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James Zahn

James Zahn

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.

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It's a big day for movie trailers, and for this one we're looking ahead until February of the year 2019. The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part takes things from the Mad Max-eque apocalypse that followed the events of "Taco Tuesday" and blasts off for some intergalactic adventure (soundtracked by the Beastie Boys, of course). Crank it up!

I have a confession to make. Despite promoting the show when I was writing for the Netflix #StreamTeam when that was still a thing (RIP, for now), I have not yet finished watching the first season of Stranger Things. Yes, I know - even though my love of the 80s and all the spooky stuff is powerful, I stopped watching with the idea that my wife would join the viewing and it just never happened. With Season 3 on the way, I should probably catch up, but in the meantime I'm really admiring what they're doing on the licensing and merchandising front. One of the biggest items just hit the streets this week, and it's "Mike's bike" from Schwinn. Launched alongside a 1980's-style commercial, the only way to get it is by calling 1-800-SCHWINN. Check out the commercial below!

"Why is Bumblebee a different car?"  "Is that John Cena?" Those are questions asked by The Rock Daughters™ this morning as they checked out the trailer for Paramount Pictures' Bumblebee before school this morning. The first Transformers spin-off to come from the Michael Bay TF Universe, Bumblebee is a much smaller film, and one rooted in the "Generation One" era of the 1980s. We see 'Bee in his most famous form - the one kids learned to love back where it all started as a Volkswagen Beetle. But that's not all... look closely and you'll see that at some point he scans a Jeep Wrangler (maybe a Renegade?), and as the last Transformers film showed us, Bumblebee was at one point a military vehicle circa WWII. The designs are simpler, and there's definitely an E.T. vibe happening as ghostly voice of the late Bernie Mac reminds us that "the car will choose the driver." Take a look...

Last summer, I was in the room at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California when Walt Disney Animation Studios dropped the curtain on the first footage from Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2. Like a few other things (such as Jon Favreau's The Lion King and the upcoming "planes in space" thing), that footage has remained under wraps. Sure, we got a teaser trailer back in February, but there was something really buzzed-about that was missing: Disney Princesses and Star Wars. As I mentioned last July when all of the living voices behind the Disney Princesses took the stage at D23, indeed, they're all there - and R2-D2 and C-3PO, too! But that's not all, and now you're finally getting a taste (Infinity Gauntlet). Check out the new trailer for Ralph Breaks the Internet below!

When it comes to enjoying life outdoors, there's nothing that I enjoy more than gardening. If I had the time, I'd work on our garden and landscape all the time - and while that's not possible, I do try to spend as much time out there as I can, and I love to involve our girls - The Rock Daughters™ - wherever possible. Adding color to the landscape is a fun thing to do, especially when you work with perennials and bulbs that will return year after year. Not only will you have some cool colors that bloom throughout each year, but it can be a savings in cost and labor as well. For summer, lilies are some of the best bulbs around, and that's why the folks at Bulb.com have named the lily 2018's "Summer Bulb of the Year." The girls and I just planted 25 of them...

This Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Lionsgate at Home...

They say that time flies when you're a parent, and that's something I never thought much about until we actually had kids. This summer marks two years of backyard movies at our house, or as I like to say it in the interest of sounding fancier: "The Backyard Cinema at Rock Father HQ proudly enters it's third season of screenings." If I was being ultra-cool with it, I'd go ahead and make a full schedule of films, but it's something that tends to happen on-the-fly. Pulling-off a backyard movie night is dependent on a few things, like our schedule, the availability of friends and neighbors to attend, weather, and just how badly the mosquitoes are biting. This week, we kicked-off our third summer of movies with Early Man, the latest film from Aardman, the award-winning tribe that brought you Wallace & GromitChicken Run, and Shaun the Sheep Movie. Complete with some special soccer balls that my friends at Lionsgate sent over (you may recall that I gave some away back in February when the film was in theaters), the backyard was set-up for fun as not only the first screening of the season, but the first on our new deck (which I still have to stain and finish furnishing). Would you believe that Early Man is sort of a sports film?

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