New Entertainment

The Nacelle Company Upgrades Robo Force!

Posted By themoviesleuth 15 hours ago on Entertainment

Images courtesy The Nacelle CompanyLong ago, a few gimmicks in a toy line seemed to be the only requirement for basing an entire mythology on. The Eighties ran buckshot with this concept, seeing what would stick to the wall and what would not and only a few stalwart franchises survived. The original Robo Force from Ideal made these figures with a suction cup base, uniquely stylized torsos and heads, and a specific gimmick for the arms. In 2013, Toyfinity acquired the license, restarted the story, and integrated the new line into their Glyos system of compatible peg and socket joints. Now, The Nacelle Company has given the franchise new legs, literally.The studio behind the Netflix series ‘The Toys That Made Us’ have announced that the first wave of their new Robo Force is almost ready for pre-order! This 7.5-inch scale line reintroduces our lead hero, Maxx Steele and his right-hand man, Wrecker. The upgrade from colorful stickers to detailed sculpting and reimagined silhouettes, give these characters a new lease on life. Featuring full articulation and collector-friendly window box packaging, the full potential of these action figures is on the horizon. As a nod to the original line, the figures have suction cups at the base of each leg!Each figure is priced at $49.99 USD and pre-orders begin April 22, 2022 on The Nacelle Company’s official site. The pre-orders for Hun-Dred and SOTA are scheduled to be announced later this year. Walk on, future warrior.-SC

2022 Yamaha Electone Arrangement 5: Jailhouse Rock

Posted By ScribblingGeek 23 hours ago on Entertainment - The post 2022 Yamaha Electone Arrangement 5: Jailhouse Rock appeared first on The Scribbling Geek.
Electone sheet music and registration data for Jailhouse Rock. I was, of course, inspired to arrange this because of the 2022 movie.
The post 2022 Yamaha Electone Arrangement 5: Jailhouse Rock appeared first on The Scribbling Geek.

Deaf Crocodile Films: Delta Space Mission (1984) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 1 day 9 hours ago on Entertainment

 Eastern European animation has remained quite obscure over the years, with few works getting international releases. That is why it's a treat when companies go out of their way to procure and restore these hidden gems, ensuring that future audiences can see and enjoy them. Deaf Crocodile, in conjunction with Vinegar Syndrome, has released an outstanding set for Delta Space Mission (1984), a Romanian sci-fi freakout with some of the trippiest visuals since Fantastic Planet (1973).Delta Space Mission takes place in the year 3084, and man has conquered space travel. The big news is that there is a snazzy giant spaceship piloted by a self-aware super computer named Delta. This attracts the attention of Alma, a green-skinned alien journalist, who flies in on her tiny little ship (that looks suspiciously like Opa-Opa from the Sega game Fantasy Zone). Alma is instantly entranced by Delta's appearance as it is shaped like a giant diamond, and she remarks favorably on its beauty. Delta immediately develops a crush on Alma, and will stop at nothing to possess her, stalking her as she travels around the cosmos to conduction her investigative reports.  The exposition is front loaded into the first fifteen minutes of the film and after that it seems like an afterthought in favor of surreal visuals and action set-pieces. Much of the story is told visually, with extended sequences that have very little dialogue. The early '80s aesthetic is in full force with bright colors and angular Space Invader style blocky creature designs, and retro-futuristic ships that are highly reminiscent of Galaga. Delta has the ability to create organic monsters from materials on the planet to include beasts made out of water or an unsettling spider creature composed of electrical posts. It's all very creative and engaging, and it's set to a super funky synth soundtrack by composer Calin Ioachimescu.Most people are going to compare the themes of this film to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) as they both feature a computer AI gone rogue, but Delta Space Mission has a more emotional appeal as Delta is just trying to wrap its head around what it means to love someone--essentially overwhelmed by the depth and complexity of human emotion. It's more sad and whimsical than Kubrick's cold and calculated take on the same subject.Delta Space Mission is a must watch for anyone who love animation in general, but especially for those who enjoy retro offerings and have exhausted all of the more popular entries in the medium.Transfer: The 4K scan for this film is immaculate, and cel-animation in particular is gorgeous in HD. The colors are bright and saturated and there is very little judder that can sometimes creep in with older animation transfers. Beautiful job by Deaf Crocodile.Extras: Standouts include Stephen R. Bissette's informative booklet essay on the history of the production of the animation, and Kat Ellinger's fascinating full-length commentary that utilizes her extensive knowledge of Eastern European cinema to provide context to the themes of the film.Blu-Ray Extras:• New 4K scan of DELTA SPACE MISSION from the original camera negative by the Romanian Film Archive and CNC – Romanian Film Centre, with digital restoration by Craig Rogers of Deaf Crocodile Films• Region A Blu-ray• New interview with DELTA SPACE MISSION co-director Călin Cazan (40 min., in English)• Two newly restored episodes from the DELTA SPACE MISSION short film series: “Planeta Oceanelor / The Planet of the Oceans” (1980, 7 min.) and “Recuperare ratata / Failed Towing” (1981, 7 min.), both directed by Victor Antonescu• New commentary track by Kat Ellinger, author, film critic and editor-in-chief for Diabolique magazine• New booklet essay by comics artist, editor and publisher Stephen R. Bissette (Swamp Thing)• Reversible cover artwork• English SDH subtitles--Michelle Kisner  (function() { var zergnet = document.createElement('script'); zergnet.type = 'text/javascript'; zergnet.async = true; zergnet.src = (document.location.protocol == "https:" ? "https:" : "http:") + '//'; var znscr = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; znscr.parentNode.insertBefore(zergnet, znscr); })();

A New Path Forward: Clark Gregg Boards TNT's Snowpiercer Season 4

Posted By themoviesleuth 2 days ago on Entertainment

 Agents of SHIELD star Clark Gregg has boarded the upcoming fourth season of TNT's Snowpiercer television series. Along with Gregg, Paul Zybyszewski will take over as the showrunner on the popular dystopian future drama show. They both worked together previously on the ABC Studios and Marvel television series. Snowpiercer was renewed for a fourth season just ahead of the third season's premiere. The show which follows a train of passengers attempting to find a safe zone during a frozen apocalypse was a popular science fiction film prior to being turned into a television show. It's seen quite a bit of success for TNT and is one of the highest rated shows on the cable outlet. It's also available to watch on the Amazon Prime streaming service. Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs lead the series which will see the addition of Gregg. Gregg was quite obviously featured in the Marvel films as Agent Coulson and went on to star in the SHIELD offshoot. There's no mention of how large his role will be in Snowpiercer at this time. Both the film and series are based on the Snowpiercer graphic novel series. -CG (function() { var zergnet = document.createElement('script'); zergnet.type = 'text/javascript'; zergnet.async = true; zergnet.src = (document.location.protocol == "https:" ? "https:" : "http:") + '//'; var znscr = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; znscr.parentNode.insertBefore(zergnet, znscr); })();

Scorpion Releasing: The Farmer (1977) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 2 days ago on Entertainment

Courtesy of Scorpion ReleasingDespite being a prolific editor on such films as Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid as well as The Deep, David Berlatsky’s single shot at the director’s chair, a southern friend vigilante vengeance thriller from 1977 called The Farmer, was for decades considered to be a completely lost film.  Completed in 1975 and released by Columbia Pictures to middling box office returns, the film disappeared off the face of the Earth for almost fifty years never to be seen on videocassette tape or network cable television again.  Only trailers, posters and lobby cards were all that remained for cult exploitation moviegoers to latch onto, guessing at what kind of movie those archaeological promotional still photos and snippets of footage hinted at. A film that was a passion project for leading man and producer Gary Conway, a frequent television star and eventual writer for the American Ninja films, The Farmer took the then-trending revenge thriller ala Death Wish and particularly Taxi Driver into post-WWII America and offered a uniquely fresh if not brutally violent spin on the subgenre.  For years a title that formed a cult status given its unattainability with only a select few able to provide recollections on what The Farmer was like, the good folks at Scorpion Releasing co-opted with Diabolikdvd and Capstone films the very first ever home video release of one of exploitation cinema’s most utterly obscure offerings.  Scanned from the original negative and fully restored, The Farmer can now finally be reintroduced to eagerly awaiting cult horror fans and cinephiles scouring the planet for forgotten film relics. WWII veteran Kyle Martin (Gary Conway) returns to his home in Georgia with fellow fieldhand Gumshoe (Ken Renard) helping him to build a farm.  However, the profits for a one-man farm aren’t there and the local bank threatens foreclosure.  One night a local gangster named Johnny (Michael Dante) gets into an auto accident near Kyle’s farm before being rescued by the local farmer.  In gratitude for saving his life, he offers him $1,500 but it’s still not enough for the bankers.  Worse still, higher-ups in the local mob aren’t too happy with Johnny past-posting on a horse race who proceed to murder his bodyguard before permanently blinding him with acid.  Battered and broken, Johnny reaches out with a job offer the farmer can’t refuse: kill the gangsters who blinded him. Not unlike The Driver, The Mechanic, the aforementioned Taxi Driver and more recently Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, The Farmer begins as a methodical and layered character driven slow burn that gradually builds towards an explosive eruption of ultraviolence rivaling the graphic brutality of even Scorsese’s masterpiece.  Co-starring Mean Streets and Phantom of the Paradise actor George Memmoli who had to decline the now-infamous cabbie role in Taxi Driver due to an ultimately fatal injury suffered on the set of this very movie, The Farmer is part postwar Southern Fried period piece and then-70s exploitation nastiness.  Initially it feels like a lead into Mackintosh & T.J. as a homegrown rural western and for the most part The Farmer is a snapshot of 1940s small town America.  But once the violence starts, the film is like a slippery slope of increasing savagery sure to eject the faint hearted from their seats.  It is also, carried by the rugged but veteran actor Gary Conway, kind of a badass and distinctly American vengeance actioner. Aided by folksy country acoustic tunes interspersed with a somewhat anachronistic electronic score by Hugo Montenegro which occasionally can take the viewer out off the movie and shot handsomely in the Georgian countryside by Ivy Goodnoff, technically speaking The Farmer is a taut little number.  Initially the film soaks in the dirt, grass and trees covered farmlands, absorbing the atmosphere like a sponge, getting you to relax somewhat and allow your guard to come down so you aren’t prepared when the bullets fly and blood sprays.  An ensemble piece with special kudos given to Angel Tompkins as Betty who does the heaviest lifting all the characters in the film, playing a spunky bartender girlfriend to Johnny who takes a liking to his new hired hand, The Farmer jumps between these disparate threads which will eventually invariably clash once farmer being hit for so long finally decides to hit back. A rough and tough revenge action flick which might be a little too violent for some, The Farmer for better or worse is back in the public eye again probably having garnered far more attention now than it did upon initial release.  Seen now it represents one of the meaner nastier revenge thrillers to come out of the 1970s that starts off kind of quiet before turning into a vicious bloodbath.  Not everyone will take to this rough around the edges actioner while others will revel in its transgressions and belief in the unforgiving lone hero ala Dirty Harry or Gran Torinoinvolving a craggy veteran who has been around the block and is tired of having his face spat in.  For my money, I got a real kick out of this pitchfork to the stomach of a movie.--Andrew Kotwicki (function() { var zergnet = document.createElement('script'); zergnet.type = 'text/javascript'; zergnet.async = true; zergnet.src = (document.location.protocol == "https:" ? 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Welcome To Derry: IT Prequel Series Coming to HBO Max

Posted By themoviesleuth 3 days ago on Entertainment

 At the time that IT Chapter Two was released in cinemas, there were rumblings that another cinematic entry would either serve as a continuation or prequel to the highly successful films. Yet nothing ever came of those rumors. Well, today it's being reported that they're finally developing a new series for HBO Max that will lead up to the events of the films. Set in the '60s, the new show will chronicle the evil happenings in Derry that lead up to the events of the Stephen King novel and film adaptation. The show will be a deep dive in to the evolution of Pennywise and his grip on the town of Derry and will chronicle his backstory and years before the happenings in the book and movies. Right now it's being reported that Andy Muschietti, the director of the films, and Barbara Muschietti are both on board as producers for the series. If it ends up being fully green lit, Andy has signed to direct the first episode. Since WB was the company behind the films, they will also be partnering with HBO for the upcoming project.Currently the show's title is slated as Welcome To Derry. We'll obviously update more as the news comes in. -CG (function() { var zergnet = document.createElement('script'); zergnet.type = 'text/javascript'; zergnet.async = true; zergnet.src = (document.location.protocol == "https:" ? "https:" : "http:") + '//'; var znscr = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; znscr.parentNode.insertBefore(zergnet, znscr); })();

Cult Cinema: The Inner Circle (1991) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 4 days ago on Entertainment

Courtesy of Sony PicturesYears back when Andrei Konchalovsky made the 1979 gargantuan epic Russian film Siberiade, at a festival screening the director met up with the theater’s projectionist hoping to catch wind of what the Soviet censors objected to in his film.  As they started talking, the man turned out to be none other than Ivan Sanchin (real name Alexander Ganshin) who was whisked away from his home one night into the Kremlin to become Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s personal private projectionist from 1939 to 1951.   As the night went on and brandy was drunk, the two amassed enough conversation over Sanchin’s days showing Stalin major studio movies from around the world as well as keeping tabs on the Second World War newsreels.  Though eventually (briefly) emigrating to Hollywood, the story stayed with Konchalovsky for years and in 1991 he decided to bring Sanchin’s surreal, frightening and fascinating life experiences to the silver screen with The Inner Circle. Starring Animal House and Amadeus lead Tom Hulce in the role of Sanchin, one of the actor’s most complex and difficult if not occasionally misogynistic characters, we find him working as a projectionist for the KGB.  Abruptly summoned one night, he is quickly introduced to Stalin’s (Aleksandr Zbruyev) Inner Circle in one of the first major motion pictures allowed to be filmed within the Kremlin walls.  An American, Italian and Russian co-production and released in the United States by Columbia Pictures, this English language star studded film co-authored by Konchalovsky and Anatoliy Usov in the time-honored tradition of its director becomes an emotionally engaging portrait of individuals functioning under great duress.  Though otherwise happily married to Anastasia (Lolita Davidovich) in his cramped apartment, Sanchin laps up the sweet new rewards afforded to him by working for Stalin and finds himself torn between witnessing bizarre dynamics playing out within the Kremlinlooking the other way as the head of state security Lavrentiy Beria (Bob Hoskins) ingratiates himself between their marriage.  To make matters worse, a Russian-Jewish couple’s daughter in an apartment next door is left to an orphanage whom Anastasia wants to adopt, generating yet another toxic rift in her increasingly tenuous beleaguered marriage. From Italian producer Claudio Bonivento, like Mikhail Kalatozov’s The Red Tent the film utilizes a largely Italian crew replete with Franco Zeffirelli’s cinematographer Ennio Guarnieri giving the production a stark contrast between the gloomy impoverished apartment life to the formidable yet polished Kremlin walls.  This of course wouldn’t be a Konchalovsky effort without the great Eduard Artemyev lending his electronic musical mastery to the proceedings, evoking the feelings of fear, confusion and in the end a sense of hope felt by Sanchin and his loved ones during a time of great upheaval.  Artemyev needs no introduction and his mere association with any film project, good or bad, goes up a notch in quality.  Here the composer conjures up scary stark synth notes in between some of the calmer western themes heard in Konchalovsky’s last English language film Homer and Eddie,  Performers, largely Russian actors with a few American leads, as always in a Konchalovsky film come through first and foremost loud and clear.  If there’s any director able to take scenes audiences are unfamiliar with and make the situation and those living it instantly relatable, it is most certainly Andrei Konchalovsky.  Few directors are able to get their actors to basically give emotional blood onscreen.  That said, Hulce affecting a Russian accent is splendid in the role of Sanchin who presents a casual expertise over technical equipment few in the arena are able to contest and Konchalovsky and Hulce aren’t afraid to allow Sanchin to be a bastard at times.  Special attention goes to Lolita Davidovich who finds herself fighting an uphill battle to keep her marriage and dignity intact while trying to rescue an innocent child separated from her parents, meanwhile fending off the lecherous Beria with Bob Hoskins channeling his boorish The Long Good Friday gangster vibes.  Given Konchalovsky’s clout in Hollywood and Moscow, He was also able to cast veteran Russian stage actor Aleksandr Zbruyev who makes Stalin a mercurial and reclusive figure we, over the course of the movie, still find out very little about. Released just one day before the dissolution of the Soviet Union which then became the Russian Federation, looking back now in our current headlines involving the ongoing war in Ukraine, The Inner Circle comes across now as timely while still ultimately remaining a nonjudgmental portrait of an ordinary movie man’s brief unwanted brush with a repressive regime.  Functioning as a quasi-romantic historical drama as well as a curious gaze into how the Kremlin processed the movies, the film doesn’t quite have the teeth of Konchalovsky’s Siberiade or ferocity of Runaway Train but nevertheless is a powerful true-to-life human tale of love and survival.  Yes the English speaking Russians can be disorienting and works against the authenticity somewhat, feeling like David Lean’s Doctor Zhivago at times, but in a director like Konchalovsky’s hands, I’ll accept it.  Though some may be disappointed the film doesn’t make any formal declarations about the subject of Ivan Sanchin’s place in The Inner Circle beyond bearing firsthand witness to a lot of depressing, strange and terrifying things, as a film it unfolds like a slice of life, anecdotal and framed like an oddly fond collection of memories bubbling from that little chat writer-director Andrei Konchalovsky had with its protagonist. --Andrew Kotwicki (function() { var zergnet = document.createElement('script'); zergnet.type = 'text/javascript'; zergnet.async = true; zergnet.src = (document.location.protocol == "https:" ? 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Movie Review: Minions: The Rise of Gru

Posted By ScribblingGeek 4 days ago on Entertainment - The post Movie Review: Minions: The Rise of Gru appeared first on The Scribbling Geek.
Minions: The Rise of Gru review. This groovy sequel/prequel breaks no grounds. But if you’re looking for zany escapism, this is the summer hit to go for.
The post Movie Review: Minions: The Rise of Gru appeared first on The Scribbling Geek.

Getting Strong Now: Creed III Set Photos Feature a Ripped Jonathan Majors

Posted By themoviesleuth 5 days ago on Entertainment

 It's spent several years in development now, but work has finally begun on the third movie in the Rocky spin-off series. The next Creed film will of course feature Michael B. Jordan back in the title role but will be the first film to apparently not feature Rocky Balboa as Stallone says he's retired from the role for now. This third entry will not only have Jordan back in the role but he's also taking over directorial duties on the major motion picture. This is another step forward for Jordan's career as this will be his first time directing a film. Jordan first gained notoriety on HBO's The Wire and also appeared on All My Children and Friday Night Lights. He finally gained some real spotlight time with his lead role in Chronicle and Fruitvale Station. He first appeared as Adonis Creed in 2015 and then in the sequel, Creed II. It's estimated that Jonathan Majors will take up the role of Creed's latest opponent when he steps back in to the ring. These photos that appeared online today show Jordan back in fit shape along with Majors obviously putting on some muscle. Check out the photos here at The Daily Mail. -CG (function() { var zergnet = document.createElement('script'); zergnet.type = 'text/javascript'; zergnet.async = true; zergnet.src = (document.location.protocol == "https:" ? "https:" : "http:") + '//'; var znscr = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; znscr.parentNode.insertBefore(zergnet, znscr); })();

Four Important Strategies For Singing the National Anthem

Posted By singingcoach 5 days ago on Music - Every year when July rolls around, I assign new students The Star-Spangled Banner.  Since we celebrate Independence Day in July, it’s a good excuse to work on this song.  Any singer living in the US has a very good chance of performing this song for an event, big or small, and the song is quite difficult! It has a huge range and is often sung a cappella.  It’s a bit of a high-pressure situation too - everyone is silent, watching and listening to you, and you are kicking off an event that often comes with high stakes and wild crowds (read: sporting events).  So you are very much in the spotlight – no pressure, right?!  Does anyone remember the singer who went viral for singing the anthem at a CPAC Conference not too long ago?  When I watched it, I could hear that she actually had a nice quality to her tone, but not many people could hear past her disastrous, frequent, and unintentional key changes.  You can watch it here.    Here are some strategies to help ensure that you rock the anthem, instead of it rocking you!CHOOSE YOUR KEY CAREFULLY – This one is the very most important and deserves some serious thought and experimentation.   Some singers have huge ranges, but most of us only have a comfort zone of about 1 ½ octaves.  And guess what, the range of the Anthem is 1 ½ octaves!  So if we’re going to be able to sing that “land of the freeeee” (highest note of the song, which you also have to hit on ”red glare”) in a strong, strain-free voice, we need to make sure we don’t start too high.   The safest bet is to start at or near the very bottom of your range.  A lot of singers will unnecessarily struggle in the higher moments of this song, simply because they didn’t start low enough. The word “say” in the first phrase, “O say, can you see,” is the lowest note in the song, and is repeated on “gleaming,” and “whose broad stripes”.  Make sure you can hit that note, but it’s ok if it’s a little weak or soft – you’ll want to really sell the peak moment of the song later on beginning at “and the rocket’s red glare.”  If you start too high, you’ll have to flip into a pure head voice or falsetto and will lose the momentum at the biggest moments. VOWEL MODIFICATIONSVowel modifications are one of the great secret tricks singers utilize to hit certain notes.  Singing a word the way you speak it doesn’t always work so well.  Opening your mouth to a very pure “ah” sound, or closing it to more of an “ee” sound can help you nail challenging notes such as the high notes in the anthem.   The peak phrase “o’er the land of the free,” has a closed vowel which might be hard to create a powerful belt tone on.  Try opening your mouth to “frah.”  You’ll notice in the video link to the girl with the multiple key changes, the mouth shape on “free” is one thing she does well (though she holds the note too long for my taste). CONSIDER THE “BONUS” NOTE IF YOU CAN’T BELT “FREE” Speaking of that peak phrase, don’t be discouraged if you have a hard time belting that high note.  It will take a combination of the right key, air flow, vowel shape, and mix placement to get a belted tone there, more than the scope of this blog post (may I suggest taking a lesson with Your Online Singing Coach!).  If you find that you do have to flip into head voice or falsetto to hit that note on the money, first of all accept it!  Don’t try to belt it out and end up singing it flat or have a crack in your voice.  Play it safe and hit the note perfectly, if softly.   But there’s another option to impress the crowd, which you have probably heard in some renditions.  There is an optional second note on “free” a fourth above the first notes (i.e. from C to F).  The second, higher note, sounds harder because it’s higher!   But once you’re in head voice, going a little higher really isn’t much harder.  So it sounds impressive, but is actually pretty easy to execute!  PRACTICE STAYING IN THE KEYIf you will be singing the anthem without the accompaniment of a track, piano player, band, etc (in other words, “a cappella,” It’s important to start in one key and stick with it!  Beware that your voice may try to trick you, because it wants an easy job, so it might try to switch to a more comfortable key as you get to the high end of the song.  In the below lyric sheet, I have bolded every “root” note in the song.  If you have a piano, or a piano app (I use a free app called “The Piano”), just play this note every time you see a syllable in bold.  You will hear if you’re matching up on the note.  The more you practice this way (playing the root note each time you sing that note) the more engrained the key and the placement in your voice will become.  You will subconsciously hear that root note playing along with you and keeping you on track during your performance.   If you notice you are not matching up at a certain point when practicing, go back to the beginning and start again, paying special attention to the section just before the mismatch.  If you continue to struggle with staying in the key, see if you can sing along to a karaoke track.

 Download the lyric sheet with root notes in bold print here.I created a video demonstrating all these concepts for a deeper dive.  You can watch it here.  Let me know if these tips helped you, and how you do the next time you sing the Anthem!