Murder F.M. Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Famous Records/Pavement Entertainment

Courtesy: Famous Records/Pavement Entertainment

Goth rock band Murder F.M. announced a new handful of live dates for later this month.

The band will join Audiotopsy, Violent New Breed, Lola Black, and Flood of Souls as a support act for Drowning Pool on its upcoming tour, which is in support of its new album Hellalujah. The band will join the tour Thursday, February 18th at its stop in Golden, Colorado. These latest dates follow a recent string of headlining dates held by Murder F.M. late last month.

The band’s current live dates are in continued support of its latest full-length studio offering, 2015’s Happily Never After. That album was released August 7th, 2015 via Famous Records and Pavement Entertainment. Murder F.M.’s current slate of tour dates with Drowning Pool and company is noted below.

 

Dates with DROWNING POOL, Audiotopsy, Violent New Breed:

2/18 Golden, CO @ Buffalo Rose

2/19 Salt Lake City,UT @ The Royal Bar

2/20 Idaho Falls,ID @ Hitt Event Center

2/22 Chico,CA @ Lost On Main

2/23 Los Angeles,CA @ Los Globos

2/24 Mesa,AZ @ Club Red

2/25 Lubbock,TX @ Jake’s Backroom

2/26 San Antonio,TX @ Fitzgeralds

 

More information on Murder F.M.’s upcoming live dates is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.murderfmmusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Murder-FM-Official-339855065055/?fref=ts

Twitter: http://twitter.com/murderfm

 

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Franti And Spearhead’s New EP Will Make All Of America Rise Up

Courtesy:  Fantasy Records

Courtesy: Fantasy Records

There’s a lot of negativity in the world today. That’s obvious just sitting and watching the news each day. Considering all of that negativity it’s safe to say that the world is in dire need of something about which to feel good. Enter veteran duo Michael Franti and Spearhead. The duo released its new “EP” Once A Day Rise Up early last December. The eight-song disc was marketed as an EP. But for all intents and purposes it is more akin to a maxi-single than an EP. That is because all eight of its featured tracks are just different variants of the same song. What’s truly interesting about the record is that all things considered it is still a presentation that despite having been released a couple of months ago is just as uplifting now as it was in its original release. What’s more it will still be just as uplifting in the year and years to come, too. Keeping that in mind, Once A Day Rise Up is an EP that everyone should have in their personal music library.

Michael Franti’s new “EP” Once A Day Rise Up is a collection that every person should have in her or her own personal music library. The main reason for this is the various takes on the uplifting song and its positive lyrical content. the EP features eight different takes on the hit song, which for all intents and purposes makes it more of a maxi-single than EP. but that is beside the point. What is truly important here is the positive message and vibe presented in the song. Franti sings in this song, “You never know what the world is gonna show you/It ain’t up to you/You always think it’s gonna happen to another person/And it’s never ever gonna happen to you/You got your friends/Got your money/Got your family/Got your honey/You think you got a million days/But then life comes along/And it knocks you right down/To the ground/And that’s why I say that/Everybody oughtta hug somebody/At least once a day/And everybody oughtta kiss somebody/At least once a day/Everybody’s gonna miss somebody/At least once a day/And everybody gotta love somebody/Everyday. This is a message from which the entire world could really benefit especially nowadays. That positive message is just one part of the song’s positive outlook that makes it worth the listen. Franti goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “And we all will rise up/Spread your wings and fly/We all will rise up. From there Franti and Spearhead rap in the song’s second verse “The purpose of life is to live a life full of purpose/And so don’t ever take for granted what the spirit has given you/in the first verse/You might never get a second verse/The same rehearsal/You can’t put it in reverse/So just believe in yourself/Don’t let nobody be a negative/Tell you what to do.” Regardless of one’s age, this is a message that every person should take to heart in his or her everyday life. Both verses together compose a message that is far too rare in the mainstream music industry today. The song’s infectious reggae-infused sound adds even more enjoyment to the song, too. It is a sound that makes it a perfect fit on any Top 40 A/C station across the country and would likely be just as welcome, too. The positive, uplifting message is sure to make it just as welcome at said stations. Audiences can hear the song for themselves online now via Michael Franti and Spearhead’s official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gowi31zGyQA.

It was previously noted that Michael Franti and Spearhead’s new song ‘Once A Day’ is a piece that is both welcome and needed now more than ever. That is because of its infectious reggae-infused sound and its uplifting lyrical mesage. This applies just as much in the song’s Love Life Mix. What makes this take on the song so interesting is its musica approach. The song’s lyrical content is delivered much in the same fashion as in its original radio edit. Keeping that in mind, the song’s musical content plays a far more important part here than its lyrical content and delivery. The guitar line that is used as the song’s basis in the original song is replaced here by a light keyboard line. It’s not one of those full-on EDM style keyboard parts either. Rather it is just subtle enough to get in listeners’ heads and have them humming along when it plays and even at other random times. There is even something that sounds like a sample of rapper Lil John incorporated into the song to add to its flare. This critic could easily be wrong. But it certainly sounds like him. It would be interesting (having to work this song without any liner notes–another reason for having the physical versus the digital) to find out if it is in fact him. It’s a good addition to any DJ’s lineup considering all of this. The positive vibes generated by the song’s musical content and its equally positive, uplifting message certify this even more. Audiences can hear the song’s Love Life Mix online now via Franti and Spearhead’s official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOZ1tra1aXI.

Both the Radio Edit and Love Life Mix of ‘Once A Day’ are their own enjoyable takes on the song. They each prove in whole to be compositions that would be just as welcome in America’s clubs as the nation’s Top 40 A/C stations (if it isn’t already spinning at said stations). While both renditions prove to be equally enjoyable presentations of said song they are hardly the only versions that prove its value in American (and potentially even world) culture today. It is also presented in a Cutmore Club Mix/Radio Edit. That take on the tune presents it in its purest possible club setting possible. Its original take is updated with a full-on EDM sound complete with flowing keyboard line, drum machine and more. The upbeat, infectious groove generated in this remix will not only put a smile on listeners’ faces but have them dancing and singing along happily. They collectively make it a song that is even more certain to stick in listeners’ ears and heads long after it ends, which is a very good thing. That means it will have listeners coming back to it time and again just as much as the song’s original take, its Love Life Mix and every other take on the song. The song is streaming online now via Franti and Spearhead’s official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWrmCjPLctw. Together with the song’s Love Life Mix and its original Radio Edit, all three takes on the songs show in their own way clearly why Once A Day Rise Up EP is a welcome new collection of remixes of Franti and Spearhead’s new song. One would be remiss to ignore the other remixes included in the disc. Each presents its own different mix that is sure to entertain audiences in its own original fashion. Altogether all eight mixes make this EP/maxi-single a collection that any Top 40 station should have in its library just as much as any listener.

Michae Franti and Spearhead’s new EP Once A Day Rise Up is a collection of remixes that every Top 40 A/C station should have in its library (and playlist) just as much as any listener. That is thanks largely to the eight different takes on the pair’s hit song ‘Once A Day.’ It is interesting that the collection is considered an EP since all eight compositions are different takes on the same song. Considering that they are all based on the same song, it might be better to call this collection a maxi-single than an EP. Regardless it is still a collection that proves to be quite the entertaining mix of song stylings. Altogether they prove to be a collection that every Top 40 A/C station should have in its library just as much as any listener with the infectious grooves presented in each song and the echoing of its uplifting lyrical theme. All things considered, Once A Day Rise Up shows in the end to be one of the most welcome collections of songs to come along in a long time in any genre regardless of whether it be an EP or maxi-single. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this release is available online now along with all of Michael Franti and Spearhead’s latest news, tour dates and more at:

Website: http://www.michaelfranti.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michaelfranti

Twitter: http://twitter.com/michaelfranti

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Holy Grail Debuts ‘Into The Maelstrom’ Lyric Video

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

 

Next Tuesday, Holy Grail will release Times of Pride and Peril, its third full-length studio recording. In anticipation of its impending release, the band has debuted the video for another song from the album.

Holy Grail debuted the lyric video for the song ‘Into The Maelstrom’ this week. The video sets the song’s lyrics against a futuristic backdrop that includes robots, rockets, an elevator to space and much more. Audiences can cehck it out online now via Prosthetic Records’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQf-DF8ZyHI.

 

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

 

The band is currently touring in support of Times of Pride and Peril. It is currently touring alongside label mate Marty Friedman and will join Black Tusk beginning February 23rd in Charlotte, NC. The band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

2/8 Phoenix, AZ – The Rebel Lounge ^

2/9 El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls ^

2/11 San Antonio, TX – Fitzgerald’s ^

2/12 Houston, TX – Scout Bar ^

2/13 Dallas, TX – Trees ^

2/14 Little Rock, AR – Stickyz ^

2/16 Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade ^

2/17 Jacksonville, FL – Jack Rabbits ^

2/18 Orlando, FL – Backbooth ^

2/19 St. Petersburg, FL – The State Theatre ^

2/20 Ocala, FL – O’Malley’s Alley

2/22 Greenville, SC – Gottrocks

2/23 Charlotte, NC – Milestone #

2/24 Virginia Beach, VA – Shakas #

2/25 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie #

2/26 Boston, MA – Once Ballroom #

2/27 Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus #

2/29 Burlington, VT – Nectars #

3/1 Quebec City, QC – Le Cercle #

3/2 Montreal, QC – Foufounes Electriques #

3/3 Toronto, ON – Hard Luck #

3/4 Detroit, MI – Berserker Fest @ The Masonic Temple

3/5 Chicago, IL – Reggies #

3/6 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon #

3/7 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock #

3/8 Fargo, ND – The Aquarium #

3/9 Winnipeg, MB – The Windsor Hotel #

3/11 Saskatoon, SK – Amigos Cantina #

3/12 Edmonton, AB – Brixx #

3/13 Calgary, AB – Palomino #

3/14 Kamloops, BC – The Office #

3/16 Vancouver, BC – The Biltmore #

3/17 Seattle, WA – El Corazon #

3/18 Spokane, WA – The Pin #

3/19 Portland, OR – Panic Room #

3/20 Bend, OR – Volcanic Theatre Pub #

3/22 Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst #

3/23 San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge #

3/24 Los Angeles, CA – Viper Room #

^ with Marty Friedman

# with Black Tusk

Audiences can pre-order Times of Pride and Peril online now at iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp and Prosthetic Records’ online store. More information on Times of Pride and Peril is available online now along with all of the latest updates on Holy Grail’s tour, news and more at:

Website: http://www.holygrailofficial

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/holygrailofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/holygrailband

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Exmortus Is At Its Peak In On Its Latest LP

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Exmortus struck quite the blow for the metal community when it released its album Slave To The Sword back in 2014. The band’s third full-length studio record and first for Prosthetic Records, it can be argued that it was the album that really made Exmortus into one of the metal community’s next big names. Earlier last month Exmortus followed up the success of that album with its latest full-length studio recording Ride Forth. The band’s fourth full-length studio offering this record is a solid follow-up to Slave To The Sword. Its nine track, forty-three-minute body presents a band that doesn’t rest easily on its laurels. From beginning to end the album keeps its energy and intensity both musically and lyrically beginning right at the album’s outset. ‘Speed of the Strike’ is a full-throttle metal opus that comes at listeners with the speed and precision of the sharpest blade. This applies both with its musical and lyrical content. ‘For The Horde,’ the album’s lead single, is just as pummeling in its approach. And the band’s cover of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 23 in F Minor Op. 57 ‘Appasionata’ 3rd movement cannot be ignored either. The band has taken the legendary composer’s original work and paid it full tribute in its take in its performance of the song. It is every bit as intense here as the original composition, which is more commonly performed on piano. It serves to once again exhibit the breadth of the band’s talents and musical knowledge. When set against the other songs noted here, and those not directly noted, it serves as one more example of why Ride Forth is without question one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Ride Forth, Exmortus’ latest full-length studio recording, is without question one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums. That is evident from the album’s full-throttle, take no prisoners opener ‘Speed of The Strike’ right to its finale, ‘Fire And Ice.’ From beginning to end this record’s sound (which conjures thoughts of Arch Enemy, Poweglove, TSO, and other similar acts) alongside its equally powerful lyrical content keeps listeners’ ears with ears. Speaking of the album’s opener it is just one example of what makes this album such an outstanding new effort from Exmortus. In regards to the song’s musical content, the band wastes no time coming at listeners. Guitarist David Rivera and front man/guitarist Jadran “Conan” Gonzalez jump right into the song with their dual guitar attack alongside drummer Mario Moreno and bassist Michael Cosio. The song’s no-nonsense musical approach is in itself just one part of what makes it a solid opener for the band on this album. That is just one part of what makes the song’s musical content notable. Even within the song’s musical content audiences that listen closely will note the band’s classical influences throughout the song. The precision in Rivera and Gonzalez’s performance is incredible. The same can be said of Cosio and Moreno as they establish the song’s foundation. Altogether, the quartet’s abilities create a sound here that in itself is more than enough reason for audiences to hear this song. It’s just one important element of this song. The song’s lyrical content is just as intense as its musical content. Gonzalez sings here, “Riding forth through lands forlorn/Upon our steel the oath is sworn/Dare to make your final stand/Nothing can our steel withstand/Fate is sealed/Death by steel/Slaying man and god alike/All shall feel the speed of the strike.” It comes across like something right from the likes of Amon Amarth and other viking metal acts even though Exmortus is anything but. Interestingly enough Exmortus will hit the road this spring alongside Amon Amarth on its upcoming U.S. tour. Gonzalez continues in similar fashion in the song’s chorus as he sings, “Hark! The sound of steel/The mighty roar of clashing swords/Lo! The metal storm/Forthcoming bane/Those who remain/All shall be torn to shreds/Swords stained red/Raze to the ground/We will strike you down.” This and the song’s opening verse alone build a firm bridge back to Slave To The Sword yet also connects that album expertly to this album. Taking all of this into consideration along with the rest of the song’s equally pummeling lyrical content, the song in whole exhibits clearly in itself what makes Ride Forth a musical ride. it is just one example of what makes Exmortus’ new album such an intense and welcome musical ride. ‘For The Horde,’ the album’s lead single, is another example of what makes this album so intense and so welcome among both the band’s fans and the metal community.

‘Speed Of The Strike’ was the perfect choice with which Exmortus opted to open its latest full-length studio recording. The combination of its musical and lyrical content together instantly grabs listeners and holds them firm from start to finish. While the musical and lyrical intensity of this song makes it a solid first impression for the band on its latest offering, it is just one example of what makes this album such an impressive new offering from Exmortus. ‘For The Horde,’ the album’s lead single, is yet another example of what makes the album a solid new effort from the Whittier, California-based band. In regards to its musical content it is just as intense with the chainsaw sharpness of its dual guitar attack and machine gun-fast drumming. Its lyrical content is just as intense as that of ‘Speed of the Strike,’ too. As Gonzalez sings here, “Ride on/Raise your strong and fight strong/All shall face the mighty metal horde/Thunder/We go in and plunder/Bow before the heavy hammer lord/Whiplash/Hackslash/All is burned to ash.” Yet again here listeners get much the same lyrical intensity and theme as in ‘Speed Of The Strike.’ The combination of that lyrical and musical intensity from beginning to end shows clearly why this song is another example of what makes ‘For The Horde’ such a welcome return for the band. Audiences can check out the band’s lyric video for the song online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo35U4PTQ90. It still is not the only remaining example of what makes the album such an impressive return for Exmortus, too. The band’s cover of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 23 in F Minor Op. 57 ‘Appasionata’ 3rd movement cannot be ignored as an example what makes this album so impressive either.

Both ‘Speed Of The Strike’ and ‘For The Horde’ are prime examples of what makes Ride Forth a clearly welcome return for Exmortus. They are both prime examples of why it is such a welcome return for the band because of the intensity of both their musical and lyrical content. They are hardly the only songs that could be cited as examples thanks to that intensity, too. ‘Death To Tyrants’ could just as easily be cited with its impassioned call to arms against those that rule the world unjustly and its equally powerful musical content. Audiences can hear that song online via Prosthetic Records’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u40otH-jZZw. ‘Fire and Ice’ and ‘Black Sails’ could also be cited as examples in their own right. Given the amount of material that could be used to exhibit just what makes Ride Forth such an impressive return there is still one more song included in this album that shines bright because of its musical content alone. That song is the band’s cover of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 23 in F Minor Op. 57 ‘Appasionata’ 3rd movement. The song is just one part of a much larger song. The song in whole runs nearly twenty-five minutes in length. So of course the band wasn’t about to try its hand at the entire composition. That would likely wear out even the most experienced musicians. Heck it even wears out professional, classically trained pianists. To that extent the band can be excused. Taking that into consideration the movement that is presented here in this recording is impressive in its own right. Gonzalez and Rivera are spot on handling the song’s main line. And Cosio is just as impressive as he runs the song’s harmony. All three parts together surprisingly mirror the original composition quite well. It would be unfair to ignore drummer Mario Moreno’s work in this presentation. He stays right on time with his band mates as he adds just enough extra flourish to the song. The cymbal crashes are inserted at just the right points. And his rapid fire footwork on the bass drums is right in time with Cosio’s bass line and even the song’s guitar lines. It’s enough to leave one wondering what a full orchestra version of the song would sound like instead of the song’s typical piano presentation. That’s really saying something about the band members’ talent in taking on a piece that is heavy not in the heavy sense but in terms of the intense concentration and talent that it requires to accomplish it successfully. The song is well over two centuries old. But the band gives it a wonderful new twist all while paying tribute to the original composition. That speaks volumes about the band’s take on the song and about the band’s talent in general. It shows once more why this song is yet another prime example of what makes Ride Forth a welcome return for Exmortus and why alongside the rest of the album’s featured works it is in whole one of the best new hard rock and metal offerings of the year even with the year still being so young. Audiences can hear the song for themselves via Prosthetic Records’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDnNIXpu0nQ.

Exmortus’ fourth full-length studio album is a picture of a band that is currently at the peak of its career and talent. The band mixes precision guitar work and drumming with lyrical content that is just as powerful in its own right. The end result is a nine-song, forty-three minute experience that will impress any purist member of the metal nation worldwide. It is an experience that will leave said metal loyalists agreeing with this and many other critics that this record is one of the best new hard rock and metal offerings of the year even with the year still being so young. Ride Forth is available now in stores and online. Audiences can order it or download it direct via Prosthetic Records’ online store now at http://prostheticrecords.com/?p=8531. Fans can also pick it up now at any of the band’s live dates. Exmortus is currently touring in support of Ride Forth. The band’s current tour schedule is available online now along with all of its latest news and more at:

Website: http://exmortusmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exmortusofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/exmortusband

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Metallica To Stream Its First Concert Of The Year Online

There has been a lot of speculation in recent months about whether or not Metallica will release the follow-up to its hit 2013 album Death Magnetic this year. Now Metallica is in the headlines for another reason that is just as exciting. The band will hold its first live performance of the year this weekend. And fans in attendance won’t be the only ones that will get to see the show.

Metallica will hold its first live performance of the year this weekend when it takes to the stage this Saturday at AT&T Park as the headliners for CBS Radio’s The Night Before. the concert is a celebration set to build expectations for this Sunday’s Super Bowl 50, which will be held live at Levi Stadium in San Francisco, Metallica’s home town. And fans that won’t be able to be there in person need not worry about missing out. That is because the band is going to stream the concert online and for free no less. It will be streamed online for free in 1080p FullHD at http://webcast.livemetallica.com, delivered by nugs.net. The band is currently scheduled to take the stage promptly at 8:30pm PST/11:30PM EST. Along with being able to see the show for free, audiences will also be able to pre-order professionally mixed audio recordings of the show as downloads and collectible CDs.

 

Courtesy:  BBGun Press/CBS Radio

Courtesy: BBGun Press/CBS Radio

 

 

Metallica drummer and founding member Lars Ulrich spoke with the media about this weekend’s year-opening concert. In discussing the concert he explained the decision to perform at this weekend’s event and the band’s reason for sharing the concert for free online. “We can’t wait to play our first show of 2016 and there’s nowhere we’d rather kick off the festivities than in our own backyard,” he said. “Even though the show has been sold out for months, Metallica fans around the world will be able to join in on the madness.”

nugs.net founder and CEO Brad Serling also shared his thoughts on the upcoming concert noting the importance of the first-ever HD stream of the band’s performance at its website.

“We’ve released audio recordings of every Metallica show for the past 12 years at LiveMetallica.com,” he said. So naturally we’re excited to deliver the band’s first live HD stream from their hometown on their own website.”

This weekend’s free broadcast from Metallica and nugs.net is not the first online stream from nugs.net. The company has also streamed pay-per-view webcasts of performances from Phish at Madison Square Garden over New Year’s and 2015’s Grateful Dead “Fare Thee Well” shows at Chicago’s Soldier Field.

More information on Metallica’s upcoming show is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.metallica.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/metallica

Twitter: http://twitter.com/metallica

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Dark Sky Bringing The Sheik To DVD Next Month

Courtesy:  Dark Sky Films

Courtesy: Dark Sky Films

Professional wrestling is one of the biggest “spectator sports” in America today if not the world. This is even with people knowing that it is scripted. And even though it is scripted the people behind the characters in the ring are very much real. Any number of documentaries have been done on the men and women who take to the ring throughout the years. However many of said presentations have been more about the characters than those behind them. Next month Dark Sky Films will bring to audiences one of the few presentations about a figure behind the character when it releases the documentary presentation The Sheik.

Dark Sky Films will release The Sheik on Tuesday, March 1st. It will be available exclusively on DVD in stores and online. It focuses on the life and career of Khosrow Ali Vaziri, known for decades in the squared circle as The Iron Sheik. Vaziri, as audiences will learn in the documentary, was born n Iran in 1942. Before coming to the United States in the early 1970’s Vaziri had quite the career in his homeland. He was a bodyguard for the Shah of Iran, an amateur wrestler, and even an Olympian competing in the 1968 summer olympics. But it would be the death of close friend and fellow oympian Gholamreza Takhti, who himself had earned olympic gold, that would change Vaziri’s life forever. After Takhti’s controversial death, Vaziri left his homeland for the U.S. and begin his career as a professional wrestler. He took on the persona of The Iron Sheik in the then WWF and would go on to become one of the company’s most famed villains. His character helped launch the worldwide sensation that came to be known as Hulkamania. Outside of the ring though, things were not all bright and shining. Vaziri battled alcoholism after the murder of one of his daughters. But now in his 70s, Vaziri has garnered new fame as an over-the-top social media figure thanks to his familiar funny outbursts and wild antics.

Originally having premiered in Canada on April 26th, 2014 the hour and thirty-five minute-long documentary tells Vaziri’s story through interviews with his family and friends including his fellow wrestling superstars and pro wrestling historians. The Sheik will be available on DVD in stores and online on Tuesday, March 1st. Pricing information will be announced soon. More information on this and other titles from Dark Sky Films is available online now at:

Website: http://www.darkskyfilms.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DarkSkyFilms

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Mr. Holmes Is An Intriguing Portrayal Of Sherlock Holmes

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

On November 20th, 1886 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle brought to the world one of the greatest figures in literary history when he published his novel A Study in Scarlet. The book was the debut of none other than Sherlock Holmes. In the nearly one hundred and thirty years that have passed since that novel was first published, Holmes has become one of the greatest detectives in the realm of fictional crime and in the literary world in whole. Holmes’ many adventures have been published and republished countless times over that time. Just as many movies and even TV series have been spawned from Doyle’s “best man” so to speak. There has even been a number of new, original stories crafted by modern authors in the past fifty years or so that have been influenced by Holmes’ adventures. In 2015 Lionsgate Studios released a new Sherlock Holmes story unlike any out there. The story, Mr. Holmes, is based on one of those new, original literary tales that goes by the title of A Slight Trick of the Mind. The book was authored by Mitch Cullin. Despite being marketed as a suspense/thriller piece, it is in fact neither one. In reality it is more drama than anything else as its story reveals. That story is this movie’s central element. The work of veteran actor Ian McKellan is just as important as the movie’s story. Last but hardly least of note in this movie is its cinematography. The various shots of the British countryside in which McKellan’s Holmes resides are stunning to say the very least. Each element is in its own right important to the whole of Mr. Holmes. Altogether they make Mr. Holmes a story that any Sherlock Homes fan should see at least once both because of its differences from Doyle’s original Holmes stories and despite those differences.

When Lionsgate brought author Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of The Mind to the big screen last year in the form of Mr. Holmes it is safe to say that up to that point, few if any stories like it had been crafted about the world’s most famous detective. That central-most element of Mr. Holmes makes it worth the watch if not more. The movie was originally marketed as a thriller/suspense tale. But in reality it is neither. It is in fact a drama that follows Sherlock Holmes in the twilight of his life as he struggles to remember the events of his final case so as to put them to paper. That, essentially, is the movie’s plot. As audiences soon learn in watching the story unfold, McKellan’s Holmes is battling the growing effects of dementia as he tries to recall the events of the case in question. At the same time Holmes is also having flashbacks to a meeting with a man in Japan whose father the man claims met Holmes years before and left his family as a result. It doesn’t initially make any sense but does eventually tie back in to Holmes’ attempts to recall the events of that final case. At first the story jumps around with few clear transition points, forcing audiences to give the movie their full attention. And it does move slowly at first, too. But as the story unfolds it becomes somewhat easier to follow. And perhaps it could be argued that this was intentionally done so as to accent Holmes’ growing mental struggles. If that is the case then kudos to writer Jeffrey Hatcher for taking such an approach. Regardless it must be mentioned. Even with all of this in mind Mr. Holmes still proves to be a story that is worth at least one watch especially among true fans of Holmes’ many adventures. It is not the only reason that Mr. Holmes is worth a watch either. Lead star Ian McKellan’s work on camera is the movie’s real shining bright spot.

The story behind Mr. Holmes is unlike almost any story that has ever been crafted about Holmes since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first introduced Holmes to the world nearly one hundred and thirty years ago. It presents a story of a Holmes at his worst so to speak rather than his best as he battles the onset of dementia. It is a story that is worth at least one watch. While its separation from so many other Holmes stories makes it well worth at least one watch, lead actor Sir Ian McKellan’s work on camera makes the movie even more worth the watch. He fully embraces the portrayal from beginning to end, creating a character whose struggles make viewers’ hearts hurt for him. It is clear that this Holmes is so quickly slipping away and trying to pass on his love of deduction to a younger generation in his friendship with the young Roger (Milo Parker — Robot Overlords, Ghosthunters on Icy Trails, The Durrells). It would have been so easy for McKellan to go over the top with his portrayal. But being the consummate professional that he is, he avoids that trapping and in turn puts in an Oscar-worthy performance. Even with the Academy voters not giving that credit where it is due, audiences that watch his performance will agree that McKellan has once again put in an award-worthy performance here and single-handedly saved the movie.

Sir Ian McKellan’s portrayal of the aging Sherlock Holmes in Mr. Holmes is the movie’s single brightest element. His performance is one that was just as deserving of an award as any of the others throughout his career. That is not to take anything away from the movie’s central story. As a matter of fact McKellan’s performance and the movie’s original story are both reasons in themselves for audiences to see this movie at least once. While both elements give audiences reason enough to watch this movie at least once, they are not the movie’s only notable elements. Its cinematography rounds out its presentation. Audiences will be blown away by the shots of the famed White Cliffs as McKellan and Parker go for a swim in the ocean. The shots of the British countryside where Holmes lives are just as powerful. This is especially to note considering just how few sets were actually used in the grand scheme of the movie. And the footage of the train traversing that countryside is especially powerful. Who cares that the engine and its cars might not have been exactly from 1947. That is beside the point. Watching the engine as it steamed along the countryside is still something that will leave any viewer in awe. There’s something about the contrast of its power against the calm, gentle countryside that just makes it stand out. It’s something that must be seen to be fully understood and appreciated. The same applies with the other noted shots and so many others. Considering this, the cinematography is one more saving grace for Mr. Holmes. together with McKellan’s expert work on camera and the intriguing new portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in this story, the movie in whole proves to be worth at least one watch.

Lionsgate’s new Sherlock Holmes story Mr. Holmes is a take on the world-famous detective that is definitely brave to say the very least. It isn’t just another Sherlock Holmes crime story. It is in its own right a tribute to the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as audiences will note in watching the story. But even more so it is a story of the world-famous detective at his weakest. It shows a man whose mental greatness has all but fled him. He is a pale shadow of his former self. Yet even in the twilight of his life he still has just enough left in the tank to finish off his final case and correct at least one of the stories that he claimed Mr. Watson improperly recalled. That story in itself makes the movie worth at least one watch. The work of Sir Ian McKellan adds even more interest to the story. As a matter of fact his portrayal of the aging Holmes is the brightest of spots in this movie. It is just as award-worthy as his work in his other films. The movie’s cinematography is just as impressive as McKellan’s work. It really accents the emotion established by the story’s script. It rounds out the movie’s most notable elements. Together with McKellan’s work and that of scriptwriter Jeffrey Hatcher, all three elements combine to make this intriguing portrayal of Sherlock Holmes one that is worth at least one watch. It is available now in stores and online on DVD + Digital combo pack and Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack.

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