The Hampton Roads Show

DisneyNature’s “Bears” shines

April 21st, 2014 at 3:28 pm by under THRS Movie Reviews

CLICK HERE to see the official trailer for DisneyNature’s Bears.

Now showing in theaters across Hampton Roads.

Disneynature-Bears-PosterThe star of this DisneyNature film is supposed to be the bears, but so much of it is the landscape in which they live and trek through.  Oh, ok — the bears are pretty awesome, too.

In honor of Earth Day weekend, DisneyNature is back with the spectacular look at a year in the life of a momma bear (SKY) and her two new cubs (AMBER and SCOUT).  It starts with the birth and nursing through the winter — hibernating… buried beneath mounds of snow in the regal mountains of Alaska’s Katmai National Park. Soon enough the snow begins to melt and it’s time for Sky to make the move — the LONG LONG journey toward food… the salmon runs.

The trio faces treacherous terrain, even an avalanche along the way, but the search for food is what it’s all about.  When they arrive at the meadow at the dawn of Spring… grass is the first staple.  But a quick jaunt to the shore ahead of the salmon arrival means there’s other “fishing” to do.  There are lots of scenes of adorable cubs frolicking in the ocean waters and digging for clams in Alaska’s mud flats.

But, it’s not all fun.  Sky must defend her cubs against wolves and other hungry male bears… Magnus — the king of the meadow — and Chinook — the exiled, fringe king wanna be.  Both of them come for the bear cubs looking to fill their need for food.  Sky stands her ground. The fight for survival against wolves, bears, and ultimately hunger, is fascinating to watch.

Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey (known for work on “African Cats”) teamed up with co-writer Adam Chapman to bring Bears to life.  And actor John C. Reilly as the narrator was a great choice.  His happy-go-lucky approach to the narration and the imagined internal dialogue of the bears was an enjoyable fit.

DisneyNature’s BEARS is educational but also brings us an emotionally appealing story that makes the film easy to watch for all ages.   And for me as a producer, I absolutely LOVED the closing credits because we get to see how the filmmakers actually got the spectacular shots.  We see the camera people up to their chests in water to get underwater shots of salmon, and face-to-face with wolves and bears to get shots of some of the most tense scenes in the film.  And we see their camp, and equipment — especially the mounted camera on the helicopter that brings us the amazing aerial shots from mountain peaks to avalanches.  Simply fascinating to watch.

FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS

Rated G for all audiences.  A word of caution though for parents — there are a few scenes that could upset the littlest movie-goers… there are scenes involving abandonment and a drowning scare that are handled well, but could still be upsetting.  The movie ultimately is about SURVIVAL.

 


Nothin’ But The Blues

April 18th, 2014 at 12:16 pm by under THRS Live Music, Uncategorized

The day that you’ve been waiting for is finally here:  FRIDAY!  Yes, it’s Friday and I can’t think of a better way to kick off the weekend then by heading down to the NorVa and for some good, local blues.

Nothin’ But The Blues features some of the best blues the 757 has to offer.  Our good buddy, Anthony Rosano and The Conqueroos will join MIMSY, Soulshine, Evan Button and last week’s Live Music Friday featured artist, Jessica Doran.  Tickets are still available at the NorVa box office for just 12 bones and doors open at 7p with the show kicking off at 8p.  To give you a little preview of tonight’s shindig, here are Live Music Friday performances from Anthony and The Jess Doran Band.

 

 


Draft Day scores a field goal

April 14th, 2014 at 2:43 pm by under THRS Movie Reviews

A behind-the-scenes look at one of the NFL’s most important days of the year is the what makes up the new film Draft Day.

Draft Day stars Kevin Costner as Sonny — the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns — the team his recently deceased father coached.  It’s the dawn of Draft Day and a lot on the line in the National Football League.

Sonny is barely holding on with the owner and the head coach of the team as he appears to go rogue on the franchise with trades galore before the team is even on the clock at the draft.  The Coach (relatively new to the Browns after winning a SuperBowl ring with the Dallas Cowboys) is played by Dennis Leary.  He wants the team he wants, but Sonny wants him to coach the team he gives him.

As the clock rapidly approaches the time to make the first pick, the audience gets a taste of the behind-the-scenes maneuvers teams make ahead of the draft.   Once they are finally on the clock and ready to make a pick… the movie finally gets going.

Before this point — it was really bogged down with the story line of the relationship Sonny has been hiding from everyone — one with Ali (Jennifer Garner) –She’s the lawyer in charge of managing the teams salary caps. Apparently trying to prove that Sonny has a heart… the relationship is all fizzle and no fire.  And randomly added in was a new intern — why I don’t know, but he has a lot of lines that help us get nowhere.

The character of Sonny Weaver is in the capable hands of Kevin Costner here, but it’s not empassioned enough for me to really buy in.  Garner, also capable, is not really believeable for me in this role, and when we get the big kiss, I hardly feel the love.

Director Ivan Reitman, delivers a by-the-numbers film that falls short of the likes of Moneyball and Jerry Maguire.   It’s got some solid structure with some twists and turns that keep it interesting, and a touch of heart that makes it satisfying.  But something is missing…
I think Draft Day will score with football fans… but they will have to settle for the field goal, not the touchdown.

TWO OUR OF FIVE COOKIES

Rated PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language and sexual references.


Noah takes on The Hobbit?

April 14th, 2014 at 2:39 pm by under THRS Movie Reviews

The controversy surrounding the film Noah has been swirling, so let’s start there.  If you haven’t heard — The National Religious Broadcasters requested the film studio Paramount Pictures add a disclaimer to the film: which they did.  This is the disclaimer:
“The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”
I only mention it because the story of Noah in the Old Testament has some missing parts, and the film fills them in.  Some have taken issue with that.

Nevertheless, in this film version of the story, Noah — a descendant of Adam and Eve’s son Seth — hides with his family on the fringe areas of humanity… The human population having turned to total wickedness.

Noah (Russell Crowe) has visions he believes sent by the Creator and determines that a Great Flood is coming to cleanse the earth.  So he gathers the family to tell them what they must do.  Noah’s task is to build an ark to save the innocent — the animals.

With a little help from The Watchers — which seem to come right out of The Hobbit — they build a massive ark, while the characters develop and Noah sees that there is both good and evil in EVERYONE — even his sons, and himself.  This realization creates an amazing conflict in Noah as the flood comes, his faith is tested and his loyalty to the creator and his family are at odds.

Crowe does a good job as Noah — managing to show the conflict within and the challenges he faces.  Jennifer Connolly as Noah’s wife Naameh does the same.  She really shines in one scene faced with the ultimate choice of life and death and the future of their family — it is a scene that is utterly wrenching.  Anthony Hopkins appears as the YODA-esque grandfather Methuselah and is a stand out.

The film itself really plays in the moment more like sci-fi than biblical epic, but I realized later that a lot of things in the Old Testament do seem very sci-fi.  The special effects are at times really cool — and the flood itself is on point.

While Writer/Director Darren Aronofsky (acclaimed for films like The Wrestler and Black Swan among others) does take some license, the essential elements of the story of Noah and the Great Flood are there… betrayal, obedience, faith, redemption.

Controversy aside, a thought-provoking film to say the least.

Disclaimer: Russell Crowe sings.  I have to say that for all the people — like myself — who shutter at the memory of him singing in Les Miserables.

THREE AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE COOKIES

Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and brief suggestive content.


Check into The Grand Budapest Hotel

April 14th, 2014 at 2:32 pm by under THRS Movie Reviews

The Grand Budapest Hotel features another jam packed cast! There are cameos galore.

It’s the story of the many adventures of Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) — an unforgettable concierge at a luxurious hotel and his best friend — Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori), his lobby boy.

In a nutshell, a priceless renaissance painting goes missing and a wealthy countess/family matriarch dies.  The rest of the film has to do with all of that… and just who will get the family fortune.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is hilarity at it’s finest.  Wes Anderson has hit the nail on the head of sophisticated comedy.  From the script to the casting to the directing and cinematography… it’s practically perfect.  Speaking of casting: Bill Murray, Ed Norton, Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson,  and Jeff Goldblum are among them!

FOUR AND HALF COOKIES!

Rated R for language, some sexual content and violence.


Muppets Most Wanted brings the laughs we want

April 14th, 2014 at 2:21 pm by under THRS Movie Reviews

So this Muppets feature picks up where the last one left off.  Walter has become one of them and they are wrapping a movie!  But now what?  That’s just what they have to figure out.

Enter Dominic BadGUY or BadGEE — it’s french.  He’s played by Ricky Gervais.  Dominic is working with a hardened criminal — the world’s most wanted frog — Constantine, nearly an identical twin to our beloved Kermit — who has been locked up in a gulag in Siberia under the watchful eye of the warden there (Tina Fey).

Dominic and Constantine executed a master plan that breaks him out of the gulag and lands Kermit in the gulag, so that they can carry out their evil plan to steal the crown jewels — and no one is wise to the switch!  Not even Miss Piggy!

As you would expect there are hi-jinx and Muppet shows aplenty… not to mention CAMEO APPEARANCES!  Cameos including Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Christoph Waltz, Selma Hayek, Diddy, Celine Dion, Stanley Tucci, Usher, Zach Galifinakis, Josh Grobin… the list goes on!

I absolutely loved the cast — but especially Modern Family’s Ty Burrell as Jean Pierre Napolean — the Interpol inspector tasked to work with the CIA’s Eagle Muppet on this major case.  He is hilarious!

THREE AND A HALF COOKIES for me… Entertaining as all get out!  Some laugh out loud funnies!

Rated PG for some mild action.


Jake Clemons’ Homecoming

April 7th, 2014 at 11:45 am by under THRS Live Music

microphoneThis Saturday at Farm Bureau Live in Virginia Beach, The Boss and his Hall Of Fame E Street Band will blow the roof of the joint with a show packed with classics and new cuts from their latest album High Hopes and a unique cover or two that you wouldn’t expect from Bruce.  During his Australian tour, they cranked out INXS and AC/DC and last night in Dallas, they opened up with Van Halen’s Jump.  Who knows what he has in store for us.  One thing that is going to make that show extra special is that our own Jake Clemons will be making his Virginia Beach debut as a member of The E Street Band.

Last year was one heck of a ride for Jake.  In addition to the duties with the Asbury Park crew, he finished and released his fantastic EP, Embracing Light, and toured the World with his exceptional band (which features Norfolk native Jake Hull).  He was our Live Music Friday featured artist in August and then performed with The Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and performed his single, You Must Be Crazy, on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  This year, Jake is juggling double duty with touring with his band and performing with Bruce and this weekend is no exception.  After picking up the pieces of the roof with Springsteen Saturday night, he and his band will head to The Naro and perform a special benefit show Sunday night at 7:30 for the Sinkinson Dyslexia Foundation.

The Virginia Beach-based foundation was formed to help children and adults with dyslexia from lower middle income families.  Specialized care is not cheap and the foundation provide free diagnostic services and tutoring programs that address dyslexia.  100% of the proceeds from the show will go directly to the foundation and you’ll want to get your tickets now because this show will sellout.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here but there are a select number of $10 tickets and click this link right here to get your promo code.

This is going to be a great show that is supporting a great cause.  I will be there and I hope to see you there as well.

jakebenefit

Follow me on Twitter @TheBloomBoys

 


LMF: Spring, Summer and Wednesday

March 26th, 2014 at 12:17 pm by under THRS Live Music

microphoneI’m back at the LMF offices aka my desk after a very needed and restful week off.  Of course, with any time off, I come back to work with the virtual stack of emails and voicemails.  Today, I have a couple of items that will make your day a little better.

Brian Grilli and his band of outlaws have been playing their you-know-whats off the past year promoting Brian’s solo album, A Damn Good Day, and it’s a damn good one too.  He just released a video for his song, “Letter From An Outlaw“, which is in contention to be featured in an upcoming episode of Sons Of Anarchy.  The video was viewed some several thousand times over on YouTube but some dictator of anything not awesome reported it as being offensive and it was taken down.  So, Brian has re-posted it and you need to watch it.  Check out the video below and make sure you catch Brian at one of his shows.  Click here to check out his website.

Our good friend, Jake Clemons is in the middle of a tour supporting his latest EP, Embracing Light.  Jake will be splitting his time between his solo tour and touring with The Boss, which will be happening the weekend of April 12-13.  Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band will be performing at Farm Bureau Live in Virginia Beach Saturday, April 12 (tickets are still available via LiveNation.com) and, just announced, Jake and his awesome band will be performing the very next night at the Naro in Ghent.  This show will be a benefit for the Sinkinson Dyslexia Foundation and will start at 7:30p.  You can click this link to get your tickets but get them now as this show will sellout.

That’s all for me today.  I’ll check back in later this week.  SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MUSIC


LMF: Esbern Snare

March 7th, 2014 at 4:20 pm by under The Hampton Roads Show, THRS Live Music

microphoneIt was an absolute pleasure to have the talented Esbern Snare in the studio today as our Live Music Friday featured artist.  Created a year ago by brothers Adam and Luke Jones, they enlisted the talents of Joseph Brockman, Eric Dryfka, Josiah Crumrine and Andrew Micheal Montgomery. You might recognize Andrew as the six-string slinger for Logan Vath’s The Vacant.  Esbern Snare have been in the studio the past year working on their debut album, A Violent Peace, that is scheduled to be released at the end of this month.  You can catch them tonight at the Belmont House of Smoke in Norfolk with The Janks and Levi Kerr.

In other news, our good friend Kishi Bashi is set to release his follow-up to his ground breaking record “151a”.  Lightght is set for release on May  13 on Joyful Noise Recordings.  You can check the first single by clicking on this little fancy link.

Speaking of new music, The Last Bison is in the studio working on their second full length release under Republic Records.  They are working with the extraordinary Jim Parroco, who worked with them on Quill.  The release should happen later this year.

That’s all for me today.  Stay dry and I’ll catch up with you next week.  SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MUSIC 

 

 

 

 


LMF: Steamroller Blues

February 25th, 2014 at 12:09 pm by under The Hampton Roads Show, THRS Live Music

microphoneLast night was the premier of Season 6 of The Voice and an alum of Live Music Friday, Bria Kelly, closed out the show with a thunderous rendition of James Taylor’s Steamroller Blues.  Bria had her choice of coach as all four judges (Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Usher and Shakira) and decided on Usher.  Round two airs tonight.

Bria performed on The Hampton Roads Show back in December of 2012 after she was a semifinalist on America’s Got Talent and we knew that we would be hearing more from her.  I’m happy to say that our little Live Music Friday family is growing more and more on the national stage.  The first big taste was when Kishi Bashi performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and then The Last Bison signed a major deal with Republic Records.  Jake Clemons performed on both Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  He will be performing with Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band at Farm Bureau Live April 12.  Who knows who will be the next one!

Check out Bria’s performance on The Hampton Roads Show: