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THE ROCK FATHER Magazine

The HOME ALONE 25th Anniversary Collection is Coming Home for the Holidays!

2015 Holiday Wish GuideWhen it comes to holiday movies, its no secret that I have a real soft spot for them. One of the greatest is also very much a "Chicago" movie, and one written by a local icon - the late John Hughes. HOME ALONE turns 25 this year, and the folks at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment are releasing a collection that I'm officially adding to my 2015 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER - the HOME ALONE 25th Anniversary Ultimate Collection! This new set features all five films in the HOME ALONE franchise, along with some cool collectibles that come packed-in a paint can.

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Bruce Campbell Wants Your Money! (for a new season of LAST FAN STANDING)

As I usually do when I post about a crowdfunding effort, I need to preface this with a warning: Just because I am posting about a Kickstarter project, that is not an invitation to open the floodgates for more crowdfunding pitches. Seriously, every single time I post about a Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, I will get a dozen+ crappy pitches in my inbox by the next morning, so please - before you submit a crowdfunding effort, read this. Again, read this.

Bruce Campbell wants your money. This time, it's to make a new season of LAST FAN STANDING, the pop culture game show that Campbell (THE EVIL DEAD, BURN NOTICE, OLD SPICE) hosts himself. Filmed on-location and "live-to-tape" at Wizard World Comic Con events around the country, LAST FAN STANDING gave con-goers "the chance to prove their status as the ultimate Fanboy or Fangirl for a global internet audience on CONtv." If you want Season Two, here's your chance to be involved - just announced at a media event at the in-progress Wizard World Comic Con Chicago.

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WIZARD WORLD CHICAGO COMIC CON & BANDAI Unleash First-Ever Glow-in-the-Dark Toyko Vinyl Green Power Ranger Figures...

Ready for the Wizard World Comic Con Chicago? It's getting underway, and the news keeps coming. This just into Rock Father HQ...

Wizard World, Inc.  today announced that for the first time it has partnered with Bandai America Incorporated to offer an exclusive Wizard World Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Limited Edition GLOW-IN-THE-DARK Tokyo Vinyl® Green Ranger figures, Thursday through Sunday during Wizard World Comic Con Chicago at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. With 1,500 total figures produced, only 500 will be available at Comic Con Chicago, exclusively at the Wizard World Store on the show floor, while supplies last.

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Kick Off the Con: Celebrate the Start of the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con at Level 257

Wanna hang with THE ROCK FATHER? How about Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, "The Walking Dead"), Milo Ventimiglia ("Heroes," "Gotham"), Sean Patrick Flanery ( Boondock Saints), Barry Bostwick (Rocky Horror Picture Show, “Spin City”), Chris 51 ("Epic Ink") and more? Next Wednesday night you can at KICK OFF THE CON, the first official event of Wizard World Comic Con Chicago. The evening features some of the top celebrities, cosplayers, and artists in comic and sci fi entertainment on Wednesday, August 19, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Level 257 (2 Woodfield Mall, Unit A, Schaumburg, located between Sears and the entrance to Stir Crazy on the lower level, east side of Woodfield Mall).

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Watch: METALLICA Releases Performance Footage from LOLLAPALOOZA

When July/August rolls around each year, I send out dozens of reply emails that have a variation on "No, I won't be attending Lollapalooza"/"I'm not covering Lollapalooza." Despite living in Chicago's Northern Suburbs, Lollapalooza for me is not the true Lollapalooza - the traveling festival that I was lucky enough to attend in the 1990s. In fact, Lollapalooza '93 was my first paid gig as a photographer, so there's a connection there. As a permanent, Chicago-based event, Lollapalooza just has not come up with a lineup compelling enough for me to attend. Sure, they drop in a handful of bands that I dig each year, but I'd never drop the money or deal with the hassle of attending the fest as it stands right now. Eventually, they might "wow" me, but for now, I'm in the RIOT FEST camp. Want to see a lineup that I can fully get behind? Look at RIOT FEST Chicago's schedule... not THAT is a lineup! As for Lollapalooza, there's highlights online every year from bands that I would dig seeing, and METALLICA is an example. Here's their highlight reel from Lollapalooza 2015 - complete with performances of "Wherever I May Roam" and "Am I Evil?" -- Old Crankypants

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Rob Zombie's Great American Nightmare Will Return to Illinois this Halloween...

This September, Rob Zombie's Great American Nightmare will return to the Chicago area for another season of frights at The Odeum Expo Center in Villa Park, Illinois. I'd been wondering about this one, as I covered last years' event - having checked-out the haunt and Zombie's surreal, one-night-only performance in the confines of a very unconventional locale.  For the 2015, the frights will be even bigger, and Rob Zombie will be rocking the stage once more - with two special concerts set to take place on October 2 & 4. The Villa Park/Chicagoland show is the ONLY edition of the Great American Nightmare this year. Here's the details on what to expect...

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Exclusive: Talking the Musical Genesis of Disney's DESCENDANTS with Director Kenny Ortega

When I found out that I'd get to spend some time with filmmaker/choreographer Kenny Ortega on one of my recent visits to Los Angeles, I was pretty excited. The Director of NEWSIES, HOCUS POCUS and HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL actually helmed the film that was the very first Blu-ray I personally bought after beginning my format switch - the 2009 documentary musical, MICHAEL JACKSON'S THIS IS IT. I may not mention it often, but Jackson has been a big influence in my own musical life, so it was fitting that THIS IS IT was my first Blu-ray purchase, as THRILLER was the first album I remember asking for on vinyl. Ortega's connection to "The King of Pop" not only as a Director, but as a Choreographer, was not the reason for our meeting, however... it was all about his latest work, Disney's DESCENDANTS.

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Chicago: RIOT FEST & CARNIVAL 2015 First Wave Lineup: FAITH NO MORE, NO DOUBT, THE ROCK-AFIRE EXPLOSION, and more!

After finally settling in on a new location, Chicago's RIOT FEST & CARNIVAL will take place in Douglas Park, September 11-13, 2015. Tonight comes the much-anticipated First Wave Lineup Announcement for this year's fest, which boasts some big surprises, and like year's past, features some bands performing seminal albums in their entirety. RIOT FEST might be Chicago's "second biggest music festival," but it's the only one that I care about - and FAITH NO MORE (who revealed their appearance during their recent Chicago stop) would be all that I needed to be on-board, but look at this lineup! THE ROCK-AFIRE EXPLOSION is gonna be there - the house band of ShowBiz Pizza, who I've written about multiple times! And the first wave of bands for 2015 are...

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Chicago's RIOT FEST Stays in the City, Announces Move to Douglas Park...

While I don't live in the City proper, I've always identified as a "Chicagoan," and have long looked at the annual RIOT FEST as a true Chicago tradition - one that's spread to other cities, including Denver and Toronto. Having attended, and having seen it grow from small clubs to a multi-venue, week-long event (I covered and shot it back in 2011) that then morphed into the RIOT FEST & CARNIVAL, I (like many) was disheartened to see the fest being squeezed as part of a larger debate about its recent home in Humboldt Park. Today, that debate ends as far as RIOT FEST is concerned, as the 2015 RIOT FEST & CARNIVAL will stay in Chicago, moving south to Douglas Park.

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KIND & zulily to Host "Kindness Safaris" at 20 Zoos on May 16, including Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo...

On May 16, the folks from KIND and zulily will partner for Kindness Safaris to be held at 20 Zoos across the country. For friends in my home City of Chicago, Lincoln Park Zoo will be the center of the action from 10am-5pm, where families can take part in the safari, and kids can discover how being kind through simple acts can be fun, and really brighten the world around us. It's all part of the ongoing Kind Parents, Kind Kids program, which uses fun family activities to teach kids the importance of kindness year-round.

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