Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Fox-Disney-700x300One of the biggest megadeals was pulled off three days ago after much speculation that the Walt Disney Company was inquiring about purchasing some assets from Rupert Murdoch and his company Fox. Disney paid them 52.4 billion which means that the company that owns Star Wars, Marvel, ESPN, ABC, will now acquire 21ST Century Fox which includes 20TH Century Fox, 20TH Century Fox Television, any Fox owned cable networks (FX and National Geographic), as well as Fox’s 30 percent share in HULU. While the deal may seem insane, it is a huge power move for Disney who is essentially number one in films, but it powers them up with the number three company in film in Fox. Now if you need me to spell out what the company now owns, let me do that for you then. The company now owns the Alien franchise, Predator, The Fantastic Four, X-Men, Deadpool, Avatar, Ice Age, the Planet Of The Apes reboots, The Simpsons, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, How I Met Your Mother, FuturamaFirefly, and The X-Files. That is just the tip of the iceberg that the company now owns as they get ready to develop their own streaming service for the public.

thumb-1920-618647Now what I am most excited about when it comes to this deal are the possibilities as far as the MCU is concerned. They have already promised that Deadpool 2 would remain rated R, but just imagine what they can do moving forward with Phase 4 of the MCU. We know that Spider-Man 2 and Guardians Of The Galaxy 3 will be Phase four films, but there is not that much else that we do know and what a better time to add the X-Men and the Fantastic Four to the mix. Just think of all the characters that they will have access to moving forward and what kind of story lines that they’ll be able to explore as well. We have seen through three phases that the big boss villain at the end of it has been Thanos we get to fully meet him in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, but who is going to be that big boss villain moving forward after that? If you ask me, the next possible villain for it all could be the one and only true eater of worlds in Galactus. We could also stars introducing villains like Kang The Conqueror, Namor, and even some X-Men villains like Mister Sinister, Apocalypse (or at least do him justice), and Omega Red to name a few. As you can tell I am pretty excited for that aspect of the merger and the fact that all of the Xenomorphs are now Disney Princesses too. It remains to be seen what they will do with all this property and what the current films coming out will mean for Marvel (New Mutants and Dark Phoenix). Stay tuned and we will try to keep you updated!

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aI want to remind everyone that the Grammy’s do not make a band legitimate or not even though they have tried cleaning up mistake after mistake. The Grammy’s tend to drop the ball when the nods come in for Best rock song, etc. In past years, we have seen the committee get lazy and pick only bands that had been around for decades with cover songs as the songs they have chosen for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental to Jethro Tull instead of Metallica. One of the biggest embarrassments for the academy was the 1989 awarding of Best Metal Performance We have also seen them drop the ball as far as what deserves to be considered for Best Rock Album, but all of that has changed with this years nominees. This year, it seems like things have gotten better with the academy and that they actually woke up. Bands like August Burns Red, Body Count, Code Orange, Mastodon, and Meshuggah were nominated for Best Metal Performance. Metallica received two nods at the show as they were nominated for Best Best Rock Album (Hardwired… To Self Destruct) and Best Rock Song (Atlas, Rise!). Other bands that received multiple nods were Nothing More (Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Performance), Mastodon (Best Metal Performance and Best Rock Album),  and the Foo Fighters (Best Rock Song, Performance). This could be a sign of things to come, but then again this is the academy we are talking about here. The award show airs live on January 28, 2018 on CBS and check out the nods below:

Best Metal Performance
August Burns Red – Invisible Enemy
Body Count – Black Hoodie
Code Orange – Forever
Mastodon – Sultan’s Curse
Meshuggah – Clockworks

Best Rock Album:
Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
Nothing More – The Stories We Tell Ourselves
Queens of the Stone Age – Villains
The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding

Best Rock Song:
Metallica – Atlas, Rise!
K.Flay – Blood in the Cut
Nothing More – Go to War
Foo Fighters – Run
Avenged Sevenfold – The Stage

Best Rock Performance:
Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
Chris Cornell – The Promise
Foo Fighters – Run
Kaelo – No Good
Nothing More – Go To War

b-mco-chris-vs-chris_nvy1Listen, I know I am not crazy and I also know that the next Superbowl (which is Superbowl LI) isn’t going to happen for another 274 days (from todays date May 7TH), but there were just too many factors that played a part in me thinking about it. First of all, this weekend saw the official release of Captain America: Civil War (read review here) into theaters and it also happens to be Free Comic Book Day which saw the release of Civil War II as well as a Captain America comic. So with all of this in my face constantly, it made me remember a bet that was waged during SuperBowl 49 between Chris Evans (Captain America) and Chris Pratt (Star Lord) an they called it Superhero Bowl 49 as Pratt was a Seattle Seahawks fan and Evans a New England Patriots fan. I don’t know why one wasn’t down for last years SuperBowl, but I would love to see it return once again. They made an incredible T-Shirt with proceeds going to charity and they dressed in character for each other’s charities. It was all fun and it was for great causes.

marvel_cinematic_universe_timeline_by_darkmudkip6-d9jhxzl copySo, I thought of a list of teams that I would love to see make the next SuperBowl in hopes that there is an actor from that city that plays a Marvel character. Anthony Mackie, the man who plays Falcon represents The New Orleans Saints. Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Scarlet Johansson (Black Widow), and Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) all can represent whatever team from the New York/New Jersey area (Jets or Giants). Don Cheadle who plays War Machine represents the Kansas City Chiefs while Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) could represent either the Oakland Raiders or the San Francisco 49ERS (depending on his preference). Chadwick Boseman is from South Carolina so it would be interesting to see what team he picks whether it be Carolina or any of the teams near by. If we go beyond the film, there’s Mark Ruffalo (Hulk) who can represent the Green Bay Packers and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) and Dave Bautista (Drax) could represent the Washington Redskins. Vin Diesel who plays Groot could also represent either Oakland or San Fran while Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon) could represent the Philadelphia Eagles. If we go into the television universe of Marvel, Jon Bernthal (The Punisher) could represent the Washington Redskins while Kristen Ritter (Jessica Jones) could represent either the Eagles or the Pittsburgh Steelers (depending on her preference). Meanwhile Mike Colter (Luke Cage) is just like Chadwick Boseman where it depends on his preference as he is also from South Carolina. So, keep all of these options in mind once the football season starts and hopefully they bring back Superhero Bowl once again.

 

motley crueTonight is supposedly when all bad things come to an end for hair metal legends Motley Crue as they prepare to play their last show ever tonight at The Staples Center in Los Angeles. It’s kind of a sad moment for yours truly as Motley Crue was the first metal band that I fell in love with when I was a kid. I can remember hanging out with my older brother listening to Shout At The Devil on Cassette at night. I can still feel the electricity I felt the first time I saw all the original members back together again in 2005 at the TD Garden in Boston, MA. I can remember being right in front of Tommy Lee when he shot up to the ceiling to do his drum solo at The Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI the following year. I remember riding the bus to school every day with my walkman listening to Dr. Feelgood which I forced my mother to buy me (I was only 7 when the album came out).

10508181_104158163295753_1280681589_nI remember being blown away by how close to the stage I was when I worked the Pit for Cruefest 2 at The Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA. Motley Crue has filled my life with so many great moments and memories that I just wanted to take the time to thank the band. I can’t believe that this is the end, but the end is just the beginning of something new. We have solo material to look forward to from Vince Neil, we have Nikki Sixx’s amazing band Sixx AM to look forward to, and whatever Tommy Lee or Mick Mars decides to do in the future. So, for all you lucky Californians that get to see this show, revel in the moment and soak it all up and party like it’s 1985 all over again. Never fear though because the band announced that the final show is being taped for a concert film that will air in theaters and be shown on Pay Per View. The concert side is being directed by Christian Lamb while Jackass director Jeff Tremaine directs the documentary side of the film. Be on the look out for that and stay updated by going here. With all of that being said, R.I.P. Motley Crue (1981-2015) thanks for all the memories.

comiccon_nov2015_eventimage_600x280-copyWhen I had heard that the Rhode Island Comic Con was returning for another year, I was super excited just to see who was going to be there as far as guests. I was immediately excited to see that Jon Bernthal, Jason Momoa, Ralph Macchio, Ron Pearlman, Michael Rooker, Doug Jones, Karen Gillan, the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, The Honky Tonk Man, “X-Pac” Sean Waltman, Amy Jo Johnson, and so many more were going to be there. I had all the people I wanted to meet and all the things I wanted to get signed all ready to go, but as you know things change and I forget things sometimes. Nevertheless along with some friends, I made my way to the convention at both The Dunkin Donuts Center and The Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island. I think it would be wise to let all of you know that this was the very first time that I had ever attended the Rhode Island Comic Con so I had no idea what to expect from this one.

me and iron manThe first impression that I received when I arrived was that they had things under control even though the lines walking into the building were very long and it came as no surprise considering it was a Saturday. The first person that I got to meet at the event was Jon Bernthal who everyone knows is going to star in the new season of Daredevil as The Punisher. Jon was very nice and courtesy to everyone who came and spent money to get his autograph. I do have to admit that some of the prices to meet some of the stars was a little too pricey for my liking as most didn’t include a picture like it did at The Rock And Shock Convention in Worcester. I then proceeded to go the actual Convention Center side where everyone was an I immediately found where Karen Gillan who stars in Doctor Who, but I loved her in Guardians Of The Galaxy as Nebula was going to sign. I started to wait in line at 12PM and by 2:30, she had had never showed as she decided to take a lunch break after her photo Op session went a little too long. I was so angry because I had my Funko Pop Nebula figure all ready to be signed, but I was hungry and tired from standing in line that I received a refund and left. I was so agitated at this that I had to step outside for a breath of fresh air before I went back in.

me and tedIt was a good thing I went outside for that air because as soon as I returned, I had fun meeting Demolition, the greatest WWF/E tag team of all time and still my favorite tag team of all time. I bumped in to Ciara Price who I had interviewed on my college radio show Pedal To The Metal (check it out here) and she is just as beautiful and sweet in person as she was on the phone. The next person that I met that day was the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase who was super cool which is all you can ask for when you are at these events. The Honky Tonk Man was also very cool as I told him he was the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time to which he agreed. Sean Waltman was also very cool and Henry Winkler seemed very nice to his fans, but I didn’t stay to meet him. After that I was all set meeting who I wanted to meet and I proceeded to leave. The one thing that I will say is that some of the people seemed like they didn’t want to be there while others did and that is a natural thing I guess. Unfortunately, Carrie Fisher canceled her appearance to the Comic Con for personal reasons I believe, but she promised to be there next year. One person that didn’t seem to want to be there was Lori Petty who some of you may remember from Tank Girl or Point Break (and maybe even In The Army Now). Her attitude didn’t bother me or ruin my experience there. The security and staff of the convention center could have done a better job with their policies, but it was a good time overall.

me and demolition

rock and shockThis past weekend in Worcester, MA, the 12TH Annual Rock And Shock Horror convention took over both the Palladium and The DCU Center for three nights of horror and music. The music side that took place at the Palladium featured three days worth of shows that featured Soulfly on Friday, Danzig & Superjoint on Saturday, and Twiztid on Sunday. The horror convention side which took place at The DCU Center featured the likes of Doug Bradley, Samantha Mathis, Tobin Bell, Robert Allen Mukes, Derek Mears, William Forsythe, Erika Ervin, Naomi Grossman, Bill Moseley, and so many more. Not only were there special guests, but there were plenty of vendors as well from all over like the Troma, Vinegar Syndrome, Bar Accessories INC., Bad Moon Consignment, Famous Monsters Of Filmland, Hellcat Press, Prince Of Pieces, Rhode Island Comic Con, Scares That Care, and so many more.

me and adam greenOut of all the 12 years that this convention has existed, this was my very first time eve attending one of these and I have no idea why. There is so much to do in one of these that you can forget the time and not even care because you are having so much fun. The overall attitude of the event is nothing, but of a fun nature because for horror fans like me this is heaven on earth. One of the first things I did when I got inside the convention was I needed to find where al of the legends were sitting and I found them with ease. The first person I met in the whole show is one of Hollywood’s most underrated actor of all time in Bill Moseley. Bill Moseley was arguably the star of The Devil’s Rejects, House Of 1000 Corpses, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, and so many more. He was such a such a cool guy that I wish there were more like him at these conventions. The next person I met was Bill Johnson who played Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II. After him I made a b-line all the way to Tobin Bell who was famous for playing Jigsaw in the Saw franchise. Tobin was very excited to tell me about his newest project the Manson Family Vacation which is a different take on the famous story. The film is out on iTunes right now and on Netflix I believe by October 27TH. The rest of the day included me meeting the legend George A. Romero, Adam Green, Doug Bradley, and a very good conversation with Michael Reid Mackay (The Monster Squad, Insidious: Chapter 3). One of the cool things that I also witnessed on Sunday was a press conference for Twiztid and that was pretty interesting. The one thing I can say about the group is that they care tremendously for their fans. As I said before, I regret not going to any other Rock And Shock in my life before and I suggest that every horror fan go to an event like this one.

Bill-Ward-Ozzy-Osbourne-630x420We have a new segment that I will try to do because being in a metal band can be just like high school and so here is the segment of When Metal Bands Fight and we are looking at the case of Bill Ward vs Black Sabbath. If you haven’t been paying attention at all to the drama that unfolded when Black Sabbath decided to record with Bill Ward then you have either been living under a rock or you just don’t give a hoot. Nevertheless, the drama continues as Bill Ward reheats the situation by going after frontman Ozzy Osbourne on the internet. On April 15TH, Bill ward came out and released a statement basically claiming he was not offered a fair enough deal by Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne and hence is the reason he didn’t return to the lineup. Here is the statement he released regarding all the issues:

I hope you’re well and in good spirits. I have not made any public statements regarding my relationship with Black Sabbath since February 2012. Today, I want to address that relationship in this formal statement. Thank you.
I have neither severed nor discontinued my relationship with Black Sabbath, however, since 2012, the often inaccurate statements about me as a person and as a musician have caused me to be guarded and be especially detached emotionally and spiritually from Ozzy. His rhetoric above all has brought me the most discord. The continuing misguided information about me has established a necessity on my part to confront these issues. And now, with the imminent release of a new Bill Ward Band album, and the flurry of rumors about new Sabbath projects, I feel it appropriate to speak in a truthful and an un-cynical way.
There is always speculation about a true, original Sabbath lineup for the next tour or record. With a sad heart, I have to say I will not participate in any musical undertakings until a righting of the wrongs spoken against me has been achieved. I must admit, I have little to no expectations of this happening, but in the order of first things first, I’m looking for an honest accountability of all of Ozzy’s statements that I felt were untrue. I would want Ozzy to amend his opinions and exaggerations. I would want him to be forthcoming about his unrealistic viewpoints. And because I was chastised publicly, I would want him to amend publicly in his words, and not through an Ozzy representative, the nature of the wrongs. I would not want to continue on with him without this seemingly impassible dilemma being addressed. I don’t think previously strong relationships can remain strong after dispute by just sweeping the offensive stuff under the carpet, or by saying a puny sorry, or “oh, that’s all over now.” It doesn’t work like that for me. Righting of wrong works, and that’s what I want if I’m ever going to be his friend again.
Still undone and faraway is a “signable” contract. I would require a “signable” contract before moving one step toward a pathway that could lead to us all playing together again. I want a contract I can approve. That’s my truth. That’s my stand. I’ve listened to nothing but insults and false remarks, and if as a band or as individuals they wish to continue along the same lines, then any notion of an original Black Sabbath lineup will continue to fade away.
Put simply, it’s up to them. I have dearly missed playing with them and as people, I have been heartbroken over the loss of who I thought we were. And now you know where I stand.
Very soon my band, BWB will release a new album ironically called “Accountable Beasts.” I re- kick-started it in May 2012, and in an off and on journey to record, we have reached our final destination – a good mix, and a well mastered record. At this time we are putting the final touches on the digital booklet.
There are other multiple projects in different stages of progress, and I hope to bring more definitive news about them as things unfold this year. I have been very happy writing new songs, playing drums and working with other musicians. I have been blessed with musical visions and the ability to harness them. I’m moving into the future with an optimistic outlook.
For our many Sabbath fans, I love you all dearly. You are extremely special people. You f–king rock. I have been in deep regret since January 2012 that a true union was denied. I’ve remained faithful to you and honest with myself. Had I not been honest throughout I would have perished long ago. My hand is within yours, and I am encouraged to know you better. Stay safe and stay strong.
Now it is time to meet the circumstances of my statement and attend to what else is ongoing and before me.
Love,
Bill Ward

You obviously knew that it wouldn’t be long before Ozzy would answer what Bill Ward had to say in that statement above. You don’t call someone out and not expect them to respond to some pretty big claims. So on April 16TH, Ozzy released a statement of his own and read a little something like this:

I never wanted to discuss this in a public forum but Bill’s statements left me no option to but to respond honestly.

Wow Bill,
What the f— are you on about? I cannot apologize for comments or opinions I may have made about you in the press during Sabbath’s “13” album and tour– physically, you knew you were f—ed. Tony, Geezer and myself didn’t think you could have done a two hour set with a drum solo every night, so we made the decision to move on. With Tony’s condition we felt that time was not on our side.
Bill, stop this smokescreen about an “unsignable contract” and let’s be honest. Deep down inside you knew you weren’t capable of doing the album and a 16 month tour. Unfortunately for you, our instincts were correct as you were in hospital several times during 2013. Your last hospitalization was for a shoulder surgery that you now say you’ve only just recovered from. This would have meant that our world tour would have been canceled. So how is all of this my fault? Stop playing the victim and be honest with yourself and our fans.
Bill, we go back a long way, let’s stop this now before it gets out of hand.
God bless you.
Love.
Ozzy

Ozzy makes some pretty substantial claims as we all knew that time was not of the essence for Tony Iommi who is battling cancer and so an obvious quick move had to be made at the time. Meanwhile the band had to cancel their “Farewell” gig at Ozzfest Japan to which many fans suspected that maybe Tony’s condition took a turn for the worse, but he responded saying, “Thank you for all the enquiries about my health, very kind. I’m not sure how the rumour of my being unwell started as I was away on holiday! Once you’ve had something like lymphoma the fear that it will return never leaves, all I can say is that right now I’m fine and have regular blood tests.” Meanwhile, on April 17TH, Bill Ward rebutted Ozzy’s statement telling Rolling Stone, “The truth is that I was overweight for playing onstage, but I wasn’t overweight for the studio. I could cut tracks with the weight that I arrived at. All of those guys know that I have a really rigorous exercise regimen. In August 2011, I started to drop weight because, at that point, I thought, “OK, we’re probably at five or six months away from actually doing a tour.” When we were in England, I was walking six miles before breakfast, I was doing bench presses, I was walking possibly two to three miles in the evening, and I was playing, like, three to four hours a day. I’m quite capable of playing a complete f—ing Black Sabbath set. So this health thing has been bandied around, and it’s true that I have heart disease, and it’s true that I did get sick a couple of years after the fact. But when the health card is being thrown around, the bottom line is that I really tried to take care of myself. Every day, I always look at the day and say, “Could I have played a gig today no matter what’s going on with me?” And the answer is always, ‘Yes.’ I’m much harder on me than those guys could ever be … I went through the loss of a dear friendship [with Ozzy]. I actually grieved the loss of his life in my life. It was f—ing terrible. I cried. It was really horrible. I thought, ‘My God, I don’t even know who this person is anymore.“Then on Saturday (April 18), Bill Ward posted a long open letter to Ozzy really responding to everything saying:

  1. You never wanted to discuss in a public forum. BUT, you did by making all these public comments during your interviews for the 13 album and tour. I was only responding in kind. Don’t forget why I spoke out. If you had talked to me and shared your opinions privately, we wouldn’t be here today.
  1. I was ready and in shape to record. I knew I would need to get in better shape for the gigs –same as I have needed to do and have done in the past. I was beginning my workout regime to get “tour ready.”   I knew what I needed to do to play the gigs, and I was confident I would be ready. I would not commit to an extensive tour without believing I could go all the way with it. I wouldn’t do that to our fans.
  1. Shoulder Surgery. This was not a surgery that was an immediate necessity, or an emergency, or something that was prohibitive in terms of playing drums in Sabbath. It wasn’t anything like that. I would have elected to do the surgery after we finished touring, but since that didn’t come to pass, I scheduled it for the fall of 2013. My other surgery, yes was unexpected, but who among us knows what curve balls might be coming our way. Having had to recently cancel your own gigs, I think you could understand that and not hold someone to “what ifs”.
  1. The “unsignable” contract isn’t a smokescreen – it’s the truth. I have been honest with our fans on where I stand. Your opinions of me are completely immaterial – they have nothing to do with my reason for not participating – the “unsignable” contract – that’s it. I wonder if I had signed it if any of this would have come up? I imagine we would have made an album and done a tour with the original line up in place.

Hey Oz,

It’s not going to work.

I can see you,

And, I read your statement.

Boy oh boy.

Well, I know I didn’t expect you to respond to my request of an apology. By the way, it’s pretty easy to go back and really look at what was truth and what was not.

I notice you’re including Tony and Geezer in being in full agreement, that with my health condition I couldn’t have played a two hour set with a drum solo. First time I’ve ever heard about a two hour show with a drum solo. But I’m asking you, not them. Why did you stay in the studio working with me? Why did we go to England for band rehearsals in August 2011? Why did we continue rehearsing in the Fall? Why did we make the announcement of 11/11/11? Why did you call me in late January 2012 asking me to come over to England to continue rehearsals? Why, if you thought I was so unhealthy, did you continue with me at all? You know why, Oz, because I was fine. I was playing. I was good to go.

I ran into no, zero, health problems until October 22nd 2013. Oz, I could have played my ass off in 2012, all the way through to October 22nd 2013. The shoulder operation was optional. It was quiet and I needed a wear and tear adjustment. I was fine. I could have gone without surgery. But listen to you, hitting back and hard, too.

I don’t believe a word of it. I am not an enemy. Eternity will show and serve as proof.

None of it, Oz.

I’m not going to own a fucking thing, other than I came into the studio initially overweight to tour, but not overweight to record. I was good to record. All of you know how much I put in, especially when I prepare to tour.

Your own anticipatory fear has got you by the balls. What fucking smokescreen, about an unsignable contract.

Yes, let’s get honest. I did.

It came out in my statement Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

I’m not playing (your quote). I never did. I don’t fuck with sincerity and honesty, period. I’ve done nothing but bring my truth to the fans. Man, you spin it real well. Sorry I can’t love you back, Oz. I put my love for you somewhere safe inside my heart in 2012 when your stories started showing up. It’s hard to love someone who thinks he’s telling the truth by making false claims, elitist comments and just plain rude statements.

It’ll show up, Oz, in your dreams, in your daily days. I’m clean and have nothing to feel doubtful about. All my actions have been of loyalty, honesty, and open-mindedness.

Stay safe old friend.

Sad we couldn’t roll it out for the fans one more time.

I read your speculation, and your what ifs, your doubts. I’m about as far away from being a victim as I am from Hell itself.

I would have loved to see the original lineup back together, but I do have to admit that Brad Wilk did a terrific job in the studio, but Sabbath just isn’t Sabbath without Bill. Let’s not forget that Bill Ward at one time quit Sabbath because he didn’t believe in going on without Ozzy anymore after being on the Heaven And Hell album. He was quoted saying, “It was intolerable for me to get on the stage without Ozzy. And I drank 24 hours a day, my alcoholism accelerated.” Time will only tell if the two sides ever reconcile and all we can do it wait and see. Stay tuned here for anymore info that comes along.