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It's generally no secret around these parts that I'm not a football fan, but I am a Hank Jr. fan. That said, even though the event wasn't my bag, I was bummed to hear that his iconic theme song was nixed from Monday Night Football some years back. Now, confirming some rumors that were swirling, news just hit Rock Father HQ that ESPN’s Monday Night Football will feature the return of its iconic anthem this fall when Hank Williams Jr. kicks off the weekly Monday primetime game by asking NFL fans: “Are You Ready for Some Football?” Every Monday night during the 2017 NFL season, Williams will perform his hit song “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Monday Night” with Florida Georgia Line and Jason Derulo.

It's become a yearly tradition, and this week the time has once again arrived to share the annual Summer Road Trip Playlist from my friends at Sugar Mountain PR. This 11-track collection is available as a free download for a limited time (through 6/11/17), but remains streaming on Soundcloud for the rest of the season. Artists featured on this year's playlist includ Dana's Music Playground,Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, Jazzy Ash, Tim Kubart, Little Miss Ann and Amy D, Lisa Loeb, Red Yarn, Justin Roberts and the Danny Weinkauf Red Pants Band. Check it out in the player below!

This Cars 3 feature is brought to you in collaboration between The Rock Father and Disney•Pixar. Interviews edited for clarity.

"I have two daughters, and one day my daughters told me rather abruptly that certain things were for boys and certain things were for girls," recalls Cars 3 Director Brian Fee. "And if something was, quote 'for boys,' they automatically didn’t have an interest in it or didn’t feel like they could have an interest in it. That was a red flag and it just kind of killed me that society puts those kind of labels on things, and that they, at such a young age, were already feeling those labels." Sitting in on a press conference at Sonoma Raceway ahead of the release of Disney•Pixar's Cars 3, I couldn't help but flash back to something that I'd written on this very site back in 2011, and how much things have changed in just six years. It was then that I asked, "Is Cars 2 Forgetting that Little Girls Like Cars TOO?" In the years since, I've echoed that sentiment, as the father of two daughters myself. While it wasn't necessarily the film at the time, the merchandising of Cars 2 was aimed firmly at one segment of the audience. With Cars 3, Pixar crashes the gate on all levels, delivering a movie that's truly for everyone.

Last week, The Star Wars Show gave the world its first-look at the upcoming 40th Anniversary Star Wars Pinball Machines from Stern Pinball. Today, the folks at Stern (based right here in Illinois!) hit Rock Father HQ with the full details on what they've got coming. Star Wars pinball machines will be available in Pro, Premium and Limited Edition models, each immersing players in a dynamic and challenging Star Wars pinball environment as they battle to restore justice to the Galaxy.

The Pokémon world just continues to grow, and during the latest Pokémon Direct presentation this morning, Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company was joined by Junichi Masuda, Director of GAME FREAK, to announce multiple upcoming Pokémon titles for Nintendo consoles. Pokkén Tournament DX is the one we're most interested in here at Rock Father HQ, as it brings the franchise to the Nintendo Switch, while Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon will be hitting the 3DS. Those looking for some classic Pokémon action on current platforms will also have something to check out. Details and trailer below! 

I'll fully admit to being a Craver - a loyal follower of the delicious sliders served-up at White Castle. Apparently there's some folks who are a lot more hardcore than I - and for more than a decade, there have been more than 75 "Craver weddings" held at various locations across the country. Now, White Castle is making it a bit more official, and they're launching their first national wedding contest to award one happy couple the ultimate Royal Wedding in Las Vegas and a luxurious five-night honeymoon in Belgium. Want to get married at White Castle in Las Vegas? If you're craving marriage, then this one is for you...

The  following message was just-received into the news department at Rock Father HQ: "International Day of Slayer," the annual heavy metal holiday that celebrates the uncompromising, loud and defiant music of the iconic thrash/punk/metal band Slayer, is celebrating its 12th year today, 6/6/17.  IDoS is the day where you stage a "Slay-out, Slay-in, Slay-on, Slay-off - don't go to school, don't go to work - but spend the day listening to Slayer at nuclear blast level in your car, your home, or in the public place of your choice.  True Slayer devotees do NOT use headphones but crank the sound up as loud as possible so that EVERYONE within earshot can hear Slayer.

If you've seen the trailers for Disney-Pixar's Cars 3, then you've no doubt seen the down-and-dirty world of demolition derby on display. But this isn't any demo - it's "Crazy 8's," and like many things in Pixar films, face value isn't always what it seems. "Have you ever been at a crossroads in life where you feel really out of place?" asks Supervising Animator Bobby Podesta during a presentation on Pixar's Production Pipeline, held during a media event at California's Sonoma Raceway.  "That’s the point of this scene," he says. "The audience ends up feeling out of their element, just like McQueen does." Much of Cars 3 is focused on that those crossroads, and how to move beyond them. For the production, that was mirrored by how intertwined the technical team was on bringing this new story to the screen, moving well beyond everything that they'd pulled off in the past.

This weekend, Warner Bros. will finally bring DC Comics' Wonder Woman to the big screen for her first feature-length solo film. To celebrate this momentous occasion, my friends at Sideshow Collectibles are giving readers a shot at winning their Wonder Woman Premium Format Figure. This incredible piece retails for $449.99, and is limited to just 6,000 pieces. Click here to enter, but hurry - this ends at 12:00pm PDT on June 8, 2017!

Being as into Star Wars as we are around here, Wednesday afternoons are always sort of a treat when the folks at StarWars.com release new episodes of The Star Wars Show. This week, the crew takes a look at some of the interesting memorabilia on display throughout the Lucasfilm offices at Skywalker Ranch, in addition to welcoming Mayim Bialik, who I'll always remember fondly as Blossom, just because I'm one of the five people who doesn't like Big Bang Theory. But that's not all! The show also serves-up a first-look at the new Star Wars 40th Anniversary Pinball Machine from the wizards at Stern Pinball (based right here in Illinois). Take a look...

Wednesday, May 31 2017 17:54

Bring Home SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE this Summer!

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It's kind of a weird thing, but it wasn't until just a few weeks before the debut of SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE this spring that I realized it wasn't a continuation of the live-action films from the last few years. Instead, the latest take on the Smurfs is fully-animated in CGI, and I've heard good things about it. Now, Sony Pictures Animation's SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE is coming home, arriving on digital June 20 and on 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray + Digital, Blu-ray + Digital and DVD July 11 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.  Check out all the details from the official announcement below!

When it comes to Star Trek, I've always been partial to Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise on Star Trek: The Next Generation. 2017 marks the 30th Anniversary of that series, but you don't have to travel to the 24th century to get your own Galaxy-class, fifth Federation starship! Thanks to Bif Bang Pow!, you can own the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D, available at San Diego Comic-Con International as an all-new Monitor Mate™ - and I've got your first-look courtesy of Entertainment Earth!

Presented in collaboration between The Rock Father, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste® and Life of Dad

Let’s talk about butts. I don’t talk about butts too much here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine, but being “The Rock Father” and all, I do know a thing or two about butts. Soft butts, firm butts, there’s all kinds of butts, but as a dad with two young daughters, I can remember a time when it was all about those baby butts. In a perfect world, they’re soft and smooth, but we all know that irritation is a big time problem, and I remember those sad cries when diaper rash would rear (no pun intended) its ugly redness, making those little butts painful to touch. I tried many products to help those butts, and it wasn’t until I came across Maximum Strength Boudreaux’s Butt Paste® that I was truly #KickingRash! In fact, even though the girls are well beyond diapers, I still keep some Butt Paste on hand since you never know when it might come in handy. So… with all that rash-kickin’ power, what else could it help clear up?

I've been championing Wisconsin's PRODUCT OF HATE since I first saw them live back in 2009. As many readers of this site know, my relationship with the PoH camp runs deep - I've directed/edited most of their music videos, and I co-manage the band. After touring with the likes of Mushroomhead, Allegaeon, Hammer Fight and The Agonist, PRODUCT OF HATE is back on the road in support of their Napalm Records debut, BURIED IN VIOLENCE. Starting with a 10-day East Coast run with SKINLAB and continuing across the U.S. as the 2017 Summer Annihilation Tour with IKILLYA (Urban Yeti), there's nearly 40 chances to catch PRODUCT OF HATE in a city near you!

With Summer "officially" here in just a few weeks, The Park at Wrigley – Wrigleyville’s new town square and year-round gathering place for neighbors, families, fans and visitors – has revealed their full schedule of free summer programs that will begin on June 12. Their Summer Signature Programs are now complemented by a Summer Fitness Series, offering a rotating running club, interval training, yoga and Pilates sessions helping neighbors stay fit and active. Check out all the details below, including the Music Box Theatre’s Movies at the Park, and live chef demonstrations at Green City Market at the Park, presented by Crate and Barrel. Old Town School of Folk Music will also be presenting a family music concert series...

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