James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance. Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.
As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.
He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers.
Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.
James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.
Learn more here.
Some years back, Michael Bolton found himself drawn to Detroit while researching for his 2013 album "Ain't No Mountain High Enough: A Tribute to Hitsville USA." Beyond the music of Motown, Bolton realized that there was so much more to explore about Detroit’s past, present and future. Now comes his new documentary, American Dream: Detroit, a film that celebrates the golden age of the Motor City - featuring natives such as Francis Ford Coppola, Jerry Bruckheimer, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson and Alice Cooper. It's an exploration of a city in turnaround, pulling back the curtain on the vision of a new Detroit being built by young visionaries and entrepreneurial moguls alike. On May 15th, Fathom Events will bring it to theaters for one night only - see the trailer below!
There's some great summer tours hitting the road in 2018, and today comes news of another one. 311 and The Offspring are teaming up for the Never-Ending Summer Tour, a fun-filled summer amphitheater outing with special guests Gym Class Heroes. The tour will also make stops at select regional events throughout the summer. Check out the official announcement video below, along with all the dates and cities where you can catch this tour live!
With the full trailer for Lucasfilm's Solo: A Star Wars Story now online, it's only fitting that the toys are close behind. I had a chance to check out quite a few of Hasbro's new offerings at the North American International Toy Fair back in February, and on Friday the 13th of April, 2018 - they will be available for purchase! As of now, my friends at Entertainment Earth (an affiliate of the site) have launched pre-orders on a few items from Solo, with the promise that more will become available later this week (stay tuned as I'll be reviewing one of them). Check out the Entertainment Earth Solo: A Star Wars Story toy page, and see below for a sneak-preview of what's on the way.
On May 25, 2018 - 41 years to the day that 1977's Star Wars first hit theaters, audiences will go back to a time shortly before that... a time when Han Solo and Lando Calrissian were just gaining their legendary status. Solo: A Star Wars Story will showcase the smugglers and scoundrels in an one of their early adventures in a galaxy far, far away. Having made its debut on ABC during American Idol, here's the second trailer for Solo - the first to give some real looks at the story. Check it out!
This special feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
It was just over six years ago that I first published Teaching The Force The Rock Father™ Way. At the time, I was discussing how I'd initially shared with our only daughter the original Star Wars films. Six years and nearly 6,000 articles later, times have changed greatly. My wife and I are now raising two daughters who are well-versed in the ways of the Force, something I've written about at length both here and in my column over at The Toy Insider. To put things in perspective of just how greatly life has evolved, when I published that entry back in 2012, we thought that Star Wars was done. Instead, Lucasfilm was sold to The Walt Disney Company just eight months later and a new era of Star Wars was ready to begin! In the years since, there has been more Star Wars storytelling than we ever experienced the first time around. Disney XD's Star Wars Rebels (2014-2018), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), Forces of Destiny (2017-), Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) and now we're looking ahead to Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), the Untitled Episode IX (2019), a new series of films from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, a new Trilogy from Rian Johnson and a live-action television series from Jon Favreau. With much to look forward to, we're still in "Last Jedi mode" around here, and the recent in-home release for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has added fuel to the fire.
Imagine this... you're the embattled CEO of an iconic American company that is nearing the end of its 70-year history just under three years after you took the top job. You were placed into that position after a much-discussed and controversial run as the Athletic Director of a Big Ten University, during which time you were labeled "villainous", jacked ticket prices for students and families and allegedly retaliated against criticism from fans on a regular basis by attacking them via email - something that led Keith Olbermann to once deem you the "Worst Person in the World." Despite public rallies calling for you to be fired, your resignation and a subsequent book that detailed your epic failure at the college, you left with a $3M severance and were able to find work in 2015 thanks to the generosity of someone you worked for once before... Bain Capital. You see, they were running this toy store that they really wanted to be rid of, so you'd go on to tell the Wall St. Journal just that, and by 2018 you'd be giving your private equity buddies exactly what they wished for all while the public was starting to ask how someone with your experience and reputation could wind up running a toy store.