Quantcast

RSSfacebookTwitterGoogle PlusInstagramPinterestYoutubetumblr

                    About THE ROCK FATHER™: The Site | James' Bio | Press | Submission Guidelines | Advertising | Contact

THE ROCK FATHER Magazine

Film Review: Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK

As I said upon leaving the World Premiere at the El Capitan Theatre, Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK is an unexpectedly astonishing and beautiful film, not only in terms of visuals, but in terms of content and weight. To say it must be seen on the big screen and in 3D is an undeniable truth, a testament to the technological marvel created under the direction of filmmaker Jon Favreau (ELF, IRON MAN) - a modern digital film that pushes the boundaries of what can be done with photo-realistic CG to new heights, but also retains the feel of an organic, handmade film. Despite my unabashed appreciation for much of Favreau's back catalog, when the film was first announced a few years back, I must admit that I was apprehensive as to how, exactly, it would play out. As a fan of the 1967 original (reviewed here), and as a moviegoer that's sometimes burnt by the overuse of CG, how could it be done? Fortunately, many of these same issues had been considered and addressed early-on in the process, and the end result is wonderful. Could THE JUNGLE BOOK be every bit as good, if not better than the classic that inspired it? I say yes.

Read more...

Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK Comes to Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime

With all the news and features that I've been sharing about Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK this week, the time to finally see the film is upon us, and for those in select states, one viewing experience that should be at the top of your list is to see it in Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime. I was supposed to enjoy a screening of the film in Burbank last Sunday with Stuart Bowling, Director, Content and Creative Relations at Dolby Laboratories, but thanks to an 8-hour delay on my flight out of Chicago, I missed it. Fortunately, I have experienced Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime a the AMC Hawthorn 12 in Vernon Hills, Illinois - not far from Rock Father HQ. It's a premium cinema offering, and the first that my wife and I ever found that offered reserved seating. Curious what it's all about? Read on, friends!

Read more...

On the Set of Disney XD's WALK THE PRANK

In all the years that I've been visiting Los Angeles, either as a creative, or as a writer covering the works of others, one studio I had never had a chance to visit until recently was Paramount Pictures. Funny enough, it wasn't even an actual Paramount production that drew me to the lot this past month, but a Disney one. On a Tuesday morning, I and a group of 24 fellow writers entered the lot and headed for the famed Stage 19 to check out some taping on Disney XD's new series, WALK THE PRANK (airing Wednesday nights at 8:30 p.m. EDT). According to some, Stage 19 at Paramount is haunted, and that just may lend itself to some pranktastic goodness in the future, but for now we were eager to check out something new being shot on a stage that once played host to iconic productions including HAPPY DAYS, and Orson Welles' masterpiece, CITIZEN KANE.

Read more...

Watch: First Trailer - MARVEL's DOCTOR STRANGE

It's been fascinating to watch the MARVEL Cinematic Universe grow and expand these past few years, and now, as CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR just had it's World Premiere in Los Angeles, the first trailer for the next film in the series has arrived. Just-debuted on Jimmy Kimmel Live, here's your first look at Benedict Cumberbatch in MARVEL's DOCTOR STRANGE...

Read more...

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS - New Trailer, New Toys!

On June 3, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon will serve-up another dose of big-screen action from the world's favorite anthropomorphic two-legged turtles. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS finds Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael returning to theaters to battle bigger, badder villains, alongside April O’Neil (Megan Fox), Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett), and a fan-requested newcomer: the hockey-masked vigilante Casey Jones (Stephen Amell). This week, a new trailer and poster have arrived, alongside the full announcement on the new line of toys from longtime TMNT master licensee, Playmates Toys - most of which are in-stores now! Ready to Rock?

Read more...

Giveaway: DC Collectibles Super-Pets Krypto & Hoppy Plush!

Comic books are certainly a family affair, and when it comes to those for younger readers, the work of Chicago artist Art Baltazar comes to mind - particularly SUPERMAN FAMILY ADVENTURES, TINY TITANS, and DC Comics SUPER-PETS. The latter recently spawned a new line of plush toys that are based on the lesser-known sidekicks of some Earth's mightiest heroes. Indeed, every Super Hero needs a Super Pet, and two of the newest plush releases are none other than Superman's (or Superboy, depending on continuity) trusty dog Krypto, and Shazam's cuddly bunny, HoppyDC Collectibles and I have teamed-up to give readers of THE ROCK FATHER Magazine a chance to win one of two pairs of DC Comics Super-Pets Plush! 

Read more...

Raising Mowgli: THE JUNGLE BOOK's Lupita Nyong'o & Giancarlo Esposito

Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK is as much a movie about what it means to be a family, as it is a family film. An action-packed re-imagining from director Jon Favreau (IRON MAN, CHEF) and based on both the 1967 animated feature and the original stories from Rudyard Kipling, at the heart of the story is Mowgli, the man-cub found and raised by Panther Bagheera, a protector who placed the child in the care of wolves Raksha (voiced by Lupita Nyong'o) and Akela (voiced by Giancarlo Esposito), who welcome the youngster into their pack, and raise him with the same love and values as their own flesh and blood. At the recent JUNGLE BOOK press junket, I joined a group of fellow writers to spend some time with Nyong'o and Esposito to gain a little insight into their creative process for the film, and how their own familial experiences helped shape what they brought to these famed wolves.

Read more...

Giveaway: Celebrate 100 Years of BMW with the Hot Wheels BMW Series!

It was 100 years ago this year that Bayerische Motoren Werke (German for Bavarian Motor Works) began, first creating aircraft engines, later following that success with motorcycles and cars. In celebrating 100 years of BMW and the modern luxury cars that they make today, Mattel released the Hot Wheels BMW Series as a Walmart Exclusive this spring. Featuring eight classic designs, these cars have been speeding in-and-out of stores in a flash, so  I'm giving readers of THE ROCK FATHER Magazine a chance to win a full set of eight! Ready to rock?

Read more...

THE JUNGLE BOOK's Jon Favreau & Neel Sethi - A Magic Kingdom of Wild Toys & Urban Jungles...

When audiences finally witness Jon Favreau's big-screen reimagining of Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK when it opens this Friday, those who stay through the credits will notice an interesting line for a film set deep in the heart of India... "Filmed in Downtown Los Angeles." That line is a testament to just how good THE JUNGLE BOOK is, a film that beautifully captures the spirit of such exotic locales, while being a completely digital creation aside from the work of its young star, newcomer Neel Sethi. Last week, I sat down with Sethi and Favreau at the Beverly Hilton to discuss the new film, all in an informal setting alongside 24 friends and fellow writers. For me, the meeting was particularly exciting, if only because I've been such a fan of Jon Favreau dating back more than two decades - a creative talent whom I've always viewed as being sort of a kindred spirit, and one who my wife and I have sort of watched "grow up" from an actor, to one of our generation's top filmmakers. From the very 90's performances in PCU and SWINGERS, to his 2001 theatrical directorial debut, MADE (which my wife and I saw on opening night at an art house theater in Highland Park, Illinois), his career behind the camera has been has been impressive - with the ability to balance cinematic spectacles like ZATHURA, IRON MAN (and IRON MAN 2), with smaller fare like CHEF, and TV projects like REVOLUTION (a short-lived series which I loved). And then, of course, there's his perennial holiday classic, ELF. With THE JUNGLE BOOK, Favreau's storytelling has reached a whole new level, a marvel of technological toys that has spawned a few plastic ones, too.

Read more...

Watch: DC's SUICIDE SQUAD gets a new trailer with more Batman, more Joker

It's been a few months since the first proper trailer for Warner Bros.' SUICIDE SQUAD arrived for consumption, and with the release of BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (reviewed here) now behind us, it's time to get audiences ready for what will be the next installment of the DC Extended Universe. I think the film looks great, but it's probably a good thing to start getting casual audiences primed for the fact that this is a film that exists in the same world as Ben Affleck's BATMAN and Henry Cavill's SUPERMAN... and we'll see more of Batman in this film, he being what most agreed was a highlight of BvS. While the last trailer rocked to QUEEN's "Bohemian Rhapsody," this one pairs our anti-heroes with the music of SWEET's "Ballroom Blitz." Is there a music supervisor on this film that has the 1992 soundtrack to WAYNE's WORLD sitting around? If we get a Harley Quinn-centered trailer soundtracked to JIMI HENDRIX's "Foxy Lady," I think we'll have a definitive answer. Take a look...

Read more...

Trailer: FANTASTIC BEASTS and WHERE TO FIND THEM...

From J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World comes Warner Bros. Pictures' FANTASTIC BEASTS and WHERE TO FIND THEM, a new adventure that takes place in New York City, 70 years prior to Harry Potter reading the book of Newt Scamander while attending Hogwarts. Set for release on November 18, 2016, the first proper teaser trailer for David Yates' new film has arrived. Check it out below...

Read more...

Coffee & Rock - Folgers: The Weekend (A Rock Father HQ Adventure)

Folgers Brand AmbassadorAh, the weekend! A time to relax after a hard and honest week's work... to sit back and enjoy some quality time with the family. Or not. I don't know about you, but around here, there really isn't any down time. Family time, yes - but down time is non-existent. My wife is at her office Monday-Friday (and sometimes Saturday); I'm either working from home here in Illinois, or out on some crazy adventure (usually in Los Angeles); The Rock Daughters™ have school and preschool, respectively; and sometimes I have to tend to the band that I manage (in fact, a tour starts later this month, and I will join them on the road for a few dates). So the weekend... a time for even more activities, like ballet and tap. Sometimes there's theatre... or baseball... or gymnastics. My point? There is no end to the running, and it's a coffee-fueled affair (Folgers Ambassador - disclosure and all) - with the weekend being a week-ending wrap-up to my normal morning and mid-day routines. When I do relax, it's a prime example of some #CoffeeAndRock.

Read more...

Check out the Packaging for ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY Toys...

Are you ready for more STAR WARS? Judging from the response to the first teaser trailer for ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, audiences are - even though a few of them need to understand that this is the first big screen STAR WARS film to take place outside of the numeric "Saga" timeline, a story that takes place in the days leading up to the very first STAR WARS film, 1977's A NEW HOPE. There's countless tales yet to be told, and this is exciting - a film that will take audiences back to that familiar time, a time when The Empire was just gearing-up to test the very first Death Star. It's the story of the Rebels who stole the plans for the space station - the very plans that Princess Leia places within R2-D2 at the beginning of the movie that started it all. While the film won't be out until December, the toys will hit this Fall, and this weekend comes the "product packaging reveal" - a look at what all the various licensees will be marketing their products in later this year. Imperial Walkers? TIE Fighters? An imposing new Stormtrooper? I'm in...

Read more...

A Few Words with Maria Bamford... on Talking Ginger's Birthday...

MARIA BAMFORD is busy, the Minnesota native long-ago leaving behind "The Land of 10,000 Lakes" in favor of the Los Angeles River. Aside from doing stand-up and making appearances on shows such as ABC's FRESH OFF THE BOAT, Bamford is a prolific voice actor, lending her chords to everything from ADVENTURE TIME and KUNG FU PANDA to WORDGIRL and AXE COP. One of her most-heard roles is that of TALKING GINGER - a boy kitty, performed by a girl. As part of the YouTube hit,TALKING TOM AND FRIENDS: THE ANIMATED SERIES, millions have seen the character from Outfit 7's popular series of apps go on countless adventures. To celebrate Talking Ginger's birthday (today, April 8), Bamford took a few minutes to throw down some knowledge about the curious cat.

Read more...

Rockin' the Red Carpet at THE JUNGLE BOOK World Premiere...

There was a time as a kid growing up, when I, like so many, had dreams of attending a "Hollywood Premiere." You saw it on television - the excitement, the stars, the glamour, the ideals that one typically thinks of as being "Hollywood." As an adult, my life and career has gone in many directions, and often in waves. I went after a serious career as a screenwriter and film director for awhile, aspirations that didn't quite work out as planned (or promised - long story) - but I did find some work as an actor and occasional crew member, and those are skills that still serve me well today as "The Rock Father," a position where sometimes it feels like I have to be everything. I still direct and edit music videos, I can't shut up write daily, I pop-up on-camera on YouTube (and sometimes television), but the closest I'd ever come to attending a Hollywood Premiere was back in 2002, when my wife and I attended the "green carpet" premiere of Pete Jones' Matt Damon/Ben Affleck-produced STOLEN SUMMER, the first movie to come out of HBO's PROJECT GREENLIGHT, when it made a huge debut at the Chicago Theatre. But my main gig now is that of a work-from-home parent, so how, in 2016, am I in Lake County, Illinois one day - then walking the red carpet at The World Premiere of Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK in Hollywood the next? Well, my life is wonderfully strange sometimes, and my I've been very fortunate to be in a position that allows for somewhat uncommon adventures. 

Read more...

Advertisement:

THE ROCK FATHER
 

New Metal:

Product of Hate - Buried in Violence