Friday, July 31 2015 10:00

Review: Disney's DESCENDANTS

Do you want to be very, very good at being bad? That's the question posited by Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth as Maleficent in Disney's DESCENDANTS, throwing down some musical wisdom during a number penned by GRAMMY and TONY-nominated songwriter Andrew Lippa in a film from HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL director/choreographer Kenny Ortega (read my interview here). It's long-been said that villains have more fun (and better costumes), a fact I'd back up with names like Cobra Commander, Skeletor, Darth Vader, and maybe even Blofeld (that collar is about the make a comeback)... but what about their kids? Like Doc Brown tells Marty at the ends of BACK TO THE FUTURE, something has to be done about the kids, and that's where the DESCENDANTS begins. Could the children of Maleficent (SLEEPING BEAUTY), The Evil Queen (SNOW WHITE), Jafar (ALADDIN) and Cruella de Vil (101 DALMATIANS) have a future outside of the family business? 

Published in Movies, TV and More

Having attended "camp" several times as a kid (for Boy Scouts & church), there was a strange familiarity stepping onto the set of BUNK'D at Hollywood Center Studios last month. Along with 24 other familiar writers from the pop culture parenting space, I entered Camp Kikiwaka and took a seat inside a mess hall/lodge to meet the kids from the principal cast. A spin-off of the ever-popular JESSIE (which has come to a close after four seasons), there's some familiar faces in Peyton List (Emma Ross), Karan Brar (Ravi Ross) and Skai Jackson (Zuri Ross) as siblings sent from New York City to Maine (Cameron Boyce is now over on GAMER'S GUIDE TO PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING) - an adventure that finds them as Counselors-in-Training at the very camp where their parents first met. Rounding out the cast are Miranda May (Lou), Kevin Quinn (Xander), Nina Lu (Tiffany) and Nathan Arenas (Jorge).

Published in Movies, TV and More

When I found out that I'd get to spend some time with filmmaker/choreographer Kenny Ortega on one of my recent visits to Los Angeles, I was pretty excited. The Director of NEWSIES, HOCUS POCUS and HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL actually helmed the film that was the very first Blu-ray I personally bought after beginning my format switch - the 2009 documentary musical, MICHAEL JACKSON'S THIS IS IT. I may not mention it often, but Jackson has been a big influence in my own musical life, so it was fitting that THIS IS IT was my first Blu-ray purchase, as THRILLER was the first album I remember asking for on vinyl. Ortega's connection to "The King of Pop" not only as a Director, but as a Choreographer, was not the reason for our meeting, however... it was all about his latest work, Disney's DESCENDANTS.

Published in Movies, TV and More

Could this year get any bigger for STAR WARS? Yes, yes it can, and it continues to do so every day. With each day comes more STAR WARS news, and today comes word that LEGO STAR WARS: THE NEW YODA CHRONICLES will be released on DVD September 15 from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. Check out the cover art and details below, right here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine!

Published in Movies, TV and More

Last year, SHAWN MENDES was declared Radio Disney's "Next Big Thing," and in 2015, that's been coming true. His debut album, HANDWRITTEN entered the Billboard Top 200 chart at #1 back in April, he's opening for TAYLOR SWIFT on select dates of her 1989 World Tour, and now he's got the first single and video for the forthcoming Disney Channel original movie, DESCENDANTS. "Believe" is a central theme in this new tale following the children of some iconic Disney villains, and you can get it now on iTunes with your pre-order of the film's Original Soundtrack (which also features Dove Cameron, Kristin Chenoweth and more). Check out the video below...

Published in Music News

When I became "The Rock Father" upon the birth of our first daughter back in 2009, I had no idea that being a parent and launching what would evolve into THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine would actually be the catalyst to pull me back into - and keep me in - a realm that I'd had some adventures in before: the world of movies and television. It's where I belong, and completely weird how things go full-circle. My first gig as an entertainment writer was way back in 1992 (23 years!), and even through countless reinventions and "past lives," I've been covering press junkets for a very long time. But when I first paid a visit to Los Angeles, in what truly does seem like "a lifetime ago," I was there as many, if not most, are - as a screenwriter and actor. Those pre-parenting adventures - speeding down the Sunset Strip in my dear, departed friend's Cadillac while blasting MOTLEY CRUE (seemed appropriate at the time)... singing Sinatra while doing karaoke in Burbank (and subsequently jumping off the stage)... and taking fruitless studio meetings (for what eventually became a comic instead of a film)... all somehow led here - to my life as a "grownup." Pop Culture is my passion, and thanks to a few folks like my friends at The Walt Disney Disney Company, I'm fortunate to be able to head back to Los Angeles a few times a year to cover and bring back news and features on some of the coolest projects out there. This week, I'm goin' back to Cali again, and at the center of the adventure is MARVEL's ANT-MAN, and that's just the start...

Published in James' Journal
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