is simple.  To watch more movies.  That's right, I don't watch a whole hell of a lot of new movies.  I don't know why.  I like watching movies.  I enjoy watching movies.  I just can't get the motivation to do it.  So in 2019, my goal is to watch at least 52 new movies this year.  And yes, I'll be keeping a list!

Hope you didn't let 2018 kick you down.  If it did, beat that bitch into submission in 2019!  

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Scream: The Video Game Coming (Not So) Soon

Do you like scary movies? Are you also a fan of video games? Then you’re probably aware of Friday the 13th: The Game, but did you know that there is game based on Scream in the works? That’s right 90’s biggest teen slayer, Ghost Face, will be getting his own multi player game. Game developers are working in collaboration with Dimension Films, Miramax Films, Fun World, and MTV to create a gaming experience that includes Scream 1 through 4 and the 3 seasons of Scream: The TV Series.

The game will have two ways to play. The Franchise lets players reenact events from the movies and the TV series. Progressing through levels is dependent upon how true to the movie/show canons your actions are. If you don’t stick to the script you create a paradox. I’m assuming that means that you repeat a scene over and over again “Groundhog Day” style until you get it right. Maybe it creates an alternate timeline you must fix in order to move on. While I’m not 100% sure, I’m definitely 100% excited to find out!

The second play mode is Killers vs. Victims. As it suggests, players can choose to either be a killer or a victim. Killers can customize their looks with different options for masks, clothes, weapons, and equipment. Victims have the ability to pick clothes, skills, and abilities as well. It’s supposed to be very similar to Friday the 13th: The Game, but I am very interested to see the differences. Will there still be drawers to loot or escape vehicle parts to find? More importantly are there going to be emotes? There’s never a more appropriate time to show off those sweet dance moves than when a killer is on the loose and has you in their sights!

According to @ScreamVideoGame on Twitter there will be a demo released in February 2020 with a full release scheduled for December 20, 2021 (IMDB also lists a 2021 release). The full release coincides with the 25th anniversary of the original Scream’s release. It will be available on PC, XBOX ONE, and PS4.

For Friday the 13th: The Game fans, like myself, Scream: The Game is definitely something to look forward to. With the recent legal issues that have prevented the developers from adding new content to Friday the 13th: The Game there are concerns and worries that the game may die out. I’ll keep playing until there isn’t a game to play anymore, but with the upcoming Scream game I’m optimistic. I know it’s a little too early to tell, but it feels like there is some definite potential there. If Friday the 13th: The Game does, unfortunately, end there is a similar hunter vs. hunted multiplayer game coming. If it lasts we’ll have a different franchise to play in.  Could be a win/win for horror game fans. 

Are you as excited as I am? Are you doubtful after what happened with F13? Let us know in the comments below!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

What You Need to See Before Watching Avengers: Infinity War!

(Click here for my non-spoiler review of Avengers: Infinity War.)

So, are you one of the 6 people that haven't seen Avengers: Infinity War yet?  Well, this article is for you!  While it's possible to go into Marvel's newest ensemble flick without having seen any of the previous movies, it's not recommended.  In fact, this film works best if you've seen them all and you're invested in the characters.  If you don't have time to check them all out, here's a recommended viewing list.  These will give you enough of a footing in the mythology and characters of the universe.  

The Avengers (2012)

While phase one gives an introduction to all of the main characters, you're able to skip ahead to the first meetup between the heroes.  2012's The Avengers brought the main team together for the first time on the big screen.  It lets you learn who everyone is and gives you a good footing on the world.  If you're in a time crunch, The Avengers is the best place to start.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy opens up the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe which will ultimately play a huge part in the Infinity War saga.  Think of the Guardians as the intergalactic Avengers.  This one is like funny Star Wars.  It's a nice space opera that somehow manages to make you care about a talking raccoon and a giant tree.  This was definitely a surprise in phase two of the MCU!

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers: Age of Ultron brings the band back together to face another world ending terror.  This time, the villain is the Tony Stark creation Ultron, a sentient robot that wants to save the planet by eliminating the biggest threat to it, humanity.  Age of Ultron introduces the new characters Scarlet Witch and Vision and finally sees one of the core Avengers learn about the infinity stones.  

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Captain America: Civil War follows up with the fallout following Age of Ultron.  The Avengers are split down the middle with half opposing superhero registration with the other half in favor of it.  Civil War pits Tony Stark and his team against Captain America's anti registration forces.  With the stakes getting bigger with each movie, Civil War scales it up but also tones it down to make it a more emotional story.  The MCU introduction to Spider-Man happens in this one while also introducing King T'challa, aka, The Black Panther!  

Doctor Strange (2016)

Doctor Strange is the one "if you can, you should, but you don't have to" on the list.  It would be helpful if you do see it, but you don't necessarily have to.  It opens the door to magic in the MCU and introduces you to the arrogant Dr. Stephen Strange, who plays a major role in Infinity War.  The final act of this one is amazing and truly shows the ingenuity of these heroes and what they're willing to go through to save everything.  Doctor Strange is the only true solo flick on the list.  

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Thor: Ragnarok leads directly into the events of the Avengers: Infinity War.  It reconnects the Hulk with Thor while developing both of the them into multi dimensional characters.  It's also quite possibly the funniest film in the franchise.  Despite world ending stakes, it manages to stay light while keeping it's intensity.  Thor: Ragnarok turns Thor from one of the worst Avengers to possibly everyone's favorite.  There's a nice balance of cosmic and Earthly goodness which plays heavily into Infinity War.  This one is just flat out good times.  If you'd like to see my review of it, here you go!  

So there you go, instead of sitting through 18 films before checking out Infinity War, this list of 6 will give you enough knowledge of the franchise to keep you in the loop.  Now, I'd recommend you going back and watching from the beginning to fully enjoy Infinity War.  They throw you in right from the start and if you know nothing, you'll be completely lost.  It's the biggest strength and weakness of Avengers: Infinity War!