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The TV Week That Will Be 28/11/2009-04/12/2009

You know what? I quite enjoyed having a theme tune last week, so let’s do it again. This time with a song I’d long forgotten until this week’s Stargate: Universe. It may seem droll but HIT THE MUSIC!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDSud7vAH_0[/youtube]

Cracking track there, and I’ll talk more about the show itself in a moment, but first we have some business to take care of!

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It’s been an eventful week in Dingledom actually, as Jeff Hordley got to flex his acting muscles a bit more than usual, as Charity broke Cain’s heart again, but he’s not the only one who’s had a bit more to do as this week also saw a return to classic form for…

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Marlon

Parents: Albert, Delilah

Sibling: Eli

Spouse: Tricia (Deceased) Donna (Seperated, pending divorce)

Mark Charnock as Marlon really is one of Emmerdale’s top performers with a knack for tremendous comedy performances (usually largely improvised dialogue with either Paddy or Eli) and that rarest thing in soap operas, subtle emotional performances. Sadly Emmerdale’s writers love to saddle him with terrible storylines, usually via his current romantic link. His relationship with and marriage to Tricia was littered with awful plots. To his credit, Mark wasn’t responsible for these and always more than carried his side, but Sheree Kewell/Murphy’s inability to act without screaching nasally made them painful to watch whenever she was around. For the longest time with his second wife Donna, things seemed to be very stable and un-soaplike. Donna’s character was very sensible and combined with the goodhearted Marlon, they completed a series of very enjoyable ‘Us against the world’ type plots, but of course this wouldn’t continue. The long running soap convention of needless affairs came knocking, as Donna ended up in a tryst with the incredibly unlikeable Ross. Once again, Mark Charnock was not at fault and played the damaged spouse very well, but even he couldn’t save that dross as it circled the plughole for weeks on end. Most recently the character of Marlon has been in a state of flux, most significantly aiding his brother Eli in his efforts to save Debbie from gaol, where he played a superb supporting role, until this past week when he revealed he had fallen for married workmate Moira. Pleasingly so far, she has simply let him down gently and supported him at a difficult emotional time as he still pines for Donna, rather than the ‘easy way out’ with yet another soap affair. The highlight of this though has been the increased number of scenes with Paddy and Eli which remain probably the most consistently entertaining parts of UK soap opera on TV.

I was due to cover Eli this week too, but given the sad news that Joe Gilgun will be leaving Emmerdale in early 2010, he’ll have his own feature next week on THE DINGLE FILES!

As promised in the intro, I wanted to talk a bit about Stargate: Universe too, and I don’t really have anything but good things to say about the show. This past week added significantly more layers to the human relationship aspect of the show. The drama heightened between Col. Young (Justin Louis) and Col. Telford (Lou Diamond Phillips) over Telford’s affair with Young’s wife, cumulating in Young, using the pebbles to switch places with a rank and file soldier (bear with me if you don’t follow SG and don’t understand that. Just think of it as a Quantum Leap type switcharoo. If you’ve never watched QL…why not!?) to seek physical retribution against Telford, in probably the most earthy, real ‘fight’ scene in SG history. Telford is developing into the villain of the series rapidly. Wray’s (Ming Na) trip to see her partner led to her breaking down and after having been one of the calmest on the Destiny, she looks ready to fall apart. The most revealing and greatest character development was that of Matthew Scott (Brian J Smith) who discovered his actions that led to him leaving candidacy for the Priesthood aged 16 had farther reaching connotations as he discovered he has an eight year old son. This led to him questioning his burgeoning relationship with Chloe Armstrong (Elyse Levesque), but developing a tighter bond with Eli (David Blue) who revealed a great deal about his personality and low self-esteem in the process. Combine this excellent development of the characters and their response to pressure of their situation to the incredibly tense sci fi almost thriller aspects, and you have a tremendous show, accessible to even the most ardent sci fi cynic.

But anyhow, enough of that, we came here for a reason after all…let’s get highlighting!

Oh wait…did I say highlighting? THERE ARE NONE! NONE WHATSOEVER! ZIP! ZILCH! ZERO! NADA! Not one new series to extoll the virtues of. There is some tennis and some rugby on this weekend if you’re a sports fan, but other than that, watch the regulars and rent some DVDs!

We’re even low on lowlights this week, but two shows standout as particularly rubbish.

Firstly The Queen on Channel 4. Now I might be a bit biased against this, because I loathe the film of the same name, but I really don’t see it being possible to do a convincing drama about royalty, especially current day, without resorting to sensationalism and over the top guess work in filling in the gaps. This reeks of pretty lazy writing.

Our other lowlight for the week is a reel humdinger. Big Top has frustrating potential with an interesting premise and a great supporting cast. So why is it a lowlight? Simple. It’s on 7.30 PM on a Wednesday and it stars Amanda Holden. The plot reads like a cut and paste of sitcom cliches and really it all just comes over as being very cheap and nasty.

So that’s me for the week. Bit of a shorter edition because of the lack of programmes to showcase, but usually that means we’re in for a bumper few weeks so join me next week for that. Keep your eyes peeled for Eoin’s look at the year ahead for Marvel and DC and for my interview with Gemma Bright about her project in development Outcast Hero. Send any feedback to chris@multimediamouth.com or in the comments and remember to always stay safe.

MultiMediaMouth Showcase: Riley

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Somewhere, in the small city of La Habra, California, there is a band. They Attend Sonora high school. and the band is called Riley. Made up of Spencer Alfonso, Patrick Hill, and Jarred Colemane, this band rocks many events at their high school.

I was very lucky to be able to score their email to begin this interview with frontman Spencer Alfonso

How and when did the members of Riley meet?

The four original members of Riley have all be friends with me since I was a little kid. We group up together. Me and Patrick met in sunday school in first grade, and Daniel and Ryan have known me since I was a baby.

How did you guys get your name?

Daniel suggested it in the car, and coincidentally “Riley” is my middle name.

When Was your first gig?

My first gig was with Patrick and our band Metallic Tiger. We performed at the Rancho Starbuck Battle of the Bands, and got to play right before Cold War Kids. Luckily for us they weren’t competing in the competition. They were super nice guys and really encouraging.
Where was your first gig?

The first gig as Riley was at my church in Whittier called Whittier Hills Baptist Church.
How nervous were you?

I was pretty nervous because it was my first time singing in front of an audience.

Who is one of the bands inspirations?

The Kings of Leon

Who writes your songs?

I write about 90% of the lyrics, that other 10% being Hope Like an Ocean which was written with Emiko Woods. Usually a song begins with patrick and I sitting in a hotel room bouncing of each others ideas musically.

What inspired yours song “Hope Like An Ocean”?

Emiko and I had challenged each other to write a “happy” song. Hope like an Ocean was mine.
What does “Purpose” mean?

Purpose is about not being cool, and trying to figure out why.
Do you guys like your acoustic songs over your “live”(Full Band) versions?

It really depends. We just did an acoustic show in Whittier, and a lot of the fans that have been following us since last summer, said it was their favorite show.

Most importantly, why should people go and listen to your songs?

People should listen to our music because they want to listen to it.

Is there anything that we should know about the band, upcoming releases, concert dates?

Yeah you can purchase our debut release, “For the Love E.P.” on iTunes. Just search the title of the cd.

Visit www.myspace.com/rileyrockband for more information on Riley. Give me your feedback! rjp@multimediamouth.com

Kris Allen Lives Like He’s Dying With Debut Album

 

The winner of the 8th Season of American Idol Kris Allen just released his self-titled debut album on Nov. 17, 2009. The first single off the debut album “Live Like We’re Dying” showed what Kris Allen’s album is going to be like. “Live Like We’re Dying” is a very good single to release prior to the album, however it is not what I thought it would sound like at all. After hearing what he did with songs like “She Works Hard For The Money” and “Heartless” (Idol live), I was expecting more of an acoustic, singer/songwriter sounding album, similar in style to Jon Foreman.

The album has a very ‘Pop’ feel, with a few slow tempo piano songs like “I Need To Know” and “Lifetime”. All in All it is a very good debut album when it comes to Idol winners. It is difficult to compare this release to that of previous Idol winner David Cook because they have two completely different sounds. David Cook, of course is very Rock based in contrast to Allen’s sound but it remains an impressive debut for Allen.

There is a song on the album that will make you want to dance. “Before We Come Undone” is an amazing dance track. It will make you stand up and shake your booty…if you really, really must! This is thanks, at least in part to the very catchy chorus, but you’ll have to purchase to find out what, exactly it sounds like!

Just Cause you Say its so doesn’t make it so, I don’t show what I am feeling for you. I’d rather shut my mouth then spill it out when it’s written all over my face is the lyrical hook in “Written All Over My Face”. This song will make you want to move as well as it is a really up tempo number. Allen talks about how it is much easier for you to read his face then to for him to express what is on his mind, because expression would get lost in translation.

“Alright With Me” which is driven by an acoustic sound is a track indicative of what many expected Allen’s debut to be based around, but instead is an exception to the rule. In what seems to be a recurring theme on the album though, it is also a dancefloor number.

As you would expect from an Idol winner, Allen’s vocals are outstanding throughout the entire album, but that doesn’t mean that every track is a winner, and there is significant room for improvement. I would not have placed the version of “Heartless” that they decided to go with on the final cut. It seems they wanted to make Heartless match the tone of rest of the album, but they fell short of their goal and completely ruined it. If they had put Kris in the studio with just him, his guitar, and some light acoustic percussion, then we would have had a great song…. but they failed unfortunately, which really left a bad taste in my mouth as regards the production.

Kris Allen the debut album is available at retail stores everywhere, so do go out and get your own copy! For more information on Kris Allen visit www.krisallenofficial.com, for more information about the upcoming American Idol Season 9, visit www.americanidol.com.

Well, despite some weaker points I strongly encourage you all to go out and purchase the debut album. Look out for future interviews similar to my interview with Riley’s front man Spencer Alfonso. Please send me emails at rjp@multimediamouth.com .

Handheld Gamer: DSi XL

In a quiet week for handheld gaming, nothing coming out after the release of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars on the PSP, it was once again up to the handheld kings at Nintendo,defenders of their title all the way from the Game Boy days, to drop the bombshell upon the unsuspecting pubic.

Around this time was the first hints of the DSi which then came out in April. This time around, it feels a bit like Déjà vu because it is a DSi, which was also announced in the fall but not quite the one that’s on the market right now.

The first L stands for ‘large’ and in a strange, almost bragging, motion the second L stands for ‘extra large’. Nintendo recently announced that they ar calling it the DSi XL in the West which, as cool as it sounds, does not have the curious nature LL brings.

The screen is a pretty wide 4.2 inches, 1 inch over the previous DSi screen’s 3.2inches and comes in weighing at 314g to the DSi’s 214g. The biggest surprise coming from this is that the height, weight and length extensions have not affected the battery length at all, extending by two hours on both lowest and highest brightest settings. Not as good as the DS Lite of course, but that is to be expected in terms of size and features.

But how do they all compare to one another? A rather interesting video comparison of the three market handhelds from a Japanese morning news show is below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghukC2XXLSI[/youtube]

To the surprise of no one, this announcement confused the gaming public. Nintendo had already basically relaunched the DSi with new colours of Metallic Blue, Light Blue and Red and the system itself only came out in April of this year and along with that, you can still easily buy a DS Lite bundled with Cooking Guide, Professor Layton, Mario Kart or Nintendogs. Why would Nintendo need ANOTHER upgrade?

What was also interesting was that this came out during the week Nintendo announced a drop in profits in the last six months due to low Wii sales which should not be a surprise at all to many people as most people who have a Wii already have one and those who do not are more likely to go to their friends then actually buy one themselves.

On the other hand, the DS has been the most stable system Nintendo has, not losing money but in fact gaining more as the system back catalogue grows bigger. It was estimated that, in Japan alone, 9 out of 10 citizens have one and also to date, Nintendo has produced over 100 million DSs in many varieties. In Japan, the Christmas rush will be one where more DSs are sold and more games are placed onto the market. Nintendo has already made a killing from not just the newest Dragon Quest game but from Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver, remakes of the two next generation Pokemon games. Nintendo can aim for the hardcore with these games and Tomodachi Collection, the DS Mii collection game, making more then both of those games combined and being aimed for the casual market. It might make more sense on Nintendo’s half to give more backing to the Wii rather then give more to a system that had been your cash cow for the last couple of years.

The DSi LL (or XL)’s intention is to target a market that may or may not already have a DS or a DSi. Nintendo say this market is the elderly and those with sight problems.

When you create a system that’s more accessible to people who don’t usually play games, you open up a market that can access more of the games that are world renowned to casual audiences. You give them access to the Brain Training series, Suduko and almost everything else related to it. You could make a case that the camera and the bigger screen might not be nessesary for this.

The other side of the argument is a simple and justified one. The DSi has just come out, the new colours have just come out. The hardware does not have anything that separates it from the present DS Lite. What made the Wii such a rocket buster in terms of sales was the fact that Wii Sports was included with it. When you got another remote, you could get Wii Play with it, when the balance board came out, you could get Wii Fit. and when Wii MotionPlus came out, you could get it with Grand Slam Tennis, Virtua Tennis or Wii Sports Resort.

The DSi, when you received it, has…free games downloaded. On the newer ones, you get the internet browser and the highly successful and enjoyable Flipnote Studio and with the DSi LL, you’re getting three downloaded DSi Ware software and this is before you tap into your 1000 free DSi points. Having said that, it does not showcase the software as well as the Wii did with the hardware and extra peripherals that it came out with. It’s fine getting smaller downloadable games for your DSi and messing around with them, but it pales in comparison to showcasing the software. What seemed like the biggest ball dropping for Nintendo was not coming out with the DSi specialised games from launch instead of the next couple of months. The exception to this is Wario Ware Snapped and whilst this is highly enjoyable, it’s much, much too short and also shows on occasion that the camera can be a right annoyance to position right to make it work.

For example…the first games to come out to integrate with the DSi?

Monster Hunter

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGdnrSu5WHY[/youtube]

The Japanese trailer of the game

and

System Flaw

Which, judging from this video, screams ‘Quick Buck’.

Notice that

1. They’re not developed by Nintendo in house, like Wii Sports, Wii Fit etc

2. They aren’t produced by any big name developers like Konami, Capcom and Square Enix (who produce many of the best 3rd party DS titles)

3. They aren’t trying to stand out when using the camera.

The worst thing is that no one at Nintendo or anyone else has announced anything to remedy this potential problem. No new Mario game, no Zelda (rumours of the newest title, Zelda: Spirit Tracks having DSi exclusive features not withstanding) and no extended Wario Ware. Apart from the indie game makers and the smaller versions of already big titles (A Little Bit of…, Mario and Donkey Kong), there is nothing that may entice people to get their hands on a brand new DSi system apart from the appeal of it.

Time will tell if this will work in keeping their dominance over the handheld market as Sony still need to kickstart the rejuvination of the PSP, at this point the only handheld to properly rival Nintendo, after the lackluster start to the life of the PSP Go. But if Nintendo are to keep their dominance going into the next hardware cycle with a sequel to the DS, they have to make sure to make the customer’s money worth the purchase. Right now, they’re lucky that all the PSP Go could give was Gran Turismo on launch day. If Sony got their act together, Nintendo would not be in the position they are in now.

Have Creed come Full Circle?

Before I begin this very exciting article, I have a small request. I ask that you please visit this link to read my article on the Creed Reunion, and then I will begin this article.

Ever since the announcement of the band‘s reunion in April and the follow up announcement on October 27, 2009 of the forthcoming release of a new album I have been waiting. It has been highly anticipated for me on a personal level, and I feel I have not been disappointed. For the first time in over 5 years, the rock band Creed has released a full length album, Full Circle.

Now, there are a lot of questions out there regarding the reunion of Creed, including the following: Is Alter Bridge done? Well, according to Myles Kennedy (Lead Vocals of AB) they are not. They will begin where the band has left off in 2010. Is Scott Stapp going to continue with his “Christian” lyrics? From what I heard, they still very much have spiritual overtones. However, it seems like Scott knows exactly where he stands with God and that he isn’t sitting on the fence. Have Creed retained the unity they once displayed? I can’t say “yes!” for sure, but they way they looked on stage, it certainly seems like it. The music seems like they have completely reconciled from what ever things were said and whatever differences caused them to go in separate ways.

Perhaps most indicative of this rediscovered brotherhood is…Well check this out! BRIAN MARSHAL IS BACK IN CREED! Back, after they released their second album, Brian Marshal and Scott Stapp had a terrible falling out that led to Marshall leaving the band under a cloud. Creed has indeed come Full Circle.

If you look at the fact that Creed, in the 90’s, had a much heavier sound, and now they have mellowed out, it seems like the band has found the real style in which they want to play. I mean its one thing to play music, but it’s another thing to play the music you really want to play. Alter Bridge has more of an edgier sound, and Creed’s more popular songs had that soft acoustic stuff going on. For example, “With Arms Wide Open”, “My Sacrifice”, and “Higher” are all of Creed’s bigger, well known songs, and Full Circle is much closer to the “With Arms Wide Open” and “My Sacrifice” style.

One song particularly sticks in my head, and is pretty catchy, is “The Song You Sing”, however I don’t think it will make it to the radio. But the song starts out by saying Woke up and had a face to face, guess my reflection had a lot to say…Does the song you sing have enough meaning, inspire us to sing along, does the song you sing keep echoing, INSPIRE US TO SING THE SONG YOU SING.

It has a very catchy tune, but is perhaps not ‘mainstream’ enough for radio. None of their current songs remind me of the old, harder side of Creed either; their sound has definitely evolved into something new, sounding soft rock lending itself more to Stapp‘s vocal.

Creed still has some heavy riffs, as shown in “Overcome”, which is an amazing reminder of what Creed can do. There is a song on the album called “Rain”, which I believe that Scott Stapp wrote completely on his own because it talks about renewing his life. “I feel it’s going to rain like this today, so let it rain down and wash everything away”. It seems Scott isn’t trying to hide behind the music of Creed anymore, he is openly trying to tell everyone how he feels about his life.

I truly feel that Creed as grown into something much better than before, not necessarily on a ‘rock’ level but from an overall music stand point. They aren’t as rift driven as before, and it may not be so subtle of a message from the band, but I feel that lyrically and just over all, they have moved onto another stage. In my last article about Creed, I said “Only time will tell” about the band, and I think time is going to show us that things have only improved. I just hope that this is not the last time we see Creed together.

Love Creed? Hate Creed? Have anything to say? Email me and tell me! rjp@multimediamouth.com.

The Men who stare at Goats

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So what is this film? A comedy? A war film? A biopic? A Road Movie? In a way, it’s all these things blended together in a great cocktail of filmmaking.

Our story follows Bob Wilton, played by Ewan McGregor. A down and out Journalist with no direction in his life with his wife leaving him for another man and feeling like he needs to prove it to her that he is better than her new lover. Thus, he does the most logical thing anyone does in this situation; Go to Kuwait City and wait to enter Iraq. This is where he meets Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), a former Special Forces operator for the ‘New Earth Army’, a unit formed in secret in which they would breed new ‘Jedi Soldiers’ and is going to Iraq on a mission that would spoil the movie if explained, which Wilton joins him in, but manage to both get in some hairy situations on the way.

If you are reading that and thinking ‘That’s stupid’, then you are probably the person who should go see this film straight away. Throughout all this, the film has its tongue firmly in its cheek but even then it gives you the time to let it all sink in about the fact that a lot of this stuff actually did happen.

The film is based on the true discoveries made by Jon Ronson in the book of the same name and recounts the apparent need for more ‘humane’ ways of winning wars after Vietnam turned into the quagmire it became.What is astonishing, especially to hear it from Ronson himself is not just that this whole thing was set up but also that the people involved were passionately into this subject. This is reflected in the film itself, with all the actors getting in touch with their inner ‘spirit monk’ and it reflects in the project itself.

The big four of this film, McGregor, Clooney, Bridges and Spacey, all shine in this film giving some very good performances. Ewan McGregor turns from someone willing to let the world eat him up and looking for understanding to someone who finds his understanding in the weirdest way possible. Spacey plays downright asshole yet pantomime villain style Larry Hooper and fully gets into the role. Clooney and McGregor almost have a road movie-esque relationship and it’s one of the only times I can compare anything like this to Thelma and Louise at how the personalities of both change as the movie goes but this doesn’t have the effect that film did in its conclusion. Nor should it, that’d just be silly. Jeff Bridges playing the rather crazy, hippie-like Bill Django is firmly the star of the movie and gives the audience the most laughs including a shirt ripping short sequence that would make Hulk Hogan proud to pose down with him.

Actor and first time director Grant Heslov has known George Clooney for over 30 years and their friendship is seen in the willingness for Clooney to be able to get into his role along with his production company, Smokehouse Pictures, take the project on. With that, the direction of how the scenes are balanced between emotional and comedic are very well done and more importantly, allow the movie to embrace the quite insane topic that it covers. If it was not done in this manner, the movie would not work the way it does.Props must also be given to the script, done by British screenwriter Peter Straughan, which manages to give great fodder to the acting talent along with turning what shouldn’t work into very funny comedy.

At the beginning of the film, we are told ‘Some of this is more true than you would think’. It may not be easy to tell fact from over exaggeration but, with the experience this well written and funnier than it has any right to be, you won’t care and honestly, nor should you. One of the best experiences I’ve had in the cinema this year and the only press screening I’ve ever been to where almost half the critics were applauding it after it ended. If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what else will.

The Men who Stare at Goats is out on the 6th of November in both the United States and in the UK.

The Men who Stares at Goats

0

So what is this film? A comedy? A war film? A biopic? A Road Movie? In a way, it’s all these things blended together in a great cocktail of filmmaking.

Our story follows Bob Wilton, played by Ewan McGregor. A down and out Journalist with no direction in his life with his wife leaving him for another man and feeling like he needs to prove it to her that he is better than her new lover. Thus, he does the most logical thing anyone does in this situation; Go to Kuwait City and wait to enter Iraq. This is where he meets Lyn Cassady (George Clooney), a former Special Forces operator for the ‘New Earth Army’, a unit formed in secret in which they would breed new ‘Jedi Soldiers’ and is going to Iraq on a mission that would spoil the movie if explained, which Wilton joins him in, but manage to both get in some hairy situations on the way.

If you are reading that and thinking ‘That’s stupid’, then you are probably the person who should go see this film straight away. Throughout all this, the film has its tongue firmly in its cheek but even then it gives you the time to let it all sink in about the fact that a lot of this stuff actually did happen.

The film is based on the true discoveries made by Jon Ronson in the book of the same name and recounts the apparent need for more ‘humane’ ways of winning wars after Vietnam turned into the quagmire it became.What is astonishing, especially to hear it from Ronson himself is not just that this whole thing was set up but also that the people involved were passionately into this subject. This is reflected in the film itself, with all the actors getting in touch with their inner ‘spirit monk’ and it reflects in the project itself.

The big four of this film, McGregor, Clooney, Bridges and Spacey, all shine in this film giving some very good performances. Ewan McGregor turns from someone willing to let the world eat him up and looking for understanding to someone who finds his understanding in the weirdest way possible. Spacey plays downright asshole yet pantomime villain style Larry Hooper and fully gets into the role. Clooney and McGregor almost have a road movie-esque relationship and it’s one of the only times I can compare anything like this to Thelma and Louise at how the personalities of both change as the movie goes but this doesn’t have the effect that film did in its conclusion. Nor should it, that’d just be silly. Jeff Bridges playing the rather crazy, hippie-like Bill Django is firmly the star of the movie and gives the audience the most laughs including a shirt ripping short sequence that would make Hulk Hogan proud to pose down with him.

Actor and first time director Grant Heslov has known George Clooney for over 30 years and their friendship is seen in the willingness for Clooney to be able to get into his role along with his production company, Smokehouse Pictures, take the project on. With that, the direction of how the scenes are balanced between emotional and comedic are very well done and more importantly, allow the movie to embrace the quite insane topic that it covers. If it was not done in this manner, the movie would not work the way it does.Props must also be given to the script, done by British screenwriter Peter Straughan, which manages to give great fodder to the acting talent along with turning what shouldn’t work into very funny comedy.

At the beginning of the film, we are told ‘Some of this is more true than you would think’. It may not be easy to tell fact from over exaggeration but, with the experience this well written and funnier than it has any right to be, you won’t care and honestly, nor should you. One of the best experiences I’ve had in the cinema this year and the only press screening I’ve ever been to where almost half the critics were applauding it after it ended. If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what else will.

The Men who Stare at Goats is out on the 6th of November in both the United States and in the UK.

Pointless Opinion: Disney buys Marvel

Welcome to this moment in history. Everyone relax, this is incredible news and all is well in the Marvel U.
Joe Quesada – Marvel Editor in Chief

It’s one of those things that gets hinted at many times and the same amount of times, it gets quickly blown over. ‘It’ll never happen’, ‘It’s too ridiculous an idea’, ‘Disney wouldn’t do it’.

But it did. And Disney are doing it.

Disney getting Marvel gives Disney access to over 5,000 characters. Whilst the obvious are there, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, The Punisher etc, Disney have access to characters the mainstream public may not be that aware of. Runaways, Moon Knight, Exiles, Power Pack, Ms Marvel etc. All of those untapped yet popular franchises for the picking.

Disney also are not lost from the amount of places these characters can go. These guys own book companies, theme parks, radio studios, magazines, other networks and more. It’s maddening, but it’s also very exciting. You can do almost anything with anyone. It leaves questions about what happens to a few non Disney related deals (Marvel rides at Universal Studios), but the potential is ridiculous for Disney.

‘But Eoin’ you may ask. ‘What do Marvel get out of this? Marvel are already a large company, why would they need Disney?’. To which I reply simply ‘Are you serious?!’

Take Marvel Studios as an example. In 2008, Marvel Studios did a deal with both Universal and Paramount to distribute their films to cinemas. Marvel would have control whilst Universal and Paramount would have a share of the profits. In the past before the studios was created, Marvel shopped the rights to Spider Man and the X-Men to Sony Pictures and Fox respectively.

With this deal, and as soon as it gets to a position when it can happen, they don’t need to shop these projects around. Disney have a wealth of studios to distribute the projects around to to get done. And apart from Spider Man and the X-Men, Disney have the film rights for every superhero, villain and celestrial being in the Marvel Universe and even titles not in that universe. Not all of these will be done, of course (Unless people really want to see another Howard the Duck movie), but it’s there if the pitch is right, the crew is good and the studio gives it the green light.

Bold Prediction: Disney will eventually chase down Fox’s X-Men/Fantastic Four and Sony’s Spider Man rights thus giving Marvel Studios more to work with. I’ll probably be wrong, but bold predictions are fun like that.

Whilst this madness was going on, today in the United Kingdom also saw the launch of Disney XD. Why do I bring this up? Well in the States, one of the biggest drawing shows the channel has? Spectacular Spider Man. One of the shows that’s debuting on the channel over here? Iron Man: Armoured Aventures in which retells the origin of Iron Man with Tony Stark et al as teenagers. Marvel Animation has an easy distribution point and thus far a majorly successful one at that which is the reason why Disney XD US runs 20 hours of Marvel programming on their channel.

The Disney Store is world famous having many stores in many places and along with the products they already have, they can put Marvel products in their stores. Caps, jackets, action figures, kids costumes etc. All of it would end up in stores across the world. And with Disney backing them, we could potentially see much wider comic and trade paperback distribution. Titles have rarely ever been seen in any newsagents or book stores…why not attempt that?

Video Games were recently talked about by Marvel. Marvel rights are already placed around various game studios. Disney have said they will honour these and won’t rush to grab them. But when they expire, expect a major raid on Disney’s part to get these titles under their own and thus far successful label. And yes, I have seen the Kingdom Hearts comments people have thrown around and the two words I have to say…’Why not?’

Now comes the Elephant in the room. Will Disney interfear with Marvel and what they’re doing? Asking them to tone down books, destroying the Marvel MAX line of books? Mandating crazy cross overs to boost sales titles?

The answer to that is quite simply No.

Disney would not have done this purchase if they didn’t do their research into Marvel. They saw the money they were making and they looked at why Spider Man, Hulk et al are popular mainstream icons even rivaling Superman and Batman at DC.

Disney didn’t buy Marvel Comics for $4 Billion. They brought Marvel Entertainment. They brought the film production company, the animation studio, the toy lines, the clothing and hat distributing and the icons that helped put them on the map. They see why they turned a major profit earlier this year and they see what is coming up and that’s why they have aquired them. This isn’t like The Muppets deal where they are stuck in the basement and left to linger for years. People know Marvel now and they have huge projects coming up. It won’t leave the lips of many so soon nor will Disney drop the ball as much as they did with The Muppets.

This also isn’t like Time Warner/DC Comics. Time Warner did not aquire a company that specialised in certain forms. They did Comics. Their film rights went to Time Warner and it helped make distribution deals for other things but at the end of the day, DC was aquired to give WB more material and even to this day, it’s making a loss. Disney aquired a company that has branched out, made a tonne of cash and will continue to do so now with the backing of one of the biggest entertainment companies in the world.

If anything, I see them taking a Pixar route with it. Disney may have a small part to what they’re going to do with the products and how their titles will be distrubuted, but even Disney have said in a business call that Marvel ‘manages the properties from a business perspective very intelligently and trusts them to make the right decisions for these products for a long time to come’, referencing the Pixar deal in how this was going to work.

And now, Marvel is worth $4 Billion and in a new home. Not bad for a company that almost went bankrupt in the early 90s.

Creed Comeback

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I remember being a young boy, craving music, and the only CD I owned I actually stole from my older brother. This CD meant the world to me, and it was surprisingly a CD written and produced by the band known as Creed. The CD was the Weathered album, which would end up being the last real album they would release. I also remember that I would look for the other Creed albums as if I was looking for a million dollars, and when I finally found the album, it was the Best of Creed album with a DVD including some of their best music videos.

Yet still I remember frantically searching for these albums, and finally I got my hands on the My Own Prison album, which was the debut album, and I can tell you I rocked out more than I ever remember rocking out in my life. I had fallen in love with my very first band. I remember talking about how awesome this band is, and people around my age would say that I have no real taste of music, and for a while I thought about maybe not having the right music taste.

A few years down the line, I finally got a hand on the sophomore album, Human Clay and I felt really happy with the sound. However, In between the time of the Best of Creed and Human Clay I found out that the band had split, and I was felt like the wind had been forced out of my stomach.

When Scott Stapp released The Great Divide, his solo debut album, and I was STOKED! I was completely excited to hear something from the Creed guys, and it was an awesome album. Then I started researching why the break-up happened, and I found out that the guy I wanted to be like, I wanted to sing like, and I wanted the same hair, had really strong drug and alcohol problems. I remember thinking to myself that all these songs sound like an eternal battle of these problems, and I felt like I was betrayed. Although, I was being spiritually uplifted by the songs, so I didn’t feel completely let down.

At the same time this was happening, I was watching World Wrestling Entertainment and getting ready for the Royal Rumble Pay-per-view, I heard this song called “Find the Real” and I loved the sound. I remember thinking to myself “They sound like Creed”. A few weeks later I was once again watching WWE, and I heard Edge’s theme song, “Metalingus” and found out that Alter Bridge* had done it again, and I found out that they were going to be releasing an album. When I got the date of the album, I put it on my phone calendar, and the day that One Day Remains was released, I went out and bought it…probably the first sale for the CD on my local Best Buy. Don’t think it’s weird, I did the same for the Daughtry, David Cook, and Switchfoot releases. It’s normal.

As the years progressed, I heard about the sophomore Blackbird album was going to be release, and once again, I found out about it from WWE TV. So, thanks to WWE I am a huge Alter Bridge fan.

I know what your thinking, what does this article mean? What does it serve? Well it was announced earlier this year that Creed will be on the road again and releasing the rumored 4th album Full Circle and it has been so many years since they worked together, do they still have what it take to make me want to go out and purchase their Full Circle album? They performed on AOL Sessions, and they seemed that they were great, brought back some great memories, but it was all old song. The fact that they are planning on releasing this album makes me wonder if they can truly make a memorable record. Something I am sure we all think about.

Scott Stapp had vanished off the face of the planet, and Alter Bridge had been working on (What they called until further notice) ABIII, their third album. Rumors have it that Stapp was working on a sophomore solo album and had toured in Iraq for the armed forces…DREAM BIG SCOTT,

The thing that I have been thinking about is what is this album going to sound like? Mark Tremonti (Lead Alter Bridge Guitarist and Creed Guitarist) is used to Myles Kennedy’s style of writing, as Scott’s been on his own for quite sometime. Scott claims that after him and Tremonti met, they wrote a song called “Full Circle”, which is the title song of their rumored album. I will be honest with you; if it sounds anything like Weathered I will be happy. But after Scott Philips(Drummer) said that “Blackbird is the most fun album they get to play live”, its going to be interesting to see if they put all their heart and soul into this album.

I don’t know what to expect, but I am excited. I am ready for something unknown as this album being released. However, I am afraid of what might end up coming out of this reunion tour. Will Creed be a full time return? Will Alter Bridge and Scott Stapp remain as two different projects and have Creed on the side? Only time will tell.

Should Daughtry Leave This Town?

They debut with a multi-platinum album. Have great, chart toping hits, and they had songs on the radio 24/7…no, I am not going to write about the Beatles. I am, however talking about the pop-rock band known as Daughtry.

Front man, Chris Daughtry is best known for his time on the 5th season of American Idol, being controversially voted off then turning down a deal to join Fuel. Chris Daughtry proved to the world that you don’t have to win American Idol to be successful, and for that season it seems you were better off not winning! (That was an attempt at a Taylor Hicks joke).

I can tell you that I am a huge fan of this band, and that I loved their debut album. Daughtry’s first release contained some great tracks like “Feels like tonight”, “Home”, “Breakdown”, and “It’s not over”. Leave This Town, the sophomore album title has “No Surprise” as it’s main single…the song talks about going through the motions of life wanting to not put up with someone’s behavior, and then wanting to quit and loving the sound of quitting. The chorus then breaks out into and amazing work of guitar and you hear Chris’s dream voice sing “It’s no surprise I wont be here tomorrow, I can believe I stayed til today, and you and I will be a tough act to follow…I know in time we will find that there is no surprise”. Then the second verse talks about how good it feels to get things off your chest. No Surprise is a good song for a first album, but for a second release it lacks the required punch.

Leave This Town was like getting all the hype of senior prom, only for it to not live up to that hype. I think it is now time for the ‘moment of truth’ for Daughtry. With the creative freedoms given to the band, I am not sure if the band lived up to the expectation.

Despite those drawbacks, the album over all is good. For me though, I wanted this to be a heavier release, and have a lot of more guitar based songs. However, the band, as I mentioned, had a lot of freedom in production, and I think that hurt them. What also hurt the band was having Nickelback front man, Chad Kroeger, co-write on the album. “No Surprise” was co-written by Kroeger, who also wrong songs like “Something in your mouth”(Dark Horse). Now, I am not saying that Kroeger is horrible; I mean I love Nickelback, but I don’t think they make the best writing team. They lack chemistry and direction together.

To it’s credit Leave This Town some great intros and lyric wise it is at times, amazing. The best tracks on the album have to be “Supernatural”, “Every time you turn around” and “September”. All three of these songs have unique styles, intros, and ways of storytelling. “Every time you Turn around” is the heaviest song on the album, and “September” tells the tale of two people who been together for a long time.

My Recommendation: Buy the album off of Amazon or iTunes, buy the bonus version and get the most of it. Here is a source to help you find the best deal on Bonus Tracks:

Standard U.S – CD & Digital

1. You Don’t Belong
2. No Surprise
3. Every Time You Turn Around
4. Life After You
5. What I Meant To Say
6. Open Up Your Eyes
7. September
8. Ghost Of Me
9. Learn My Lesson
10. Supernatural
11. Tennessee Line
12. Call Your Name

BONUS SONGS

1. On The Inside
2. What We Have Become
3. No Surprise – video (for some stores)

iTunes (standard digital & deluxe digital)

If you preorder either the standard or deluxe edition, you’ll get the bonus track:

1. Traffic Light

Walmart exclusive version (available in Walmart stores and Walmart.com)

BONUS TRACK (digital download)

1. Get Me Through

Target exclusive version

BONUS DVD INCLUDES THE VIDEOS:

– Its Not Over
– Home
– Over You
– Feels Like Tonight
– What About Now
– No Surprise

Email feedback to rjp@multimediamouth.com, thanks for reading!