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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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PRONG is one of my Top Five Favorite Bands of All-Time - a fact I feel necessary to point out every single time I have news from them to share. Now, ahead of their spring touring activities (including dates with HELMET and Powerflo), the crew over at SPV/Steamhammer has unleashed the latest music video from PRONG... "Forced into Tolerance."  The track comes from their latest album, Zero Days. See the new video via Blabbermouth below, and crank it up loud!

I didn't expect that we'd have multiple Marvel stories to start the week, but here we are - and the latest reveal comes from Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War. As of this writing we're a month away from its release, and now comes five striking character posters, each representing the color of one of the Infinity Stones. Of course, Thanos would probably very much enjoy having these in his collection. With so many characters taking part in Marvel's long-awaited big-screen battle, this was a fantastic way to highlight many of them, but still some might be feeling a bit left out. Many are also still wondering what happened to Hawkeye? I heard a rumor that he retired and was teaching archery at a summer camp. Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April  27, 2018. Check out the posters below!

While word started to slip out a few days ago, now it's been made official -- Marvel Studios has begun principal photography in Los Angeles, California, on its newest film, CAPTAIN MARVEL. Set for release in the U.S. on March 8, 2019, the story follows Carol Danvers (Academy Award winner Brie Larson) "as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races." A period piece set in the 1990s, CAPTAIN MARVEL will take audiences on an adventure that occurs in a previously-unseen era in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

More from the Official Press Release: Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel” is directed by the writing/directing team of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, whose credits include “Mississippi Grind” and “Half Nelson.” An all-star collective of accomplished writers penned the screenplay, including Meg LeFauve (“Inside Out,” “The Good Dinosaur”),  Nicole Perlman (upcoming “First Man,” Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy”), Geneva Robertson-Dworet (“Tomb Raider,” upcoming “Sherlock Holmes 3”), Liz Flahive & Carly Mensch (“Glow”), and Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck.

Captain Marvel

Brie Larson (left) gets hands-on help from Brigadier General Jeannie Leavitt, 57th Wing Commander (right), on a recent trip to Nellis Air Force Basein Nevada to research her character, Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel, for Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel.”

The film stars Brie Larson (“Room,” “Kong: Skull Island”), Samuel L. Jackson (Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “The Hateful Eight”), Ben Mendelsohn (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Ready Player One”), Djimon Hounsou (“Blood Diamond,” Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy”), Lee Pace (“The Book of Henry,” Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy”), Lashana Lynch (“Brotherhood,” “Fast Girls”), Gemma Chan (“Humans,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”), Algenis Perez Soto (“Sambá,” “Sugar”), Rune Temte (“Eddie The Eagle,” “The Last Kingdom”), McKenna Grace (“I, Tonya,” “Gifted”), with Clark Gregg (“Live by Night,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”), and Jude Law (“Spy,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel”).

Kevin Feige is the producer of Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel.” Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Patty Whitcher and Stan Lee are executive producers, with Lars Winther serving as co-producer/first assistant director and David Grant serving as co-producer.

Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s creative team includes director of photography Ben Davis (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri,” Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange,”), Oscar®- nominated production designer Andy Nicholson (“Gravity,” “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”), costume designer Sanja Hays (“The Fate of the Furious,” “Star Trek: Beyond”), editors Elliot Graham (“Steve Jobs,” “Molly’s Game,”) and Debbie Berman (Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming”), two-time Oscar nominee, visual effects supervisor Christopher Townsend (Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”), stunt coordinator Jim Churchman (Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange” and “Ant-Man” ) and six-time Oscar nominee, special effects supervisor Dan Sudick (Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Black Panther”). 

Based on the Marvel comic character first appearing in 1968, “Captain Marvel”  continues the lineage of epic big-screen adventures chronicled in “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Ant-Man,”  “Captain America: Civil War,” “Doctor Strange,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Thor: Ragnarok” and, most recently, “Black Panther.”

With the release of “Black Panther” in February, Marvel Studios continued its unprecedented success. At the time of release, the film recorded the second biggest opening weekend of all time with $202 million and is on track to the become the highest grossing superhero film at the domestic box office. The film has grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide to date. “Black Panther” propelled the Marvel brand’s #1 domestic box-office opening streak to a record-breaking 19 consecutive films.

There's nothing like seeing a movie in 4DX. While the communal experience of seeing a movie on the big screen with an audience is always special, 4DX takes things to an entirely different level - from watching the movie to almost living in it. This fully immersive cinematic experience brings motion chairs and environmental effects like rain, snow, fog, wind, bubbles, lighting, and scent into each dedicated 4DX auditorium where they work in perfect synchronicity to transport audiences into the story unfolding onscreen. There's 10 4DX locations across the U.S., one of which our family has visited many times - Marcus Gurnee Cinema at Gurnee Mills. Now, with a ton of great films yet to come in 2018, The Rock Father™ Magazine and 4DX USA have teamed-up for a giveaway. Two readers will each score a prize pack that includes a pair of 4DX theater vouchers and some gear from the recent TOMB RAIDER film. You can use the vouchers to see an upcoming film in 4DX (winners will have to live close to one of the 10 locations). Right now PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING is playing, with Steven Spielberg's READY PLAYER ONE on-deck. What do you want to see in 4DX?

Aside from the fact that it featured a bit in Disney•Pixar's Cars 3 last year, dirt track racing doesn't tend to get much attention on the big screen. I've written a bit about it before - the fact that I grew up with it, spending many nights at Santa Fe Speedway outside of Chicago, and traveling to countless ovals around the Midwest as a kid, my dad being a track announcer at the time. Now comes Shifting Gears - a little movie with family at its core, and one set against the backdrop of dirt track action. The logline: "It's WE BOUGHT A ZOO meets DAYS OF THUNDER on dirt!" Check out the trailer and details below...

After a five-year run, Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came to a close at the end of 2017, but as that chapter finished, fans knew that there was an all-new series coming down the pipeline. At Toy Fair in NYC last month, I got a first-look at all the new toys on the way from Playmates, presented by a few of the folks involved with the new series. Now, the first trailer for Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, is here, and fans are getting their first real look at this 2D re-imagining. It's a whole new look for the Turtles and their world, as their origin has a new spin. Check it out...

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ROCK FATHER™ TV: New Videos from YouTube