Monday, May 22, 2017

Family Movie Night: ROCK DOG

Thanks to LIONSGATE  we were able to enjoy on home video the animated film ROCK DOG for a family movie night a few days before its May 23, 2017 release on Blu-ray and DVD.  This comedic, family-friendly movie is a music-filled adventure about a dog's quest to become a rock star.  Was he bred simply to shepherd sheep or was he born to have a greater destiny?  He finds out when a radio falls from the sky becoming a sign of encouragement for this wide-eyed Tibetan Mastiff to leave his mountain home and set off on a series of unexpected events following a desire to become a super star.  The movie had my kids dancing around the room to the film's soundtrack and giggling at its funny escapades.



Courtesy of LIONSGATE, A Geek Daddy has a ROCK DOG children's activity sheet you can print out and a Blu-ray+DVD+DigitalHD prize pack to giveaway.  Follow @Geekdad248 on Twitter and retweet the embedded tweet below by 11:59 pm ET on May 24, 2017 for a chance to win.  Must be a US resident over 18 years old to participate.





The home video release of ROCK DOG includes four featurettes (Finding the Fire: The Making of Rock Dog, Mic Check: Casting the Voices, A Rockin New World: Animating Rock Dog, and Rock Dog & Roll: Exploring the Music).  It also contains the music video for the movie soundtrack's original song "Glorious."  ROCK DOG is rated PG for action and language by the Motion Picture Association of America with a run time of 90 minutes.  For more information about the movie and its home video release, please visit rockdogmovie.com

Disclaimer & Contest Rules: A Geek Daddy has not been financially compensated for this endorsement or hosting the giveaway but was provided the same items being provided as a prize for personal use. The prize is provided by LIONSGATE and A Geek Daddy is hosting the promotion as a benefit to our readers. Must be a US resident over the age of 18 to participate. Entries limited to one household and winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries. If you have already won this prize through another blog participating in this promotion, your entry will be disqualified if that prize has already been awarded by LIONSGATE. By participating in this promotion you waive any liability of any kind against the publisher of this blog. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. No P.O. Boxes allowed for delivery of the prize. Must reply to notification message within 48 hours by providing requested contact information or else the prize will be forfeited and a new winner randomly selected. LIONSGATE will be responsible for shipping the prize to the selected winner.  Twitter is not a sponsor and has no relationship with this promotion.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

MURDER BALLADS

Indie publisher Z2 Comics is taking a unique approach to comic books by combining an original soundtrack of songs with a rock'n'roll noir graphic novel.  MURDER BALLADS, available in July, is about the fall and reinvention of Nate Theodore, the dead-broke and deadbeat owner of a failing record label who is on a cross-country drive in the dead of winter, fleeing the wreckage of his business and trying to save his crumbling marriage. Nate is given an unexpected chance to reverse his fortunes when, during a stop in a desolate rust belt town, he "discovers" Donny and Marvell Fontweathers, two African-American brothers who play a raucous brand of doom-laden country blues.  Written by Gabe Soria with artwork by Paul Reinwand, MURDER BALLADS will be priced at $24.95 and will include downloadable codes for songs by bluesman Robert Finley and Dan Auerback, the singer/guitarist of the Grammy-Award winning rock band The Black Keys.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the unglamorous side of music making,” noted MURDER BALLADS writer Gabe Soria. “Accounts of glorious obscurities and the characters working the fringes…that’s my meat and potatoes right there, the stuff that has nothing to do with fame and everything to do with love, obsession and compulsion to MAKE. I dig stories about people who are just trying to get by making music on their own terms, and about the unusual and beautiful and tragic ways music can be woven into the fabric of our lives, whether it’s through someone playing sad piano in a dive bar, a one-hit wonder on a transistor radio, a bootleg blues record, or whatever."

The MURDER BALLADS Original Soundtrack will include Finley and Auerbach's cover of the classic Leadbelly song "In the Pines."  The duo also perform four original songs on the soundtrack, "Bang Bang", "Butter Sandwich", "The Empty Arms" and "Three Jumpers," that Finley and Auerback created specifically to accompany the graphic novel's story.

Robert Finley and Dan Auerbach


Z2 has also partnered with Mondo, an art gallery and online store devoted to a passionate love of film, art, music and toys, to release a limited edition of the graphic novel with the soundtrack included as a 10" vinyl record.  It will feature original album cover art by Jon Langford, the acclaimed visual artist best known for his striking portraits of country and rock music icons including Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley.  This limited edition package will be available for $200 at mondotees.com.



This graphic novel combines two of my favorite pastimes, reading comics and listening to the blues, so I'm really looking forward to checking out its illustrations and listening to the tunes accompanying the story by Finley and Auerbach.  Keep an eye out for this gritty combo at comic book stores this summer.  If you miss out on picking up MURDER BALLADS this summer, you'll probably be disappointed in yourself for not buying it.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Ralp McQuarrie Concept Art Statue

** Affiliate links A Geek Daddy makes a commission on are included in this post**
As Star Wars celebrates the 40th anniversary of the theatrical release of A New Hope, Sideshow Collectibles has released a really impressive statue of Ralph McQuarrie's movie concept art portrayal of stormtroopers.  McQuarrie (1929 - 2012) provided the conceptual artwork that was a crucial part of bringing George Lucas' space opera to life on the silver screen.  His influence permeates throughout the Star Wars franchise from the visual vibe of the original movie trilogy to influencing the characters and setting for the newer Star Wars: Rebels animated television show.

I remember as a kid spending hours scouring through art books my aunt had given me featuring scenes from the Star Wars movies by McQuarrie and tearing out my favorite images to decorate the walls of my bedroom. These fantastic images transported me to other worlds and helped develop my sense of curiosity, expanded my imagination, and enhanced my interest in comics and science fiction.  As an adult, I continue to be a big fan of science fiction and still keep a copy of McQuarrie's "The Illustrated Star Wars Universe" on my bookshelf.  So I was really excited to see Star Wars Ralph McQuarrie Stormtrooper Star Wars Statue from Sideshow Collectibles.



Expertly crafted in 1:5th scale, the soldier of the Empire is depicted patrolling a corridor of the Death Star. As seen in McQuarrie’s early incarnations, the Star Wars Ralph McQuarrie Stormtrooper Star Wars Statue comes with multiple display options – carrying a shield in one hand while wielding a lightsaber or blaster in the other - and is fitted with a distinctive helmet and armor that more closely resembled fighter pilot gear than the final costumes seen on screen.


A Star Wars Ralph McQuarrie Stormtrooper Star Wars Statue would make a great decoration for any Star Wars fan's home theater, office, game room or man cave.  Displaying one of the iconic original images of the Star Wars universe would really be a great addition to a memorabilia collection.  Don't hesitate to purchase one if you are interested because supply is limited and it will sell out! 

CAMELOT MEAD HONEY WINE

 ** A Geek Daddy received the featured product for free to review **

Did you know the term "Honeymoon" dates back to an ancient tradition when guests to weddings would give the bride and groom enough honey mead (wine) to last through the first moon (month) of their marriage?  I just recently learned this interesting bit of trivia as well as tried honey mead for the first time.  During Mothers Day, I brought out a bottle of Oliver Winery and Vineyards' CAMELOT MEAD HONEY WINE to celebrate the occasion with my family and one of my relative's shared with us some insights on the rich history behind honey wines.

The first thing I noticed when drinking this wine is that it has a smooth gelish texture as it slides down your throat which differentiates it from other types of wines.  CAMELOT MEAD HONEY WINE also has a nice citrusy taste with a refreshing honey twist to it.  Oliver Winery and Vineyards accomplishes this unique flavoring by only utilizing bee hives that produce honey from orange blossoms.  So you know there is some real craftsmanship and effort put into producing these wines.


CAMELOT MEAD HONEY WINE bottles stand out with their intricate collage on the label which combines whimsical images with a touch of the bizarre.  Can you spot Jeremiah, the label's bullfrog mascot on the bottle?  Finding him on the label is a promise that you are picking up a wine that is undiscovered, underestimated and refreshingly different!  Make sure to "pick up the frog" when selecting your next bottle of wine.

Oliver Winery and Vineyards in Bloomington, Indiana has developed a reputation for crafting satisfying wines that capture the flavor of high quality fruits and ingredients.  Their CAMELOT MEAD HONEY WINE continues that fine tradition.  Treat yourself to something out of the ordinary and enjoy a bottle of CAMELOT MEAD HONEY WINE.  Honey Wine has been called the "beverage of royalty." Go ahead and treat yourself like a king or queen by enjoying a glass.

CAMELOT MEAD HONEY WINE is distributed in Indiana, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.  Plus it is available at the Oliver Winery Tasting Room or you can also purchase it online by clicking here.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Water Safety Day at Goldfish Swim School

** A Geek Daddy is a Goldfish Swim School Brand Ambassador **

Goldfish Swim Schools across the country are celebrating Water Safety Day on Saturday, May 20, 2017.  Participating locations will be open to the general public for this special event where they'll hosting a FREE open swim along with water safety presentations and other fun activities during the event.  Keep an eye out for the Goldfish Swim School mascot BUBBLES who will be helping instructors with presentations and be posing for photographs.  Visit goldfishswimschool.com to see if there is a location near you.

In addition to opening up the main pool for families to swim in and providing water safety tips, the facility my kids go to for swim lessons will be throwing a fun festival in their parking lot.  There will be bounce houses and inflatable playscapes along with a variety of activities, games and other family entertainment at the Birmingham, Michigan location from 4:30 to 6:30pm.  There is absolutely no charge for anything during the event and you don't have to be a swim school member to enjoy this golden experience! Just stop by for an entertaining time that will also provide your family with important information about being safe in the water.  Times and activities may vary at each venue so contact your local Goldfish Swim School for complete details about the schedule for their Water Safety Day event.

Goldfish Swim School understands that they have a responsibility to develop well-rounded swimmers so in addition to teaching swimming strokes they also incorporate water safety skills into each and every lesson.  They also put an emphasis on water safety by having Bubbles provide presentations on the topic to kids at local libraries and schools.  The highlight of their educational effort though is Goldfish Swim School's annual Water Safety Day in May which features educational presentations, safety skill stations in the pool with instructors helping kids practice important techniques, informational tables full of helpful resources, appearances by local police and fire departments along with the open family swim time, food, and games.

Knowing water safety tips is important all year long; but is especially vital to be vigilant during the spring and summer months when many families are most likely to be spending time in or near the water.  Whether you are boating on a river or lake, swimming in an ocean or pond, or playing around at a splash pad or waterpark, it is never silly to be overly cautious.  Here are six important questions every parent should ask themselves before allowing a child to be around the water:

1. When can my child swim alone?
Depending on a child's swimming skills you don't necessarily need to be in the water with them, but juveniles should always have someone within eye contact of them. Here are some more tips to keep in mind to help you determine if your child is ready to swim alone.  That being said, kids should always swim with a buddy and actually adults should too!  Having a buddy present in the water means there’s someone there to assist if needed, or to go get help should an emergency arise.

2. When should we use puddle jumpers and/or life jackets?
When learning to swim, we believe it is more beneficial for kids to learn without water wings, puddle jumpers or life jackets. However, every child should always wear life jackets when on a boat (and it’s generally the law in every state that kids ages 13 and younger must wear life jackets on boats). Beyond that, you’ll have to consider what kids of water you’re in, how deep it is, your child’s skill level, if you’re in the water, and other issues.

3. What are the signs of drowning?
Drowning happens quickly, and it can be difficult to notice because it doesn’t involve crazy splashing and loud yelling. If someone is having trouble in the water, they may quietly slip under the water. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs of drowning and what to do if someone appears in distress.

4. How can I help my kids become better swimmers?
Did you know that teaching kids water safety helps kids to become better swimmers? It’s true. When kids – and all of us, really – understand what it takes to be safer in the water and implement those points, the focus can be on improving swim skills. Perpetual (year-round) swim lessons are best and truly helps keeps kids safer in the water.

5. How can we stay safe in an indoor pool?
Even if you’re not swimming outdoors, there are certain considerations that need to be made to stay safe at an indoor pool.  For instance, make sure young children aren’t enticed to go near the pool unattended to scoop up toys randomly floating around – and always keep an eye on your kids, even if there’s a lifeguard on duty.

6. What to do if I don’t know how to swim?
It can be quite the conundrum: How do you keep your kids safe in the water when you don’t know how to swim yourself? First of all, it’s important to not impart any fear of the water onto your kids. And teaching your kids to swim and learn the 5 things every kid should know how to do in the water helps empower your kids and yourself to be safer and confident in the water.

My kids and I will absolutely be attending Water Safety Day this year!  I hope you and your family will consider swinging by your local Goldfish Swim School on May 20th as well!  If your kids aren't taking lesson there it is a great chance to check out the facility as well.  They have classes that babies as young as 4 months old can participate in going up to programs including a swim team for kids up to twelve years old. We've just had a great experience since my kids joined Goldfish Swim School.


A MERMAID'S TALE

 ** A Geek Daddy received the featured product for free to review**

If it is Friday night that means my kids will be in a swimming pool.  That is the evening they spend having their weekly swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School.  My daughter likes to imagine herself as a mermaid when she swims so we picked out a fitting movie for the family to watch together after their class wrapped up this week.  Picking up a pizza on the way home, we ate dinner on the living room couch while watching an advance release DVD of A Mermaid's Tale that Lionsgate had recently sent us.

The movie features a few faces that parents should find familiar in Barry Bostwick (who played the mayor in one of my all-time favorite TV shows Spin City) and Jerry O'Connell (who has had roles in the movies Stand By Me and Jerry Maguire plus is the voice of Superman in several DC Comics Justice League straight to video animated movies) as well as two upcoming young actresses Caitlin Carmichael and Sydney Scotia.  A Mermaid's Tale isn't as much a supernatural adventure as it is the story of two teen's friendship and overcoming the bias of adults to steer their own course in life.  The movie really focuses on the relationship of a lonely human girl and a quirky, curious mermaid whose characters just want to have fun, explore the world around them and be loved by friends and family.  Attributes that most kids are seeking which make Carmichael and Scotia very relatable to young audiences.



When Ryan (Carmichael) and her father (O'Connell) move from San Diego to a small coastal town to help her ailing fisherman grandfather (Bostwick) the teenage girl finds herself in unfamiliar surroundings with no friends.  One day while walking along the boat docks she sees a girl in the water trapped by fishing nets struggling not to drown.  Ryan helps the girl escape and finds out that she is a mythical mermaid!  The two strike up a friendship and pledge to show each other what life is like above and below the surface of the water.  Their friendship creates a predicament for the two though as the mermaid named Coral (Scotia) is forbidden from interacting with humans to protect her kind from being hunted to extinction while Ryan's grandfather has a mysterious connection with these legendary creatures and had devoted his life to capturing one.  This of course creates a predicament!



A Mermaid's Tale is Rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America and has received a "Family Approved" seal from the Dove Foundation that reviews movies for their appropriateness for child and teen audiences.  It will be available on DVD and Digital HD beginning May 16, 2017.  To purchase the movie or for more information, please visit www.lionsgateshop.com

Friday, May 12, 2017

WIN A NOT SO WIMPY PRIZE PACK

My family loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies that are based upon Jeff Kinney's popular middle grade reading books.  So you know we're excited that a new installment to the film franchise  - The Long Haul - will be arriving at movie theaters on May 19, 2017!  To share my family's enthusiasm for the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie, I'm co-hosting a NOT-SO-WIMPY Prize Pack Giveaway. It is worth nearly $70 and includes:
  • $25 Fandango Gift Card
  • 10 Second Challenge Wimpy Kid Game
  • Wimpy Kid Mad Libs
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Hardcover Book
  • Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book
  • Wimpy Kid Practical Joke Kit
Synopsis: In “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul,” a Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw’s 90th birthday party goes hilariously off course thanks to Greg’s newest scheme to get to a video gaming convention. Based on one of the best-selling book series of all time, this family cross-country adventure turns into an experience the Heffleys will never forget.


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GOOD LUCK!